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Alternative Medicine News – February 11, 2013

Bottom Line Health
How To Know For Sure If You Are Getting Enough Of This Crucial Nutrient

There are only a few supplements that almost everyone should take.

One of the most important is Omega-3 fatty acids (EFA). There are many reasons it’s important.

Studies show that having the right amount:

  • Supports heart health.
  • Increases the health of your brain.
  • Lowers inflammation.
  • Reduces depression.
  • Helps joint pain.

In fact, the list goes on beyond these few important ones.

But how can you tell if you are getting enough? You might not be. In fact, a little publicized government report says that about 70% of Americans are low in EFA. That means 2 out of 3 people could benefit from taking more.

Now there is a way to test whether you are getting enough. It’s called the “Omega-3 Index” test. It is a simple blood test that tells you what your percentage of EFA is relative to other fatty acids. Ideally it should be 8% or higher.

There are two ways to take the test. The first is to have your doctor order it. That is probably the most reliable way. The second way is to test at home with a test kit. If you want to test this way, do a search for “omega 3 index test”. You’ll come up with many options.

Bottom Line has more information on this test here.

Al Sears, MD
New Benefit Of Resveratrol

There are many articles on Balance Point that talk about the benefits of resveratrol. Now there is one more that has to do with living a long life.

It is a little technical, but the essence of it is this: resveratrol helps stems cells work better.

Stem cells, as you may know, are crucial for keeping the body healthy. And the become less effective over time. This change is part of the reason people get sick.

Simply stated, the more of these progenitor cells you have, the more likely you are to avoid disease. This view is supported by the fact that patients with diabetes, high blood pressure and/or cardiovascular disease have low levels of progenitor cells.

It also helps reverse the loss of telomere length. The shorter your telomeres, the more damage your DNA has. That leads to shorter life.

Dr. Al Sears has the details on his web site. You’ll find the article here.

Green Med Info
This Common Food Confirmed To Promote Weight Gain

30 years ago, there was a big push to promote grains as a healthy food choice.

But are they? New research casts doubt on the healthiness of grains. And it sheds light on why a gluten-free diet may be a good choice.

The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry published this research. In it they compared the effects of a gluten-based diet to a gluten-free diet in mice.

The results were interesting. They measured 16 markers of health. There are some rather startling conclusions that came out of this. The researchers concluded:

“Our data support the beneficial effects of gluten-free diets in reducing adiposity gain, inflammation and insulin resistance. The data suggests that diet gluten exclusion should be tested as a new dietary approach to prevent the development of obesity and metabolic disorders.”

In other words, without the gluten, there was no weight gain, less inflammation and less blood sugar issues.

Green Med Info has the details and references. See the story here.

Balance Point Blog
If You Drink Alcohol, This Is Important Information

Regular Balance Point readers know how I feel about artificial sweeteners.

In short, I’m against them.

But if you drink mixed drinks, you should be especially careful not to use mixers with these in them.

The reason came to light in a study of people who drank mixed drinks. Those who had diet mixers got a much stronger effect from their drinks.

How much stronger?

Their blood alcohol levels were almost 20% higher after 40 minutes. Their breath alcohol levels were also higher. In addition, their reaction times were worse.

One of the researchers said of these results:

“They think they’re saving some calories by drinking their alcohol with a diet drink, [but] it’s much more harmful to the body to have a high blood alcohol concentration.”

Of course the alcohol itself turns into sugar fairly quickly. That means it has a strong impact on blood sugar levels. There are many reasons that high blood sugar levels damage health.

You can get the details of the study here.

Balance Point Blog
Menopausal Brain Fog Really Does Exist

Menopause can be tough.

For many women, this time creates multiple challenges. These include hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings just to name a few.

But one symptom that isn’t talked about as much is the fuzzy thinking it can bring. This “brain fog” includes forgetfulness and poor thinking. And the brain symptoms can last long after menopause is complete.

Does this mean that hormone therapy will help brain fog? Maybe. But my recommendation is not to rely on synthetic hormones. If anything, bioidentical hormones would be the way to go.

And you should also consider checking adrenal health. Since the adrenals are the source or the controller of many hormones, when they aren’t strong problems can happen.

The article doesn’t address these other issues, but it is an interesting study. See the article here.

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

Dr. Bruce

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