omega-3 fatty acid

  1. Control blood sugar with the benefits of fish oil

    Fish oil can help slash diabetes risk

    Just as one study claims to find no benefits off fish oil,  another one finds some very real benefits: Fish oil can boost the body's level of adiponectin.

    Now, if you're like most people, you've probably never heard of this hormone -- but trust me, you don't just want it.

    You need it.

    This hormone helps control blood sugar, which is why other studies have found that people with higher levels of it have a lower risk of both diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

    And that's not all it can do.

    Adiponectin from the benefits of fish oil. It can also help control inflammation, which may be why higher levels of adiponectin have also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and other serious heart problems.

    It's also a pretty handy fat-burner, and can reduce your risk of obesity. And if all that's not enough, this hormone can also slash your risk of both atherosclerosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

    It's pretty important stuff -- and so far, science hasn't identified too many ways to boost your levels of it other than with the benefits of fish oil. We know from animal studies that higher omega-3 intake seems to stimulate adiponectin production, but the new research is one of the first human studies I've seen to make that connection.

    In this one, a Harvard University team looked at data from 14 gold-standard clinical trials and found that higher omega-3 intake can boost your adiponectin levels by an average of 0.37 micrograms per milliliter of blood.

    I realize that number might not mean much to most people, but it's a respectable (if modest) boost -- and the researchers say some people may see even bigger gains via increased omega-3 intake.

    Call that yet another good reason to boost your own omega-3 levels and get more benefits of fish oil. You can do so by simply eating more fatty fish, but the best way to make sure you get what you really need each day is with a supplement.

    Be sure to stick with a quality supplement from a maker you trust -- one that's been purified to remove contaminants such as mercury.

  2. Omega-3 fatty acids can protect skin from UV rays

    Something fishy in skin protection

    It can protect the heart, brain, and even your gums. And now, here's one more trick fish oil can pull off: It can help prevent skin cancer by giving your immune system the power to fight the damage caused by UV rays.

    In a new study, 79 volunteers were given either 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids or a placebo and then exposed to the equivalent of midday summer sun via a light machine that resembled UV rays.

    Fish oil actually doubled the level of immune system protection when compared to the placebo, according to the study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    Of course, taking fish oil isn't license to spend a day roasting on the beach. In fact, that double protection was there after 8 minutes and 15 minutes of sun exposure -- but it was gone in 30 minutes.

    Yes, there are some things even omega-3 fatty acids can't do.

    That's why in addition to taking a quality omega-3 supplement each day, it's essential to take common-sense steps when it comes to sun safety.

    The best UV ray protection is shade, followed by a hat and clothing, especially clothing with built-in UV ray protection. But of course, many people want to go outside in a T-shirt, tank top, or swimsuit -- and in those cases, you'll want to use sunscreen.

    Don't get whatever's on sale, as many common sunscreens contain ingredients that are even more dangerous than too much sun exposure.

    Retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A commonly found in sunscreen, may actually cause cancer when exposed to sunlight. It's crazy to think that something this dangerous is actually used in sunscreen... but it is.

    In addition, avoid anything with oxybenzone, an endocrine-disrupting chemical linked to developmental and reproductive problems, organ toxicity, cellular damage, allergies, and more.

    And steer clear of anything that contains nanoparticles.

  3. Aging signs -- or warning signs?

    Millions of seniors battle the three S's in their later years: the stoop, the shakes, and the shuffle. And most docs will respond with their own S: the shrug as they tell you it's just part of getting older. Bull.

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