A recent NPR article helped shed some light on a fascinating new field of scientific inquiry, namely how important our microbe population is to keeping us healthy and alive. We are rapidly coming to understand that we cannot live with our microbes, the trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that live in and on our bodies.
These microbes live on our skin and in our guts. They live in our noses and in the mucus our body uses to protect itself. Scientists featured in the article report that our bodies are home to 10 times more microbial cells than bodily cells. Their numbers are so staggering that as much as 99% of the genes in (and on) our bodies are microbes’ genes and not our own. But it is a mistake to think of these microbes as foreign. They are as much a part of what makes us “us” as the color of our eyes and our genetic inheritance.
Me and My Microbiome
Scientists are calling your microbiome, which includes the critical balance of healthy bacteria in the gut, the 11th organ system because of its many functions. Your microbiome:
- Supports healthy digestion and immunity from your center, your gut
- Shapes the way your immune system handles invaders by “teaching” the body which microbes are healthy and which aren’t from birth
- Contributes to how much fat you store and how much energy you have
- Signals the brain to impact your mood and behavior
The NPR article went on to reveal that Americans are at a microbial disadvantage due to the inundation of antibiotics in our society. We are exposed to a smaller pool of microbes and so our microbiomes are less diverse. A diverse microbiome is a strong microbiome that may be able to handle health challenges more effectively.
Remembering that our microbiome is such a pervasive part of our health is key. Not all microbes are germs to be avoided at all costs, and you need healthy microbes such as beneficial bacteria to stay healthy.
Source: “Staying Healthy May Mean Learning to Love our Microbiomes” NPR blog, July 2013
Due to busy schedules, fast food and ever-changing tastes kids can sometimes miss out on essential nutrients in the diet. In fact, some natural health experts believe that there are certain nutritional deficiencies that exist below the surface of common learning, behavioral and developmental issues in children. These types of children’s health challenges are on the rise, affecting an estimated 17% percent of children today. While some children require medical and pharmaceutical solutions for their issues, addressing key nutritional deficiencies may be a smart complementary strategy.
One such nutritional deficiency in our children’s diets today is the severe lacking in essential omega-3 fats, and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) in particular. DHA is a primary structural component of the human brain and retina. Research shows that DHA aids in the optimal development and function of the brain, eyes, and central nervous system especially during childhood. This essential fat is consumed at very low levels in a typical North American diet, and it’s easy to see why. DHA and omega-3 fats in general can primarily be found in fatty fish, seaweeds and green leafy vegetables – not exactly every kid’s favorite foods. Low dietary DHA isn’t just a problem for children who suffer from behavioral or learning disabilities; it can affect all children and may even negatively impact their proper growth and development.
National guidelines today recommend 2 or more servings of fatty fish per week to make up for the dietary DHA deficit, but it can be daunting to try to fit fatty fish into a kid-friendly meal plan. Whether it’s personal taste, limited availability or the increasing concern about the high levels of mercury in fish, more and more consumers are turning to supplemental fish oils rather than heading to the fish counter at the grocery store. So if supplementation is more your kid’s speed, the National Institutes of Health guidelines suggest that 2-3 year old children consume a minimum of 145 mg of DHA per day, 4-6 year olds should consume at least 200 mg and children 7 years old and older should consume at least 220 mg of daily DHA.
Luckily, ReNew Life has perfected fish oil for kids making supplementation a cinch. The new Norwegian Gold Kid’s DHA is a nutrition-packed, tiny, chewable softgel with a fruit punch flavor that kids love, without the sugar of typical kid’s fish oil supplements. Taste is by far the most important factor for picky kids, but parents will appreciate the optimized level of DHA. Not only does each serving provide 200 mg of essential DHA, it also provides 500 IU of vitamin D3 for healthy bones and the antioxidant astaxanthin. Each batch of Norwegian Gold Kid’s DHA fish oil is also independently tested by IFOS and certified a 5-star rated fish oil, meeting or exceeding all world standards for overall quality, potency and freshness.
So the days of pinching noses to get fish oil down are over. Parents now have the choice of the best-tasting, highest potency DHA supplement for their kids coupled with famous ReNew Life Norwegian Gold fish oil quality.