omega-3

  1. Improve gum disease with omega-3 fatty acids

    A new study found that men and women who get daily amounts of omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduce their risk of developing gum disease.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are important to your oral health in two ways. First off, previous research shows that low doses of EPA, DHA, and ALA (all forms of omega-3 fatty acids) block the growth of oral pathogens, such as Streptococcus mutans, Candida albicans, and Porphyromonas ginigivalis.

    Plus...

    The latest study shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in your gums. And that‘s a big deal. In fact, scientists believe it explains why men and women who ate foods containing moderate amounts of DHA and EPA were 20 percent less likely to develop gum disease.

    According to lead author Dr. Asghar Naqvi, Harvard Medical School, "To date, the treatment of periodontitis has primarily involved mechanical cleaning and local antibiotic application. Thus, a dietary therapy, if effective, might be a less expensive and safer method for the prevention and treatment of periodontitis."

    "Our results also suggest that DHA ([in] doses recommended by the American Heart
    Association ...) may be as or more potent in influencing periodontitis," continued
    Dr. Naqvi.

    The easiest way to get plenty of DHA and EPA is with a fish oil supplement. Take it with meals to avoid the fishy aftertaste. Also, to combat the free radicals produced by the omega-3s in fish oil, take 400 IU of vitamin E along with it. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that will zap unwanted free radicals. Just look for all-natural vitamin E with mixed tocopherols.

  2. Slash five years off your age with a supplement you should already be taking

    How would you like to take a magic pill to slow down your aging process? I'm talking about literally adding years to your life. Sounds like something from a fairy tale, I know. But especially for heart disease patients, this magic pill is for real.

    It all starts with your telomeres...

    A telomere is a tiny "cap" found at the end of each of your chromosomes. Some experts liken a telomere to the plastic wrap at the end of a shoelace. The plastic stops the shoelace from unraveling. Likewise, telomeres protect your chromosomes from mutating or fusing with each other, which can lead to cancer and other diseases.

    But your telomeres change with age. They get shorter. In fact, each time one of your cells replicates, the telomere on those chromosomes become shorter. Things like poor eating habits, smoking, drinking alcohol, and oxidative stress can also shorten your telomeres.

    When a telomere is totally gone, the cell dies.

    This has led many scientists to conclude that the shorter your telomeres, the older your biological age. In fact, Dr. Richard M. Cawthon and his colleagues at the University of Utah discovered that your telomere length has a direct affect on your lifespan. They found that men and women over 60 with shorter telomeres are three times more likely to die from heart disease. And they're eight times more likely to die from infectious disease.

    And that's not all...

    When Cawthon divided men and women into two groups based on telomere length, they found something interesting. The group with longer telomeres lived five years longer than the group with shorter chromosome caps. In fact, in a recent interview, Dr. Cawthon said that if you could find a way to protect your telomeres, he believes you could add 10, 20, or even 30 years to your lifespan.

    And now – thanks to scientists from the University of California, San Francisco – we know there is one thing you can do to prevent your telomeres from shortening...

    Get more omega-3 fatty acids!

    Omega-3s protect DNA

    Scientists from SCSF recruited 608 outpatients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). Why'd they pick CAD patients? Well, it's an established fact that omega-3s have a positive impact on heart health. But until now, scientists haven't understood why (or how) this nutrient protects the heart.

    So they measured the length of the patients' telomeres and the level of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood streams. Then the scientists made a note of those scores and rechecked these patients five years later.

    And what did they find?

    Well, as you'd expect, the patients with plenty of omega-3s in the blood stream had the slowest rates of telomeres shortening. Patients with low levels of omega- 3s had the fastest rates of telomere shortening.

    Translation? Getting plenty of omega-3s slowed down the aging process in these heart patients.

    In fact, I'm quite confident, you'd get the same results using healthy patients or even patients with other diseases, such as cancer.

    So what's the bottom line for you?

    It's pretty simple. Just get plenty of omega-3s into your diet.

    The best way to do that is by taking a fish oil capsule. And be consistent. Take it every day. Just be sure to take extra selenium and 400 IU of natural mixed tocopherol-type vitamin E along with it for extra antioxidant protection.

    Also, if you want to learn more about omega-3 fatty acids, you can always look through back issues of my Guide to Good Health. Just visit http://www.northstarnutritionals.com/article_list_all.php. Type "omega-3" into the KEYWORD search box and you'll find 13 important articles on the topic.

  3. The Blood Sugar/Antidepressant Connection

    I know many of you reading this may suffer from depression. And you may take an antidepressant to help control your symptoms. But antidepressants aren't without their own pitfalls. A common side effect is weight gain. Some would say it's a small price to pay for regaining your mental stability. But gaining weight can also put you at risk for developing a whole host of other health problems. In fact, authors of a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry wanted to determine if taking an antidepressant increased your risk of developing diabetes. To figure this out, researchers analyzed the medical data of 165,000 men and women who took antidepressants to treat their depression. Were these patients more likely to get diabetes? Serious side effects for some users After analyzing data, researchers found that long-term use (more than 24 months) of antidepressants in moderate or high daily doses increased a patient's risk of developing diabetes. The antidepressant/anti-anxiety drug Paroxetine (Paxil) was the worst offender. Men and women who took 20 mg/per day or more of Paroxetine for at least 24 months experienced a four-fold increased risk of developing diabetes. On the other hand, patients who only used antidepressants for a short amount of time (less than 12 months) or who used lower daily doses did not increase their risk of developing diabetes. Here's the good news: while long-term use certainly seems to increase your likelihood of developing diabetes, a short-term stint may not cause a problem. So if you must resort to a prescription drug to help with your depression, keep it as short as possible. Furthermore, if you experience mild or occasional symptoms, you may also want to consider dietary causes of your depression. Can certain foods cause depression? Yes! In fact, in my practice, I found that mild depression was often caused by uncontrolled high blood sugar. You see, when you eat a jelly donut, it causes an intense sugar rush. Your blood sugar spikes off the charts. Your brain then sends an urgent message to your pancreas to crank out more insulin to control the sugar surging in your blood. But because your blood sugar went up so fast and so high (as will happen with sugary foods), your pancreas secretes way too much insulin. As a result, your blood sugar comes crashing down. In fact, it crashes too far. And then you have low blood sugar. Not surprisingly, at this point you may feel a craving for more sugar to boost your levels back up. And so begins a vicious cycle. But when this happens day after day, year after year, your body begins to exhibit very real symptoms, not the least of which is depression. So if you're feeling slightly depressed, try eliminating sugar and simple carbs like white rice, potatoes, pasta, and bread. Instead, go for meals with plenty of protein. The secret of omega-3s
    Speaking of good protein, wild salmon is one of the best if you're prone to depression. That's because it contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids. According to a study published this year, women who have the highest intake of omega-3 fatty acids improve their depression by nearly 30 percent! Now -- if you don't eat a lot of salmon, I'd recommend a high-quality fish oil supplement. But, remember fatty acids increase free radicals in your body. Left unchecked, these molecules can cause cancer and disease in the body. So always take some extra antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium along with the fish oil to neutralize the free radicals. Using some common sense In closing, if you must take an antidepressant for longer than 24 months, it's probably a good idea to boost your physical activity as well. Not only will you get all those "feel good" endorphins from the workout, it will also help control your weight and stabilize your blood sugar. And please remember that depression can be a debilitating disease. Make sure you seek the help of a mental health professional if your symptoms last longer than two weeks.

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