By John Parrillo
One of our signature products is CapTri® C8 MCT, a high-standard medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. It has many unique properties, including fat-burning, ketosis elevation, and energy-producing like that of carbs, and more. Although it is important to supplement with CapTri® C8 MCT for these reasons, MCT oil, however, is not an essential fatty acid, or EFA. In addition to CapTri® C8 MCT, you need to make sure that you are taking in EFAs daily.
So what are EFAs?
These are fats that your body requires for good health, just as it needs vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. EFAs are not naturally produced by the body, so you must acquire them from food. Without them, you might suffer some nasty side effects from EFA deficiency: itchy, peeling skin; hair loss; stiff and sore joints and short-term memory loss.
There are basically three broad categories of EFAs.
1. The Omega-3s
Found in fatty fish and specific dietary supplements, omega-3s are a special type of dietary fat that perform a number of positive physique functions:
First, they help prevent the loss of the amino acid glutamine, which is involved in strengthening the immune system. A strong immune system indirectly helps muscle growth.
Second, omega-3s help fight muscle inflammation and promote the storage of glycogen in muscles for sustained energy.
Third, these versatile fats help speed up the loss of body fat and preserve muscle during diets such as pre-competition diets. Omega-3 fats are rarely stored as body fat, either.
Fourth, omega-3s in the form of fish oil have been shown to increase exercise performance.
Fifth, in addition to its fitness benefits, omega-3s have been shown in numerous studies to improve triglyceride levels in the blood, and enhance insulin sensitivity, thus helping to lower your overall risk of heart disease and stroke.
In addition to eating fish, a good move is to take omega-3s in supplement form. Parrillo Performance offers its omega-3 supplement: Fish Oil DHA 800 EPA 200™. It is a natural marine-lipid concentrate that contains omega-3 fatty acids in medically recommended concentrations. We suggest one serving daily with your meals.
2. The Omega-6’s
Omega-6 EFAs are also important to health. They help the body fight skin diseases, combat cancer cells, and alleviate joint problems. Normally, you don’t need to supplement with omega-6’s, because they are required in a smaller ration compared to omega-3’s. Most of us get enough omega-6 EFAs in our diets. On the Parrillo Nutrition Program, for example, you can obtain these EFAs from flaxseed oil, olive oil, and chicken. You can also insure balance by supplementing with evening primrose oil. See below.
3. Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)
GLA is vital because once it gets into your system, the body has a raw material to manufacture “prostaglandins.” Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that govern many bodily functions. In fact, they control every cell in your body on a moment-to-moment basis.
Unfortunately, prostaglandins have a very short lifespan, which is why GLA and the other building blocks used to make prostaglandins are required in steady supply to replenish these key body regulators and prevent EPA deficiency symptoms.
There are good prostaglandins and bad prostaglandins. The bad ones are pro-inflammatory; excessive amounts cause inflammatory illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and eczema. Good prostaglandins are anti-inflammatory and help overpower their bad counterparts.
To promote the good prostaglandins, I recommend supplementing with evening primrose oil (EPO), made from the seeds of a plant native to North America. EPO is the richest source of GLA.
When you boost the good prostaglandins, many health benefits follow. For example, you help lower cholesterol levels, inhibit abnormal blood clotting, and reduce blood pressure – all of which protect you from cardiovascular diseases.
Research has shown that evening primrose oil has helped people lose weight. Among people who are 10 per cent over their ideal weight, 50 per cent of evening primrose oil-supplementers lost weight without making any changes to their diet. (3) Scientists believe that evening primrose oil may work by stimulating brown fat in the body – a type of fat involved in metabolism. (1)
You can also help heal itchy skin and dry eyes by supplementing with EPO.
EPO has an anti-inflammatory action on joints that might be affected by various types of arthritis. There is moderate evidence that afford some benefit in relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. (2,3)
EPO is often used to treat several women’s health conditions, including breast pain (mastalgia), menopausal and premenstrual symptoms, and pre-eclampsia (a toxic condition developing in late pregnancy characterized by a sudden rise in blood pressure.
Parrillo Performance recognized the need for a GLA product. Our solution is Evening Primrose Oil™ a concentrated source of Essential Fatty Acids. Each 1000 mg gel cap contains 30 IUs’s of vitamin E, 100 mg of Gamma Linolenic Acid and 760 mg of Linoleic Acid (an omega-6 fat). I recommend taking two to three capsules daily – then notice how some of your most troublesome conditions start to disappear.
So no need to be fat-phobic. We need fats in our diet because they are Essential!
1. Haslett, C. et al. 1983. A double-blind evaluation of evening primrose oil as an antiobesity agent. International Journal of Obesity 7:549-553.
2. Cameron, M., et al. 2011. Herbal therapy for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database System Review 16:2.
3. Darlington, L.G., and Stone, T.W. 2001. Antioxidants and fatty acids in the amelioration of rheumatoid arthritis and related disorders. British Journal of Nutrition 85: 251-269.