*If you suffer from a medical or pathological condition, you need to consult with an appropriate healthcare provider. An NTP is not a substitute for your family physician or other appropriate healthcare provider. A Nutritional Therapy Practitioner is not trained nor licensed to diagnose or treat pathological conditions, illnesses, injuries, or diseases or prescribe medications.
Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances made of Essential Fatty Acids that are an important part of the body’s cellular communication, the body’s inflammatory response and other important functions. The body’s inflammatory response is made up of both pro and anti-inflammatory reactions. Series 1 and 3 prostaglandins (PG1 and PG3) function in the body’s anti-inflammatory response while series 2 (PG2) is the body’s pro-inflammatory regulator. PG1 and PG3 are made from conditionally essential fatty acids combined with the essential fatty acids Omega 6 and Omega 3, while PG2 is made from the conditionally essential fatty acids reacting with saturated fats. Cofactors and stimulators including proper digestion, liver and enzyme function, as well as key vitamins and minerals facilitate the production of all three prostaglandins. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, NSIADS and steroids work because they inhibit the cofactors that conjugate the fatty acids into PG2. All three prostaglandins, however, require basically the same cofactors and stimulators. Therefore, when pro-inflammatory PG2 function is inhibited, so are the anti-inflammatory functions of PG1 and PG3. In addition, chronic NSAID use can damage the mucosal lining of the stomach, disrupting proper digestive function and inhibiting fatty-acid absorption.
As mentioned above, inflammatory response is not the only purpose prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are found in most tissues of the body and are responsible for metabolic functions that maintain homeostasis in the body; when inhibitors such as NSAIDS are used, many other important functions are being compromised. When chronic and widespread inflammation is an issue for a client, it would be better to try and balance the client’s fatty acids so that they are making as much of PG1 and PG3 as they are PG2.