Fatty Liver, Pompeii, Seattle discussed on Public Affairs Events
Of the internet for solutions to all of my various problems. And no matter what I plugged in to the internet. So my catis psychiatrists are not really into like medicine medicating things. I'm always looking for some homeopathic way out every time. I put in whatever problem I put in your mega three fatty acid showed up. And then I did this sort of interesting spirit where I typed in the phrase omega threes might or mega threes may and you got this really funny combination of things may prevent fatty liver disease may increase brain volume, my favorite one may boost sperm competitiveness. And I showed this slide at a talk and Seattle and somebody raised their hand said, well, why would I want my sperm to be more competitive? And and I was like I just never thought of that. But you know, of course, I want my sperm to be the most competitive sperm in the rim. So obviously, I want to take the omega three fatty acid, so. All these things together, really? That we have these obsessions and that the omega three promises the answer to all these obsessions. And I think we're all intelligent enough to understand the whenever anything promises to do too many things there might be something fishy going on. And then of course, this is my favorite one. So when you when you go on a book tour, it's a little bit. Like a dirty snowball rolling down a hill at picks up random trashes it rolls. And so people now that they knew me as the omega three guys I started emailing me stuff. So this is my favorite study giving children omega three fatty acid supplements reduces disruptive behavior, which in turn had a positive effect on their parents, making them less likely to argue with each other and engage in other. Verbal abuse finds new randomized double blind, placebo controlled trial. Sign me up. I have a son who's eleven and we're we're just about to get into these situations. So anyway, it just made me think that this was a good avenue for exploration. So I decided to go down that road Paul Greenberg, the omega principal she's radio. So. The book kind of tries to kind of bounce back and forth between self interest in planetary interest. My greater interest as a science writer is really the planet and the ocean in general, I'm so in the talk I'll try and bounce back and forth between these things. So the first chapter of the book is called algae's, tools and wife called algae schools because really the omega three fatty acid is the tool of algae was invented by algae. It is a algae or phytoplankton is the is the main instrument by which solar energy comes into the ocean. And they're the ones that fix it. But just to clarify things where does the name omega come from? Well, so this is a line from revelation in the bible. I am the alpha and the omega the beginning and the end the first the last so this was unconceivable by the person who named the Amiga three fatty acid a guy named Ralph Holman and he actually used to work for the Hormel company. So he had a lot to do with Stam and fat. So you can see why he would be the one who names. So why is he? You have to call you. I promise you, by the way, this is pretty much the only chemical schematic, I'm going to show. I got a C minus and chemistry. Anyone else? Get a see in chemistry, raise your hands. There you go. So I tried to bring my chemistry up to like a c class for the purposes of this book. But generally, if you're afraid of chemistry. You don't have to be afraid of this book. It's not that kind of. But anyway, by way of saying omega three fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids, they have a double bond three carbons in from the omega end of the molecule. So if you know your Greek alphabet, you have alpha and omega not a disease but altitude mega three carbons in. That's why it's called the mega three. So if you learn one thing from this talk, you could say you could this is like a cockup a mega three has called your magazine. That's a fascinating talking book. So that's why it's called. So who invented it? Well, probably was invented hundreds of millions of years ago by early synthetic creature some sort of Fido plankton, and why did they invent it? Well, they actually invented it as a response to climate change because when photosynthesis began on the planet earth hundred hundreds of millions of years ago on the earth was thick in a very thick carbon dioxide carbon dioxide blanket, which was an insulating blanket. So if you have photosynthetic creatures removing that CO two from the atmosphere things are gonna get cooler. So you need something to adapt you to that cooler climate, the Amiga three fatty acid is that thing it makes your membranes much more pliable makes them much more functional at lower temperatures. So it's amazing thing and it allowed creatures to spread to the polls. And then it became more and more complicated. This is sort of the next level up and they became. More efficient and more efficient and stripping carbon dioxide so there were more and more of these mega three rich phytoplankton out there. Now, there's another interesting thing in all of this. Which is that all of that phytoplankton all those mic MAC microalgae? It lived and it died and it sank to the bottom, and what did it become petroleum? What we drive what drives our car if ancient algae. And remember that commercial from the seventies. Where like it's like shows dinosaurs walking the earth, and then they transform into oil wells. I think it was like an Exxon Mobil commercial. And it's not true. It's a lie. I'm shocked an oil company is lying to us. Can you believe it? It's not where oil comes from oil comes to us from phytoplankton. And so this I threw in there. I think it's kinda funny. So who here feels a little guilty about climate change training? We we all feel very responsible. Well, this is a this is a south to anyone who feels guilty about climate change. Because. What if it's not humans that are to blame? What if we're just tools of algae? What if the algae were burning all of that oil? That's just old algae we're putting carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, and we're recreating the atmosphere that the original algae liked we're out. Geez, tools, and it was just sort of a trippy moment. Michael pollen analysis books. I figure I can throw in that trip. Anyway, though, more importantly, though, Algiers foul or phytoplankton are the things that transmit solar energy to larger animals like how do we go from the sun to a big tuna? And the way we do it is through this this ecological chain, we have fighter plankton that fix the energy than we have a blow that zooplankton Zo coming from the Greek word for animal, and then next on the chain or these little silvery fish called forage fish, which by the way is where you get your mega three supplements from and then below that are your larger creatures. And of course, then on top of all that are humans that are eating all of that. So without we would have no means to access all that solar energy. No. So the first half of the book is this like big sweeping history. Trying to get through hundreds of millions of history really quickly. And so I jumped from several hundred million years ago to like thirty thousand years ago. So the human brain is actually ten percent DHA omega three fatty acid, and there's an interesting sort of moment in human evolutionary history. So. Read the book sapiens, but you walk so great great book. And you might remember in that book, he talks about the fact that so homo sapiens, seems to seem to have appeared three hundred thousand years ago, maybe more depending on what what's the latest skull that they find but for the first two hundred forty two hundred fifty thousand years of human existence. We really don't have very much to show for it. You know, we killed a bunch of mammals baked made some Flint tools, but really not too much but running around sixty fifty forty thirty thousand years ago. That's when we start to see cave paintings. That's when we start to see much more sophisticated forms of human behavior. Interestingly what we see around that same time is an uptick in seafood consumption. So you know, why did that happen? I don't know. We may have just killed all the large pieces of meat that we could kill and that we were driven to the ocean. But somewhere between sixty thirty twenty thousand years ago, we start to see. Giant shell piles giant shell men's so one hypothesis that's out there is that perhaps the uptick in human cognition that that allowed society that allowed agriculture and all these things all of that came from an uptake in mega three fatty acids. It's a theory. It's a correlation. Right. So one of the things I really struggled with this book is the question of cassation versus correlation. Right. You know, there's there's things that seem to be associated with each other. And there's things that actually caused things. Well, I wasn't there two hundred and seventy thousand years ago to see this happen, but it's hypothesis. So I throw it out there. And part of that Kopasus is is this idea thank floating out there in the in the weirdest fear of human evolution is that some people postulate that maybe it was actually an ocean based existence that lead humans to buy in the first place because know, oceans are water is zero gravity environment. So if you're walking around on your knuckles, and you wander into the sea, and suddenly you've got this impetus to this ability to stand up straight. Maybe that would lead you in a certain kind of direction, of course, those advocates of Lamarque over Darwin with like this idea, it's not exactly the way evolution works. But it's out there. It's floating out there. So that's the first sort of early part of the book, you can ask him over now that you've seen that. But do purchase the book. It's only twenty nine ninety five. And then I said to talk about I think what you're probably all here to talk about which is the supplement itself. So in the book, I ended up going to the amalfi coast tough life, some people sometimes sometimes they actually force you to go to the amalfi coast. But it went there to look at this probably what is the very first omega three supplement, which was a Roman fish sauce called Garum. This sauce was everywhere throughout Rome. They put it on everything they used it for everything was a laxative. It was a stomach Alan thing. It was considered a good for your sex life. All these kinds of things if you look at the Roman roads leading all the way up into England, you will find little vials that held gum that these soldiers. Footsoldiers brought all the way to England. That's how important they thought. It was. And actually if you go to Pompeii if you look around the ruins of Pompeii, if you were to conclude what really went on. In pompeii. You would think that Compaq by the what's left over from the artifacts. You would conclude that was a giant fish sauce factory because you can find these flasks and factories officials all over Pompeii well on from there is this thing now who remembers being forced to take cod liver oil, right? This is where I know that this is really where the rubber hits the road with supplements. So so cod liver oil was something that was around actually since the days of the Vikings on cod actually store WALE in their Liber. So they can shuttle it easily over to their gonads gonads actually exits firm have some of the highest concentrations of omega three fatty acids out of the whole body, but anyway, very easy to extract oil from cod liver it floats to the top..