Archive for the ‘DHA’ Category

Top 5 Best Prescription Prenatal Vitamins

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Many women do not get enough vitamins and minerals to support a healthy pregnancy on their own. This is where prescription prenatal vitamins can help. But not all prenatal vitamins are equal. There are many, many prescription prenatal vitamins on the market from organic to chewable to those with DHA. How do you know you are getting the best for you and your baby? Here is a guide to the Top 5 best prescription prenatal vitamins money can buy.

1. Prenate Elite: Forget about those gigantic horse pills of the past. Prenate Elite is a small vitamin with all of the same benefits as the larger ones. It is film coated so that there is no nasty smell or taste. Some women feel that typical prenatal vitamins make their morning sickness worse, but Prenate Elite has a lower incidence of nausea. It also contains extra folic acid which is thought to aid in DNA and red blood cell production.

2. NataChew: These vitamins are for women on the go. There is no need for water because they are easily chewable. These contain one milligram of additional folic acid. NataChew do not have the same unpleasant taste as most prenatal vitamins.

3. CitraNatal with DHA: This prenatal vitamin contains calcium (many do not), iron, and DHA. This vegetable based DHA has recently been shown to improve fetal brain development, cognition, and visual acuity. Mom also gets the added benefits of improved hair, skin, and nails. Because constipation is a common issue during pregnancy, CitraNatal also contains a gentle stool softener. I currently take this prenatal vitamin and I am very pleased with it. The DHA comes in a separate capsule and it is one of the few prenatal vitamins containing calcium.

4. DuetDHA: This prenatal vitamin has two parts. There is your typical multivitamin containing folic acid, iron, calcium, and other minerals. There is also a capsule containing both DHA and omega 3 fatty acids. There is some research which suggests that DHA may decrease the risk of premature birth. Also, DuetDHA has an enteric coating so that it doesn’t dissolve until it gets to the intestines. This helps to minimize stomach upset.

5. Nestabs FA: Another great small and odorless product. This one is even kosher certified and it doesn’t have an aftertaste.

It is important to note that prescription prenatal vitamins containing extra folic acid may mask certain types of anemia. Check with your doctor if this is a concern for you. Also, never take more vitamins than prescribed. Although they may seem harmless, some vitamins are fat soluble and build up in the body for extended periods of time. This can be toxic to you and your baby. As always, consult your doctor about which prenatal vitamins are best for you.

The Best DHA Supplements

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Docosahexaenoic acid, better known as DHA is just one of three fatty acids recommended for various conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis, and is added to formula to promote the healthy development of infants. DHA is also known as an omega-3 acid. While omega-3 acids are good for you, you can have too much of a good thing. If you’re taking aspirin on a regular basis or taking medications for high blood pressure, you will need to speak with your healthcare provider before beginning an omega-3 supplement. High doses of omega-3 are related to gastrointestinal upsets, including diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion, and abdominal bloating. The American Heart Association has recommended a dose of about 1 gram of omega-3 acids per day for adults with heart disease and high levels of triglycerides. Healthy adults need a smaller dose.

The best way to take your omega-3 acids is in the food you eat. The best source of omega-3 acids is Wild Alaskan Salmon. It’s high in omega-3s and low in contaminates. Eat two servings of salmon or tuna a week, add walnuts to your diet, and use small amounts of canola oil when you cook and you will have all the omega-3 acids you need in your diet. Rather than relying on a pill, the best supplement containing DHA is eating a healthy diet including fatty fish, nuts, and healthy oils.

There are a few different kinds of omega-3 supplements: flax seed, fish oil, and micro-algae. Flaxseed supplements don’t contain DHA, but they do contain the other two parts of omega-3 acids: ALA and EPA, which the body turns into small amounts of DHA during digestion.

Micro-algae supplements are a completely animal free, vegan omega-3 supplement. While some people say omega-3 from algae isn’t as reliable as fish oil, there’s no scientific basis for this. Taking an omega-3 supplement derived from micro-algae is like going to the source. Fish contain omega-3s because they eat micro-algae. Micro-algae derived lacks the fishy smell and taste you get from fish oils. O-MegaZen-3 is a great vegetarian omega-3 supplement that contains Martek DHA derived from micro-algae. You may have to go to a health food store to find this supplement and it’s more expensive than your typical fish oil.

When it comes to fish oil supplements, there’s not really a huge difference between the various brands. The main difference you will find is the price. Nature Made Fish Oil found at Wal-Mart is an inexpensive brand of omega-3 fatty acids. If you have heart disease or high cholesterol, this is a good option.

One-A-Day Cardiovascular Health is a great choice for those who are also taking a multivitamin. If you have cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol you probably already take a lot of pills, so you love the chance to combine some of them. This is a more expensive supplement, but considering you can combine your omega-3s and you multivitamin, it may end up being a money saving adventure in the end.

On the higher end of the spectrum is Spectrum Essentials Omega 3 Norwegian Fish Oil. This is a more expensive supplement that will cost you over $200 a year. You can find this supplement in some health food stores.

While I still recommend you obtain your omega-3 fatty acids through the food you eat, if you’re going to take a supplement, take the most cost effective supplement that provides you with the recommended one gram per day and contains ALA, EPA, and DHA.

Always speak with your healthcare provider before beginning any supplemental regimen.

Surprising Non-Vegetarian Ingredients in Otherwise Veggie Foods

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Most vegetarians are diligent ingredient readers when they purchase their goods. While some vegetarians go so far as to consume fish and white meat, most vegetarians by definition will eat dairy products and eggs but won’t eat animal flesh. Vegans, whom I take my hat off to, won’t even consume animal by-products. For the basic vegetarian who thinks they’re NOT consuming animal flesh, guess again. There are ingredients in foods that we’re eating every single day that likely consume animal products.

Like gelatin. It’s not a myth that gelatin is animal fats. What gelatin is basically is all the fatty substance that comes to the surface of the boiling vat they throw the animal parts we don’t eat into, which means it’s animal fats from their tissues, hair and bone. So if you eat skittles, Jello, starbursts, or take gel-filled caps, you ARE eating meat. Marshmallows included. While many people think gelatin is plant-based, unless it says so on the packaging, if it has gelatin in it, it is animal fats. Even kosher gelatin may be animal based, it just doesn’t include pork.

Hey, cheese lovers! This will make you cringe! Many cheeses we buy and consume all the time (for protein and calcium in our diets) has an ingredient called rennet in them, which is a substance scraped from the inside of cows’ intestines. Ew!

Did you know that many foods contain a red food dye called cochineal/carnine? This red food dye coloring is found in some every day products, like coating on apples to make them redder, and many candies. This food dye is actually derived from insects. Makes you want to think twice about biting into a juicy red apple.

DHA-enriched products, such as milk, cheese, bread and even margarine and orange juice contain gelatin, so watch out.

Even some soy products (vegan must-haves due to the claim they contain no animal by-products) have casein in them, which is derived from milk. This means some soy products (such as some types of soy cheese) are not truly vegan, as they have milk by-products in them that are used to help the cheese alternatives melt.

Even regular white sugar in our daily diets (perhaps you put it in your coffee?) is filtered using bone char.

And get this- Amino L-cysteine, common in many breads and crackers to aid in preservation and freshness, is derived from animal feathers and/or hair! It’s enough to make you afraid of everything in your pantry that you think is normally free of animal parts.

These are just a few of the things in our daily food allowance that can have us consuming meat without realizing it. A product doesn’t have to state that it contains meat products, and can even say that it may contain vegetable fats OR lard, or not give a full disclosure of the coloring and flavoring additives in the product, depending on what it is.

The best way to approach this situation? Do your research on what you’re buying. Call the customer service numbers on the foods you’re concerned about and get ingredient confirmation, look them up online, and/or shop at truly vegan and vegetarian shops to make sure even the Omega 3s you’re consuming are vegetable-based as opposed to fish derived. Breads and other products will boast they are rich in Omega 3s but once again do not have to state where the Omegas come from. If you want to know for sure, do your research and find out.

You may not really be a vegetarian after all. Creepy, isn’t it?

Some Ways to Look Younger Naturally

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

There are lots of tips to looking younger than your years. Plastic surgery or having poison shot into your body to maintain a youthful look isn’t for everyone. Invasive surgery or other medical alternatives can be costly and dangerous. Here is a short list of healthy alternatives that will help to turn back the clock on your appearance.

Maintain a healthy weight. Getting lean will make you healthier and live an even longer life. Some cancer risks are eliminated by those that don’t carry excess fat cells. Fat cells also do other damage to your body. Type 2 diabetes is a risk due to the hormones that fat cells can produce. You could develop stiffening of your arteries, your heart or other vital organs because of cytokines which is a substance that fat cells make that cause inflammation.

Body frames are widely varied so it’s hard to determine a perfectly, healthy weight based on height. The best way to determine your particular healthy weight is to try and maintain a body mass index of 23.5.

Don’t let pain get you down. If you suffer with any type of chronic pain don’t try to ride it out. Consult your doctor and keep on until you get relief from pain. If you live with chronic pain you take a chance on lowering your immune system. Pain that isn’t treated can cause depression and make stress levels in your life higher; stress is not a youth promoting circumstance.

Take a walk for looking younger naturally. Just a short, brisk walk of about 30 minutes per day, only 5 days per week will get your blood pumping. Walking will add flexibility to your arteries. Just some form of mild exercising helps to prevent the risk of several life-threatening problems such as depression, diabetes, some types of cancers and maybe, even lessen the signs of dementia in older folks.

To help you in your fight to look younger don’t pass up the vegetables. There is nothing that you can eat that compares to the benefits of vegetables. You can eat up to nine servings of fruits and veggies daily to stock up on that antioxidant, youth enhancers as well as the cancer preventatives.

Eat fatty fish. It’s true that you can eat such seafood delights as lake trout and salmon for health and a younger looking appearance. These types of fish are loaded with the Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. There have been several studies conducted that show sudden death heart attacks have been prevented by having higher levels of DHA and EPA in your system. Age-related macular degeneration has been warded off in some people by eating an Omega-3 fatty acid rich diet.

Supplement your diet with vitamins, especially Vitamin D. Your body will produce Vitamin D in your skin when you are enjoying the sun but it slows down production of this vital nutrient with age. If you don’t have enough Vitamin D you could suffer from some risks such as multiple sclerosis or even osteoporosis.

Another tip to remain looking young is to give up the sunbathing. It might be all well and good to have that pool-side polished, bronze skin at 20 but by the time you are 40 your skin could have the look of worn leather. Tanning beds and booths are not the answer either; they are even more dangerous than the sun. Protection from the sun is important to maintain the elasticity of skin as well as slathering on the moisturizing lotion to exposed parts of your body. A sunscreen of SPF 15 is usually a good choice for most skin types.

Just a few tips and tricks to keep the look of youth is all it takes to erase years off your appearance.

Race, IQ and the Economics of Nutrition

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

On average, African Americans score fifteen points lower on IQ tests compared to Caucasian Americans. This very significant difference is often used as an excuse for anti-black racism, based in the unfounded belief that reduced IQs are the result of genetic inferiority. However, despite the racist assumptions of some studies and organizations, research may reveal that lower IQ is the result of inadequate prenatal and infant nutrition– not genetics.

Nutritional deficits are often severe in urban black communities, so they may play a role in the much higher rates of preterm birth among African American women. Black women are three to four times more likely to give birth to a baby who is premature compared to white women, leading to a number of problems pertaining to brain development. Infants born prematurely are at a high risk of developing cognitive delays and mental retardation– in other words, these issues become more common in black communities because the rates of preterm birth are so much higher.

The reason for the much higher rate of pregnancy complication in black women is a combination of higher smoking rates and nutritional deficits. The diet of many American women, regardless of race, is often critically low in folic acid, a B vitamin known to reduce the incidence of many birth defects and preterm labor. Since many low-income families are uninsured, early supplementation may be difficult or impossible to come by for women who lack the resources for receiving immediate prenatal care.

Additionally, the brain-building omega-3 fatty acid DHA, found in breastmilk and some formulas, is known to be critically important in maintaining proper brain development in infants, especially those who are premature. A lack of DHA in an infant’s diet is associated with a 7-point decrease in IQ, and may also be connected to disorders including dyslexia, autism, and ADD. Preterm babies who do not receive high amounts of DHA immediately following birth are especially likely to develop mental retardation and cognitive disorders.

African American mothers are less likely to breastfeed that white mothers, and this may be one of the biggest factors in incidence of reduced IQ within black communities. Until very recently, no infant formulas contained DHA. DHA is now found in many infant formulas and cereals, but they are generally more expensive, and their cost is rarely paid for by WIC, the USDA’s federal infant nutrition service. Many low-income and WIC-eligible families, regardless of race, are unable to afford DHA-fortified formulas– leading to lower average IQs within low-income families across the board.

One study, performed before the advent of DHA-fortified formulas, defended the racist assumptions of genetic inferiority because it found that black infants adopted into white families still had a lower IQ than their white siblings by 8 points. Given that this number is almost exactly the same as the average IQ reduction in formula-fed infants, it is quite clear that the delays were caused by DHA deficiency, not a racial genetic flaw. Because all adopted children were formula-fed during the time that this study took place, the link is painfully obvious.

DHA’s powerful brain-boosting powers are not limited to babies who have already been born, either, which is yet another sign that lower IQs among African Americans are the result of nutritional and socioeconomic factors. Several studies have revealed that women who do not recieve adequate levels of DHA are more likely to give birth to babies with reduced IQs and cognitive delays, making it a critical component of proper prenatal nutrition.

Because DHA is found mostly in expensive foods like salmon, and because supplements containing it are often prohibitively expensive, low-income pregnant women are more likely to be deficient in this essential fatty acid. Given the high incidence of poverty within black communities, it is no surprise that African American babies are more likely to have cognitive delays that result from inadequate prenatal nutrition.

As the U.S. celebrates our first president of African descent, we might ask ourselves whether or not we now live in a truly post-race society. Despite the fact that the United States now tries to maintain an illusion of being a colorblind society, a painful socioeconomic rift still prevents black children from receiving the nutrition necessary to support healthy brain development.

In a truly post-race world, America will not hide behind the lie that people of African descent are inferior to any other race: instead, the world will move toward guaranteeing excellent nutrition for all children, so that they may reach their fullest potential regardless of their skin-color or socioeconomic status. It is distinctly un-American for health and intellectual prowess to be commodities held only be the wealthy.

Sources: Race and Intellligence. McGraw-Hill. Hernstein and Murray. The Bell Curve. from Contemporary Psychology; Importance of Breastfeeding in Improving the Health of African-Americans. Journal of Multicultural Nursing and Health. Deborah McCarter-Spalding. Fall 2004; Bio-Medicine. Preterm Delivery More Common in African American Women. Eurekalert. Accessed 15 Jan 09.; Liz Szazbo. Study: DHA supplements may help baby girls. USA Today. 13 Jan 09.; Salynn Boyles. Omega-3 Essential for Baby’s Brain Development. WebMD Health News. 16 Jul 04. Folic Acid: American Pregnancy Association. Accessed 15 Jan 09.

Neevo DHA: New Prenatal Vitamin Gives Hope to High Risk Pregnancies

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

A new prescription prenatal vitamin is on the market and it may help put mothers-to-be who are higher risk pregnancies or who have experienced multiple miscarriages a little more at ease. Neevo DHA hit the market in the spring of 2010 and many obstetricians are already prescribing the prenatal vitamin to their patients. So what makes Neevo DHA different from the dozens of other prescription prenatal vitamins on the market? Check out this new prenatal and how it might help some high-risk pregnant women.

Monthly Prescribing Reference, an online and print resource for prescription medications describes Neevo DHA as being just for higher-risk pregnancies. They say, “It is indicated for nutritional supplement during pregnancy, prenatal, and postnatal periods in women with or at risk for folate 667C>T polymorphism and/or women who are associated with immediate to higher risk pregnancies.” Some women have difficulty absorbing folate or folic acid. Neevo DHA delivers folic acid in a different form, a form which many women who may be prone to non-absorption, can indeed absorb.

In addition to supplying folic acid to a pregnant woman in a different form, Neevo DHA also supplies a great amount of vitamin B12. According to the Neevo DHA website, “Neevo DHA provides a significantly higher amount [of B12] to aid in the production of red blood cells and to help metabolize homocysteine into methionine.” Both low levels of folic acid and homocysteine have been linked to early pregnancy loss.

Neevo DHA also contains all of the other essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy pregnancy. DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid which has been linked to healthy cognitive development in babies as well as a reduced risk of postpartum depression for the mother.

If you have special dietary needs, Neevo DHA will likely not interfere with them. Neevo DHA is certified kosher and it is gluten, lactose, and yeast free. Neevo DHA does have a downside, it is quite expensive. Even under my insurance plan, which isn’t too shabby, I pay $40 for a bottle of 30 pills. While this is over $1.00 per pill, it is a small price to pay to insure a healthy pregnancy and baby.

For this high-risk pregnant lady, Neevo DHA has indeed helped set my mind at ease a little. I have experienced pregnancy loss three times and each was incredibly painful. Knowing that I am trying something new and something that has benefits just for high-risk pregnancies has definitely helped ease my mind during the first trimester. Now at almost 13 weeks pregnant, I will continue to use Neevo DHA for the duration of what I hope and expect to be a happy, healthy pregnancy.


Natural Supplements and Their Role in Preventive Health Care

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Most of us take some sort of natural supplements in our life. This includes multivitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, etc. Most often, we happen to come across these supplements through self education and self awareness, googling, and occasionally from our primary care physicians.

This is a fundamental challenge for many who may not have the time to research into complementary and alternative medicine. Most people use their primary care physician as their only source for medical information. Unfortunately, doctors are very good with writing prescription drugs while staying clear of any natural supplements and look upon supplements as non-scientific.

This is well intended by our medical system to keep the thousands of supplements whose scientific evidence is weak and not licensed in the US to prevent, treat or cure any disease. However, the down side is all supplements unless they become part of an approved drug by the FDA, the US medical system and the doctors are trained not to prescribe these.

Take fish oil supplements as an example. A New York Times article published more than 3 years ago (2006) talked about how doctors prescribe fish oil after heart attacks in Europe but not in the U.S. It went on to say that in Italy it would be considered tantamount to malpractice if the doctor fails to prescribe fish oil.

Let us take a step back and look at the scientific evidence. Earlier this year (August 2009) cardiologists published benefits of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA from fish oil) in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology after reviewing data on four trials involving almost 40,000 participants. The results were overwhelming that omega-3 fatty acids help with the prevention of cardiovascular disease, in treatment after heart attack and, most recently, in heart failure patients.

Again just recently (October 2009), British and American researchers (Harvard University) discovered the possible mechanism as to why fish oil has shown strong benefits in inflammatory disorders. They found that the human body converts DHA, a key omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oils into Resolvin D2, a chemical which has been show to have anti-inflammatory properties.

This is just the summary of the latest research but there is substantial evidence of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly from fish for at least the last 10 years. Doctors in the US are still not necessary recommending fish oil supplements along with statins and other cholesterol lowering medications or for any inflammatory disorders where the evidence is strongest.

From a preventive health care perspective this is a particularly bad situation. If our health care system instead increased awareness and education around science based natural supplements, we would have less number of patients going to the doctor when their condition is much more severe leading to expensive medical treatments.

Even when compared to Europe, we are behind in adopting these complementary medicines. In countries like China and India, natural foods and supplements are part of the culture and this is a parallel track when getting treatment with modern medical care.

In summary, increasing self awareness and self education around natural supplements is one of the steps in reducing our overall health care costs in the long run. Our health care system needs to help us with providing educational resources without looking down on natural supplements. Let us hope the new health care system will encourage science based complementary medicine in their plan.

How to Maintain a Sunless Tan Without Exposure to UVA and UVB

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

It does not matter whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall men and women of all ages want to look and feel suntan. During the winter months our skin lightens from the lack of vitamin D that the sun provides for us naturally. We start looking pale. There are products that you can use to keep that suntan glow. This article is written as a guide on products that are good picks for maintaining a sunless tan through the fall and winter. These products can be found in stores like Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Victoria’s Secret, makeup counters and online.

Get Your Skin Ready
The first thing you need to do before you buy any sunless tan product is to make sure that your skin is healthy. All the sunless tanning products in the world are not going to help you look and feel better if your skin is not healthy. When we age our skin lightens in color. To keep that healthy suntan look we need to have circulation in our skin. Cells renew faster in your face than the rest of your body.

I would start with exfoliating your skin, especially the dry areas, to remove dead skin cells. I would also shave your legs the day before. After I shave my legs I always put moisturizer on them and they sometimes tingle depending on the brand of moisturizer I use. Give your hair follicles a day to heal before you use a sunless tanner to prevent any burning sensation. You should always do a spot test before you apply a sunless tanning product all over your body. This will help assure that you are not allergic to the product or that your skin is not sensitive to the product.

I suggest using rubber gloves or a self-tan application mitt when applying the tanning product to avoid discoloring your palms. Shake the bottle then massage the product in using a circular motion and apply evenly. Wait ten minutes before putting your clothes on to make sure the product is dry.

What Self-Tanning Products Should I Use?
Sunless tan products include items like bronzers, self-tanners, lotions, gels, sprays, mists, mousses, foams, towelettes, oils, powders, makeup and sticks similar to deodorant sticks. Lotions go on smoothly and last longer than the sprays, gels dry faster, sprays are popular but harder to use, and mousses do not contain much moisturizer. The towelettes are convenient and exfoliate.

Top 3 Best Reviewed Products on Consumer Research
St. Tropez Self-Bronzing Mousse, contains glycerin and aloe for added moisture. No bad smell. Best applied in the evening and washed off in the morning. Product comes with a free application mitt. Instant natural color, easy to apply and dries quickly. It can be purchased on Amazon 8 fl. oz. for $29.99. Other websites sell the product for $42 to $42.99.

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, best gradual sunless-tanning lotion. Looks natural and does not streak. It smells bad, takes 10 minutes to dry and three days to see a difference. It can be purchased on Amazon 4 fl. oz. for $5.30. Other websites sell the product for $9.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad for Body, the wipes claim to exfoliate, tan and moisturize. The color looks natural and lasts a week. This product extends the life of the tan. No strong odor. When used on fair skin color can turn orange. It can be purchased on Amazon 8 wipes for $45.00. Other websites sell the product for $35.99 to $49.

Sunless Tanners Runners Up include: Jergens Natural Glow & Protect Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 20 4 fl. oz. for $9, Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel 4.2 fl. oz. for $35, Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion 16 fl. oz. for $14, Tarte Brazilliance 5.5 fl. oz. for $37.

Sunless Tanners: Reviews.

Other brands that are proven to be the most effective at helping people maintain a tan without exposure to UVA and UVB
I went to Walmart to do my research. The Walmart store brand is Equate. I found four Equate products that compare to St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing and they are Self-Tan Bronzing Lotion with Aloe Vera 4 fl. oz. for $7.98, Self-Tan Bronzing Spray for a natural-looking golden tan 6.7 fl. oz. for $7.98, Self-Tan Foaming Mousse golden color, never orange, instant color 4 fl. oz. for $7.98, Self-Tan Flawless Legs Spray for airbrushed looking legs and a natural looking tan 2.5 fl. oz. for $7.98. Walmart Equate brand also had a Tan Applicator Mitt that can be hand or machine washed in cool water for $4.48. There was a Flavours Sunless Tan Corrector that corrects self-tanner mistakes 6 fl. oz. for $8.97.

Walmart carried Loreal Bronzers in lotions, gels, mists, moisturizers and towelettes ranging in price from $8.47 to $9.47. Neutrogena came in build a tan gradual sunless lotion where you control your shade 6.7 fl. oz. for $8.97. Neutrogena also had micro mist airbrush sunless tan in a medium and deep shade 5.3 fl. oz. for $9.87. Coppertone Sunless Tanning came in a gradual tan moisturizing lotion for a flawless natural-looking tan you control 9 fl. oz. for $7.67. Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning came in a lotion and a mist ranging in price from $6.44 to $6.67. There was Ocean Potion SunCare Tanning Safe Bed xtreme tanning xcelerator spray gel with instant bronzer 8.5 fl. oz. for $6.47 and xtreme tanning intensifier lotion with instant bronzer 8.5 fl. oz. for $6.67. There was a new Salon Formula EG European Gold Dark Tanning that came in bronzers, lotions and a dual chamber product that ranged in price from $5.47 to $9.97. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs instant spray-on makeup, dries in 60 seconds, came in shades tan glow, medium glow and deep glow 4.4 fl. oz. for $11.74.

Main Product found in all Sunless Tanning Products
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a safe sugar found in all sunless tanning products. DHA interacts with dead cells in the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, to produce a temporary darker skin color, a sunless tan. The FDA has approved dihydroxyacetone for external use to the skin, but they have not approved the use of this product near the eyes, mouth or nose. DHA has an odor that people smell when they use the sunless tanning products.

Are sunless tanning pills safe?
Avoid sunless tanning pills because they are unsafe. They contain the color additive canthaxanthin, which can cause your skin to turn orange or brown and cause hives, liver damage and impaired vision.

Sunless tanning: What you need to know.

How to Maintain Your Tan
Once you achieve your sunless tan a good way to keep it is to moisturize every day. Swimming in chlorinated pools will fade your tan faster. Chlorine is bleach. To maintain your color you need to reapply the product once a week. For areas of skin, like wrinkles, that are darker than other areas you can apply hydrogen peroxide, baking soda or whitening toothpaste to lighten them to help achieve an even tan.

Sunless tanning products are not better than the natural sun but I would think they are better than sitting under a tanning bed, which exposes you to UV light. These products work in two ways: you can wash them off with soap and water and they can stain your skin and only come off as cells renew.

What is UVA and UVB?
Earlier I stated DHA interacts with dead cells in the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, to produce a temporary darker skin color, a sunless tan. Melanocytes are in the outermost layer of your skin. When melanocytes are exposed to UVB, short wave ultraviolet, they produce the pigment, melanin. When melanin is exposed to UVA, longer wave ultraviolet, it oxidizes or darkens. This reaction is your skins way of protecting itself from too much UV light.

Most of these sunless tanning products do not contain sunscreen and do not protect against sunburn. To reduce your risk of skin-aging, skin cancer and other harmful effects use sunscreen, wear protective clothing and limit sun exposure when using these products. Products that contain sunscreen are only effective for a couple of hours and have to be reapplied.

Self-Tanning Foods
A British study found that people who ate the most fruits and vegetables had golden skin that was rated healthier looking than when they had a suntan. When you eat a lot of carotenoid rich produce like carrots and plums many of those excess carotenoids are stored in the fat just beneath your skin, where their pigments peek through and give you a healthy glow that mimics a tan. It takes about two months of a produce-heavy diet to get a golden sunless tan. Experts recommend eating at least five servings of produce a day to get the effects. I have included the link below if you would like to read the study.

Resources for Further Reading:
University of Nottingham (2011, January 12). Eating vegetables gives skin a more healthy glow than the sun, study shows. ScienceDaily.
Carotenoid and melanin pigment coloration affect perceived human health.

How DHA Benefits Your Body

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Docosahexanoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, is an essential fatty acid to our own bodies. It is the primary building block of the brain and the eyes, and has multiple other functions in your body. DHA has also been linked with memory, vision, cardiovascular health, and controlling cholesterol. Your body does not produce DHA, so you need to obtain it from your diet. It naturally occurs in fish oils. Please make sure if you are going to take a supplement that it is pharmaceutical grade, and please obtain it from a reputable source. High quality fish oil supplements will not contain the mercury and PCBs that are a concern with eating fish. This article is intended to summarize some of the major benefits of DHA to your body, but should not be taken as medical advice.

• Pregnancy and Childhood Benefits of DHA

DHA is necessary for the building of a baby’s brain, nervous system and eyes. A baby in utero needs to get DHA from his or her mother, and newborns need to receive it from breast milk or formula supplemented with DHA. (“DHA in Pregnancy: Should You Supplement?”) DHA is also important for the mom-to-be as well. Research shows that babies whose diets include a wealth of essential fats as well as infants born to mothers whose diets contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids seem to have an edge in early development. (“Pregnant? Omega-3 Essential for Baby’s Brain”) Your baby needs this for his brain and eyes, do you really need to know anything else?

• Healthy Nervous System Benefits

DHA is a major structural component of the brain and nervous system – it is the most abundant omega 3 fatty acid in the brain. DHA is necessary for healthy communication between the brain and nervous system, and when your brain lacks DHA, the system starts to break down. (“Get Omega 3 Fish Oil (Starring DHA and EPA) for a Healthy Brain”) DHA as a supplement can also contribute to improving memory. According to a recent study from Martek Biosciences, daily supplementation with DHA may improve memory function. The results of their random, double blind survey done on almost 500 people noted that healthy people who took DHA supplements for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance. (“Omega-3 DHA Boost Memory for Healthy Adults, Not Alzheimer’s Sufferers”) Healthy brain communication and improved memory function, not too bad for one supplement.

• Cholesterol Benefits and Cardiovascular Health

The higher your LDL cholesterol level (your “bad” cholesterol level, that is), the higher your risk of heart attack and stroke. Conversely, the higher your level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, the lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. So anything that helps to lower your LDL or raise your HDL must be good, right? Some studies have shown that volunteers on a DHA-enriched regimen showed an increase in HDL cholesterol, the kind that protects your heart against heart disease, as well as a reduction in triglyceride levels (a high level of triglycerides may increase your risk of heart disease). (“DHA Lowers Blood Triglycerides in Diet Study”) Pretty good news, right?

In a separate study, volunteers who took DHA on a regular basis achieved lower levels of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol), thereby decreasing their risk of heart attack and stroke. (“Understanding How DHA Benefits the Body”) DHA has also been shown to contribute to a healthy resting heart rate as well as a normal blood pressure. (“DHA Benefits for Cardiovascular Health”) Low LDL, high HDL, lower triglycerides and a healthy resting heart rate – all good news thanks to DHA.

I hope you found this information helpful in explaining the benefits of DHA to your body. For smarter babies, better memory and a lower risk of heart attacks, DHA seems like the way to go. But again, please don’t take this article as medical advice.

Source List

Author: Catherine Holecko

Page Title: DHA in Pregnancy: Should You Supplement

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Author: Salynn Boyles

Page Title: “Pregnant? Omega-3 Essential for Baby’s Brain”

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Author: No author listed

Page Title: “Get Omega 3 Fish Oil (Starring DHA and EPA) for a Healthy Brain”

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Author: Gary Nelson, Darshan Kelley

Page Title: “DHA Lowers Blood Triglycerides in Diet Study”

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Author: No author listed

Page Title: “DHA Benefits – Understanding How DHA Benefits the Body”

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Author: No author listed

Page Title: “DHA Advantage. DHA Benefits for Cardiovascular Health”

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Health Benefits of DHA

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

With so much emphasis on watching fat in your diet, it is very easy to become overwhelmed on the information highway. Saturated fat is present in meat and dairy products and we only need that in moderation. We usually get way too much of it, and the liver cannot get rid of it and it is stored on our bodies as excess fat. Mono and unsaturated fats are the “good” fats that help clean up the “bad” fats, such as saturated fats. Cholesterol is actually an essential part of the diet, used in the making of some female hormones and cell membranes. However, we generally take in, again, way too much of it. Trans fats are the absolute worst type of fat as our bodies do not metabolize it at all, so it stays floating in our arteries forever. This is why it is so bad and should be virtually eliminated. Trans fat is actually a man made fat.

Docasahexaenoic acid (DHA)is an omega 3 fatty acid naturally found in breast milk, algae, and fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna and herring. This means that it is a type of “healthy” fat. Biochemically the omega fatty acids are a group of protein like fats that are essentially very long carbon chains with an acid group at one end The body uses them for various functions such as cell integrity and maintenance.

According to the National Institute of Health, DHA is vital in pregnancy for the normal development of the fetal brain and nervous system. Its effectiveness into infancy and early childhood are also endorsed by the NIH to further uphold the development of brain and neurological function, as well as development of the retina of the eye. Without it, developmental problems occur and vision can be vastly disrupted. The visual aspect is not always correctable with the fitting of eyeglasses. The lack of DHA has also been associated with sudden infant syndrome, as well, the NIH states on its website.

In older children, a lack of DHA has been proven, again by the NIH, to contribute to attention deficit disorders, depression, hostility and cystic fibrosis.

In adults, low levels of DHA has been associated with cognitive decline with aging, onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and increased death rates in cardiovascular disease. According to the NIH and, DHA has also proven to be beneficial in cases of high blood pressure, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, depression, atherosclerosis (because of the aid in reduction of the “bad” fats) and adult onset diabetes.

Interestingly, the NIH claims DHA is effective in tumor reductions in size in certain cancers, such as breast and prostate. Wow, this stuff is great, right?

Now, there is some controversy on the daily requirement doses, but generally right now, the NIH is recommending 20-50mg daily for infants and children. As I said, it is present in breast milk and fatty fish. Salmon has a whopping 600 mg per 3 ounce serving. Since the fatty fish recommended are sometimes high in mercury, a toxic heavy metal, it can accumulate in body tissues, therefore, it is recommended that children and pregnant women get their DHA from other sources. Of course, occasional meals of fatty fish are great for kids or moms to be if they like it, but limit it to no more than three times a month. Other good natural sources are algae derived sources of DHA such as fortified milk, like Horizon organic milk, Rachel’s yogurt, Beech Nut stage 2 baby foods, Silk soy milk, and other soy products. Vegetarians rejoice! These algae derived sources are wonderful choices for you as well as those who are not crazy about fish. (I personally love salmon, but not herring).

I recommend reading all nutritional labels before buying any food, anyway, but if you want to increase your intake of DHA, check food nutritional labels. There are also many DHA and/or fish oil supplements available at health food stores, nutritional warehouses and drug stores. Just a personal tip, shop around for best prices. Look for a good quality supplement without unnecessary additives and a minimum of 100mg per adult dose of DHA. Docosahexaenoic acid is also present in other supplements that also include omega 6 or omega 9 fatty acids and capsules labelled “fish oil” supplements. The most expensive product is not necessarily the best. Once your body digests the supplement down to its molecular compounds, it is metabolized in exactly the same way, so save your money!

The addition of DHA to the diet of pregnant women, infants, children and adults is a brainy choice.