Archive for May, 2010

Recent evidence suggests that treatment of periodontal and other gum diseases should include fish oil supplements

There is evidence that increasing the intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA can help in the treatment of periodontal disease and other gum diseases. Whilst the general public is becoming aware of the health benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids it is not generally understood that they can also help in the prevention and treatment of periodontal and other gum diseases.

A Japanese study of older people, which is the age group of those who are more susceptible to advanced gum disease, has found that “People with low intake (of DHA) had an approximately 1.5 times higher incidence rate ratio of periodontal disease progression”.

Periodontal disease is a gum disease suffered by older people. Most people are unaware that their teeth and gums can be seriously negatively affected by advanced gum disease until it is too late. However the repercussions of serious periodontal disease can be very unpleasant, including periodontal surgery and even loss of teeth.
treatment of periodontal disease

The periodontal tissue is the tissue surrounding the teeth. It is the gums that support the teeth and as such is extremely important. Gum diseases that affect the periodontal tissue can ultimately inflame and erode the gum tissues leading to loss of support for the teeth and ultimately loss of a tooth, or more than one tooth, sometimes many.

Symptoms of Periodontitis can include gum growing between the teeth, loose teeth, pain when eating and an unpleasant taste or odor in the mouth.

The first stage of periodontal disease is called Gingivitis. Pockets of bacteria inflame the gum tissue around the roots of the teeth and form tartar, or dental plaque, on the teeth leading to inflammation. Poor oral hygiene, combined with a range of other factors can cause the onset of gingivitis. Periodontitis is the second stage and is much more serious.

Treatment of periodontal disease should of course start with prevention. However there is now growing evidence that prevention of periodontal disease should include a regime of supplementation with quality fish oil supplements. The evidence is growing that the anti-inflammatory properties of Omega 3 essential fatty acids have significant benefits in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease.

Regular checkups with your general dentist are important, and improved oral health is very important to preventing periodontal disease. A regular visit to a good dental hygienist for a dental clean is also important. Dental patients are routinely checked for periodontal disease.

And of course regular brushing and flossing below the gum between the teeth is also very important. Pay particular attention when cleaning your teeth.

Once you have it it is very difficult to cure gum disease. It is much easier to prevent periodontal disease than to cure it. Treatment of periodontal disease once established can be expensive and unpleasant, and for this reason everyone should pay closer attention to cleaning their teeth, visiting the general dentist regularly, and also supplementing their diet with Omega3 supplements, or eating more fish.

Nonsurgical treatment of periodontal disease can include scaling and root planing. This is a deep cleaning periodontal therapy that attempts to remove areas infected with bacteria that cause dental plaque. This also is not pleasant and should be avoided where possible.

Taking Omega 3 supplements is not just about preventing or treating periodontal disease, because there are a wide range of other health benefits to Omega 3 supplementation, including a reduced risk of death from heart disease.

To read more about treating periodontal disease and gum disease using Omega 3 supplements read this study about periodontal gum disease.

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Can kids with DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder) improve the condition by dietary supplementation with Omega 3 fatty acids?

DCD, or Developmental Coordination Disorder, affects around 5% to 10% of children, and also affects adults. It results in awkwardness and difficulty with various aspects of life, and in particular with activities requiring motor skills, like sports. It can result, for example, in such problems as lack of hand/eye coordination, and difficulty in managing some gross motor skills.

And having these difficulties can result in such problems as having an awkward and limiting posture. They can become clumsy and tend to fall over more often, and have other related problems such as difficulty in writing legibly.

Of course in children, who so love their sports, having DCD, or Developmental Coordination Disorder, can impact on a wide range of different areas of their lives. These types of problems can have impacts on their self esteem and self image and other potential psychological repercussions. They can experience lifelong problems such as very limited social skills.

And there can be physical repercussions from childhood DCD as well. Being reluctant to undertake sports and physical activity because of their difficulties in these areas can result in children becoming overweight and unfit, including in later life.DCD and fish oil

The causes of DCD are not really understood. But it is also known that children with Developmental Coordination Disorder may also be more likely to exhibit other problems such as autism, ADHD and various other learning disabilities.

In short, Developmental Coordination Disorder can be a very severe disorder. So it’s of interest that a study about Omega 3 and DCD has shown a link between increasing intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids and improving the symptoms of DCD.

In the abstract of the study it is noted that “Mounting evidence suggests that a relative lack of certain polyunsaturated fatty acids may contribute to related neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders such as dyslexia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.”

The study investigated dietary supplementation of children with DCD using Omega 3 and Omega 6 supplements. 117 children with Developmental Coordination Disorder were selected for the study. The stated result from the abstract was that“No effect of treatment on motor skills was apparent, but significant improvements for active treatment versus placebo were found in reading, spelling, and behavior over 3 months of treatment in parallel groups. After the crossover, similar changes were seen in the placebo-active group, whereas children continuing with active treatment maintained or improved their progress.”

And the conclusion drawn was that “Fatty acid supplementation may offer a safe efficacious treatment option for educational and behavioral problems among children with DCD. Additional work is needed to investigate whether our inability to detect any improvement in motor skills reflects the measures used and to assess the durability of treatment effects on behavior and academic progress.”

As with all these things this doesn’t necessarily prove that dietary supplementation with Omega 3 supplements and Omega 6 essential fatty acids will cure DCD, but it’s certainly something that any parent with a child with DCD should be aware of.

And there is strong and growing evidence that there are significant general health benefits, including to children, of increasing our intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids found mainly in fish oil. This includes studies that are suggesting there is a fish oil ADHD link, or that increasing Omega 3 intake may also help withthe symptoms of ADHD. So there’s good reasons for kids, and all of us, to have adequate levels of intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA. And currently most of us don’t.

So if your child has DCD, or for that matter ADHD, it may well be worthwhile considering introducing high quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements to their diet. It may help with their DCD and ADHD symptoms, but it’s good for them generally anyway.

And hopefully there will be more studies like this one confirming the link between improving the symptoms of Developmental Coordination Disorder by increasing intake of the essential fatty acids known as Omega 3 fatty acids.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Developmental Coordination Disorder can do so here.

 

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The issue of PCBs in fish oil supplements is in the news at the moment. So how do you know if your Omega 3 supplements are free of PCBs?

PCBs in fish oil supplements is a serious issue, particularly as so many of us are now beginning to understand the health benefits of increasing the amount of Omega 3 essential fatty acids in our diet. Whilst the American Heart Association tells us to do that it also warns us of PCB levels in fish. And therefore the possibility of PCBs in fish oil supplements.

And PCB contamination of fish, and fish oil supplements, has been in the forefront of the news lately.

So we thought we’d do a short video showing you how to find out a bit more about the possible contamination of Omega 3 supplements with PCBs.

It’s not easy to tell if there are industrial toxins in fish oil capsules. But there are ways for  you to be more confident in the quality and safety of the Omega 3 capsules that you may be buying. We show you one of these ways.

(Tips for playing the video. For better quality click the small box on the bottom right for whole screen. Use ESC to escape full screen).

When you’re buying your fish oil supplements it pays to be careful. Take your time reviewing the information on any website that sells Omega 3 capsules, your decision is an important one.

You shouldn’t risk taking PCBs with your breakfast fish oil capsules.

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Learning how to control triglycerides could be a major step to better health.

Over the last century there has been a rise in the rate of heart disease, and the resultant risk of heart attack possibly resulting in death. A part of the heart disease equation is elevated cholesterol levels as well as high levels of triglycerides in the blood. Today we want to examine the causes of high triglycerides and consider some ways to control triglyceride levels.

Triglycerides are a form of blood fat which come from fats in foods we eat and which can be manufactured in the body from carbohydrates. Triglycerides in the blood are being transported to fat cells where they will be stored or used as needed by those cells.

The National Cholesterol Education Program suggests specific guidelines for triglyceride levels. These guidelines are as follows:

Normal levels are considered to be less than 150 mg/dL. 150 to 199 mg/dL is considered to be borderline, 200 to 499 mg/dL to be high triglyceride levels and 500 mg/dL is very high triglycerides levels.Control triglycerides with Omega 3

Our risk of heart disease is related to our blood triglyceride levels and our cholesterol levels. There is clear evidence that high cholesterol increases our risk of heart disease and that controlling cholesterol levels is one very important step to achieving optimal heart health. High blood triglycerides, or what is known as hypertriglyceridemia, is also related to coronary heart disease although the evidence for this is not a strong as the link between high cholesterol and heart health.

However triglycerides levels can also affect the level of cholesterol in your blood, and elevated blood triglycerides can lower your levels of HDH cholesterol, or good cholesterol. On top of that they are also a risk factor for other diseases including diabetes and excessive blood clotting.

Controlling triglycerides is therefore an important step in both heart health as well as overall health. Blood fats, namely cholesterol and triglycerides, are often a result of various lifestyle factors. These lifestyle factors are well known including obesity, poor diet and in particular low levels of consumption of fruit and vegetables and high levels of consumption of animal products, and low levels of exercise.

Anyone looking to control triglycerides is usually advised to make some lifestyle changes. These will include losing weight where necessary, improving your diet, exercising more, and reducing alcohol intake. Alcohol intake also contributes to elevated triglycerides.

Other factors can also help control triglycerides. For instance it is now known that increasing your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, either as nutritional supplements or by eating more fish, will also positively impact triglycerides and cholesterol levels. In fact the American Heart Association recommends minimum levels of intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids for each of us to lower our risk of heart disease and therefore lower our risk of death.

Levels of cholesterol and triglycerides will respond to lifestyle changes. Changes in diet and exercise will usually help lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Usually elevated levels in the blood are detected by way of blood test, and for that reason everyone should have regular checkups with a doctor to find out at what age you should start having regular blood tests to measure your levels of blood lipids as well as to identify any other health risk factors.

And don’t forget that an important health measure, not only to control triglyceride levels but also for a wide range of other health reasons, is to start improving your levels of intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids, primarily found in fish oil, have a wide range of health benefits including reducing your risk for heart attack. As the risk of heart disease is one of the primary killers in our society helping control triglycerides and cholesterol is highly beneficial for each and every one of us.

There you have an approach to elevated blood triglycerides. Controlling triglycerides, along with controlling cholesterol, is possible, and doing so may have an extremely positive impact on your life.

It may even save your life.

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