Category Archives: Health & Lifestyle

blood pressure check-up

Misconceptions About High Blood Pressure

check_upDoes high blood pressure worry you? If so, your concern is well-founded. If we leave this condition untreated, hypertension can lead to a range of other health problems, including heart disease and stroke. By knowing more about high blood pressure it can help you to prevent this from damaging your health or that of someone you love.

The following are some misconceptions about high blood pressure to help you.

1. High blood pressure isn’t a big deal

Well, this can definitely kill you if you ignore the warnings. Your heart normally beats regularly, pumping blood through the vessels over your entire body. The blood pushes against the sides of your blood vessels as the blood is pushed by the heartbeat. These vessels are flexible and can widen or constrict as needed to keep the blood flowing. If your blood begins to push too hard against the vessels, this is high blood pressure that can cause the arteries to become stiff over time, leading to damage of your blood vessels, heart, kidneys and other organs. Heart disease and stroke are both caused by high blood pressure. You may not even know you have it.

2. High blood pressure can’t be prevented

Even if you are at a greater risk of high blood pressure, there are things you can do to prevent it. Keep our weight at a healthy level, eat a healthy diet, limit how much salt you eat, limit how much alcohol you drink, don’t smoke tobacco, get regular exercise and don’t let stress build up.

3. It’s OK as long as one number is normal

There is sometimes confusion with the two numbers. The top one is your systolic blood pressure and represents the force of blood through your blood vessels during your heartbeat. 119 or below is normal systolic blood pressure. If it is 120-139 it is prehypertension, 140 and greater is high blood pressure and 150 and greater is high blood pressure in those over age 60. The bottom number is your diastolic blood pressure and represents the force of blood through your blood vessels in between heartbeats, while your heart is resting. A number of 79 or below is normal, 80-89 is prehypertension and 90 and greater is hypertension. Experts say the heart can tolerate a high top number better than a high bottom number. Blood pressure does change throughout the day.

4. Treatment

Some things you might have heard as treatment and put fear in you are giving up your favorite foods or taking drugs with annoying side effects. Your doctor will work with you to come up with a suitable plan of foods and drugs for you. Some approaches might be using the DASH eating plan of less fat and saturated fat as well as eating more fresh fruits and veggies. Weight control will lower your risk of high blood pressure and decreasing the amount of alcohol you consume. Tobacco smoke can make blood pressure rise, so quit! Medications will likely be prescribed to control our high blood pressure as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, alpha-blockers and calcium channel blockers or beta-blockers.

5. Treatment doesn’t work

Your doctor can develop a comprehensive program for management of your high blood pressure. Check your blood pressure often, follow your treatment plan, see your doctor often, ask your doctor for information about meds and their side effects and reduce the in take of salt. You can remain healthy for years to come by following your treatment plans.

Dr Fredda Branyon

Girl Wearing a Hat

Hats for Cancer Patients

I recently saw a report on the media about the availability of hats that can be used for cancer patients. I searched for information on this subject as I think this is an innovative idea that will make life easier for that woman having to deal with her cancer and hair loss. Why should losing the hair be another issue at a time like this?

There are stores, catalogs and websites that now specialize in hats, caps and turbans for people that are experiencing hair loss caused from their cancer treatment. You don’t have to spend a lot of money for specialized head coverings, as any type of hat can work for you. Spice it up and choose something fashionable that makes you feel better.

When you are selecting the hat, be aware that it should be deep and will fit down over your head. Many men’s-style of hats and 1920’s make a statement and will work well. Avoid those that you can see through and will give little protection from the sun and won’t mask your hair loss as well.

Where will you be wearing the hat? A wide-brimmed hat is fun for outdoor use and does a really great job of shading those UV rays, also blocks overhead lighting at the office but might be rather awkward in crowded spaces like elevators, trains and restaurants. This type might also be difficult to wear while driving when it hits the back of your seat.

Those adjustable baseball caps are popular and you can find a really wide variety and choose a nice, casual look. Some of them expose part of your scalp so use that sunscreen if this is the type you choose. There is a wide variety of hats available through the American Cancer Society’s TLC catalog. The turban is made of soft stretch fabrics that come in a comfortable and wide range of colors. There are public service programs for women with cancer that will teach various beauty techniques and will show you how to make quick and easy turbans out of t-shirts. Spice that turban up with a broach, but don’t venture into “Madam Zorba the Fortune-Teller” area! You can even give a little extra height to the hair underneath by adding a shoulder pad or two.

Just be sure your choice of hat fits snuggly but not restrictive where you might get a headache. You can add a layer of foam to the inside of a loose-fitting hat to tighten it. If the hat has an inner hatband, slip the padding between the hat and band or buy the foam that has an adhesive backing and attach it directly to the hat. The elasticized inner bands that adjust to the size of your head can usually be found at camping and travel stores.

You will need to wear a wig cap, sleeping cap or scarf underneath to protect your scalp from irritation unless the hat is made of extremely soft material. Retailers and many stores online often offer sleep caps and wig caps. If you choose to use a scarf, be sure to use a cotton scarf and not silk, as it will be too slippery. Just remember that bald can be beautiful, too!

Dr Fredda Branyon


What Is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a medical system that is based on the belief that the body can cure itself. Tiny amounts of natural substances such as plants and minerals are used that they believe will stimulate the healing process. In the 1700’s in Germany, this belief was developed and is common in many European countries. It is not as popular in the United States and is sometimes poo pood. I must say that I had two years of Homeopathy education by some of the world’s best teachers. I have seen what would be thought of as miracles with certain patients that used Homeopathy. In certain countries, there are Homeopathy hospitals.

herbal_medThe belief behind homeopathy is “like cures like”, or rather something that brings on symptoms in a healthy person can treat an illness with similar symptoms, given in a very small dose. This is supposed to trigger the body’s natural defenses. As an example a red onion makes your eyes water and this is the reason it is used in homeopathic remedies for allergies. Other treatments for ailments are made from poison ivy, white arsenic, crushed whole bees and an herb call arnica.

The homeopathic doctors, who are called homeopaths, weaken these various ingredients by adding water or alcohol. It is then shaken as part of a process called potentization, which they believe, transfers the healing essence. They also believe that the lower the dose, the more powerful the medicine. Many of these remedies no longer contain any molecules of the original substance and they come in a variety of forms like sugar pellets, liquid drops, creams, gels and tablets.

When visiting a homeopath they will ask a number of questions about your mental, emotional and physical health to prescribe the remedy that best matches all of your symptoms and then will tailor the treatment best for you.

Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies can also be purchased at drugstores and health food stores. The dosage and quality of these various products will depend on the manufacturer.

Some conditions treated by homeopathy are:
✓ Migraines
✓ Depression
✓ Chronic fatigue syndrome
✓ Rheumatoid arthritis
✓ Irritable bowel syndrome
✓ Premenstrual syndrome

Homeopathy can also be used for minor issues like bruises, scrapes, toothaches, headaches, nausea, coughs and colds.

Homeopathic medicine should not be used for life-threatening illnesses like asthma, cancer, heart disease or in emergencies. Avoid using it in place of vaccines. The homeopathic products are called “nosodes” and are marketed as an alternative for vaccines, but there is no research to prove they are effective.

placebo_effectThe research on whether homeopathic medicine works or not is mixed. There are some studies that show homeopathic remedies are helpful while still others don’t. When symptoms improve because you believe the treatment is working, it is considered the placebo effect. Some critics attribute the benefits of homeopathic remedies to this effect. This can trigger the brain to release chemicals that will briefly relieve the pain or other symptoms that you might be having. Because some of the theories behind homeopathy don’t line up with the principles of chemistry and physics, the doctors are divided. The scientists argue that a medicine with no active ingredient should not have any effect on the body.

The FDA oversees the homeopathic remedies but they aren’t checked to see if they’re safe or effective. Most of these are watered down and don’t cause any side effects. Some exceptions can occur because these medicines can contain a large amount of an active ingredient like a heavy metal, which can be dangerous. In 2016 a warning was issued by the FDA against using homeopathic teething tablets and gels because of possible health risks to infants and children.

Before trying any of these alternative treatments, talk to your doctor. He will make sure that they are safe and won’t interact with any of the other medications that you might be taking.

Dr Fredda Branyon

old man in pain

Age-Related Pains

old man in pain

If you are having aches, you aren’t alone as there are around 100 million Americans that have some kind of chronic pain that is the long-term kind that sticks around after an injury or illness. Millions more have some sort of short-term pain. Some types of pain are more common during a certain time in your life. If you know ahead of time to plan for them, you might even avoid irritation or injury in the first place, according to Jonathan L. Glashow, MD, chief of sports medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Common types of Chronic Pain in Americans and Ways to Help ease the Ache:

1. Lower Back Pain.

This is the most common chronic pain. Those having no back injury and under 50 is usually the result of sitting for long stretches and putting too much pressure on the discs in your back. Back pain is more likely to occur during your 30’s and 40’s, but can happen at any age. Older adults are definitely more likely to have back pain from conditions like arthritis. Strength training and cardio exercise are helpful as they increase blood flow and help to build your core muscles that support your spine. Physical therapy is an option.

2. Headaches

Those migraines, and even regular ones can cause other symptoms, like nausea, and are the second most common type of chronic pain. The cause of why we have headaches isn’t known by the experts, but they can be triggered by things like muscle tension, dehydration, your period, stress, weather changes, and certain foods like chocolate. If it’s just in the forehead and temple area it could be a tension headache so massage the area or apply menthol cream. Meds like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or one especially for migraines that contain caffeine, acetaminophen or aspirin can offer relief but don’t take it for more than 3 days without consulting with your doctor.

3. Osteoarthritis

This happens when the protective cartilage between your joint and bone breaks down and causes pain in the hands, knees and hips. Staying physically active is the key as it keeps blood circulating that can keep your joints healthy and reduce pain while strengthening the muscles around the joint.

4. Non-Arthritis Joint Pain

This feels like it is in or around the joints and isn’t the result of OA. This is usually tendinitis and makes it tough or painful to get moving. It’s caused by activities that involve repetitive motions and likely to strike over age 40. Use RICE, which means rest, ice, compression and elevation. Take a break from the activities that might aggravate your joint.

5. Pelvic Pain

If not caused by your period, it may be the result of another condition like endometriosis or Irritable bowel syndrome. This is more likely to strike between the ages of 18 and 50. Ask your natural doctor what he or she suggest instead of hard pain meds or Over-the-counter pain meds can help but call your doctor if you have below-the-belt pain that lasts very long.

6. Carpal Tunnel

When a nerve runs from your arm to your palm and becomes pressed or squeezed, this causes pain in your fingers and wrist, numbness and/or tingling and is carpal tunnel. Most likely to strike during your mid-40’s to mid-60’s. Physical therapy and short-term use of over-the-counter pain relievers will help, but in some cases surgery is the best treatment.

7. Muscle Strain or Pain

With age your muscle fibers become less dense and makes them less flexible and prone to injury and soreness. With every passing decade you are more likely to get this type of strain. Avoid hurting yourself in the first place by not lifting, pushing or pulling heavy items without help. Stretching and exercises like yoga and Pilates can help with this.

Dr Fredda Branyon


Relation of Stress and Heart Attack

Have you ever really sat down and thought about what is real stress and how much do you have? What are the degrees of stress that you experience? Has it become a habit that we create stress in our lives?

One of the most dangerous health hazards we can endure in our lives is stress. Stress was, from evolutionary perspective, a lifesaving biological function that enabled us to instinctively protect ourselves against an assailant, run away from a predator or take down a prey. In the modern world we are activating this same biological reaction to activities and events that have no life-threatening implications.

girl_stressedJust speaking in public, filling out tax forms and sitting in traffic jams can activate stress. Marinating corrosive stress hormones around the clock can have very serious consequences for our health. Fat accumulation, high blood pressure and heart attack are a few of the health consequences that are associated with chronic stress. If you have a high-stress lifestyle, it can raise your risk of heart attack. Your heart and mind are so closely interlinked that your mental state can have a significant influence on your heart health.

According to recent research, stress increases your risk of heart attack and stroke by causing overactivity in your amygdala. This is your brain’s fear center, located in your temporal lobe that is activated in response to real and perceived threats.

One of its most basic jobs is to keep you safe by bio-chemically preparing you to fight or flee as needed, but can have devastating effects by experiencing this on a daily basis. By having overactive fear response, it is a recipe for heart attack and stroke. Those who are highly stressed have a higher activity in the amygdala that triggers inflammation and a risk factor for heart disease. If the amygdala is healthy, it can help to protect the brain against stress, but if it’s hyper-excitable, the result of chronic stress or other factors can amplify the stress response.

As your stress level rises, so does your level of disease-promoting white blood cells, so this is just another way by which stress can lead to atherosclerosis, plaque rupture and myocardial infarction. High stress also releases norepinephrine that can cause the dispersal of bacterial biofilms from the walls of your arteries and allow plaque deposits to break loose, triggering a heart attack.

Some common signs and symptoms of stress include:
▪ Sleeping poorly, trouble falling asleep and excessive tiredness
▪ Binge drinking
▪ Lack of appetite or overeating
▪ Having a “short fuse” or being quick to anger or losing your temper
▪ Feeling overwhelmed, sad or irritable; frequent crying or quick to tears
▪ Headaches and/or general aches and pains

The conclusion to controlling the amygdala’s role in inflammation seems to be learning to reduce the activity in your amygdala. When the amygdala is triggered, oxygen is shunted from your internal organs, brain and to the extremities. Muscular function takes precedence in the fight mode. Step one would be to bring oxygen back to your brain by simply breathing in to a count of four, holding your breath for another count of four, breathe out to the count of four and then hold again for a count of four.

girl_relaxedThere are more breathing techniques like the 4-7-8 breathing and a third method taught by Patrick McKeown, the teacher of the Buteyko Breathing Method. These will help if you are experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, or if you feel stressed and your mind can’t stop racing. Using these relaxation responses will help counter stress and allow the muscles in your body to loosen. There are visualization techniques and mindfulness training that can help with this.

Emotional freedom technique is a targeted technique you can use for stress relief. A stressor becomes a problem when your response is negative, your feelings and emotions are inappropriate for the circumstances, your response lasts an excessively long time or you’re feeling continuously overwhelmed, overpowered or overworked. Bottom line is to keep your stress at a minimal and learn to control your emotions as best you can or try using one of the aforementioned techniques.

Dr Fredda Branyon


What’s the Deal With Burdock Root

Arctium, or better known as burdock, is a flowering plant that has been a major part of various cultures for more than hundreds of years. Its root is known in Japan as gobo and used in their cuisine. The North America Iroquois tribe dried and preserved the root for food during the winter.

The burdock seeds were used in Ancient China to treat various conditions such as cough, fever, sore throat, arthritis and various digestive diseases.

burdock_plantBurdock can reach a height between 1 and 2 meters when fully grown and produces purple flowers that extend away from its bracts that bloom between June and October. This plant is native throughout Europe and Asia and introduced in America during the 1600’s by English settlers and noted by English traveler John Josselyn in 1672. At this period of time the settlers introduced burdock to the Iroquois and it then also became a part of their culture.

The catalyst for the invention of Velcro was burdock. Swiss engineer George de Mestral was hiking in the Jura Mountains in Switzerland in 1941 when he noticed his pants and his dog’s fur became covered in burdock seeds. His curiosity was peaked as to how these seeds stuck to his pants. He discovered they were covered in small interlocking hooks that can cling to fabric, the idea that he patented and eventually became known as Velcro. This product is still used in countless products around the world.

burdock_velcroSome health benefits are blood pressure maintenance, relief from digestive problems, liver detoxification and maintaining a healthy immune system.

Some different uses of burdock root are to use them in stir fry, eat them raw for a quick and nutritious snack, use them in broth for vegetable soups and pickle them in apple cider vinegar to preserve the shelf life. Burdock root can also help to maintain healthy skin and hair. It contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief for conditions like psoriasis, eczema, skin ulcers and acne and can also help prevent hair loss by treating dandruff and maintaining a healthy scalp.

You can use burdock in a multitude of dishes, but it is known mostly as an ingredient for tea. Use burdock as an essential oil with the benefits mostly associated with the skin and scalp. Burdock oil contains vitamin A and various essential fatty acids that help to nourish your scalp and promotes healthy hair growth. Relief from infections and irritations caused by dandruff can also be provided by burdock oil as it helps to keep sebaceous glands and hair follicles healthy.

There are some side effects that you should be aware of. There is a small chance that it may increase your blood sugar levels, so it’s best to avoid it and use other healthy alternatives instead if you are diabetic. You should be sure to check for any topical irritations by performing a skin patch test on your arm. Consult with your doctor before using this oil to avoid any other possible health complications.

Dr Fredda Branyon

toxic teethers

Toxic Teethers

An industrial grade chemical used in epoxy resins, known as bisphenol A (BPA), is a protective lining of some food and beverage cans. They believe this makes a product safer and easier to use, but the chemical has actually demonstrated significant side effects that damage your health. This chemical was discovered in the 1890’s and later found in the 1950’s that it could be added to polycarbonate plastics to make them stronger and more resilient.

Exposure to BPA has shown effects on the brain, behavior, increased blood pressure and fetal and infant development, but the FDA continues to tell us it is safe in low doses.

Many products such as food containers, baby toys, plastic bottles and containers are found to contain BPA where even low doses might be a challenge. When products are labeled BPA-free, that doesn’t necessarily mean the product does not release BPA or endocrine-disrupting chemicals used to strengthen plastics.

toxic teethersIt takes many years for plastics to decay or erode while leaching chemicals into our environment every day. The Environmental Health Perspective, in their 2011 study, found products claiming to have estrogenic-activity free plastics were still leaching chemicals into food products when placed under regular stresses. There are studies demonstrating endocrine-disrupting chemicals like BPA do trigger diseases in humans and animals. European Union has restricted their use in baby bottles.

The researchers immersed plastic teething toys in water for an hour to stimulate use, and then measure the amount of chemicals that had leached into the water. Parabens were the most commonly leached chemical in this part of the study. Europe, China and Canada has restricted the use of BPA and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals, but there is still an argument in the U.S. over whether these chemicals pose a danger enough to warrant restricting use and cutting industry profits.

Exposure to any chemical or toxin is dangerous to human health but even more serious in infants and children as their body is not fully developed and chemicals have a greater potential for impacting their neurological, digestive and immune systems.

BPA has been linked to many health concerns as well in pregnant women, fetuses and young children. Some of these concerns in adults include structural damage to the brain, changes in gender-specific behavior and abnormal sexual behavior, hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness and impaired learning, early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles, ovarian dysfunction and infertility, increased fat formation and risk of obesity and diabetes, stimulation of prostate cancer cells, altered immune function, increased prostate size and decreased sperm production, increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, breast cancer, preterm birth and reduced efficacy of chemotherapy treatment.

Limit your exposure when shopping for baby toys, food and other home products and choose those such as unfinished wooden teething toys, organic cloth teething toys, using glass baby bottles, storing your food in glass, eat mostly fresh whole foods, breastfeed your baby exclusively if possible, use glass containers to heat food in microwaves, be aware that even BPA-free plastics are just as bad as BPA, buy products in glass, check home tap water for contaminants, teach children not to drink water from the garden hose and be careful of cash register receipts. With these tips, we might limit our children’s exposure to these bad chemicals, as well as ourselves.

Dr Fredda Branyon


Our Toxic Roads


The new coal-tar pavement or sealant that is laid on a driveway, street, parking or playground lot is something you’ve probably smelled many times. We have all wondered about the toxicity of the horrible smelling stuff. It is toxic as it contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A study recently released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District have identified coal-tar sealants as the primary source of PAHs and called a major source of contamination in urban and suburban areas as well as a potential concern for human health and aquatic life. And considering this awful finding…what about the risks for CANCER as well!

When toxic coal-tar sealants were found to be responsible for up to 94% of the PAHs found in 40 samples of streambed sediment, or muck, collected from 19 creeks and rivers with dust from six parking lots in metropolitan Milwaukee, it finally made the headlines.

Austin Baldwin, lead study author and USGS scientists reported that 78% of the samples contained enough PAHs to be considered toxic and capable of causing adverse effects in aquatic animals. PAHs and contaminants from sealed and blacktopped surfaces wash into stormwater storage basins and sewers from rain and melting snow, and washed right into the closest waterways, poisoning them.

Sealants used for paving in commercial, residential and industrial areas contain up to 1,000X more PAHs than asphalt emulsions that do a comparable job but cost more. Both the sale and use of coal-tar sealants were banned as far back as 2007 in Dane County, Wisconsin. Before that cut-off 300,000 gallons of the stuff were used every year on driveways and parking lots in that county alone.

Finding PAHs in the water is not an isolated or new problem. In Minneapolis-St. Paul area it is believed that it will reach a cost of $1 billion to clean up PAH problems in stormwater ponds. The PAHs in area streams were worse in 2013 for aquatic life than any other chemicals. There are projects to restore the salmon’s habitations, but many died before they could spawn, right after rainstorms, including 90% of the females in a waterway called Longfellow Creek.

These toxic materials, right up close and personal, are not anything new. In April of 1887, a 27-year-old man was committed to Hudson River State Hospital for the insane and less than two weeks later, another man was in a similar condition. When a 3rd man showed up, it was found they all worked at the same rubber factory and an investigation ensued. They all exhibited bizarre, incoherent and erratic behavior caused from carbon disulfide, a solvent in manipulating PAH materials.

Carbon disulfide has a history of manufacturing and testicular hysteria. As far back as 1856, a researcher noted that everything from weird dreams to memory gaps, and premature aging abolished sexual desire. Many of these victims actually worked in condom factories. These illnesses were associated with hysteria that were usually women, but more than 60 case histories of male hysterics were logged in Paris in the 1880’s. It is still a problem and compromises Federal standards. Many states still spread roads with brine from oil and gas operations, believing it’s a safe way to recycle it. The wastewater is tainted with chloride as well as radium and barium, which are radioactive.

Salt on roadways is toxic to humans and animal life. Scientists have had a bad feeling about the potential of toxins from run-off for a long time, but the salmon study finally opened a door that would allow them to help fix it. They intend to use a simple, soil-based filtration system. Others are using free cheese brine, sugarcane molasses and beet juice, mixed in with road salt to act as alternate de-icing agents. Let the Earth do what it does so well, what it has done for eons: clean things up!

Dr Fredda Branyon

Woman Resting in Bed

What Causes Sleepiness When Ill?

Every time a human or an animal is sick, they become fatigued and sleepy. Researchers are using a microscopic roundworm that’s providing an explanation of how that all occurs. According to a study from the researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, they reveal, by a study published in eLife, the mechanism for this sleepiness.

A worm’s simple nervous system has shown how a single nerve cell named ALA coordinates an organism-wide response to sickness. The cells are under stress during sickness and organisms experience sleepiness to promote sleep and recover from the cellular stress. This sleepiness is caused by release from the ALA neuron of FLP-13 and other neuropeptides in the worm. This is a group of chemicals that send signals between brain neurons.

It is vitally important to get sleep in helping both people and animals to recover during any sickness, according to author David M Raizen, MD, PhD, an associate professor of neurology and a member of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology. There may be similar signaling operating in humans and other animals to regular the sleep during sickness. This creates a launching pad towards future research into the mechanisms for illness-induced sleepiness in humans and other organisms.

This reveals that FLP-13 causes sleep by turning down the activity in the nervous system cells that help keep an organism awake. The researchers, to determine which genes cause the worms to fall asleep when FLP-13 is released, examined genetic mutations. The worms with mutations that cause them to lack a receptor protein called DMSR-1 on cell surfaces do not become sleepy in response to FLP-13. This confirms that DMSR-1 is essential for FLP-13 to trigger sleep.

The experiments next to be done will target if illness-induced sleepiness in humans and other mammals is triggered by a similar mechanism. This may be a critical step towards developing drugs that will trigger via a similar mechanism. This could be a critical step towards developing drugs to treat human fatigue that is associated with sickness and other conditions.

Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health, the European Research Council and the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek.

I have always told our patients, when you feel like taking a nap, please do so. The body is trying to tell you it needs time to heal and needs you to get your mind away from commanding everything else. Your body has been good to you, now its time to be good to your body.

Dr Fredda Branyon

Omega 3 Capsule

Omega-3’s Return on Investment

According to a recent European study, young people have an inexpensive and bullet shot at preventing the development of high blood pressure by increasing their intake of omega-3 fatty acid, a high-octane nutrient. This study was presented at the American Heart Association’s 2016 Scientific Session. This study involved measuring the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood of 2,036 young and healthy adults.

They first assessed each subject’s blood pressure and found that those with the most omega-3s in their blood had the lowest systolic blood pressure. Those with the lowest amount in their blood had the highest diastolic blood pressure.

A researcher at the University of Zurich and Cantonal Hospital of Baden in Switzerland, Dr. Mark Filipovic, said that even a reduction in blood pressure as little as 5mm Hg could prevent the number of strokes and heart-related events people experience. Less than 1 gram of omega-3 fats could benefit people who already suffer from hypertension, according to a report from another recent study. Just by taking a single 3-ounce serving of wild-caught Alaskan salmon you will receive this amount. A source of Krill oil has proven the best source.

By taking omega-3 supplements it can increase muscle function in older women. In a study each participant had her muscle size measured using MRI and muscle function testing with a dynamometer before and after the program began. The results were that resistance training increased their muscle function, size and quality in all the individuals. The women in the placebo group exercise training resulted in an average strength increase of 16%, but when the exercises were combined with an intake of fish oil, that improvement increased to an average of 34%.

By improved skeletal muscle improvement it could mean regaining the ability to rise from a chair or toilet, climb stairs and even regaining or maintaining independence. Losing their independence is probably the biggest fear by the elderly today. By having decreased function in older people it means their quality of life begins to diminish. The percentage of people who reach age 65 is projected to increase from 17% now to 23% by 2035, and are encouraging people to develop effective strategies for maintaining health well before that time is crucial. Companies are developing more omega-3 rich products to benefit brain health, cortisol control, ADHD mitigation, sports nutrition and stress management.

Lecithin contains choline that is good for your brain health of which ¾’s is phosphatidylcholine (PC). It was recently reported by the European Union (EU) that the savings for health care costs realized by using omega-3 food supplements to reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) related events, are currently estimated at 38.4 million events throughout the EU. It is estimated by scientists that the relative risk among adults aged 55 and over is reduced by 4.9% given the use of 1,000 mg of omega-3 EPA+DHA supplements on a daily basis.

The shortage of marine-based omega-3 fatty acids is a health concern for higher risk of chronic disease worldwide. Krill oil is an ideal choice for raising the Omega-3 index because its omega-3’s are mostly bound to phospholipids, which enhance cellular uptake and carry EPA and DHA into the blood more efficiently. Omega-3s have a 230% return on investment! So why would we not take advantage of Alaskan salmon?

Dr Fredda Branyon