Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Stomach As Bioreactor, Fat Oxidation Takes Off In A Chain Reaction

Mike, in the comments in my previous post Rethinking Eggs, talked about cholesterol oxidation which reminded me ... about diets high in fat and cholesterol, and about the oxidation of that dietary fat.

Heating food causes oxidation of the food's fat. But so does the environment of the gut, which is warm and acidic and full of oxidizing chemicals. In fact, lipid peroxidation takes off in a chain reaction there. A number of compounds are formed which have been shown to damage gastrointestinal cells. Some are absorbed and can be detected in plasma where they contribute to artery damage, atherosclerosis, diabetes, arthritis, and certain cancers. These oxidized compounds are especially elevated in blood following a fatty meal.

Some redeeming news ... eating foods that contain polyphenolic compounds, especially at the same time, can decrease products of fat oxidation. Red wine is known to do this, as are vegetables and fruits.*

Here are two studies addressing the wine angle:

The Stomach as a “Bioreactor”: When Red Meat Meets Red Wine, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 2008

A Novel Function Of Red Wine Polyphenols In Humans: Prevention Of Absorption Of Cytotoxic Lipid Peroxidation Products, FASEB Journal, 2008

* Alcohol in wine substantially increases the risk for breast cancer.


Melissa said...

Interesting info, I'll have to read those papers. Posts like this keep me reading this blog despite the differences in our diets.

Ronald said...

I really "decreased products of fat oxidation" last night. Is that why I have a headache?

Bix said...

Ronald, you sound well preserved.