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Eye Health & Omega 3

eye health is improved by Omega 3Eye Health is improved by Omega 3
How Do You Know Which Omega’s are Right for You?

Omega’s are good for your joints, skin, vision, brain, and heart. They help lower bad cholesterol levels and even boost fertility. They’re also an ‘anti-ager’ and an ‘anti-inflammatory’.

They’re found naturally in a variety of delicious foods including walnuts, salmon, tuna, olive oil and avocados. It’s time you got to know the daily dose that’s good for just about every single part of your body.

Some fatty acids — called essential fatty acids (EFAs) — are needed in our diets, because our body can’t produce them.

To stay healthy, we must obtain these fatty acids from our food or by supplementation.

Two families of essential fatty acids exist in nature:

  • omega-3
  • omega-6

Did You Know that Omega’s are Extremely Good for your Eye Health?

Approximately 9 million people in the U.S. have age-related macular degeneration with 1.75 million having significant vision loss from the advanced form of the disease.

Why Omega 3’s for Your Eyes?

  • Dietary fat is an important source of energy and a necessary part of the human diet. Fatty acids, a component of fat molecules, are important in keeping our eyes healthy.
  • Research has shown that two omega-3 fatty acids—docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)—are important for proper visual development and retinal function. Ref: American Optometric Association
  • DHA is found in the highest concentration in the retina, suggesting it has an important function there. EPA is used in the production of DHA in the body.
  • Dry eye syndrome also has been linked to omega-3 deficiency. Additionally, low levels of DHA and EPA have been associated with diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinopathy of prematurity.
  • EPA and DHA are concentrated in fatty fish and other seafood. In addition, you can take omega-3 fatty acid supplements in oil or capsule form.

Research Available on the Importance of Omega 3 for Eye Health

DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids are found in maternal breast milk and also are Omega-3 supplemental formulas appear to stimulate vision development in infants.

According  to many studies at Harvard School of Public Health and published in the journal Pediatrics, the researchers discovered that pre-term infants who were given formula that was supplemented with DHA showed significantly better visual acuity when they were 2 and 4 months old in comparison to similar pre-term infants who were not given formulas that included omega-3 DHA supplement.

In 2007, a team of researchers published a study, led by Lois Smith, M.D., Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital Boston, that suggested omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), may prevent these diseases.

Now Dr. Smith and colleagues show that a byproduct of DHA, called 4-hydroxy-docosahexaenoic acid (4-HDHA), may be the chemical that prevents neovascularization in the retina.

Researchers Learn How Certain Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Halt Vision-robbing Blood Vessel Growth in the Retina by conducting trials in mice.

Once eaten, omega-3 fatty acids are converted to healthy by products by molecules called enzymes.

Each enzyme converts omega-3 fatty acids into a different byproduct. In this study, the investigators searched for the specific byproduct that prevents neovascularization by performing experiments on a variety of mice, each engineered to lack one or more of the enzymes known to convert omega-3 fatty acids into byproducts.

Each mouse was fed omega-3 fatty acids and then exposed to high levels of oxygen.

Abnormal blood vessel growth occurred in only one mouse. This mouse lacked the enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), which normally converts DHA into 4-HDHA.

These results indicate that 5-LOX is the enzyme responsible for converting DHA into the anti-neovascular byproduct 4-HDHA.

Interestingly, the researchers found that the conversion of DHA into 4-HDHA did not occur in the retinas of the mice tested, which normally contain lots of DHA. Instead their results suggest that the conversion may occur in immune cells, called leukocytes, which circulate throughout the blood.

The researchers showed that human leukocytes can also convert DHA to 4-HDHA, suggesting they may also protect human retinas from neovascularization.

Which Omega 3’s Should You Use?

Pro DHA EyeWe recommend Nordic Naturals Pro DHA Eye.

They make exceptionally high quality fish oils to maximize absorption and results.

This formula is considered to support the development and maintenance of eye tissue.

It encourages healthy vision and the moisture of the tissue.

It reduces the speed of age-related eye disorder progression

Sleep Well Tonight With 5-HTP

Can You Improve Your Sleep with this Supplement?

5-HTP helps you sleep soundlyInsomnia affects 1/3 of us at some point in our lives – and those of us who have been there know it rocks our world.

Lately, it feels like there’s an insomnia epidemic.

So many of my friends don’t sleep well, including myself sometimes. There are many reasons why we -don’t sleep;
-stress,
-poor diet,
-too much alcohol or
-too much caffeine.

What all of these have in common is that they are serotonin disruptors.  When our serotonin levels are disrupted our sleep is disrupted.

If there was a supplement to improve your ability to fall asleep faster, stay asleep and also improve your mood, and curb your food cravings you would want to try it right? Well there is, I’m talking about 5-HTP.

What is 5-HTP?

It’s an amino acid found in the body which helps us make serotonin. We know how important serotonin is. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter which has powerful effects on the brain. Some of it’s profound functions are regulating our mood, our sleep cycles, food cravings, reaction to pain and even our sex drive.

Basically, the better your serotonin levels are the better all your systems will function.

How Does 5-HTP Work?

  • The body makes 5-HTP naturally from tryptophan and, then, converts it into serotonin.
  • Doctors favor taking a 5-HTP supplement instead of a serotonin supplement because 5-HTP can access the brain from the bloodstream, while serotonin cannot.
  • 5-HTP actually crosses the blood brain barrier to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
  • Increasing your serotonin levels helps to regulate your sleep cycle, suppress your appetite, help headaches, depression and even fibromyalgia.

When starting, try to ease your body into taking 5-HTP by taking a small dose.
Start with 100mg dosage.
Take it 20-30 minutes before meals.
If you don’t think 100mg is giving the desired effect, do speak with your health care provider about potentially increasing the dose.
While it may take a few weeks to really feel a difference, the recommended time frame to use 5HTP is for 12 weeks at a time.

What Else Can you Do to Encourage Deep Sleep?

 Sleep Well Tonight With 5-HTP

  • Avoid bright lights from your TV, laptop, cell phone or e-reader 1 hour before bed.
  • Go to sleep before 11pm.
  • Don’t exercise 2 hours before sleep.
  • Moderately use caffeine and alcohol which disrupts serotonin by increasing adrenalin.
  • Avoid sugar, chocolate and refined carbohydrates which will elevate blood sugar and disrupt serotonin.
  • Consider taking a magnesium supplement: Dr. Frank Lipman and Dr. Weil recommend taking 1,000 mg. before bed.

I Love Ashwagandha

I am amazed by the results that I have been experiencing since I started using this supplement …. That’s why say ….. I Love Ashwagandha!

AshwagandhaAshwagandha is actually the name of a plant and we use the root and berry for herbal preparation. Actually, the name ‘Ashwagandha’ comes from  Sanskrit – a combination of the word ‘ashva’, meaning horse, and ‘gandha’, meaning smell. The root has a strong aroma that is described as “horse-like.”

Ashwagandha is known to assist with reducing anxiety, helping to fall asleep. It is also categorized as an “adaptogen” because its regarded as a general tonic and also aids in helping the body to cope with stress.

Now, some people also started to use Ashwagandha for improving their ability to think and that’s where my experience has flowered. I was so surprised at how effective I have found it to be. So much so,  I started to read more about it.

Here are some of the interesting facts about Ashwagandha:

  • It’s often referred to as “Indian ginseng”. This is because of its rejuvenating properties. Botanically, however, ginseng and Ashwagandha are not at all unrelated.
  • Ashwagandha belongs to the same family as the tomato. They call it a plump shrub with oval leaves and yellow flowers. It bears red fruit about the size of a raisin.
  • It is native to the dry regions of India, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. However, today is also grown in more mild climates, including the United States.
  • In India, Ashwagandha is known as the “strength of the stallion” since it has traditionally been used to strengthen the immune system after illness.

Why Use Ashwagandha?

Dr Deepak Chopra lists these benefits:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating

He also says that “use of the Ayurvedic herb, Ashwagandha can help alleviate these symptoms and support an energetic and rejuvenating sense of well being”.

Dr Josh Axe tells us that there have been over 200 studies on Ashwagandha’s ability to:

  • Improve thyroid function
  • Treat adrenal fatigue
  • Reduce anxiety and depression
  • Combat effects of stress
  • Increase stamina and endurance
  • Prevent and treat cancer
  • Reduce brain cell degeneration
  • Stabilize blood sugar
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Boost immunity

When I looked over this list, the one benefit that resonated is Ashwagandha’s ability to reduce brain cell degeneration. Dr Axe goes on to explain:

“Emotional, physical, and chemical stress can all have damaging effects to the brain and nervous system. Recent research has proven Ashwagandha is more than a stress reliever, it also protects the brain from degeneration and improves symptoms of Alzheimer’s, depression,and anxiety.”

“One of the main reasons ashwagandha is so effective at healing the brain has to do with its powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals that cause aging. A study published in Phytotherapy Research explains these benefits.”

‘Several studies have revealed that natural antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene, may help in scavenging free radicals generated during the initiation and progression of this [Alzheimer’s] disease. But we found Ashwagandha afforded lipid peroxidation inhibitory effects more potent than commercial antioxidants.’

Researchers at the National Brain Research Centre found that mice with Alzheimer’s were unable to retain what they learned, but after 20 days of supplementing with ashwagandha, this improved significantly. The results of the study found a reduction in amyloid plaques (these cause degradation of the brain).

Now, let me share my personal experience – it is just like the mice! I started using Pure Encapsulation’s Ashwagandha – 500 mg 2 x daily. After just a few weeks I noticed that, as I would often do, I tried to recall ‘something’ and I couldn’t remember it! Could have been a name, a place, where I put something etc. Then, just after a few minutes, the correct answer would come to me.

When it first happened, I blew it off as a ‘one time fluke’, but then it started to happen consistently ….aha…. this is really happening …now, I can say without a doubt, that it is happening all the time now. I just give it a few minutes, a sure enough, I remember!

What a pleasure! Instead of getting all concerned that my aging brain is deteriorating
quicker than I would like to admit, I know I’m doing something very beneficial to reverse the process.

FYI – Dr Chopra recommends 600-1000 mg to be taken 2 times daily,. So I’m gong to ‘up the daily dose’ as well and see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

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