Within a tiny seed, there lie secret treasures essential to our health.
They are so fragile that, simply exposing them to light, oxygen or heat will twist their molecular structure from essential fatty acids into a poisonous substance, commonly known as transformed fatty acids.
TRANSFORMED FATTY ACIDS
In 1911, Crisco marketed the first shortening made through hydrogenation. Hydrogenation quickly became a big success because it kept oils and fats from going rancid. For the first time, manufacturers could make an oil or fat that could stay on the shelf at room temperature for months.
In the succeeding 80 years, the growing number of hydrogenated oil products has risen to make up 10% of North American caloric intake. Hydrogenated oil is now found in donuts, muffins, cakes, salad dressing, candy, soups, breads, margarine, potato chips, fried foods, mayonnaise, cheese spreads, peanut butter and most processed foods. Even the humble raisin has been coated with a layer of hydrogenated oil.
To hydrogenate an oil, hydrogen is bubbled through the oil with a nickel catalyst at more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. These high temperatures twist the molecules’ configuration. Trans-fatty acid is the short form for transformed fatty acid. The body does not recognize that these twisted fatty acid molecules are harmful, and innocently utilizes them. They fit into cell membranes like broken keys, stopping the cell’s proper function. An essential fatty acid molecule is curved, whereas a trans-fatty acid is straight. In the diagram on the following page, the essential fatty acid has two hydrogen atoms on the same side. These hydrogen atoms repel each other and bend the molecule. Molecules in this shape do not stick together and remain fluid-like in the blood. In the trans-fatty acid, the hydrogen atom has been forced to the other side of the molecule. The trans-fatty acid molecule straightens. Now they easily lock together, causing them to stick to cholesterol and saturated fats. This stickiness increases fatty deposits in the arteries, liver and other organs. Platelet aggregation is increased, which in turn increases the chance of blood clotting, strokes and heart attacks. A trans-fatty acid cannot correctly perform the function of an essential fatty acid, thereby causing short circuits in the electrical flow responsible for heartbeat, nerve functions, cell division and mental balance. They create free radicals that have been linked to cancer. Trans-fatty acids act like saturated fats because they increase blood cholesterol.
It has been estimated that over 200 million have died prematurely because of the trans-fatty acids in refined oils. They are a major cause of cancer, heart disease, immune system breakdown, depression, fatigue, and other disorders. Trans-fatty acids are highly toxic, appearing around tumors and other metabolic breakdowns. A diet consisting of 10% corn oil produced colon tumors in 36% of rats.
Dr. Johanna Budwig of Germany is a foremost researcher in the area of fats. She discovered toxic polymers in tumors, the same polymers created by high temperatures used in making margarine. Realizing the danger to consumers, she decided to publish her findings. The head of the institute where she worked held patents for margarine-making processes. He knew her discoveries would severely damage margarine sales, so he tried to bribe her with money and the ownership of a drugstore to prevent publication. When she refused, she was threatened and was denied access to her laboratory. Undaunted, she later published her work.