CAT | Fish Oils
Did you know one in every three American adults has one or more types of cardiovascular disease? That’s more than 82 million people—or one-third of the U.S. population. And that means there’s a pretty good chance you or someone you know has been prescribed statins.
Statins are a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs and among the most widely prescribed medications in the United States. However, even though studies continue to uncover the negative effects of statins, doctors are more likely to write a prescription for them than they are to tell patients that lifestyle factors like healthy diet and exercise can reduce cholesterol and improve heart health all on their own.
Read and pass along these important tips from Brenda Watson’s new book and PBS special, Heart of Perfect Health, and help someone you know take control of their heart health today!
- Eat a diet low in grain-based, refined and starchy carbohydrates and sugars, and high in vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins, nuts and seeds.
- Avoid processed foods, refined sugars, grain-based carbs and starchy foods—especially pasta, breads, cereals made from wheat, potatoes, white rice, packaged snack foods, etc.
- Exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes a day, three times weekly).
- If you are overweight, lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Be sure to consume at least 35 grams of fiber daily; add a fiber supplement if necessary.‡
- Supplement your diet with Omega-3 fish oils.‡
- Optimize your vitamin D level.
- Eat a variety of vegetables for antioxidant nutrients.
- Maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
Beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fish provide numerous health benefits. In clinical studies, Omega-3s have been shown to promote healthy heart and brain function, as well as support the nervous system, digestive system and other organs.* Now, scientists believe the healthy oils may provide additional support for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
A team of experts from the Oregon Health & Science University Department of Neurology recently conducted a randomized placebo-controlled pilot trial to evaluate the effects of supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acids and alpha lipoic acid (an antioxidant) in Alzheimer’s patients. After a 12-month treatment period, they found that participants taking a combination of Omega-3 fatty acids plus ALA experienced reduced cognitive and functional decline.
While further research is planned to evaluate the combination as a possible treatment for the disease, the results of the study are encouraging. “The ultimate outcome is to be able to look at these (treatments) as a potential preventive formula—if someone could take a gram or two grams a day of fish oil before signs of the disease, it’s preventive in that it’s either decreasing the chance of turnover to Alzheimer’s disease or it’s delaying its progression. And I like the idea of using something that is cheap, accessible and easy to take,” said Lynne Shinto, N.D., assistant professor of neurology and the project’s lead investigator.
According to the OHSU study abstract, oxidative stress, inflammation, and increased cholesterol levels are all mechanisms that have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease pathology, and several studies have reported a decreased risk of the disease associated with fish oil consumption.