Incorporating Omega-3 Fatty Acids Into Your Diet

omega 3 fatty acids benefitsPeople have known about the benefits of eating fish for ages. Scientists have also known for decades about the positive health effects of fish oils. Studies conducted in the 1970s revealed that the Inuit, as well as people who maintained a Mediterranean diet, had significantly lower incidence of cardiovascular disease compared to most Europeans. Studies have also shown that the Japanese have one of the highest life expectations.

One thing that the diets of these regions have in common (with the exception of Europe) is their considerably high omega-3 fatty acids content – abundant in most fish. Numerous scientific studies have shown that a diet rich in Omega-3s impact reduces the risk of heart attacks, and also helps to counter depression, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Also, there is strong evidence showing that omega-3s reduces Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammations.

So, What are Omegas?

The Omegas are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are regarded as “essential” to the human body because you need them, but the body cannot manufacture them. So, you can only get them from your diet.

The omegas include omega-3s, -6s, and -9s. Studies show that the modern Western diet is largely unbalanced because it mostly comprises the omega-6 fatty acids found in grains, but not enough omega-3s. The omega-9s are found in fats like olive oil, and are considered to be neutral. This means that they are neither good nor bad, but are better compared to unhealthy saturated fats.

Sources of Omega-3

The term omega-3 refers to a range of fatty acids, three of which are very important for your health: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), elcosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – only found in oily fish – and alpha-linolenic-acid (ALA) – obtained from plants (nuts and vegetable oils).

Animal-based sources of omega-3 fats include:

  • Salmon – the American Heart Association recommends 2 servings of wild salmon per week.
  • Fish oil – a great source of omega-3 fats, though it is weak in antioxidants
  • Krill oil – a fantastic source of omega-3s and antioxidants.

Vegetable-based sources of omega-3 fats include:

  • Walnuts – major source of ALA
  • Organic flaxseed oil – rich in omega-3s, protein, and fiber
  • Kidney beans and legumes
  • Seaweed – plant sources for DHA and EPA
  • Berries – great source for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3s

How Much Omega-3 Do You Need?

Omega-3s constitute part of the membrane around every cell in your body, and help to control what substances pass in/out the cells, as well as how the cells communicate with each other. Nutritionists and scientists recommend that you consume at least two 75-gram servings of fish every week, which translates to about 500mg of EPA and DHA per day. That said, studies suggest that you cannot possibly get too much omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for fetal neurodevelopment and may be important for the timing of gestation and birth weight as well. This is why Dr. Torbati recommends all pregnant women incorporate omega-3 into their diets.

In The News: “Female Viagra” for Women

addyi female viagra for women 2015Viagra is a little blue pill that quickly became popular as the ideal treatment for erectile dysfunction in men. Now, there is a little pink pill – dubbed the “female Viagra” – that is believed to have a positive effect on sexual dysfunction in premenopausal women.

It is estimated that 10 percent of the female population develops hypo active sexual desire disorder (HSDD) – a condition whose primary sign is low sexual drive – and up to 40 percent experience this condition at some point. There are a number of psychological factors that contribute to the low sexual desire, including stress, low self-esteem, and mental health problems, as well as hormonal changes and physical factors, such as lifestyle habits and fatigue.

How the “Female Viagra” Corrects HSDD

Flibanserin, also known by its brand name Addyi, was recently tested and approved by the FDA for the treatment of HSDD. The drug, which is manufactured by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, is believed to correct an imbalance of brain chemicals involved in stimulating sexual desire, though the actual mode of action is unclear.

According to the FDA, a 100-mg dose of Flibanserin should be taken once a day, just before going to bed. If there are improvements in sexual desire after taking the drug for 8 weeks, it is recommended that you discontinue.

Studies Leading to Approval of Viagra for Women

The FDA found the drug safe for use after conducting 3 randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled tests with a sample population of around 2,400 women of a mean age of 36 years and with HSDD.

For the duration of 24 weeks, the women were administered with a placebo or 100-mg dose of flibanserin every day before bedtime. The women who took the flibarensin dose reported a modest increase in both sexual desire and number of sexual events during the period of study, as well as a reduction in anguish resulting from low sexual desire.

Risks of Addyi – Women’s Sex Pill

With regard to the safety of the drug, the FDA reported that the most common adverse reactions noted were fatigue, dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, insomnia, and sleepiness.

addyi female viagra risksBefore the approval, the FDA has rejected the drug twice before, in 2010 and 2014, because it was associated with hypertension – extremely low blood pressure, as well as loss of consciousness especially when taken with alcohol.

Consequently, flibanserin was approved based on a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) that requires prescribers to attend a training program before administering the drug to patients.

Additionally, the drug comes with a boxed warning alerting patients of the risk of concussion and hypertension if taken with alcohol. There is also a warning for women with liver impairment and those taking CYP3A4 inhibitors to stay away from the drug.