I hope your summer is finding you being active outdoors, eating well, maybe relaxing a little more while your having fun in the sun, and being healthy.
On Saturday, July 13th, I completed the Alpha Imagine a World Cycling Classic, right here in SB! It was my second year of 70 miles and 7,000 ft. elevation gain.
It's a beautiful ride, using a huge variety of hills around Santa Barbara and Montecito, including Portesuello Ave., California St., Arbolado, Las Canoas, Conejo Rd., Coyote, Para Grande-Riven Rock, Picacho Lane, Toro Canyon, Mariposa, Ortega Ridge and Miramonte Drive!
This is the kind of ride that preparing for and doing moves one forward in their conditioning (especially once you recover). Most importantly, it's for a great cause. Everyone familiar with the Alpha Resource Center is a fan of their service to our community.
To find out more about the Alpha Resource Center - please visit http://alphasb.org
Supplementation with probiotics is recognized as providing many short and long term health benefits. Beneficial bacteria have a favorable effect on the balance of microorganisms in our intestines. A healthy balance of intestinal microflora is important for the strength of the immune system and the structural integrity of the intestinal lining. Probiotics enhance the protective barrier function of the intestinal mucosa, thus reducing the adherence of pathogens and the absorption of allergens. They also help reduce allergic responses and conditions such as intestinal hyperpermeability ("leaky gut") by reducing inflammation of the intestinal lining.
Unfortunately, the need for supplemental probiotics has never been greater due to the amount of antibiotics we are exposed to. Sources include both medical prescriptions and through our diet, most commonly livestock that have been fed antibiotics. Additionally, diets high in carbohydrates create an environment in the large intestine ideal for yeasts, which compete with the important, healthy bacteria we need.
Other benefits of high quality probiotics include the production of nutrients that we use, including Vitamin's K and B12 and Biotin, intestinal cell health, normal bowel function and the destruction of unhealthy chemicals in the large intestine.
This is really an environmental issue, meaning the environment of our large intestine. A healthy environment provides us with greater immune support, while an unbalanced environment weakens our immunity and makes us more susceptible to disease.
We carry numerous probiotics at the clinic. Our most commonly prescribed long-term option is ProBioMax Daily. This product is designed as a maintenance product (taken at just one per day) for long term health of the intestinal micro flora and our immune system.
ProBioMax Daily, our Product of the Month, is on special between now and Aug. 30th.
Buy 2 and receive a $5 discount on each bottle. Save $10 and be healthier!
Fishy Research! Omega 3's Increase Prostate Cancer Risk???
Beware: whenever you hear something that doesn't make sense, sounds strange or illogical, doubt it or question it before believing it. This is more important now in this day and age of continually contradictory research.
Example: the recent headlines of many newspaper articles read something like this; "taking omega 3 fish oil supplements may increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 70%"! or "Taking Omega 3's increased overall prostate cancer risk by 43%."
It is shocking to me that this "research" was ever funded and published, given how poorly it was conducted. It is even more concerning and suspect when the research team makes radical statements against something (fish oil supplementation), that is known to provide numerous health benefits. "We've shown once again that use of nutritional supplements may be harmful". This is especially bad behavior when they had no idea if these patients were taking fish oil! It's not so surprising to find out the research center receives millions of dollars from Pharmaceutical companies.
Here are the key points that clarify why this research is worthless, misleading, and potentially very harmful.
The original Study was not specifically designed to look at men taking fish oil supplements. In fact, this study didn't look at fish oil or dietary consumption of fish at all! The original research that this data came from was actually designed to evaluate Vit. E, Selenium and prostate cancer.
There was no evidence, and no research done to find out how much fish these patients ate, or if they took fish oil supplements at all. Instead, the results were based on one blood test done at the beginning of the trial, which measured the subjects Omega 3 blood plasma concentration. This test is only a reflection of how much Omega 3's someone has had in the prior 2 days!
The difference in blood plasma level for omega-3s was 4.66% in the combined cancer group versus 4.48% in the control group (non-cancer group). They are basing their results on just 0.18% difference in omega-3 levels, which is miniscule, and subject to many variables.
More Importantly, the levels of Omega 3's in both groups fall into a range that the average American falls into. This range is reflective of people who do NOT eat a lot of oily fish or take any good quality fish oils! The average person in Japan gets much more Omega 3's from their oily fish diet than these patients were getting.
This study was quite small when compared to many other research projects on this subject with only about 2,200 patients.
The results of this research are the opposite of many other, much larger and higher quality studies. A recent meta-analysis of fish consumption and prostate cancer by Szymanski et al. (2010) reported a large reduction in late stage or fatal prostate cancer. Several other population-based studies have shown benefits of increased omega-3 fatty acid intakes in reducing prostate cancer risk.
Two more studies, from 2001 and 2004, both reported higher fish intake associated with lower risk for prostate cancer incidence and death. Another researcher found higher levels of Omega 3 intake associated with a 63% reduction in aggressive prostate cancer.
The most telling point that their research is junk, is that if the findings were true, then prostate cancer would be rampant in any country with high seafood consumption (Scandinavia, Japan etc), and conversely, low level consumption should be protective. In fact, this is the opposite of what happens in these countries. Japanese men, who consume high levels of Omega 3's in their diet, have an approximately 90% lower rate of prostate cancer when compared to Americans.
In women, several extensive research studies in the past couple years have shown significant reductions in breast cancer risk with intake of fish oil. One such study determined a positive correlation, where greater fish oil consumption lead to a greater reduction on breast cancer risk.
Additionally, even if this research had some inkling of truth relative to fish oil intake and increased risk of prostate cancer (which it doesn't), the benefits associated with heart disease mortality alone far outweigh any downside. There are over 7x's more men who die from heart disease each year vs. prostate cancer, and the benefits associated with a decrease in cardiovascular mortality from fish oil are well established.
Dealing with this kind of poor quality information on health and health care in the media today is a huge project, and unfortunately even research that has "scholars" from good universities can be of very poor quality with suspect motives.
Then we have the problem that many of the "writers" of these articles are not doctors of any kind, and for the sake of catchy headlines make gross generalizations and conclusions far from the results of the original research. It's clear they are looking for headlines to sell their paper or get people to come to their website rather than report valuable information.
In conclusion, your Omega's are very important and very healthy (if they are high quality). Be careful, as "research can be dangerous to your health".
"If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."
I think Mickey said it very well. Many patients who are over 50 express in some way, how they wish they had a Wellness Program like ours, many years earlier. The good news is that no matter when we start focusing on our health by taking healthy actions and creating healthy habits, we are quickly able to begin to experience the benefits of feeling healthier and often younger than we did years earlier.
The gift of health is a wonderful thing to give ourselves and to encourage others to take. Which reminds me, Thank You very much for all your referrals, allowing me to support your family and friends in Creating a Lifetime of Wellness with Vitality and Longevity! It's truly rewarding for me and without you I couldn't help others.