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Eicosanoids - Controlling Your Health

Updated on August 12, 2012

They’re pronounced eye-KAH-sah-noids. They most likely are new to you but Eicosanoids have been around for five hundred million years and even though they don't get much media attention they are the single most powerful biological force on the planet! In fact Eicosanoids are the very foundation of your health because they control nearly every important physiological function inside your body. They control your immune system, your central nervous system, your bodies complete hormonal system, your cardiovascular system, even your reproduction system is all controlled by your bodies Eicosanoids. As vitally important as Eicosanoids are to your health and wellbeing, they take only a second or two in your body to complete their mission, and then they disintegrate. Ironically after reading this series of articles here about Eicosanoids you may know more about Eicosanoids than even your doctor, although over the past 15 years more and more in the medical field have starting to pay attention to how important they are to human health. You should pay attention to how important they are to your health too, because only when your body promotes the right Eicosanoids, it is in a state of good health.

Fortunately you have some degree of control over your bodies Eicosanoids through your diet, specifically Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Without Omega-3 your body couldn’t create the good Eicosanoids which support good health. Every living cell in your body helps to orchestrate these vital substances. Eicosanoids impact your body in a multitude of important ways such as controlling your fertility, how well your digestion works (or doesn’t work), your breathing, how your immune system works, your key functions of your kidneys, even your bodies blood flow, and of course your heart health are all effected for good or for bad by your bodies Eicosanoids, and your bodies Eicosanoids are controlled by your diet.

The Good And The Bad.

Just as there's good and bad cholesterol in your body, there is also good and bad Eicosanoids in your body. If you want to promote good health for your body then you need to cut down on the bad Eicosanoids, and increase the ratio of good Eicosanoids. It's as straight forward as that. The bad Eicosanoids are made from Omega-6, which will promote inflammation inside your body and help various things like cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and heart attacks come into your world. For more information about limiting your Omega-6 see the article:

The good news is that consuming Omega-3 has the opposite effect; which removes inflammation from your body and improves your health. But you can’t just go to the store and start popping the first Omega-3 that you find. There are many bad Omega-3 supplements in the marketplace, and you need to first do a little detective work and find a good Omega-3 supplement before consuming them. I go over some ways to do this in more detail in an article located here:

The ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 will determine the type of Eicosanoids that control your bodies real estate, and therefore control your health and wellbeing. These all important substances were first discovered in 1936 but they are so very complex in nature that mankind simply did not have the right tools to truly study them in detail. It wasn’t until the mid 1970’s that better tools were available to researchers and a more intense research could be conducted on them. We now know that there is a whole family of Eicosanoids, and that our diet plays a large role in determining which we have a larger ratio of, bad Eicosanoids from Omega-6, or good Eicosanoids from Omega-3.

Several key Eicosanoids are directly related to heart disease (Prostacyclins and Thromboxanes). Other Eicosanoids control other systems of your body. It is this key balance (or ratio) of the good and the bad that determines if you are healthy, or if you will be suffering from one or more of many terrible diseases. You’ve heard the saying “You are what you eat” but it should more accurately be stated as “Your health is what you eat”. In part 2 of our series on Eicosanoids and your health I will explain which foods produce good Eicosanoids, and which foods to avoid because they produce a higher ratio of bad Eicosanoids. You might be surprised at what is on the list.


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