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April 10, 2015

Omega-3 Supplements During Lactation May Be Beneficial for Babies

Filed under: Omega-3 — Sarah @ 5:47 pm
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

The DHA form of omega-3s accounts for more than 10% of brain fatty acids and is important for brain development in babies. A recent study suggests that taking omega-3 supplements may help lactating women increase omega-3 levels in their breast milk and help babies achieve a better ratio of omega-3 to omega-6.

Participants in the study included 89 lactating women and their babies. All of the women were 4-6 weeks postpartum. They were given either a placebo, 200 mg DHA or 400 mg DHA for six weeks and told to follow their usual diets.

The researchers measured both breast milk and maternal plasma fatty acid levels in the mothers at the beginning and end of the study. Fatty acid levels in the infants were measured at the end of the study.

The researchers found that the 200 mg supplement was associated with a 50% increase in omega 3s in the breast milk and 71% increase in maternal plasma DHA, compared to placebo. The 400 mg dose showed even greater improvements, with 123% and 101% increases, respectively. 

The babies in the supplement groups had lower omega 6:3 ratios than those in the placebo group. Lower ratios have been associated with higher percentage of DHA in the three critical regions of the brain. Some studies suggest that an imbalance in the 6:3 ratio in the early stages of life may result in irreversible changes in the hypothalamus.

Researchers from Abbott Nutrition conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 10, 2015, in the journal PLEFA.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s.



April 3, 2015

Omega-7 May Lower Inflammation Up to 44%

Filed under: Omega-3 — Emma @ 4:59 pm
Emma
Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor

Systemic inflammation has been linked to an increase in the risk of a number of diseases, including depression, cancer, heart attack, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.  A recent study suggests that a patented, purified form of omega-7 fatty acids may lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, by as much as 44%.

The proprietary supplement used was sourced from anchovy or menhaden oil. It contained 50% palmitoleic acid and only a small amount of palmitic acid, which has been found to be associated with atherosclerosis, diabetes, and weight gain.

Participants in the study included 60 people with abnormal lipid levels and mild systemic inflammation, which was demonstrated by slightly elevated CRP levels. Over the course of 30 days, they were given either 220.5 mg of omega-7s in the form of cis-palmitoleic acid or 1000 mg of medium chain triglycerides as a placebo.

At the conclusion of the study, the omega-7 group had a 44% reduction in CRP, a 15% reduction in triglycerides, and an 8% reduction in LDL cholesterol levels. They also had an average 5% increase in HDL cholesterol, when compared with the placebo.

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic conducted the study. It was published in the November-December issue of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology.

Previous studies suggest that omega-7 palmitoleic acid may help with insulin sensitivity, and slow the destruction of insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells. Some of the many foods that contain palmitoleic acid include sea buckthorn berries, macadamia nuts, whale blubber, anglerfish liver, lard, baker’s yeast, butter, herring, avocado, cheddar cheese, and egg yolk.



April 1, 2015

This Nutritional Supplement May Help Women With Hair Loss

Filed under: Omega-3 — Emma @ 5:03 pm
Emma
Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor

Female pattern hair loss (FHPL) affects as many as 50% of women over the age of 50 and is usually seen as lower hair density, mainly in the crown and frontal scalp. A recent study suggests that taking a combination of omega-3s, omega-6s, and antioxidants may improve scalp coverage and the condition of hair in women suffering from FHPL.

Participants in the study included 120 healthy women who took either a specific blend of omega-3s and omega-6s from fish and blackcurrant seed oils combined with antioxidants or a placebo over the course of six months. At the conclusion of the study, the supplement group had improved hair density as measured by photograph assessment.

89.9% of the participants in the supplement group also reported a reduction in hair loss, 78.5% reported improvement in hair diameter, and 87.3% reported better hair density.  In the control group, 69.2% of the participants reported a reduction in hair loss, 33.3% reported improvement in hair diameter, and 64.1% reported better hair density.

Researchers from Laboratoires innéov in France conducted the study. It was published in the March 2015 issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, better moods, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s. If you don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.

Omega-6 are also essential fatty acids that are not produced by the human body. Previous studies link them with improved brain functioning. However, the American diet often contains too many omega-6s and maintaining a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 is essential for good health.

Antioxidants are vital for good health because they combat free radicals. Free radicals break down cells in the body and can lead to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. The production of free-radicals can be increased as a result of smoking, pollution, alcohol, infection and stress.



March 13, 2015

Vitamin D Plus Omega-3s May Boost Serotonin Levels

Filed under: Omega-3,Vitamin D — Sarah @ 5:32 pm
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

A recent study suggests that taking vitamin D and omega-3s supplements together may help cognitive function and social behavior, especially in people who have ADHD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

Working with the knowledge that low serotonin levels exacerbate the conditions listed above, the researchers examined how vitamin D and omega-3s may affect them. They found that serotonin synthesis, release, and function in the brain are all modulated by vitamin D and EPA and DPA omega-3s, the two fatty acids that come from marine life.

They also noted that 70% of adults and 67% of children between the ages of one and eleven are vitamin D deficient, even when you take fortification and supplementation into account.

The researchers suggest that more studies should be done to determine optimal levels of vitamin D and omega-3s to help with these cognitive and behavioral disorders.  They also believe that they may be a potential a side effect-free alternative to serotonin-boosting prescription medications.

Researchers from the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 24, 2015, in The FASEB Journal.

DHA and EPA are the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, better moods, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s. If you don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.

Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.



March 10, 2015

Supplementation with Fatty Acids May Enhance Weight Loss

Filed under: Omega-3 — Sarah @ 4:20 pm
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

While adopting a reduced calorie diet is a good approach to weight loss, there are also supplements that studies have found further enhance the weight loss process.  A recent study suggests that alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) supplements, taken with and without EPA fatty acid, may help obese and overweight women who are following a reduced calorie diet to lose weight.

Participants in the study included 97 overweight or obese women who followed a reduced calorie diet. Additionally, they were split into four treatments:

  • control group taking no supplements;
  • 1.3 grams of EPA daily;
  • 0.3 grams of ALA daily;
  • EPA and ALA.

The study period lasted for ten weeks and 77 women completed the study.

At the conclusion of the study, the control group lost an average of 11.7 lbs following just the reduced calorie diet. The EPA-only group lost an average 11.9 lbs. The ALA-only group lost an average 15.4 lbs, while the EPA plus ALA group lost an average 14.3 lbs.

The control and ALA-only group also showed lower levels of leptin. However, when EPA was combined with ALA, the leptin levels returned to normal. Leptin is the satiety hormone that tells the body when it is full.  It tends to decrease during weight loss.

Researchers from the University of Navarra conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on December 31, 2014, in the journal Obesity.

Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that previous studies have linked with improvements in symptoms of diabetes. It can be found in yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes

There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids that come from fish: EPA and DHA. This study looked specifically at EPA. Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s.

If you don’t like fish or you’re worried about the high mercury levels found in some fish, consider taking a daily high quality supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.



January 22, 2015

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Oils May Improve Biomarkers Associated With Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

Filed under: Omega-3 — Emma @ 8:06 pm
Emma
Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor

A recent study suggests that a combination of borage and echium oils or fish oil may improve cholesterol levels and improve blood biomarkers in people with type-2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

Participants in the study included 59 people with early-stage type-2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Over the course of eight weeks they underwent one of three interventions:

1. a control in the form of corn oil;

2. a combination of borage and echium oils;

3. fish oil supplements.

At the conclusion of the study, the borage/echium oils group had a decrease in total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Total cholesterol dropped from 182.0 to 171.9 mg/dL and LDL cholesterol dropped from 106.3 to 96.8 mg/dL.

The fish oil group had increases in HDL (or “good”) cholesterol from 40.7 mg/dL to 53.6 mg/dL. They also showed a decrease in triglycerides from 187.2 to 156.8 mg/dL. The fish oil group also had decreases in the hemoglobin A1c test, which measures how well diabetes is being controlled.

Researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina conducted the study. It was published on December 16, 2014, in Lipids in Health and Disease.

Fish oil and the omega-3s have been linked to numerous other health benefits, including combating diabetes, lowering cholesterol, improving vision, reducing the risk of dementia and relieving depression.

If you’re looking to increase your fish oil intake, try adding darker fish, such as salmon or tuna, to your diet. If you don’t like the taste of fish or are just finding it hard to work it into your meal plans, consider taking a high quality supplement. Make sure your supplement is tested for purity and potency.

Borage oil contains omega-6 fatty acids gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), linoleic acid (LA), as well as relatively high levels of oleic acid. Previous studies have linked it with easing skin disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, ADHD, and inflammation. It can be purchased as oil or eaten in salad or soups.

Previous studies have linked echium oil with improved immunity and lower inflammation, as well as lower risk of a cardiac event. It is especially important for vegetarians and vegans, who don’t eat fish or eggs and therefore do not get enough essential EPA and DHA omega-3s through their diet.



November 24, 2014

Higher PUFA Levels Associated With Stronger Muscles

Filed under: Omega-3 — Sarah @ 2:40 pm
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

As we age, it becomes harder for our bodies to create and maintain strong muscles. A recent study suggests that increasing levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as omega 3s may be associated with larger muscles and further knee extension in mature adults.

Participants in the study included 836 adults between the ages of 66 and 96. The researchers followed them for an average of 5.2 years. The researchers measured PUFA levels at the onset of the study.

After testing various measures of muscle size and strength, the researchers found that higher PUFA levels at the beginning of the study period were associated with both bigger muscles and further knee extension strength. When they looked at individual PUFAs, they discovered an association between higher levels of arachnidonic acid and smaller muscles, while higher levels of alpha-linolenic acids (ALA) were associated with greater knee extension strength.

Additionally, higher levels of alpha-linolenic acid were associated with lower levels of intermuscular fat tissue. Higher levels of EPA, however, were associated with higher levels of intermuscular fat tissue. Previous studies have shown an association between high levels of intermuscular fat tissue and lower muscle strength.

Researchers from the US National Institute on Aging, the VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Icelandic Heart Association Research Institute, and the University of Iceland conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 29, 2014, in The Journal of Nutrition.

Omega-3s are a great source of PUFAs. They have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, improved mood, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s.

Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that previous studies have linked with improvements in symptoms of diabetes. It can be found in yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes.



November 14, 2014

Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Nicotine Cravings

Filed under: Omega-3 — Sarah @ 9:19 am
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

Cigarette smoking reduces the levels of omega-3 in the brain. Omega-3 deficiency makes it harder for the smoker’s body to overcome it’s craving for another cigarette. A recent study suggests that omega-3 supplements may reduce nicotine cravings, and may help smokers reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke.

Participants in the study included 48 smokers between the ages of 18 and 45 who smoked at least 10 cigarettes per day during the previous year and an average of 14 per day at the beginning of the study. The average age they started smoking was under 18 and the average age at the time of the study was 29, which means they had been smoking for an average of 11 years.

Over the course of thirty days, half of the group took five omega-3 capsules that contained 2710 mg of EPA and 2040 mg of DHA while the other half took a placebo.

The researchers measured levels of nicotine cravings and cigarette consumption including lack of control over tobacco use, anticipation of relief and satisfaction from smoking, and number of cigarettes smoked each day. These were assessed by asking the participants to not smoke for two hours and then exposing them to smoking-related images at the beginning of the study, after 30 days, and after 60 days (30 days after treatment ended).

The researchers found no difference between the omega-3 and the placebo group at the beginning of the study. However, at the thirty-day mark, the supplement group had reduced their cigarette consumption by an average of two per day (11% decrease), even though they hadn’t been asked to change their habits. They also had noticeable reductions in nicotine cravings. At the 60-day mark, 30 days after finishing the treatment, there was a slight increase in nicotine cravings but it was still significantly lower than pre-treatment levels.

The placebo group showed no changes.

Researchers from the University of Haifa in Israel conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 4, 2014, in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

DHA and EPA are the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, better moods, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s. If you don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.



October 15, 2014

Omega-3s May Help Combat Inflammation Induced Depression

Filed under: Omega-3 — Emma @ 4:48 pm
Emma
Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor

Previous studies have shown that people with higher inflammation – including those who are taking cytokines for medical treatment – have an increased risk of depression. A recent study suggests that taking a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids may help combat inflammation-induced depression.

Participants in the study included 152 patients with hepatitis C. They were chosen to participate because a 6-month treatment course of interferon-alpha therapy for chronic hepatitis C causes depression in 30% of patients.

The participants were given either EPA omega-3 fatty acids, DHA omega-3 fatty acids, or a placebo every day for two weeks. After those two weeks, all of the participants underwent a 24-week course of interferon-alpha treatment. The researchers evaluated them for depression throughout the study.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the 10% of the EPA group suffered new-onset depression, compared to 28% of the DHA group and 30% of the placebo group. Additionally, both EPA and DHA delayed the onset of interferon induced depression.

Researchers from King’s College in London conducted the study. It was published on October 1, 2014 in Biological Psychiatry.

DHA and EPA are the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, better moods, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in omega-3s. If you don’t like fish, consider taking a daily high quality non-fish supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.



October 1, 2014

Fish Oil May Improve Heart Health

Filed under: Omega-3 — Sarah @ 4:25 pm
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

A recent study suggests that taking fish oil supplements may help improve endothelial health. The endothelium are the cells lining our blood vessels and poor endothelial health has been linked with a higher risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Participants in the study included 84 people with a genetic profile that put them at moderate risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Over the course of eight weeks, they took either 1.5 grams of fish oil containing 0.9 grams of EPA and 0.6 grams of DHA or a placebo. All of the participants then underwent an eight-week washout period before switching interventions.

At the conclusion of the study, the fish oil group showed an average 126.5 increase in endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs – a marker of good endothelial function). In comparison, the placebo group had a 5.17 increase. The researchers also noted in the fish oil group an average 8.75 decrease in endothelial microparticles (EMPs – endothelial microparticles – high numbers of which can indicate disease). The placebo group had an average decrease of 2.74.

Researchers from the University of Reading in the UK conducted the study. It was published in the November 2014 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Fish oil and the omega-3s it contains have also been linked to numerous health benefits, including combating diabetes, lowering cholesterol, improving vision, reducing the risk of dementia and relieving depression.

If you’re looking to increase your fish oil intake, try adding darker fish, such as salmon or tuna, to your diet. If you don’t like the taste of fish or are just finding it hard to work it into your meal plans, consider taking a high quality supplement. Make sure your supplement is tested for purity and potency.



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