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Frequently Asked Questions


In this section we will try to answer many of the common questions Paul has been asked over the years.


Q: If this protocol is so successful in helping people with cancer and many degenerative diseases, why don’t more people know about it and specifically our healthcare providers?

A: This is definitely the first question on most people’s minds when they hear about this protocol. There is a multi-faceted complex answer to this simple question. The answer can be summed up as the result of fraudulent misguided research, zealous marketing, profit-driven institutions’ efforts to maintain the status quo and the inability of individuals to address and change their belief systems even in view of scientific validation of alternative choices. 

Among the various answers as to why people are misguided regarding this protocol ,the following stand out:


1)  Fats (lipids) and cholesterol (a fat) have a false “bad” stigma label attached to them ever since the fraudulent, misguided research of Ansel Keys in the 1950s. The notion of “no-fat, low-fat” and cholesterol “the enemy” has dominated dietary and pharmaceutical guidelines (statin drugs) for over 60 years — all to the general demise of a couple of generations of individuals health in “industrialized” countries. 

2)  Throughout this period of time, almost all research involving fats(lipids/oils) revolved around oil & gas, paints & varnishes, and plastics. Lipids and clinical medicine (both biochemistry & physiology) research was almost completely ignored and clinical research focused almost exclusively on amino acids (proteins) and genetics. 

3)  Over emphasis on Omega 3.  Early research on Inuit people, falsely led to misguided research conclusions and unfortunately marketers started promoting what was a waste product from fish factories into a multi-million dollar high profit margin “gold mine.” 

Dr Joanne Budwig’s (flax and  sulphur) protocol was the real story and beginning of this protocol, but as usual money and commercialization of Omega 3 fish oils took over — ignoring basic pathophysiology of lipids in the human species. Truth is that it is the QUALITY of the fats from nature that is the critical factor for lipids and our health. Manmade fats like trans fats, interesterification of fats and oxidized fats in processed food are the real enemy. Omega 6 pathway is far more critical to your health than simply Omega 3 fish oil.   

4)  Modern Medicine’s failure to incorporate dietary intervention into the “Big Pharma medical model”.                                                

You need only to spend some time in hospitals to experience the inferior quality of the food served. It is apparent that money drives such decisions. The average budget for 3 hospital meals per day is about Cdn$ 7.00. Even the average prison budget is more than this – $19 Cdn. per day for food! People become “sheeple” in such an enormous bureaucratic system and “herd” mentality takes over through no fault of their own.  

5)  Big Pharma has financial control of the system.

Even though health care is tax paid and social driven in Canada, control of our healthcare system is  totally influenced by the pharmaceutical industry who, through lobbying in Washington/Ottawa/CDC Atlanta and their massive wealth,  influence the system from research to education, to personnel, to institutions, approval processes, and associations. The “fox” guards the hen house every step in these processes. 


6)  Disbelief — How possibly could something costing approximately $5.00 CDN. per day and some dietary habits changed have such an impact on cancer and many degenerative diseases.? Furthermore, why doesn’t my health care provider know this. The problem with this program, much like Budwig’s 60 years ago, is that it is too simple and there is NO PROFIT in it for healthcare “professionals.” 


7) Total lack of Understanding of Science, Research and Statistics by General Public and professional People. Science has become fraudulent to the point where it is mainly about publishing –not about finding the real truth. Like our educational institutions — it is not about only learning –it is mostly about the money!  

In summary, as you can see, there are  a myriad of reasons why people don’t know about this protocol. At the end of the day, it is the individual’s own belief system and attitude that must change. We must take charge of our health and our belief systems. We must gather and scrutinize knowledge. 

Q: What is the basic science behind cell rejuvenation?

A: The cell is a living organism that must inhale and exhale, ingest and expel air and nutrients. This oxygen and nutrition must pass through several cell membranes on its way to the center of the cell and each of these membranes is comprised of Omega 3 and 6. These membranes get clogged over the course of a lifetime of environmental pollutants and bad diet.

We are constantly in a state of rejuvenating cells and discarding diseased and old cells on a second by second basis. When we are young ( under 30 years, approximately) the rate of repair is greater than the rate of destruction. As we age, the rate of repair slows due to metabolic factors and the rate of destruction of cells starts to overtake our repair capabilities. 

The major factor to slow this whole process is lifestyle –including diet, exercise, sleep, environment, mental attitude etc. Metabolically, we need to provide all the building blocks and they need to get to the unit of life –the cell for repair to remain optimum. The transport system to and from the cell is key to this regeneration process and it is regulated by eicosanoids (regulating messengers) derived from the cell membranes composed of healthy natural fats.

The science of lipids(fats & oils) is not well understood because very few people know about the biochemistry and pathophysiology of essential fatty acids relative to medicine.

Some of the world’s most credible experts on this subject are the late Dr. David Horrobin, Dr. Mehar Manku (current editor of “Medical Hypothesis” and former right hand man of Dr. Horrobin) researcher and science writer Professor Brian Peskin and researcher/activist, Canadian Paul Beatty. 

Q: Can you explain how the fats work in the rejuvenation process?

A: In order to explain this fully we must look at the overall roll of lipids in the human species.  We are on average 60%+ water. Fat, carbohydrates, and protein supply 90% of the DRY WEIGHT of the diet and 100% of the energy. You get more than twice the energy in calories from a gram of fat vs a gram of carbohydrate or protein. This is important for understanding the role of fats in energy for the mitochondria. 

Fats also facilitate the absorption of vitamins A,E,D,K. What are considered essential fatty acids is still being argued in scientific circles, but for the sake of simplicity and major consensus, the 2 essential fatty acids you must get from your diet to remain healthy are : Omega 6 linoleic acid (in cis form from nature) and smaller amounts of Omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid (again unadulterated from nature). 

Fats in our diet are either saturated (think solid at room temperature — butter, animal lard, coconut oil) or polyunsaturated (PUFAs) which are liquid at room temperature (seed, nut, and vegetable oils). There are 2 types of PUFAs — mono-unsaturated (meaning one molecule of O2 is attracted) which are Omega 9s (i.e.- olive oil, avocado oil –oleic acid -think neutral not essential) and polyunsaturates which are primarily Omega 6 and some Omega 3s. These are the most unstable with respect to heat, light and oxygen exposure. Fresh fats are the key.

Essential fatty acids and saturated fats play a major role in our health since they comprise most of our cell membranes throughout our bodies and brains. The cell membranes are the critical part of our units of life (individuals cells) where interaction and communication with our environment and the outside world takes place. Faulty cell membranes leads to disease and ultimately cell destruction and death of a unit of life. Think of saturated fats as the brick and mortar of the walls on your house and the essential fatty acids as the doors and windows (must be correct size from nature –not adulterated in a factory) that work in harmony with the environment to open and close depending on the visitors from the environment including oxygen and water.

Essential fatty acids and derivatives (Omega 6 and 3s),and saturates incorporate into the cell membranes to display the evolutionary integrity between the cell’s inner parts and the outside transport system (your bloodstream and lymphatic system).When cell membrane integrity (key function) is restored, then the other critical functions of the EFAs can be realized. The amino acids (receptor sites, calcium ion channels etc.) are afloat in a sea of lipids in the membrane and are therefore sensitive and subject to the influence and integrity of the membrane’s lipid integrity. 

The four main functions of EFAs as described in detail by Dr. David Horrobin are: 


1)  Structure of all membranes –conferring properties of fluidity, flexability, and permeability.  

2)  Precursors of Eicosanoids — short lived localized hormone- like messengers 
that regulate, second by second, almost all tissues in the body  

3)  Impermeability barrier of skin and gut and perhaps even blood brain barrier

4) Cholesterol transport and Metabolism    

All 4 major functions are how EFAs and the cell membrane are absolutely critical in our health and must be functional to restore health!

Q: What do I tell my naturopath who refuses to believe higher doses of Omega 6 and lower doses of Omega 3 are safe?

A: First, they should be directed to this website or to Prof. Peskin’s site  where there are many peer reviewed articles explaining the correct science of essential fats. They need to understand that their knowledge of fats may be based on the bad science that has pervaded the research world for nearly 70 years. 

If they are sincere about finding the best treatments for their patient’s cancer, they will embrace this, otherwise, find a new naturopath. 

Q: What are the stages or milestones a cancer sufferer can expect to reach?

A: During the first month, one will experience a sense of clarity. Healthy people describe this as “seeing the world in technicolor for the first time”. Those who have been on chemotherapy and other toxic drugs will experience a healing crisis or the Jarisch–Herxheimer effect.


Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (definition)

A Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction is a reaction to endotoxin-like products released by the death of harmful microorganisms within the body during antibiotic treatment. Efficacious antimicrobial therapy results in lysis of bacterial cell membranes, and in the consequent release into the bloodstream of bacterial toxins, resulting in a systemic inflammatory response.

Chemotherapy drugs and other chemicals the body cannot process are stored in fat tissues and will normally stay there for the rest of our lives. As the oils break down the old cell membranes and replace them with new ones these drugs are expelled through the skin, digestive and lymphatic systems, and urinary tract. One may have severe night sweats for up to two weeks. It is especially important to drink much more water (2 litres a day) and to exercise, even if it is just walking,  during this time. 

After 90 to 270 days, the bloodwork should show that the cancer has stopped growing. This is because the battle between the growth and expiration of cancer cells is now even and will continue to move in favour of cancer cell death over growth.


Q: How long does someone with cancer  need to stay on this protocol?

A: They should stay on a maintenance program even when they are cancer free as a precaution. A maintenance dose is one Omega 3 and 3 Omega 6 capsules daily.


Q: Does this protocol work with chemotherapy?


A: The protocol will work while on chemo, although less effectively as the chemotherapy drugs as well as opiates and other cancer medications compete with the fats for oxygen. The fats will mitigate the side effects of the drugs and make the drugs more effective because they bring more oxygen to the cells. 


Q: Why can you say this protocol is so effective?

A: This protocol has proven to be highly effective, as long as the individual  is willing to abide by the other guidelines of the protocol.


These are:

1)  Complete reduction of carbohydrates and

sugars from the diet. 

2)  Eat only what will go bad if you leave it out for a few days—in other words eat fresh vegetables (limit fruits because of the sugar). Eat only organic meats and follow the cancer diet carefully.

3)  Sufficient exercise, get up and move and walk as often as possible. Qi Gong exercise is easy and beneficial.

4)  Design a long-term schedule based on the person you wish to become. This is one of many ways of fooling the indiscriminate subconscious mind of supporting the healing.

5)  Have a very positive outlook based on this plan. Watch the inner dialogue, the way we speak to ourselves internally, and make certain it, too, is positive. 

6)  Accept that the most important work we can do to help the oils is positive inner work and this will mean limiting social activity, especially if we feel our friends and family are pitying us. 

7.  Never accept a single thought that we will not heal, no matter what our friends, family  and doctors think. 

Q:  Why is changing our routines and long-term plans important?

A:  Once we get cancer, we will also inherit the well-established mindset that accompanies it held by doctors and society. If we do nothing this will be foisted upon us. If we stand up to it and say that we are going to create our own reality, it will not be. 

The subconscious is indiscriminate, feminine and responds to repetition. It knows no difference between a good habit and a bad one. As long as we repeat something regularly with a positive feeling attached, it will accept it. It takes about 30-60 days of daily repetition for a new habit to be accepted by the subconscious. Whether it is the thought habit of healing or of death makes no difference. The subconscious will support it and when it does, it is a formidable force, as everyone who has tried to change a bad habit knows.

Terminology and Abbreviations




AA     arachidonic acid                                      

LA    linoleic acid

AdA   adrenic acid (docosatetraenoic acid)        

LLG    dilinolenyl-monolinolenoylglyce                                        

ALA   alpha-linolenic acid                             

LLL   trilinolenin                                                                                               

C       cardiolipins                                      

LT   leukotriene                                                                                

DAG  diacylglycerol                                    


DG    diacylglycerols                       

MG monoradyglycekols                                                                               

D6D   delta 6 -desaturase                            

OCT  stearic acid (octadecanoic acid)                                                        

D5D   delta 5 -desaturase                             

PG   prostaglandins                                                                                     

DGLA dihomogamma-linoleic acid                

PUFA polyunsaturated fatty acid                                                            

DHA  docosahexaenoic acid                             

TB triadylglycerols                                                                                    

DPA  docosapentaenoic acid                           

TG triglycerides                                                                                        

EFA   essential fatty acid                                  

TX thromboxanes                                                                                      

EPA   eicosapentaenoic acid                          

ST  sterols                                                                                                

EPO   evening primrose oil                              

SE  steryl esters                                                                                        

FA      fatty acid                                               

SPMs          specialized pro-resolvin                                                       

FC      free cholesterol                                      

RvE   resolvins                                                                             

GLA    gamma-linolenic acid 

GL     glycerolipids                                                                                                                                




1) Lipids: General Term

2) Fats:

 -in strict sense specifically refers to lipids that are solid at room temperature                                                     

– in broad sense are used in Food Science as a synonym for lipids                                                                     

– they are one of the 3 main Macronutrients (along with proteins and carbohydrates)                                         

-examples include cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides                                                                          

  -they are the most energy dense and thus the most efficient form of energy storage.     


The Four Types of Dietary Fats and Oils:  


a) Saturated Fat – predominately consist of fatty acid chains that are fully loaded with hydrogen. There are no double bonds and this affects stability and firmness —solid at room temperature  (sources- tallow, pasteured butter, grass fed beef, free range eggs) 

b) Monounsaturated Fat (MUFA’s) – fatty acids that are missing one hydrogen in their carbon chain.Therefore,2 carbon atoms join together to form a Singular double bond.  (sources – palmitoleic and oleic acid )  Olive oil contains 71% oleic acid –other sources are avocados, some nuts like cashews, pecans and macadamia. Evening primrose oil contains 10% oleic acid which is referred to as Omega 9.  


c) Polyunsaturated Fat (PUFA’s) –  fatty acids that lack MORE than one hydrogen atoms in their carbon chain. They have 2 or more double bonds. At room temperature they are liquid and referred to as oils. Polyunsaturated fats contain essential fatty acids, meaning we cannot produce them and must get from our diet. These are Omega 6 (LA) and Omega 3 (ALA) fatty acids.These fatty acids are in various proportions in many nuts, seeds and animal/vegetable oils. Balance and quality (freshness) is the key for healthy diets.


4) Fatty Acids – are  carboxylic  acids with long hydrocarbon chains. Fatty acids can differ from one another in 3 basic ways:     


a) Length of the hydrocarbon tails :      


b) short-chain fatty acids (SCFA or SCPUFA)) are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of fewer than six  carbons    


c) Medium -Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA or MCPUFA)  are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of 6-12 carbons, which can form medium chain triglycerides    

-Long- chained fatty acids (LCFA or LCPUFA)  tails of 13-21 carbons      

-Very Long Chained fatty acids (VLCFA or VLCPUFA)  22 or more carbon atoms.


5)  Eicosanoids:  (eicosan- “containing 20 atoms”  noic – ‘suffix used in names of fatty acids)                         

Any of a group of compounds (including prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, prostacyclins, epoxy-eicosatrienoic acids) which are produced by the oxygenation of essential fatty acids (PUFAs like DGLA,AA,EPA ) and which are involved in a wide range of physiological processes, including inflammation and immunity. 

They function as localized hormones and are synthesized to exert their biological actions in the SAME tissue. Many have physiological and pathological effects on the cardiovascular, pulmonary, reproductive, and digestive systems. Notable from many current definitions is the fact that eicosanoids are produced from various fatty acid derivatives and NOT just arachidonic acid as so often is implied. The list of eicosanoids continues to grow as the complexity of the human cell is being discovered. The power of eicosanoids and need for balance was best put forth in a paper years ago by the late Dr. Mary Enig of the Weston Price Foundation called “Tripping Lightly Down the Prostaglandin Pathway”   


6) Fatty Acid Desaturase:  (biochemistry) Desaturase is any enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of single to double bonds, especially in the production of essential fatty acids. A fatty acid desaturase is an enzyme that removes two hydrogen atoms from a fatty acid, creating a carbon/carbon double bond. These desaturates are classified as Delta – indicating the double bond is created at a fixed position from the carboxyl end of a fatty acid chain. It is important in medicine to note that the desaturase of fatty acids is an inhibitory (delta 6,5,4) metabolic process.  Cancer along with many other factors (see Brenners Argentina Group research) impairs and inhibits the delta 6 desaturase enzyme leading to a major imbalance of cascading eicosanoids beginning with PGE1 disruption.

7) Fatty Acid Elongase:  An enzyme responsible for fatty acid chain elongation, a key step in the synthesis of long chain fatty acids, including polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Unlike inhibitory desaturase enzymes, elongase enzyme function is a rapid conversion in humans and most mammals. For example, gamma linolenic acid (GLA) converts rapidly to di-hommo gamma linolenic acid (DGLA) to provide the substrate for some of the most important eicosanoids. Currently,increasing demand and understanding of the bio-chemistry has raised interest in obtaining various PUFAs and enzyme function from alternative sources of seed oils and fungi sources.  

8) Prostaglandins:  Prostaglandins are a group of physiologically active lipid compounds (eicosanoids) that have diverse hormone-like effects in animals and of the prostonoid  class of fatty acid derivatives. They are found in most tissues and organs. Prostaglandins are autocrine (acting on the same cell from which it is synthesized) signals or paracrine lipid mediators(locally active).They are potent but have a very short half-life before being inactivated and excreted. Prostaglandins are produced following the sequential oxygenation of DGLA,AA,and EPA. There are currently 10 known prostaglandin receptors on various cell types.As a result of this diversity of receptors that act in a varied array of cells with broad ranging effects — only our imagination can comprehend all the roles these critical lipid compounds play in our health and well being.

Fatty Acid: Definition, Metabolism and Function

The following article by Melissa Mayer for Sciencing .com provides an excellent foundation.

Fatty Acid: Definition, Metabolism & Function

If you have taken a nutrition course or have even paid attention to the labels on food products, you are probably very familiar with three of the four main biomolecules of the human body. These biomolecules are carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins. Lipids include a broad range of molecules, including triglycerides, which are sometimes called fats.

Lipids perform many important functions in the human body. Some of the most crucial of these are storing energy and comprising cell membranes. Lipids also provide cushioning and insulation for vital organs.

General Lipid Information

Lipids are the most energy-dense of all four basic biomolecules when it comes to energy storage and access. Lipids can supply 9 calories of energy per gram. This is more than both carbohydrates and proteins, which each supply only 4 calories of energy per gram.

Lipids also form cell membranes thanks to one very important characteristic of lipid molecules called hydrophobicity. This term comes from the Greek words hydor– meaning water – and phobos – meaning fear. Hydrophobic molecules, such as lipids, don’t mix well with water because they repel water molecules.

As you will see, hydrophobic lipids can attach to hydrophilic molecules, meaning molecules that attract water molecules, for cell membrane formation.

What Are Fatty Acids?

Fat molecules, or triglycerides, have a backbone of glycerol and three fatty acid tails. These fatty acids are long chains containing a skeleton of carbon atoms with hydrogen molecules attached along the carbon skeleton and carboxylic acid attached at one end.

Because they contain so many carbons and hydrogens, scientists call these hydrocarbon chains.

There are two major types of fatty acids, saturated and unsaturated. Fatty acids receive their classification based on their chemical structure. Saturated fatty acids have single bonds between the carbon molecules of the hydrocarbon chains.

They are saturated with hydrogen, which means they contain as many hydrogen molecules as they possibly can.

Unsaturated fatty acids have double bonds or triple bonds between the carbon molecules of the hydrocarbon chains. They are not saturated with hydrogen, which means they have open sites available for other molecules to bind.

Fatty Acid Melting Points

Because of the differences in the way single bonds and double (or triple) bonds affect molecular structure, saturated fatty acids with single bonds have straight, linear chains that can pack together very tightly. Unsaturated fatty acids, on the other hand, have kinks as a result of the double bonds and therefore can’t stack together as well.

This structure affects the real-world functions of lipids.

One of these is the temperature at which the fatty acid melts. The melting point for unsaturated fatty acids is lower than the melting point for saturated fatty acids of the same length. For example, stearic acid melts at approximately 157 degrees Fahrenheit while oleic acid melts at approximately 56 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is why saturated lipids, such as the fat on a steak, tend to be solid at room temperature while unsaturated lipids, such as olive oil, are liquid at room temperature.

Fatty Acids Store Energy


One of the most important roles of lipids and their constituent fatty acids is energy storage. This usually takes place in specialized tissues called adipose tissue. The cells that make up these tissues – called adipocytes – can contain fat droplets of triglycerides that take up 90 percent of the cell’s volume!

All that fat has a crucial main purpose: to store the energy required to power the human body. This is an important way that evolution enables organisms to survive periods of low food availability by building up energy stores when food sources are readily available so they can tap into these stores during leaner times.

For example, animals that hibernate or migrate rely on fat stores to maintain necessary body functions and stay alive during times that they don’t eat.

Some scientists drive home the idea that lipids are ideal for energy storage using the example of an average male human who weighs 154 pounds. If this model specimen stops eating, his carbohydrate stores (free glucose and glycogen stores in the liver and muscles) would keep him alive for about a day.

His protein stores (mostly muscle) would last for about a week, although some of the muscles he would eventually need to burn for energy are also crucial for his health, such as the cardiac muscles of the heart.

However, his lipid stores – which comprise about 24 pounds of his total body weight – could sustain him for 30 or 40 days. The type of metabolism his body would use to convert the energy stored in his adipose tissues into usable energy is lipolysis.

Fatty Acids Form Membranes

Fatty acids also make cell membranes possible. Biological membranes, such as plasma membranes, are selective barriers between the inside of the cell (or organelle) and outside of the cell. In this function, they allow some molecules to pass through and keep other molecules out.

The major component of these membranes are specialized lipids called phospholipids. Phospholipids have two basic parts: a head and a tail. The head region is glycerol with an attached phosphate group. The tail region is made of fatty acid chains. These phospholipid molecules are amphipathic; the fatty acid tail end repels water (hydrophobic), and the head end attracts water (hydrophilic).

Biological membranes usually form using lipid bilayers. This means that two rows of phospholipids line up tail to tail with the hydrophilic heads in contact with the interior and exterior of the cell, which comprise mostly water.

This makes the phospholipid membrane watertight while still allowing small molecules to pass through the semipermeable membrane without needing specialized transporters, such as protein pumps.

Fatty Acids Cushion and Insulate

All that fat hanging out in the adipose tissues, storing energy for when it is needed, serves other helpful purposes, too. Adipose tissue is soft and therefore provides a cushion for vulnerable organs in the body, such as the heart, kidneys and liver.

This is why you can take a hard fall or even withstand a car accident without necessarily damaging your vital organs.

Adipose tissue also acts as insulation to help the body regulate its core temperature. This is especially important in circumstances that include extreme climates or temperature changes. This is why mammals that live in extremely cold environments, such as some whales that travel through freezing waters, maintain stores of fat called blubber.

Fat deposits just below the skin can even metabolize to make heat when the skin temperature gets too low.

What Are Essential Fatty Acids?

Humans can synthesize many fatty acids using the carbon atoms found in biomolecules like carbohydrates and proteins. However, essential fatty acids are a type of fatty acid that the human body can’t make on its own.

These are sometimes called dietary fatty acids since these molecules must instead come from the food in your diet.

Two well-known essential fatty acids are omega-3 fatty acids, also called alpha-linolenic acid, and omega-6 fatty acids, also called linoleic acid. Dietary omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids form other essential fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid (AA), inside the body.

Foods that naturally contain these fatty acids include:

·  Oily fish and shellfish.

·  Leafy vegetables.

·  Vegetable oils, especially canola oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil and soy oil.

·  Nuts and seeds, especially chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

Why Are Essential Fatty Acids Important?

These essential fatty acids are crucial for proper membrane function, especially in important nerve cell membranes and blood cell membranes. There, they contribute to membrane fluidity, which is critical for maintaining the concentration gradients that make life-sustaining processes like diffusion and osmosis possible.

Scientists believe that essential fatty acids play important roles in disease development and overall health. Conditions affected by fatty acid deficiencies may include:

·  Cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease.

·  Diabetes.

·  Inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

·  Neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. 

·  Neuropsychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia.

Some fatty acids are essential only under specific conditions, such as disease or developmental states. For example, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are crucial for brain structure and cognitive function as well as proper vision. Newborn humans, especially those born prematurely, require careful feeding of human milk rich in DHA and AA or infant formulas fortified with these essential fatty acids.

How Do Fatty Acids Metabolize?

You have already become acquainted with the term lipolysis, which is the way fatty acids metabolize to release stored energy. When the cells in adipose tissues receive the signal that the body needs access to stored energy, lipase enzymes begin a multi-step process called hydrolysis, which breaks the triglycerides into their constituent parts, fatty acids and glycerol.

Each step of hydrolysis cleaves one fatty acid from the triglyceride molecule.

From that point, the citric acid cycle, also called the Krebs cycle, takes over. This series of chemical reactions further cleaves the fatty acid chains to release all the stored energy contained in the chains. All aerobic organisms, including humans, use this cycle to generate energy.

The opposite process from lipolysis enables the human body to store this energy in the first place. Lipogenesis, or esterification, converts simple sugars into fatty acids. Then these fatty acid chains are synthesized into triglycerides in order to store energy as fat in the body, especially in the adipose tissues.

Other Lipids You Need to Know

You may have heard of another important lipid called cholesterol. This steroid molecule comes in two forms: high density (HDL) cholesterol and low density (LDL) cholesterol. Since cholesterol travels through the bloodstream, health care providers can check your cholesterol levels with a simple blood test.

While HDL cholesterol is beneficial for the human body, high levels of LDL cholesterol can harm the cardiovascular system.

Although most people equate the term cholesterol with LDL cholesterol and worry about having too much cholesterol in their blood, the cholesterol molecule plays very important roles in the human body. In addition to the protective effects of HDL cholesterol, the steroid molecule also acts as the precursor for many important hormones.

These include sex hormones important for your reproductive system, such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

Cholesterol is also responsible for the production of stress hormones, including cortisol. These hormones help the body mount important stress responses in the face of danger, such as the flight-or-fight response.

A Misunderstood Molecule

Over the years, lipids have gotten a bad public image due to low-fat dieting trends. As you can see, this poor reputation is undeserved because the roles that lipids play in the human body – from energy storage to membrane formation to simple cushioning and insulation – aren’t just important; they are crucial for life.

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