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April 2010

Are there different types of EFA’s And What are the differences?

If you’re like most people, you are probably wondering, “What are essential fatty acids?” Or, “How could something with the word ‘fat’ in it be good for me?” The short answer is essential fatty acids (or EFA’s) are essential because our bodies alone cannot produce them – they must be obtained through our diet. EFA’s are long molecules that are used in the construction of the walls of our cells, known as the cell membranes. The cell membranes are critical for both nutritional processes and the excretion of toxic waste products. Without EFA’s, the body cannot make or repair cell membranes correctly. EFA’s also regulate bodily functions such as blood pressure, clotting, fertility, heart rate and immunity. For these reasons, they are often referred to as “good fats”.

Now that you know a little more about essential fatty acids, you may wonder, “Are there different types of EFA’s?” And if so, “What are the differences?”

There are two main classes of EFA’s in our diet – omega-3 and omega-6. The diet of our ancestors was very different from the diet we eat today. It was much lower in calories, higher in fiber, and richer in fruits, vegetables, lean meat and fish. It was also lower in overall total fat and contained equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Today, however, the typical Western diet contains 10 to 25 times more omega-6 than omega-3, making the typical Western diet appallingly deficient in omega-3’s.

This is important because EFA’s are not all created equal: omega-3 and omega-6 have very different and opposing functions. Omega-3’s are necessary for proper cell membrane construction and keep the membrane flexible and supple. This is particularly important in red blood cells. In 2004, the FDA stated that consumption of omega-3’s may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, and they have been shown to reduce blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels. Omega-3’s have been studied for their beneficial role in brain and mood disorders, such as Parkinson’s and ADHA. Omega-6’s also have some benefits, such as supporting healthy skin and kidneys, but not nearly that of omega-3’s. Furthermore, too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 has been shown to cause serious health problems, such as heart attack, arthritis, inflammation, mood disorders, obesity and cancer. Not only that, excessive omega-6 will compete with omega-3, thus increasing the deficiency of omega-3. Researchers now know that a proper balance of omega-6 and omega-3 EFA’s is critically important in development, decreasing chronic disease and improving mental function.

You can increase your omega-3 consumption by eating more cold water fish or taking a fish oil supplement. Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in walnuts, flaxseed and canola oil.

References:

Simopoulos AP. Human requirement for N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The Center for Genetics Nutrition and Health, Washington

Schmitz G, Ecker J. The opposing effects of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. Prog Lipid Res. 2008 Mar; 47(2):147-55.

American Heart Association: www.americanheart.org

Learn more about SeaLogix Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil


Why Is Syn-flex Liquid Glucosamine One Of The Most Powerful Joint Care Products

Glucosamine and why liquid Glucosamine formula Syn-flex® is one of the most powerful joint care products on the market today...

Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced from the shells of chitin (shellfish) and is a key component of the extra cellular matrix of cartilage. Glucosamine works to stimulate joint function and repair. Glucosamine has been clinically proven to slow the progression of osteoarthritis in humans with arthritis and hip dysplasia in pets. It has been proven effective in easing osteoarthritis pain, aid in rehabilitating cartilage, renewing synovial fluid, and repairing joints that have been damaged from osteoarthritis.

Our bodies produce Glucosamine naturally. However, as we grow older we lose the ability to produce sufficient quantities. Having enough Glucosamine is essential to producing the nutrients we need to produce synovial fluid. It is this fluid which lubricates our cartilage and maintains healthy joints.

When you have a Glucosamine deficiency, cartilage hardens and bone spurs develop which leads to deformities in the joints. Your mobility becomes limited and in short, this is how osteoarthritis develops.

This was big news to nutraceutical companies and it was the beginning of an all-new segment of the industry. Today, nearly all of the major companies offer their version of Glucosamine through a wide range of outlets, from retail stores to medical clinics.

However, in their rush to gain market share companies they put products on the market with little regard to the overall quality of their offering. Most are deficient because the Glucosamine ranges from low to medium quality at best. As well, most are in pill or capsule form which means that they are not absorbed well into your system.

The Science Backing Liquid Glucosamine formula Syn-flex®
The first tests on liquid Glucosamine were completed in 1998. The testing made clear that the absorption rate and bio-availability of Glucosamine in pill form was significantly less than in liquid form. The misconception that pills are the only and best way to obtain Glucosamine is simply not true. Pills and capsules contain Glucosamine that is in powder form. It is a well known fact that liquid is absorbed much better than powder, at a rate of 80-85% absorption. In short, Glucosamine in liquid form is absorbed faster and it provides greater impact.

The reports on the use of capsule or pill forms of Glucosamine vary greatly. Most users report that if they received any relief at all, it came after six to ten weeks of use. On the other hand, those using liquid Glucosamine reported feeling pain relief in as little as one to two weeks.

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Save 20-25% On HappyTails Spa Products For Your Dog

It's Earth Day and you can Save 25% on your Happy Tails Spa order today! Just use EarthDay40 as the promo code at checkout. If you order after today through April 30th you'll get 20% off your order - just enter GreenPlanet at checkout.

happytails-All Natural Spa, Grooming & Wellness Products for the Dog About Town!


Cetyl M For Dogs A Dietary Supplement Is Being Voluntarily Recalled

The Associated Press just released this statement....

Response Products, of Broken Bow, Neb., is voluntarily recalling Cetyl M for Dogs, because the product could be contaminated with salmonella. Contaminated pet food can infect animals as well as people who have not handled the products properly. No illnesses have been reported, according to the company. The dietary supplement for dogs was distributed nationwide through direct sales, stores, veterinarians and online retailers. The recall involves lot numbers 1210903 and 0128010. For more information, consumers can call 1-877-266-9757


How Do Probiotics Work And Why Are They So Important To Your Pet's Health

KidsPets Probiotics have received a great deal of attention lately, and this focus is absolutely justified. An increasing number of products, from yogurts to pet foods, contain probiotics. Often referred to as “healthy” and/or “friendly” bacteria (or microorganisms) in the media, their proper notation is “direct fed microbials” when used in pet foods. Basically, probiotics are helpful bacteria that reside in the intestinal tract. In fact, every digestive system contains millions of bacteria, both those with a healthful purpose (like probiotics) and some that are not so beneficial. While some kinds of bacteria can be harmful, many (like direct fed microbials) actually help the immune system adapt to internal changes within the body and thus naturally support good health.

Most people do not realize that located within the digestive system is one a very important group of immune cells called the Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT), which communicate with the immune cells located throughout the body. In some respects, the GALT is the first line of defense against unhealthy microorganisms in the body. Whereas most of the cells in our body receive nutrition from the blood, this is not true for the GALT – it receives the majority of its nutrients from these helpful bacteria.

Whenever you or your companion animal takes a round of antibiotics, it indiscriminately kills all of the bacteria, regardless of their ultimate effect on the body (by providing healthy functions versus unhealthy outcomes). That’s why it’s often recommended that you eat yogurt while taking antibiotics – to re-establish the healthy bacteria in the GI tract to avoid intestinal distress – both during the course of treatment and in the days immediately following completion of an antibiotic therapy.

Good bacteria are necessary to maintain the healthy ecology of intestinal microbes known as the “gut flora”. The types of bacteria contained in the gut differ from species to species, and animal to animal, but there are commonalities in dogs and cats. These helpful bacteria can have numerous positive effects on their host’s body, including:

• Causing chemical reactions that convert foods into vitamins and energy
• Competing with unhealthy microorganisms, helping block their grip on the lining of the gut wall
• Increasing the tolerance of bad bacteria by stimulating the immune system
• Protecting the gut mucosal barrier, thereby promoting the health of the gut lining

The community of bacteria in the intestinal system protects its host from invading unhealthy microorganisms in a combined effort called “colonization resistance”. This group resistance has proven effective at supporting intestinal health.

Adding direct fed microbials to pet food can help a dog or cat’s natural digestive system to work at peak efficiency, allowing the pet to get even more nutrition from food because they ensure a healthy intestinal flora, which supports:

• The production of food for healthy enterocytes (specialized cells lining the GI tract)
• Increased nutrient absorption
• GALT, which communicates with systemic immune systems

Whether you refer to these health-promoting bacteria as “probiotics” or “direct fed microbials”, their effect on the digestive system of your companion animal simply can’t be overstated. In fact, after a careful review of all the information, it would appear that direct fed microbials are vital to your pet’s health.

Life's Abundance contains Direct Fed Microbials! Learn more about Life's Abundance Dog and Cat Food


How Time Outside Can Help Ease ADD/ADHD

Modern living has created a new paradox- as we gain more virtual connectivity, we're significantly losing real-time connections.

A national study from the Kaiser Family Foundation cited that the average American 8 to 18-year-old spends seven and a half hours a day using a smart phone, computer, television, or other electronic gadget.


Too Much Technology?

It doesn't seem surprising that reports of ADD/ADHD are continually on the rise, with children spending less time than ever getting physical exercise, a means of naturally expending energy.

Almost half of elementary schools have reportedly cut recess from the curriculum, resulting in kids bottling up excess energy at home and school- often leading to undue methods of treatment.

For children suffering from ADD/ADHD, excess energy usually results in an aggravation of symptoms and therefore more difficulty in both academic and personal life.

For safe, natural support for concentration, attention, and normal energy levels in children and adults, visit Focus Formula

In addition, constant connectivity can disrupt healthy sleep patterns, which can lead to fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and irritability, among other problems. Over time, the effects of lost sleep can lead to anxiety and depression, which can make simple problem solving a challenge and exaggerate daily stressors.

To promote healthy sleep patterns for children and babies, try Serenite Jr.
The Benefits of Unplugging
   
 

Green Activity Spotlight: Gardening

Adults and children alike can benefit from ' playing in the dirt'!

Besides contributing to regular physical activity, gardening:

  • Builds responsibility from maintaining routine care
  • Provides outlet for stress
  • Promotes patience, as results are not immediate
  • Creates feelings of accomplishment and pride
  • Allows for bonding time if enjoyed with company
 
   

With the start of spring and warmer weather, it's easy to enjoy being active and outdoors, which can provide positive psychological and physiological effects for all ages- and doesn't require much time!

Just half an hour of activity for ADD/ADHD children has been shown to provide:

  • Better academic performance
  • Increased ability to focus and stay on task
  • Improved overall behavior
  • Less fidgeting

Further, a study by the Human-Environment Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois found natural surroundings particularly beneficial in improving concentration and overall functioning in ADD/ADHD children.

In addition, playing with peers, participating in sports, or partaking in other outdoor activities helps build social skills, ease stress, and foster creativity – all positive effects, easily attained naturally!

To promote concentration and memory functioning for better study habits and performance, try StudyPlus


A Holistic Approach

It's important to help your child find a reasonable balance between work and play, in addition to real time interaction with peers and nature. Taking a holistic approach to systemic health by exercising regularly, eating healthy meals, and getting sufficient sleep will also maintain brain health and vitality, allowing it to function at peak performance for efficient concentration, focus and memory.

Add some time outdoors into the mix, and you may be amazed at the results!


5 Foods To Add To Your Diet This Allergy Season

Allergies seem more prevalent then ever, and you can thank pollution for exacerbating certain allergy symptoms even more. Add to that the side effects of most allergy medicines such as drowsiness, and spring can quickly turn sour for many allergy sufferers.

The good news is that there are certain things you can do to naturally help ease and even prevent troubling symptoms such as wheezing and other respiratory difficulties.

The importance of diet

Maybe you are aware of some of the foods such as dairy that can increase histamine levels in the body (and thus worsen allergy symptoms), but new research digs deeper into the connection between allergies and food and uncovers some you may not be familiar with!

A ground-breaking study on the island of Crete, where the population rarely experiences nasal allergies and wheezing, has shown that diet plays a huge role in the development and prevention of certain allergies.
The study singled out the protective properties of these 5 common foods

Nuts

Nuts are a great source of magnesium and vitamin E. Studies have show that magnesium helps increase lung function while also protecting against wheezing in patients suffering from asthma. Reducing wheezing is helpful not only to bring comfort to allergy sufferers, but also because it prevents lung inflammation associated with wheezing.

Vitamin E helps because it’s an immune system booster and has been shown in numerous studies to reduce the risk of upper respiratory infections, especially the common cold. Vitamin E also protects the body from free radicals, which have the potential of causing oxidative tissue damage, triggering inflammation and problems like allergies and asthma.

Tomatoes, Apples & Oranges

The anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidant vitamin C present in tomatoes, apples, and oranges is said to offer protection against nasal allergies and wheezing.

Grapes

The skins of red grapes are filled with antioxidants and resveratrol, which reduces overall inflammation in the body. The Crete diet study found that grapes gave significant protection against allergies and wheezing.

Additional Allergy Support

As always, natural remedies can be used to help manage allergy symptoms. Commonly used herbs including fenugreek, fennel, anise and sage may help to stimulate nasal cilia- tiny hairs in your nose that sweep pollen and dust out of the passages.

Annual nettle has been used for many centuries in folk medicine to support clear eyes and noses. Plantain also has a long history of traditional use in the support of respiratory health.

For fast relief,Triple Complex BronchoSoothe™ is a homeopathic remedy that relieves bronchospasm and tightening of the chest to open airways during an asthma attack.

To maintain ongoing respiratory health and lung functioning, visit  BioVent Drops

Quercitin is a well-known flavonoid, usually found mostly in apples and onions, and is considered to be a 'building block' for other flavonoids. Quercitin is also known for its ability to maintain healthy histamine levels and support healthy circulation. The homeopathic ingredient Arsen alb is another ingredient that has proved beneficial in the maintenance of a healthy, clear respiratory system.

For ongoing help to keep histamine levels in the normal range, visit AllergiClear

For immediate on-the-spot support for clear eyes and nose, visit SOS HistaDrops


Is Your Pet Scratching, Sneezing or Wheezing? Get Chemical-Free Solutions!

Main_pet Does the thought of having a sneezing, scratching pet around the house make you cringe? Luckily, there are ways to naturally combat allergy symptoms!

Some of the most common causes of allergies for pets are pollen, dust, plants, and mold. In addition, there are two different types of allergens that occur most often in the spring, contact and inhalant.

What are Contact Allergens?

As winter leaves and blooming plants and lush green grass start to appear, your pet may suffer from a contact allergy, which can develop into a skin rash or sores. Plants such as poison ivy and poison oak can easily cause an allergic reaction on your pet’s skin. When your pet scratches, the fur may start to thin, and if not treated, may create a bald spot.

To relieve skin allergies and itch, try Allergy Itch Ease™ for dogs, cats and small pets

Watch for red bumps, inflamed skin, and swelling in pets that may have been exposed to poisonous plants.

Further, make sure to avoid these plants when taking your four-legged friend outdoors, and keep your pet inside when mowing your lawn.

Signs of allergies in your pet may include:

Scratching incessantly
Licking constantly
Sneezing
Coughing
Wheezing
Watery eyes
Thinning coat or balding
Rash, sores, or bumps
Inflamed skin

To promote healthy skin and shiny, glossy coats try Skin and Coat Tonic

Be Free of Fleas!

Another common skin irritation in cats and dogs are caused by fleas, whose itchy bites cause inflamed skin, swelling and red bumps. which can lead to scratching and balding patches in your pets’ fur.

Fleas are a common parasite, and while they can live on your pet year round, they usually start to multiply in the spring due to the warmer weather. Your pet also likely spends more time outdoors after being cooped up in the winter, thereby attracting these pesky fleas. Again, you will need to watch out for thinning fur and balding.

You can use natural flea repellents for your pets, like adding a small amount of garlic to your pet’s food dish to make Fluffy or Fido taste bitter to unwelcomed guests. Also consider using a safe, non-medicated pet shampoo free of parabens, sodium laurel sulphate or harmful petrochemicals to help deter pests.

For a natural cleansing dog shampoo to help deter fleas, try BeFree Flea Shampoo

For a herbal skin support cream for cats and dogs to soothe the discomfort from flea bites, visit FleaDerm

What are Inhalant Allergens?

Inhalant allergens are a little different in the way that they present themselves. An inhalant allergy includes symptoms like sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and watery eyes. Seasonal allergens such as mold, dust, and pollen are the number one causes for such symptoms. When your pet goes outside for a walk, plays in the yard or even bathes in the sun, you may begin to see signs of a seasonal allergy.

Springtime breezes may feel nice, but they can wreak havoc on your pets’ allergies. Grass consists of many slender, long leaves and acts as a “pollen trap”, allowing the wind that carries pollen from the trees and onto your lawn, creating an allergy haven. Cut your grass regularly and rake cut grass instead of using a blower to help cut down on spreading pollen. Check your local pollen forecast and try to limit your pet's exposure to known triggers during high alerts.

To relieve sinusitis and nasal congestion for optimal respiratory functioning, try Sinu-Rite