Fighting the Fires Inside
A brand new study – just released in medical journal Cell – shows that dietary fat can combat some of today’s worst diseases. But that doesn’t mean any old fat is good for you. It’s vital that you eat the right kind of fat. And avoid the “bad” kind.
That’s because dietary fats either combat – or trigger – a biological process that may be the root cause of many of today’s most dangerous illnesses.
Dozens of other studies – and several leading doctors – agree that this process is the main culprit behind arthritis, cancer, and diabetes.
That culprit is called inflammation. And the fats you eat either promote or combat it.
New Research Promotes Fats
The new findings come from the University of San Diego. Researchers showed that certain dietary fats reduce chronic inflammation – and can combat diabetes.
They tested their theory on lab mice. Half the group were fed a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids. The other half ate a diet low in omega-3s. At the end of the study all the mice on the high omega-3 diet showed major reductions in inflammation… increased insulin sensitivity… and all-around better health. The mice on the low omega-3 diet showed increased levels of inflammation… and decreased insulin sensitivity.
The researchers concluded that “omega-3 fats have the best effect” for reducing inflammation and improving health.
What Is Inflammation?
Pioneering doctors – and dozens of previous studies – support this evidence.
“Inflammation is the root cause of many illnesses,” says Dr. Andrew Weil. “These include heart disease, cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.”
Dr. Weil is a Harvard Medical School graduate and internationally recognized nutrition expert. He’s spent the last 40 years leading prestigious medical institutions in the U.S. And he’s fighting to expose inflammation as the leading cause of modern disease.
He says inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury. If you are stung by a wasp… you’ll swell up where you are stung. If you hit something, your hand will redden and bruise. Your muscles may be sore after a hard workout. These are all forms of inflammation.
Likewise, when your body is invaded by bacteria, your immune system kicks in. It signals your body’s resources to respond to that bacteria. This is a process we call inflammation.
To fight infection, your body uses white cells. These white cells secrete chemicals as a defense against the infection.
We call these chemicals interleukin-6 (IL-6), CRP, and free radicals. These compounds combat germs and remove damaged cells.
After a normal infection, your body recovers. Your immune system settles down. And inflammation recedes.
Why Diet Affects Inflammation
Inflammation is a finely balanced process that fights infection and repairs damage.
“It is the body’s healing response, bringing nourishment and immune activity to a site of injury or infection,” says Dr. Weil. “But when inflammation persists or serves no purpose, it damages the body and causes illness.”
Diet unbalances this process. Why? Because diet can trigger inflammation. If your body identifies certain foods as toxins… it thinks it’s under attack. And triggers an inflammatory response.
But there’s a key reason why dietary fat is crucial to inflammation. That’s because your body creates prostaglandins. These either cause – or reduce – inflammation. The thing is… the “parent” molecules of these prostaglandins come from dietary fatty acids.
Your body uses these dietary fats to make even more powerful prostaglandins. And they either boost inflammation or combat it.
That means the kind of fats you eat are crucial to your well-being. They can literally turn off inflammation. And that’s a critical step in fighting arthritis, cancer, and heart disease.
We’ll investigate this more on Friday. We will also reveal which dietary fats you need to avoid to cut inflammation… and fight disease.
To your health,
NHD “Health Watch”