"FATTY ACIDS" LEADS OFF MEETING OF AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE
"Nutrition and the Ecological Patient" was the theme of the entire first day of the Academy’s October 1984 meeting. Following are some selections from the interesting reports brought back to us by NOHA’s president, Marjorie Fisher.
Speaking on "Fatty Acids and Foods," Beatrice Trum Hunter, honorary NOHA member, stated that since our average present day diet contains 100 pounds of meat annually and only twelve to thirteen pounds of fish, we are taking in an undesirably large ratio of Omega 6 essential fatty acids (EFA’s) as compared to Omega 3 EFA’s.
Ms. Hunter also reported that hydrogenation of oils has a deleterious effect on their fatty acids and "there is a significant statistical correlation between the rise and incidence of coronary heart disease and the rise of hydrogenated fat consumption." She suggests that ". . . it would seem prudent to avoid lightly hydrogenated oils, margarines, shortening and factory produced foods to which these modified oils and fats have been added." This means avoidance of highly processed foods is important to our good health. "Nourishment and health depend on good food choices, including natural fats and oils that contain adequate amounts of essential fatty acids."
Increased intake of the EFA as alpha-linolenic acid is important to our diet. Supplements of flaxseed or linseed oil, which yield 40% alpha-linolenic acid and walnut or soy oil, yielding 9%, can be useful as salad dressings.
Sidney M. Baker, MD, Director of the Gesell Institute of Human Development, who spoke to NOHA in March, 1984, told that he recommends linseed oil for many of his patients. Linseed oil provides alpha-linolenic acid which "is the raw material for making certain kinds of hormones called prostaglandins, as well as for structural use in the formation of the cell membrane of all of the cells of one’s body." He strongly discourages the use of rancid oil. The addition of 200-400 IU’s of vitamin E oil emplied from a capsule into one pint of linseed oil helps to preserve its freshness. This oil can be taken by mouth, beginning with ½ teaspoon and gradually increasing up to two tablespoons, according to a doctor’s instructions. It may also be rubbed on large areas of the skin, through which it is readily absorbed.
Dr. Leo Galland, also of the Gesell Institute, made a very interesting statement about calcium. "Virtually all inflammatory and allergic phenomena . . . are calcium stimulated." Magnesium is a "natural calcium antagonist" and can take care of any negative effects. Over many years of Barbara Sachsel’s "basic nutrition classes" for NOHA, she emphasized a balance between calcium and magnesium (as well as between other minerals). Women, in particular, are concerned about osteoporosis in later years and about ingesting and absorbing sufficient calcium. Some excellent sources of magnesium are green vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
Article from NOHA NEWS, Vol. X, No. 1, Winter 1985, page 3.