Posts Tagged ‘Fish Oil’

Fish Oil Medicine

October 30, 2013 Written by JP

One of the strengths of evidence-based, natural medicine is confidence. As a consultant, educator and writer, I have confidence about my positions because they’re backed by peer-reviewed, scientific evidence. Therefore, I’m not just one lonely voice making an impassioned argument. Rather, I’m part of a collective of voices that uses documented facts and findings to further the cause of natural health care. This very same philosophy can be used by individuals who have no particular interest in working in the field of medicine. In fact, it can work equally well for anyone who simply wishes to incorporate more natural remedies into their treatment program.

Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Natural Postpartum Depression Support

April 18, 2013 Written by JP

According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 19% of women report frequent postpartum depressive symptoms. Postpartum depression or PPD describes a broad set of symptoms which often include feelings of anger, hopelessness, inadequacy and overwhelment. The onset of PPD can occur almost immediately after giving birth and may extend as long as one year. Changes in hormone levels (estrogen, progesterone, thyroid) and various emotional and lifestyle factors, such as difficulty breastfeeding, poor sleep quality and psychological stress, have also been noted as probable contributors. In the conventional medical system, antidepressants, counseling and hormone replacement are the mainstay treatments. However, there are also several alternative and complementary options that ought to be considered.

Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Women's Health | 4 Comments

Natural Chemotherapy Support Part Two

November 28, 2012 Written by JP

When considering an integrative approach to cancer treatment, oncologists and patients must take into account potential interactions between chemotherapy and dietary supplements. Unlike “mind-body” practices, supplements can directly affect how medications are processed by the body. In some instances, they potentiate the activity of a drug. Other times, they speed the clearance of a given medication, thereby making it less effective. And, finally, there are certain circumstances in which supplements may actually work alongside chemotherapy in such a way as to diminish side effects and improve treatment outcomes.

Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;

Natural Medicine for Cats

August 23, 2012 Written by JP

Natural medicine isn’t the exclusive domain of two legged creatures. Cats, dogs, horses and virtually every other domesticated animal can likewise be assisted by the judicious application of holistic principles. What’s more, over the past few decades, researchers in the field of veterinary care have been devoting more and more money and time to this very topic. In particular, an emphasis has been placed on evaluating the role of dietary components in relation to inflammatory conditions that frequently affect older felines.

Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;

Complementary Lupus Care

July 30, 2012 Written by JP

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), commonly referred to as lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease that disproportionately affects younger women. Autoimmune diseases are characterized by an inappropriate response by the immune system which provokes an attack against healthy tissue. In the case of lupus, an inflammatory reaction occurs which can affect numerous sites in the body, including the cardiovascular system, the digestive tract and joints. The conventional management of lupus typically involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids that suppress immune function. Unfortunately, both of these pharmaceutically-based approaches carry the risk on unwanted side effects.

Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Healthier Overweight

July 9, 2012 Written by JP

Some time ago, I was approached by an overweight gentleman who was familiar with my line of work. He explained that he planned to lose weight eventually, but wasn’t quite ready to adopt many of the principles espoused on my site and elsewhere. He went on to ask a rather provocative question: Apart from making major changes to my diet and exercising, are there any small steps I can take to protect myself? At first, my thought was: What’s the point? You can’t put out a fire with a squirt gun! If you want to get healthy, a commitment needs to made! However, as I listened further to his circumstances and history, I relented and decided to offer what I hoped would be the first steps in his path to a genuine lifestyle change.

Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | No Comments;

Krill Oil 2012

July 6, 2012 Written by JP

One of the most popular columns I’ve written thus far focused on the promise of krill oil for conditions as diverse as arthritis to premenopausal syndrome. I based the content of that particular piece on several studies from the last decade that found decidedly positive results alongside an enviable safety profile. In essence, I concluded that krill oil may very well be superior to fish oil and other sources of omega 3 fatty acids. If this is indeed the case, it’s likely because of krill oils unique composition – which features astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant, and phosholipids which assist with the absorption and retention of omega 3 fatty acids and may impart health benefits of their own. However, I also cautioned that the data on krill oil was preliminary and nowhere near as extensive as that of fish oil.

Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 26 Comments

Anti-Aging Travel Tips

May 9, 2012 Written by JP

If you’re a frequent traveler, you know how challenging it can be to remain on a healthy diet. Often times you don’t have control over what time you eat, where you eat or your dining companions. Changes in time zones, exposure to recirculated air on planes and the general stress of being in unfamiliar circumstances and locations add to the pressure many business travelers experience. In short, travel can contribute to the aging process and lower your defenses, unless you prepare a game plan ahead of time that will help you cope with the uncertainty of life on the road.

Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | No Comments;

Top Five Supplements

December 7, 2011 Written by JP

“Is there a short-list of supplements that everyone should take?”. This may seem like a simple enough question, but it might surprise you to know that if I had to answer strictly ‘yes’ or ‘no’, my reply would be ‘no’. There are simply too many individual considerations and requirements that make blanket recommendations inappropriate and unreliable. Having said that, there is a select group of supplements that tend to fill important nutrient gaps in many diets. These very same nutritional aids also safely promote greater well being.

Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Nutritional Supplements | 11 Comments

Depression Inflammation Link

September 30, 2011 Written by JP

There are a great many diseases and disorders that come mind when pondering the topic of inflammation. Typically, depression isn’t included in that rather lengthy list. A new review compiled by researchers from the Emory University School of Medicine postulates that there’s reasonable cause to do so. The authors of the paper note that “individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) demonstrate increased levels of a variety of peripheral inflammatory biomarkers”. If this emerging theory is justified, how can patients and physicians use this information to help alleviate poor mood states? One of the most promising, natural candidates is fish oil. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish, namely DHA and EPA, are known to decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines present in a variety of diseases, including arthritis. What’s more, reducing inflammation via fish oil supplementation has recently been shown to blunt stress-induced anxiety. But, supplementing with just any fish oil may not be the optimal approach. A recent meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry recommends looking for omega-3 supplements that contain a minimum of 60% EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). A daily dosage of up to 2,200 mg of EPA daily is also singled out as important. A separate review from August 2011 revealed similar findings with respect to fish oil therapy in those with bipolar disorder or manic depression. This is not to say that DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is not significant or valuable in it’s own right. For instance, a current study appearing in the British Journal of Nutrition cites that while EPA-rich fish oil was more effective at reducing depressive symptoms, DHA-rich fish oil alone improved cognitive performance (verbal fluency) and “self-reported physical health” in a group of seniors. Even with all of this encouraging scientific data, it still may be too soon for many conventional psychiatrists to recommend EPA to depressed patients. However, because of fish oil’s other health benefits and relative safety, I would argue that it’s worth considering prior to any future mainstream consensus.

Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 3 Comments

Share Your Knowledge

August 12, 2011 Written by JP

There is a grass roots way of improving the current health care system that very few patients, physicians and pundits acknowledge. It doesn’t involve increasing co-pays or taxes, dismantling Medicare or reforming health insurance. You don’t even need to organize with vast numbers of fellow citizens to make a difference. All that’s required is that you accept a basic precept and act upon it. Every single person reading this column is a unique individual with highly specialized information at their disposal. We’re exposed to different sources of anecdotal evidence, news and research. At any given point, some of this information may be of value to someone you know, be it a colleague, family member or neighbor. But how often do you make it a point to share something that you’ve heard or read when you’re not specifically asked? Taking the extra step to speak up can make a big difference in the way doctors practice medicine and those around us benefit from otherwise unknown information. Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Men's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Catching Up With Dr. Barry Sears

July 6, 2011 Written by JP

One of the reasons I chose the Internet as my primary mode of communication is that it allows me to continually and publicly update my points of views without much lag time. If a new study is published that contradicts or modifies my opinion about a health topic, I can spread the word about the breaking data almost immediately. The same is not true of books, magazine articles or print newsletters. This reality often leaves me wondering what some of the finest minds in integrative medicine think about current headlines that don’t make it into their finished work. Fortunately, on occasion, I’m able to follow up with some of the health experts I respect the most and ask some of the questions that have been left unaddressed.
Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Diabetes, Heart Health, Interviews | No Comments;

Menstrual Cramp Alternatives

May 4, 2011 Written by JP

The concept of connectedness is a guiding principle in the holistic management of dis-ease. On an individual basis this may present itself in how symptoms are viewed. For instance, if you have trouble with indigestion, a holistic physician may consider any number of causes including a bacterial infection, how well you chew, psychological stressors and your food selection. In other words, a symptom is viewed within the context of the whole body and, even, your thought processes. From a more global perspective, connectedness extends to how an individual’s well being impacts those around them. Dysmenorrhea is a prime example of how an imbalance in the body and mind can cause discomfort and pain to those directly and indirectly affected by it. Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements, Women's Health | 7 Comments

Complementary Bipolar Disorder Care

March 11, 2011 Written by JP

Bipolar disorder has been in the news lately because of the incessant coverage of a well known celebrity who appears to be in the midst of a mental breakdown. News outlets of every stripe just can’t get enough of this story. It doesn’t much matter whether the root cause of this current spectacle is drug use, a psychiatric condition or some combination thereof. The bottom line is that the antics involved are simply too sensational to ignore. But that’s not the reason why bipolar disorder is on my radar. Please don’t get me wrong – the psychological unraveling of any person is profoundly sad and troubling. However, when over 2% of the world’s population is affected by one form or another of bipolar spectrum disorder (BPS), that fact should occupy a much more prominent spot in the news than the struggle of any one individual.
Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Heart Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Body Fat News You Can Use

March 9, 2011 Written by JP

Body fat. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Too much body fat is a well established risk factor for the majority of leading causes of disease, disability and mortality in the modern world. But you do need a certain amount of adipose tissue to buffer the effects of toxins, protect your internal organs from physical damage, provide a stored energy source and stay warm when the weather turns cold. The key is to maintain a reasonable percentage of body fat. A recent publication in the journal Obesity offers up a new way to estimate your body fat percentage that may be more accurate than calculating your body mass index or BMI.
Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Exercise, Nutrition | 15 Comments

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Alternatives

March 7, 2011 Written by JP

Most people have endured one or more serious traumas in their lives. However, the extent of suffering and the exact definition placed on the word “trauma” vary greatly. What’s more, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, certain individuals are more susceptible to the serious, long term consequences of trauma than others. Some survivors of abuse, assault, natural disasters and war develop a form of anxiety known as PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms of PTSD include emotional detachment, flashback episodes, memory loss, physical pain, recurrent nightmares, sleep disturbance and social withdrawal. Fortunately, some scientists are examining and finding success by utilizing select natural therapies in those living with traumatic memories.
Read more »


Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments