Why Omega 3s?

Fish oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly EPA AND DHA. There is only one plant source for EPA and DHA and that is algae. Omega 3’s cannot be obtained by diet alone; you would need to eat fish every day, every meal to equal 1300 mg, the necessary daily amount to keep you out of deficiency.

EPA is good for heart, joint, mood and immunity. DHA is good for eyes, brain, fetal development and memory.

If 1300 mg is necessary per day to keep you out of deficiency, what is too much? No studies have been done to show what is too much, however, for pain and inflammation (joint health) you might want to have upwards of 2000 mg per day.

FIsh in a supplement should come from wild caught fish in the Atlantic. Sardines and Anchovies are the best source.

You CAN take too much cod liver oil – it contains Vitamin A, which can be toxic if taken in excess.

And, the FDA removed the previous warning of taking too much fish oil if you are on blood thinners. Those on blood thinners are safe at 3000 mg or less.

 

Capsules, Soft Gels and Tablets Oh my!

capsules enteric etc

What is the difference between capsules, gel caps, veggie caps, soft gels, enteric coating, and tablets?

Capsules are the same as gel caps and are made from gelatin, which primarily come from pork or beef, and therefore many vegans and vegetarians don’t care for capsules. They often contain herbs or dry medicine that can be tamped down (packed). There are Veggie Capsules that are made from non-animal products such as agar, however they break down easier and it is more costly to produce.

Softgels are like capsules except they cannot be pulled apart. Softgels usually contain liquids, such as Vitamin e, Vitamin D or fish oils.

Enteric coating is a coating around a supplement or drug that needs to survive the stomach acids and get into the intestines. Aspirin and Nsaids are examples.

Sugar or film coated tablets are used to protect the fragile supplement or drug that have a bitter taste. Its okay to crush many of these but remember the unpleasant taste.

Any product that coats the stomach and intestine should be taken separately from medications and supplements, because it would prohibit absorption. IT may exit your body intact.

STOP THE SUPPLEMENT MADNESS!

2015-02-13-Supplements

If this much is good, more must be better.

This is the thinking of most of us. “If I take 350 mg of magnesium and feel pretty good then 700 will make me feel great!” No, it will likely become your next remedy for constipation.

Or “I took 3000 mg of vitamin c and didn’t feel any different. I’ll try 6000 mg.” You may end up calling off work that day and get someone to drive yourself to the hospital because the cramping will make you feel like you’re dying.

More is not necessarily better.

But sometimes more IS better. 400 IUs of VItamin D used to be the required daily allowance and then they raised it to 600 when they learned it was too low and most of the population was deficient. Still deficient, it was raised to 800.

But we are STILL deficient.

I recently was speaking to a women in the health food store who was very depressed and wanted something to help her out of depression. I’m not a doctor so I could not suggest anything for depression; I’m a wellness consultant who thinks in terms of nutrition. I asked her “Are you on a good multi-vitamin?” She said she was not. I led her over to our multi-vitamin section where I showed her the balance of nutrients in one brand that also included a botanical blend of herbs noted for bringing emotional balance. “Look at all those goodies in there!” I said to her and suggested she start there.

Another woman (whom I know), was standing nearby and heard me. This particular woman had her gallbladder removed and had a weaker constitution than the customer I was talking with. Upon hearing me proclaim “Look at all those goodies” she turned to me with a look of horror. That is because SHE cannot have a lot of “goodies” in her supplements. It throws her off balance, affects her adversely, and so for HER, LESS IS MORE.

The man I used to work for is a nutritional braniac and I am thankful for learning so much from him – his philosophy was “if you have a particular issue, take it all in high doses for a short while. Tell your body who is boss.” And there are many practitioners who think like that. Then there are Western herbalists who believe that you train your body by not forcing it into submission – small amounts and fewer herbs at a time. (Chinese herbalists like a lot of various combinations of herbs, however).

But then, there is homeopathy – the philosophy behind that is the more diluted a substance, the stronger it is. So, Arnica Montana diluted 6x is weaker than Arnica Montana diluted 30x.

At one point, I wanted to just scream “STOP THE SUPPLEMENT MADNESS!” and sometimes I still get there, but it’s not as hard to navigate having been through this maze.

There are different philosophies because there are different goals, different issues, different values and perspectives. What you believe has much to do with what you choose, because your belief about something has a say in what you decide upon. If you have a personality that dives into everything and cleans the mess up later, you may not have a problem trying new things, and stronger medicine. If you approach life cautiously, it may take you a long time to decide on just the right multi-vitamin, and you may end up just opting out.

Is one more right than the other?

Back in the 90s, I tried a protein powder for the first time in my drink. I felt as if my body was saying “THANK YOU! I HAVE NEEDED THAT!” It took me awhile to realize it wasn’t the actual BRAND of protein powder I needed, but that my body was not breaking down protein so protein powder in general was actually being absorbed. I have learned to “hear what my body is telling me I need.”

The other day, a representative of a medicinal mushroom company was holding a sampling of products. He was explaining that the Reishi mushroom is the top sought after mushroom for a wide variety of complaints. In this particular brand, the mushrooms were formulated into a tincture. He gave me a few drops in water. I wasn’t feeling it. I told him I wanted to try some of the others. He then gave me Chaga. I immediately felt it resonate in my body. There was that “Thank you” again. It had nothing to do with the taste of either mushroom. It was what my body needed. I learned AFTERWARD that Chaga was helpful for the immune system support, what I needed.

Another thing I hear a lot is “I used that and it worked great but after 2 months it stopped working.” THat is because your body no longer needs it. The body is fearfully and wonderfully made. If you need something today, you may not need it in 3 months from now. Your body knows it no longer has need for it. In fact if you try to force your body to take it when it no longer has need, you my be overwhelming your system.

I don’t advocate this way for beginner’s. It’s a place to arrive at, but definitely needs to be kept in mind as you start out learning what your body needs. In fact, if your only desire is to get yourself out of crisis, you may be constantly craving what ISN’T good for you, thinking your body needs that.

If you are a Christian, you understand that repentance must be a part of your life so that you are able to discern the Holy Spirit speaking to you; leading you, guiding you. That path may lead you all of a sudden out in front, as the leading expert in a certain field. That path may lead you behind the scenes not being seen at all. But you will know because you have learned to listen, and put down the things that are not good for you, and put away things you no longer need (“childish things”).

In navigating your way through all the information and confusion surrounding what your body needs, it is uniquely your own journey, but you have people you trust along the way. Stick with this people, let the ones who have gone before you help you along. Gather information but don’t adopt it as being right for you until you have that peace in your heart that it’s time, but every day, start removing what you know to be hindering your health. From processed foods, to refined sugars, or maybe its grains. Or maybe its chemicals in your cupboard. Whatever you need to remove, remove one thing daily. Then, you will hear clearly what your body is telling you it needs.

Fish Oil and Blood Thinners?

A question was asked yesterday by a man with atrial fibrillation, if he could take fish oil while he is on blood thinners.  My response was “yes” but with caution.

From Livestrong:  Fish oil does thin the blood in similar ways to blood thinners, notes leading health and medical writer Jack Challem in his book, “The Inflammation Syndrome.” This effect happens through the prevention of the platelets found in blood from sticking together and forming clots. Challem adds that the blood-thinning effects may be magnified if you are taking natural blood-thinners, such as vitamin E or gingko. Therefore, it’s important to tell your doctor if you are taking fish oil.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/467353-can-you-take-fish-oil-with-blood-thinners/

From Heart MD:  Modest amounts of fish oil, say 1–2 grams daily, generally can be tolerated even if you are taking prescription blood thinners. However, doing this is not without some risk—so it’s absolutely essential that you be up front with your doctor about the fish oil products you’re taking and how much, to avoid unsafe drug interactions. I cannot emphasize this enough. You must work collaboratively with your physician and regularly monitor the clotting agents in your blood.

Is It Safe to Mix Fish Oil and Blood Thinners?

Can You Take Fish Oil With Blood Thinners?

What You Probably Didn’t Know About Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)

Image result for black pepperblack pepper nutrition facts

Black pepper.  Have you wondered much about what it is, where it comes from, what nutritional value it has?  Most of us think of black pepper in the shaker or grinder and not much beyond that.
McCormick Pure Ground Black Pepper, 6 oz

In fact, I remember the day I found out that ground black pepper actually came from peppercorns and I could crack them in the grinder.  (It was a long time ago lol).  I was in a restaurant and the waitress came to the table and asked if I wanted freshly cracked pepper.  I looked at her with a blank stare as if to ask “what do you mean?”  As she cracked the pepper over my salad, I could really taste and smell the freshness and was ruined for anything else.

Black pepper always seemed like salt’s tag-along buddy; salt being the more boisterous friend.  But black pepper has some wonderful magic all its own.

The What and Where of Black Pepper

Black pepper comes from the Piperacae family (sounds like papparazzi – sorta), and is not at all like bell pepper, or sweet pepper, chili or jalapeno. In fact they aren’t even in the same botanical family.  Black pepper comes from peppercorns;  berries from the blossoms of a trailing, woody vine grown in tropical climates.  Many years ago, black pepper was a sign of a man’s wealth.

Nutritional Facts

An ounce of black pepper provides 79% of manganese, 57% of Vitamin K, 45% of iron, 30% fiber.  Although an ounce is way more than we would have at one time, it provides perspective; a teaspoon of black pepper provides 6% of the total manganese we would need in a day.

But here is another fabulous black pepper fact – it has potassium – and I’ve been writing about potassium a lot lately because it is THAT important to our health.  Potassium is responsible for improving our stomach’s ability to digest food.   If you were to look at many supplements on the market, turmeric, for example, you would see that Piper nigrum or Piperine is added.  That is black pepper.  In fact, turmeric which has been touted as a giant superfood, may not be useful at all unless paired with black pepper, because it is not bioavailable, or absorbable.  Black pepper or piperine, increases its absorption. The use of piperine can boost blood levels of curcumin from the spice turmeric by up to 2,000%.  Source

Piperine also increases the body’s ability to absorb betacarotenes, selenium and B-vitamins (which, in black pepper means pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin), as well as other nutrients from food.

Black pepper is also a carminative; that is, it keeps the intestines from forming gas.   And when black pepper is freshly cracked from the peppercorn, the outer layer of that pepper corn helps to break down fat stored in the body.   Source

Studies

One study showed that black pepper inhibited the growth of various types of bacteria in the gut, and the report concluded its findings with a statement that black pepper is not only anti-inflammatory, but antioxidant, fever reducing, and immune enhancing.

The free-radical scavenging activity of black pepper and its active ingredients might be helpful in chemoprevention and controlling progression of tumor growth. Additionally, the key alkaloid components of Piper Nigrum, that is, piperine assist in cognitive brain functioning, boost nutrient’s absorption and improve gastrointestinal functionality. Source

Black pepper or piperine treatment has also been evidenced to lower lipid peroxidation in vivo and beneficially influence cellular thiol status, antioxidant molecules and antioxidant enzymes in a number of experimental situations of oxidative stress. The most far-reaching attribute of piperine has been its inhibitory influence on enzymatic drug biotransforming reactions in the liver. Source

Piperine had been reported to inhibit tumors formation in different experimental models. Many studies revealed the antitumor activity of piperine by the oral administration. The alcoholic extract of peppercorn and piperine exhibited effective immunomodulatory and antitumor activities. Piperine is also reported to reduce lung cancer by altering lipid peroxidation and by antioxidative protection enzymes activation  Piperine has distinct pharmacological activities along with Anti-cancer activity.  Source

How-To-Use-Black-Pepper-For-Weight-Loss

Using Black Pepper for Weight Loss

Because black pepper has the ability to reduce fat in the body, and boost metabolism, you can add this to your healthy diet as you lose weight.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper to boiling water, along with a little ginger, lemon and honey or stevia, and sip as a tea before breakfast.

To low sodium V8, add black pepper to enhance the absorption of all that good potassium.

Add to all your foods, including steak and eggs.

And now, for my favorite way to have black pepper:

Black Pepper Healthy Recipes

2 tablespoons salt 1 pound grass-fed beef or buffalo/bison strip loin ¼ cup peppercorns, crushed roughly ¼ cup butter
1 teaspoon tamari sauce (wheat-free) 2 tablespoons beef stock 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Procedures:

  1. Place peppercorns on a plate and press steak into peppercorns to cover both sides thickly. Work peppercorns into the meat using your hands.
  2. Sprinkle a skillet with the salt and over medium heat, cook until salt begins to brown. Add steak to the pan and brown over high heat. Reduce to medium heat and cook until it reaches the desired degree of doneness, approximately three to four minutes per side for medium-rare. Discard drippings. Note: as much as possible, avoid charring the meat to prevent the formation of carcinogenic chemicals.
  3. In a separate saucepan, combine butter, tamari, beef stock, and lemon juice.
  4. Serve the steak with the sauce on the side.

This recipe makes 3 to 4 servings.
(From Dr. Mercola’s No-Grain Diet)

Enjoy black pepper in a whole new way!