Dr. Sears has been on a two-week tour of Italy with speaking engagements in Milan, Torino and Ferrara. His audiences are receptive while he travels, and he enjoys the chance to interact with the media and educate people about The Zone. This week, he writes from Italy in response to questions he's received at the following events and conferences:
- Strategy in Food Lecture at the AFM-Communal Pharmacies Ferrara (April 6, Ferrara, Italy).
- The Nutrition and Dietary Applied Master (April 8 in Milan, Italy).
- The Zone Diet Hormonal Balance: Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Strategy (April 9 in Torino, Italy).
- The Zone Consultation Course (April 10 in Milan, Italy).
Good Questions; Good-for-you Answers
When I go to Europe it always seems that journalists there ask insightful questions about The Zone. Maybe it is because I am usually the keynote speaker at major conferences (like the Monaco Anti-aging Congress or at medical meetings). Since I am in Europe now, I thought I would take this opportunity to share my responses to some of the more frequent questions that reporters here have asked me.
What is the Zone?
The Zone is not some mystical place. It is a real physiological state in the body in which inflammation can be controlled for a lifetime. This is important since increased inflammation is the reason we gain weight, get sick, and age faster. The Zone is real and can be detected with blood work. In fact, these blood tests are routinely done at Harvard Medical School.
My definition of wellness is a lifetime of inflammation control. Therefore, those blood tests that determine whether or not you are in the Zone also determine whether or not you are truly well.
I call this concept Personalized Wellness because you have to constantly adjust your diet to eventually get blood tests results to come into alignment, and these adjustments can be different for every person. The Zone Diet provides a clear pathway to reach that goal.
How is cellular inflammation produced in the body?
There are two phases of inflammation:
- The initiation phase that causes cell destruction
- The resolution phase where the healing of inflammation can cause tissue regeneration
Both are active mechanisms controlled by hormones known as eicosanoids. If both phases of inflammation are balanced, the initial inflammation generated by the body to fight infection or treat injuries is returned to equilibrium. This can be considered to be a molecular definition of wellness.
However, if the initiation phase is too strong or the resolution phase is too weak, then there is an inflammatory mismatch that creates chronic low-level inflammation that generates constant damage to the tissue that is below the perception of pain. This ongoing cellular inflammation is the primary driving force for the development of chronic disease conditions.
What is the importance of taking a fish oil supplement rich in EPA and DHA?
Omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks for a wide variety of hormones known as eicosanoids. Eicosanoids derived from omega-3 fatty acids have both anti-inflammatory and pro-resolution actions. Without adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the body it is extremely difficult to control cellular inflammation for a lifetime.
Crude fish oil is the source of omega-3 fatty acids. It can be concentrated and refined to make omega-3 concentrates. The higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids makes it easier to increase the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the body needed to control cellular inflammation.
My OmegaRx fish oil supplement has one of the highest concentrations of EPA and DHA available. More importantly, it is most purified product available with regard to the lowest possible levels of toxins, especially PCBs, that are found in all fish and all fish oil products.
This is important because the levels of omega-3 fatty acids required to activate the resolution response must be relatively high in the blood. This requires using a very pure omega-3 concentrate product like OmegaRx.
What is the importance of taking polyphenols?
Polyphenols, the anti-oxidants derived from plant extracts, are important for two reasons. First, they control the health of the gut microbe community to encourage the continued generation of friendly bacteria while simultaneously eliminating the potential establishment of colonies of pathogenic bacteria.
If polyphenols can enter the body, they act as gene activators that increase the expression of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging genes. In essence, if they enter the body in sufficient levels, they allow you to practice gene therapy.
The best polyphenols are called delphinidins and come from the Maqui berry that grows in the Patagonia region of Chile. What makes the polyphenols found in my supplement, MaquiRx so distinctive is that they have the highest water-solubility of all polyphenols and thus have the greatest potential to enter into the bloodstream.
Who should follow the Zone Diet?
Anyone who wants to live a longer and better life.
Learn more about The Zone Diet.