Saturday, December 1, 2012

Best Fish Oil To Take

How do you choose the best omega 3 fish oil supplement to get the best bang for your buck and for your precious body? You need to find the best quality source of fish oils with the ideal amount and type of omega 3 in the supplement. When you get the highest quality in the best form and the correct amount, you can accurately assess its value and know you are getting what you pay for in the omega 3 supplement you choose to take.  

Choosing The Best Source of Fish Oils

best type of fish oilWhen it comes to choosing the best source of fish for your omega 3 supplements, size matters! Many commercial products on the market use large fish as their source for oils. This is a problem because the larger the fish, the longer their life span and the more toxins they are likely to accumulate. That’s why it is best to use small fish, such as anchovies or sardines, as your source of fish oil.

The next important factor is finding a fish oil supplement that is rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Many products on the market do not contain a significant percentage of EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are the most studied form of omega 3 thus having the most clinically supported health benefits.  Most commercial omega supplements only have about a third of the actual EPA and DHA, not the over all amount of "omega 3" implied on their label.

Quality Assurance in Omega 3 Fish Oils

Serious quality and safety assurance measures should be taken with the form of Omega III fish oil you choose to put into your body. Fish are exposed to various metals, toxins, PCBs, lead and mercury -- all of which are hazardous to your health. Providing the highest quality control is costly and unfortunately not all companies take this issue seriously. Be sure to do your due diligence in researching the type of fish and the methods and standards the company undergoes to assure clean, safe, high quality and purity supplements.

Watch out for Cheap Omega 3 Supplements

whichi fish oils not to takeYou get what you pay for; cheap supplements have less quality ingredients and smaller amounts of what you need.  They may not truly be as safe as they seem, and they certainly won't provide you with the health benefits you seek if you are getting a poor quality product.

Sadly, today many doctors still do not have the awareness or time to do their homework and specify what type of omega 3 supplements to direct you to buy. So, the typical patient ends up leaving the doctor’s office with the vague instructions of “take fish oils” and often turn to their neighborhood drug store or Costco outlet and purchase the cheapest form since they are not educated on the difference.

This is a real shame- finally MDs are starting to make a great recommendation in suggesting omega 3 supplementation, but patients are left to their own devices and end up unknowingly taking poor quality substandard supplements. Remember folks, “you get what you pay for” so beware of cheap supplements on supermarket shelves or online. Know what company you are buying from and how they create their supplements!

Which Omega 3 supplement is best?

You want the highest concentration of EPA and DHA you can get without a prescription. That’s right, there is actually a prescription form of omega 3 now made by a drug company. Out of pocket it runs you about $8 a day! And there are possible side effects. Here’s one reason why- the FDA won’t allow drug companies to add antioxidants to their product, so the fish oils are likely to become rancid! Prescription? No thank you! Heart Health™ Essential Omega III Fish Oil with Vitamin E is the best available fish oil as it meets the previously discussed factors and goes above and beyond in its safety and quality assurance measures.

best source of fish oil
Remember size of fish matters- the smaller the better – they use anchovies and sardines as their primary source of fish oil because of their size and short life cycle making them extremely low in contamination, and then they go through an intense purification process.

Amount matters- Heart Health Essential Omega III contains 3000mg of fish oil, which is triple the amount found in most commercial products. The NutraMetrix doctors chose to provide three grams of EPA and DHA in their supplement because research studies have demonstrated to be the most clinically effective amount to promote overall cardiovascular health benefits.

mercury free fish oilThis fish oil is tested not once but twice to confirm it is free of any mercury, lead, PCBs or other heavy metals. It is tested by the manufacturer and then again by an independent testing company. This brand only uses fish oil that meets or exceeds standards set by the USA (CRN), the European Union (EU) and Canada (CFIA). Also, it contains Vitamin E because not only does natural vitamin E provide a host of its own health benefits including cardiovascular support, it serves to provide antioxidant protection for the DHA and EPA.

best fish oil to take
So not only do you not have to worry about it being rancid (see prescription omegas), but you get added benefits with the right form of vitamin E.  What’s important to note is that many commercial dietary supplements use the synthetic form of vitamin E, but this one uses the natural form, d-alpha tocopherol, so it is better absorbed and utilized in the body.

Read more details about the best fish oil recommended by health professions who really care. Use the following link and scroll down to read up on the science research, benefits, ingredients and FAQ about this highly recommended form of Omega 3 supplement: Heart Health™ Essential Omega III Fish Oil with Vitamin E.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Joey Kovar Reality of Addiction

Upon learning of the death of reality tv star Joey Kovar, I was saddened by another heartbreaking casualty in the addiction battle. One can only hope that some small blessing in disguise comes out of what otherwise is just plain tragedy. Despite previously having some time in recovery, Kovar was found dead yesterday, at age 29, after several years of his public battle with alcoholism and drug addiction.  

Kovar & Dr. Drew  (VH1 Celerity Rehab)

Celebrity Addicts Bring Addiction Closer to Home 

Before the advent of shows like Celebrity Rehab and Sober House, news of Joey Kovar’s death would not have even made top headlines. When his fellow Celebrity Rehab member, Mike Starr, tragically died from addiction, his death most likely would have just been another random headline about some celebrity drug addict found dead. Only Alice in Chains fans for the most part would have been talking about it. However, within minutes of the announcement of his death in March, Mike Starr was a trending topic on Twitter, with countless civilians and celebrities alike chiming in on the sad report. What was different about Mike Starr? We got to know him. The millions who tuned in weekly to Celebrity Rehab witnessed Mike’s struggles and saw that beneath the angry addict was a lost teddy bear with a big heart. We got to see the person behind the persona, behind the addiction. The same goes for Joey Kovar whose private life was mainstreamed through The Real World on MTV and then Celebrity Rehab on VH1. When Kovar was sober, he was determined to be a positive influence on the masses. 

Progressive and Fatal

Addiction is a progressive and fatal disease. Untreated, the addiction gets worse and worse - ultimately resulting in a premature death. Commonly, most lay folks to the world of addiction only view two aspects of the addiction scene; First, the oftentimes deceivingly glamorized lifestyle of rockstar-type celebs during their active “partying” daze. And later, folks learn of the end of the line aspect of addiction when news of tragic overdose, suicide, or accident ends in death as in the examples of Mike Starr and Joey Kovar, to name just a couple. 

Being found dead as a result of addiction is certainly not glamorous. Thus the countless numbers of every day non-famous individuals who die daily as a result of addiction never make the news. The truth is, addiction is absolutely an epidemic in the US and worldwide; and when you add the family and friends of addicts to the picture, there are many more millions of people affected by the disease.  

Looking for Hope in Tragedy 

It’s safe to assume that Dr. Drew’s goal in creating the shows Celebrity Rehab and Sober House was not only to help some celebrities get sober but also to educate the masses on the truth about addiction and the hope of recovery. And sadly, part of that quest involves bringing widespread awareness to the hard truth of the casualty rate in this addiction war.

While it may seem relatively commonplace to lose a celebrity to booze and drugs, they represent just a grain of sand in the broad landscape of everyday millions who suffer from the deadly illness! So as we send our prayers out to the friends and family of the latest celebrity casuality of addiction – Joey Kovar this week- let’s add an intention that this tragic loss carries forth a hidden blessing… As sober Joey certainly would have wanted it.

Let’s hope that there is a positive twist on this tragedy in what cannot be measured or viewed in the news – that a result of greater awareness of the progressive fatal nature of alcoholism and addiction exemplified through Joey Kovar’s public battle, many struggling individuals whose stories we will never hear about in the news, actually get help and stay sober.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Physical Health in Addiction Recovery

Addiction is a disease that affects the body, mind and spirit. Apart from the action of physically abstaining from the alcohol and recreational drugs, most people in recovery are not given further advice in regards to addressing the physical effect of the disease on your body. Many recovering alcoholics are not aware that, late in his life, Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson was trying to educate doctors on the importance of vitamin supplementation in the treatment of alcoholism. In the A.A. text, there are references to the physical damage from addiction such as:
“… the acute poisoning from which he suffered, how it deteriorates the body of an alcoholic…”  —Alcoholics Anonymous p.157

The main reasons to address your physical health in recovery: 

1. To aid in staying clean and sober, give your relapse prevention a boost. Taking certain actions can give you a physical advantage, i.e. addressing cravings by balancing your blood sugar, to help you stay away from a drink or drug. Remember, half of H.A.L.T. is purely physical (Hungry, Tired). Plus, addressing your physical health can support your mental and spiritual recovery too!

2. To help reverse the internal damage done, decrease chances of future health challenges, and enhance quality of life so that recovery can be enjoyed to the fullest and your capacity for service work maximized.
“A body badly burned by alcohol does not often recover overnight” A.A., p. 133
Self-sabotage, risky behavior and a conscious or subconscious death-wish naturally accompany active addiction. As a result of an attitude shift after putting down the drug, you may suddenly realize that you are likely to live a lot longer than you perhaps previously (consciously or subconsciously) anticipated. Depending on how long you have been sober, perhaps that thought has already crossed your mind. 

So once you have accepted that you are likely to live a longer life sober, why not start treating your body right so that you can enjoy quality of life in the quantity available to you now. Assuming you didn’t get sober to be chronically sick, tired and miserable; you really ought to consider how to address this critical physical aspect of your recovery.

Awareness + Action = Results. To create an action plan for your physical health and wellness in recovery, you can seek out a holistic practitioner or coach who specializes in wellness and addiction recovery, or a clinical nutritionist or naturopathic physician who has experience working with recovering alcoholics and addicts.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nicotine Addiction Genetics

credit: SuperFantastic on Flickr
Wonder why some smokers instantly get hooked on cigarettes while others can just have a cigarette now and then? The latest research has suggested that genetics plays at least some role in nicotine addiction, and researchers have identified which individual genes seem to be involved. While the genetic link to addiction is certainly not a new subject, there remains plenty left to uncover to answer questions such as: to what extent genes are responsible for addiction and its consequences; and what underlying genetic mechanisms specifically cause the vulnerability?

The Latest Research on Nicotine Addiction and Genetics

Researchers from Germany, France and Russia have contributed to important findings on this topic. Two years ago, researchers discovered a specific gene cluster (3 genes) involved with posing a risk factor for nicotine dependence. Recent studies revealed that a variation in one or more of the genes in that cluster seem to be present in a significant percentage of smokers. 

For example, if the gene alpha5 (one of the 3) is mutated, they found that an individual is more likely to become addicted to nicotine and more prone to developing lung cancer! Moreover, it is a balance of activity among these genes within the cluster that appears to be the key in making individuals vulnerable to nicotine dependence. (Silke Frahm et al. Aversion to Nicotine Is Regulated by the Balanced Activity of b4 and a5 Nicotinic Receptor Subunits in the Medial Habenula. Neuron, May,12, 2011, Vol. 70, Issue 3, pp: 522-535.)

Potential Impact of Research on Nicotine Addiction and Genetics 

What is the significance of this ongoing research into the genetic influence on nicotine addiction? Considering the World Health Organization estimate that tobacco use causes at least five million deaths a year across the globe, any and all insights into the contributing factors to this epidemic may be helpful in prevention. In spite of broad education campaigns in the USA targeting smoking prevention and the greater awareness today of great health risks from nicotine use, each day an estimated 1,000 American youth become daily smokers according to the Center For Disease Control.

Imagine if there were a genetic screening for young people that determined their genetic variations such as the aforementioned types linked to an inclination towards nicotine addiction and lung cancer. Empowering individuals with this unique information about their own specific likelihood of developing addiction and disease based on this lifestyle choice could in fact be just the deterrent that keeps a person from gambling with picking up that first cigarette. 

Consider the impact if genetic screenings became affordable and integrated into the healthcare system so that a pediatrician were able to educate their young patients not only about general risks of smoking but inform them of their unique genetic risk potential, directly stating “you are particularly at risk for addiction and lung cancer if you try smoking.”

Learning one’s own very specific genetic propensity towards addiction and cancer might in fact break through some of the denial that is otherwise reflected by the widespread use of nicotine in spite of the general knowledge of potential health risks. It could help to reduce the fearless “it won’t happen to me” common attitude among youth who try that first cigarette. Hence the potential application of continued research on the genetic component of nicotine addiction may hold the key to prevention and decreasing the incredible amount of smokers and nicotine-related deaths locally and worldwide.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Grief Behind Resentments

Resentments may be related to grief. We grieve the loss of things we had or thought we had, or things we expected to get that we didn’t. Resentments are sparked by an unmet expectation. Grief is the result of a perceived loss – and in the case of resentment, it’s an expectation not met that creates the sense of loss. Think about a resentment you currently hold or one you once had; you should be able to connect it with some expectation and perceived loss.

Remember what’s behind every resentment/anger? Fear is always the culprit. Fear, that “evil and corroding threat", always seems to fall into one of two types: fear of losing something we have or fear of not getting something we want. There you have it: some sort of loss, whether real or imagined. Resentment by definition basically means to “re-feel” and that is what grief is about– feeling and re-feeling emotions related to a loss of some kind.

recovering alcoholic grief, resentment behind griefGrief is not linear. Sometimes recovering alcoholics or addicts will be surprised and even ashamed when resentment resurfaces towards a person whom they had already addressed via past 4th step work or therapy. Old feelings of grief, such as anger or resentment, can resurface when triggered by a new perceived loss… perhaps same person, new circumstance… or a different person, same circumstance. 

Let's look at an example. Suppose you get engaged and you are happy with your fiancé, but you find old feelings of resentment surfacing towards an old love who dumped you when you thought you were going to get engaged. Then you may wonder why these feelings would arise even when you do not feel resentment toward your current relationship, but it is perfectly normal for a new situation to trigger an old resentment. It simply is a signal that you have the opportunity to work through some other aspect or piece of the grief process from that old loss; and by working through it, you can learn from it and avoid having it negatively affect future relationships.

When we manage to get through the anger/resentment, usually sadness and disappointment lie just below it. Again, those feelings – part of grief – are due to the perceived loss. Like with every process of grief, the final goal is acceptance. When one reaches acceptance, feelings of joyfulness - essentially the opposite of resentment - are once again possible thus making the challenging process of working through grief worth the often challenging process. To help work through your resentment associated with grief, check out our article on Holistic Resources to Heal from Grief