Secret #3: Stimulate New Bone Growth

Key nutrients taken in the right combinations not only prevent bone loss, they can actually stimulate new bone growth. New bone growth brings significant anti-aging benefits.

Age-related loss of bone mass known as osteoporosis, a disorder characterized by porous, fragile bones, is a serious public health problem for more than 10 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. Another 34 million Americans have osteopenia, or low bone mass, which precedes osteoporosis. But while bone formation—the acquisition of bone mineral density (BMD)—peaks between the ages of 20 to 30, new research shows that cellular rejuvenation of bone tissue and muscle mass is now a very powerful new reality. Through a process known as “remodeling,” old bone is constantly replaced with new.

Rebuilding bone
Lactoferrin: Lactoferrin found in foods such as yogurt and kefir will stimulate new bone growth while preventing further breakdown of existing bone tissue, lactoferrin enhances both the growth and the activity of osteoblasts (the cells that build bone), and reduces the rate of bone cell death by 50 to 70 percent and decreases the development of osteoclasts, the cells responsible for breaking down bone.
The New News about Vitamin D: When the body is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet light, it produces its own vitamin D—and only 10 minute a day in the summer, and about fifteen in winter is adequate. Vitamin D may also improve muscle strength, thereby reducing fracture risk through falls and high blood levels of vitamin D prevent the loss of calcium from bones.
Vitamin K2 good for the bones and heart: Studies have shown that vitamin K2 may act directly act on bone metabolism. In bone tissue, K2 promotes calcium uptake in bone tissue. The exciting synergy of K2 is that K2 adds calcium to the bones, where it belongs, and removes it from the arteries, where is should not be. K2 stays in the blood for an extended period and when eating natto or taking K2 as a supplement, it continues to build up in the body, accruing superior, long-term protection from thinning bones, fractures and other bone-related problems.
Omega-3’s Build Better Bones: Most Westerner’s diets are high in omega-6s (found in most vegetable oils, grains and grain-fed beef) and low in omega-3s (found in salmon, sardines, nuts, omega-3 eggs, grass-fed beef and dairy products, etc.) However, new studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help promote bone formation and higher intakes of omega-6 fatty acids lead to an increased production of compounds associated with bone loss.
Magnesium: Increasing magnesium intake can inrease bone density in the elderly and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Higher magnesium intake through diet and supplements was positively associated with total-body bone mineral density in older men and women.
Boron: Boron is now being recognized as an extremely important nutrient for supporting healthy bone mass and preventing osteoporosis.
Silicon: Bone Builder and Wrinkle Smoother: Silicon, in the form of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid (ch-OSA™), improves the bone health benefits of both calcium and vitamin D, helps build and maintain bone by regulating bone mineralization, helping to trigger the deposition of calcium and phosphate, reduces the number of osteoclasts (bone destroying cells) and increasing the number of osteoblasts (bone building cells). Higher dietary silicon intake is associated with greater BMD in both men and pre-menopausal women.
Vitamin C: One of the most important vitamins, Vitamin C is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially because Vitamin c ester have been shown to be an antioxidant. Antioxidants are shown to prevent cancer and cancer can lead to bone loss.
Sources of calcium
Milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, dark leafy greens, broccoli, canned sardines and salmon with bones, dried beans and peas, tofu and sea vegetables (seaweed). Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 Natto (Japanese fermented soy product) nattokinase supplement, Vitamin or K2 supplement, Silicon in the form of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid, Omega 3 fish oil, Magnesium, Ch-OSA Silicon, Boron

Perricone Q&A – Cortisone Creams and Acne

Q: I’m 20-year-old student and for the past two years have suffered from acne as a result of using cortisone creams. My skin now breaks out regularly – especially on my forehead. I have been using Oxzit to kill bacteria, which helps a little, and I’ve also started taking erythromycin, but I am still breaking out. I have also been experiencing a lot of stress which seems to be contributing to flare-ups. To make matters worse, my skin has gotten dry and flaky (even though I continue to have breakouts), particularly in the cheek area. Help!

A: As always, your first line of defense is the three-tiered anti-inflammatory program. It sounds to me as if stress is a major factor in your current acne dilemma. Here are some special tips for minimizing stress in your life:

• Make sure that you get enough sleep.
• Don’t drink coffee.
• Set aside fifteen or twenty minutes a day for meditation or prayer. It is a well- established fact that people who do this have significantly lower cortisol (a major stress hormone) levels.
• Consider learning some simple yoga exercises. Yoga is an outstanding stress reducer.
• Take omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which reduce levels of stress chemicals.
• Exercise in moderation.
• Take targeted nutritional supplements, including alpha lipoic acid, zinc, DMAE, and panothenic acid (see Chapter 5).
• Add essential fatty acid supplements to your supplement program, especially omega-6, which is rich in linoleic acid. Acne patients have a low concentration of linoleic acid in their sebum, and acne further decreases the essential levels.

For a list of recommended supplements, please see my Top 10 Supplements post.

Dr. Perricone’s Top 10 Super Supplements – Recap

Perricone Skin Care Products presents, our list of Top 10 Super Body Supplements.

Super Supplement # 1: Omega 3 Fish Oil

The incredible anti-inflammatory power of Omega-3 essential fatty acids found in the high fat fish and in fish oil can accomplish the following:

Reduce inflammation in all organ systems
Accelerate the loss of body fat
Elevate mood
Improve attention span
Stabilize blood sugar levels
Lower insulin levels
Create and maintain healthy serotonin levels
Stop the roller coaster effects of the carbohydrate highs and lows
Decrease appetite
Increase radiance to skin
Increase health of immune system
Increase energy levels
Decrease symptoms and severity of rheumatoid arthritis
Reduced symptoms and severity of chronic skin conditions such as eczema
Decreased cardiovascular risk

DOSAGE RECOMMENDATION: 3,000 mg per day of fish oil—however for those who need to lose significant weight I recommend three 1000 mg capsules 3 times per day with meals for a total of 9 capsules per day—this higher doses need to be approved by your physician.

Omega 3 Fish Oil Tips:
To avoid any dietary side effects from the omega 3 fish oils, (such as belching or stomach upset) divide the dose into three—for example, if you are taking 3,000 mg per day of fish oil, take one 1000 mg capsule with a meal three times per day.

Even though fish oil is basically a “food,” always check with your primary healthcare professional before embarking on any new body supplement. Any therapeutic intervention, even nutritional supplements, can be contraindicated in certain health conditions.

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Perricone MD Omega 3
Perricone MD Skin & Total Body

Super Supplement #2: Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Alpha lipoic acid is a superior anti-inflammatory, that penetrates all portions of the cell because it is both fat and water soluble. On a cellular level alpha lipoic acid exerts a wide variety of positive actions, all of them anti-inflammatory. In addition to its function as a powerful antioxidant/anti-inflammatory, alpha lipoic acid increases the body’s ability to take glucose into the cells. This increased sensitivity to insulin results in decreased blood sugar levels, accelerated weight loss.

DOSAGE RECOMMENDATIONS: Because alpha lipoic acid is found only in trace amounts in food, it must be taken as a supplement. Twenty-five to thirty milligrams is adequate for a young healthy person. I recommend anywhere from two to four hundred milligrams of alpha lipoic acid per day to my patients with specific health problems, or who are trying to lose body fat.

Alpha Lipoic Tips:
In the metabolic cycle, Alpha Lipoic Acid acts as a coenzyme in the production of energy by converting carbohydrates into energy (ATP).

ALA is the only antioxidant that can boost cellular levels of glutathione, the body’s most important antioxidant to overall health and longevity.

Take with meals.

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Perricone MD Alpha Lipoic Acid
Perricone MD Skin & Total Body
Perricone MD Health & Weight Management
Perricone MD Super Anti-oxidant

Super Supplement #3: Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin comes from the microalgae haematococcus pluvialis, found in abundance in arctic marine environments, and is a natural carotenoid (any of a class of yellow to red pigments, including the carotenes and the xanthophylls). Carotenoids are one of the most abundant molecules in the world and give nature its wide variety of colors—from carrots to flamingos. It is the most potent of all of the carotenoids—in fact it is ten times stronger than beta carotene and 100 times stronger than Vitamin E. Wild Alaskan salmon, lobster, rainbow trout, shrimp, crawfish, crab, and red caviar all owe their rich colors to their astaxanthin-rich diets. Astaxanthin is an exceptional anti-inflammatory, making it an important component of the anti-inflammatory diet. Its ability to protect muscles and increase physical endurance is a wonderful asset for everyone needing to start and maintain a regular exercise program.

DOSAGE RECOMMENDATION: 1-2 capsules, 2 mg each, per day. Look for the AstaReal™ trademark on your bottle of astaxanthin supplements for potency and purity.

Astaxanthin Tips:
Because astaxanthin has been proven to cross the blood brain barrier (see Carnitine below), it offers protection to the brain, the central nervous system and the eye.

It increases physical endurance and reduces muscle damage.

It reduces eye fatigue and improves visual acuity.

It provides wrinkle reduction by internal supplementation.

It reduces hyperpigmentation (better known as age spots).

It provides cytokine regulation; inhibiting the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.

It improves gastric health; and reduces infection/inflammation of H. pylori, spiral-shaped bacterium that can damage stomach and duodenal tissue, causing ulcers.

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Perricone MD Skin and Total Body

Super Supplement #4: Carnitine
Carnitine is a water soluble nutrient, very much like a B vitamin, that allows us to convert fat into energy. Carnitine and its derivative, acetyl L-carnitine (see below) are two of the most important nutrients for weight loss. However, for carnitine to have optimum effect, we must have adequate essential fatty acids (such as omega-3s) present in the diet. Carnitine is critical for energy formation and an active metabolism. Small amounts of carnitine can be obtained from foods such as meats and dairy products, but to get an adequate supply we must take carnitine supplements. Carnitine provides anti-aging benefits in that it enhances energy production in the cell, which is needed for cellular repair. Studies have also shown that carnitine helps prevent muscle loss during illness and also prevents the muscle loss associated with aging, known as sarcopenia. Carnitine is protective of liver function and enhances and protects the immune system, especially under stressful conditions.

DOSAGE RECOMMENDATION: The recommended dose for an adult under the age of 30 without ill health or obesity is approximately 500 milligrams per day. For those who are obese or have other health problems, the recommendation is 1500 to 2000 milligrams per day, taken in 500 milligram doses 3 or 4 times per day.

Carnitine Tips
For carnitine to have optimum effect, make sure you have an adequate omega-3 intake.

Do not take carnitine in the evening as it may interfere with sleep.

Carnitine may be taken with or without food.

For better utilization of fat for energy take omega 3 fish oil with carnitine.

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Perricone MD Health & Weight Management

Super Supplement #5: Acetyl L-Carnitine
Like carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine improves mitochondrial function, but to an even greater degree – because it can pass through the mitochondrial membrane. And like carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine functions best when there is adequate dietary intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Both forms of carnitine are important in a weight loss regimen because they act as natural anti-inflammatories, they aid in transportation of fats into the mitochondria to be burned. They also enhance the sensitivity of insulin receptors, helping to decrease blood sugar and circulating levels of insulin. As we have learned, high levels of insulin are inflammatory and ‘lock’ our body fat in place.

DOSAGE RECOMMENDATION: 500 milligrams per day; however, individuals on a weight loss program may take up to 1500 milligrams of acetyl-carnitine daily.

Acetyl-l-Carnitine tips:
Carnitine and acetyl-l-carnitine are not to be used by people with bipolar disease (manic depression) or those who are susceptible to seizures (epilepsy) unless recommended by their physician.

Do not take acetyl-l-carnitine after 3 PM to prevent any difficulties with sleeping.

Exercise naturally increases our levels of acetyl-l-carnitine, however, if we are obese, over thirty, or have other health problems, it will not raise them to therapeutic levels; therefore supplementation is necessary.

Acetyl-l-carnitine may be taken with or without food.

For better utilization of fat for energy take omega 3 fish oil with carnitine.

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Super Supplement #6: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA is a fatty acid that is found in many of the foods we eat. At one time, beef and lamb were exceptional sources; however when their diet was changed from grass to grain, levels of CLA dramatically decreased in meat and dairy products. CLA is also a powerful aid in prevention and treatment of obesity. When taken in effective doses, CLA decreases body fat, especially in the area of the abdomen.

In addition to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing actions of CLA, many studies show that CLA helps prevent muscle loss and weakness associated with aging and disease. This is one of the reasons CLA has long been a favorite supplement of athletes and body builders.

DOSAGE RECOMMENDATION: 1,000 mg, up to a maximum of 4,000 mg per day, taken in 1 or 2 doses.

CLA Tips:
When take with sesame seeds, the effects of CLA are enhanced.

The average diet provides no more than a gram (1000 mg) of CLA per day.

CLA may be taken with meals.

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Super Supplement #7: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10, also called ubiquinone, is a powerful antioxidant/anti-inflammatory with many benefits for treating and preventing obesity. It acts similarly to acetyl-l-carnitine in that it assists in energy production within the mitochondria. As we have learned, energy production declines as a cell ages, and that means that the cell’s ability to repair itself also declines. Working synergistically with acetyl-l-carnitine, carnitine, and alpha lipoic acid in the mitochondria, CoQ10 enhances the metabolism, giving us greater energy and endurance, and a greater ability to lose body fat, while preventing the energy decline seen in aging cells. CoQ10 also works synergistically with other antioxidants to elevate cellular levels of vitamins C, E, and glutathione and to help regulate blood sugar and enhance insulin sensitivity. CoQ10 also maximizes the burning of foods for fuel, helping to normalize fats in our blood.

DOSAGE RECOMMENDATION: I recommend a minimum of 30 milligrams per day. For those with health problems, under the supervision and recommendation of their physician, up to 300 milligrams per day. About three weeks of daily dosing are necessary to reach maximal serum concentrations of CoQ10.

CoQ10 Tips:
This supplement should be taken by anyone over 40, as tissue levels of CoQ10 decrease as people get older.

Although CoQ10 can be found in small amounts in fish such as sardines or salmon, as well as in nuts, I recommend supplementation for optimal anti-aging and weight loss benefits.

CoQ10 supplementation is of particular importance for women because they tend to have lower levels than their male counterparts.

CoQ10 is best taken with food.

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Super Supplement #8: Chromium
Chromium is a critical nutrient in our effort to control and reduce excess body fat. By supplementing our diets with chromium, we can effectively lower blood sugar and insulin levels—the key to the anti-inflammatory weight loss diet.

DOSAGE RECOMMENDATION: I suggest 100 micrograms (mcg’s.) per day for the average person over 40 and up to 200 mcg’s per day for those on The Perricone Weight Loss Diet.

Chromium Tips
Chromium is an essential nutrient required for normal sugar and fat metabolism.

Chromium is important for energy production, and also plays a key role in regulating appetite, reducing sugar cravings, and lowering body fat.

Chromium absorption is made more difficult when milk, as well as when foods high in phosphorus are eaten at the same time.

Don’t take chromium with foods rich in phytic acid (unleavened bread, raw beans, seeds, nuts and grains and soy isolates) as this may decrease its absorption.

The recommended type of this supplement is Chromium Polynicotinate.

Perricone MD products with this super supplement (click below to shop PerriconeMD.com):
Perricone MD Health & Weight Management
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Super Supplement #9: Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)
GLA is an important omega-6 essential fatty acid. GLA can increase the metabolic rate, an effect that causes the body to burn fat, resulting in weight loss. The average American diet causes a deficiency of GLA because of the large amounts of trans fatty acids, sugar, grain-fed red meats and dairy products that are consumed. GLA is very difficult to find in the diet, but is found in high amounts in borage, black current, and evening primrose oils.

DOSAGE RECOMMENDATION: 200 to 400 mg of GLA per day—one to two 1000 mg of Borage Oil.

GLA Tips:
Take GLA with meals to increase absorption.

GLA improves cell sensitivity to insulin, reducing our chance of developing diabetes, heart disease and excess body fat.

Borage oil is the richest supplemental source of GLA.

As with Omega-3 fish oil supplementation, results do not happen overnight and may take up to six months. Don’t let this dissuade you from adding this vital essential fatty acid to your diet as soon as possible.

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Super Supplement #10: Dimethlaminoethanol (DMAE)
DMAE is a naturally occurring nutritional substance with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. DMAE is important in the production of neurotransmitters, especially acetylcholine, which is essential in the communication from one nerve to another and between nerves and muscles. In order for your muscles to contract, the message must be sent from your nerves to your muscles via acetylcholine. DMAE also has membrane stabilizing effects and can also help reduce body fat, most likely from its activity as a precursor to acetylcholine as well as its anti-inflammatory activity. Taking DMAE as a supplement will not only improve your cognitive function, it will help increase skin firmness and muscle tone.

DOSAGE RECOMMENDATION: My recommended dose is 50 to 100 milligrams per day. For certain therapeutic uses, such as lowering cholesterol, larger doses may be recommended. As always consult your physician.

DMAE Tips:
DMAE is a naturally occurring nutritional substance with powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

DMAE also has membrane stabilizing effects and can also help reduce body fat, most likely from its activity as a precursor to acetylcholine as well as its anti-inflammatory activity.

Taking DMAE as a supplement will not only improve your cognitive function, it will help increase skin firmness and muscle tone.

For optimum health, beauty and weight loss benefits, I recommend eating fish rich in DMAE, taking DMAE supplements as well as applying a topical lotion containing DMAE to face, neck and body.

It is thought that DMAE can make epilepsy and bipolar depression worse; thus, it is advised that those with these health problems avoid DMAE.

DMAE can also be over-stimulating for some people, perhaps causing muscle tension or insomnia, so individuals experiencing such difficulties are advised to discontinue use of DMAE.

Take with meals for optimum effect.

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Perricone MD Health & Weight Management
Perricone MD Super Anti-oxidant
Perricone MD Skin & Total Body

Be sure to check out the latest advancement in Perricone products, Perricone MD Cold Plasma and No Foundation Foundation.

All of these products are endorsed with a Perricone discount to help manage the costs.

Balance Your Omegas

Too much omega-6 is inflammatory and interferes with the body’s ability to use omega-3s. It is believed that humans evolved with a 1:1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6.  It is now believed that the Western diet is 15:1 or significantly greater with the omega 6 intake far surpassing the omega 3 intake.  To prevent disease and to look and feel your best, drastically limit intake of omega 6, eliminate all refined vegetables oils other than extra virgin olive oil and increase your intake of the omega 3’s.

Best Food Choices for Omega 3 and Omega 6 and Omega 9 Essential Fatty Acids


Below are the best ways to get Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Omega 6 Fatty Acids In Your Diet

Best Choices for Omega 3 Essential Fatty acids (Linolenic Acid)

  • Cold water high fat fish, esp. wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, shad, herring and trout
  • Flaxseed oil (flaxseed oil has the highest linolenic content of any food), flaxseeds, flaxseed meal, hempseed oil, hempseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds
  • Avocado
  • Certain dark green leafy vegetables, including kale, spinach, purslane, mustard greens, collards, etc

Best Choices for Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (Linoleic Acid):

  • Flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed meal,
  • hempseed oil, hempseeds,
  • grapeseed oil,
  • pumpkin seeds,
  • Pignolia (pine) nuts,
  • pistachio nuts,
  • raw sunflower seeds (raw),
  • borage oil,
  • evening primrose oil,
  • black currant seed oil
  • Acai

Corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, and cottonseed oils are also sources of linoleic acid, but are refined and may be deficient in nutrients

Best Choices for Omega-9 Essential Fatty Acids (Oleic Acid)

While Omega-9 is not technically classified as an essential fatty acids because our bodies can manufacture it –however foods rich in oleic acid are recommended because oleic acid oleic acid assists in cancer protection, and decreases the risk of heart attacks and arteriosclerosis.

  • Olive oil (extra virgin or virgin), olives,
  • avocados,
  • almonds,
  • peanuts,
  • sesame oil,
  • pecans,
  • pistachio nuts,
  • cashews,
  • hazelnuts,
  • macadamia nuts

A special note on nuts and seeds:. Buy organic when possible, in small batches and store in the freezer to protect from rancidity

Essential Fatty Acids

The omega 3 essential fatty acids are particularly important and the best sources are the aforementioned cold water fish and fish oil capsules, with nuts and seeds as the second best source.

However, omega-3 is not the only type of essential fatty acid necessary for good health.  Also important are the omega-6 and omega-9.  All are needed to form and maintain the structural and functional integrity of cell membranes, provide fuel for cellular energy and create the hormone-like messenger chemicals, the prostaglandins and the eicosanoids, which regulate many key metabolic functions.

Because the body cannot make these essential fats, we must obtain them from our diets.  This is a lot easier said than done.  For one thing, many of us consume a low ratio of essential fatty acids compared to our intake of saturated fatty acids, such as those found in full fat dairy products and meat (we all know that saturated fats are pro-inflammatory and are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease).

Unfortunately, when most of us do consume essential fatty acids, they tend to be omega-6, which is found in grains and vegetable oils such as corn and safflower.  In fact, very few of us are getting the proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6, which may account for the growing prevalence of serious health conditions like heart attacks, cancer, asthma, lupus, schizophrenia, depression, accelerated aging, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes in our society.

This imbalance upsets the proverbial fat-metabolizing apple cart.  An overabundance of omega-6 is inflammatory and interferes with the body’s ability to use omega-3s—a serious situation because of the positive effects of omega-3s we talked about earlier:  They inhibit the calories we consume from being stored as body fat, while promoting the burning of body fat we already have.  It is believed that human’s evolved with a 1:1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6.  It is now believed that the Western diet is 15:1 or significantly greater with the omega 6 intake far surpassing the omega 3 intake.  To prevent disease and to look and feel your best, drastically limit intake of omega 6, eliminate all refined vegetables oils other than extra virgin olive oil and increase your intake of the omega 3’s.

Best Choices for Omega 3 Essential Fatty acids (Linolenic Acid)

  • Cold water high fat fish, esp. wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, shad, herring and trout
  • Flaxseed oil (flaxseed oil has the highest linolenic content of any food), flaxseeds, flaxseed meal, hempseed oil, hempseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds
  • Avocado
  • Certain dark green leafy vegetables, including kale, spinach, purslane, mustard greens, collards, etc

Best Choices for Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (Linoleic Acid):

  • Flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, flaxseed meal,
  • hempseed oil, hempseeds,
  • grapeseed oil,
  • pumpkin seeds,
  • Pignolia (pine) nuts,
  • pistachio nuts,
  • raw sunflower seeds (raw),
  • borage oil,
  • evening primrose oil,
  • black currant seed oil
  • Acai

Corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, and cottonseed oils are also sources of linoleic acid, but are refined and may be deficient in nutrients

Best Choices for Omega-9 Essential Fatty Acids (Oleic Acid)

While Omega-9 is not technically classified as an essential fatty acids because our bodies can manufacture it –however foods rich in oleic acid are recommended because oleic acid oleic acid assists in cancer protection, and decreases the risk of heart attacks and arteriosclerosis.

  • Olive oil (extra virgin or virgin), olives,
  • avocados,
  • almonds,
  • peanuts,
  • sesame oil,
  • pecans,
  • pistachio nuts,
  • cashews,
  • hazelnuts,
  • macadamia nuts

A special note on nuts and seeds:.  Buy organic when possible, in small batches and store in the freezer to protect from rancidity

Essential Fatty Acids

The omega 3 essential fatty acids are particularly important and the best sources are the cold water fish and fish oil capsules, with nuts and seeds as the second best source.

However, omega-3 is not the only type of essential fatty acid necessary for good health.  Also important are the omega-6 and omega-9.  All are needed to form and maintain the structural and functional integrity of cell membranes, provide fuel for cellular energy and create the hormone-like messenger chemicals, the prostaglandins and the eicosanoids, which regulate many key metabolic functions.

Because the body cannot make these essential fats, we must obtain them from our diets.  This is a lot easier said than done.  For one thing, many of us consume a low ratio of essential fatty acids compared to our intake of saturated fatty acids, such as those found in full fat dairy products and meat (we all know that saturated fats are pro-inflammatory and are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease).

Unfortunately, when most of us do consume essential fatty acids, they tend to be omega-6, which is found in grains and vegetable oils such as corn and safflower.  In fact, very few of us are getting the proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6, which may account for the growing prevalence of serious health conditions like heart attacks, cancer, asthma, lupus, schizophrenia, depression, accelerated aging, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes in our society.

This imbalance upsets the proverbial fat-metabolizing apple cart.  An overabundance of omega-6 is inflammatory and interferes with the body’s ability to use omega-3s—a serious situation because of the positive effects of omega-3s we talked about earlier:  They inhibit the calories we consume from being stored as body fat, while promoting the burning of body fat we already have.  It is believed that humans evolved with a 1:1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6.  It is now believed that the Western diet is 15:1 or significantly greater with the omega 6 intake far surpassing the omega 3 intake.  To prevent disease, make a wrinkle cure, and feel your best, drastically limit intake of omega 6, eliminate all refined vegetables oils other than extra virgin olive oil and increase your intake of the omega 3’s.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss the best food choices to get your Omega 3s and Omega 6s.