Keep your prostate happy

Prostate health

 

Many men don’t even know where their prostate is, let alone how to spell it! How often have we heard him refer to it as a “prostrate”….haha.

Call it what you like but all men have this small gland, about the size of a walnut, that sits under the bladder by the urethra. If it gets swollen it can act like a clamp, making it harder to urinate. This is fairly common in men over the age of 60. It’s either caused by inflammation of the prostate or, more commonly,  benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH  – meaning the prostate is simply enlarged. It’s comforting to know that there is no clear link between BPH and prostatic cancer, other than difficulty urinating.

Keep your prostate healthy

When it comes to prostatic cancer, just as with breast cancer, prevention is key. So how can you keep your prostate healthy? Like the rest of your body, the health of this gland depends mostly on what you eat. Numerous studies have shown that the strongest dietary risk factor for prostatic cancer is dairy consumption and this has been attributed to a hormone in milk called Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF).  So a good place for men to start would be to limit milk intake. Unless of course you’re milking healthy, free-ranging, hormone and antibiotic-free Daisy in your own back yard.

Secondly, eat more fruit and vegetables because according to enough studies, the higher your consumption the lower your risk. Particularly beneficial are tomatoes (preferably cooked in a healthy oil), rich in lycopene known to hinder the growth of prostate cancer cells. Kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and garlic are also profoundly cancer protective.

Supplements for preventionA man's zinc

Zinc is probably the most important here. The prostate gland contains and uses more zinc than any other tissue – 4 to 80 times more, depending on tissue comparisons. Zinc inhibits 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme which turns testosterone into DHT, the form of testosterone that promotes prostate cancer. Zinc also inhibits the secretion of some estrogens (also linked to prostate issues). Without adequate zinc, sperm production decreases, and the general health of the prostate falters. Clinical evidence indicates that cancerous prostate cells contain less zinc than healthy prostate cells. I highly recommend Vibrant Health’s A Man’s Zinc.

See Yourself Well Omega-3 Softgels EPA 400mg

 

Omega-3 fish oil comes second on my list. As we already know, fish oil is high in the omega-3 fatty acids that help combat inflammation and inflammation is a factor in many cancers. Fish oil has also been shown to retard the growth of prostate cancer. The lower the rate of proliferation, the less the chances that the cancer will spread outside the prostate, where it is much harder to treat. Supplementing with Omega-3 from purified fish oils (EPA and DHA) would be a good idea  if you’re suffering from BPH or prostatitis or even just as a cancer preventative measure. Be sure to only take the purest fish oils you can find, limiting yourself to those been awarded the International Fish Oil Standards 5 Star rating such as our See Yourself Well brand.  You can’t get purer than that!

Then I also recommend turmeric to keep inflammation and hence cancer at bay. So either the Vibrant Health Turmeric 46X or the Maximised Turmeric which is double the strength of the former.

sunbather

 

Sunshine

According to a study, men with higher levels of vitamin D (typically obtained through sunshine exposure) in their blood were half as likely to develop aggressive forms of prostate cancer than those with lower amounts. And best news of all – 15 minutes a day in the sun costs you nothing!

 

Screening for prostate cancer

The most commonly used screening test for prostate health is a blood test measuring PSA (prostate-specific antigen). High levels of PSA may be an early indicator of prostate cancer.  However, it also gives many false positives and more importantly men need to know that their PSA levels can be raised in a male with BPH or if the gentleman has any inflammation anywhere in his body at the time of testing, An above normal reading doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. (Never test when there is acute infection or inflammation anywhere in the body – always fix that first before having the PSA blood test!).

Men also need to know that there is an increasingly prevalent belief that this test has been wildly oversold and due to aggressive over treatment can cause more harm than benefit in some cases. Because prostate cancers are slow growing, many older men might never experience any symptoms of the disease before dying of other causes.

Probably the best advice is not to be rushed into any procedure: get opinions from 3 different specialists and only if they all agree should you seriously consider their advice. You know, if one is looking for something and looks long enough, one will eventually find it. Stop constantly being afraid of some disease or other and certainly stop looking for  things that are wrong, or not in most cases. This just adds stress to your life which is not good for anyone.

Disclaimer
The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. It is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or in any way replace qualified medical supervision. For any medical conditions, consult with your healthcare provider before using any products. Abundant health to you all.

Fabulous Avocados

avocados
Although I don’t believe any food is the be-all–and-end-all, this one comes pretty close. When in season as they are now, they are at their best, and it becomes difficult not to pig out on this amazing fruit and, surprisingly, to  never get tired of it. Currently, avocado benefits have been getting a lot of positive press, and we’re not just talking Banting. Although the fats in avocados fall in the category of healthy fats that won’t cause weight gain, there are many other reasons why an avo a day would not go amiss.

Eye food
One reason would be to support deteriorating vision.  There is much evidence supporting the notion that the intake of one whole avocado a day can lead to improvement in most vision-related avocados and eyeschallenges, including age-related macular degeneration and gradual diminishment of visual acuity.

The explanation for avocados being good for vision lies in its abundance in three nutrients that support the unique tissues that make up our eyes, these nutrients being lutein, a known protector of eye health, and  vitamin E and C.  The carotenoid antioxidant lutein in avocado is especially helpful to vision because it comes packaged with plenty of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids that help ensure optimal absorption of lutein into the bloodstream. (This is a critical point with all fat-soluble nutrients; they are best absorbed when they are ingested along with foods that are rich in healthy fats.). Our Creator has ensured the whole caboodle comes packaged in one delicious fruit.

Brain food

A new study out of Tufts University has not only linked avocados with better vision but also with better brain function in older adults. Not surprising, as there is a significant amount of scientific research that indicates how eye health is directly connected to brain health. The research assessed 40 healthy adults over the age of 50 who ate one fresh avocado per day for six months. Apart from experiencing a 25% increase in their levels of lutein in their eyes, it was found that they also experienced a significant improvement in their problem-solving skills and working memory. Credit again goes to lutein, known for its ability to accumulate not only in the eyes, but also in the blood and brain, as well as for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Heart food
    Step aside bananas! One avocado contains as much potassium as two small bananas. Potassium is a nutrient that promotes healthy heart contraction and reduces high blood

    pressure. So for lowering blood pressure there is no better food than avocado. Furthermore, many studies have shown that avocados can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
    and raise HDL cholesterol. Avocados themselves contain no cholesterol, only heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
waistline
You may be wondering why a fruit so dense in calories is also so waistline-friendly. The answer lies is in the healthy fats and the high fibre content that promote a feeling of satiety that decreases the tendency to snack even hours after eating one.
So why waste anymore time underestimating the healing power of avocados – just get on and enjoy them – one a day, everyday! (BTW I have no conflict of interest to declare – I only wish I did own an avocado plantation).

The LCHF Diet – are there risks?

 

Although I am in favour of the LCHF Diet, that also goes by the names Banting, Paleo and Ketogenic Diets, and see it as a fundamentally healthy way of eating that mirrors the diet we evolved to eat and is in accordance with our innate physiology, I do harbour some reservations. This diet (which I prefer to refer to as an eating plan) in the hands of followers who have scant knowledge of nutritional needs of the body or harm that can be done by toxic chemicals, can become risky. Balancing proteins and fats with fresh fruit and vegetables and sourcing organic and grass-fed produce are fundamental to the success of this LCHF plan. I see people losing unwanted kilograms but at what cost?

Acid-alkaline balance goes

Eating only protein and fat and totally avoiding vegetables – any man’s dream!  I hear of people eating just eggs, bacon and more bacon for breakfast. Some may even have a 400g steak for breakfast – nothing else! So what’s the problem with this? A huge one: No acid-alkaline balance. Vegetables and fruits are alkaline-forming and meat, dairy and fats are acid-forming. You need a balance or else disease will prevail. Cancer thrives in an acidic environment. High protein diets can lead to acidosis setting the stage for osteoporosis, hormonal imbalances and gut dysbiosis and can potentially lead to kidney stones, arthritis and gout.

Nutrient deficiencies

If you’re not eating enough fruits and vegetables you’re missing out on many essential nutrients and anti-oxidants. Without them you are putting yourself at risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well as oxidised or rancid cholesterol which can result in arterial plaque and inflammation. By not following the LCHF diet correctly you are losing out on potential good health and vitality.

Exposure to more toxins

Processed meats such as bacon are known to be potentially carcinogenic (cancer-forming) due to the nitrosamines formed during frying. Even non-processed meats, if from commercial sources and not from grass-fed animals, are full of toxins such as xenoestogens, antibiotics and growth hormones.  Remember too that toxins are stored mainly in fat cells so the more fat you are eating from feedlot animals, and not those reared on grass, the more toxins you are taking in.

Not all cheeses are good

Then there’s the matter of “eat all the cheese you want” claim that is bandied about by some followers who have lost the plot. There are good cheeses and bad and the bad ones from feedlot animals are just as high in the toxins mentioned for meat. Processed cheese is also high in sodium and eating too much of it can result in magnesium and potassium imbalances, never mind that cheese is also highly mucous-forming and constipating!

Vitamin B deficiency

Finally, this diet is also devoid of all grains so if you’re not eating organ meats, nuts and seeds then watch out for vitamin B deficiencies including biotin. If hair-loss occurs or your stress levels rise, a vitamin B supplement would be advisable. Also have your homocysteine levels checked. High levels can cause hardening of the arteries and to reduce these levels you need most of the B vitamins which are abundant in whole grains, which you are no longer eating!

LCHF not working so well for you?

Perhaps you are one of the unlucky ones for whom this eating plan does not result in weight-loss but rather makes you feel unwell. There is a very probable reason for this: As mentioned before, toxins are stored in fat cells, hence overweight people tend to carry more toxins because there is more “space” so to say. Fat is much more difficult to move in a toxic body so it is essential to start your weight-loss program with a detoxification program  that includes a digestive tract and lymphatic system cleanse and liver support. Continue with this throughout your weight-loss program so that the toxins move out and don’t get stuck.

LCHF no longer working so well for you?healthy

Perhaps you found that you were but are no longer losing weight on this diet? Could it be that you are eating too much protein?  Most people don’t realise that a significant percentage of excess protein will ultimately be converted to sugar and stored as fat.  You simply have to stick to the rules: protein portions should be no bigger than the area and thickness of the palm of you hand, minus fingers. And you simply have to include 5-7 cups of fresh vegetables and fruits daily to benefit from this type of eating plan. Without the fibre provided by these foods a clogged digestive system will be the order of the day. These foods are also your anti-oxidants, neutralising free radicals, keeping you healthy and slowing down ageing.

On the positive side

My intention is not to throw cold water on an eating plan that is working for you, all I ask is that you do not compromise your health for the sake of weight-loss. If followed correctly the LCHF diet can be very beneficial for most people as an every day eating plan.

The best news is that two positives have come out of everyone “banting” these days: the harmful refined carbs like sugar and flour are out and secondly, the no-fat and low-fat myths have been busted! Cheers to that!

For supplement advice you are welcome to email lynne@orchardsnutrition.co.za

 

SMOKING AND YOUR BABY

Mothers’ smoking during pregnancy is well-recognized as carrying a range of serious health risks for the unborn baby including fetal mortality, low birth weight, premature birth and a range of serious birth defects such as cleft palate, club foot and heart problems.

Heart defects

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defects, contributing to approximately 30 percent of infant deaths from birth defects annually. Tobacco exposure in the womb may be a huge contributing factor. According to study results published in the journal Pediatrics, women who smoke during the first trimester of pregnancy increase their unborn child’s risk of being born with congenital heart defects by 20 to 70 percent. The study, conducted  by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found a link between tobacco and defects that inhibit blood flow from the right side of the heart into the lungs and openings between the upper chambers of the heart.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)smoking when pregnant

SIDS, also known as cot death, is marked by the sudden death of an infant that is unexpected by medical history and remains unexplained after a thorough forensic autopsy and a detailed death scene investigation. However, studies show that infants of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are three times more likely to die of SIDS than those whose mothers were smoke-free. Furthermore, exposure to secondhand smoke doubles a baby’s risk of SIDS. According to the US Surgeon General’s Report, infants who die from SIDS tend to have higher concentrations of nicotine and conicotine (a biological marker for secondhand smoke exposure) in their body fluids than those who die from other causes. Yet another good reason to ditch the cigs. Quitting smoking is no easy task but it just has to be easier than grieving for a lost child!

Second hand smoke

A pregnant mother who does not smoke and breathes in secondhand smoke has a 23% higher chance of delivering a stillborn baby or a 13% higher chance of giving birth to a child with congenital birth defects.  This is what researchers from the University of Nottingham, England, revealed in the journal Pediatrics. As we still do not know when the effects of secondhand smoke may begin, it is important to protect women from environmental tobacco smoke not only during pregnancy, but also beforehand. Expectant fathers need to be aware of the harmful effects their smoking might have, and ultimately, in the interests of their partner and their unborn child, the best option would be to give up completely
(Men also need to know that smoking does have an impact on sperm development and hence the prospects of the resulting foetus. Please quit before you even try for a baby).

Enter third hand smoke.

Unheard of before but now thought to be the reason why babies who sleep in their parents’ bedrooms exhibit nicotine levels three times higher than those that sleep in another room – even though the parents don’t smoke in their bedroom. These figures show that they suffer from what is known as “third-hand smoke”, in other words the harmful smoke particles that impregnate their parents’ skin, clothes and hair. This third hand smoke – the invisible remains of cigarette smoke that deposits on carpeting, clothing, furniture and other surfaces – also poses a serious health hazard to babies crawling on carpets.

So what to do?
In view of all the above, the guidelines to parents are clear:

  • Do not smoke during pregnancy (mothers and fathers)
  • Never smoke or let anyone smoke near your baby
  • Never smoke or let anyone smoke in a room where your baby will sleep
  • If you smoke, do not sleep in the same room as your baby
  • Don’t hesitate to ask visitors not to smoke near your baby
  • Avoid visiting smokey places with your baby

 

Any of the above will make your baby smoke passively and increase his/her risk of health problems significantly. Baby will also be more prone to colds and airway infections and have an increased chance to develop asthma and other diseases. Quitting is the single most important thing a couple can do to give their baby a chance at better health. So how about quitting today!

Why quit smoking?

Every year millions of smokers worldwide make a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking for the umpteenth time.  I wonder what percentage actually do. Smoking is both a habit and an addiction and undisputedly a serious hazard to your health.

Habit vs Addiction

Habits are affected by your environment. Things in your daily life – something you see or do – act as a cue or a trigger, and you respond by taking the habitual next action. Maybe you reach for a cigarette when you answer a phone call or pour yourself a cup of coffee?

Addictions, on the other hand, are affected by your body’s chemistry. Your brain has receptors that respond to the presence of nicotine by releasing dopamine, a chemical that produces feelings of pleasure. That’s why smoking feels good. But the feeling doesn’t last long, and your body craves more nicotine. You have entered a vicious cycle.

The passage of blood through your body

To understand how smoking will affect every organ in your body we need to look at the bigger picture showing how all of your body parts are interconnected. Let’s begin at your small intestine and follow the basic pathway of blood through your body. As your blood courses through the vessels that line your small intestine, it picks up nutrients from your most recent meal and flows to your liver. From your liver, your blood, packed with nutrients needed by all the cells of your body, travels upward to the right chambers of your heart. From here it travels to your lungs, where it picks up oxygen from the air that you breathe. Also at your lungs, your blood releases carbon dioxide (a waste product) to be exhaled. From your lungs, your blood travels to the left chambers of your heart, from where it is pumped out to the rest of your body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to all of your cells.

Since every organ in your body requires oxygen and nutrients, your blood travels through every organ, unloading oxygen and nutrients to all your cells and picking up carbon dioxide and other waste products from your cells. And when it passes through your kidneys, it is cleansed of waste products by special filters. Your blood eventually comes full circle by returning to your small intestine and liver.

To give you an idea of how much ground we’re talking about, consider that:

  1. If strung together, all of the blood vessels that make up the pathway described above could circle the earth two and a half times.
  2. Over the course of one day, your blood travels about 19,000 kilometres.

The human being is such an amazing creation. Why do we go all out to self-destruct?

So how does smoking affect your health?

Smoking overworks the heart

Now let’s re-visit your heart and lungs. Remember that before your heart pumps blood to the far ends of your body, it first sends the blood to your lungs to pick up oxygen. If your lungs develop chronic disease through exposure to cigarette smoke or other environmental pollutants it experiences repeated bouts of inflammation. By trying to heal damaged areas, the lungs can develop scar tissue. Significant scar tissue makes it harder for your lung tissues to allow fresh oxygen to enter your blood, and for carbon dioxide to leave your blood.

The result is that your heart has to work harder because your body’s need for oxygenated blood and clearance of carbon dioxide remains the same, regardless of how healthy your lungs are. In order to keep up with your body’s demand for oxygen and nutrients, the right side of your heart has to pump harder, and possibly faster, to compensate for reduced efficiency in your lungs. Your heart will eventually become fatigued and won’t be able to sustain the effort needed to keep blood flowing through your system fast enough to ensure optimal delivery of oxygen.

Liver congestion and congested blood vessels

If the right side of your heart is significantly weakened from years of compensating for diseased lungs, your liver may experience signs of congestion, since your liver is constantly sending blood directly to the right chambers of your heart.  So indirectly lung disease becomes a potential cause of liver disease.

Another potential consequence of fatigue and weakness in the right side of your heart is congestion in the blood vessels in your lower extremities, since these vessels are continuously sending blood back to your heart. This is how lung or heart disease can cause problems related to circulation like varicose veins and hemorrhoids.  See all the connections? And all this just from a starting point of lungs filled with smoke. Fact is, if one of your organs isn’t doing well, in this case the lungs, it’s only a matter of time before other organs will experience declining function.

Never fear – Help is at handVice Breaker

If you’re a smoker wanting another chance at life, resolve to quit now! If you find you can’t do it alone, The Orchards Nutrition Centre is the exclusive importer and distributor in South Africa of Vice Breaker,  a 100% natural herbal supplement which has proven to be a safe and very effective quit-smoking aid. All you do is take one capsule in the morning and one capsule in the evening for a month. Most smokers find that within 4 to 5 days they are no longer craving cigarettes and after 2 weeks on the course, with their lungs now cleansed of previous smoking, they feel energised and healthier.

Find out more about Vice Breaker here.

You should find answers to all your questions regarding Vice Breaker here: Frequently Asked Questions

 

Focussing on Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10, also known as Ubiquinone, is a vitamin-like, fat-soluble antioxidant found everywhere in the body with the highest concentrations in vital organs such as the heart and pancreas. Highest levels in the heart occur at around age 20 however by age 80 these levels have reduced to less than half. One of its major roles in the body is to help convert the food we eat into energy to power our bodies and brain. It is now believed that Coenzyme Q10 is the key nutrient for generating 95% of the total energy required by the human body. However the effects of CoQ10 do not stop at energy production.

Heart disease

The great bulk of clinical work with Coenzyme Q10 has focused on heart disease. More than 35 controlled clinical trials in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. have proven that CoQ10 therapy is highly effective in the treatment of congestive heart failure, angina and ischemic heart disease, and myocardial infarction. CoQ10 pioneer, Karl Folkers,  found lower CoQ10 levels in patients with more severe heart disease and showed that CoQ10 supplements significantly raised blood and heart tissue levels of CoQ10 in these patients.

Statins

Statins are drugs that lower the endogenous production of cholesterol and are often touted as “life-saving” by cardiologists and the media. Due to the partially shared biosynthetic pathway of CoQ10 and cholesterol, these drugs, while blocking the production of cholesterol also block the production of CoQ10. How can drugs that lower the body’s production of CoQ10 benefit heart patients? The pharmaceutical giant Merck has known for more than 15 years that statin drugs interfere with CoQ10 biosynthesis, leading to low serum levels of CoQ10, which can cause muscles to atrophy. There was talk of adding CoQ10 to statin drugs but apparently this invention has not been implemented, probably because the world supply of CoQ10 is limited and would only supply one-sixth of the world’s statin users. It should go without saying that if you’re on statins you should definitely also be taking CoQ10 to protect you from the side effects of these so-called “life saving” drugs.

High Blood Pressure

Many clinical trials using CoQ10 in addition to traditional medical treatments have shown a blood pressure-lowering effect of CoQ10. In one study by Langsjoen et al of 109 patients with essential hypertension, 51% were able to stop between one and three antihypertensive drugs at an average of 4.4 months after starting CoQ10 treatment.

Parkinson’s

To date, various investigators have found that coenzyme Q10 may be useful as a neuroprotective agent for diseases marked by mitochondrial dysfunction. Some research has found that the level of CoQ10 is substantially lower in the mitochondria of the people with Parkinson’s Disease and that a CoQ10 deficiency can increase the risk of dopamine cell death in the substantia nigra region of the brain. One study found that the progression of Parkinson’s Disease was significantly slower in people taking the highest dose of CoQ10. Coenzyme Q10 is presently being studied as a potential treatment for early PD. Evidence that it may be helpful in late stage Parkinson’s is thus far unsubstantiated.

Other benefits

  • In studies of stroke in three animal models (dog, rat, gerbil), CoQ10 was the only agent giving complete protection and this was over two times more often than the next best agent (naloxone) of the many tested to date.
  • Another prominent benefit is in the treatment of periodontal disease. CoQ10 is reported to dramatically halt the progression of gingivitis and may heal the damage entirely.
  • People who are infected with the HIV virus and who are also deficient in Coenzyme Q10 tend to avoid the opportunistic diseases associated with this disease and slow down the progression to full-blown AIDS by supplementing with CoQ10.

Who needs CoQ10?

A healthy, youthful human body can make its own CoQ10, in fact up to 500 mg daily. With the possible exception of athletes, persons taking vitamin C should not have to supplement CoQ10 untilCoenzyme Q10 the fourth or fifth decade of life. This is because vitamin C promotes the production of CoQ10 in the body. However CoQ10 levels in heart tissue decline with age, causing the degeneration of cells, which may contribute to age-related diseases.  Those with a history of heart disease especially could benefit from high-dose CoQ10 supplementation. High doses of a good quality CoQ10 can work out rather pricey, however if you weigh this against the cost of a heart transplant, it comes in cheap.

Choosing a CoQ10 supplement

When choosing a CoQ10 supplement, do not sell your health to the lowest bidder. Since it is a fat-soluble nutrient it either needs to be taken with the largest meal of the day or choose a softgel supplement in which the CoQ10 is suspended in a healthy MCT oil. Powder-based CoQ10 supplements do not contain fat and are barely able to be absorbed by our intestines.

Learn all you need to know about our See Yourself Well Coenzyme Q10 here.

Safety of CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 has a high safety profile and don’t forget it is made by your body so should be fine for just about anyone. However those on blood thinning or blood pressure medications and pregnant or breast-feeding women need to check with their health practitioners first.

 

Supplements- Are they necessary?

It is gratifying to see that more and more people are realizing the need to take responsibility for their own health and are striving to prevent illness by eating healthily. Unfortunately there is a downside to this because it also means there are more people falling prey to unscrupulous profit-mongers in the food industry who are jumping on the “health food” bandwagon. Fortunately there are many dedicated natural health practitioners out there who are not shy to speak out and to warn others of the dangers of so-called “health foods”, with certain cereals, margarines, milk, fruit juices, breads, health bars, sports drinks, “lite” foods and soya products coming under fire on a regular basis. Many of the synthetic vitamins and minerals added to these “fortified” foods cannot even be absorbed by the body, thus having the potential to cause more harm than good. As for vitamin and mineral supplements, there are some that have more toxic additives in the form of fillers or binders than the nutrients they claim to provide.

Welcome to the real worldhealthy

Some people believe we can get our daily requirement of vitamins and minerals simply by eating lots of good wholesome food in its natural state. I could go along with this, if we lived in a chemical-free world and all our food was organically grown. However we live in the real world, where our diets lack nutrients we were designed to have due to the adulterated foods we eat: processed, mass-produced foods grown in mineral-depleted soils using petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides and now we can also add genetically engineered foods to the list – lucky us!

Consider this quote from U.S. Senate Document #265:

“The alarming fact is that food, fruits and vegetables and grains, now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of needed minerals, are starving us, no matter how much of them we eat.  No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health because his stomach isn’t big enough to hold them…”. This document was written in 1936!  Of course the situation is much worse today.

Food is not enough

No matter how healthy your eating habits, it’s virtually impossible to get all the nutrition you need from food alone, and that’s doubly true if you’re over 50. Apart from our food, our air and water is also tainted with thousands of chemicals that play havoc with our health. Our bodies are continuously having to clean these chemicals out and compensate for their effects, which means a greater burden is being placed on our immune systems. For this reason supplementation is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity.

Which supplements?

The variety of multivitamins on the shelves is mind-boggling and many of them should be left on the shelf where they can do no harm. My advice is: “Go Natural”. Take supplements made from whole foods. These contain a broad spectrum of nutrients, phyto-chemicals, fibre, vitamins, minerals and enzymes which will have the greatest impact because they work together in synergy. They have the greatest level of nutritional and bio-available vitality and there is no risk of over supplementation, since they are formulated from food, not synthetics. (Some people absorb less than ten percent of a synthetic supplement pill – expensive urine!). The range of whole food supplements that gets my vote is the Vibrant Health range. Their plant-based superfoods, such as Green Vibrance for adults and Super Kids Vibrance for the younger set, support the four foundations of health namely, nutrition, digestion, circulation and immunity. Having been engineered by Nature, these powders contain all the nutrients and probiotics your body needs to maintain good overall health. To a daily serving of one of these super foods simply add two See Yourself Well omega-3 softgels daily to ensure optimum immune function and prevention of disease.

As Thomas Edison once wrote: “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease”  

I do hope that the future he referred to is not far off.

 

 

Omega-3 supplements – how to choose the best

I know, it is a minefield out there and there are so many brands of omega-3 supplements on the shelves that it is mind-boggling. So let me make it easy for you to choose only the best, because when it comes to fish oil, only the best will do. This is because, thanks to the human species, the fish in our oceans have become so contaminated and the toxins are mostly harboured in the fatty parts of the fish from which the oil is extracted.  Follow this advice and you can’t go wrong:

  1. Is the DHA and EPA content of the fish oil in one softgel displayed on the label? These essential fatty acids (EFAs) are the active ingredients in fish oil. Ideally the concentration of EPA and DHA combined should be no less than 50% in a 1000mg softgel, eg: 400mg EPA and 200mg DHA means 60% of a 1000mg softgel comprises EFAs.
  2. Watch out for deceptive labeling. Some labels will display the DHA and EPA content in 3 or 4 softgels, not just one, making it look impressive when it is not. So take care when comparing prices.
  3. There should be no added ingredients apart from non-therapeutic amounts of vitamin E to prevent rancidity.
  4. What is the source of the fish oil? Be wary of cheap salmon oil supplements. The oils from farmed salmon, because they are fed vegetable matter, contain some omega-6 so are not pure omega-3. If in doubt look for oils extracted from smaller marine varieties such as anchovy, sardine and mackerel.
  5. Has the oil been certified by a reputable third party? If it has then this certification will be shown on the label and should confirm a star rating for safety, purity and label accuracy. On request the supplier should be able to issue you with a consumer report for the oil in the softgels, given the batch no. which should be displayed on the bottle.
  6. Do you experience fishy burps after consuming your fish oil supplement? A good quality, molecularly distilled, ultra-refined fish oil should not leave a fishy after taste.
  7. Are the manufacturers available to answer your questions? You should be able to ask tough questions of any supplier of fish oil regarding purity certification, type of fish used, whether cold or heat extracted, wild or farmed, sustainability and environmental impact.
  8. Is the oil in triglyceride(TG) or ethyl ester(EE) form? There is nothing wrong with the EE form however the triglyceride form is better absorbed so, although more expensive, you get more bang for your bucks. The TG form is more costly to produce so manufacturers will proudly display on the label if it is in TG form, meaning labels that don’t mention triglyceride will most likely be in ethyl ester form and should be cheaper as you will need to take a higher dose.

Of course I wouldn’t be telling you all this if the omega-3 fish oil supplements we offer on this site did not tick all of the above boxes. They have all been awarded a 5 star rating by International Fish Oil Standards. You can’t get better than that for peace of mind.

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