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Around Our Town...To Your Health

Chronic Pain and Diet: Part 2

07/01/2006 - Hello Again!

I hope last month's article gave you some useful information. I apologize for the technical jargon. I'm sure some of the reader's minds were spinning and others were thinking this is too elementary so I apologize for this. Some have started to complain that there will be nothing good to eat! Unfortunately, when you eat food that is chemically enhanced you will, in time, conditioned to favor these foods and they may not be in your best interest for your health. Okay, back to work!

(click for larger version)
Last month we discussed how bad Omega 6s are and that they produce inflammation, which results in...pain (Ouch!). The bad Omega 6s are cooking oils such as com, safflower, cottonseed, sunflower and soybean. Good Omega 6s (which are essential to our bodies) are primrose, borage, and black currant seed oils. These will compete with the bad Omega 6s to reduce inflammation.

Now about the Omega 3s. You may have been seeing more of these supplements mentioned in the media. There has been a lot of information published about the benefits of Omega 3 supplementation but with regards to our article here it is about the anti-inflammatory benefits (YES!). What are our sources for Omega 3s? Well our most common sources are Flax seed oil, cold-water fish, and fish oil. These products will reduce the production of PGE2 (inflammation). In our diet we need to keep a balance of Omega 6 and 3, preferably 2 to 1, however the current American diet ratio is 25 to 1. This is why we need to start supplementing with Omega 3s and decreasing the bad Omega 6s.

To understand a little more as to why we should be supplementing is to get back to basic biology. Our basic building block of the body is the cell. The membrane of the cell is semi-permeable meaning it allows some "stuff" in and some "stuff"out. Well,science has shown that due to our lousy diets this membrane has gotten harder, thus failing to allow important "stuff" in and important "stuff" out resulting inimproper functioning. We can correct this through diet and supplementation. If the cells function better the body can function better.

I have been asked if one source is better than another. Well, to certain degree, yes. Cold-water fish is excellent, but due to the concerns about mercury and toxic compounds the health experts recommend only eating certain amounts. Flax seed oil is a good source of Omega 3. It is called a short chain Omega 3 and good source for EPA, which is responsible for prohibiting PGE2 development (important). Fish oil, in my opinion, is better especially if you can get a pharmaceutical grade. Why pharmaceutical grade? It's highly filtered for the mercury and the toxic compounds and published research used a pharmaceutical grade in their studies. Also it is a good source of DHA, which is important for our brain in balancing serotonin and dopamine (later article, don't sweat it now).

Okay, back to pain. If we decrease the bad Omega 6s, supplement with essential Omega 6s and Omega 3s, we reduce the production of the inflammatory PGE2 therefore pain (important). Now, if you think that's all there is, you're wrong. Due to my time we will finish this anti-inflammatory diet piece next month. Sorry, but I promise I will get it done, and I hope you will start acting on the information I have provided. See Ya!

Marc Delgadillo is a chiropractor practicing in Casper.

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