What Are Omegas and Why Do I Need Them?
There are two types of Omegas, Omega-3 and Omega-6, and it’s very important that you understand the difference.
Omega-6 is found in corn, soy, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. Our diets today are heavy in omega-6 with high fructose corn syrup being a major ingredient in processed foods. Omega-6 breakdown in the body as follows:
PGE1 are anti-inflammatory in the body, whereas, PGE2 are inflammatory in the body. PGE2 have been linked to fibrosis, pain, degenerative join disease (arthritis), vascular disease, decreased immune function, free radicals, and cancer. Omega-6 breaks down in the body to Delta-5-Deatorase (D5D) when the insulin levels in the body are high, but this production is inhibited when eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) levels are high and the omega-6 breaks down into the PGE1 instead.
There are three types of omega-3: Alphalinolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3s are found in flaxseed, walnut, anchovies, tuna, trout, sable fish, herring, sardines, salmon, mackerel, and hemp oil. Omega-3s need gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) for absorption into the body.
Omega-3s are extremely beneficial and essential at all stages of life. During pregnancy, breastfeeding mothers, childhood, and adults all have the need for omega-3s in their diets.
Omega-3s have the following benefits:
- Develops the nervous system in the fetus during pregnancy
- Maintains the nervous system health
- Improved immune system function
- Helps to maintain a positive mood by affecting serotonin and dopamine levels
- Decreased postpartum depression
- Prevents UV damage to the skin
- Decreased joint stiffness
- Anti-inflammatory in the body
- Decreased the risk of heart attack, stroke, asthma, kidney disease and diabetes
- Decreased signs of dementia
- Improves mental processing and development in children
- Decreased allergies when infants are breastfed by mothers who have omega-3s in their diet
- Decreased risk of pre-term delivery
- Easier births
- Increased brain and eye health
- Establishes baby’s cell membranes for long-term wellness
- Decreased bedwetting in children
- Increased motor function in children
- Helps children who suffer from learning difficulties, behavioral problems, and psychosocial issues
- Decreased symptoms of dyslexia, ADD and ADHD
- Increased children’s improvements in spelling, reading, and behavior
- Decreased risk of cancers (uterus, breast, colon, and skin especially)
- Decreased risk of toxemia, hypertension, and muscular degeneration
Today’s diet contains 80% less omega-3s as it did a century ago. These are essential to our health and the health of our children. Start making the change in your diet today for your family’s healthy future.
[/toggle] [toggle open="false" title="Ear Infections: What's the Best Treatment?
Acute Otitis Media (ear infections) are the most common upper respiratory condition treated in pediatric offices today. Sadly, the majority of children will automatically be placed on an antibiotic despite growing evidence that suggests there is only a marginal benefit from this form of care.
In the 1950s the use of antibiotics saved the lives of millions of people; however this overuse created resistant bacteria. There is now a new realm of powerful diseases that we are unable to fight with existing antibiotics. These resistant bacteria travel and spread easily around day care centers and schools. Antibiotics have many possible side effects, including diarrhea, malabsorption, cramping, yeast infections, agitation, rashes and blood disorders. By wiping out the majority of the normal bacteria in the body, antibiotics leave patients, especially children, vulnerable to other infections.
Each course of antibiotics given to a child can make future infections harder to treat and create resistant bacteria that can be passed to other members of the family or to their peers. Scientific evidence has found that 80% of children who suffer from an ear infection with a high temperature or vomiting will improve within 24-48 hours simply by allowing their own bodies to naturally fight the infection. Another study found that treating ear infections with antibiotics compared to doing nothing resulted in the same outcome. The outcomes that were compared were parent satisfaction with care, number of days missed of school, number of visits to the doctor, or the reoccurrence rate after 30 days.
Taking preventative steps to boost your child’s immune system is the key. Making necessary diet changes can be beneficial, such as avoiding dairy and high sugar foods. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend parents play an active role in preventing Acute Otitis Media by:
- Altering child care attendance
- Breastfeeding for a minimum of 6 months
- Avoiding supine bottle feeding (bottle propping)
- Reducing or eliminating pacifier use in the second 6 months of life
- Eliminating the exposure to passive smoke
Chiropractic care is also a vital component in maintaining your family’s health. A case study of multiple children with acute otitis media found that chiropractic care had excellent outcomes with no residual complications. Multiple studies have been conducted that have found over a 93% improvement rate for children under chiropractic care. Chiropractic care directly and indirectly affects the nervous system by removing interference in the body. When the body is able to function optimally, the body can heal from the inside out naturally.
Have your child’s spine checked by your chiropractor today to keep them healthy for a lifetime!
- Palmer L. Antibiotics and Ear Infections. Pathways. 01 Sept 2009;23. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/wellness-articles/antibiotics-and-ear-infections.html
- Mercola J. Treating an Ear Infections. Pathways. 01 Mar 2007;13. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/wellness-articles/treating-an-ear-infection.html
- Neustaedter R. Ear Infections: Antibiotics Not Necessary. Pathways. 01 Sept 2005;7. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/wellness-articles/ear-infections-antibiotics-not-necessary.html.
- Arnig C. Antibiotics and the Aware Parent. Pathways. 01 June 2004;2. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/wellness-articles/antibiotics-and-the-aware-parent.html.
- Fysh PN. Chronic Recurrent Otitis Media: Case Series of Five Patients with Recommendations for Case Management. J Clinical Chiro Ped. 1996;1(2). [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/chiropractic-research/chronic-recurrent-otitis-media-case-series-of-five-patients-with-recommenation-for-case-management.html.
- Vallone S, Fallon JM. Treatment Protocols for the Chiropractic Care of Common Pediatric Conditions: Otitis Media and Asthma. J Clinical Chiro Ped. 1997;2(1):113-115. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/chiropractic-research/treatment-protocols-for-the-chiropractic-care-of-common-pediatric-conditions-otitis-media-and-asthma.html.
- Froehle RM. Ear Infections: A retrospective Study Examining Improvement from Chiropractic Care and Analyzing Influencing Factors. J Manip Physiol Ther. 1996 Mar-Apr;19(3):169-177. [cited 1/16/13] http://icpa4kids.org/chiroprcatic-reasearch/ear-infections-a-retrospective-study-examining-improvement-from-chiropractic-care-and-analyzing-influencing-factors.html.