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Health And Nature Shop Blog

Health And Nature Shop Blog: August 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Omega 3 Linked to Brain, Cardio and Digestive Health

Omega 3 Linked to Brain, Cardio and
Digestive Health
According to an article published in the 2011 edition of Brain, Behavior and Immunity, a recent study has concluded that an increased intake of Omega 3 Fatty Acids has proven to lower anxiety and inflammation in 68 medical students.

The double-blind study showed that anxiety symptoms were 20% lower in students taking an Omega 3 supplement for 12 weeks when compared to those taking a placebo.

The study also revealed a 14% improvement in the levels of a blood marker of inflammation observed in the same group of students and in contrast to those given a placebo.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids (ALA, EPA & DHA) have been linked to a variety to health benefits. Although most recent studies suggest that these benefits are most prevalent in brain health, numerous studies have also shown significant benefits in cardiovascular health, immune function, digestion (crohn's disease), joints (arthritis), skin (psoriasis) and even cancer.

Nutritional surveys suggest that American's are not consuming enough Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Some studies indicate that in average people are consuming five times less than what the World Health Organization recommends: 0.3-0.5 grams of EPA and DHA; and 0.8-1.1 grams of ALA, per day.

The American Heart Association recommends consuming oily fish or supplements containing fish oils at least two times per week. People with history of coronary heart disease should consume at least one gram of EPA and DHA every day. Those wishing to lower triglycerides can consume two to four grams a day.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid#cite_note-118
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21784145
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fish-oil/NS_patient-fishoil/DSECTION=evidence

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Take your Calcium!

How does your Calcium intake measure up?

According to recent studies an alarming percentage of Americans are Calcium deficient; 75% to be precise!

Take Your Calcium!
This data uncovers a latent crisis that costs the healthcare system, as well as individuals, millions of dollars (and health-related headaches) that could potentially be saved if we all gave an adequate daily supply of Calcium to our bodies.

In an article published in by the New York Times, titled "Calcium Takes Its Place As a Supertar of Nutrients," Jane E. Brody asserts that "no major organ system escapes its [Calcium] influence."

Brody states that the relationship between Calcium and our bodies can be explained by the argument proposed by Dr. Hector F. DeLuca, a well known biochemist from the University of Wisconsin and expert in Calcium and Vitamin D metabolism, who believes that the Humans' dependency on Calcium stems from the fact that we evolved as organisms originated from life in the sea under an abundant supply of this precious mineral.

Human organs have evolved to be dependent on Calcium to carry healthy body functions. Unhealthy levels of calcium in the blood trigger a defense mechanism that leads to "borrowing" of Calcium stored in the bones and other organs, which in turn can become the cause a number of conditions like osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, PMS and even multiple kinds of cancer. 

In order to avoid an unhealthy "drainage" of this vital mineral from our bones and major organs, it is advised to continuously supply our body with Calcium (and Vitamin D which enables Calcium to enter the blood) proportionate to our age and following the chart below:

Dairy products are a great source of Calcium; however, green leafy vegetables like Spinach and Broccoli, nuts, fish and legumes, as well as foods fortified with Calcium and Calcium supplements, can be excellent sources of this important mineral.

Appendix 14 of the 2010 Dietary Guideline for Americans (pg. 89) gives an extensive list of select food sources ranked by amounts of calcium and calories per standard food portion.

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