Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (Gla)

Gamma-Linolenic acid or GLA is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid and is largely found in vegetable oils such as hemp seed oil, evening primrose oil, blackcurrant seed oil, and borage seed oil. Other sources include leafy green vegetables, nuts, and breast milk.

Inflammation is essentially a process in which the white blood cells in the body produce substances to help protect us from infections that may be caused by foreign organisms such as bacteria and viruses. Inflammation is of two main kinds namely acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation is healthy and is required by the body to heal cuts, wounds, and open lesions.

On the other hand, chronic inflammation is a lengthened inflammatory response, which is characterized by the progressive change in the form of cells present at the inflammation site. Chronic inflammation is identified by the simultaneous repair and destruction of the tissues as a result of the inflammatory response.

Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious and life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease, etc. All these diseases have inflammatory components common in them.

It is important to note that the diet of a person affects the possibility of chronic inflammation in a number of ways. Amongst dietary components, fat has been the primary factor that has affected health. Fats such as saturated fats and trans fatty acids have been associated with causing obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and cancer, while poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)  have demonstrated an generally positive influence on overall health and well being.

How Does GLA Fight Inflammation?

The linoleic acid in the body produces Gamma linolenic acid. Linolenic acid is an essential Omega-6 fatty acid and is catalyzed by the delta-6-desaturase enzyme. It is then further metabolized and undergoes oxidative metabolism, because of which anti-inflammatory eicosanoids are produced in the body.

When GLA is consumed as a dietary supplement, it gets further metabolized to dihomogamma linlenic acid (DGLA) which then undergoes a reaction called oxidative metabolism. This oxidation reaction is catalyzed by the enzymes cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases so that anti-inflammatory eicosanoids can be produced. GLA and its metabolites, subsequently, influence different gene expressions where gene products and matrix proteins’ levels are regulated and standardized. Therefore, GLA is highly recommended and more than often prescribed to patients of diseases which are primarily caused by chronic inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effects of the GLA help patients of cancer, arthritis, heart disease and respiratory disease among many others.

Spice Check –The Anti-Inflammatory Response of Turmeric and Ginger

The color yellow carries various meanings. It denotes clarity, energy, positivity, happiness, and more. You might have never thought about this, but even the color of your food plays a huge role in whether you will eat it or not. Today, “leading a healthy lifestyle” has become a mantra. People are gravitating towards natural foods and supplements. From vitamin tablets to protein powder… the diet food market offers everything you need to fulfill your recommended nutrients intake.

But wait a minute… are diet supplements really what you should be going for? Well, if your body lacks certain vitamins or other minerals, then you should definitely consider this option. What we are talking about here are natural supplements… spices to be exact. There are hundreds of spices, each with their unique ability. Cinnamon is known for being loaded with antioxidants, rosemary is known as the perfect arterial protector, thyme is a strong infection inhibitor, oregano is known as a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent, mint is known for the gastrointestinal relief it provides, and the list goes on.

The spices we are going to talk about today are ginger and turmeric. Before we begin, let’s discuss their origin:

The Origin of Ginger

Ginger Root

The ancient Chinese and Indians used ginger root to create tonics for treating common ailments. It is believed ginger was first cultivated in Southeast Asia, and it soon spread to other countries. The spice dates back 5,000 years and was celebrated by the Romans for its healing powers. In the 1st century, ginger reached the Mediterranean regions. It was considered one of the most powerful spices in Rome, but with the downfall of the Roman Empire, ginger lost its worth. After a few years, it rose back up again and was then used for making delicacies.

The Origin of Turmeric

Turmeric dates back 4,500 years, and its traces were found in pots in New Delhi. These pots dated back to 2,500 BCE. It wasn’t until 500 BCE that this spice emerged in Ayurvedic medicine. It was discovered that inhaling turmeric fumes can alleviate congestion and the juice helped with wounds and bruises. Turmeric is known for its compound curcumin, which can tackle just about any degenerative condition linked to the nervous system, heart, and brain.

The Power of Curcumin – An Anti-Inflammatory Compound

Inflammation is great for the body as it helps in fighting against foreign infectious invaders and repairing the damage. Without inflammation fighting bacteria, there’s a possibility that harmful pathogens might kills you.

The compound curcumin is so effective that it even surpasses the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. It helps block the molecule NF-kB, which travels to different cell nuclei and stimulates inflammation genes.  

According to a study published in the Foods journal on the health benefit of curcumin, the spice increased inflammation-related neutrophil function. The participants of the study aged between 40 and 60 years old were given 400 mg powder/day that contained 80 mg curcumin, for four weeks. *These adults had no specific ailments. The results revealed that not only their inflammation response was improved but the spice also lowered triglyceride levels, salivary amylase activity (marker of stress) and beta amyloid plaque (brain aging marker). Further test showed that curcumin also helped people manage exercise-induced muscle soreness and inflammation.

Ginger’s Anti-Inflammatory Response

The studies on ginger relating to its anti-inflammatory response are quite contradictory. However, there are hundreds of studies conducted on its benefits. The compounds in ginger are known for their ability to treat a common health problem called Osteoarthritis (OA). This disease involves degeneration of joints that lead to symptoms such as joint stiffness and pain. Ginger has somewhat the same NF-kB response.

According to a study published in the Arthritis & Rheumatology journal, ginger has great anti-inflammatory response. 261 participants with OA having different level of pain took part in the study. For 6 weeks, the patients receive extract of ginger, which they had to take twice daily. The results showed that pain from the OA in the knee reduced significantly.

So now you know how powerful these two spices are! Why not start using them daily in your food? As studies have proved, even if you are not sick, they will still benefit your health.

How Palmitoyle-Thanolamide (PEA) Helps with Pain Relief

Pain is one factor that we cannot escape from. They say that if you take your mind off it and try to distract yourself with something else, you will find relief but this works only temporarily. There are thousands of pain relief meds in the market that target pain. Popping pills is not the right answer but taking the right one definitely is.

The Key to Pain Relief

Today, we are going to talk about Palmitoyle-Thanolamide (PEA), which is fatty acid amide. In medical terms, this fatty acid amide minds to a receptor targeting the cell nucleus and exerts various biological functions that help with inflammation, acute pain and chronic pain.

Understanding Palmitoyle-Thanolamide (PEA)

In simpler terms, PEA is produced in your body and combats pain. One factor it is known for is that it safely boosts natural cannabinoids, which help maintain balance in the body. It protects nerves in the entire body and benefits patients who deal with pain on a daily basis due to disorders that are difficult to treat.

NCBI reports around 10 studies that were done to find out the efficacy of PEA. Data from 786 patients was reviewed and it was found out that PEA responds to different types of pains in different manners. A conclusion was reached that the supplement is useful in treating pain.

Since cannabinoids and PEA help with nerve communication, patients find relief from pain in a safe and a natural way. PEA is naturally found in egg yolks, soy lecithin, soybeans, peanuts, and alfalfa. It is also available in powder, capsule and tablet supplement form. Since PEA’s discovery in 1950, researchers have considered a natural and safe pain killer. According to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, PEA showed no signs of side effects when it was tested for a period of 60 days. However, further studies need to be done for longer period of times to find its long term effects.

During these studies, it was revealed that PEA and the cannabinoid receptors provide many more benefits than just pain relief, which include reducing allergies, protecting the heat and brain, improving mood and fighting against common cold.

Mechanism of Action

Palmitoyle-Thanolamide activates the anti-inflammatory, energy-boosting and fat-burning PRAR alpha. This is a key protein that stops pro-inflammatory genes from becoming active. A bliss gene by the name FAAH is a stopped from becoming active, which increases the calming effects of anandamide in the body and helps increase relaxation by combating pain.

PEA helps find relief from the following pain types:

  • Pelvic pain due to endometriosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatica
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Back surgery pain
  • Arthritis pain
  • Cancer pain

Even though PEA is a natural pain killer and so far hasn’t revealed any side effects in its clinical trials, people should only use it after getting it recommended by a doctor.

4 Ways Quercetin Fights Weight Loss

Quercetin is a naturally occurring flavonoid that is largely found in dark colored fruits and vegetables such as grapes, apples, berries, nuts, black tea, broccoli, and onions. Researchers have found evidence of immense therapeutic value in quercetin, some of which include the following properties:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Cardioprotective
  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Ability to regulate immune activity
  • Ability to increase mitochondrial biogenesis

The presence of the chemical structure in quercetin (known as the –OH group) is largely credited for its role for having anti-oxidant properties. For these reasons, experts believe that incorporating quercetin in one’s diet can help against excessive weight and obesity in the following ways:

1) Quercetin Burns More Calories

An increasing number of people are leading sedentary lifestyles which are playing a big role in obesity. This has direct, negative effects on a person’s overall health and wellness, including the propensity to develop a negative energy balance. This means that the body is taking in more energy than it is pending. In order to maintain healthy energy equilibrium, a lot more of this excess energy needs to be burnt, this is possible by switching over to an active lifestyle.

This isn’t possible for many people because of their hectic work schedules. There are ways to burn more energy, one such is to consume more quercetin. The effects of quercetin, which were studied in mice, were found to have increased energy expenditure in them.

2) Quercetin Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Researchers have found that high inflammation is directly related with obesity. This is why flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties widely being studied for their role in weight reduction. One such flavonoid is quercetin which can minimize the blood’s circulating markers of inflammation.

Quercetin also regulates an important protein hormone known as adiponectin, which plays a vital part of fatty acid breakdown. This suggests that quercetin can be used to treat inflammation that leads to obesity.

3) Quercetin has Beneficial Antioxidant Properties to Speed up Weight Loss

A study conducted in mice found that quercetin, when fed alongside a diet high in fat, was able to regulate body weight. All groups that consumed flavonoids in their diet had improved levels of body weight compared to those that didn’t. Some of the flavonoids tested include quercetin, epicatechin, hesperetin, anthocyanins, and apigenin. Of these, quercetin was the most effective flavonoid in bringing about reduction of weight.

4) Quercetin Inhibits Adipogenesis

Adipogenesis, or formation of fat cells, is inhibited by a combination of quercetin and resveratrol. This type of diet prevents the growth cycle of pre-adipocytes into mature adipocytes and even kills leftover mature adipocytes (also known as fat cells) by attacking them at a molecular level.

This unique combination of quercetin and resveratrol can adipogenesis and reduce fat deposits in the body. Another beneficial outcome is the increased production of triglyceride lipase, a hormone that prevents triglycerols from building up in the adipose tissue.

Does CBD Require a Prescription?

Now that you know about the states where medical and recreational marijuana and CBD is legal, let’s talk about how one can get a prescription for it. This is one question that has left many residents in a state of confusion about how they should go about possessing cannabis in a state where it is legal.

One thing that you should know is that the states where CBD and medical marijuana is legal, you need to have an approved prescription for it. Moreover, if found on your person, depending on what state you are in, it needs to be in a specific amount. However, there are things that you need to consider too. While certain states have approved the use of cannabis, under Federal Law, it is still considered illegal.

Here’s what you need to understand about a CBD prescription:

Prescription vs. Recommendation

Since Federal Law is above State Law, when it comes to marijuana, a medical prescription is non-existent. The State government refuses to recognize it therefore; licensed cannabis doctors, as well as dispensaries and pharmacies don’t offer it. Since the term has become so synonymous with medicine, most people think that all they need to do is get a prescription from their doctor.

As for a recommendation, doctors provide them freely to patients but in states where cannabis is legal. A recommendation is a professional view written on a piece of paper that is provided by your doctor, which says using cannabis will benefit you.

CBD Use

So, it’s established that you require a recommendation for cannabis use that has THC in it. When talking about CBD, the rules are completely different. In fact, you don’t need a prescription or a recommendation when it comes to purchasing CBD products.

Since CBD is legal in 46 states, it is widely available everywhere and is easy to obtain. CBD businesses require a permit from the state law in order to operate legally. Failure to obtain a permit will result in the business’s product being labeled as schedule 1 controlled substance.

However, when talking about medical use, CBD does not require a prescription or a recommendation. Here’s why:

According to the Controlled Substance Act in the US, only certain marijuana plant parts are prohibited from use such as the cannabis seeds and the mature stalk. CBD products can only have oil from the plant’s shoot. This product can be sold openly and legally. According to the Agricultural Act of 2014, industrial hemp can be cultivated only and if only it has less than 0.3% of THC concentration.

So, now that you know there’s no need for a prescription when it comes to buying CBD products, there are a few things that you should know before making a purchase. Since this product can be expensive depending on the brand you are choosing, you need to make sure that it is authentic. The 5 things you should look into before purchasing CBD oil are:

  1. Extraction
  2. Purity
  3. Origin
  4. Potency
  5. Additives

Avoid buying over the counter medicines with CBD, as you have no idea how they will react to your current condition. Always buy CBD in its pure form and from a reputable source.

Is CBD Legal?

The popularity of Cannabidiol (CBD) has skyrocketed in the United States. However, people are still confused about which states approve of CBD, which of recreational marijuana and which of medical marijuana.

Let’s make it clear for you: cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC is considered marijuana, whereas one that contains less than 0.3% THC is considered hemp. CBD is in fact legal in most states but not all 50. The one place where, medical and recreational marijuana, and CBD is legal is the capital of the United States, Washington, DC.

Here’s a list of all the 46 states where CBD is legal:

 

  1. Alaska
  2. Arizona
  3. Colorado
  4. Alabama
  5. Connecticut
  6. Arkansas
  7. Georgia
  8. California
  9. Delaware
  10. Florida
  11. Maine
  12. Maryland
  13. Hawaii
  14. Illinois
  15. Indiana
  16. Rhode Island
  17. Iowa
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Wyoming
  20. Kentucky
  21. Wisconsin
  22. Massachusetts
  23. Michigan
  24. Mississippi
  25. Nevada
  26. Missouri
  27. Texas
  28. New Hampshire
  29. Louisiana
  30. Minnesota
  31. Montana
  32. New Jersey
  33. North Dakota
  34. New York
  35. Ohio
  36. New Mexico
  37. Oklahoma
  38. Vermont
  39. South Carolina
  40. Tennessee
  41. North Carolina
  42. Washington
  43. Oregon
  44. Pennsylvania
  45. Utah
  46. West Virginia

 

 

Every state has a legal policy regarding the possession of CBD. While CBD is legal in most of the states, the above mentioned states have rather an open view of it. You can read about each state’s policy here: https://www.whatiscbd.com/category/policy/.

Now, let’s come to the areas where marijuana can be used for medical and recreational purposes:

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal in the following 30 states:

 

  1. Alaska
  2. Arizona
  3. Colorado
  4. Connecticut
  5. Arkansas
  6. California
  7. Delaware
  8. Florida
  9. Maine
  10. Maryland
  11. Hawaii
  12. Illinois
  13. Massachusetts
  14. Michigan
  15. Nevada
  16. New Hampshire
  17. Minnesota
  18. Montana
  19. New Jersey
  20. North Dakota
  21. New Mexico
  22. Ohio
  23. New York
  24. Oklahoma
  25. Rhode Island
  26. Vermont
  27. Oregon
  28. Pennsylvania
  29. West Virginia
  30. Washington


Recreational Marijuana

Recreational marijuana can be consumed in any form, by people 21 years and older, without a doctor’s prescription. It is legal in the following 9 states:

 

  1. Alaska
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Maine
  5. Nevada
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Oregon
  8. Washington
  9. Vermont

As mentioned earlier, each state changes its stance on the basis of where the CBD is derived from. The keyword here that makes CBD legal is “hemp-derived”.

Now we know that a total of 46 states have legalized the use of CBD in hemp form and marijuana. This leaves us with the four states where marijuana is completely illegal. These states include: South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Idaho. Here, even the use of CBD requires a medical prescription or you will be punishable by law.

So, whether you’re buying CBD or marijuana, no matter in which state you are, to be on the safe side, make sure that you have a medical prescription for its use. Here, even the medical prescription differs, as some states allow CBD for just epileptic seizures, some for cancer treatment and so on.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) has slowly taken over the world and surprisingly, the wellness sector seems to be the one who has warmed up to it the most!

In fact, CBD has been popping up in many things from lotions to lattes. Yes, even coffee! Most of you might recognize this term in connection with marijuana. However, unlike marijuana, this compound is legally available in many states, 46 to be exact, including the US’s capital Washington, DC.

CBD 101 – Understanding the Fundamentals

The one thing that complicates the understanding of cannabis is the plant’s pharmacology. So, to help you understand the basics, here’s the explanation in layman terms:

“The reason why CBD lacks any kind of psycho-activity is because the compound is inert. It’s the THC cannabinoid that has the legendary power and strength to produce euphoric sensations.”

Weed that does not have any traces of THC is called hemp, which is used for medical and therapeutic purposes. So, when talking about the sources of CBD, there are two options: marijuana and hemp plant.

The Difference

CBD and weed is not the same thing. The THC content in the weed will give you a euphoric high but CBD does not affect the body in such a way. When weed is consumed, the THC in it interacts with the CB1 receptor which is located in the peripheral and central nervous system. This changes the way your brain functions and gets you in a high state. However, both THC and CBD offer the same medical benefits. CBD does not interact with the CB1 receptor, which is why it will not get you high.

CBD Produces a Smoother and More Balanced High

When it comes to recreational use, the only problem CBD users have is that it doesn’t get them high enough. On the other hand, THC induces feelings of anxiety and paranoia once the high wears off. People go through negative mood alterations, which is the most common symptom of any drug.

The good thing about CBD is that is can be used to inhibit THC toxicity, which allows you to balance yourself. Those erratic thoughts and behaviors can be eliminated with a little change in what you are smoking.

CBD has been approved as the best therapeutic candidate through various studies. Diseases that were once thought incurable or hard to manage can now be maintained well with CBD. It can stop epileptic seizures and even slow down its frequency, it can treat neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, it can relieve pain and reduce inflammation, it can treat mood disorders and most important of all, it can fight cancer. Today, more and more people are opting for CBD therapy as opposed to chemotherapy.

CBD Products

You can now find CBD in almost any type of product. As mentioned earlier, apart from beauty and health products, there are also CBD oils and vaporizers. In order for the public to consume it easily, various food items have been infused with CBD, so that they can use them discreetly for medical purposes.

Since, CBD has a calming effect on the THC compound; several companies have developed a new strain of Cannabidiol, which has a higher ratio of CBD than THC. These strains include Katelyn Faith, Remedy, Harlequin, ACDC, Cannatonic and Charlotte’s Web.

If you think about it, CBD is the cannabis compound that promises more room for innovation. After all, it has a gentle reaction and still enough power to treat serious medical grade problems.