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Protect Vision and Health As You Age with Omega-3 Fish Oils
Protect Vision and HealthDegeneration of the central portion of the retina can lead to poor vision and blindness. Millions of people in this country are afflicted with this vision degeneration. There are two recent articles published in the July 2006 edition of Archives of Ophthalmology regarding this vision problem.

In the first study out of Harvard Medical School, researchers studied genetic and environmental risk factors for development of this eye degeneration in a large group of twinsi. The study included 681 twins; 222 twins suffered with this eye degeneration either of an intermediate or late stage, whereas 459 sets of twins did not have any evidence of the condition. It was found that smokers had a 1.9-fold increased risk of developing degeneration of the eye, where past smokers had an approximately 1.7-fold increased risk. Increased intake of fish reduced the risk of vision degeneration, particularly for those who ate two or more servings of per week. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid intake was inversely associated with this poor vision, reducing risk by about 45%. The authors concluded that this study of twins provided further evidence that cigarette smoking increased the risk, while fish consumption and omega-3 fatty acid intake reduced the risk, of loss of vision.


In a second study also published in Archives of Ophthalmology, 3,654 people, ages 49 or older participated. It was found that participants with highest intake of omega-3 fatty acids had a lower incidence of developing the early form of this vision degeneration by 59%, and fish consumption, at least three times weekly, could reduce the incidence of the late form of this poor vision by 75%. The authors concluded that a regular diet high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, especially from fish, could protect against the early and late forms of this vision loss.

Unfortunately, the problem with eating fish is that they re laden with toxic substances, such as mercury, PCB and other contaminants. Its gotten so bad that pregnant women are generally advised to limit their intake of tuna fish and eliminate other fish like shark, sea bass, swordfish, tile fish and others because of the increased risk of mercury toxicity. PCBs, which stand for polycarbonated biphenyls, consist of synthetic and organic chemicals found in our polluted air, soil and waterways. PCBs appear to be found in larger fish, but can also be found in small-mouthed bass. They re especially harmful to pregnant women and can cause birth defects and can also be associated with a problem with the immune system and neurological function.

In recent years, there have been increasing data to suggest that consuming fish oil supplements is actually a much safer way to get the health benefits of fish. The best fish oil comes from molecularly-distilled fish oil and not fish liver oil. I am pleased to report that Mega EFA was recently sent for lab testing and passed with flying colors. When tested for mercury, PCBs and various organochlorine pesticides, you ll notice that in every single case none of these toxins were detectable. We do this testing on a regular basis to reassure our customers that not only do we have the best quality and best pricing, but also the safest products available. You will also notice in the laboratory results that we sent out our calcium magnesium and calcium citrate malate. Lead contamination is a very common contaminant in calcium products. Again, as you can see, lead was undetectable in the sample.

I strongly recommend people include pharmaceutical-grade fish oil in their daily supplement regimen. I recommend 2 to 4 soft gels per day or the new liquid form at just teaspoon per day. The soft gel form is highly concentrated and provides about two to three times the active omega-3s (EPA & DHA) compared to others. Be careful to read labels; others require 2 to 4 soft gels to equal what is on the label, but the Mega EFA supplement facts are based on one soft gel. The liquid form is highly concentrated, lemon flavored and great for people that do not like to swallow pills. Each bottle has 48 servings and just teaspoon serving provides 2,300 mg of molecularly-distilled, pharmaceutical-grade fish oil with 740 mg of omega-3s.Othe options include canned Wild Planet wild-caught tuna and wild-caught salmon, guaranteed and tested to contain dramatically less containments when compared to other brands.

As you know, our goal is to educate you and to provide you with actionable information. Another one of my goals is to warn you of any potential misinformation that is being disseminated. This week I had watched a local news show where a physician was touting a line of vitamins he claimed were based on DNA analysis. His program involves sampling urine and saliva for DNA and then, based upon the results, recommending a specific combination of nutrients. I do not believe there is any real scientific data out there to substantiate this claim. In addition, when you look at the actual ingredients of the nutrients he recommends, its a joke and overpriced beyond belief. Dont be taken in by ridiculous claims such as this, blood testing, hair testing, blood types, etc. The important proven things to focus on to optimize health are proper diet, optimal supplementation, exercise and sleep based on 1,000s of published studies.

iSeddon JM, George S, Rosner B. Cigarette smoking, fish consumption, omega-3 fatty acid intake, and associations with age-related macular degeneration: the US Twin Study of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006 Jul;124(7):995-1001.

iiChua, B.; Flood, V.; Rochtchina, E., et al. Dietary Fatty Acids and the 5-Year Incidence of Age-Related Maculopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006;124:981-986.

Allen S. Josephs, M.D.
President, Vitacost.com
Posted on Sunday, July 23 @ 23:15:00 EDT by administrator
 
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