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E2G EAT TO GROW fatty acids. They remind us that saturated fats protect the liver from toxic by-products generated via alcohol consumption and medications, including acetaminophen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to relieve pain. The Testosterone-Fat Connection At the other end of this spectrum, fat plays a critical role in the manufacture of testoster- one. In fact, studies show that maintaining an intake of fat at 25 to 40 percent of your daily calorie intake appears to generate the best results. Ironically, renowned sports nutrition researchers Jeff Volek, PhD, and William J. Kraemer, PhD, found that ratios of saturat- ed fats and monounsaturated fatty acids raised testosterone levels more efficiently than the ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids to saturated fats. Inopportunely, this latter concentration significantly decreases tes- tosterone production and occurs due to the increased susceptibility of PUFAs to peroxi- dation (the oxidative degradation or damage of lipids). Furthermore, studies indicate that lower intakes of fat increase levels of SHBG (sex-hormone binding globulin) and lower free testosterone levels. As you know, most circulating testosterone is bound to the hor- mone SHBG, meaning what isn’t, about two percent, generates all those anabolic profi- ciencies such as muscle growth, increased strength, and fat-burning. The take-home message here is that a low intake of fat (less than 20 percent) produces a significantly lower concentration of testosterone. Improved Performance And Recovery Walter Willett, MD, of Harvard University maintains that plant oils such as canola, corn, olive, peanut, as well as nuts (almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts); fish, particularly oily fish such as salmon, canned tuna; and flax seeds are good sources of unsaturated fatty acids, the healthiest types of fat. Researchers at Urmia Univer- sity in Iran reported that 1.8 grams a day of omega-3s inhibit delayed onset muscle soreness post-workout. Investigators at the University of Wollongong in Australia found that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are freely integrated into heart and skeletal muscle membranes. Because of this physio- logical anomaly, omega-3s have the ability to decrease whole-body oxygen demand during exercise. This is a critical point in sustaining full-bodied workouts, as improved oxygen use increases workout performance, recovery, and increases whole-body energy levels due to improved cellular oxygenation. HUMANS CAN MANUFACTURE JUST ABOUT EVERY MOLECULE OF GLUCOSE WE NEED FROM A COMBINATION OF FAT AND PROTEIN IN THE DIET, ESSENTIALLY SWITCHING METABOLISM FROM RELYING SOLELY ON GLUCOSE TO RUNNING ON HEALTHY FATS. Fat And The Immune System Although krill oil, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, doesn’t appear to modify workout performance, researchers at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom reports that it reactivates exercise-induced down-regu- lation of the immune response. They found that two grams a day of supplemental krill oil for six weeks increased PBMC IL-2 (pe- ripheral blood mononuclear cell) production 24 JUNE 2017 | ironmanmagazine.com and natural killer cell cytotoxic activity (white blood cells) within three hours following a workout in both healthy young males and females. Conversely, in a 2009 study appear- ing in Nutrition Research, scientists reported that two grams a day of krill oil for four weeks increased concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in overweight and obese men and women. It turns out that omega-3s found in krill oil are five times more absorbable than those found in fish. Nevertheless, one of the pitfalls concerning fat is that it is freely stored within fat tissue and to a lesser extent within the muscle. Uniquely, krill oil has the ability to increase beta-oxidation, an intricate pro- cess in which fatty acids are broken down by various tissues to produce energy. Energized And Chiseled Individuals who regularly engage in resistance training generally realize greater utilization of fatty acids, fueled by increased lipolysis (release of triglycerides stored in the muscle). For instance, researchers of the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom report that the greatest rates of fat oxidation occur at intensities between 59 percent and 64 percent of maximum oxygen consumption in trained individuals, and between 47 percent and 52 percent within the general population. Investigators of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Texas and the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Southern California remind us that low intakes of fat and high carbohydrate consumption reduces whole-body lipolysis, total fat oxidation, and fatty acid oxidation during fasted exercise. This glitch occurs due to decreased concentration of intramuscu- lar fats. Increased glucose concentrations also decrease fat oxidation by inhibiting the transport of fatty acids across mitochondri- al membranes. Unfortunately, fat-burning occurs within mitochondrial cells. This phys- iologica