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Old 12-07-2006, 06:00 PM   #1
Yael Grauer
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Default beef and inflammation

Not to fan the Barry Sears versus Weston Price Fdn flames, but I was trying to research whether red meat really contributes to inflammation, and what I found on the Price side was this:

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What about the accusation that meat contributes to autoimmune diseases and asthma? This hypothesis is predicated on the fact that meat contains arachidonic acid, a fatty acid from which the supposedly pro-inflammatory Series Two prostaglandinsólocal tissue hormonesóare formed. This is one of the nuttiest notions to take hold in the scientific community for a long time. It was promulgated by Barry Sears, author of The Zone, and taken up with a vengeance by the anti-meat forces. These people know nothing about prostaglandins. Some of the prostaglandins that the body makes from arachidonic acid do indeed promote inflammationówhich is a very important protective response when you have injured yourself. But the same arachidonic acid also forms the basis of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins that the body uses, when appropriate, to reduce inflammation.19 And besides, the amount of arachidonic acid in beef is very lowóless than half a percent of total fat content. It is much lower than the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, the current darlings of the nutritional community, yet none of the voices promoting omega-3 fatty acids ever tell us that we can get them from beef.
On the other hand, a quick search on medherb showed that EPA and DHA competes with arachidonic acid for enzymes and provide precursors for anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, making me think arachidonic acid really is the bad guy....

Thoughts anyone? Less or more red meat to reduce inflammation? Looking for hard science! It looks like vitamins C+E are good and the bioflavonoids in berries (to stabilize the inflammatory cell membranes) plus turmeric, bromelain, etc.
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:15 PM   #2
Steve Liberati
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Good post Yael. I think eating a balanced diet with fruit, veggies, seafood, nuts/seeds (paleo!) ultimately makes up for meat's shortfall (inflammation inducing properties). Its really nature's gift to us. Everything balances itself out naturally. Just something I gathered from experience. Not much too contribute scientifically.
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:28 PM   #3
Yael Grauer
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Thanks, Steve. I'm just trying to figure out if I really need to cut back on red meat for a month like my chiropractor said or not. He is awesome in his area of expertise, but I figure nutrition isn't really his specialty, especially since he recommended Pedialyte.

It's just a month and I will gladly do it if I need to (not the hardest thing to give up for a month) but only if he's right.
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:19 PM   #4
Mike ODonnell
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Per "Inflammation Nation" and "The Inflammation Zone" they peg AA as the main issue in all inflammation. Not only through Omega 6 downcoversions, but also directly through dietary sources. Red Meat is high in it, Turkey was real high in it (of course the fattier the meat, the more AA concentration). Pork, Grain fed Egg Yolks, Corn and Soy were also targeted sources of high dietary AA. If it was "grass fed" meats I believe the levels of AA would be extremely low.

Omega 6s downconvert into AA, primarily with the D5D enzyme to get from DGLA to AA. The D5D enzyme is Activated by Insulin, and Blocked by Glucagon and EPA. So you can limit the amount of DGLA that does get converted into AA, as DGLA is actually of benefit to the body. So control insulin, release glucagon and get EPA (fish oil) to block the conversion of the inflammatory AA messengers.
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:21 PM   #5
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So are you saying you can eat grassfed beef without two high of AAs and the other stuff high in AAs is okay too if you get fish oil and keep your insulin in check? Is there a way to get DGLA without the high AA things?

I guess I'm also just asking what to do for a one-month period to decrease inflammation as opposed to what is the healthiest general long-term diet (which would of course include tons of red meat, lol.)
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:56 PM   #6
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In addition to the anti inflammatory sources listed above I think cherries are a very good source.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...ies+inlamation
http://www.newhope.com/nutritionscie...c_01/antho.cfm
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:51 AM   #7
Mike ODonnell
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There are no sources of DGLA directly (that I know of...or they are really rare), but you can get DGLA from GLA (GLA downconverts into DGLA directly) from evening primrose oil. Many Arthritis doctors recommend a combination of GLA and EPA for the full anti-inflammatory affect. I believe the ratio should be somewhere around 4:1 of EPA:GLA (you will see that mix in some EFA oil mixes like Udo's Choice). However....remember if you are not controlling insulin then that GLA will end up being AA and then you have the opposite affect you were looking for. (Dr Sears found that out with his control group).

Grass Fed is supposed to have lower (if any) level veg grains (Soy, corn, etc) so hence the animal can not absorb and convert to AA inside. I've never seen a study to show grain vs grass fed levels of AA in animal meats but that is supposed to be the way it works. Organic may not solve the problem because they may be just getting organic grains to eat. Since the AA stores mostly in the fatty portion of the meat, that's why most doctors say avoid red meat which is usually high in fat (so hence high in AA) and stick with lean cuts. Although if you look at things like "farmed" fish, they are fed grains...so a farmed salmon may have low levels of EPA/DHA and higher levels of AA. As I mentioned above Pork and Turkey were rated the highest levels.

Cortisol also lowers glucagon, therefore increasing inflammation.

So a pure anti-inflammation lifestyle would be (with the main goals of controlling insulin and AA conversions):
- Grass Fed Meats, Eggs (if you want to be safe you can go low fat and add in monounsaturated fats instead)
- Control Insulin - smaller meals every 3-4hrs, No sugar, proper Carb/Prot/Fat ratio
- Control Stress and Cortisol - Don't overtrain, Eat, Sleep, Be Merry
- Get EPA through Fish Oil (your level needed will depend on your level of present inflammation...some may need 1 tbsp, some 2...but start with 1)
- Could also add DGLA in the form of GLA
- Ginger and Tumeric have been linked to reducing Inflammation
- Get rid of all source of veg oils in your diet (if any...soy, corn, sunflower)
- Lose body fat (increased stored fat lead to increased inflammation messengers)
- and of course treat the gut (as I believe that is the source of most all illnesses) with High Fiber diet, Alkaline balance, remove irritants/allergens like milk and grains, probiotics, digestive enzymes, etc.

and now we can see why everyone needs anti-inflammatory NSADIS/COX inhibitors....Billion dollar industry there alone. Side note: I remember hearing that Fish Oil and NSAIDS should not be taken together, as they compete for the same enzymes and essentially will not be as effective....or need high Fish Oil doses if still taking NSAIDS.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:34 AM   #8
Steve Shafley
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That's a kick ass post, Mike.

I did like Eade's anti-fiber post a while back on his blog too...thought provoking, it's worth a read if you haven't yet.

Another addition to your list would be intermittant fasting.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:34 AM   #9
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I just read somewhere that Sears recommends 1/2 a baby aspirin with your fish oils.
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:05 AM   #10
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Interesting, my Dr recommended I start taking an aspirin every night with dinner.
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