top of page
BOOK COVER 2017 autism1.png
pain revolution photo iphone.jpg

15-year retrospective on “New Insights into Fatty

Acid Biochemistry and the Influence of Diet”


Archived PDF:

Dr Alex Vasquez, 2019 June


Back in 2004 when I wrote this article, we were just then starting to "really understand" the role of nutrition in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. The path had been illuminated in part by hundreds of researchers in dozens of countries, and our work relied on theirs; pioneers and collectors such as RJ Williams, Pauling, Bland, Gaby and Wright certainly provided informed and important guidance. In 2002, my friend David Seaman published "The diet-induced pro-inflammatory state: a cause of chronic pain and other degenerative diseases?" which was obviously tipping from question to assertion and was thus a good barometer of the times, exactly the same as with Armin Zittermann's "Vitamin D in preventive medicine: are we ignoring the evidence?" published near that same time, in ‎2003. By 2004, we were starting to coalesce thousands of points of data into images that could be partly outlined, but not yet themselves discerned. Of course, scientists and physicians of every era think they “understand” the reality of their field because nearly every era represents an advance on years previous and thereby represents “the most ever known”; but I think that in the realm of clinical nutrition at this time, we (those of us deeply studying the material) were aware that we possessed a potent tool but that we did not have each and all of the answers. At least that is how the scene then occurred to me, having graduated in 1999 from Bastyr’s Naturopathic Medicine program, where I studied with many deeply experienced then-and-now icons: Nutrition with Gaby, Environmental Medicine with Crinnion, Clinical Therapeutics with Zeff and Mitchell, Diet/Fasting with Goldhamer and Lisle, weekend seminars with Bland, and not to forget other courses and instructors such as Basic and Clinical Microbiology with Sheryl Berman which were also impressive and influential. This particular article (Vasquez A. Reducing Pain and Inflammation Naturally—Part I: New Insights into Fatty Acid Biochemistry and the Influence of Diet. Nutritional Perspectives 2004 Oct) was the start of a series of tutorials that would be published for several years with the most recent installment having been in 2016. Based on what I know now especially about the complexity of the gut microbiome (which I have detailed in several articles, books, and videos), I was retrospectively wishing I had said something about this back then; turns out that I hit the nail well ahead of time, “Lastly, a significant portion of the health benefits and anti-inflammatory effects of increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is due to favorable alterations in gastrointestinal microflora rather than the direct nutritive values of foods.” Except for a review of some basic notes about diet, which were actually added at the last minute while the article was already in press, this article details the biochemistry of fatty acids and their interconversions so that the following article “Part 2” could detail the clinical uses of fatty acids.


#clinicalnutrition #functionalmedicine #fattyacids #nutritionalbiochemistry #biochemicalindividuality #inflammationmastery #functionalinflammology


Alex Kennerly Vasquez DO ND DC (USA), Fellow of the American College of Nutrition (FACN), Overseas Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine: An award-winning clinician-scholar and founding Program Director of the world's first fully-accredited university-based graduate program in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Dr Alex Vasquez is recognized internationally for his high intellectual and academic standards and for his expertise spanning and interconnecting many topics in medicine and nutrition. Dr Vasquez holds three doctoral degrees as a graduate of University of Western States (Doctor of Chiropractic, 1996), Bastyr University (Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, 1999), and University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, 2010). Dr Vasquez has completed hundreds of hours of post-graduate and continuing education in subjects including Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Basic and Advanced Disaster Life Support, Nutrition and Functional Medicine; while in the final year of medical school, Dr Vasquez completed a Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research hosted by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr Vasquez is the author of many textbooks, including Integrative Orthopedics (2004, 2007 2012), Functional Medicine Rheumatology (Third Edition, 2014), Musculoskeletal Pain: Expanded Clinical Strategies (commissioned and published by Institute for Functional Medicine, 2008), Chiropractic and Naturopathic Mastery of Common Clinical Disorders (2009), Integrative Medicine and Functional Medicine for Chronic Hypertension (2011), Brain Inflammation in Migraine and Fibromyalgia (2016), Mitochondrial Nutrition and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Primary Care, 2nd Edition (2014), Antiviral Strategies and Immune Nutrition (2014), Mastering mTOR (2015), Autism, Dysbiosis, and the Gut-Brain Axis (2017) and the 1200-page Inflammation Mastery 4th Edition (2016) also published as a two-volume set titled Textbook of Clinical Nutrition and Functional Medicine. "DrV" has also written approximately 100 letters and articles for professional magazines and medical journals such as, British Medical Journal (BMJ), Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Nutritional Perspectives, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Original Internist, Integrative Medicine, Holistic Primary Care, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA), Dynamic Chiropractic, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Current Asthma and Allergy Reports, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Nature Reviews Rheumatology, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, and Arthritis & Rheumatism, the Official Journal of the American College of Rheumatology. Dr Vasquez lectures internationally to healthcare professionals and has a consulting practice and service for doctors and patients. DrV has served as a consultant, product designer, writer and lecturer for Biotics Research Corporation since 2004. Having served on the Review Boards for Journal of Pain Research, Autoimmune Diseases, PLOS One, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Neuropeptides, International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Journal of Inflammation Research, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (all PubMed/Medline indexed), Integrated Blood Pressure Control, Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry, and Journal of Naturopathic Medicine and as the founding Editor of Naturopathy Digest, Dr Vasquez is currently the Editor (2013-) of International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine and Editor (2018-present) of Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, published for more than 50 consecutive years by the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine.

  1. Basics of Diet and Fatty Acid Biochemistry (2004)

  2. Clinical Applications of Fatty Acids (2005)

  3. Nutritional Treatments for Pain (2005)

  4. Nutritional Modulation of the KFkB Pathway (2005)

  5. Nutritional Treatments for Allergies and Allergy-Induced Pain 

  6. Gastrointestinal Dysbiosis (2006)

  7. Enzyme Therapy (2007)

  1. Vitamin D Monograph (2004)

  2. Physiologic and Clinical Interconnections (2006)

  3. Writing and Editing (2019)

Antiviral Nutrition cover.png
antiviral cover.png
BOOK COVER 2017 autism1.png
pain revolution photo iphone.jpg
bottom of page