Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a collective term for diseases of the heart and arteries and includes arteriosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, peripheral arterial disease, angina, emboli, heart failure, heart enlargement, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, abnormal blood clotting and other conditions affecting the heart and/or circulatory system.

The only common abnormal characteristic in observation studies of patients with CVD is solid fat encircling the normally lean heart muscle. These deposits of “bad fat” are a result of a dietary lack of optimally balanced PUFAs (Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids) and EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) directly affecting the generation of heart action.

Every heartbeat controls the amount of blood flow in and out of the heart. Freshly oxygenated blood (from the lungs) fills the left ventricle and the unoxygenated, fatty acid-containing blood fills the right ventricle. If the unoxygenated blood is filled with SAFA (saturated fatty acids) and trans-fatty acids there is lack of new electrical impulses. Once the heart realizes that its electrical potential is being affected, it begins to reject these “bad fats”. This is immediately recognized anatomically and can be accurately measured. The fatty acids then build up in the coronary vessels and eventually on the entire muscle. In addition, oxygenation of blood in the lungs is affected and the heart is forced to pump the same amount of blood throughout the body several times to oxygenate tissues.

Hemp seed oil is used to prevent heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels. The main role of cholesterol is to fine-tune fluctuating cell membrane fluidity, which is dependent on dietary fat. A diet rich in PUFAs and EFAs means that more cholesterol will be built into cell membranes, rather than being removed from cell membranes and entering the bloodstream. EFAs lower blood cholesterol levels- to balance their fluidity. A diet rich in SAFAs, on the other hand, raises blood cholesterol levels because the cholesterol is removed from cell membranes and enters the bloodstream. Every cell produces enough cholesterol to maintain it’s own membrane fluidity, therefore it does not need to be provided in our diet.

It is important to note that since cholesterol consumption has remained consistent for the past 100 years it cannot be targeted as the primary cause of the dramatic increases in CVD in the past 100 years.

Cancer

Cancer represents the most extreme form of nutritional degeneration. It has been proven that the only abnormal characteristic of cancerous cells, as opposed to healthy cells, is isolated fat deposits in the cell nucleus, body or cytoplasm.

A diet rich in PUFAs and EFAs assures a sufficient and continuous supply of oxygen to our cells and tissues. We know that in cancer cells oxygen uptake is inhibited and cell division often remains incomplete. We also know that lack of oxygen in tissues lowers their metabolic rate and depresses all cell functions. Both can result in leaky or defective cell membranes and decreased energy production. Otto Warberg, a Nobel Prize winning researcher, discovered in the 1920’s that by depriving tissues of oxygen (35% less than normal), he could induce cancer in tissues almost at will.
Other studies have shown that blood samples of persons with cancer lack phospholipid-containing linoleic acid (LA), which is essential for the proper development and division of healthy cell membranes. The blood also lacks albumin, a water-soluble, fatty acid-carrying lipoprotein that carries essential lipids between intestine, liver and body cells.

Diabetes

Diabetes is the name for a variety of disorders characterized by the body’s inability to balance insulin and glucose production and/or carbohydrate metabolism. The essential balance between insulin and glucagon (a form of glucose) enables the body to maintain blood sugar at optimum levels. Studies have shown dietary EFAs given to diabetics caused an insulin-sparing effect, indicating that the effectiveness of insulin may depend on them.

In diabetics, blood sugar levels build up in the blood and the body produces excess insulin. High blood sugar levels inhibit the release of Linoleic acid (LA) from adipose cells, the storage cells in fat tissues. The LA remains stored and unavailable to the rest of the body. Blood samples of persons with diabetes revealed a lack of LA containing Phospholipids (PL), fatty materials needed to develop healthy cell membranes. They also lack albumin, a fatty acid-carrying lipoprotein that carries EFAs between intestine, liver and body cells.

Excess insulin causes symptoms such as excess thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, tingling or burning in the fingers and toes and other conditions known as Syndrome-X. Syndrome-X has been known to cause Obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension. In 1997, 48 people diagnosed with Syndrome-X were assigned to either low-calorie, high carbohydrate diet or a diet high in EFAs. After one year, those consuming the high carbohydrate diets had higher glucose levels and reduced insulin sensitivity. Persons consuming the EFA diet had enhanced insulin sensitivity, elevated High-density Lipoproteins (HDLs) and lower Triglycerides and blood pressure.

The evidence clearly suggests that a diet rich in optimally balanced EFAs can have significant impact on diabetes prevention and treatment. Hemp seed oil and hemp nut contain what is considered to be the ideal (3:1) ratio of essential omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a general term to describe the conditions of joint inflammation and is traditionally treated with pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories. Dietary essential fatty acids (EFA), especially Alpha-Linolenic acid (LNA), are precursors for Prostaglandins (PG), a biological hormone-like substance that reduces inflammation. EFAs are also necessary to build and deposit bone materials and produce secretions that lubricate joints.

The most common forms of arthritis are Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA). RA attacks the synovial membranes surrounding the lubricating fluid in joints. The body replaces the damaged tissue with scar tissue, causing the spaces between the joints to become narrow, to develop folds and to fuse together. OA is marked by the degeneration of the cartilage and bone around joints.

LA and GLA are converted to DGLA in the body and are then converted to PGE1, a potent anti-inflammatory. The effectiveness of these omega-6 fatty acids in RA has been validated in recent test. Clinical studies have also shown that EFAs increase osteoblast proliferation and can be used to prevent or control bone degeneration.

Arthritis can develop in any joint in the body. Symptoms are bone deterioration, dryness and stiffness of the joints and chronic pain.
For more detailed information on the anti-inflammatory properties of EFAs please see prostaglandin (PG).

Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers are a reversible digestive condition resulting from the abnormal breakdown of proteins. Clinical studies have shown that dietary PUFA intake plays a beneficial role in this disease, which often strikes in the lower part of the esophagus, in the stomach and in the small intestine.
In animal studies, blood samples were taken from rats induced with peptic ulcer disease. A significant difference in the Phospholipid fatty acid profile of the diseased rats vs. healthy rats was observed. There was a higher content of SAFAs and a lower content of AA, EPA, DHA and antioxidant enzymes. Following dietary PUFA treatment in the diseased rats, all biochemical abnormalities reverted to normal.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Excessive and unbalanced prostaglandin (PG) synthesis has been overwhelmingly implicated as the cause of PMS, specifically a deficiency in PG1 in the central nervous system. In the second half of the menstrual cycle, AA is released from cell membranes causing an increase in PG2 (specifically PGE2). This results in uterine contractions leading to a lack of oxygen in the uterine muscles, also known as menstrual cramps.
A major strategy for eating optimally balanced EFAs is an attempt to raise the body’s own formation of the “good” PGs; PG1 and PG3 (actually PGE1 and PGE3). Hemp seed oil contains the perfect balance (3:1) of the essential linoleic acid (LA) to Alpha-Linolenic acid (LNA), assuring optimal PG production, there by helping to balance the body’s hormone levels.
For more detailed information on the anti-inflammatory properties of EFAs please see prostaglandin (PG) (A fatty acid partially oxidized in a very specific and controlled environment by enzymes that are produced by the body specifically for this purpose. PG’s have hormone like functions and regulate cell activity. There are over 30 know prostaglandins).

Obesity

In many cases, being overweight is a result of fatty degeneration or water retention. In either case, proper dietary intake of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) can be beneficial.

EFAs increase metabolic rate, oxidation rate and energy production. EFAs also disperse solid fats such as SAFAs and trans-fatty acids, turning body fat into body fluids. As a result, more fat and glucose is burned and less fat deposition takes place around the body. This also decreases high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The essential Alpha-Linolenic Acid (LNA) is the precursor for the PG3 family of prostaglandins. These specific hormone-like substances help our kidneys get rid of excess water held in body tissues- a condition known as edema. Less water retention equals less excess weight.

Stress

Stress is defined as physical, mental or emotional tension or pressure that disturbs the homeostasis of an organism. Proper dietary intake of EFAs increase the amount of stress that a person is able to bear because EFAs heighten the capacity for electric tension across our cell membranes. This is known as membrane potential.

Like a battery, life energy flows between two poles; positive and negative. Biochemically, sulfur-rich proteins containing many slightly positively charged sulphydryl groups are the positive pole and PUFA and EFA-rich fats containing many slightly negatively charged cis- double bonds are the negative pole. These two groups of substances, the essential proteins and essential fats, are the two most abundant substances in our cells and form the main structure and functional components of our entire body.
More stress requires more essential fats and/or proteins. When our body’s demand for these substances exceeds the dietary supply, our body begins to run down causing deficiencies and degeneration.

To prevent and treat stress related conditions, EssentialFats and proteins must be continually replaced through foods. Hemp seed oil and hemp nut provide the essential fats in their optimum balance. Hemp nut also provides all nine indispensable amino acids (IAA), including the high sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine.

EFAs are also useful in the treatment of :

Allergies Allergies   Replenishing a deficiency of Omega-3 type fatty acids in the diet has resulted in fewer allergic and inflammatory reactions.


Autoimmune
Multiple Sclerosis   The Swank diet includes a blend of 40-50gm per day of essential fatty acids as well as at least 1 teaspoon of cod liver oil per day. Myasthenia Gravis   Essential fatty acids have been shown to suppress autoimmune attacks in general and to help protect myelin sheaths. A blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may provide supportive benefit in the treatment of myasthenia gravis. Crohn’s Disease   A study by Japanese researcher Kuroki found that, compared with control subjects, Crohn’s patients had lower concentrations of Omega-3 essential fats and higher concentrations of the monounsaturated fatty acids Omega-7 and Omega-9. These results indicate EFA deficiency. Among the fatty acids that correlated with the Crohn’s disease activity index, EPA and total Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids showed the most significant negative correlations. The less of these fatty acids present, the worse the disease. [Digestive Diseases and Sciences; 1997; 42(6): pp.1137-1141, Fatty Acid Patterns in Patients with Chronic Intestinal Disease, Metabolism 1996; 45(1): pp.12-23] Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis)   Hemp seed oil and/or fish oil have been shown to reduce the severity of the disease in animal studies. One tablespoon Hemp Seed Oil bid is recommended. Autoimmune Tendency   Supplementation with omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) along with the essential omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) can alleviate many symptoms of autoimmune disease through their anti-inflammatory activity. Sjogren’s Syndrome   Those with Sjogren’s syndrome may have a metabolic block that interferes with the body’s ability to make GLA from the omega-6 containing oils. [Med Hypotheses 1980;6: pp.225–32, Med Hypotheses 1984;14: pp.233–47] Bypassing this metabolic step by taking GLA orally may help, especially if there are other indicators of a deficiency.


Circulation
Vasculitis   An essential fatty acid Omega-6/Omega-3 imbalance or deficiency can contribute to inflammation, which is part of the problem in vasculitis. Increased Risk of Stroke   High doses of Omega-3 oils reduce platelet aggregation and thus reduce the abnormal clotting tendency which is seen in 75% of strokes. Arrhythmias/Dysrhythmias   Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce the incidence of arrhythmias during a heart attack. [Japanese Circulation Journal Dec, 1994;58: pp.903-12]


Infections
Lyme Disease   The use of omega 3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation and joint stiffness. Helicobacter Pylori Infection   Essential fatty acids have the ability to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori and suppress acid production.


Inflammation
Chronic Inflammation   A tendency towards chronic repeated inflammations may be resolved through prostaglandin balancing. The levels of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins are primarily determined by the intake of essential fatty acids. A dietary deficiency of Omega-3 type fatty acids has been associated with a tendency toward chronic inflammation, which regular consumption of these oils can reduce.

Omega-3 fatty acids such as Hemp Seed Oil or fish oil and the digestive aid bromelain make a useful anti-inflammatory combination. Their use can be considered together in trying to resolve any chronic inflammatory condition. While oils should be taken with food because they may cause irritation or indigestion by themselves, bromelain is best taken separately from food. If a person can not tolerate these oils on an empty stomach, then these two products should be rotated; oils with a meal, bromelain between meals. Typical doses are 1T hemp oil per day or 3,000-5,000mg fish oil per day along with 125-500mg tid bromelain (3,000 mcu or 2,000 GDU/gm potency).


Lab Values
Elevated Triglycerides   In over 4,000 subjects, a high consumption of dietary linolenic acid was associated with low plasma triglycerides. [Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78: pp.1098-1102]


Metabolic
Headaches, Migraine/Tension   Omega 3 fatty acids can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. Two small double blind studies (using fish oil) demonstrated a high percentage of effectiveness. Supplementation should continue for longer than 3 weeks, which is the time it takes to change cell membrane composition with the new fatty acids.

However, another study using 6gm per day over 4 months for migraines showed no benefit over placebo. [Cephalalgia 2001;21(8): pp.818-822]


Musculo-Skeletal
Rheumatoid Arthritis   Both Omega 6 and Omega 3 EFAs and their metabolites Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) and EPA have shown effectiveness in Rheumatoid Arthritis. One study showed that use for 12 months produced meaningful improvement in 76% of subjects.
In a review that was completed by the medical research firm, Metaworks, Inc. in Medford Mass, lead researcher Dr. Marya Zilberberg reported that GLA is not only safe, but it is also an effective natural therapy. In her review of close to 40 clinical papers on GLA, she noted that GLA consistently reduces inflammation and joint stiffness without any of the serious side effects associated with pharmaceutical drugs. Zilberberg found that GLA is particularly useful for reducing morning stiffness. “We saw about a 60-65% reduction in morning stiffness for these patients,” said Zilberberg. “In other words if you have two hours of morning stiffness, that goes down to about a half hour. It is an extremely striking difference.”


Nervous System
Tardive Dyskinesia   In a pilot study of (n-3) fatty acid supplementation, the authors observed significant improvement in both schizophrenic symptoms and tardive dyskinesia over a 6 week period. [Prostaglandins Leukot Essential Fatty Acids. 1996 Aug;55(1-2): pp.71-5]


Organ Health
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)   A high intake of Omega-3 fatty acids may protect cigarette smokers against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may interfere with the inflammatory mediators triggered by cigarette smoking. Even small increments of omega-3 fatty acids may have a cumulative beneficial effect. [Dietary N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Smoking-Related Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, The New England Journal of Medicine, July 28, 1994;331(4): pp.228-233]. Enlarged Prostate   The administration of an essential fatty acid (EFA) complex containing linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids has resulted in significant improvement for many patients. All 19 subjects in an uncontrolled study showed diminution of residual urine, with 12 of the 19 having no residual urine by the end of several weeks of treatment. These effects appear to be due to the correction of an underlying EFA deficiency, since these patients prostatic and seminal lipid levels and ratios are often abnormal. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), appears to be a powerful 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor. Kidney Failure   There have been a variety of trials of Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with a variety of renal disorders. These trials suggest that such therapy may be of use in the treatment of IgA nephropathy and chronic renal failure. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid manipulation results in an anti-inflammatory. [Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Renal Disease, Proceedings of the Society For Experimental Biology and Medicine, 1996;213: pp.13-23.]


Risks
Increased Risk of Breast Cancer   French researchers examined the fat composition of almost 250 patients with invasive, non-metastatic breast carcinoma and compared the content to 88 patients with benign breast disease. Women who had the most omega-3 and least omega-6 had a 70% reduction in breast cancer. In other words, the lower the omega 6:3 ratio the lower the risk of breast cancer. [Anticancer Research 2002 March/April;22(2A): pp.537-43]

Also, lignans are particularly abundant in raw ground hemp seed and are also found in whole grains and legumes. Diets that are rich in these foods seem to be a factor in preventing the development of breast cancer in women. Increased Risk of Coronary Disease / Heart Attack   Many studies have shown that higher omega-3 fatty acid intake, through fish consumption or through supplementation, can cut the rate of sudden cardiac death by nearly one-half, in both apparently healthy patients and those who have suffered a previous heart attack.

To better understand this protective effect, Danish researchers examined the dietary patterns and individual fatty acid status of nearly 300 patients with ischemic heart disease, comparing them with specific parameters of cardiac function. They found that the patients who ate more fish had higher levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in their blood cell membranes and in their fat cells. A higher level of two specific fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – especially within the cell membrane – was associated with higher heart rate variability in the patients. An increased heart rate variability indicates healthier pulse regulation, and appears to significantly reduce the risk of arrhythmia and cardiac death.

Anti-inflammatory agents such as the omega-3 oils are especially useful when inflammation is present. [Circulation 2001;104(19): pp.2269-2272]

Too little Omega-3 and too much Omega-6 oil may be a contributing factor in the development of heart disease. It is a fact that MI deaths have increased in direct proportion to the increase in polyunsaturated fats (the omega 6 type, linoleic acid) in our diet. Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer   Prostate cancer patients who added about 3 heaping tablespoons of Hemp Seed Oil daily to their diet had more slowly-dividing tumor cells and a greater rate of tumor cell death than men who did not follow this diet, after about 5 weeks. The investigators found no significant difference in levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). [Urology July 2001; p.58]

Because prostate cancer is slow growing, generally present for years before detection, the use of Hemp Seed Oils would be wise long before the presence of prostate cancer is established.

A new study suggests that it may be better to use fish oil than the ALA found in hemp or other oils. This study of about 47,000 men has found the ALA omega-3 fatty acids stimulate the growth of prostate tumors in men. Of the men monitored over 14 years, some 3,000 struggled with prostate cancer and about one in seven were suffering from the advanced stages of the disease. Researchers found men who were suffering from advanced prostate cancer had higher quantities of ALA from non-animal as well as meat and dairy sources.

Scientists also found EPA and DHA could reduce the risk of total and advanced prostate cancer too. [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition July 2004 80(1); pp.204-216]


Skin-Hair-Nails
Dry skin Dry skin is often related to a deficiency of essential fatty acids. Eczema   In published studies, a mixture EFAs from safflower, sunflower and hemp oil provided benefit. This is a condition where delta-6-desaturase is often impaired. It may be wiser to start with oil that contains GLA and, if improvement occurs, switch to a cheaper oil. GLA can be used in doses up to 1gm (of actual GLA) per day in more serious cases. Add vitamin E at the same time any EFAs are used.

Primarily in children, the first step is a limitation of n-6 fats that are converted to inflammatory arachidonic acid lipoxygenase mediators. N-6 fats are common in nearly all polyunsaturated vegetable oil products (with the exclusion of olive and canola oils, which are relatively high in n-9 and n-3 fats respectively). Bakery products are particularly troublesome, as high percentages of the n -6 fats have been converted to trans isomers that further exacerbate the dermatitis.

The second step would be to increase n-3 fats such as EPA and DHA that are common in fish oils. Cod liver oil is profoundly effective here as it has significant quantities of vitamin D and vitamin A that frequently provide synergistic therapeutic effects. Typical daily therapeutic quantities of n-3 fats are 300 mg per 4 kg of body weight. Supplementation with ALA (i.e. hemp) is frequently not sufficient to generate significant quantities of EPA and DHA.

Also consider limiting most grains and fruit juices as they are rapidly converted to simple carbohydrates that increase insulin levels which can disturb EFA metabolism. [BMJ (electronic edition) 28 June 2002]


Tumours, Malignant
Prostate Cancer Prostate cancer patients who added about 3 heaping tablespoons of ground Hemp Seed Oil daily to their diet had more slowly-dividing tumour cells and a greater rate of tumour cell death than men who did not follow this diet, after about 5 weeks. The investigators found no significant difference in levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). [Urology July 2001; p.58]

A new study suggests that it may be better to use fish oil than the ALA found in hemp or other oils. This study of about 47,000 men has found the ALA omega-3 fatty acids stimulate the growth of prostate tumors in men. Of the men monitored over 14 years, some 3,000 struggled with prostate cancer and about one in seven were suffering from the advanced stages of the disease. Researchers found men who were suffering from advanced prostate cancer had higher quantities of ALA from non-animal as well as meat and dairy sources.

Scientists also found EPA and DHA could reduce the risk of total and advanced prostate cancer too. [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition July 2004 80(1); pp.204-216]


Uro-Genital
Pregnancy-Related Issues Possible   Adequate and balanced essential fatty acid intake is important for the optimal neurologic development of the baby. Fish oil, containing essential fatty acids, is usually free of mercury as a result of proper processing. Dysmenorrhea, Painful Menstruation   Long-term improvement may be gained by promoting the build up of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins with Omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil. Six grams of fish oil per day (or about 1,000mg of eicosapentanoic acid, 700mg of docosahexaenoic acid) can be taken every day for 2 or 3 cycles and then reduced, or taken for a total of 14 days starting 10 days before your period. Postmenopausal Status / Issues   Researchers have found postmenopausal women who supplement their diets with Hemp Seed Oil, as opposed to soy, have a greater chance of reducing their risk of osteoporosis and hormone-sensitive cancers. [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition February, 2004;79(2): pp.318-325] Menorrhagia (Heavy Periods)   Omega 3 EFAs may reduce bleeding in adolescent girls and improve other menstrual symptoms generally in women.

Amelia
amelia.karg@hemptons.co.za

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