I don’t care what you may have heard about taking fish oils in the media, I am definite about there positive health value. I find that the majority of my patients should take fish oil supplements.
Why Take Fish Oils
Three main reasons: 1) it benefits your brain 2) it benefits your heart 3) it benefits your joints. Omega-3s play a role in protection against Alzheimer’s Disease, depression, and cancer; can help with acne, arthritis, psoriasis and other skin conditions; and can also help with inflammatory bowel disorders. It’s linked with improved brain function. The evidence FOR IT IS JUST TOO GOOD!
If you have a history of heart problems, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, arthritis, chronic pain, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin problems, or asthma, then you should probably supplement. If you’re concerned because you don’t eat more than two servings of fish a week, you should supplement. If you eat a lot of fish, don’t eat processed foods, and eat pastured animals and eggs, you may not need to supplement.
About Fish Oil Supplements
Like any oil you want it to be fresh and pure. A good quality is about the type of fish, dosage, freshness, purity, and how natural it is. The best fish oils come from cold water fish. Look for oil that contains at least 60 percent Omega-3.
How Much to Take
The general consensus is that adults who don’t eat a lot of salmon, grass-fed beef, or other foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids and those who eat foods high in Omega 6 fatty acids (nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and factory-farmed meats) should aim to get between two and four grams of EPA/DHA per day.
Which Fish Oil Should I Take? I recommend fish oil from Metagenics. I also recommendtrying Krill oil from Xymogen. Take either gel capsuleds or liquid (depending on your desire). I don’t get fish oil burps with these brands! Go to my home page and click on these brand links to order.
Omega-3 fatty acids may improve the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and slow a key biological process linked to aging. Data published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity indicated that four months of supplementation with omega-3s was associated with longer telomeres in immune system cells. Telomeres are DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate and age.
The aging and lifespan of normal, healthy cells are linked to the so-called telomere shortening mechanism, which limits cells to a fixed number of divisions. During cell replication, the telomeres function by ensuring the cell’s chromosomes do not fuse with each other or rearrange. Most researchers liken telomeres to the ends of shoelaces, without which the lace would unravel. With each replication the telomeres shorten, and when the telomeres are totally consumed, the cells are destroyed.
Some experts have noted that telomere length may be a marker of biological aging.
This information suggests the possibility that omega 3 supplements might actually make a difference in aging.
A previous observational study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010 (Vol. 303, Pages 250-257) showed high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids may slow cellular aging in people with coronary heart disease.
Professor Kiecolt-Glaser and co-workers recruited 106 healthy, sedentary, overweight, middle-aged and older adults to participate in their double-blind four-month trial. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: The first group received 2.5 grams per day of omega-3, the second group received 1.25 grams per day of omega-3 and the third group received placebo capsules.
After four months of supplementation, results showed that omega-3 supplementation significantly decreased measures of oxidative stress, with F2-isoprostane levels found to be 15% lower in the two supplemented groups compared to placebo.
There were no significant differences in telomerase and telomere length between the groups. However, a decreased ratio of omega-6:omega-3 was associated with longer telomeres, which suggested that lower omega-6:omega-3 ratios “can impact cell aging,” the researchers said.
Inflammatory markers also decreased by between 10% and 12% as a result of omega-3 supplementation, while levels increased by 36% in the placebo group.
“This finding strongly suggests that inflammation is what’s driving the changes in the telomeres,” said Kiecolt-Glaser.
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity; Published online ahead of print.
Plenty of depressed patients HAVE omega-3 fatty acid deficiency.
Brain cells are coated with fats and need omega-3 fatty acids. Brain cell receptors process serotonin, the hormone that may help regulate our sense of well being.
For “persistent depression,” one gram of EPA daily significantly helps reduce depressive symptoms. If depressed patients followed the EPA protocol for two months — adding ample amounts of vitamin D3 and B vitamins (especially B-12) — you would probably feel better.
A joint U.S.-Iranian study says that combining exercise with omega-3 supplements may boost the bone mineral density in older women and reduce markers of inflammation.
A daily supplement of 1,000 mg omega-3s in combination with aerobic exercise was associated with increases in bone mineral density (BMD) of up to 19% in post-menopausal women, according to findings published in Nutrition & Metabolism.
In addition, markers of inflammation such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) were significantly reduced following 24 weeks of supplementation plus exercise, report researchers from Urmia University in Iran and the University of Missouri in the U.S.
These findings are significant for women at risk of osteoporosis, characterized by low bone mass, which leads to an increased risk of fractures, especially of the hips, spine and wrists. Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.
Clients (especially post menopausal women) need to commit to the use of long-term omega-3 supplementation and aerobic exercise.
Seventy-nine healthy post-menopausal women were recruited and randomly assigned to one of four groups: The first group acted as the control and did not receive supplements or an exercise plan; the second group received the exercise plan only; the third group received omega-3 supplements only (1,000 mg omega-3 per day, of which 180 mg was EPA and 120 mg was DHA); and the final group received both supplements and exercise.
The exercise plan involved walking and jogging three times a week at up to 65% of the maximum heart rate.
Twenty-four weeks later, and the researchers found that the combined omega-3/exercise group displayed BMD increases of 15% in the lower back and 19% in the neck of the thigh bone (femur) at the hip.
In addition, the combination group had decreased levels of the pro-inflammatory compounds IL-6 and TNF-alpha by 40% and 80% respectively.
I recommend Metagenics EPA-DHA 720 as part of your daily supplements.
Nutrition & Metabolism; 8(1):71, 2011
The biggest worry is often about having another stroke. Of all stroke risk factors, none rank higher than having already had a stroke. I know Harvard did a stroke study and found risk of a second stroke is about 2.5 percent in the first two weeks, and about six percent over three months. I forget how many patients were in that study.
Certain supplements might significantly improve recovery. Proper nourishment, especially protein is important. I suggest 1 gram of protein per lean body mass per day. At least 100 grams of protein per day is a good amount to aim for.
An intensive supplement regimen will certainly help. This includes a multivitamin with minerals, vitamin C, a wide spectrum of B vitamins (high doses of vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid).
I remember one study saying researchers found that subjects who had the highest intake of the three B vitamins reduced their risk of ischemic stroke and coronary disease by more than 20 percent. The worst outcomes were seen in subjects who had the lowest intake of vitamin B12. It’s easy to develop B12 deficiency because of poor absorption.
Many studies indicate that patients with elevated levels of the amino acid homocysteine are roughly 1.7 times more likely to develop coronary artery disease and 2.5 times more likely to suffer from a stroke than those with normal levels. The B vitamins I already mentioned help break down homocysteine in the body.
Assuming it’s an embolic stroke, not hemorrhagic (from a burst blood vessel), I’d go heavy on the fish oil, along with high-dose nattokinase. Then, of course, you’d have to add mixed tocopherol E to the fish oil to protect against free radical formation. For stroke, I’d add something like 1,200 iu/day. I’d also add some selenium, since it augments vitamin E in any of its uses.
For Vitamin C five to nine servings of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables each day would put most people in the top vitamin C quartile. Another study (can’t remember), subjects with the lowest plasma concentrations of vitamin C were almost two and a half times more likely to experience a stroke compared to subjects with the highest C levels. One of the most interesting things about this study is that the vitamin C intake difference between subjects with high levels and subjects with low levels was not enormous. The difference between the two groups was equal to the equivalent of only about one and a half glasses of orange juice per day.
The link between folate levels and stroke risk was examined by researchers at Tulane University who assessed 19 years of dietary and medical data collected from more than 9,700 subjects. When folate intake was compared to incidence of strokes and development of cardiovascular disease (CVD), researchers found that subjects who consumed at least 300 micrograms (mcg) of folate daily reduced stroke risk by 20 percent and CVD risk by 13 percent. Dietary sources of folate include spinach, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, beans, and chickpeas.
Let’s make sure she gets these supplements: CoQ10, D3, alpha lipoic acid, resveratrol, and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help inhibit the development of plaques and blood clots. You know me, I like 2-3 grams of omega 3 per day. Coenzyme Q10 inhibits blood clot formation and boosts levels of antioxidants. Get her Vitamin D3 levels checked. Aim for at least 60.
I have heard that Melatonin may be helpful.
Selecting an exercise type or mode for her should be based on her functional capacity, interests, available equipment and time constraints. Any activity that continuously employs large muscle groups and is rhythmic and cardiorespiratory in nature can be used. Once a cardiorespiratory base has been developed and a plateau has occurred, the exercise mode should be manipulated every two to three weeks in order to keep her from physiologically adapting. Walking is the most functional mode of cardiorespiratory activity for someone recovering. Check her balance and walking pattern. Walking on a treadmill seems like a simple place to start.
Chiropractically I would perform gentle spreading of the sagittal suture on the top of the head. Do it so it’s relaxing and soothing. Cervical stairstep technique and gentle gliding of the cervicals is helpful. Try to release suboccipital muscle tension. Improving lost motor function is a priority that can be accomplished during rehab. Of course, performing joint mobilization and soft tissue therapy will enhance her recovery and prevent joint/muscle contracture.
“Plasma vitamin C concentrations predict risk of incident stroke over 10 y in 20,649 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer – Norfolk prospective population study” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, No. 1, January 2008, ajcn.org
“Dietary Intake of Folate and Risk of Stroke in US Men and Women” Stroke, Vol. 33, No. 5, May 2002, stroke.ahajournals.org
If we all agree that exercise is vital to health, then let’s figure out the best routine. The right mix of exercise can: Reduce the risk of premature death, reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce high blood pressure, reduce high cholesterol, reduce the risks of many cancers, including colon and breast cancer, reduce the risk of developing diabetes, reduce fat and optimize body weight, build and maintain healthy muscles, bones, and joints, reduce depression and anxiety, enhance performance in work and sport.
Believe it or not, running every day, won’t cut it. Going to the gym every day and working out with weights every day won’t cut it. The ideal exercise program includes cardio/aerobic exercise, strength training, weight-bearing exercise, stretching, breathing, and balance.
Cardio/aerobic exercise. This has to be some movement that is brisk enough that requires the heart and lungs to work harder to meet the body’s increased oxygen demand. Basically you are forcing the heart and lungs to work harder, and yet of low enough intensity to facilitate adequate oxygen transfer to the muscle cells so that no buildup of lactic acid is observed. Think repetitive movement of the arms, legs, and hips. Take your pick from running, jogging, and fast walking. Biking (either road or mountain), and swimming are also good. If you belong to a gym or have home equipment, there are treadmills, elliptical trainers, spin cycles, and rebounders.
Strength Training involves the use of free weights, kettlebells, weight machines, resistance bands or some other form of resistance to build muscle and increase strength. Its benefits include: Increased muscle strength, increased tendon and ligament strength, reduced body fat and increased muscle mass, better balance, lower blood cholesterol, improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. The key to strength training is to choose one you can do easily and are willing to do regularly.
Every patient of mine that wants to lose weight, I make sure that they are doing circuit weight training. Strength training builds muscle which increases your resting metabolic rate.
Weight bearing exercise is actually a subset of certain aerobic and strength training exercises. It helps slow down the rate of bone loss and osteoporosis. It is exercise in which you force your body to support weight (your own included) while exercising. The best weight bearing exercises are: weight-lifting, jogging, hiking with a back pack, stair-climbing, step aerobics, racquet sports, and other activities that require your muscles to work against gravity. Swimming and simple walking don’t do the trick. One exceptionally useful form of weight bearing exercise is rebounding. The act of rebounding makes use of g-forces, just like astronauts training in a centrifuge.
Stretching is the most over-looked area of fitness I have seen lately. Stretching reduces muscle tension and increases range of movement in the joints. I see tremendous tightness and restrictions in most clients bodies from a lack of variety of movement. Tightness and constriction cause a reduced blood flow to the muscles and soft tissues, this leads to a lack of oxygen to the tissues and this is a very painful situation. Yoga has become one of my pewrsonal favorites for stretching. Pilates works well too. If nothing else, just do 5-10 minutes of simple stretching after your daily exercise routine as part of your cool down time.
Proper breathing is often over-looked as much as stretching. The concept is simple: putting a device in your mouth that restricts (in a controlled manner) your inhalations and exhalations, which forces your lungs to work harder. This, in turn, strengthens the muscles that makes your lungs work and increases their capacity.
The last area is Balance. Balance diminishes with age unless we consciously exercise it. If you fall down and break your hip or wrist, the odds are you will have a long-slow recovery, if you fully recover.
The most simple balance exercise is to practice standing on one leg. If you need to hold on to a chair for support, with one hand, that’s fine. Slightly bend one leg so that the foot of the bent leg is projected out behind you. Get used to balancing on the one leg holding a chair or wall. Then take the hands off the chair and balance with one eye closed. Build up to balancing with your eyes closed for 30 seconds.
Please remember that you can not exercise your your way out of a bad diet. Increase your quality protein to build the muscles you are exercising. Avoid sugar but enjoy high quality fats such as Omega-3s.
Lupus is a chronic disease that involves the immune system. It attacks healthy tissues and organs that can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, skin rashes, and painful joints – simple movements can become painful from swollen joints.
Current treatment is on how best to manage Lupus cases. Drug therapy includes Benlysta and according to the FDA, Benlysta research “suggested, but did not definitively establish” that the drug might reduce severe flare-ups of lupus symptoms. Benlysta has a high rate of serious infections and death in patients taking Benlysta compared to those taking a placebo. NOT MY FIRST CHOICE! Other drug choices include malaria medications and steroids. These have serious side effects too!
A few years ago, Northern Ireland researchers at the University of Ulster conducted a study that tested fish oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, on more than 50 lupus patients. After 24 weeks, researchers found a significant decline in disease measurements for those taking fish oil compared to placebo. Fish oil helped relieve fatigue, inflammation, skin rashes, and neurological problems. And all of that added up to improved quality of life — especially for those who were able to reduce their steroid use.
Adverse side effects: zero.
I continue to recommend Metagenics EPA-DHA 720 as the omega 3 first choice.
Researchers from Harvard took blood samples from about 3,000 subjects and measured omega-3 levels. When the results were compared to diabetic status, they found that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids — EPH and DHA — were linked to reduced risk of diabetes.
Rrisk was lowest in those with the highest omega-3 levels. The is because EPA and DHA help your cell membranes manage insulin. Fat tissue contains an abundance of macrophages — a type of white blood cell that fights viruses, bacteria, and other junk that has to be removed from your cells. The macrophages do their work by producing proteins that burn off the junk with inflammation. Too much body fat creates a flood of those proteins, which happen to promote insulin resistance. Chronic inflammation just makes the situation worse.
When excessive inflammation is reduced, insulin sensitivity improves.
EPA and DHA are great natural anti-inflammatories. For the past year or soI have recommended that patient’s take about 400 IU vitamin E with the omega 3’s (mixed tocopherols).
Increased intakes of fatty fish may reduce a woman’s risk of heart failure by up to 30%, according to new findings from the U.S. and Sweden.
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are well documented. To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements and improved vascular function.
This study adds to previous data in men from the same researchers and published in the European Heart Journal (Vol. 30, pp. 1495-1500). That study, said to be one of the largest studies to investigate the association between omega-3 intake from fatty fish and heart failure, found that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of heart failure by 33%.
Heart failure, which arises when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs, is the leading cause of hospitalization among the over-65s, and is characterized by such symptoms as fatigue and weakness, difficulty walking, rapid or irregular heartbeat and persistent cough or wheezing.
In this study, the researchers analyzed data from 36,234 women participating in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Dietary intake data for the women, aged between 48 and 83, was obtained using 96-item food-frequency questionnaires.
Over the course of 18 years of study, 651 cases of heart failure were documented. Eating one serving of fatty fish per week was associated with a 14% reduction in the risk of heart failure, compared with women who did not eat any fatty fish. Furthermore, eating two servings of fatty fish per week was associated with a 30% reduction.
I personally take 2-4 grams of Omega 3 daily. I recommend EPA-DHA 720 by Metagenics Order @ www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 62(6): 935-936, 2010
“If you want a sharper mind, actively start caring for your brain and acting for its betterment,” says Daniel Amen, M.D., author of Magnificent Mind at Any Age.
Brush your teeth with your left hand (if you’re a righty), eat with your non-dominant hand, jog backward, and pursue anything else that forces you to deviate from your daily patterns. “In so doing, you’ll stimulate new parts of your brain, encouraging it to make new connections,” says Dr. Amen.
Hydrate Your Mind
Your brain is 80 percent water, and if it’s not hydrated, your neurons can’t perform properly,” says Dr. Amen. Drink eight six-ounce glasses of water a day and avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine.
Clock Seven Hours of Shut-eye
“Science shows that people who sleep for seven hours exhibit significantly more brain activity than those who don’t,” says Dr. Amen. Lack of sleep inhibits learning, concentration, and memory.
Achieve a calm, clear, stress-free brain through meditative belly breathing: Inhale slowly, allowing your stomach (not your chest) to rise, and then say the word one as you exhale. Repeat for 10 minutes.
Dance, Dance, Dance
“Few activities stimulate as wide a variety of brain systems as dancing does,” says Dr. Amen. “Dancing requires everything from coordination and organization to planning and judgment.”
Join a Reading Group
Watch less TV and read more. “Reading is good for your brain only when it involves storing and retrieving information,” says Dr. Amen. That’s why reading groups are beneficial. “And the social aspect of book groups adds another dynamic that bolsters cognitive functioning.”
Kill the ANTs
“Automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) inflame the areas of the brain responsible for anxiety,” says Dr. Amen. They also increase the production of stress hormones, which kill brain cells. Whenever an ANT enters your mind, write it down and devise a plan to correct it.
Make love often
Men who make love at least twice a week are 50 percent less likely to have a heart attack than those who have sex less often, say scientists. This matters because growing evidence supports a simple fact: What’s good for the heart is good for the brain. “Sex also releases feel-good chemicals that fight stress,” says Dr. Amen.