Gamma-Linolenic Acid and Weight Loss
The body can not make certain oils that are necessary for a healthy function in many areas of metabolism. These oils must be obtained from the environment. This is exactly the same for vitamins. The definition of vitamins is – Things that cannot be made from within the body and must be obtained from sources outside the body. Essentially, these oils are “Fat Vitamins”. Evening primrose oil, black currant oil, and borage oil all contain Omega-6 oils that fit this description. All nuts, seeds, and most whole grains contain Omega-6.
GLA AND WEIGHT LOSS:
- GLA (found especially in evening primrose oil and borage oil) activates brown fat metabolism.
- Brown fat is a unique tissue inside the human body that helps to burn fat, creating heat and energy, instead of depositing excess calories for fat storage.
- GLA is the raw material needed for certain prostaglandins to ignite the mitochondria’s fat burning process in the body’s brown fat.
- GLA can be metabolized from the linoleic acid found in flaxseed oil or taken directly from nature’s richest source, borage seed oil (24% GLA).
- GLA helps to reduce blood levels of fat and ensures that fat is more effectively regulated.
- GLA has been found to reduce the amount of insulin required by diabetics to regulate their blood sugar levels, thus reducing the amount of stress on the liver and pancreas.
OMEGA-6 = GLA = PROSTAGLANDINS
- Prostaglandins (PGs), are hormone-like substances that control the functions of most of the body’s life sustaining systems.
- PGs act as chemical messengers and regulators.
- PGs control the circulatory system, heart function, skin, and immune system.
- An inadequate or an imbalanced supply of specific PGs makes a person vulnerable to heart attacks, high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, and migraines.
- Heat destroys essential fatty acids. It results in the creation of dangerous free radicals (toxins) and not the production of the needed PGs and eicosanoids.
- The body cannot store PGs; they are converted from LA (linolenic acid) into GLA as they are needed. Therefore, sufficient levels of LA must be consumed daily to meet the body’s PG requirements.
The Single Most-Important oil that will promote the formation of prostaglandins- Evening Primrose Oil .
- The PGs formed by GLA accelerate the mitochondria in the brown fat, which works to burn calories. If the brown fat is active and functioning, the excess calories are burned as heat and energy.
CONDITIONS THAT MAY BLOCK, SLOW DOWN, OR INTERFERE
WTH THE BODY’S CONVERSION OF OMEGA-6 (LA) TO GLA:
- High carbohydrate and high sugar consumption blocks the release of EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) from the body’s fat stores, and blocks the enzyme (delta-6-desaturase: D6D) required for converting LA into GLA.
- Use of trans-fatty acids from margarine, shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (sunflower, safflower, and corn) will, deceive the enzyme (D6D) into reacting with them, instead of with the essential fatty acids. This misdirects and wastes much of the enzyme’s limited supplies.
- Heated oils, from food preparation that involves frying or deep-frying, blocks GLA conversion.
- Alcohol blocks the enzyme’s production of GLA.
- Smoking produces free radicals, which blocks the enzyme’s production of GLA.
- There is evidence that low thyroid functions, diabetic conditions, liver disorders, and the aging process all prevent this enzyme from creating GLA.
- The inability of the above conditions to make GLA may create the need for supplementation.
- Nutrients needed by the body for it to make its own GLA: B complex, magnesium, vitamin C, and zinc. A good quality multi-vitamin will provide this service.
- Borage oil is the only oil that pre-converts LA into GLA.
- Excessive levels of plasma cholesterol and saturated fats work to block the enzyme responsible for converting LA into GLA.
- These vital, but elusive hormones are made from Omega-6 (LA) and regulate every cell in the body.
- They are a fat burning friend when the right types are released. Good eicosanoids act only on the cell that produces them, or on an adjacent cell. They are known to exist for only a few seconds.
- Supplementing the diet with GLA is essential.
CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID (CLA) AND WEIGHT LOSS:
CLA is a natural compound that helps to break down fat molecules, thereby allowing the body to more easily burn them off as energy. CLA has been shown to have the ability to either speed up the metabolism of fats or to discourage their storage.
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WHY ARE WE DEFICIENT OF CLA?
- The human body cannot produce CLA.
- CLA is a component of beef, lamb, and dairy products. It is made from the enzymatic conversion of linoleic acid (LA) into CLA, within the intestinal tracts of some animals, particularly ruminants such as cows.
- Not all meats are sources of CLA. Pork, chicken, and fish, contain very little CLA.
- When compared to previous generations, we are deficient in CLA. This is partially due to the fact that we are eating less beef and drinking less whole milk in order to reduce our dietary intake of saturated fats.
- Changes in cattle-feeding practices have decreased CLA content in meat and milk. A grass-fed Australian cow has 3-4 times the amount of CLA in their meat than that of a North American cow.
- In 1963, the percentage of CLA in milk was as high as 2.81%. By 1992, the percentage of CLA in dairy milk seldom exceeded 1%. People often drink non-fat milk and skim milk, it’s the fat content of the milk that contains the CLA. (*See milk note).
- This CLA deficit which now exists, may be partially responsible for the epidemic of overweight people of all ages.
- A deficiency of CLA can inhibit fat from entering muscle cells, which can result in excessive accumulation of body fat.
|*Milk can be an issue – especially milk from farms that use hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and pesticides. Pasteurized, homogenized, and/or irradiated milk is full of many health concerns. All you have to do is look at the web site (www.notmilk.com). A lot of scientific research has been posted at that site. Knowledge is the key to your enlightenment on this issue. Take the time to research this subject. Your awareness will help in making an educated choice or an informed decision on your health|
THE CONSUMPTION OF ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS SUCH AS OMEGA-3 FATS (FISH, FLAX) AND CLA HAS GONE DOWN, WHILE WEIGHT GAIN KEEPS GOING UP
CLA AND WEIGHT LOSS:
- CLA is essential for the transport of dietary fat into cells, where it is used to build muscle and produce energy.
- CLA supplementation has been shown to improve the lean-to-body-fat ratio, decreasing fat deposits – especially on the abdomen, and enhancing muscle growth.
- CLA’s effectiveness in preventing obesity may lie within its ability to enhance insulin sensitivity, thus lowering insulin resistance and, consequently insulin levels.
- CLA’s ability to increase insulin sensitivity allows fatty acids and glucose to pass through muscle membranes and away from fat tissue, therefore reducing body fat.
- CLA activates certain enzymes that enhance glucose transport into the cells which
- Lowers blood sugar level and normalizes insulin.
- Since elevated insulin is the chief pro-obesity agent, it is enormously important to keep insulin within the normal range.
- Athletes use CLA to specifically promote the growth of muscle, by letting glucose into active muscle cells and connective tissues, instead of letting the glucose turn to fat.
- CLA counteracts the negative effects of catabolism – the destruction of tissue, muscle loss, and weakness.
- A pioneering Norwegian human study found that CLA-supplementation (3000 mg daily) subjects experienced a 20% reduction of body fat and a 5% increase in lean muscle without changing their diet, while the control subjects on the average gained a slight amount of body fat during the same period.
- CLA is efficiently absorbed in supplement form. Those seeking body fat reduction often take 750 mg. daily (6-12 capsules).
- CLA is not a “quick fix” for weight loss, but once you have lost the fat, you can continue to stay leaner with less effort.
- To lose weight and keep it off, you need to eat the fats with the most metabolic effects.
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One of the greatest problems with the Western diet during the last 50 years has been the excessive consumption of linoleic acid due to the introduction of margarine, seed oils (corn oil and safflower oil), and modern artificial feeding methods that have raised the linoleic acid content of meat. This excessive consumption has also blocked the production of CLA. At the same time, the consumption of beneficial fatty acids such as Omega-3 fats (fish, flax) and CLA has gone down, while startling weight gains keeps going up.
Learn to understand cause and affect of these critical acids within your body and overall health not just in the weight management arena. Here is a list of foods that a rich sources of Omega 3-6-9.
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