CAT | Digestive Health
Are you ready for GERD Awareness Week? November 23 – 29, 2014 is dedicated to raising awareness nationwide about gastroesophageal reflux disease, a chronic digestive disorder that causes stomach contents to back up into the esophagus, often resulting in heartburn, indigestion and/or acid reflux.
While occasional heartburn and reflux are not uncommon, GERD refers to the more serious, long-lasting disorder (more than twice a week for two weeks), which affects about 20 percent of Americans. And although anyone can develop GERD, the National Institutes of Health tell us certain groups are more likely to develop the disorder: people who smoke, are overweight or obese, pregnant or taking certain medications.
Occasional Heartburn & Reflux? Simple Tips to Follow
Many people don’t realize that occasional heartburn and reflux may be controlled through a healthy diet and lifestyle changes, which in turn may help prevent the development of GERD. Here are some simple, everyday tips to follow:
- Avoid greasy, fried foods and spicy foods
- Avoid processed foods high in refined sugars
- Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus
- Avoid alcohol and carbonated beverages
- Avoid chocolate and caffeine
- Consume more dietary fiber
- Do not overeat or eat too quickly; chew your food well
- Try to stop eating 2 to 3 hours before sleep
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Quit smoking
To find out more about how you can get involved in your community, visit the GERD Awareness Week page on the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders website for helpful tips, resources and ideas.
Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 EPA and DHA are good-for-you fats used by every cell in your body to support and manage vital functions such as a healthy inflammation response and proper heart, joint, eye, brain, digestive and immune function.‡ However, the body does not produce these essential fats on its own, so the only way to get them is through diet or supplementation. For this reason, many people benefit from taking a high-concentration, purity-guaranteed fish oil supplement daily.‡
Because extensive evidence shows that fish-derived Omega-3s support optimal digestion and overall health, many leading health organizations provide helpful recommendations. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 2 grams of Omega-3 oils per day, which is consistent with digestive care expert Brenda Watson’s H.O.P.E. Formula.
And, because scientific research confirms that Omega-3 supplementation promotes heart health by helping to maintain healthy cholesterol, triglyceride and blood pressure levels already within the normal range,* the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming about 500 mg per day of EPA and DHA for people who are healthy and want to maintain good heart health. For those with documented coronary heart disease, the AHA recommends 1 gram (1,000 mg) per day, and those with high triglycerides should aim for 2 to 4 grams (2,000 to 4,000 mg) per day.
Is there such a thing as too much Omega-3?
Due to its potential blood-thinning effects, it is recommended that you consult your physician when taking high doses of Omega-3 EPA/DHA—particularly doses greater than 3 grams (3,000 mg) per day.
Does it matter how much Omega-3 is in my capsule?
Yes. Be sure to look at the total amount of Omega-3 in each capsule—not the total amount of fish oil, as supplements vary greatly in the amounts of Omega-3.
What is the best time to take fish oil? And should I take fish oil with food?
Fish oil may be taken with or without food at any time of the day, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
*Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA & DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.