Fish and The Fish Oils
Epidemiological evidence of Greenland and Alaskan Eskimos demonstrated a substantially reduced mortality rate from atherosclerosis (3,4). These observations led to comparative analyses of Eskimo and Western diets which pointed to the possibility that it was the relatively larger amount of fish consumed by the Eskimos which was protecting the Eskimos. It was also found that Japanese living in coastal areas, who eat much more fish, were also less at risk for atherosclerosis than inland farmers( 6).
These positive effects of fish in the diet led to postulate that it was the polyunsaturated fatty acids of the n3 family, particularly eicosapentaenoic and docosahexanoic acids, present in large quantities in fish oils, which was responsible for the benefit. This opened the door to a series of investigations which employed fish oils in both humans and animal models measuring changes in blood lipid values, amount of vascular lipid deposition and/or changes in the amount, size and nature of atherosclerotic lesions.
Unfortunately, the results of this research to date has been rather inconsistent and the present state of events is characterized by increasing hesitancy by clinicians to prescribe fish oil in the treatment of such a serious disease as atherosclerosis given the availability of the other more proven pharmacotherapeutic agents.
Again unfortunately, the fish controversy is more due to man than to the fish for the epidemiologic data which brought the issue into being dealt with fish and not fish oils. It is strange indeed that the experiments do not include feeding animals or humans fish itself rather than their oils or similar fatty acids.
Furthermore the conclusion that it was only the omega-3 fatty acids which were providing the benefit ignores the fact that the fish oil contains many other fatty acids which vary with the species of fish.
Finally, the fish oils used are quite variable as to their source, such as squid, sardines, manhden, etc.
The Antifungal Activity of Fatty Acids
The fatty acids have been documented to be inhibitors of fungal growth. This antifungal activity is particularly seen in the short chain fatty acids, including formic, acetic, butyric, propionic, capric, caprylic, valeric, isovaleric, levulenic, undecyclic, 2,3nonenoic, 2,3decenoic, 10undecenoic, 23 dodecenoic and 2,3tridecenoic acids (Fencl & Leopol 1956), (Philip et al1963), (Ozaki & Baba 1943), (Millis et al 1963), (Romano & Kornberg 1969).
Fatty acids are believed to act at the cell surface by preventing uptake of nutrients and they are known to prevent phosphate and sulphate absorption in Aspergillus species.
In respect to the fatty acid content of the fish oils, certain facts need to be brought out into our understanding of their beneficial use. Firstly, fish does not usually become moldy as it deteriorates, spoiling is rather by bacteria. Obviously, fish are relativly protected from fungal colonization, the risk of which is quite high due to the fungal colonization of the waters in which fish live. Secondly, the fatty acid content of the fish oils varies from species to species and is much more complex than simply containing omega 3 fatty acids.
Kendler (1987) has reviewed the beneficial effects of garlic (Allium sativum) and onion (Allium cepa) in cardiovascular disease. Garlic and onion have been used for millennia in the traditional medical practice of many cultures to treat cardiovascular and other disorders. Both Allium species, their extracts, and the chemical constituents of these plants have been investigated for possible effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors and have been found to be effective agents.
Mohammad and Woodward (1986) found that garlic is a potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation and release reaction, a property which is obviously of great significance in the treatment of atherslerosis.
The Antifungal Activity of Garlic
Ghannoum (1990) reported the inhibition of Candida adhesion to buccal epithelial cells by an aqueous extract of Allium sativum (garlic). The degree of Candida pathogenicity is measured by the ability of the fungus to adhere to the tissues to be invaded.
Appleton and Tansey (1975) studied the inhibition of growth of 200 pathogenic fungi by garlic extract.
Yoshida et al (1987) have reported the antifungal activity of Ajoene Derived from Garlic.
Davis et al (1990) reported the antifungal activity in human cerebrospinal fluid and plasma after intravenous administration of Allium sativum. Commercial Allium sativum (garlic) extract was given intravenously to two patients with cryptococcal meningitis and three patients with other types of meningitis. Plasma tiers of antiCryptococcus neoformans activity rose twofold over reinfusion tiers. AntiC. neoformans activity was detected in four of five cerebrospinal fluid samples but not in pooled normal cerebrospinal fluid.
Other foods documented to possess significant antifungal and/or antimycotoxin activity include soya protein, beans, green vegetables, onions, carrots, Vitamins A, C and D, sea weed (Oriental diet), most herbs and spices (as used in ancient Egypt to perfectly preserve bodies), plant proteins, olive extracts, etc.
The foods most likely to be heavily contaiminated with mycotoxins or to act as growth promoters for the gut toxicogenic fungal population have beed identified in the introductory text.
The chapter being prepared relative to foods addresses each item with appropriately cited refernces. These dietary facts provide the basis for a tasty and high quality food intake which should become one's personal Garden of Eden where atherosclerosis is non-existent.
One might wonder if the apple Eve offered to Adam was moldy....
Only God knows the answer....