How would this room look, feel or function without those windows and doors?
Okay, so you would probably have to have been living in a cave away from the ocean to not have heard about fish oil by now – but what’s the big deal? Why should you or anyone else care to consume this fatty substance that has been pressed and collected from our cold water friends?
RATIOS – it all comes down to ratios.
Whoa, buddy – I was told there would be no math!
Hold up – I’m not talking statistics, but here is the quick version of an extremely long topic:
Our brilliant body is made up of an ecosystem of trillions of cells working together, governed by our nerve system. Each cell in our body is able to keep itself separate from its environment by having a semipermeable phosolipid bilayer membrane (kind of like a skin, but more porous). This membrane is made of two main molecules, phosphate and fat. They are able to hook together, keeping the inside of the cell separate from the outside, allowing pretty much all life to exist.
Now here’s where fish oil comes into play. The types of fat that make up our cells’ membranes depends largely on what types of fat you consume. Fish oil happens to be particularly high in a fat class called Omega 3 (O3). Specifically Long Chain O3.
This is important because this fat is a very flexible fat, very smooth and non rigid, keeping our cells flexible and more permeable, allowing for different nutrients to move in and out much easier. You can think of O3’s in their relationship to your cells kind of like doors and windows are to your house. They let nutrients in more easily (like sunlight and oxygen from a window and groceries and furniture through the door) and they let waist products out more easily (like trash) than would say a solid wall.
Omega 6 (O6) is another class of fat, found in grains and many processed foods. Omega 6 is essentially the opposite of Omega 3. It is much more structurally rigid, giving our cells more of their firmness and structure. Like the Walls in your house.
Both are good for us when the RATIOS are healthy. Here’s the catch: the ratios are supposed to be roughly 1:1 (maybe 1:4)
Omega 3 to Omega 6 and IN AMERICA they are typically 1:20 (even as high as 1:40) Omega 3 to Omega 6. THIS IS NOT GOOD!!!
We are building our cells VERY few windows or doors! Think of an entire building with only 3-4 doors and a handful of windows, talk about an unpleasant place to be!!! It’s similar with our cells, when we build them with primarily O6, they are much more rigid, meaning nutrients cannot get in or out of our cells easily (which is pretty much the definition of DIABETES).
So you can see why these ratios are important…but that is just the beginning.
When we have a ratio of 1:20 (O3 to O6), that means that most of the fats that make up our cells are the rigid O6′s. Now, when our cells break down (as they are supposed to, or from injury), what they are made of has a lot to do with their breakdown reaction in our body.
O3 = anti-inflammatory (a.k.a. normal)
O6 = Inflammatory (a.k.a. lifestyle diseases)
Side note: NSAID’s or Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (also known as aspirin, ibuprofen, Aleve, etc.) only work if your Omega ratio levels are off, because NSAIDS are able to stop the enzyme (Cyclooxygenase II (COX II)) that turns the O6′s into inflammatory molecules called prostaglandins (which is also why they cause so much gastrointestinal bleeding and over 15,000 deaths each year – because a different form of the same enzyme COX I helps produce the lining that protects the stomach from the acid that digests our food).
So, the higher the ratio of O6 to O3 you have, the more inflammatory (swelling, painful, sensitized, clotting, sticky and stew-like) your body becomes and the earlier you die. As my friend and past Clinic Director Dr. Stephen Franson always said “you want your body to be like a soup, not a stew!!”).
This is getting long for one blog, so let’s come back to this next week and I will discuss
how fish oil helps your master system, your nerve system as well as I will discuss additional disorders caused by a deficiency in O3, why you just can’t get enough O3′s from plants, which fish oil to take and why
and of course – how to avoid the fish burps…so stay tuned!
Supplement 4 Health,
Dr. Nicholas Araza, DC CCWP