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What causes AD? (A) eicosanoids

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3. eicosanoids

The substance most involved in inflammations is eicosanoids. There are not that many people outside of the medical and biology fields that know about this substance. Even in dietetics, this substance is finally being recognized as final product of lipid metabolism. However, this substance has been part of an important function in organisms for over 500 million years. This substance can even be the most primitive hormone. It is as important as DNA, and has an incredible effect on organisms.

Now, what are eicosanoids? Basically, they are produced in the cell membrane once the essential fatty acids get metabolized, will induce hormone-like effects on its cell and those around it, and are made of 20 carbon atoms. Eicosanoids are just like local hormones. There are two types of eicosanoids. These two oppose each other like sympathetic nerves and parasympathetic nerves or insulin and glocagon.

effects of benign eicosanoidsvasodilatation, inhibiting platelet aggregation,
anti-inflammation, cancer control, allergy remission
effects of malign eicosanoidsvasoconstriction, platelet aggregation,
inflammation,worsening allergies

The numerous types of ecicosanoids have been grouped into benign ones, which have good effects on the body, and malign ones, which have bad effects on the body. Although these groups are broad, they have been simplified for this section. For example, prostaglandin E1, an ecicosanoid in the former group, causes the inhibition of platelet coagulation and blood vessel dilation and prevents high blood pressure and heart and blood vessel diseases as well. Conversely, Thromboxane A2, an eciocosanoid in the latter group, causes blood vessel contraction and the promotion of platelets coagulation, which can trigger heart and blood vessel diseases.

However, you should also keep in mind that people still need malign eicosanoids. For example, if you didn’t have any Thromboxane A2 and injured your finger out of carelessness, there would be no vasoconstrictive activity or platelet coagulation, and you would keep bleeding. Also, if there were an excessive amount of benign eicosanoids, your blood pressure would lower so much that it would cause a state of shock. Balance is what is important. However, people do not need Thromboxane A2 on a daily basis since vasoconstriction is not an everyday action, and can, in fact, cause high blood pressure and cardiac infarction; thus it is classified as malignant. By classifying these as malignant or benign is much more convenient. It is the same idea as beneficial cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). Even though LDL is “bad”, it is necessary for the body to function properly. For example, LDL brings linoleic acid to the cell membrane, which is used to make eicosanodis. If there was no LDL cholesterol, there would be no eicosanoids, benign or malign, and people would not be able to survive. Also, during war there should be more malignant eicosanoids since the blood pressure needs to be higher, and since there is a higher probability to get injured, it is better if the blood can clot easily. This is exactly like sympathetic nerves and parasympathetic. The chart is a simple summary of eicosanodis.

Chronic diseases and lifestyle related diseases (not including cancer) such as allergies, high blood pressure, angina, cardiac infarction, stroke, rheumatism, and, in other words, most diseases are related to malignant eicosanoids in some way. In terms of the cell membrane, it can be said that sicknesses are basically when the balance of eicosanoids are disrupted and there are more malignant eicosanoids than benign eicosanoids.


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