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 Hemp: Nature's Forgotten Nutraceutical: Hemp: Nature's Forgotten Nutraceutical - As Seen in Natural Pharmacy Magazine 
 
Dr. Darrell Tanelian L. MD, PhD ©

Polyunsaturated fatty acids, and especially GLA, have also been found beneficial in treating various human cancers,13-17 and studies have shown that phytosterols may offer protection against colon, breast, and prostate cancers.18

Besides the importance of a proper dietary ratio of linoleic to alpha-linolenic acid in maintaining the polyunsaturated fatty acid composition of neuronal and glial membranes,19 membrane loss of polyunsaturated fatty acids has been found in such neurodegenerative disorders as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and it has been suggested that a diet with a proper balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids may help delay or reduce the neurologic effects of these diseases.20 A fatty acid preparation with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids of 4, which is practically identical to that in hemp oil, has been shown to improve the quality of life of Alzheimer's disease patients.21

Additionally, GLA has been found effective for treating rheumatoid arthritis and active synovitis,22-24 and the GLA and vitamin D content of hemp foods may make them beneficial in preventing and treating osteoporosis.25 Moreover, supplementation with products containing EFAs has been found capable of reversing scaly skin disorder, inflammation, excessive epidermal water loss, itch, and poor wound healing caused by EFA deficiency,26 and GLA has been shown to be beneficial for atopic eczema and psoriasis.27

Hemp in Cosmetics and Processed Food Products
he critical importance of EFAs, and especially GLA, for healthy skin makes hemp seed oil a highly effective skin care and cosmetic product. Its lipid constituents allow it to permeate through intact skin and to thereby nourish skin cells directly while also carrying therapeutic substances with it into the skin. These properties have led to a multitude of soaps, shampoos, skin lotions, lip balms, conditioners, and other skin-care products containing hemp seed oil.

Among food products made from hemp seed, oil, and flour are beer, pasta, cheese, cookies, waffles, granola, candy, ice cream, and others, with new products now being regularly developed.

In short, hemp can constitute an important element in nutrition, health, and cosmetics, with the prospect of playing a major role in preventing disease and reducing health care expenditures.


References
  1. Yu Y. Agricultural history over seven thousand years in China, In: Feeding a Billion: Frontiers of Chinese Agriculture, ed. S Witter, 1987.
  2. Li H. "The Origin and Use of Cannabis in Eastern Asia: Their Linguistic Cultural Implications," in Cannabis and Culture, ed. V Rubin, The Hague: Mouton, 1975.
  3. Leson G, Pless P, Grotenherman F, Kalant H, ElSohly MA. Food products from hemp seeds: Could their consumption interfere with workplace drug testing J Anal Toxicol, Accepted, 2000
  4. Bosy TZ, Cole KA. Consumption and quantitation of D9 tetrahydrocannabinol in commercially available hemp seed oil products. Anal Toxicol, 7:562-6, 2000.
  5. Kris-Etherton PM, Taylor DS, Yu-Poth S et. al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr, 71:179S-88S 2000.
  6. Eaton SB, Eaton III SB, Konner MJ. Paleolithic nutrition revisited: A twelve-year retrospective on its nature and implications. Eur J Clin Nutr 51:207-216, 1997.
  7. Brousseau ME, Schaefer EJ. Diet and Coronary Heart Disease: Clinical Trials. Curr Atheroscler Rep 2:487-493, 2000.
  8. Siscovic DS, Raghunathan TE, King I et. al. Dietary intake of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risk of primary cardiac arrest. Amer J Clin Nutr, 71:208S-212S, 2000.
  9. Kang JX, Leaf A. Prevention of fatal cardiac arrhymias by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Amer J Clin Nutr, 71:202S-207S, 2000
  10. Fan YY, Ramos KS, Chapkin RS. Modulation of atherosclerosis by dietary gamma-linolenic acid. Adv Exp Med Biol 469:485-91, 1999.
  11. Hornstra G, Kester AD. Effect of the dietary fat type on arterial thrombosis tendency: systemic studies with a rat model. Atherosclerosis 131:25-33, 1997
  12. Moghadasian MH, Frohlich JJ. Effects of dietary phytosterols on cholesterol metabolism and atherosclerosis: Clinical and experimental evidence. Amer J Med 107:588-94, 1999.
  13. Vartek S, Robbins ME, Spector AA. Polyunsaturated fatty acids increase the sensitivity of 36B10 rat astrocytoma cells to radiation-induced cell kill. Br J Cancer 77:1612-20, 1998.
  14. Kenny FS, Pinder SE, Ellis IO, et. al. Gamma-linolenic acid with tamoxifen as primary therapy in breast cancer. Int J Cancer 85:643-8, 2000
  15. Robbins M, Ali K, McCaw R, et. al. Gamma-linolenic acid-mediated cytotoxicity in human prostate cancer cells. Adv Exp Med Biol 469:499-504, 1999.
  16. Rizzo MT, Regazzi E, Garau D, et. al. Induction of apoptosis by arachodonic acid in chronic myeloid leukemia cells. Cancer Res 59:5047-53, 1999.
  17. Southgate J, Pitt E, Trejdosiewicz LK. The effects of dietary fatty acids on the proliferation of normal human urothelial cells in vitro. Br J Cancer 74:728-34, 1996.
  18. Awad AB, Fink CS. Phytosterols as anticancer dietary components: Evidence and mechanism of action. J Nutr 130:2127-30, 2000.
  19. Fenstrom JD. Effects of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on neuronal function. Lipids 34:161-9, 1999.
  20. Youdim KA, Martin A, Joseph JA. Essential fatty acids and the brain: possible health implications. Int J Dev Neurosci 18:383-99, 2000.
  21. Yehuda S, Rabinovitz S, Carrasso RL, Mostofsky DI. Essential fatty acids preparation (SR-3) improves Alzheimer’s patients quality of life. Int J Neurosci 87:141-9, 1996.
  22. Leventhal LJ, Boyce EG, Zurier, RB. Treatment of arthritis with gamma-linolenic acid. Ann Intern Med 119:876-873, 1993.
  23. DeLuca P, Rothman D, Zurier RB. Marine and botanical lipids as immunomodulatory and therapeutic agtents in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheum Dis Clin N Am 21:759-77
  24. Zurier RB, Rossetti RG, Jacobson EW, et. al. Gamma- linolenic acid treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum 39:1808-17, 1996.
  25. Kruger MC, Coetzer H, Winter R, et. al. Calcium, gamma-linolenic acid and eicosapentaneoic acid supplementation in senile osteoporosis. Aging 10:385-94, 1998.
  26. Wright S. Essential fatty acids and the skin. Br J Derm 125:503-515, 1991.
  27. Horrobin DF. Essential fatty acid metabolism and its modification in atopic eczema. J Am Clin Nutr 71:367S-72S, 2000.
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