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      The stats tell it all: The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. That’s right, more than any other disease – even cancer (a close second) – heart disease is the most likely to kill you. The United States is currently facing a “diabesity” epidemic, or a substantial increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes and obesity, all serious risk factors for heart disease.

      According to the American Heart Association, every 34 seconds someone in the US dies of a heart attack. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, another person will have lost their life. Sadly, many people do not even know they have heart disease until they experience a heart attack. These facts alone make Heart Health a critical topic to understand.

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      The gut-skin connection is very significant. Inflammatory processes present in the gut may manifest on the skin. Toxins are expelled with sweat, and can cause the skin to react. Like the inside of the digestive tract, the skin is covered in microbes which can be neutral, protective or pathogenic. Skin reaction may reflect what is going on inside the body. Therefore treating skin conditions only from the outside will often be ineffective and lead to other chronic issues.

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      The gut-brain connection occurs in two directions—from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain. When a person has a “gut feeling,” or an emotional upset causes a stomachache or loss of appetite, they experience examples of the first, most familiar direction. When the gut is out of balance, inflammation results leading to a condition commonly known as leaky gut. A leaky gut will allow undigested food particles and toxins to enter into the bloodstream. Some may cross into the brain, setting the stage for diseases like Alzheimers and dementia. Recognizing the underlying contributing factors that created the gut imbalance in the first place is the first step to achieving optimal brain function .

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Omega-3 DHA Improves Periodontal Health

Filed in Omega-3 & Fish Oil, Periodontal | Posted by Brenda Watson on 08/04/2014

Omega-3 fatty acids are most widely known for their heart and brain benefits. Taking an omega-3 supplement high in EPA and DHA every day can protect against heart disease and improve brain health, certainly, but you might not realize that these healthy fats are also good for your gums—DHA in particular.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, affects up to 50 percent of the US population and is the second most common disease worldwide. Current treatment involves cleaning and local antibiotic application. Dietary solutions for reducing the disease are needed, and a recent study published in the Journal of Dental Research may have a solution. The study results indicate that daily DHA supplementation decreases the average depth of pockets between teeth and gums (the deeper the depth the greater the gum disease). They also found a reduction of inflammation in the gums and a lower gingival index, a measure of gum disease severity.

“In this randomized, controlled trial, aspirin-triggered DHA supplementation significantly improved periodontal outcomes in people with periodontitis, indicating its potential therapeutic efficacy,” noted the researchers.

The study involved 46 adults with moderate periodontal disease who took either 2,000 mg DHA plus aspirin or placebo plus aspirin daily for three months. The researchers measured DHA levels in red blood cell membranes, a marker of long-term omega-3 intake, and found that DHA levels increased in the DHA group, but not in the placebo group, as expected. Those participants taking DHA had lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), both markers of inflammation associated with periodontal disease.

Back in 2010, Japanese researchers reported that dental disease events were 1.5 times higher in people with low DHA levels when compared to those with high DHA levels, establishing a link between DHA and dental health. It looks like it’s time to add periodontal health to the long list of omega-3 benefits.