Oils and Fats News November 2022

Oils and Fats News

November 2022

Laurence Eyres

The AGM and Annual meeting. We plan to hold this on the 14th of November at the Grand Harbour Chinese Restaurant.


Pain and inflammation

Most of my colleagues and friends in my senior age group suffer from some form of pain with aches and pains and this is universal. So, what should we take for these aches? The most active pharmaceutical that I have found is diclofenac (voltaren.) However, like all pharmaceuticals, drugs have side effects and consequences. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to reduce mild-to-moderate pain and inflammation (swelling).

  • Others include Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen (Nurofen, Advil, Motrin). Ibuprofen can treat a range of conditions including post-surgical pain and pain from inflammatory diseases, such as ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox DS, Naprosyn). …
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex).
  • They work by blocking and reducing enzymes and hormones that cause pain and swelling in your body.
  • NSAIDs can be used for short-term pain such as when you have an injury or a flare-up of symptoms.
  • NSAIDs are not suitable if you have stomach problems because they may cause stomach bleeding. They may also not be suitable if you have asthma, heart, liver, or kidney problems.

While anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen can be effective for acute pain, long-term use can cause harmful side effects, including kidney and gastrointestinal damage. Some natural supplements can be highly effective for certain conditions, and some have fewer side effects. However, not all supplements are effective or safe for everyone. Although pharmacological pain therapy offers several alternatives, pain management remains often unsatisfactory.

Natural medicinal approaches, commonly referred to as complementary medicine or dietary supplements, continue to grow in popularity. Americans spend more than $30 billion each year on complementary health products and practices.  Unfortunately, a great deal of supplements has no beneficial effect in this area and its always useful to check out the background scientific evidence for supplements. Natural health remedies with background scientific data for efficacy include high purity fish oil, astaxanthin, PEA and resveratrol.

Cells in injured and inflamed tissues produce several proalgesic lipid-derived mediators, which excite nociceptive neurons by activating selective G-protein-coupled receptors or ligand-gated ion channels. Recent work has shown that these proalgesic factors are counteracted by a distinct group of lipid molecules that lower nociceptor excitability and attenuate nociception in peripheral tissues. Analgesic lipid mediators include endogenous agonists of cannabinoid receptors (endocannabinoids. CBD oil), lipid-amide agonists of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α PEA, and products of oxidative metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids via cytochrome P450 and other enzyme pathways. Evidence indicates that these lipid messengers are produced and act at distinct stages of inflammation and the response to tissue injury and may be part of a peripheral gating mechanism that regulates the access of nociceptive information to the spinal cord and the brain. Growing knowledge about this peripheral control system may be used to discover safer medicines for pain.

PEA is technically referred to as a “pro-resolving lipid signalling molecule.” What this means is that through impacting central control mechanisms within our cells, PEA has an ability to resolve inflammation and cellular stress. This extremely beneficial effect has been demonstrated in over 600 scientific investigations. The potential clinical applications of PEA are quite broad, but research and popular use have focused on its use as an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving agent in conditions like low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, etc. Preclinical and human studies have also investigated its effects on depression, boosting mental function and memory, autism, multiple sclerosis, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. While it shares many features comparable to cannabidiol (CBD), the advantage of PEA is that it has better science to support its use. Having said that the use of medicinal cannabis is growing, Use of cannabinoid compounds as therapeutic agents dates back at least 4000 years, with medical references documenting the first medicinal use in 2737 BC in China. It seems like a small percentage of THC attenuates the action of the CBD.

I have grown some plants in the back garden for research purposes, but the Financial and compliance director made me remove them.


Used frying fats for biodiesel

Years ago, used cooking oil (UCO) was considered hazardous waste. By law, restaurants had to dispose of it safely, so they paid companies to take it away — until the industry realized that plant- or animal-based oils could be converted into biodiesel (mainly in the USA) — a green energy source.

Today, restaurants sell their used oil. They get only a small fraction of what they paid for it, but for restaurants struggling to make even a meagre profit, trading a monthly expense for a mini-revenue stream makes sense.

Used cooking oil also can be used to manufacture animal food, compost, health and beauty products and various household cleaning and maintenance solutions.

Biodiesel is the primary use for used cooking oil, as it reduces dependence on environmentally toxic fossil fuels.

“Feedstock,” or source material, for biodiesel includes soybeans; canola, corn, and other plant oils; rendered animal fats; winter oilseed cover crops; used cooking oil; and other biomasses,


Recovery from Covid-a major issue.

Even though most individuals with COVID-19- experience substantial recovery, there is considerable population of individuals with persistent symptoms such as breathlessness (plus olfactory dysfunction) and fatigue, who seemingly have limited therapeutic options. To assess the efficacy of treatment with high doses of omega-3 fatty acid (O3FA) supplementation, researchers conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial among patients with laboratory-confirmed or clinically suspected COVID-19 infection and self-reported, improvement between March 2020 and October 2021.

Patients were prospectively recruited for the current clinical trial if they exhibited evidence of quantitative post Covid problems, which was defined as a Brief Smell Identification Test (BSIT) score of 9 or less. The study included an experimental group and a control group. Participants in the experimental arm received O3FA 2 g supplementation, which included eicosapentaenoic acid 1366 mg and docosahexaenoic acid 504 mg, whereas those in the control arm received an identical placebo. Each of the treatments was to be taken daily for 6 weeks. The primary study outcome was small improvements in well-being.

. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for the treatment of COVID-19-related olfactory dysfunction. Abstract presented at: AAO-HNSF 2022 Annual Meeting and OTO Experience; September 10-14, 2022; Philadelphia, PA. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2022;167(1 suppl):P147.


Omega-3 Cognition

A new study published in J. Nutrition suggests that positive associations between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and better cognitive function may vary according to other dietary factors and sex.

There is growing interest in examining the protective role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in cognitive health among older adults.  Yet, studies comparing lower with greater dietary intakes of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on neurocognitive outcomes remains somewhat inconclusive. It is speculated that the effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on cognitive function could be masked or confounded by the presence of other fatty acids in the diet including omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids.  Untangling the interrelation between fatty acids that share similar biological pathways could improve our understanding of the specific effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on cognitive functions.  Research also suggests that brain metabolic activity in aging males and females may not be the same (drat).  As a result, sex-related differences in cognitive function are also important considerations.  Considering the evidence for sex-based differences in omega-3 fatty acid concentrations, it is surprising that few studies have examined the moderating role of sex in the association between omega-3 fatty acids and cognitive function.

Note I always ask my wife for help when it comes to remembering names and events. The females always remember transgressions even from half a century ago.

In some studies, higher omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrations were associated with better nonverbal memory and processing speed in models not including other fatty acids. The magnitude of these associations varied when other fatty acids were entered in the model. Associations with verbal episodic memory were limited to higher concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is particularly important to brain structure and function, whereas there was no association between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and executive function. Higher omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were associated with better verbal and nonverbal episodic memory in females and with better executive functioning and processing speed in males.

The results of this cross-sectional study showed that higher concentrations of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were associated with better nonverbal episodic memory, processing speed, and, in some cases, verbal episodic memory.

Fatty Acids and Cognitive Domains in Community-Dwelling Older Adults from the NuAge Study: Exploring the Associations with Other Fatty Acids and Sex, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 152, Issue 9, September 2022, Pages 2117–2124,


Avocado oil standards(codex)

Professor Selina Wang of UC Davis has been leading a group of science researchers working to produce a standard for Avocado oil, one does not exist today. Fraudulent activities abound in this area and its similar to the situation with Olive oil. Anyone who produces high quality olive oil such as California, Australia and New Zealand lamented for many years over the IOC trading standard for olive oil which was “loose as a goose”. These 3 countries now have their own standards which are much tighter than the IOC. I suspect the same may be true for the proposed Codex standard. One distinct marker of adulteration in avocado oil is the lowering of the level of Cis octadec-11-enoic acid (cis vaccenic acid, an isomer of oleic acid). A topic to be pursued by the UC Davis group.

Unfortunately, the workings of such scientists are usually unappreciated by industry who confuse science and standard setting with compliance and food law. Expecting scientists to enforce draft and non-existent food laws is both naïve and shows a lack of understanding of key issues.


Green, H. S.; Wang, S. C. Food Control 2023, 143, 109277 “Evaluation of proposed Codex standard for Avocado oil.

ii. Green, H. S.; Wang, S. C. Food Chemistry Advances 2022, 1, 100107 “Cis-vaccenic acid:

New marker to detect seed oil adulteration in avocado oil”

iii. Green, H. S.; Wang, S. C. Applied Food Research 2022, 2(2), 100190 “Extra

virgin grade avocado oil can be achieved using whole fruits or only mesocarp.


Use for Avocado seeds (or pips)

For the first time ground avocado seeds are being used in beauty products replacing the now banned and environmentally harmful plastic micro-beads previously used. After three years of research, development and product testing, Westfalia Fruit’s business in the UK is supplying the ground avocado seeds to the premium beauty brand Dr. Craft for use as a part of a range of cosmetics.

The extraction process is very complex, but with perseverance a perfect particle size and process was discovered to work within a cosmetic body scrub as the replacement for microbeads.”

Currently, avocado waste components including skins and stones are used in low value anaerobic digestors. The sustainable inclusion in beauty and cosmetics opens a new, higher value alternative in-line with a history of identifying, implementing, and pioneering, innovative and industry leading methods to reduce inputs, waste and reinforces a commitment to protecting the health of the environment.


New Food books

Tim Spector

Tim Spector, an epidemiologist, and co-founder of the ZOE nutrition study, wants to change the way people think about food. His 2015 book The Diet Myth popularised the idea that each of us has a unique and constantly changing gut microbiome that is crucial to our health. Spoon-Fed, in 2020, exposed diet misinformation. Food for Life, at over 500 pages, overlaps with these but offers more information than ever before. It aims to think about food for “our individual health, the health of our society and the health of our planet”. It’s complex, hard to digest and obviously good for us, like an enormous portion of fibrous vegetables, well balanced with olive oil and spices. Would make a good Xmas present for the foodies in your life.

Saturated fat and linoleic acid- a new look

The previous author above, attempts to destroy the “myths” around saturated fat and omega-6 fatty acids. I plan to look again at this area and report back. Food nutrition is never simple and there are always a host of conflicting factors. There is no such thing as one theory to rule them all. (Apology to Tolkien)






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