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Dietary Linoleic Acid Elevates The Endocannabinoids 2-Ag And Anandamide (Promotes Weight Gain, Has Additional Implications)

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Dietary intake of linoleic acid (LNA, 18:2n-6) has increased dramatically during the 20th century and is associated with greater prevalence of obesity. The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulation of energy balance and a sustained hyperactivity of the endocannabinoid system may contribute to obesity. Arachidonic acid (ARA, 20:4n-6) is the precursor for 2-AG and anandamide (AEA), and we sought to determine if low fat diets (LFD) could be made obesogenic by increasing the endocannabinoid precursor pool of ARA, causing excessive endocannabinoid signaling leading to weight gain and a metabolic profile associated with obesity. Mice (C57BL/6j, 6 weeks of age) were fed 1 en% LNA and 8 en% LNA in low fat (12.5 en%) and medium fat diets (MFD, 35 en%) for 16 weeks. We found that increasing dietary LNA from 1 to 8 en% in LFD and MFD significantly increased ARA in phospholipids (ARA–PL), elevated 2-AG and AEA in liver, elevated plasma leptin, and resulted in larger adipocytes and more macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue. In LFD, dietary LNA of 8 en% increased feed efficiency and caused greater weight gain than in an isocaloric reduction to 1 en% LNA. Increasing dietary LNA from 1 to 8 en% elevates liver endocannabinoid levels and increases the risk of developing obesity. Thus a high dietary content of LNA (8 en%) increases the adipogenic properties of a low fat diet.

 

 

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11745-013-3842-y/fulltext.html

 

Suppressing hyperactive endocannabinoid tone is a critical target for reducing obesity. The backbone of both endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA) is the ω-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA). Here we posited that excessive dietary intake of linoleic acid (LA), the precursor of AA, would induce endocannabinoid hyperactivity and promote obesity. LA was isolated as an independent variable to reflect the dietary increase in LA from 1 percent of energy (en%) to 8 en% occurring in the United States during the 20th century. Mice were fed diets containing 1 en% LA, 8 en% LA, and 8 en% LA + 1 en% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in medium-fat diets (35 en% fat) and high-fat diets (60 en%) for 14 weeks from weaning. Increasing LA from 1 en% to 8 en% elevated AA-phospholipids (PL) in liver and erythrocytes, tripled 2-AG + 1-AG and AEA associated with increased food intake, feed efficiency, and adiposity in mice. Reducing AA-PL by adding 1 en% long-chain ω-3 fats to 8 en% LA diets resulted in metabolic patterns resembling 1 en% LA diets. Selectively reducing LA to 1 en% reversed the obesogenic properties of a 60 en% fat diet. These animal diets modeled 20th century increases of human LA consumption, changes that closely correlate with increasing prevalence rates of obesity. In summary, dietary LA increased tissue AA, and subsequently elevated 2-AG + 1-AG and AEA resulting in the development of diet-induced obesity. The adipogenic effect of LA can be prevented by consuming sufficient EPA and DHA to reduce the AA-PL pool and normalize endocannabinoid tone.

 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2012.38/full

 

I'm putting these little gems here, but I view this method of raising endocannabinoid levels to be applicable in the majority of treatments that exogenous cannabinoids are sought. If you prescribe to the "nature does it best" philosophy, then you might see how raising the bodies natural cannabinoid levels could be beneficial in a range of treatments as well, particularly when comparing anandamide to THC. 

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