Fish oil supplements are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids

Best bet for fatty acids

Q: I know you strongly recommend taking fish oil, but I haven’t seen you discuss the EPA/DHA supplements taken by many of us. Don’t these supplements concentrate the omega 3s and eliminate the need for fish oil?

Dr. Wright: You’re definitely right that EPA/DHA capsules do offer a concentrated dose of essential omega-3 fatty acids. And these supplements can help reduce the total volume of fish oil you might take. But I still think it’s best to continue to take at least a small quantity of fish oil or eat two to three servings of whole oily fish, like salmon or mackerel, each week along with those capsules of EPA/DHA.

Don’t forget that many nutrients come in “complexes” with other nutrients. Examples include tocopherols, carotenoids, and the B-complex. There are other omega-3 fatty acids and probably other useful nutrients in whole fish oil that you can’t get in EPA/DHA capsules alone. That’s why it’s a good idea to use some of “the whole thing” along with extra amounts of certain fractions (like EPA/DHA) to get the most health benefit.

Moreover, physicians generally recommend nutritional supplements only in the cases of acute deficiency, forced deficiency due to the inability of consuming certain food items or insufficient diet. Natural sources of vitamins and minerals are always the best choice compared to artificial supplements, even if from an organic source and there is no second opinion on that. Therefore, when you are completely ok with consuming fish oil (it forms the staple food in many places), you need not spend extra money on industrial products of fish oil.  

You become freed of taking not only the 3- omegas, but several other minerals and vitamins also, in addition to calcium and Vitamin D. If we symbolically say, anyone of us would prefer to use Quantum Code with more number of assets and currencies than a robot specialized for only one currency. Still, you can take these supplements if you are pretty sure that your body gets ample quantities of other nutrients. Sometimes, these nutrients might be reaching your body through natural sources, but either your body might not be able to absorb that form or the amount might not be sufficient. In this case, capsules would be the ideal take for you. 

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15 immune boosters you need to know about

Q: Several recent eTips have talked about building a healthy immune system to help prevent and fight off infections like pneumonia. Can you tell me what supplements are best for immune-boosting purposes?

Dr. Wright: It’s been quite a few years since I’ve gone down the list of simple and effective immune boosters (since April 2001, actually), so here are some of the highlights.

Sugar. Eliminate it from your diet!
Allergies. Since infections often have an allergic “trigger,” you should consider allergy elimination or desensitization.
Mushrooms. The principal active ingredients in maitake and shiitake mushrooms are polysaccharides that are known to improve the body’s germ-fighting abilities.
Aloe vera. This plant’s active ingredients also contain immune- stimulating polysaccharides. Try taking 50 to 100 mg daily of aloe-leaf concentrate containing 1 percent or more acemannan.
Beta-glucan. Adults should take 50 to 100 mg daily.
Garlic. Fresh, raw garlic has a broad spectrum of antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral effects. Eat one garlic clove daily (about 4 grams), or take a garlic supplement that contains at least 10 mg of alliin.
Multivitamin-mineral. Use everyday as research has shown that it can reduce overall illness, including infection-especially once you’re over 60. Since research has the backings and findings of several experts, one should certainly follow the suggestions with utmost sincerity. This is not only true with your physical wellness but also true with your financial wellness, where going by the expert ways can prove beneficial to you and to your economy!
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Vitamin A. Adults can take 15,000 to 25,000 IU daily. Children can take 5,000 to 10,000 IU daily. (And pregnant women should always check with their doctors first.)
Zinc. Adults and teens can take 30 mg of zinc (picolinate or citrate) daily. Children 2 years old and up can take 15 mg daily.
Vitamin E. Take 400 IU as mixed tocopherols daily for adults, and 50 to 400 IU daily for children.
Vitamin C. Adults should take 1 gram (1,000 mg) two or three times a day, and children should take a minimum of 20 mg per pound of body weight.
Echinacea. Take 300 to 600 mg daily of an Echinacea preparation containing 3.5 percent echinacoside.
Astragalus, Andrographus, and Picrorrhiza. Take 2 to 6 g of dried Astragalus root or dried Andrographus daily. Take 500 mg to 2 g daily of Picrorrhiza.

Pfizer ends kids’ Celebrex study

Dangerous drug gets free pass for kids

Picture this:

You’re the maker of a blockbuster painkiller. Sales are soaring ($2.5 billion in 2011); you’re on top of the world.

Never mind that your painkiller could increase the risk of life threatening heart problems, including heart attack and stroke–and that the risk becomes greater if you use it long term.

And forget the finding that it may seriously harm the intestines, even causing bleeding or perforation (which can be fatal and can occur without warning).

Nah–those are just details. You’re looking at the bigger picture.

That bigger picture involves widening your target to include kids. I mean, after all, kids get arthritis, too, so why should adults be the only ones reaping all the “benefits” of this top-selling drug?

And widening your pool of potential patients becomes even easier when the FDA gives you a free pass.

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Of course, Celebrex was approved for use in children back in 2006 (around the same time it was suggested that long-term heart problems could come from use of the drug–lovely). The advisory panel that recommended approval also expressed concern that chronic use could introduce health risks. But in the “shoot first, ask questions later” world of drug approvals and the FDA, Pfizer didn’t have to conduct a safety trial until after the drug was approved.

In a ridiculous twist, though, the FDA has released Pfizer from having to conduct the trial. So of course they’ve shut it down. Quit while you’re ahead, right? Wouldn’t want to uncover any problems with your cash cow.

Of course, there was another reason for the cancellation of the trial. It’s kind of hard to get parents to sign their kids up as guinea pigs. No matter–Pfizer has gotten what they want–a seemingly magical assurance that their drug is safe. In the short period during which the study was active, they didn’t see any major adverse effects, so why keep pushing for long-term results? They looked into their crystal ball and said they didn’t expect to see any “clinically meaningful” results regarding adverse effects.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but isn’t that sort of the point of a long-term study? Especially when advisors on an FDA panel have come right out and said they worry about long-term effects of a drug’s use?

Besides, I’d like to think that drug execs have some semblance of concern for patients–especially kids. Wouldn’t they rest easier if they had REAL proof that their drug is safe for long-term use, instead of just speculation?

But in the money-grubbing world that is the pharmaceutical industry, that’s asking a lot. And meanwhile, only time will tell what’s in store for kids who end up on an under-tested drug for pain management.

Sources:
“Pfizer Calls Early End To Celebrex Safety Study In Children,” Fox Business (foxbusiness.com)

“Celebrex Information,” Drugs.com (drugs.com)

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Leg cramps can easily be solved by boosting mineral absorption

Keep legs calm and carry on without cramping

Q: Once or twice every week leg cramps wake me up from a sound sleep. It’s very annoying! Could nutrition have something to do with it? Am I getting too much of something, or not enough?

Dr. Wright: You’re right on track with your suspicion about a connection between nutritional deficiency and leg cramps. Low levels of three minerals can cause leg cramping. I usually tell my patients to try supplementing with calcium, magnesium, and potassium. And for good measure, add some vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols).

If the cramping continues, the solution might be found in the stomach.

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Hypochlorhydria is a condition that occurs when your stomach isn’t producing enough acid in order to start the breakdown of foods properly, or to keep the absorption of minerals normal. (While it’s true that potassium and vitamin E aren’t known to be dependent on normal stomach acid to be optimally absorbed, calcium and magnesium certainly are.)

When someone visits me or any of the other Tahoma Clinic physicians, if he or she reports nighttime leg cramps, we will always check the patient’s mineral status and do a test for optimal stomach acid production. We have found low, sub-optimal stomach acid production in the majority of individuals with otherwise unexplained nighttime leg cramps. The older the person, the more likely this is.

Sub-optimal stomach acid production can have a number of causes including severe food allergy, viral infection, over-indulgence in alcohol, or auto-immune disease. But much like grey hair, needing glasses, and not being able to run as fast, the condition can also simply be an inevitable result of getting older.

In the 1930s, researchers at the Mayo Clinic did “gastric analysis by intubation” for individuals at every decade of age (except for children and those over 90). They reported that, while teenagers rarely if ever have sub-optimal stomach acid production, by the time we reach 60 we have about a 50/50 chance of developing this problem.

If you have nighttime leg cramps and you’re over 40, it may not seem like a serious problem. But since suboptimal stomach acid can lead to sub-optimal absorption of over 20 essential nutrients (including amino acids, all nutrient minerals except sodium, potassium and rubidium, vitamin B12, and folate), it’s best to check with a physician skilled and knowledgeable in natural and nutritional medicine.

If sub-optimal stomach acid is your problem, you can literally add years of better health to your life by making up for this problem.

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Western diet deadly for prostate cancer patients

A deadly recipe for prostate cancer patients

If there’s one thing that can strike fear into the heart of even the toughest men it’s hearing your doctor utter those two terrible words — prostate cancer.

And if you’ve already received that dreaded diagnosis you may have even begun to work on your bucket list of things you want to do before kicking the bucket.

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Everyone’s list is different. Yours might include hair-raising pursuits like swimming with the sharks or running with the bulls. Or perhaps it’s something tamer, such as spending more time with the grandchildren or visiting Paris, that’s made the cut.

But whatever’s on your list, there’s one life-changing item that you should put at the very top to start working on right away. Because if you don’t, the chances of you dying from prostate cancer skyrocket.

I’m talking about switching from the typical Western diet to a deliciously nutritious heart-healthy one instead.

According to a new study published in the Cancer Prevention Research, men with prostate cancer who ate a standard “Western” diet of factory-farmed red meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy had an increased risk of dying from prostate cancer — and ALL other causes for that matter.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed the health and diet records of 926 doctors with prostate cancer. The men, who ranged in age from 40 to 84, were followed for about 14 years after their initial diagnosis and placed in four groups depending on how closely they followed a Western diet.

During that time, 333 of the men died, with 56 of those deaths attributed to the prostate cancer.

It turns out the men who followed the Western diet were two-and-a-half times more likely to die from cancer than those who followed a diet of fruit, vegetables, fish, legumes and whole grains.

And that wasn’t the end of the bad news. The Western diet followers had a 67-percent increased risk of dying from all causes when compared to men who stuck to the healthier foods.

But being diagnosed with prostate cancer doesn’t mean a death sentence. And it certainly doesn’t mean suffering through a lifetime of boring, tasteless meals.

The Mediterranean diet — filled with delicious fish, tasty olive oil, fresh flavorsome vegetables and even a glass of your favorite wine from time to time — allows you to live well and eat well.

Give the Mediterranean diet a chance for a few months. I can guarantee you’ll never want to go back to the Western way of eating again.

Best of all, you can start at your next meal. It’s simple and it’ll give you all the gusto you need to attack the remaining items on your bucket list.

Sources:

Western diet could be fatal for prostate cancer patients

(medicalnewstoday.com)

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U.S. government admits forced fluoride program went too far

Are the feds FINALLY coming clean on fluoride dangers?

You can see it in the toothy grins in your grandkids’ school photos.

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You’ve probably noticed it when they open wide at the dentist’s office.

It’s there for anybody to see — the visible sign of the damage fluoride is doing to our bodies.

In fact, the damage has become so obvious that even our government can’t deny it any more.

After more than half a century of lying to us about the safety of fluoride, the government is admitting for the first time that there’s too much of this poison in the water. The Department of Health and Human Services says we need to cut levels nearly in half — the first such adjustment since 1962.

Why? Because nearly half of all children between the ages of 12 and 15 now have dental fluorosis, a condition that rots teeth from the inside out. Sometimes it simply leaves white streaks on our teeth — in the worst cases, it can cause pitting and crumbling.

But trust me — what fluoride is doing to our teeth is nothing compared to what it’s doing to our brains.

Multiple studies have proven that children born in areas with elevated levels of fluoride have lower-than-normal IQs. And a new study released this month linked fluoride to America’s skyrocketing ADHD rates.

The federal government spent decades trying to convince us that our teeth would rot out of our heads without fluoridated water. They even named water fluoridation one of the top ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.

And anybody who questioned the health benefits were immediately marked and shunned as heretics. Scientists even had their careers ruined for daring to speaking out.

But we now know that water fluoridation is the most dangerous forced mass-medication program in American history.

Our government isn’t quite ready for a full fluoride ban yet — but there’s plenty you can do to get this toxin out of your own family’s lives.

First, remove fluoride from your water with a reverse osmosis filtration system and look for fluoride-free toothpaste. There are safe alternatives like strontium and Xylitol that have been proven to reduce tooth decay.

Fluoride’s bad and dangerous. Now that there’s no doubt, it’s time to take it out.

Sources:

U.S. lowers recommended fluoride levels in drinking water

(webmd.com)

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Vitamin D is the “diabetes vitamin” – new research confirms it

Giving D its due as “the diabetes vitamin”

If your doctor says your blood sugar is consistently high enough to be considered “prediabetic,” that’s like having a type 2 diabetes learner’s permit. And I don’t have to tell you that nearly everyone with a learner’s permit goes on to get a driver’s license.

And this is one drive you don’t ever want to take.

Researchers have linked prediabetes with vitamin D deficiency. So could D supplements help prevent patients from progressing to full blown type 2?

In a new study, researchers recruited 170 adults diagnosed as prediabetic. Most of them were vitamin D deficient. For more than two years, half the group took a D supplement while the others took a calcium supplement daily.

We could have predicted the results would be good (after all, Dr. Wright calls D “the diabetes vitamin”), but this is shockingly good: About TWICE as many in the D group normalized their blood sugar levels compared to the calcium group.

What impressed me most about this study was the D dosage. These trials usually dole out paltry amounts — well below the 4,000 IU daily that Dr. Wright recommends for a therapeutic dose. But in this one, volunteers in the D group took 60,000 IU per week.

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In a press release, one of the researchers said, “If our results are confirmed…”

Wait — sorry to interrupt, but I can take it from here because results from other studies have already confirmed Dr. Wright’s assessment of D. It really is the diabetes vitamin.

In 2008, we told you about research that followed 1,400 people without diabetes. More than 20 years later, those with the highest vitamin D levels were 72 percent less likely to have developed diabetes compared to those with the lowest levels. You can read more details at this link.

In another study, researchers determined that vitamin D reduces heart disease risk in diabetics by cutting back the production of “foam” cells. These cells stiffen blood vessels and block blood flow. Go here to find out how diabetes contributes to inflammation that helps foam cells develop.

I could go on for days, giving you links to similar research. It all adds up to one conclusion: Vitamin D — which is essential for everyone — is even more useful to diabetics or anyone who’s trying to avoid diabetes.

Sources:

Raising Low Vitamin D Levels Lowers Risk of Prediabetes Progressing to Diabetes
(newswise.com)

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Tamiflu is a lame flu fighter, but is still touted as a champ

Study: Majority of positive Tamiflu reviews penned by Big Pharma shills

You’re sick as a dog with the flu, and your doctor offers you a prescription for something he says will help you get better. Who could blame you if you jumped for it? Anything to shake off that horrible sick feeling.

That’s how millions of folks get fooled into downing doses of close-to-useless Tamiflu every year.

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Your doc will swear Tamiflu can shorten your flu, reduce complication risks like hospitalizations and pneumonia, and it might even keep you from spreading the bug to others.

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Too bad it’s a big old bucket of hogwash.

Of course you already know the ugly truth about Tamiflu — after all we’ve been warning you for YEARS now that the drug is a dud. And you were listening when we cautioned readers to be prepared for the hard sell when governments around the world dumped a staggering 6.9 billion bucks into stockpiling this risky drug for a pandemic that never happened.

But now, a new study out of Australia is giving Tamiflu yet one more well-deserved kick in the shins.

When researchers looked at 26 reviews of the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza they found that a staggering 80 percent of the reviews written by shills with financial ties to drug companies were glowing reports. While only a measly 17 percent of the truly independent reviewers — those who WEREN’T getting their palms greased by Big Pharma somewhere along the line — were positive.

Proving, once again, the incredible power of some well-placed bucks.

But as eye-opening as those numbers are, this study really couldn’t have gone any other way. When the independent Cochrane Collaboration crunched the numbers last May they delivered the definitive final blow to this practically useless drug with their real deal analysis of Tamiflu trials.

Their verdict: Tamiflu shortens flu symptoms by less than a day. Period. And that’s IT.

Tamiflu doesn’t keep you out of the hospital. It doesn’t prevent pneumonia. It doesn’t even help protect others from the flu. And as for “easing” symptoms — well, it fails miserably there too according to the researchers at Cochrane.

Heck, the Cochrane report linked Tamiflu use with nausea and vomiting! Not exactly what you’d call the best solution for easing a bout of flu-induced nausea and vomiting is it?

So if your doctor tries to sell you on swallowing a dose of this junk, bad as you might feel, don’t bite. You could slice a few hours off your illness — but you also might end up feeling like you still have the flu.

Try natural Cold-fX instead. Unlike Tamiflu, it’s been proven to be an effective treatment AND preventive, and Dr. Wright has recommended it for years.

Sources:

Millions of patients given flu drugs with little or no benefit, study finds
(theguardian.com)

Flu-shot shopping made easy
(consumerreports.org)

Regulatory information on trials of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) for influenza in adults and children Updated
(summaries.cochrane.org)

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What is triglyceride? It’s the fat we should REALLY worry about

The dangerous fat, hidden for decades

It’s like a dramatic turning point in a science fiction movie. Scientists suddenly realize that the giant robots aren’t trying to kill us — it’s the giant spiders we should have been worried about all along.

That was the general reaction to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine. According to headlines, medical mainstreamers were shocked (shocked!) to discover that triglyceride fats are more dangerous to your heart than cholesterol.

So why was cholesterol cast as the villain instead of triglycerides all those years ago? Pretty simple: There were no triglyceride-lowering patent drugs on the market. If there had been, “triglyceride” would have become the household word instead of “cholesterol.”

In recent years, Lipitor and Crestor have been shown to have some small effect on triglycerides. But it’s a classic case of too little too late. At this point we know all about statin drugs and their monstrous side effects.

Even so, the drug industry just might catch up. In fact, it looks like this new study is geared toward what they call “guiding the selection of therapeutic targets.” In other words: Let’s cook up some drugs!

No doubt, they’ll give it a go. After all, drug companies are desperate for another mammoth blockbuster to fill the money bins the way statin drugs did for about 20 years.

Ah but fool us once, shame on them. Fool us twice? I don’t think so. That’s because Dr. Wright and others have been putting the word out for years: You don’t need a drug to protect yourself from the enormous dangers of triglycerides. You just need to do a couple of things right.

Here’s how it works: Your body converts calories it doesn’t use into triglycerides, then stores them in fat cells. So when excess calorie intake is combined with a low level of physical activity — then multiplied by days and years — well, that’s a health train wreck, pure and simple. And not only does it put your heart at risk, it also puts terrible stress on your liver, laying the groundwork for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the triglyceride train wreck can be turned around. And apparently it’s easier than lowering cholesterol.

The first step, of course, is to cut back on calories — especially from foods with added sugars, and any source of simple carbs, like potatoes and corn. And the next step is just as obvious: get off the couch and get some exercise. You don’t have to run a marathon or even join a gym. Just put those calories to work so they don’t have a chance to convert to triglycerides.

After those two steps, a few supplements come riding to the rescue.

You might already be taking niacin (a form of vitamin B3) to reduce cholesterol. If so, don’t change a thing. As I mentioned in an e-Tip last year, research shows that niacin also boosts HDL, and in at least one study cut triglycerides in HALF!

And if you’re also taking omega-3 supplements along with vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols) for heart health, again you’re on the right track. Both have been shown to help drive down triglycerides.

And finally there’s berberine, a component of several herbs used by Chinese healers for centuries. As Dr. Wright has often noted, berberine helps control blood sugar, while also driving down cholesterol AND triglyceride levels. You can read more details at this link.

When the mainstream finally catches up and starts beating the drums about triglycerides, you’ll be way ahead of the curve on that one.

Sources:

Loss-of-Function Mutations in APOC3, Triglycerides, and Coronary Disease
(nejm.org)

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Can you erase metabolic syndrome with probiotics?

Can ONE supplement erase metabolic disease risk?

If you could get a peek at what’s happening to the cells inside your gut right now, you’d swear you have a front row seat to a sci-fi battle even Hollywood couldn’t have dreamed up.

Teams of harmful bacteria are constantly ambushing intestinal cells, trying to shove your good, healthy bacteria into the background.

And this battle goes on all day… every day… from your first breath to your last.

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The stakes are huge. When the harmful, unhealthy bacteria take over your gut, you’re well on your way to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and… eventually… even death.

Ready for some good news? Defeating harmful gut bacteria and preventing disease couldn’t be easier — just make probiotic supplements part of your daily routine.

We’ve already seen evidence that probiotic supplements can help you lose weight, especially around the belly. And that’s good news, because cutting back on that belly fat is a perfect first step to reducing metabolic syndrome risk.

Metabolic syndrome is that combo package of risk factors that starts to crop up for many of us in middle age. Obesity (especially belly fat), low HDL, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and insulin resistance are all part of the unwelcome package. And all these raise your risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

But a new study from Cornell and Georgia State confirms that probiotics might give you a major assist in slipping out of that risky web.

You see, when harmful bacteria multiply in your gut, they attach to vulnerable cells on the inner lining of your intestines. There they start cooking up inflammation, triggering disorders like ulcerative colitis, and increasing your risk for metabolic syndrome.

And just like a toppling set of dominos that first step eventually leads all the way to diabetes… and maybe even the morgue.

But a simple probiotic supplement can restore order in your gut in a hurry.

You’ll find probiotics in yogurt that contains live bacteria such as acidophilus and lactobacillius. But that just gets you started if you’re aiming for prevention or treatment of metabolic problems.

For the heavy lifting, look for a probiotic supplement with living cultures that are measured in billions of colony-forming units (CFU). And you can boost the effort with an FOS supplement. FOS is an indigestible carbohydrate that won’t affect your blood sugar levels, but will nourish your good bacteria and help it get reestablished.

You can also help the cause with berberine — a powerful type 2 diabetes-fighter which Dr. Wright highly recommends. And it just happens to support good bacteria to boot by fighting off the worst of the bad guys that would set you on the path towards poor health.

Sources:

Intestinal Epithelial Cell Toll-like Receptor 5 Regulates the Intestinal Microbiota to Prevent Low-Grade Inflammation and Metabolic Syndrome in Mice
(gastrojournal.org)

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