July 2010 Newsletter

Reduce Bad Cholesterol

Samara Felesky-Hunt reports in the Calgary Herald that phytosterols, also known as plant sterols, are naturally occurring steroids similar in structure to cholesterol, but found in plant foods.

One of their benefits is the ability to compete with dietary and biliary cholesterol, which can result in significant reductions in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

How much do I need?

In Western diets, normal intakes of phytosterols seem to range between .17 to .36 grams per day, depending on dietary habits, with vegetarians being even higher.

Clinical intervention trials have shown plant sterols reducing LDL using a dose that ranges from 0.8 grams per day up to a plateau of two grams per day.

Several studies show that a daily consumption of two grams per day of plant sterols may reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 15 per cent in conjunction with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Consumption of plant sterols is considered safe for all individuals except those suffering from phytosterolaemia (a rare genetic disorder causing the build up of plant and animal sterols in the blood).

Dosages of phytosterols -- up to nine grams per day -- have been administered in clinical trials without adverse effects. Not all trials using plant sterol supplements have been eff ective, however; in these, the lack of effect was attributed to a low cholesterol diet and the speed of capsule dispersion.

Where do I find it?

Vegetable oils are rich sources of phytosterols. Corn, canola, sunflower, soybean and olive oil contain phytosterols.

You can also find them in wheat, oats, corn, rice bran, oranges and even apples.

Plant sterols have also been incorporated into numerous new functional food products, including margarines, dairy products, fruit juices and baked goods, as well as into multivitamin/ mineral supplements.

Studies are showing that plant sterols dissolved in higher fat foods tend to be more effective than plant sterols provided in low-fat foods.

Nordic Naturals Introduces Omega Probiotic

Nutrition Horizon
reports that Nordic Naturals, the industry leader in omega-3 fish oil, introduces Omega Probiotic,
a synergistic blend of fish oil and live probiotic spores for optimal digestive and gastrointestinal health. The breakthrough formula combines two important nutrients that are commonly lacking in today's modern diet in one easy-to-take supplement that does not require refrigeration.

Concentrated fish oil works in synergy with a unique spore-form probiotic, Bacillus coagulans, to deliver all the health benefits of omega-3s (EPA+DHA), while also supporting the immune system and promoting an optimal balance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. Unlike most probiotics on the market, this species of probiotic is in spore form. Research shows that this unique spore-form probiotic delivers ten times more live cultures than common probiotic yogurt cultures, delivers those cultures more effectively, and does not require special treatments such as refrigeration.

According to Dr. Joseph Maroon, Nordic Naturals Medical Advisor, "This timely product provides an important way for consumers to be proactive with their health care. This two-in-one product is also perfect for travel, making compliance easy."

Nordic Naturals Omega Probiotic offers these important benefits:

  • Provides over 2 billion stable and viable probiotic spores per serving
  • Provides double strength EPA+DHA fish oil for more omega-3 benefits
  • Supports the body's natural anti-inflammatory response
  • Promotes a healthy balance of intestinal flora
  • Enhances overall digestive and gastrointestinal health and function
Omega Probiotic contains purified fish oil from anchovies and sardines sustainably sourced from the waters of the South Pacific. Nordic Naturals' policy is to harvest 100% of its fish in compliance with the Norwegian fisheries management system, which has been a model for the sustainable harvest of marine life for over 30 years.

Tweak Your Taste Buds

Alison Johnson recommends to take small bites and build from there.  Johnson reports from the Newport News Daily Press that nutritionists say it really is possible to develop a taste for healthy foods you've avoided for years:

Go slow. Make one small change at a time over a period of weeks. As your taste buds adapt, gradually add in more vegetables, fruit and seafood.

Stay away from plain.
Don't start off with a plate of raw broccoli. Instead, mix pureed or diced vegetables into foods you already like, such as macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, chili, seasoned noodles, sauces, soups or baked goods.

Use flavoring. Vegetables can taste much better -with some herbs and spices, Cajun seasoning and healthy dips such as hummus -- or simply grilled with a little salt, pepper and garlic. Go for a known favorite: if you like Asian cuisine, for example,
cook with a teriyaki glaze.

Experiment with cooking time ... You may remember your childhood vegetables as a mushy heap. Texture can matter as much as taste: If the same food is firmer or cut into smaller pieces, it may be much more appealing.

... and fresh, frozen or canned.  Frozen or canned vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh but taste better to you. Just watch the salt and sugar content.

Be adventurous. Every time you go to the grocery store, buy one fruit or vegetable you've never tried before. You're likely to stumble onto a new

Give fish a chance. Different types of fish don't taste the same; some are much less "fishy" than others. Milder forms include tilapia, cod and flounder. Ask your store's seafood department for recommendations.
Be patient. Children often won't accept a new food until they've tried it eight or nine times, and the same may be true of grown-ups.   

Did You Know???
  • Energy drinks can raise blood pressure, cause faster heartbeat and lead to irritability, nervousness and nausea.

    The Mayo Health Clinic Letter reports that many energy drinks contain as much caffeine as one or two cups of coffee and as much sugar as one can of soda. Some also include herbal stimulants. An occasional energy drink may be a useful stimulant--but regularly drinking several energy drinks a day can damage health. Also: It is dangerous to consume energy drinks with alcohol or when you are dehydrated. The caffeine and other ingredients can increase risk for fainting and even a heart attack.

  • Secondhand smoke is linked to depression.

    Frank Bandiera, MPH, public health researcher, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, in Florida, reports a recent finding of nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke are twice as likely to have major depression as people not exposed to smoke. Smokers are known to have higher rates of depression than nonsmokers, but it is not clear whether smoking or depression comes first. Bandiera, is the leader of this study of 95,000 people, where findings were presented at a recent meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.

  • Eating fatty fish once a week lowers men's risk for heart failure.

    Fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, whitefish and char contain omega-3 fatty acids. Emily Levitan, ScD, research fellow, Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit, Beth Israel Deacones Medical Center, in Boston, reports that one weekly three-ounce serving of any of these fish reduced heart failure risk by 12%.  This study was published in the European Heart Journal.
  In this Issue:
Reduce Bad Cholesterol
Nordic Naturals Introduces Omega Probiotic

Tweak Your Taste Buds

Did You Know???
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