In the Middle Ages in Europe, what we know as GLA was nicknamed the “king’s cure-all”. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats, and widely are considered helpful in reducing inflammation and in suppressing a number of diseases. Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) is “healthy” fat found particularly in seed and nut oils. GLA is popularly used for treating arthritis, diabetic nerve damage, and high blood pressure. GLA has been extensively studied in treatment of cancer as well.
At the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute, a study showed the presence of GLA significantly lowered a cancer growth promoting protein (HER-2). HER-2 is an oncogene, meaning it turns normal cells into cancerous cells. The South African Medical Journal started a study with the observation that cancer cells universally lack the ability to produce prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), because it lacks an enzyme that converts linolenic acid to GLA, which is in turn needed to make PGE1. In their study, they provided cancer cells with GLA directly, allowing them to produce PGE1. This caused them to grow much more slowly, acting more like normal cells. At the Enamel Research Institute in Canada, human cancer cells and normal cells were cultured together without polyunsaturated fatty acids, and the cancer cells grew at a faster rate than the normal cells. But the addition of GLA reversed this, so that the normal cells outgrew the cancerous cells.
These studies all take GLA, which is known to reduce the body’s need for inflammation, and see that it also has an inhibiting effect on cancer.
What this shows:
Cells react to the environment around them, and if the environment is right, cells have no need to become malignant. Already cancerous cells may even revert to normal behavior in the presence of the ideal environment. GLA is a vital part of that environment.
Consider this: the body inflames because of the environment. It is built in to the logic that is designed into the body. An environment that reduces inflammation is a safe environment for cells, and cancer cells are at a disadvantage in that environment. Studies are showing GLA inhibits cancer due to various pathways which cause normal cells to thrive.
GLA is found in raw hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, and also in some nuts. A balance of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 from uncooked sources are particularly beneficial to all the cells in your body. Omega-3 can be obtained from flax, hemp, chia seeds and walnuts through a conversion process of the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) they contain. Omega-9 fats are especially prevalent in olives, almonds, and avocados. A good balance of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 provides the best environment for the body.
Raw plant seeds and nuts that have not been modified by heat are coated with special enzyme inhibitors while growing on the plants that prevent them from sprouting the first time rain hits them — before they are ready to germinate. Soaking seeds and discarding the water flushes away these inhibitors and starts the germination process. Left long enough, the seeds would visibly sprout, if the water is frequently refreshed. So soak your raw seeds for several hours for the greatest benefit.
Dr. Nemec’s Comments:
Its not about genes but the environment that turns on the genes. You can have positive HER-2 gene and never have a problem in your life because you have made an anti-inflammatory environment at a cellular level. This is what we have been helping patients achieve for the last 35 years. The take away message in this research from Northwestern is that plant fats are extremely anti-inflammatory, and especially if they are not altered with heat. Fats from plant sources help your cells function at their highest level. Start consuming flax and hemp seeds because they are the most anti-inflammatory of all the seeds and nuts.