Presenter: Chris Masterjohn, PhD
Format: MP4 Video file download
Includes: Video & Slides
Arachidonic acid has long been demonized as a source of inflammation. It is true that arachidonic acid is needed to initiate inflammation, but inflammation is an essential and important process. What has gone unrecognized until recently, however, is that arachidonic acid is also necessary to resolve inflammation. A failure to actively resolve inflammation, rather than continuous stimulation of inflammation, may underlie many cases of chronic inflammation. Furthermore, arachidonic acid is necessary for the immune system to actively recognize food as safe and thereby create food tolerance. The perception that the resolution of inflammation and tolerance to foods are passive states characterized only by the absence of inflammation and intolerance stands in the way of recognizing arachidonic acid as necessary for the active creation of these states of health. Vitamin A is also necessary to create tolerance to foods, and the large decreases in the intakes of vitamin A and arachidonic acid over the last half-century may have played a role in the increase in food intolerances. Furthermore, while the omega-3 fatty acid DHA synergizes with arachidonic acid to resolve inflammation, the omega-3 fatty acid EPA can, in excess, like many ?anti-inflammatory? drugs, interfere with arachidonic acid metabolism. This raises the possibility that high-dose fish oil and many ?anti-inflammatory? drugs could, in some contexts, promote the development of food intolerances. Thus, understanding how to balance these nutrients and limit the use of these drugs is critical to resolving inflammation and creating food tolerance.