Archive for February, 2011

Are carrots good for eyes? Probably not. But taking more Omega 3 in your diet will definitely be good for your eyes

Are carrots good for your eyes? Is it a myth or is it true? Whilst some consider it a myth that carrots are good for the eyes, it is now being shown that getting more Omega3 essential fatty acids in your diet is certainly good for the eyes.

We have already discussed the importance of increasing your daily intake of the Omega3 essential fatty acids DHA,(docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) to help prevent macular degeneration, the leading source of blindness in our older people. A new study by Dr. Mike Sapieha, a neurobiochemist and Harvard researcher of the Maisonneuve Rosemont Hospital Research Centre of the University of Montréal has demonstrated that the Omega3 essential fatty acids may well help reduce your risk of loss of vision and blindness more generally.

And of course your eyesight is one of the most important of all your senses. And the loss of your eyesight can be catastrophic, so protecting it is very important.

(To read the study click here, note that the original version will be in French. Google translate should help if you wish to read it in English.)

Whilst it may be a myth that carrots are good for the eyes it seems clear from a number of studies that you ought to be taking Omega3 essential fatty acids in your diet for the sake of your eyes, along with many other health conditions which seem to be becoming more prevalent in our society.Are carrots good for the eyes

One of the causes of loss of vision and blindness is the growth of wild blood vessels in the eye that can damage the retina. This can affect the vision of people from babies right through to the elderly and including those who are suffering from diabetes, and is considered by some to be the major cause of blindness and loss of vision.

In the study mice were fed an Omega3 rich diet, and the result was a reduction in the growth of wild blood vessels of around 50 percent. Further studies are now being undertaken with people with the use of Omega3 supplements.

Whether carrots are good for eyes is debatable, but it is becoming clear that for a wide range of reasons everyone should be supplementing their diet with more of the Omega3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, including to help protect the health of your eyes.

How to do this is another question. Everyone can eat more fish of course, however fish is getting much more expensive, and much fish is contaminated with industrial toxins and our government tells us not to eat too much because of this. Or you can take fish oil supplements each day, which the authors of this website do. But you still need to be careful when choosing your supplements.

So remember, there are few benefits from eating carrots for your eyes. Carrots don’t do very much, but increasing your intake of the essential fatty acids every day will, and it will also improve a wide range of other areas of your health as well. To find out more about the other health conditions which may be positively impacted by taking fish oil supplements browse our categories on the right.


To find out more about Peter

Hi there, this is where I get to tell you all about this website and why I take the excellent fish oil supplements from Xtend Life.

I’m not a doctor or a scientist. What I am is a health and fitness enthusiast. As I’ve grown older I’ve become more and more interested in the basics of staying fit and healthy.

One of the things that has fascinated me for some time is the role of the Omega 3 fats in good health. Some time ago I came across evidence that one of the most important things in helping reduce the risk of macular degeneration, (an eye condition leading to blindness in the elderly) was keeping up your intake of Omega 3.

As my mother was getting elderly, and a friend of hers had gone blind from macular degeneration, this made me sit up and think. (And now my mum also takes the Xtend Life Omega 3 supplements).

Gradually, as I read more and more about the role of Omega 3 in good health, I became more fascinated, and eventually decided to create a website, this one, about the importance of Omega 3 fats in your diet.

I spend my time, amongst other things, reading about how improving your intake of the Omega 3 fats can help improve your health. I read the studies and the reports and I bring that news to you, my readers, right here.

(Please like my page for me, it all helps.)

Why have I chosen the Omega 3 supplements from Xtend Life? That’s a good question, there’s so many different brands of supplements available.

Part of the reason is rational and part of it is emotional.

As far as the emotional side goes, I just like the company. I have corresponded on a number of occasions with people from the company, including the chairman, and have always been impressed by their commitment to the quality of their products, and also their commitment to the well-being of their customers, of which I am one.

Unlike some companies you can jump on the phone and give them a ring, and there is somebody there to talk to, happy to talk. They’re also quick to respond to orders, my little bottles turn up very quickly.

I have found in all respects that they place great value on producing the highest quality products on the market. This doesn’t just apply to their Omega 3 supplements, but to all the products they produce, including their excellent natural skin care products. They have an overwhelming commitment to ensuring the optimum well-being of their customers by producing safe and highly effective products, unlike some on the market.

But I also mentioned that part of my reasons for using their fish oil supplements, (along with a number of other Xtend Life products that I use) was rational.

The rational side of me looks at things like how much Omega 3 fats are you getting for your money. Most Omega 3 capsules provide 18 percent EPA and 12 percent DHA, meaning that you get 180 milligrams of EPA and 120 milligrams of DHA in a regular 1000 milligram capsule.

I am impressed by the fact that Xtend Life has gone beyond this and provides 300 milligrams of DHA in a standard capsule along with 130 milligrams of EPA. From all my research DHA is the most important of the Omega 3 fats, and their capsules offer about 2 1/2 times as much as regular capsules.

If you do an analysis of the comparative cost of their product, based not purely on the price of the capsules but on the cost of the DHA that you’re getting in each capsule you’ll find that they are actually very cheap, for what you get.

They have 3 different Omega 3 options available, their regular Omega 3 capsules, their premium capsules which include lycopene and astaxanthin, and their QH ULtra. I take the premium at the recommended dose, two capsules a day, as do the rest of my family.

The rational side of me also looks at the risk of contamination. It is now patently clear that many fish in our oceans are contaminated, often with Mercury, dioxins and PCBs. If the government warns us not to eat too much fish there has to be a reason.How to buy fish oil supplements

It’s perfectly possible to test for contaminants, that’s why some fish oil supplement manufacturers have run into legal problems because their capsules been contaminated, which has been discovered from testing.

The best way to establish if your supplements are contamination free to the satisfaction of your customers is to run the appropriate tests and to publish the results on your website, (though very few do).

Xtend Life do just this, and publish a Certificate of Analysis for each batch of fish oil used right on their website for everyone to see. Not only that but they adhere to standards of contamination that are far stricter than any others in the industry.

The other emotional side of me looks at sustainability. It is also quite clear that many fisheries in the world are becoming seriously depleted or are close to extinction. Because of modern factory fishing methods I suspect some species of fish will cease to exist in commercial quantities relatively soon, if not already.

I have written about this on my website, specifically in relation to Menhaden, which are threatened from overfishing for their Omega 3.

Xtend Life take their fish from way down in the southern ocean near Antarctica, they have contracts direct with the fishermen, so they have total control over the quality of the fish, and in particular how long it takes before the oil is extracted, because if this takes too long the oil is rancid.

(That’s why you often get those “fishy burps” from some brands. The oil used in the capsules has gone off. In all the time I’ve been taking Xtend Life capsules I’ve never once experienced “fishy burps”. Their oil is fresh.)

They take fish from a sustainable fishery far enough away from the factory fishing boats to ensure the continuation of the fishery.

There’s many brands of fish oil capsules on the market. Some use wholesale fish oil, in other words they buy their fish oil from wholesalers. This probably means they have no idea where it comes from, how sustainable the fishery was and how old the oil is. Some fish oil capsules don’t even contain fish oil I believe.

So my choice, after spending quite some time researching the market and the health benefits of Omega 3, is to take the premium Omega 3 supplements from Xtend Life. I’ve never had any reason to question that decision.


To find out more about Peter

Periodontitis gum disease can even lead to heart disease. Don’t underestimate it

Periodontitis gum disease is a problem which afflicts many people. It is an inflammatory disease, or more strictly a range of diseases, that inflame the gums, and of course it is your gums that support your teeth. At its worse it can result in the loss of teeth. There is now evidence that taking fish oil supplements, or eating more fish, may help prevent periodontitis gum disease.

And it’s not just your teeth and your gums which may be suffering if you have periodontitis. It is known that this disease is also linked to an increase in heart disease, and that’s a serious matter.

A new study has examined whether the Omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA can help in the prevention of periodontitis. As the Omega 3 essential fatty acids are particularly effective at helping prevent inflammation in the body it would make sense that this anti-inflammatory property may well help inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis gum disease.Helping prevent periodontitis gum disease

A total of 9182 adults participated in the study between 1999 and 2004, a significant study involving a period period of 5 years and a large number of participants. The object of the study was to see if there was an association between periodontitis and the intake of DHA, or what is technically called docosahexaenoic acid, and EPA which is technically called eicosapentaenoic acid.

DHA and EPA are the 2 primary fatty acids known as the essential fatty acids, or otherwise known as the Omega 3 fatty acids. Whilst they are found in other sources the primary source of both DHA and EPA is the oil in fish. Studies have shown that in the past our diet was higher in DHA and EPA because our diet was higher in fish, and that over the last hundred years our intake of fish, and therefore our intake of DHA and EPA has significantly reduced.

And as a result of this reduction in our intake of these important fatty acids there is evidence that this has impacted a wide range of health conditions. For this reason the American Heart Association recommends a minimum intake of the Omega3 fats. Of course this can be achieved by eating more fish, although this can be a problem due to the price of fish as well as the fact that much fish is now contaminated with industrial toxins. Another alternative is to take capsules containing fish oil.

The result of this significant study was that it was observed that, and we quote, “higher dietary intakes of DHA and, to a lesser degree, EPA, were associated with lower prevalence of periodontitis.” In other words increasing your intake of DHA and EPA can help reduce the risk of periodontitis gum disease.

That is not to say that increasing your intake of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids can help treat periodontitis once you have it, however if you already have periodontitis it would certainly be worth trying.

Not only is there the possibility that your periodontitis may improve from taking fish oil capsules, or eating a lot more fish, there is also a wide range of other health benefits to doing so.

If you have not yet discovered the importance of increasing your intake of the Omega3 fats then read any of the articles on our website to find out more about the range of health problems which may be positively impacted by increasing your intake of fish oil.

Periodontitis is a nasty disease, as we noted possibly leading to heart disease. For a wide range of health reasons you should be eating more fish, or better still using high quality Omega 3 supplements daily, because amongst other things you may well be reducing your risk of periodontitis gum disease.

To find out more about Peter

Which should you be taking, cod liver oil or fish oil?

Cod liver oil vs fish oil. It is an interesting debate. Should you be taking cod liver oil supplements or is it better taking fish oil?

Cod liver oil has been popular for a long time, and has certain health benefits. Like everything old habits die hard, and if grandma thought that taking cod liver oil was good for you then it must be. And we’re not saying that it isn’t, necessarily. It’s just that now that fish oil supplements have become so popular some people are questioning whether they should be taking fish oil supplements or cod liver oil. Hence the great fish oil vs cod liver oil debate.

The first question to ask yourself is why you are taking either. Presumably it’s for health reasons, not just for the taste. And in almost all cases because the essential fatty acids known as the Omega 3 fatty acids, and in particular DHA and EPA, have been found in numerous scientific studies to be good for you in a number of different health areas, even to the extent that the American Heart Association now recommends that we include the Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet.Cod liver oil vs fish oil

So if you’re looking for the health benefits of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids the next question to ask is how much of the Omega 3 fats you’re getting in each of the 2 options, namely cod liver oil and fish oil. Sadly the bad news for those looking to take grandma’s advice is that there is much more Omega 3 essential fatty acids in the best fish oil supplements then there is in cod liver oil supplements.

So unless you found an extremely cheap source of high-quality cod liver oil supplements chances are you’re paying too much for what you want to get, namely Omega 3 fatty acids.

There are some potential problems with cod liver oil in other areas as well. The first of these is contamination. There is now much evidence that many of the fish in our oceans are contaminated with a range of toxic chemicals including Mercury. For that reason our preferred fish oil capsules are produced from fish which are caught way down in the southern ocean where contamination is limited, and they are also decontaminated thoroughly.

However the cod which provide the oil are generally found in the North Sea, which is contaminated to a higher degree than the southern ocean. And, as the name suggests, cod liver oil comes from the liver of the fish, and it’s the liver which can accumulate many of the toxins.

And finally there are some other issues to consider when taking cod liver oil. It is high in both vitamin A and vitamin D, and access intake of vitamin A is not good.

In the US example pregnant women are advised not to take too much vitamin A. Excess vitamin A can cause liver problems, whilst possibly more serious repercussions can include birth defects and central nervous system disorders.

Cod liver oil also has vitamin D, which is an important vitamin which is produced in your body from the sun. For some people living in climates which are very low in sunlight this might be an advantage, but for many it’s not. Excess vitamin D can potentially lead to vomiting and nausea.

If you feel you might be deficient in vitamin D it’s better to be tested and take specific vitamin D supplements where the quantity of vitamin D supplied is regulated. But of course you need to talk to a medical specialist about that first.

Notwithstanding all of the above there is clearly some health benefits from taking cod liver oil. Grandma was right. It’s just that fish oil is now a better alternative, and for this reason fish oil comes out in front in the great cod liver oil vs fish oil debate.

So if you’ve been wondering about fish oil vs cod liver oil, stick to fish oil. There’s good reasons to do so.

To find out more about Peter