Anderson: There’s two steps, really. One is what we talked about with the desaturases. But the other, which is more important, is the overall oxidative reductive balance in the whole body, so that when you put good omegas into a system, they can go into the cell membrane. With the oxidative reductive balance we run every minute of every day to keep us having a good redox, if the necessary cofactors are missing from your treatment protocol, you’re putting one super-large amount of good stuff in, and it gets kind of one shot, or one pass through the system, and there’s nothing to keep it going. We see this with our very inflamed patients. Inflamed people tend to inflame more with certain treatments, even though those treatments are supposed to be “good for them.”
The reason usually is that the practitioner has forgotten about the actual base that circulates between your cells and your blood and your cell membranes and maybe it’s not being cared for. But that’s pretty simple, thankfully. You have two water-soluble compartments that use primarily water-soluble antioxidants to keep them balanced, and one group of fat-soluble compartments, which is actually where the omegas go. But there are antioxidants required for all three compartments. The cytosol—the inside water-soluble compartment of the cell—primarily uses glutathione as the primary antioxidant. But as we know, they cycle, so in the water-soluble compartments, whether it’s plasma or the cell, we normally use vitamin C to recycle glutathione, and vice versa.
The other thing is that in the fat-soluble membranes, that’s where the vitamin E family like tocopherols and tocotrienols get in the game. They’re the same way—they’ve got one cycle and then they’re oxidized, so they need something to help them recycle. That’s usually vitamin C, and vice versa.
So we surround the cell, and the cell membrane where the omegas are going to go, with this kind of three part-oxidative reductive support system that is always recycling. If we’re low in one of those—vitamin C, glutathione substrates, or tocopherols—then the whole thing slows down. We wind up with all these great omega-3s just sitting there in the cell membrane but it’s so oxidized that they can’t really do anything in the presence of all that oxidation. People need to have appropriate dietary or supplemental support for their redox system, or else they’re not getting a good home for the omega-3s to go to that’s going to work very well. I think that’s very important to point out.