Lipid Benefits Without Oxidation

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Interviewer: You mention that we can get some of these important lipids through certain foods. Are there some that are better than others?

Prof. Garth Nicholson: Well, for example, for particular types of membrane phospholipids, fish is a good source. But the problem with fish, for example, as a source is fish can go rancid very quickly, and those lipids can get oxidized very quickly, so depending on the source, the lipids can last a variety of different times before they're damaged. This is one of the problems that lipid replacement therapy overcomes because it not only fixes the lipids in the state where they're not damaged, but they can be stored in this state for up to two years, it turns out, as long as they're kept dry, and then they can be eaten just as a normal food. We can take these as supplements, as powders, they can be put into other foods, nutritional bars, cereals, anything. And they provide the lipid requirements that you need to replace those damaged lipids in your cells and your mitochondria. 

There's an important by-product of this, too; people that have damaged, for example, nerve membranes, like in fibromyalgia syndrome, for example, this helps restore those nerve membranes as well, the cell membranes around the nerve, by replacement of the natural lipids. Once the potential across the membrane deteriorates, if it's a nerve cell membrane, that could lead to the nerve firing and it could lead to it firing all the time. That's what happens with fibromyalgia; you have pain all the time, or pain to pressure, which causes severe pain. So it's overreaction, over stimulation and so on, and part of that is due to this loss of potential across the membrane. There are a variety of uses for this, in addition to mitochondrial membranes. Virtually all the major enzyme systems inside our cells work on membranes, so having those membranes as healthy as possible is very important. 

One of the down side of trying to get beneficial fats and lipids into their diet is the rapid oxidation of the lipids. Professor Garth Nicolson discusses lipid replacement through food and the difficulty in getting the benefits before the lipids go bad.

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