Natural Healing: Take Essential Fatty Acid Supplements for Weight Lossat Naturally with Essential Fatty Acid Supplements


| January/February 2002





Almost everything you’ve read or heard about weight loss is probably wrong. No kidding. If you are overweight, like 111,000,000 Americans (55 percent of the U.S. adult population), it’s not only because you’re under-exercising or overeating. It may also be due to a dietary factor that you never suspected: a deficiency in the right kinds of fats that promote the use of stored fat for energy and supercharge your metabolism. Exciting new research has provided the key to weight loss—consuming more essential fatty acids in the form of gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

GLA for total health

For more than twenty years, there has been ongoing research regarding the use of GLA in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of ailments including rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, high blood pressure, and skin conditions. Medical studies demonstrate that practically every area of the body can benefit from GLA supplementation.

In a healthy body, GLA is synthesized from the raw material known as linoleic acid, which is found in certain oils, grains and seeds. But most of us don’t properly utilize linoleic acid due to a number of dietary and lifestyle factors that get in the way of the conversion. The main metabolic roadblocks are trans fats, sugar, smoking, alcohol, aging and illnesses such as diabetes, all of which affect the body’s ability to convert linoleic acid into GLA.

However, GLA is also found naturally in seed oils such as borage, evening primrose and black currant. When these oils are consumed, no conversion is required because the GLA is already present in a usable form. A typical dose of GLA is 500 to 700 mg daily. To obtain that level of GLA, take 2 to 3 capsules of borage oil or 5 to 9 capsules of evening primrose oil daily.

GLA for weight control

GLA is showing definite promise in the battle of the bulge. In the 1980s there were many early reports published in several medical journals, such as The New England Journal of Medicine, that focused on GLA as a natural aid to weight reduction. Scientists identified two calorie-burning mechanisms that GLA helps to regulate. The first involves a metabolically active fat known as brown adipose tissue (BAT), which is underactive in overweight people. GLA can activate BAT to burn calories. The second is the ATPase metabolic process, commonly referred to as the “sodium pump,” which GLA also stimulates for more calorie burning. The sodium pump can use up nearly 50 percent of the body’s total calories.

In one study involving GLA, individuals lost from 9.6 to 11.4 pounds over a six-week period. Researcher David Horrobin described GLA as “a safe, non-drug way to stimulate the body’s metabolic activity and burn off fat.” Horrobin believes that nearly one-third of all overweight people are metabolically impaired, interfering with the burning of excess calories. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition confirmed that dietary GLA could reduce body fat by increasing the metabolism of BAT, and that GLA may affect enzymes involved in the metabolism of fat and glucose. Perhaps most interesting is the hypothesis that GLA has the potential to elevate levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that contributes to the feeling of fullness. By elevating serotonin, you feel satiated sooner and eat less.

julius
8/26/2013 4:12:27 AM

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