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Transcript of “What dolphins can teach us about metabolic syndrome”
Margarine – it’s marketed as a health food, but it probably isn’t. At least not in the form that is sold today.
When it was first developed, in the 1800s, it was a product chock full of margaric acid, which gave margarine it’s name. Margaric acid is the colloquial name for heptadecanoic acid, a saturated fatty acid, which is 17 carbons long. Today, the product we know as margarine has NO margaric acid – it’s TOO EXPENSIVE.
It seems margaric acid helps correct some of the metabolic abnormalities associated with metabolic syndrome.
A group of researchers from the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Programme in San Diego, believe these “fishes”, could teach us a thing or two, about how to combat metabolic syndrome in humans.
Feeding the fishes
Okay, before I continue…………. dolphins are NOT fishes. They live among the fish, they eat fish, but they’re mammals, just like you and me.
And, what’s more, they’re SMART MAMMALS i.e. they have BIG BRAINS.
And big brains bring metabolic challenges.
A big brain uses lots and lots of energy. To keep it fuelled up, requires some chemical tweaks, one of the tweaks used to keep brains adequately fuelled, is insulin resistance.
It’s an effective strategy, in moderation……………….. but it can lead to elevated levels of insulin, and this, leads to trouble.
So what causes elevated levels of insulin, in dolphins ?
It’s a man made problem
Dolphin biology is designed for insulin resistance, but dolphins in the wild, don’t seem to suffer from this condition.
When the research team compared the health profiles of two populations of dolphin, they found dolphins living among humans, tended to have higher insulin levels. Their sugar levels were fine – so they didn’t have diabetes, but……….
triglyceride levels were sky high, so were iron levels.
So just like humans, high insulin levels in dolphins, creates BAD BODY CHEMISTRY.
It’s not a high carb diet
Dolphins living in “captivity” don’t eat pizza, pasta or twinkies – they eat fish, so a high carb diet, can’t be to behind their insulin resistance.
What is ?
The fundamental difference, between wild dolphins and “captive” dolphins, is wild dolphins have to do their own fishing. “Captive” dolphins get fish dinners served to them, with the option of catching a fish or two, for FUN.
Are they eating too much and moving too little ?
Fish on the menu
Mindful of the fact that being served regular fishy dinners, could lead to overindulgence – feeding time is highly regulated. Individual animals receive carefully calculated rations, based on their age, size and levels of physical activity.
So it is unlikely that they’re eating too much and moving too little.
What is different, is the type of fish they’re eating.
What’s for dinner
The “captive” fish dinners come from around the globe – “captive” dolphins enjoy
- capelin (Mallotus villosus) from Canada and Iceland,
- herring (Clupea harengus),
- mackerel (Scomber japonicus), and
- squid (Loligo opalescens),
Wild dolphin, get what’s going, which is typically,
- Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus),
- pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides),
- striped mullet (Mugil cephalus)
Could this matter ?
Fishing for answers
The team fished for answers.
Looking for clues, they analysed the fatty acid profiles of the dolphins, with high insulin levels and compared them, to animals with low insulin levels.
Serum heptadecanoic acid (C17:O) levels were different.
Next they looked at heptadecanoic acid levels in the different fish species…
- Capelin had NONE.
- Pinfish and mullet had PLENTY.
Could dietary heptadecanoic acid / margaric acid levels, be responsible for metabolic syndrome in dolphins ?
Dolphins on “DIET”
The team decided to put a few of their metabolically troubled, charges on “diet”. Fish dinners were still served, but the fish that was served, was LOCAL.
Capelin was replaced with pinfish and mullet, effectively increasing dietary heptadecanoic acid levels in the dolphins, from 400 to 1700 mg per day.
24 weeks later……….
the metabolic profiles of the “dieting” dolphins, were significantly better.
Could eating more heptadecanoic acid help humans with metabolic problems ?
Epidemiological studies suggest higher levels of pentadecanoic acid (15:0) and heptadecanoic acid (17:0) are associated with lower risk of diabetes.
So maybe it’s time to…….
Eat more margaric acid
Unfortunately, you won’t find it in MARGARINE.
It is found in dairy products and selected fish species.
One way to raise your C17:0 levels, is to eat more dairy products, but you must eat THE FAT.
The team tested the heptadecanoic acid / margaric acid levels in dairy products purchased from a local supermarket, they found
- Butter contained 423 mg/100 g
- Full cream milk had 19 mg/100g
- Low fat milk had 10 mg/100 g and
- Skim milk had ZERO.
Rein in insulin
High insulin levels underpin most lifestyle diseases………..
The easiest way, to rein in your insulin levels, is to do a little CANDY FLOSSING…..
Begin by Cutting the Carbs and Adding protein, FAT and fibre. Learn more about the CANDY FLOSS system, by downloading our special report.
A Harvard study knocks the socks off two big health paradigms.
The fatty acid implicated in health troubles is palmitoleic acid. A diet high in carbs, raises their levels, a diet high in saturated fats, keeps them low.
A crying baby is silenced immediately when it is hooked up with some milk. Whimpering fat cells, also calm down quickly when pacified with a bottle of “milk”.
Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind metabolic syndrome ?
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