Manipulation of our Anabolic Hormones

The Good, the Bad and the Neutral Fats

By: Eric Serrano, M.D.
talks with Roger
Summer 1997

Fat is one of the nutrients that our body requires for normal growth. In this article, I’ll explain why eating certain fats is absolutely essential to gain muscular size.

The Basics

There are three kinds of fats: saturated fats, mono unsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

Saturated Fats the bad, or at least, not so good fats. These fats remain solid at room temperature. Examples are beef fat, butter, and lard. They increase the risk of coronary artery disease and can decrease testosterone levels by up to 20%. Yes, a 20% decrease in testosterone equals de-creased strength and decreased sex drive.

Medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) are another form of saturated fat. They contain a shorter carbon chain than other saturated fats and are more water-soluble. MCT’s are absorbed by the body like carbohydrates. MCT’s are most useful when trying to gain quick body weight or when one tablespoon is taken an hour before workouts for energy.

Mono unsaturated Fats the neutral fats. Our bodies can synthesize these fats from other fats. Mono means that one carbon in the chain can share electrons. These fats resist damage from free radicals and keep our blood vessels soft and pliable. Good sources include: avocados, olive oil, canola oil, and peanuts.

Polyunsaturated Fats the good fats. These fats are very important for bodybuilders. They increase testosterone levels by as much as 15%, increase Leutinizing Hormone production, increase strength, and paradoxically, help the body lose fat and protect it against coronary/heart disease.

Poly means there are many double bonds in the molecule. Your body is not able to make these fats and they have to be provided by your diet.

How important are these fats? Your brain is 40% polyunsaturated fats, and breast milk is extremely high (30% polyunsaturated fat).

There are two classes of polyunsaturated fats:

a) Omega 3’s alpha linolenic acid converts to EPA and DHA. This conversion is brought about by an enzyme called Delta (D) 5 desaturase, which declines with age. It is better to have slightly higher Omega 3’s in the body, because Omega 3 and Omega 6 compete for this enzyme, and if you have more Omega 3, you will make beneficial prostaglandins and eicosanoids (fancy name for hormones).

b) Omega 6’s linoleic acid is also necessary in the body. The typical American diet is high in Omega 6’s. The ratio in the American diet is 9:1 Omega 6 to Omega 3. It should be 2:1 or 1:1. Omega 6’s are necessary because your body also makes eicosanoids or prostaglandins from them as well as Omega 3’s. You also manufacture gamma linolenic acid, a great antioxidant and another probable muscle builder from Omega 6’s

Good sources of Omega 3’s, the good fats, are: Fish (salmon, tuna), Flaxseed oil, Promega3, and Omega3 fish oil capsules. Good sources of gamma linolenic acid are Borage oil and Primrose oil (EPO.)

Recommendations:

For muscle/lean mass improvement:
2 T Flaxseed oil twice a day
and/or
1 serving Promega3.
or
6 Omega 3 fish oil capsules twice a day with meals

For fat loss:

1 T Flaxseed oil and/or Promega-3 with water,
2 Omega-3 fish oil capsules twice a day.

Dr. Serrano Q & A Forum

Summer 1997

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