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Omega-3’s and Your Good Health

omega3..SusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Writer

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, or what most of us call fish oil, are some of the most well-researched, health supporting nutrients available.  Although omega 3 fatty acids are vital for human health, the body does not produce them and they must be obtained through diet or supplementation.  Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats.  They include ALA, found in plant oils such as flax seed, algae or walnut oils, and EPA and DHA, found in marine oils obtained from cold water fish such sardines, trout, salmon and krill.  Extensive research shows that Omega 3’s support brain, heart, joint, eye, digestive and immune health and promote a healthy inflammatory response. 

Our customers know best!  Here are some of our customers’ 5 star rated omega-3 fatty acid supplements:

OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 720
OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 720 by Metagenics provides a healthy balance of highly concentrated marine lipids, which are produced in Norway in a pharmaceutically licensed facility.  Third party testing ensures purity, while natural antioxidants ensure freshness. 
Arctic Omega Liquid Lemon
Arctic Omega Liquid Lemon by Nordic Naturals is formulated to provide a natural balance of EPA and DHA in an easy to use and pleasant tasting liquid format.  Manufactured according to strict European standards, guaranteeing no detectable heavy metals, dioxins or PCB’s. ON SALE – SAVE15%
Opti-EPA 500 (7089)
Opti-EPA™ 500 (7089) by Douglas Laboratories provides enriched levels of concentrated marine fish oil.  This product is strictly screened for toxic metals and chemicals and is carefully processed to avoid oxidation. 
Flax/Borage Oil
Flax/Borage Oil by Pure Encapsulations provides a concentrated source of essential fatty acids obtained from flax seed oil and borage oil.  Suitable for those who wish to obtain their omegas from plant sources, this product contains chemically-free, fresh pressed oils. 
Total Omega Lemonade
Total Omega by Barlean’s Organic Oils provides optimal levels of vital and essential omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids in a great tasting, lemonade flavored liquid serving.  Sourced from organic flax seed oil, ultra-purified fish oil, and pesticide free borage seed oil. 
ProOmega Lemon 1000 mg
ProOmega Lemon 1000 mg by Nordic Naturals provides high intensity, therapeutic levels of omega-3 sourced from purified deep sea fish oil.  Third party tested for contaminants, heavy metals, dioxins and PCB’s. ON SALE – SAVE 15%
Orthomega Pearls For Kids
Orthomega Pearls for Kids by Ortho Molecular provides great tasting orange-berry flavored chewable pearls formulated specifically for children.  Sourced from cold water fish and tested for pesticides, heavy metals and contaminants.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega3sgfxBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fats because they are necessary for survival and proper health and functioning.  Because the human body is unable to produce them on its own or synthesize them from any other sustenance, a direct food source is required.  The science is clear that the body needs a balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids.  However, due to the large consumption of processed foods, the American diet is heavy on Omega-6’s and low in Omega-3’s, creating an imbalance that can lead to ongoing, chronic inflammation.  The danger of chronic, low-level inflammation is that it can persist undetected for many years.  Its silent nature belies its destructive power, as chronic inflammation is seen as an underlying cause of many chronic, degenerative diseases and contributes greatly to the deterioration and decline associated with the aging process. 

Essential fatty acids include Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexainoic acid (DHA), which are sourced mainly from cold water fish, shellfish and krill. 
  • alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA), which is sourced from vegetable oils, nuts, flaxseed, leafy vegetables and fats from grass fed animals.

And Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats:

  • Linoleic acid (LA), which is abundant in corn oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil.
  • Arachidonic acid (AA), which is found in liver, egg yolks, animal meats and seafood. 
  • Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is found mostly in plant based oils such as borage oil and black currant seed oil. 

The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 should be approximately 1:1.  However the typical American diet is more likely to contain up to 25 times more omega-6’s.  To balance out these fats for optimal cellular functions, we need to increase our intake of omega-3’s through diet or supplementation, and reduce our intake of omega-6’s.  The Mediterranean diet, for example, has a healthier balance of essential fatty acids (EFA’s).  This diet emphasizes foods rich in omega-3’s, including whole grains, seafood, fresh vegetables and fruits, olive oil, and spices as well as moderate wine consumption. 

Well established clinical evidence clearly shows the health benefits of omega-3’s:

  • Lowered risk factors for cardiovascular disease – Researched backed benefits include supporting a healthy heart rhythm, healthy blood vessel function, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease through lowered levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. 
  • Improved brain function –  Our brains are comprised of over 60% fats.  EFA’s are important components of the entire nervous system, where they provide building blocks for healthy cells and tissues.  EFA’s support healthy brain function, promote positive mood and wellbeing, support focus, memory and attention, and may help prevent progression of age-related memory loss. 
  • Increased energy, stamina and performance – EFA’s help build muscle, prevent muscle breakdown and speed recovery from fatigue.  As high-intensity exercise increases demand on the circulatory system, EFA’s promote blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles, promote joint flexibility and support increased performance. 
  • Strengthened immune system –  EFA’s naturally regulate and support healthy immune and inflammatory response, support internal repair systems in response to injury, have anti-inflammatory abilities and may slow damage from auto-immune diseases.
  • Improved hair, skin and nails –  Signs of EFA deficiency include dry, flaky skin, dull hair and brittle nails.  EFA’s reside in membranes that surround skin cells, where they regulate a number of cellular processes that directly impact skin health.  EFA’s support a healthy complexion, stimulate production of healthy skin cells, hydrate and nourish the skin and protect against free radical and age-related damage. 
  • Increased digestive health – Poorly digested foods wreak havoc on the immune system and can promote gut inflammation and increase the body’s toxic load.  EFA’s help to improve gut integrity and decrease inflammation. 
  • Bone strength – EFA’s aid in the transport of minerals that keep bones and teeth strong, helping to prevent osteoporosis.  The anti-inflammatory properties are especially beneficial to menopausal women in preserving bone health. 

From our hearts to our minds and every cell in between, omega-3’s are the healthiest fats you can consume for optimal function.  They provide protection for our cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal and immune systems.  They insulate our nerve cells and support our central nervous system.  A diet balanced in EFA’s is one of the best ways to create health, increase our life span and reduce our risks of degenerative and autoimmune diseases. 

Here are 3 different supplements containing Omega-3 that I would recommend:

Omega-Genics EPA-DHA 720 by Metagenics –  OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 720 features a highly concentrated source of health-promoting omega-3 essential fatty acids from cold-water fish. Each softgel provides a total of 720 mg of EPA and DHA.

Super EFA Complex (K-8) by Apex Energetics –  Super EFA Complex formula, rich in omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids,  decreases both serum cholesterol and platelet aggregation.

Complete Omega 3 Essentials 2:1 by Nutri-West –  This product contains pharmaceutical grade molecularly-distilled EPA and DHA from cold water fish, ALA from flax seed oil, and GLA from borage oil.   

Inflammation Part II: Reduce For Long Term Health

Inflamation Part II Reduce For Long Term Health.By Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Chronic inflammation is quietly becoming the 21st century’s silent killer.  Chronic inflammation can remain undetected, while the inflammation process carries on for weeks, months or even years.  Chronic inflammation, also termed metaflammation because of its link with the metabolic system, differs from acute inflammation in that it is low-grade and persistent.  It perpetuates rather than resolves disease and is associated with a reduced metabolic rate.  Chronic inflammation has become epidemic in America and threatens to destroy many lives with serious and chronic degenerative diseases

Wellness is the absence of inflammation.  The key to optimal health and disease prevention is detection and treatment of the root causes of the inflammation.  There’s no quick fix for chronic inflammation which means that protecting yourself against the onset of chronic disease involves changing your lifestyle habits. 

 To restore your body’s balance and help reduce and prevent inflammation: 

  •  Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.  Overweight people have increased levels of inflammation.  Scientists believe that this level can be traced directly back to the fat itself.  Fat cells churn out proteins known as cytokines which can cause low-grade systemic inflammation.  Excess abdominal weight is linked to a condition called insulin resistance which can lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes
  • Look to make changes in your diet.  Revising your diet is one of the easiest, most effective ways to modulate inflammation.  Foods contain specific messages that can increase or reduce inflammation.  Reducing or eliminating the consumption of fast foods, unhealthy fats, processed foods and food irritants can help reduce inflammation and the risk of developing chronic disease.  Increasing the amounts of a variety of colorful unprocessed fruits and vegetables with high anti-oxidant values can quell inflammation and sweep up damaging free-radicals.  Think in terms of natural, minimally modified foods as anti-inflammatory and processed foods as inflammatory and eat accordingly. 
  • Supplement with Omega-3 fish oil.  Well documented studies show that omega-3 fish oil is strongly anti-inflammatory.  This is one of the simplest, safest, yet most effective steps you can take to quell chronic inflammation in your body.  Maintaining a diet high in omega-3’s through supplementation and dietary changes can help balance the omega-3 to omega-6 fat ratio, lowering inflammation and guarding against chronic disease. 
  • Exercise.  Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to keep inflammation at bay.  An active body produces more anti-oxidants, which combat free radicals and reduce inflammation. 
  • Reduce stressStress produces cortisol, which is anti-inflammatory.  However, it also produces pro-inflammatory cytokines. These proteins are designed to protect the body from an invader.  If the cause of your distress is psychological rather than physical, the immune system works overtime and inflammation results. 
  • Focus on gut health.  The beneficial bacteria in probiotics can help keep harmful bacteria in check, reducing the inflammatory response.  Identify and eliminate foods that trigger allergies or digestive upset.  Ignoring food sensitivities stokes the fires of inflammation.  Leaky gut syndrome, a condition where bacteria, undigested foods and other toxins can leak into your blood stream, triggers an autoimmune response and a host of painful inflammatory symptoms. 
  • Get plenty of rest.  Sleep gives your body time to heal and can undo the effects of the inflammatory response. 
  • Break bad habits.  Tobacco smoke and alcohol are toxins.  One quick way to reduce inflammation is the cessation of smoking.  As well, if you consume alcohol limit yourself to 1-2 drinks or less daily.  If you can eliminate tobacco and alcohol altogether, your overall health should improve. 

By being proactive, you can prolong your good health and your life.  Aging is an interesting pro-inflammatory inducer, the effects of which can be reduced by healthy living.  Eliminating the causes of inflammation by changing your diet, streamlining your daily habits, and adding supplements can dramatically improve the inflamed state of your body and increase the quality of your overall health.  Our bodies are wonderfully complex and resilient, but they need our nurturing.  Keep watch over your internal fire to reap untold rewards of good health and wellness. 

Supplements to aid in reduction of inflammation include:

X-FLM (K-37) by Apex Energetics  –  This product offers nutritional support for the immune system and contains ingredients that are involved in antioxidant processes.  Highly ranked by our customers who have found relief using this product. 

Inflamma-bLOX by Ortho Molecular  –  Useful in reducing inflammation while reducing the side effects on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  Contains natural ingredients with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune enhancing properties. 

OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 2325 by Metagenics  –  Features a highly concentrated source of health-promoting omega-3 essential fatty acids from cold-water fish.  Each teaspoon provides 2325 mg of highly concentrated EPA and DHA for adults seeking higher levels of EPA and DHA. 

InflammEnz by Advanced Formula Enzymes  –  InflammEnz helps combat the symptoms that accompany inflammation with a powerful combination of the proteolytic enzymes bromelain and pHysioProtease™, plus grape seed and rutin, antioxidants that aid in improving peripheral circulation and decreasing capillary permeability.  Contains, vitamin C, an antioxidant essential for collagen formation and tissue repair, as well as minimizing clotting and bruising, along with calcium and potassium, minerals essential for healthy nerve transmission and muscular contraction. Indications: Soft tissue trauma, soft tissue inflammation and post-operative protocols.

UltraFlora Balance by Metagenics  –  As a nutraceutical, this product is formulated to complement dietary recommendations to promote gastrointestinal and immune health. This formula is designed to encourage growth of beneficial bacteria and support healthy immune function, intestinal integrity, and healthy digestive function.

Buffered Vitamin C by Integrative Therapeutics  – As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C supports a healthy immune system response.  In addition, healthy skin, collagen, connective tissues, bone tissue, and tooth tissue formation depend on vitamin C.  Buffered vitamin C uses pure crystalline ascorbic acid to supply 1 gram of vitamin C in each capsule.  This preparation is buffered with calcium and magnesium to make it easier on sensitive stomachs.

DigestZyme by Transformation Enzyme –  The ultimate goal of digestion is getting nutrients to the cells.  Nutrients not only feed the cell, they protect it from free radical damage.  Healthy cells lead to optimal metabolism, energy, and immunity. Supplementing with digestive enzymes is a vital part of this nutrient acquisition process. This unique formula is the perfect introduction to digestive enzymes. It supports immune system health by encouraging more complete digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats for increased absorption and availability of nutrients. Transformation’s DigestZyme™ is designed to assist the body in maximum digestion of nutrients, production of energy, and immune system support.