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The Secret To The Inuit High-Fat Diet May Be Good Genes

We talk a lot on The Salt about the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in nuts, olive oil, fish, fruits and vegetables. Scientists believe it's one of the world's healthiest patterns of eating, and can protect against a lot of chronic diseases. In the Arctic, the typical meal looks very different.

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Dr. Sears Comments:

Dr. Barry Sears

The high levels of EPA in fish oil is a feedback inhibitor of the enzyme delta-5 desaturase.  As with lactose intolerance, constant exposure to EPA could easily down regulate the enzyme.  This is the same enzyme that produces arachidonic acid (AA), meaning less pro-inflammatory eicosanoids would be generated. The bottom line would be less heart disease due to a decreased AA/EPA ratio.  However, in clinical studies on non-Inuit subjects, the same benefits are seen so how you get to a low AA/EPA ratio is not as important as getting there in the first place.


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