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    Natracure Blog — cardiovascular

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    Should You Really Be Taking Fish Oil?

    At Charlotte’s Book, we’re serious about our supplements: you are what you eat, after all. We were surprised to see this recent New York Times video portraying a fish oil market where oxidation causes the quality of fish oil to deteriorate—apparently, New Zealand has a particular problem with sub-par product, with 83% of fish oils on the market below standard. We decided to check in with two Charlotte’s Book experts—Daniela Turley, MCPP, AHG, a medical herbalist, and Dr. Frank Lipman, who specializes in integrative medicine—and asked them both three questions about fish oil. Their answers here.   1. The Basics: Is Fish Oil Harmful Or Helpful? Dr. Frank Lipman says, “I believe that fish oil is helpful. It promotes a stronger immune system, better cardiovascular health, less inflammation, healthier joints, improved vision, a more robust metabolism and healthy weight management. Fish oil has also been shown to improve skin, hair, and nails, as well as cognitive functions like your thinking power, attention, mood and memory.” “Fish oil can be harmful if not a good quality—if it’s rancid or contains heavy metals,” says Daniela Turley. “It’s always best to come in the form of food, which means eating small fish that are low down the food chain. When I do recommend it as a supplement, in cases of autoimmune disease, for example, I recommend a brand that just makes fish oil. Eskimo Oils or Nordic Naturals are good examples. In studies, these are high quality and low in residue.”

    Related: Don’t Guess. Know These Popular Herbal Supplement Doses   2. What’s Important To Know When Buying Fish Oil? Says Turley, “See above. Go for a manufacturer that makes fish oil exclusively; I personally only recommend those two brands.” Lipman echoes the importance of purity: “When shopping for fish oils, do your research. Make sure you choose a good quality fish oil to ensure purity and the removal of heavy metals, pesticides, PCB’s and other contaminants. The Be Well Omega-3 Fish Oils deliver their EPA and DHA in their natural triglyceride forms. Not only do they contain almost double the industry standard concentration of triglyceride-bound omega-3 oils normally found in most formulations, they also contain mixed tocopherols as antioxidants, plus Lipase, a digestive enzyme that helps break down fats for easier digestion and absorption. Both of these ingredients also enhance the molecular stability of the product.”   3. Who Should Take Fish Oil? “People with with inflammatory-based illnesses,” says Turley, “people who can’t eat fish three times a week. I recommend it in cases of autoimmune disease, e.g. psoriasis or Rheumatoid arthritis, and in people with CV risk factors along with antioxidant herbs to help protect the oil from going rancid once in the body. Please note that the ratio between omega 3:6 is important, and that a ​​lot of the benefits of taking fish oil can be secured by reducing omega 6 intake.”
    Lipman takes a more liberal view: “I urge everyone to indulge. They support your body’s ability to prevent chronic diseases and help protect it against inflammation. Fish oil is seriously good stuff, but as with Vitamin D, you can’t make your own omega-3 fatty acids, so you’ve got to get it from outside sources. Fatty fish and fish oil supplements are your best sources.”Related: Reduce Inflammation With These 10 Delicious Foods.   via Charlotte's Book

    Coffee, Coffee, It's Good For Your Heart

    Drinking coffee, tea or chocolate does not appear to cause heart palpitations, heart fluttering and other out-of-sync heartbeat patterns, researchers reported Tuesday. The report challenges a widely held belief that caffeinated drinks cause irregular heart rhythms that can lead to heart failure or dangerous heart rhythm disorders and is another vindication for coffee as a safe drink. It might be time for doctors to lighten up on coffee, says Dr. Gregory Marcus, a cardiologist at the University of California San Francisco, who led the study. "Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products to prevent disturbances of the heart's cardiac rhythm should be reconsidered, as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits," Marcus said in a statement. "WE MAY UNNECESSARILY BE DISCOURAGING CONSUMPTION OF ITEMS LIKE CHOCOLATE, COFFEE AND TEA THAT MIGHT ACTUALLY HAVE CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFITS." "Given our recent work demonstrating that extra heartbeats can be dangerous, this finding is especially relevant." It used to be believed that premature cardiac contractions, which usually cause no symptoms or mild symptoms such as heart palpitations, 'skipped' beats or fluttering, were harmless. But studies now show they're associated with heart failure, atrial fibrillation and other dangerous conditions. And doctors are widely taught that caffeine can cause these heart disturbances. To check, Marcus and colleagues examined 1,388 people, with an average age of 72, taking part in a larger heart study. About 60 percent said they drank some sort of caffeinated product every day. The team looked specifically at coffee, tea and chocolate and did not ask about super-caffeinated energy drinks. They measured instances of premature ventricular contractions and premature atrial contractions. They could not find any differences in instances of these heart disturbances, no matter how much coffee or tea or chocolate people had. "Therefore, we are only able to conclude that in general, consuming caffeinated products every day is not associated with having increased ectopy or arrhythmia but cannot specify a particular amount per day," Marcus and colleagues wrote in the Journal of the American Heart Association. "HABITUAL COFFEE DRINKERS HAVE LOWER RATES OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE." They said it is possible that people who noticed heart flutters or other symptoms from coffee or tea may have cut back - they did not ask them. But they also noted that it's yet another finding in favor of moderate coffee drinking. "Coffee is among the most commonly consumed beverages in the United States and is the main source of caffeine intake among adults," they wrote. "Regular coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and other cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and depression," they added. "Furthermore, large observational studies have found that habitual coffee drinkers have lower rates of coronary artery disease and of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality." The cutoff seems to be around five cups a day, and kids shouldn't be drinking too much caffeine. Higher doses of caffeine can be deadly. The Food and Drug Administration has warned about sales of powdered caffeine, One teaspoon delivers as much caffeine as 28 cups of regular coffee. By Maggie Fox via NBC News