TAG | immune function
It’s no secret that America has a weight problem. The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that roughly 28 percent of American adults are obese, and our children are quickly following suit. But sometimes help can come from the most unlikely places, which is what researchers in Japan discovered recently.
Published in this month’s European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, results from a 12-week study revealed that probiotics may play a significant role in the battle against obesity. More than 80 participants were chosen based on high body mass index (BMI) and abdominal fat and asked to drink 200g daily of a fermented milk beverage, either with or without a probiotic strain called Lactobacillus gasseri. The outcome was a more than 4% decrease in abdominal and subcutaneous fat in those who received the probiotic, as well as a significant decrease in body weight and waistline.
While more research needs to be done to determine exactly how probiotics support healthy weight management, scientists believe it has something to do with how they affect our metabolism. Of course, we already know these beneficial bacteria play a significant role in better digestion, regularity, immune function and overall health, so don’t forget your probiotics!
A study published recently in the British Medical Journal revealed some eye-opening facts about statins—mainly that the highly-touted cholesterol-lowering drugs end up doing more harm than good when taken as directed.
Statins work by blocking cholesterol production in the liver, which in turn causes the liver to create a type of protein that helps eliminate bad cholesterol (LDL) from the body. Unfortunately, results of the study—which included more than 2 million participants—show that statins help only a very small percentage of those who take them, but that twice as often they result in serious health problems, including liver damage, acute kidney failure, extreme muscle weakness and cataracts, as well as an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Not only that, but statins, like all synthetic drugs, are chock full of chemicals that can wreak havoc on the body and overall health.
Omega-3s: A Natural Alternative to Statins
Decades of research regarding the natural health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids has shown that a diet rich in Omega-3s helps prevent a wide range of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure, prompting experts like the American Heart Association to recommend between 1 and 4 grams (1,000-4,000mg) of combined EPA and DHA daily for people with known heart problems.
Because the standard American diet is severely lacking in beneficial Omegas, a daily Omega-3 supplement can help provide safe and effective natural support for a healthier heart. In addition, fish-derived Omega-3 fats have been shown also to improve brain, eye, and immune function, as well as promote healthy skin, bones, joints and mood.