- ABCs of Health – “F” is for Fish Oils
- Oral Health What’s All The Fuss About?
- Tip of the Month – Stress and Oral care
- The Herbalist – “Q” is for Quercetin
ABCs OF HEALTH
Fish oils – what they do for you
“F” is for fish oils. Fish body oils as well as fish liver oils are rich sources of PUFA and two fatty acids that are not found in vegetable seed oils. These are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both are members of an essential fatty acid family that function as precursors of the hormones known as prostaglandins. These prostaglandins are believed to: inhibit formation of blood clots in the circulatory system; reduce blood fat levels; increase HDL-cholesterol levels; and reduce risk of heart disease and stroke. They effectively thin the blood.
Daily intake of 1/2 to 1 pound of oily fish (such as mackeral or herring) supplies sufficient EPA and DHA for protective effect. Cod liver oil will supply them, but is too risky because of its vitamin A and D content.
Supplements are now available that provide EPA (180 mg) and DHA (120 mg) that doubles the usual daily intake. Preventive therapy requires up to 3 capsules daily (900 mg total EPA and DHA). For those with angina or who have suffered heart attacks or stroke, 5 capsules daily is sufficient (1500 mg total EPA and DHA) to help prevent further attacks.
ORAL HEALTH: WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?
We’ve all heard that drinking milk builds strong teeth and healthy bones. For most of us, that pretty much sums up the link between diet, fitness, and oral health. But in fact, it’s way more complicated than that. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90% of all systemic diseases show up orally. Your dental health care providers may be the first to identify a potential problem. The links may sometimes seem precarious. What does your weight have to with your oral health? Well obesity – along with diabetes and cardiovascular disease – has reached epidemic proportions. It has a direct link not only to these diseases, but to poor oral health through poor nutrition. Proper diet and exercise can go a long way to lessen the symptoms of these diseases. What does this mean for you and your family? If you eat healthy and exercise to maintain weight and fitness level, you will be well on the way to avoiding cavities, periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Another frequently misunderstood oral health concern- is bruxism. It is brought on by stress or anxiety; it can be easily corrected.
What is Bruxism? It is more commonly know as teeth grinding.
Has your dentist told you that you’re bruxing or grinding your teeth? Well, you are not alone. Some studies estimate that 80 – 90% of the population grinds their teeth to varying degrees. Most dentists see evidence of this with practically every patient. Although there can be different reasons for the grinding to occur, it’s usually a coping mechanism for stress. And, with todays fast paced, hectic lifestyles, there is plenty of stress to deal with. This grinding, over time will eventually become a habitual and can result in teeth wearing down and/or chipping. It can also lead to headaches and possible jaw joint problems. If you have been told that you are a grinder, here are some tips:
1) AVOID CHEWING GUM – While gum may seem like a way to dispel oral energy, it actually does the opposite, increasing your dependence on this mouth movement when you’re anxious.
2) TAKE A HIKE – Stress can fill people with nervous energy, which can manifest itself in tooth grinding. Instead, try to channel your efforts into a full body workout. Take a break from the office and go for a walk around the block or find other stress relieving stratigies.
3) QUIT THE COFFEE – Caffeine is a stimulant that will only increase your levels of energy and anxiety, leading to more grinding.
Grinding your teeth can also cause other problems. Headaches, sleep deprivation, chronic jaw pain, and aggravation of TMJ (Tempo-Mandibular Joint) are three very common symptoms that can arise from Bruxism. A person that grinds their teeth may eventually face dental repair and a hefty dental bill. When a tooth grinder hears popping noises in the jaw while chewing food, that points to jaw joint problems that can result from bruxism or cause it.
Anxiety can bring it on too. Some people on anti-depressants develop bruxism. A poor alignment of the upper and the lower jaws is another bruxism cause. Not sure whether you are a grinder? Book an appointment your dentist, as they can determine the best course of action to protect your teeth and joints from any undue wear and tear. Teeth grinding may be rectified by having your dentist make you a fitted mouth guard, this might stop any headaches you may be suffering from.
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TIP OF THE MONTH
Dentist’s Tip: If you are experiencing stress, please keep up your oral care – and perhaps be even more vigilant than ever. Brush after every meal, floss daily, try to eat a nutritious, balanced diet, and ensure you attend your regular appointments! Your smile will thank you!
FOR A HOT SMILE SOLUTION!
Looking for a super white smile?
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I promised I would give you some information on a specific herb, origins and its uses. I really enjoy this part of our newsletter, as I always learn something new and exciting. This month we will discuss:
General Description: Quercetin is a bioflavonoid, a type of plant pigment found in almost all herbs and plant foods. It is especially abundant in black tea, blue-green algae, broccoli, onions, red apples, and red wine.
Excellent For: Quercetin is an antioxidant that has been found to block destructive structural changes in cells, which helps to prevent abnormal cell growth. As a note – cancer is usually defined as abnormal cell growth. It also inhibits the synthesis of enzymes that can cause allergic reactions.
Benefits of Quercetin for specific health conditions include some of the following:
Allergies, asthma, emphysema, and hives: Quercetin quells allergic reactions by preventing the multiplication of cells that secrete histamine, a chemical that causes inflammation and swelling. Quecertin is unlike many other allergy medications in that it acts on the nerves that stimulate those cells.
Atherosclerosis: When a blood vessal is injured by disease or high blood pressure, specialized cleanup cells called macrophages accumulate at the site of the injury. Macrophages contain large amounts of cholesterol, which can accumulate and eventually form foam cells, which can harden into plaques. Quercetin slows a series of chemical reactions that cause large numbers of macrophages to cluster on artery walls, reducing the risk of plaque formation.
Celiac disease: Quercetin interferes with the chemical pathways by which inflammatory hormones are activated in celiac disease, and is a useful supportive treatment.
Gout: Quercetin counteracts the effects of xanthine oxidase, an enzyme that promotes uric acid production in a manner similar to that of the most commonly used prescription drug for gout, allopurinol (Aloprim, Zyloprim). Quercetin also stops the multiplication of neutrophils, immune cells involved in the production of inflammation causing hormones, and prevents the release of the inflammation causing bodies known as leukotrienes.
Headache and migraine: Sodium cromoglycate, a drug that is chemically very similar to quercetin, protects against migraines provoked by foods known to cause a migraine attack. Like sodium cromoglycate, quercetin inhibits many of the pathways of inflammation associated with migraine. Quercetin also prevents headaches associated with allergies.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: Make sure that you check with your healthcare practitioner if you are taking quercetin and receiving chemotherapy. Quercetin comes in tabelt form. One problem with the supplements is that they are not well absorbed by the body. A special form called quercetin chaconne appears to be better absorbed. Many experts recommend taking quercetin with bromelain, which increases the absorption of quercetin and many other medications. Many naturopathic physicians recommend taking both quercetin and bromelin with vitamin C.
Quercetin interacts with many prescription medications, usually by prolonging the time they remain in circulation in the blood. While this effect is frequently beneficial, it can increase the risk of side effects. Note that these side effects come from the medication rather than from quercetin itself. However, because of this interaction, it is important not to take quercetin with certin drugs, including cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) or nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia). It is also important not to combine quercetin with quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), or trovafloxacin (Trovan), since it may interfere with the action of this class of antibiotic.
This concludes another exciting issue of Natural Health. REMEMBER YOU HAVE TO READ TO WIN!