The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 11 No. 3 • May 2008

[Not for] billions of years, will the real history of the universe begin. It will be a history illuminated only by the reds and infrareds of dully glowing stars that would be almost invisible to our eyes, yet the sombre hues of that all-but-eternal universe may be full of color and beauty to whatever strange beings have adapted to it. They will know that before them lie . . . years to be counted literally in trillions. They will have time enough, in these endless aeons, to attempt all things, and to gather all knowledge. They will be like gods, because no gods imagined by our minds have ever possessed the powers they will command. But for all that, they may envy us, basking in the bright afterglow of Creation; for we knew the universe when it was young.
— Arthur C. Clarke
An editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry has called for Internet addiction to be added to the official inventory of mental illnesses.
Nature, 27 March 2008
To punish me for my contempt for authority, Fate made me an authority myself.

If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German, and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German, and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.
— Albert Einstein

D&S Comment: Sure enough, Germany has recently released commemorative stamps of Albert Einstein.

The Saturated Fat Palmitate Induces Insulin
Resistance, Which Is Reversed by the
Monounsaturated Fat Oleate

A new study1 reports a protective effect of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, against negative effects of palmitic acid, the most common dietary saturated fatty acid, in mouse skeletal muscle cells. Exposure of cells to palmitate caused insulin resistance and inflammation, increasing levels of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 and downregulating the expression of genes that control the oxidative capacity of skeletal muscles. Exposure to oleate did not cause any of these effects.

In fact, when cells were exposed to both palmitate and oleate, it reversed both inflammation and insulin signaling impairments by causing palmitate to be used in the production of triglycerides (rather than in an inflammation-producing pathway) and upregulating genes that regulate mitochondrial beta-oxidation (metabolism of fats for energy). This evidence is consistent with human studies that have shown, for example, that elevated IL-6 levels correlate most strongly with insulin resistance and human type 2 diabetes.1 It is also known that saturated fatty acids decrease insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients and healthy subjects, whereas monounsaturated fatty acids increase it.1

A good source of oleic acid is olive oil (with about 65% oleate), but a much better source is our high-oleic sunflower oil (with about 95% oleate). Not only does the high-oleic sunflower oil contain far more oleate than olive oil, but it also contains much less saturated fat (such as palmitate). It is an excellent cooking or salad oil and can withstand the high temperatures of frying. In our opinion, the high oleic acid content of the Mediterranean diet may be its single most distinctive feature.


  1. Coll et al. Oleate reverses palmitate-induced insulin resistance and inflammation in skeletal muscle cells. J Biol Chem 283(17):11107-16 (2008).

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