Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Kinky DHA

Common in nature yet rare in your diet

Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA) is found primarily in the green parts (chloroplasts) of plants where it is associated in photosynthesis – the process by which plants make sugars from light and the basis to all life on earth! Since ALA is found in plants, and the planet has more green vegetation than anything else, it is the most abundant fat there is. It accumulates into the tissues of animals that feed on this vegetation and is passed on to the subsequent predators. Unfortunately ALA has become rare in the average human diet, which is dense on seeds, the oil from seeds and meat from livestock fed on seeds. This rarity or deficiency is now being linked to a plethora of ills.

ALA the single parent

Alpha-Linolenic acid can be thought of as a single parent of the Omega 3 family of fats. ALA is a very weak acid with a similar strength to vinegar actually. That's not surprising since vinegar is Acetic acid which is another fatty acid.

In nature these fatty acids proceed to tag team up with a molecule of glycerol to become known as a triglyceride. They are more commonly known as FATS and are no longer acidic. It's helpful to know that all triglycerides have an identical glycerol backbone with three fatty acids of varying length. The equation is very simply summed up as follows:

1 glycerol + 3 fatty acids = 1 triglyceride (fat) + 3 molecules of water

Now whether these triglycerides take the shape of vegetable oil, butter or lard depends entirely on which fatty acids are involved. Some have straight saturated chains of atoms and produce solid fats. Others have kinky unsaturated chains and produce liquids.

ALA has a very kinky chain or tail and thus the fats in which it is abundant (linseed, canola) are liquids, even at low temperatures. However for humans and animals, which are both faster and more mobile than plants, it just isn't kinky enough. So before usage it has to be lengthened as I've described here.

DHA the wild child

Docosahexaenoic (DHA) is one of several offspring of ALA and the longest fatty acid in human and animal tissue. This is the fat that permits you to see and think. The highest concentrations of DHA are found in cell membranes of the brain and eyes. Here it has an amazing ability to quick-change between hundreds of shapes, billions of times per second.

The picture above illustrates DHA in one of its many shapes. Sometimes it curls up like a ball, other times it's perfectly straight. It just never sits still and is constantly on the move. Its concentrated presence in cell membranes (thin barrier surrounding cells) transforms them from 'orderly guards' to dancers at an all night rave party. Its diluted presence throughout the body is like oil added to an engine.

Examples of DHA use

DHA is called upon for life's speediest of tasks. It has a role in dynamic, fast acting cells in the heart. An organ which beats around seventy beats per minute or some two billion times in a lifetime. It is found in tissues of the brain and your eyes, which are hopefully focused on this blog. DHA can be found in lesser concentrations throughout your body, where amounts are subject to exercise, genetics and diet. Endurance athletes have more DHA in their skeletal muscle than couch potatoes. The Prima Indians of Arizona are a population with the highest reported incidence of type-2 diabetes. They have far less DHA in their skeletal muscle than anyone else – owing to genetic differences. In rattlesnakes, the rattle muscle has much more DHA than its stomach muscle. Reptiles in general tend to have lower levels of DHA in their tissues than mammals and birds.

Hummingbirds have flight muscles which beat an incredible fifty-two times per second and are incredibly rich in DHA. Their leg muscles however have little. Fish have high levels of DHA, which is perfectly understandable since they live in cold dimly light environments and they need greater flexibility and agility to cope. They also have ready access to algae and other omega 3 rich marine life.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Omega 3 & Omega 6 ratios

In previous articles I've unpacked the basics of essential fatty acids so I thought I'd go ahead and root around further.

Just to recap, omega 3 and omega 6 are 'essential' fatty acids because your body cannot produce them. So they must be ingested as part of a diet regimen. Typical Western diets are incredibly rich in omega 6 owing to vegetable oil abuse and grain fed animals with omega 3 almost nonexistent. The British (and American) diet may have in excess of 20 parts omega 6 to 1 part omega 3 (>20:1).

Dietary bodies and vocal internet groups seem to be at odds as to the correct ratio of omega 6 to omega 3. Some nutritionists state a 4:1 ratio whilst others are happy to push a 1:1 ratio. However a 2:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 seems favourable here.

Why all the strife over ratios?

Omega 3 tends to keep Omega 6 in check otherwise omega 6 on its own causes mayhem, including the oxidisation of LDL cholesterol. Lower ratios have been associated with a decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease. In fact a 2:1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 was found to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis.

Recommended Daily Allowance

The World Health Organisation recommends 1-2 servings of fatty fish (e.g. salmon, sardines, pilchards, mackerel and herring) coupled with oils containing omega 3 per week. The British Heart Foundation says pretty much the same. There isn't a recommended daily allowance set in stone for those wishing to supplement with omega 3 oils but an approximated 2g of EPA and DHA seems good.

EPA, DHA and Linseeds (flax)

Linseeds are a great source of omega 3 but in the wrong form of it. They contribute an omega 3 called Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA). This ALA is a 'short chain' fatty acid and must be converted to 'long chain' fatty acids known as Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The process of converting ALA to EPA and DHA is inefficient. In women this conversion is about 36% and only 16% in men. Thus recommended dosages of Linseed oil for women would be approximately 10g for women and 20g for men daily. Those wishing to ingest blitzed powered seed would need to double those amounts.

How does ALA make EPA & DHA?

I'll try and keep this simple without too much technical jargon. When you take ALA the body has to convert it to EPA and DHA as mentioned earlier. This is done through several long winded rounds of elongating and desaturating. See the flowchart below for the steps involved:

In the top left corner, you have ALA. This is acted upon by delta-6 desaturase (an enzyme) to form Stearidonic acid. This is another 18-carbon omega 3 like ALA. This fatty acid is then elongated by the injection of an ethyl group to form Eicosatetraenoic acid. This is now a 20-carbon omega 3. It's then acted upon by delta-5 desaturase (another enzyme) and EPA is made.

EPA is still 2 carbon atoms short for DHA though. So it's elongated again by an ethyl group to form Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA). This is finally converted by delta-4 desaturase (yet another enzyme) to DHA.


The best sources of EPA and DHA are animal products. Fish, grass-fed meats and eggs (non-grain fed) are ideal sources. To hit your daily quota supplementation is required. If you do decide to pursue plant based omega 3 (e.g. Linseed, walnuts) please bear in mind the aforementioned conversion rates.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Vitamin D

It's that time of year again, Christmas is but round the corner and winter has settled in. You look outside and a cold cloaked earth looks back. The days grow shorter and darker, and you begin to murmur to yourself "Man I've got the blues".

So now would be a great opportunity to get acquainted with Vitamin D and reap the benefits it may provide. Health aficionado Nigel Kinbrum has written a most informative article on the subject here, I'd urge all to have a read.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Saturated oils

I don't need to tell you that saturated fat is bad. Chances are that you've come across many vocal groups proclaiming polyunsaturated fats as 'good' and saturated fats as 'bad'. This is too simplistic. Any fat in excess is bad, especially polyunsaturated.

Saturated fat has been labelled a dietary monster causing {inset favourite disease here} and other untold health problems. Yet saturated fat has been a staple part of human diets for thousands of years but only recently had negative publicity – most probably profit motivated by those selling polyunsaturated products. Our ancestors lived on a diet rich in grease, lard and butter. It wasn't until the 20th century that vegetable oils (polyunsaturated) became widely available and with that has come a plague of degenerative diseases.

Polynesians and saturated fats

A study done on two populations of Polynesians, namely Pukapukans and Tokelauans on the effects of their dietary saturated fats showed some startling revelations. Pukapukans were getting 26-30% of their total calories from fats whereas Tokelauans were getting 47-49% of their total calories from fats.

Now since the Tokelauans were obtaining around seven times more calories from saturated fats than the 7% current 'healthy' guidelines recommend, one would have expected them to perish from strokes and coronary heart disease. However, contradictory to this the investigation found that vascular disease was uncommon in both populations. No evidence of high saturated fat intake having a harmful effect was found in these populations. Interestingly the rest of the Tokelauans' diet consisted of no refined sugars, no cereals and certainly no Mc Donald's – they were not eating junk!

Reference: Nigel Kinbrum's eBook and a whole host of links to great articles can be found here

Should you wish to read up on the study it can be found here

Health benefits of saturated oils

Saturated fat is needed for proper digestive function, growth, and is an essential component of every single cell in your body. Nature has infused this fat into almost all of the foods we eat, both plant and animal. Even polyunsaturated vegetable oils contain at least some saturated fats.

Lauric acid, the main fatty acid found in coconut oil has many viral and bacterial properties. It's also great for the skin when rubbed in.

Short and medium chain fatty acids may promote weight loss. They are metabolised rapidly without passing through the liver to provide a quick source of energy.

Health dangers of saturated oils

The most recognised danger of saturated fats is that it elevates your LDL (bad) cholesterol. It does also elevate your HDL (good) cholesterol but the net effect of the two is still negative. This cholesterol will block arteries, making it harder for blood to flow ultimately causing heart attacks (simplified extremely). Cholesterol is not the only thing that makes saturated fat less healthy. It has a bad effect on blood glucose levels and may cause diabetes. It also causes inflammation, which as Dr. Art Ayers blogs about causes many diseases.


In moderation and coupled with anti-oxidants I see no reason discourage the use of saturated fats. My personal favourite is extra virgin coconut oil which is not refined, bleached or deodorised.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Monounsaturated oils

Foreword: Newbies please check out the introduction to cooking oils here before divulging into this topic.

The most prominent mono-unsaturated oil in this category is olive oil. Another oil that is getting more and more coverage is a high-oleic sunflower/safflower oil. Normal sunflower and safflower oils are very high in polyunsaturated fatty acids but the high-oleic varieties are made with a particular seed that is about as high in monounsaturated fats as olives. Below is a table with the fatty acid ratios for comparison:

Health benefits of monounsaturated oils

Monounsaturated oils are much easier to understand than their polyunsaturated counterparts. There are no different types or kinds that you need to worry about. Try to think of monounsaturated oils as a hybrid between very unstable polyunsaturated oils and very stable saturated oils. They do not get rancid as easily as polyunsaturated oils and do not have the artery clogging effects of saturated fats. Monounsaturated oils have an anti-inflammatory effect: they are good for people with arthritis and asthma. They tend to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol - whether this actually reduces disease is up for debate though.

Heath dangers of monounsaturated oils

Though more stable than polyunsaturated oils, they do still oxidise readily. Even though olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, it still contains 11% of unstable polyunsaturated fat. Oxidised oils are toxic to your health. They oxidise cholesterol – think of rusting arteries!

Monounsaturated fats have a plethora of health benefits, that is agreed but as extracted oils they are still mostly empty calories. That means they contain very few vitamins and no minerals. You can get the same health promoting fats in a far healthier way by simply eating avocados and almonds.


Buy cold pressed extra virgin oil over standard. This is the best quality olive oil that is pressed without heat thus preserving at least some antioxidants (like Vitamin E) that were originally present in the olive itself. Look for olive oil that is stored in dark bottles and still has a long use by date. Always store the oil sealed in a dark cool place. I have mine in the fridge where it slowly solidifies and is removed a few hours prior to usage in its liquid form. Moderation is the key and two tablespoons of oil as a salad dressing is more than sufficient.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Polyunsaturated oils

Many health organisations recommend using oils consisting primarily of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA's for short). The most widespread of which is sunflower oil. We're told these oils are good for the heart so I decided to have a look into the facts.

Understand that there are two separate issues important here:

  1. The health aspects of polyunsaturated fatty acids
  2. The health aspects of extracted oil made from those fatty acids

Different kinds of polyunsaturated fatty acids

PUFA's can be divided into two groups: Omega 3 and Omega 6. For years and years the experts thought the two were identical in their health benefits but lately omega 3 seems to have got the limelight. Science has now shown that too much Omega 6 PUFA's are actually unhealthy.

Omega 3 fatty acids

Three important Omega 3 fatty acids are Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your body CANNOT make the ALA so you have no choice but to get it from your diet. Linseeds and walnuts are naturally rich in ALA – and thus are both highly recommended by me so go out and buy them now.

ALA by itself has a plethora of health benefits, but as I previously blogged the Omega 3 fatty acids that are good for your brain are DHA and EPA. Your body CAN covert ALA into EPA and EPA into DHA as long as your diet is a healthy one. Natural sources of EPA and DHA are fish and algae (Vegetarians may purchase it from the following: ).

Omega 6 fatty acids

Three important Omega 6 fatty acids are Linoleic acid (LA), Gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA) and Arachidonic acid (AA). Your body CANNOT make LA, so again you have no choice but to obtain it from your diet. Then once ingested the body can convert LA into the other Omega 6 fatty acids. Now here is where it all goes pear shaped...

Those ever so many health organisations that push sunflower oils and other LA rich products as the saviour for your heart fail to mention an important fact. And that is that our diets are way too rich in LA already, we certainly don't need more LA. Sunflower oil for example may or may not be healthy but since we already have a surplus of LA it is simply a non requirement.

Health benefits of PUFA's

PUFA's do lower cholesterol. We all know the drill here right? High levels are associated with higher rates of heart disease and lower rates are vice versa. But it is important to note though, that PUFA's lower both LDL (the bad type) and HDL (the good type) cholesterol and those populations that have low levels of heart disease do not consume much PUFA's at all.

Health dangers of PUFA's

PUFA's are prone to rancidity and oxidation. These affect both the taste and the health properties of the fats. If you take whole nuts and seeds as an example, then their original packaging by nature protects the fragile oils with many anti-oxidants. When the oils are extracted, the packaging that nature intended to protect with is disregarded. Thus these extracted fats are far more likely to go bad than properly stored nuts and seeds.

If you do not want your arteries to rust up then always store your PUFA rich products in sealed containers in a refrigerator. Never ever overheat them.

Also an overload of Omega 6 fatty acids, particularly LA and AA compared to Omega 3 ALA will lead to inflammatory diseases like asthma and arthritis.


Nuts and seeds are very high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fats are very unstable, so it makes sense to eat them in their original packaging (i.e. as whole nuts themselves) and not use extracted polyunsaturated oils.

There are exceptions to this rule as sesame oil still contains many anti-oxidants and a large amount of more stable fats. These are called mono-unsaturated fatty acids and I will discuss them at a later date.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Cooking Oils

Oil is a refined food. And if its refined, chances are it isn't healthy per say. The processing of oil to prevent it going rancid robs it from most of its original nutrients. It isn't something that is good for you and should be used in limited amounts. It's perfectly possible to cook without oil, and instead get all your Essential Fatty Acids from nuts, avocados etc. But would your food taste as good without the oil content? Of course not. Food just tastes so much better with the addition of oil. That said, oil in small amounts is not harmful if you are not overweight or suffering from disease.

Different kinds of oils

There are three kids of oils: saturated, mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated. Saturated oils are solid at room temperature. Mono-unsaturated oils are fluid at room temperature but solid in the refrigerator. Poly-unsaturated oils are fluid at room temperature and in the refrigerator.

However, all oils contain a mixture of the above three kinds of oils. Below I've highlighted some common oils and their fatty acid contents:

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Grains, beans and potatoes

Fundamentally these are seeds. They will grow into a healthy plant if you let them. To protect the seed from the elements they have certain toxins in place. This is why they store so well. The enzyme blockers they contain put them into a state of deep freeze, effectively stopping them from sprouting till the conditions are just right. These toxins are natural pesticides and can attack bacteria, insects, worms and other pests (and of course humans too).

Let's take 2 examples:

The cashew nut, although a nut in the culinary sense is actually a seed in the botanical sense. The seed is surrounded by a double shell containing some serious poisons. This is why you will never find a cashew nut in its shell at the supermarket.

The castor bean is infamous for the extraction of Ricin from it. This is one of the most potent poisons known to man and 500 micrograms (the size of a grain of salt) will kill you. Enough said really.

The Paleolithic Diet

You won't believe this but among us there are races of people who are all slim, stronger and faster than us. They have perfect vision and perfectly straight teeth. Diabetes, heart disease, depression, cancer and arthritis are nonexistent for them. These people make up the last tribes of hunter-gatherers in our world. They share a commonality that is over two million years old – their diet.

This is a diet that has not changed from the very first humans some 2 million years ago. They live off a diet that man has evolved on, a diet coded for in our genes, a diet your body wants you to eat. This diet is known to as the Paleolithic Diet and refers to the Stone Age era of time.

The diet covers all major dietary components (vitamins, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, antioxidants etc.) for the simple reason that this diet is coded for in our genes. The diet contains only those foods that were 'on the plate' during our long evolution. It completely discards those which were not. Yes Mc Donald's comes to mind here.

The Basics

For millions of years, humans have eaten meat, fish, fowl and the leaves, roots and fruits of plants. An obstacle to getting more calories from the environment is the fact that many plants are inedible. Beans, grains and potatoes are full of energy but eating them raw WILL make you sick. They are toxic to the body.

About 10,000 years ago someone made a breakthrough. This breakthrough was to change the course of history and our diet forever. It was the discovery that cooking made the toxic plant foods edible. The heat killed the toxins and rendered the foods edible. Grains include wheat, corn, rice and oats. Grain based foods include flour, bread, noodles and pasta. These foods are not foods we are genetically coded for.

Why was the uptake in grains so substantial?

  • Cooked grains yielded enormous amounts of quick energy

  • Grains could be stored for long periods of time without refrigeration

  • The food was also the seed of the plant and was ready for farming again

  • Grains were calorie dense i.e. a small weight contains a lot of calories for easy transport

The above advantages made it much easier to store and transport food. Food could be stored easily for winter. Man was free to pursue other activities and not worry about eating e.g. building dwellings and fighting each other. This 'convenience' food then set course for our modern day civilisation. Today man has further improved on these advances by farming plants and animals albeit for monetary gains only. Now despite these advantages, our genes are not developed with beans, grains and potatoes of any sort. Our bodies are simply not in tune with them.

The dangers of grains

  • They are toxic when raw causing sickness if ingested raw

  • Cooking does not destroy all of the toxins but insufficient cooking still causes sickness

  • They are rich sources of carbohydrate. On cooking they become rapidly digestible giving a high Glycemic Index – sugar spike

The essentials of the Paleolithic Diet

Eat NONE of the following:

  • Grains- including bread, pasta, noodles

  • Beans- including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, snow-peas and peas
  • Potatoes

  • Dairy products

  • Sugar

  • Salt

Eat the following:

  • Meat, chicken and fish

  • Eggs

  • Fruit

  • Vegetables (especially root vegetables, but definitely not including potatoes or sweet potatoes)

  • Nuts, eg. walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia, almond. Do not eat peanuts (a bean) or cashews (a family of their own)

  • Berries- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.

Try to increase your intake of:

  • Root vegetables- carrots, turnips, parsnips, swedes

  • Organ meats- liver and kidneys (I personally won't eat them couldn't stomach it)

Friday, 28 November 2008

What do Essential Fatty Acids make and what happens if amounts drop?

From Omega 3 and Omega 6 your brain makes something called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and AA (arachidonic acid) that are then incorporated into the cell membranes. These longer chained, more complex fatty acids are also available preformed directly from food. E.g. Cod liver oil, Neptune krill oil.

A point to note here is that the brain's ability to assemble these fatty acids can be severely compromised by stress, infections, alcohol, excess sugar, and vitamin or mineral deficiencies – factors common today.

Effects of DHA loss

The DHA that your brain makes is the most abundant fat in the brain. Loss in DHA concentrations in the brain cell membranes correlates to a direct decline in functional integrity. Thus declining DHA concentrations cause cognitive impairment.

DHA and depression

Various studies have been done on the absence of DHA in those with depression. In Europe for example, populations showed rates of depression 10 times greater than in Taiwan – where people consume a lot of fish. The Japanese, whose diet is mainly fish, have a massively lower depression rate than Europe too.

Fatty acids and Alzheimer's Syndrome

Disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's exhibit cell membrane loss of fatty acids. Thus is makes sense that an optimal diet with a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids may help to delay their onset or reduce the damage these diseases elicit.

Imbalance of fatty acids and mental disorders

An imbalance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 can lead to a variety of mental disorders, including hyperactivity, depression, brain allergies, and schizophrenia. A balanced ration of the two fatty acid families (Omega 3 and Omega 6) is necessary for a healthy brain. It structurally is composed of a 1:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3. However our Western diets tend to have at least twenty times more Omega 6 than Omega 3. That's an unhealthy ratio of 20:1.

This imbalance can easily be corrected by eating more Omega 3 rich fish and linseed oil, by eating less sugar, and by completely avoiding trans fats altogether. Trans fats are found in partially-hydrogenated oils, margarines you thought were healthy 'cos it says so on the label' and shortening. Cheap supermarket own branded oils and salad dressings are best avoided unless they are clearly labelled "Cold Pressed".

What are essential fatty acids (good fats)?

Think of these as Essential Building Materials. To build brain cells you need fatty acids. Two kinds of fatty acids are considered "essential", which means you must get these from the food you eat. Your body CANNOT produce them. Hence the name Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).

The first essential fatty acid you need is Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) or Omega 3. Linseed or Flax if you're American (as pictured) is a fantastic source.

The second essential fatty acid you need is Linoleic acid (LA) or Omega 6. Food sources include sunflower, safflower, corn and sesame oils.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

What are trans fats (bad fats)?

Normal fatty acids have a natural curve to their molecular shape. When they fit together in vast numbers, enough space still remains so that the cell membrane has the proper structure it needs to function at its best.

However, if these same fat molecules are changed by manufactured food processes, or if they are heated for long periods – as in deep frying – they mutate into a form rarely found in nature. Now their molecules are straighter, narrower, and no longer have their original curved shape.

This means that these altered fats will pack more tightly together into the cell membrane, making it more saturated and rigid – less flexible and less able to function properly. These altered fats are called "trans fatty acids," and are finally being recognised for the damage they cause...They will kill you!

Evolution of the human brain

Once upon a time, some thousands of generations ago, man reached a threshold and crossed it. Somewhere in the evolution of the brain, something unprecedented happened – effecting life on Earth. The human brain changed and was suddenly able to compute, manage and store information like never before. Man had become clever.

Let's take a look at why and how this happened...

The first brains

Animal life first originated in the sea, where there was an abundance of Omega 3 fatty acids. As time went on, flowering seed plants appeared and with them a brand new fatty acid family was introduced. The seed oils of these plants contained Omega 6 fatty acids. Now for the first time, the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids families existed on earth together. This apparently opened the door for an entire new set of species to arrive that would develop a bigger brain. You!

How did the new species develop bigger brains?

Well unlike the fish and reptiles of the time, the new species, called mammals did not lay eggs. Mammals kept their offspring inside their bodies, surrounded by a sac called a placenta. The placenta is a powerhouse of nutrients and energy and 70% of the calories are devoted to brain growth. No wonder they grew bigger brains.

The big brain change

We Humans are thought to have lived on earth for millions of years, however the big brain change happened only in the last 200,000 years or so. What could have caused the change in human brains? And why did some human brains change and others stay the same? Could it have been what they ate?

The puzzle of the big brain change involved the discovery of early human populations that demonstrated greater intelligence. Another break through was in the discovery that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) was a huge contributor to brain growth. Now DHA was found in seafood and it was shown that people who lived near water sources and ate seafood experienced the big brain change. In contrast, the populations inland (e.g. Australopithecines) did not have access to omega 3 and got stuck at a brain capacity that was not much bigger than a chimp for three million years. It's not funny!

Fat Head

You have a fat head – no offense! Around two-thirds of your brain is composed of fats. It's not just any kind though. Your brain cells require specialised fats – the same ones that built the brains of your prehistoric ancestors and enabled them to learn and evolve at such a fast rate. In fact these same fats are being incorporated into the very structure of your brain as you read this!


Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Junk food lowers IQ

The human brain now faces a challenge never before encountered in its thousands of generations of development. During the past century, something has become fundamentally different with many of the fats we now consume. Modern food processing techniques have actually altered a basic building block of the brain. And not for the better.

Trans fatty acids found in foods like french fries, margarine, potato chips and anything else with partially hydrogenated oil disrupt communication in your brain. Trans fatty acids are rarely found in nature and are mostly man made.

By modifying natural fats, we have altered the basic building blocks of the human brain – weakening the brain's architecture. And, like unstable buildings that come apart in an earthquake or storm, poorly structured human brains are failing to cope with the mounting stress of modern life.