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Are EFA's really essential?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by quelsen View Post
    I worked with a guy who was like this. at least in public and talked a good game.

    Last i heard after he got married she made him eat and he gained 50 pounds.
    Nature abhors a vaccum, & he became one.... I hope she likes her hubbie w/ his bigger tubbie...
    "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
    "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
    "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Forgotmylastusername View Post
      I always wondered about the requirement for efa's. I don't doubt omega3's are beneficial but I'm sure the actually requirement is extremely low. I never ate anything containing a significant source of omega 3's growing up. Fish/seafood/flax/chai/nuts/eggs/fatty meats/ etc. You also see some diet plans that exclude all overt fats and people seem to be doing fine. The only fats they seem to get are from fruits and salad which contain microscopic amounts.
      You ever heard of an all rabbit diet? Native peoples, who circumstantially were stuck eating nothing but rabbit for long stretches, have all sorts of humorous & not-so humorous phrases for this fat deficient diet of suffering daily rabbit meat. People die. And there are many many cases of people getting sick , being unhappy & yes even dying on low or no fat diets over sustained periods of time.
      "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
      "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
      "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

      Comment


      • #33
        Thread Summary: #2

        Background:
        * Omega 3 and 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are referred to as 'essential fatty acids' (EFAs) since humans can't synthesize them from other substances. Many nutritional experts claim EFA's should be part of a supplement program, but a few (e.g. Ray Peat) claim eliminating them altogether would be healthier. Arguments from both are usually based on cellular biology/physiology.

        Definitions:
        essential=nutrients which can't be synthesized by the body
        nutrient=any substance that can be metabolized by the body to give energy and build tissue

        'essential nutrient' = any substance which can't be synthesized but that can be metabolized to give energy and build tissue

        Evolutionary (Paleo) Perspective From Posters on this Thread:
        * EFA's are no different than the numerous other 'necessary' nutrients (e.g. water) that the body can't synthesize. The fact that it can't synthesize EFAs should be taken to indicate they were readily available from the evolutionary (paleolithic) diet.

        * Evolution is 'biologically efficient' by delegating essential nutrient synthesis (EFAs) to species lower in the food chain where ever possible as this enables other features to develop.

        * It's the ratio of O3:O6 in the diet that matters, they should be kept close to equal. Supplement (or get from food) as much O3 as needed to balance O6.

        Practical Open Questions:
        * Is there a better definition of 'essential nutrient'?
        * How much EFAs are really needed?
        * What beneficial role do they support in health?
        A1: Ethereal reported they help with skin issues.
        (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

        (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

        Comment


        • #34
          Great discussion! Here's my 2 cents: In the body, essential fatty acids serve multiple functions. In each of these, the balance between dietary O-3 and O-6 strongly affects function.

          O3/O6 are modified to make eicosanoids (affecting inflammation and many other cellular functions), endocannabinoids (affecting mood, behavior and inflammation), lipoxins from O-6 EFAs and resolvins from O-3 (in the presence of aspirin, downregulating inflammation.), isofurans, neurofurans, isoprostanes, hepoxilins, epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) and Neuroprotectin D.

          They also form lipid rafts (affecting cellular signaling) and they act on DNA (activating or inhibiting transcription factors such as NF-κB, which is linked to pro-inflammatory cytokine production)

          Now, where do the "EFA's" come from? They are found in fish and shellfish, flaxseed (linseed), hemp oil, soya oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.

          I think it is appropriate to call O3/O6 EFA only in the context that they are derived from fish, shellfish, seeds, nuts, and vegetables in their original packaging. The EFA label gave manufacturers of food cart blanche to mislead the public into thinking that soybean oil, flax seeds, and krill oil are mandatory for good health.

          There is no human, past or present, who didn't eat something, sometime in their life that contained O3 or O6--you wouldn't have cell walls if you never took these substances in. Therefore, yes, O3 and O6 are properly classified as EFA's.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by PaleoLogicCheck View Post
            [U]
            * Is there a better definition of 'essential nutrient'?
            * How much EFAs are really needed?
            * What beneficial role do they support in health?
            A1: Ethereal reported they help with skin issues.
            1. The term EFA is misleading. It should only be used in biology texts--not as a dietary term.

            2. O3 and O6 consumption should not be counted, nor even taken into consideration. One should eat plenty of seafood and shellfish along with their paleo diet and it will take care of itself. Supplements are not needed and not desired. O3 and O6 only work in their pre-packaged (food) form.

            3. Under-eating of foods containing O3/O6 cause dermatitis and depression. Strange bedfellows until you think "cell wall degradation"

            Comment


            • #36
              Let's look at it this way: Take a young girl. Feed her only foods that contain no EFA's. Raise her on this diet until puberty, then have her bear a child. Feed this child no EFA's. Any predictions?

              Same setup, but feed the girl only grain-fed beef and other borderline EFA foods and lots of O6 veg oils, but no seafood. Do the same to her child. Different outcome?

              Same people, feed mother and child a diet rich in seafood and plants that contain EFAs. How's their health now?
              Last edited by otzi; 07-30-2012, 05:14 PM.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Betorq View Post
                You ever heard of an all rabbit diet? Native peoples, who circumstantially were stuck eating nothing but rabbit for long stretches, have all sorts of humorous & not-so humorous phrases for this fat deficient diet of suffering daily rabbit meat. People die. And there are many many cases of people getting sick , being unhappy & yes even dying on low or no fat diets over sustained periods of time.
                Rabbit starvation? I'm pretty sure that was due to too high a protein content and insufficient fat or carb consumption. Steven guyenet mentioned there was a few tribes in New guinine that lived on diets with up to 95% carb. That would only leave 2% or so microscopic fat intake that the potatoes contained.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Our sensei has blogged on this topic a lot, here are some relevant examples:

                  Polyunsaturated Fats: Are They Healthy?

                  Enough Omegas?

                  More on Omega

                  Encore on Omegas

                  O6:O3 Ratio

                  Many more can be found from the search function.
                  The fact that he still offers a supplement probably says it all though:

                  Vital Omegas Description
                  Vital Omegas Product Page

                  I'll try to add a section to a new thread summary just on his views a little later.
                  Also, I'll add a new section to the thread summary with links to study's with clinical evidence.
                  (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

                  (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by PaleoLogicCheck View Post
                    Our sensei has blogged on this topic a lot, here are some relevant examples:
                    Polyunsaturated Fats: Are They Healthy?
                    Enough Omegas?
                    More on Omega
                    Encore on Omegas
                    O6:O3 Ratio
                    Many more can be found from the search function.
                    The fact that he still offers a supplement probably says it all though:
                    Vital Omegas Description
                    Vital Omegas Product Page
                    I'll try to add a section to a new thread summary just on his views a little later.
                    Also, I'll add a new section to the thread summary with links to study's with clinical evidence.
                    Our sensei, hehe. It took me a sec or 2 to register that. I was like, "So, your martial arts master posts on here too, cool..."
                    Mark sells formulas w/ fish oils, whey & vit d. I think for people that don't get optimal levels from their diets, or might have specific health challenges, some supplementation is/can be good. Some people poo poo whey, on MDA & other sites. But I do use it some, not every day but some without worry. Just like vit D & cod liver oil, not every day...
                    "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                    "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                    "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Question on purslane: are all portulacas edible? I went scouring round the castle and environs for some wild, and am in a rare spot where none was to be found, but see portulacas all the time at garden centers. Any precautions, or just pick one, plant, and eat?

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Well hell, even mildly poisonous foods, some of them, are eaten by people in different points of the planet. Purslane, across the line, seems edible. Just a taste preference I assume, or what grows where...

                        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                        Purslane may refer to:

                        "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                        "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                        "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          EFAs are essential and important. A dietary deficiency of O3 causes women's brains to shrink during pregnancy as their brain is cannabilized to provide O3 for the baby.

                          Omega 3 is very important for keeping inflammation in check, and for supporting eye and brain function.

                          I don't consider it relevant to compare omega 3 to vitamin C as an essential micronutrient, as vitamin C's not the only antioxidant. Vitamin C can even behave as a reducing agent under some cellular conditions. Its considered importance as an antioxidant is purely historical, as it was discovered so early on. Other antioxidants such as quercetin and vitamin E may eventually be proved to be far more important.
                          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Betorq View Post
                            Our sensei, hehe. It took me a sec or 2 to register that. I was like, "So, your martial arts master posts on here too, cool..."
                            I think of Mark as a sensei for a 'paleo health dojo'. He's just got that kind of cool vibe about him.
                            But that doesn't mean we should do everything he says.

                            sweep the leg.jpg

                            Does this 80's movie reference rings any bells?
                            (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

                            (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                              EFAs are essential and important. A dietary deficiency of O3 causes women's brains to shrink during pregnancy as their brain is cannabilized to provide O3 for the baby.
                              Do you have a link to the clinical data for this? If valid, this would definitely persuade me that the good Dr (Ray Peat) may be wrong. Nature wouldn't transfer O3 from mommy to baby if it was a toxin, while cannabilizing mommy's brain in the process.

                              Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                              Omega 3 is very important for keeping inflammation in check, and for supporting eye and brain function.
                              Yeah I've read these kinds of studies but they always leave me with an uncertain feeling about their validity.
                              Or maybe the good Dr (who has religiously avoided O3's for 40 years) just has me spooked.

                              Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                              I don't consider it relevant to compare omega 3 to vitamin C as an essential micronutrient, as vitamin C's not the only antioxidant. Vitamin C can even behave as a reducing agent under some cellular conditions. Its considered importance as an antioxidant is purely historical, as it was discovered so early on. Other antioxidants such as quercetin and vitamin E may eventually be proved to be far more important.
                              Good topic but I want to try to keep this thread focused on EFAs.
                              (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

                              (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Thread Summary: #3

                                Background:
                                * Omega 3 and 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are referred to as 'essential fatty acids' (EFAs) since humans can't synthesize them from other substances. Many nutritional experts claim EFA's should be part of a supplement program, but a few (e.g. Ray Peat) claim eliminating them altogether would be healthier. Arguments from both are usually based on cellular biology/physiology.

                                Definitions:
                                essential=nutrients which can't be synthesized by the body
                                nutrient=any substance that can be metabolized by the body to give energy and build tissue

                                'essential nutrient' = any substance which can't be synthesized but that can be metabolized to give energy and build tissue

                                Evolutionary (Paleo) Perspective From Posters on this Thread:
                                * EFA's are no different than the numerous other 'necessary' nutrients (e.g. water) that the body can't synthesize. The fact that it can't synthesize EFAs should be taken to indicate they were readily available from the evolutionary (paleolithic) diet.

                                * Evolution is 'biologically efficient' by delegating essential nutrient synthesis (EFAs) to species lower in the food chain where ever possible as this enables other features to develop.

                                Sensei's Perspective From His Blogs:
                                * "I agree that avoiding PUFAs in general is a good rule of thumb, but I straddle the line with a little extra time and care in order to take advantage of what I deem valuable nutrient (PUFA) sources."

                                * "I buy them raw and as fresh as possible from sources I research. Im a stickler for proper storage. Opaque containers. Refrigeration."

                                * "Finally, I make sure my diet is chock-full of antioxidants (including vitamin E) and minerals to counter any oxidative stress from PUFAs or any other source."


                                Practical Open Questions:
                                * How much EFAs are really needed?
                                A1: "Since were all about the primal here, were taken in by the ratio most experts agree characterized
                                hunter gatherer diets. And that would be an elegant 1:1 ratio. (O6:O3)" (sensei)
                                A2: "1-3 grams of omega-3 a day" (sensei)
                                A3: "Supplementing your diet with a high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement is, in our estimation,
                                one of the best things you can do for your body...It can be difficult to achieve the 1:1 ratio
                                without use of a daily supplement." (sensei)

                                * What beneficial role do they support in health?
                                A1: Ethereal reported they help with skin issues.

                                * Is there a better definition of 'essential nutrient'?
                                (1) I am 100% on-board with the primal exercise blue print. It reduces the problem of exercise down to its simplest form and provides a solution that can be used for a lifetime.

                                (2) I'm not on-board with the primal diet blue print. In fact, I'm not on-board with any diet plan but a man can hope to find the right answer before it's too late.

                                Comment

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