Urinary Tract Infections: Natural Solutions

Urinary tract infections are not something we sit around the dinner table discussing, but google searching on the internet, that’s another story. Believe it or not, this topic is one of the most highly searched health terms. That means, you are not alone, and let’s hope there’s valuable information out there. When I asked my audience on media the other day what conditions they wanted information for, this was what they decided! I had NO CLUE that so many people were interested in UTI solutions, but considering that if many people get them, especially women, elderly, and men with BPH, I shouldn’t be surprised. The other thing to take note of is that if you get them, they often reoccur, which means antibiotics over and over again if you go a traditional treatment route and are unable to prevent them.

Let’s get down to business.

What causes Urinary Tract Infections?

The short answer? E. coli getting into the urinary tract, penetrating the cell lining and taking up shop. This is just another case of infection due to bacterial overgrowth.

How do you treat or prevent Urinary Tract Infections?

This is where visiting a doctor who can diagnose the infection and evaluate the severity is important. If there is a severe active infection, you may want to consider antibiotics as the treatment option that is needed because no one wants it to progress into a kidney infection! However, if it is somewhat early and benign, you may be able to get away with an antimicrobial combo like Uva Ursi and Berberine to get the job done.

In the case of prevention, my preference in practice is the use of cranberry extract that contains at least 36mg PAC (proanthocyanidins). These plant compounds found in cranberries have the ability to attach to E. coli and PREVENT them from attaching to the lining in the urinary tract. Having said that, that’s why we use this in folks who have the tendency to get them over and over. You know you want prevention for these patients, and cranberry extract supplements tend to be a great solution! Studies show that if you combine a cranberry extract with 36mg PACs with a broad spectrum probiotic, that it has even slightly better prevention rates (which were already great!) I’m pretty transparent about the supplement industry and what is pretty standard across the board and what you need to be intentional about in terms of quality, and this is one that is notorious for not having many PACs when tested. Be sure to ask your doc for a good cranberry extract!

In addition to antimicrobials for treatment or cranberry extracts for prevention, whether they be prescriptive or natural, you want to make sure to do implement the follow lifestyle habits:

  • drink plenty of water because hydration will help drive urination, flushing out the urinary tract
  • urinate after intercourse
  • wipe front to back, ladies. You don’t want anything bacterial from the back entering the front.
  • steer clear of too much sugar and simple carbs in your diet, because that tends to be a fuel source that bacteria thrive on!
  • take a probiotic or eat fermented foods to help keep your internal environment balanced

Implement these simple solutions, and you could avoid a trip to the doc, another round of antibiotics, and all of the time you waste not being able to pee, having burning during urination, or pain in the back and pelvis!

Natural Tricks to Jet Lag or Resetting Your Circadian Rhythms

I have been traveling more than ever the past couple months and it seems that everywhere I go changes time zones.  I happen to be fairly lucky in the department of falling asleep and adjusting quickly; however, there are natural tricks that you can use to your advantage if you suffer from time changes.  Try to stay away from habit-forming pharmaceuticals that artificially alter your sleep-wake patterns because they end up doing you more harm than good long term.

  1. Eat on schedule.  Have breakfast when you want your body to start waking up and quit eating a couple hours before you want to fall asleep.  Even if this means eating at weird times as you a traveling back.  Much of your sleep/wake cycle is regulated by hormones and chemicals that your gut bacteria play a part in creating.  The bacteria living in your gut can’t see light though, so they use signals from you to tell what time it is.  When you eat, it signals to them that it is waking hours and they follow suit.
  2. Wear glasses that block blue light.  Many people are familiar with the glasses like Felix Gray that block blue light from computer screens, but most probably don’t use this to their advantage for jet lag.  Just like eating signals to your gut bacteria that it’s time to be awake, blue light exposure tells them and your body that it is daylight.  This is why people wear glasses to block computer light at night.  If they don’t, they can have trouble sleeping because that light is a signal to your internal clock to produce cortisol.  Cortisol is a hormone in the body that spikes when you wake up and gradually decreases throughout the day until it hits rock bottom at night.  When it is low, you get sleepy.  (If you’re a person that suffers from mid-day fatigue, then you may see this dip in cortisol happen in the middle of the day on labs, which explains why you’re ready for a nap!)  If you wear blue blocking lenses when you want to start falling asleep and keep them off when you want to be wide awake, it will help adjust those cortisol patterns.
  3. Take melatonin.  Just like blue light stimulates cortisol to make you feel awake, lack of blue light dampens cortisol and allows melatonin to rise.  When the sun goes down and your cortisol plummets, that’s melatonin’s signal to increase.  You should have high melatonin around the time you want to go to bed.  You can artificially mimic this by taking melatonin supplements before you want to go to bed.  This will make people drowsy.  Melatonin is a hormone, so you would not want to rely on this for long-term sleep aid, but it is helpful in resetting jet lag.  If you take too much, you could end up having vivid dreams or waking up with a “hang over.”  So, start with small doses and work your way up as needed.
  4. Go outside.  Following the suns schedule is a powerful tool to get in synch with the normal rhythms of the Earth.  If you get up to watch the sunrise and go out to watch the sunset, you’d be amazed how quickly you fall into place.  This happens mostly because of the light exposure having an impact on your cortisol and melatonin ratios.
  5. Exercise intensely when you want me to waking up. When you exercise, it raises cortisol levels just like light does, so if you time your exercise for when you want to be awake first thing, then your body will tend towards a cortisol spike during that time.  This will wake your body up, and help you fall asleep at night when the time is right.
  6. Have caffeine in the morning.  Once again, we want cortisol to be spiking when you would be waking up.  Caffeine stimulates cortisol production, so having a cup of coffee when you WANT your body to be waking up will help put that circadian rhythm back on track.  That also means avoiding it when you would want your body to be getting sleepy.

These practical tips are easy to do if you think about them ahead of time and plan.  I can’t emphasize enough how important light exposure is in trying to reset your internal clock, so if you can do things that make your body think it’s light when you want to be awake and dark when you want to sleep, the better off you’ll be.  Shift work and time zone changes is one of the hardest thing you can do your body and actually contributes to earlier death and heart attacks.  So, while this is somewhat necessary at times for work or travel, you should try to avoid it as much as possible.  Your immune system actually functions on this same rhythm, so having your body produce cortisol at the wrong times will actually dampen your immune system during those times, too.  This is one reason many people get sick when traveling.  Not only are you often stuck on a plane with recycled air from tons of individuals, but you are throwing off your body’s normal rhythm to fight infections and create immune cells.  This is something to really consider especially if you have disorders of the immune system, like autoimmunity.  Your immune system reacts to your cues, so try to make them as easily translatable as you can to what normal cycles are.

I hope this helps!

Flu Prevention 101

2018 Flu Pandemic.  In full swing.  What should we do?

Well, flu statistics tell us that February is the month with the highest rate on infections.  So, the worst is yet to come.  Pharmacies are having difficulties keeping Tamiflu in stock, and they are saying this could be the worst flu season since the bird flu scare.  As a functional medicine practitioner, I have never been a fan of the flu shot for a couple reasons:

  1. The flu shot is a vaccine that we produce BEFORE flu season.  This means that we GUESS which pathogen will be the issue, and we are notoriously wrong.  That means that massive amounts of people are convinced to get a shot that includes adjuvants.  What are those?  Things that wake up the immune system.  Often times they use things like components of an egg.  It always makes me wonder if they has anything to do with why so many people have egg allergies now.  It’s just not normal to have egg anything in the bloodstream and it actually makes sense that the immune system would recognize this as abnormal and produce antibodies against it.  Hello food sensitivities.   Anyway, that’s exactly what happened this year.  We dispersed vaccines against a strain that was not the correct one.  So, even if you had a flu shot, you are just as susceptible as everyone else.  Sorry, Charlie.
  2. The flu vaccine was created specifically for immunocompromised populations.  The elderly, HIV patients, you know, people that will DIE if they catch the flu.  However, a healthy individual may be down for a few days, but then they will be fine.  We shouldn’t need to intervene with toxic therapies.

We can’t take back the fact that the vaccine was against the wrong strain.  So, is there anything we can do now?  Yup.  Here are my tips for preventing and treating the flu naturally and effectively:

  1. Wash Your Hands.  When you go around touching surfaces and then touching your face, you expose your mucus membranes to all the organisms that may have been resting on those ledges, hand rails, door handles, dollar bills, pens, you name it. So, washing your hands before you eat is huge deal right now.  Just do it.
  2. Eat plenty of plants and organ meats.  Plants are full of phytochemicals that keep your immune system robust.  Spices also contain compounds that can stimulate the immune system, so use them generously.  Organ meats (from appropriately-raised animals) are full of fat soluble vitamins like A and D.  These are heavy-hitters for the immune system.  They also have minerals like Zinc.  Zinc is a well-known immune-supporting mineral, which is why zinc lozenges adorn the shelves of every pharmacy.
  3. Get 8 hours of sleep.  When you sleep, cortisol levels go down.  When you wake up, cortisol levels go up.  Cortisol levels are inversely related to immune system function.  That means that you immune system is allowed to its best work at night when cortisol is down.  If you deprive yourself of sleep, then you don’t do much to support your immune system’s ability to fight infection.  Why do you think people just want to stay in bed when they are sick?  Sleep matters.
  4. Take supplements.  I’m not a huge supplement person, but there are a couple supplements to consider in these types of situations.  The first one is colostrum.  Colostrum contains antibodies.  The antibodies have the ability to bind up viral antigens like those present in influenza to eliminate them before they would get into your bloodstream.  The other supplement is one that has a mixture of herbs and nutrients that specifically support immune function.  You should be looking for beta-carotene, zinc, Vitamin C alongside herbs like Echinacea and Andrographis.  If you feel the slightest tickle in your throat or “off-ness” start taking an immune stimulating formula right away.

A word of advice:

The flu is caused by a virus, which means antibiotics have absolutely zero impact on it’s treatment.  If you have confirmed flu, consider denying the antibiotics and letting it run its course if you are healthy.  Most people will be just fine.  Keep hydrated, get rest, get some nutrients, and consider taking some supplements to boost immune function, but DO NOT take antibiotics and expect them to treat your flu.  What they will do is wipe out the healthy bacteria in your gut that is fighting for you  It will take 3 months to rebuild that bacteria, so think about it!

Cheers to a happy and healthy winter season!

Patient Journey: Eczema

  1. What health issues were you struggling with when you began to work with Dr. Angela?

I had food sensitivities like getting a headache within minutes after eating something sweet.  If I ate a mainly pasta meal, I would go into what I call a “Food Coma.”  This felt like I had been majorly drugged with plummeting energy levels and brain fog.  This would last about 15-20 minutes and my heartbeat would pound really hard.  After 20 minutes I would start to come out of it and about 20 minutes later feel completely normal, but sometimes I would have like a numb tingling all over my body for about a half hour afterwards.  I also would get terrible hemorrhoids.  My digestion was an issue.  Some foods I wouldn’t digest at all.  My energy levels were way down and it was awful to get up in the morning.  I would have to drink an energy drink just to get through the morning.  I was also slowly gaining weight.  And I had Eczema which is a horrible itchy skin problem.   If I didn’t put on my medicated steroid prescription cream for a week my skin would start breaking out.  Felt like someone was stabbing me from the inside of my skin, and the only thing that provided even a minute of relief was to scratch and scratch to the point of ripping my skin open.   I had Cystic Acne around my neck and ears and had Psoriasis on my scalp from time to time.


  1. What treatment methods had you tried prior to Dr. Angela’s program?                                                      When I was a kid a dermatologist prescribed a steroid cream to control my skin problem and it worked as long as I kept putting it on.   I had also learned a few principles of healthy eating and was taking vitamins and fish oil but nothing really worked that great.


  1. What health benefits did you gain from working with Dr. Angela?

My Eczema is gone!!!  My energy levels are up, and I lost 20-25 pounds with very little exercise.  I am not bloated anymore.  Didn’t realize I was continuously bloated until about 3 weeks into the program when the bloating left. My physical stamina has gone up and I can run farther and longer than I ever have in my life without getting side aches.  I am a professional juggler, and it used to take about an hour of practice to warm up before a show, now I only need about 10-20 minutes tops.

4. What was your biggest struggle during the transition to a healthier lifestyle?                                    Friends and family who didn’t believe this program would help me.   But as long as I had support from Dr. A who promised to stick with me for a full year and answer any questions I had through text messages, then it didn’t matter what my friends and family said.

5. What did you find most beneficial to you in the program?

The scientific physiological explanations as to why my body is doing what it is doing like leaky gut syndrome, and how that leads to an autoimmune response.   Also understanding how stress and not enough sleep plays a huge big role in physical health breakdown.  Understanding “WHY?” is what most helped me get onto the path of healing. The documentaries and books where helpful to fill in the gaps of the food industry.

6. Did your food options taste good?                                                                                                                                       Yes!!  Very much so. I eat waaaayyyy better tasting food now then I used too!

7. Did you have an ah-ha moment that helped you commit to the change? If so, what was it?           Yes 2 of them.    When Dr. A explained why the steroid cream worked to control my Eczema, and what it was doing in my body I was so upset that I was literally in tears the next day because of the realization of how I had been unknowingly abusing my body!!   2.  After I cut out processed sugar and then later restricted the amount of fruit I was eating and then cut out fruit all together for a little while, I was astounded at how the excess weight just fell off.

8. If you were going to give a piece of advice to someone on the fence of following a program like Dr. Angela’s, what would you say to them in order to help them decide?                                                                         If you are skeptical about Angela’s program I understand and totally relate.  It took me a long time to think it over and decide to do it.  There is a lot of medical quackery in the natural health world and lots of people in it who don’t know what they are talking about.   After taking Dr. A’s program I was able to see that I had learned a distorted version of the truth in the past when I first started studying natural health.  A has first hand experience helping many people overcome physical conditions.  She has all of the training any medical doctor has as well as an understanding of how the body works and how nutrition affects all parts of the body.  She doesn’t treat symptoms like my family doctor did to me.  She treats the underlying causes and takes time to get to understand you and your situation and your needs so that she can give you the care you need. When you talk to Dr. A, you’re not talking to an uneducated inexperienced novice.   With all of that said, it can be scary to make changes.  Food can be emotional for some people.  But I want to encourage you that it’s worth it!!  Dr. A gave me a quality of life I will enjoy the rest of my life.



Supplementation: Probiotics

Probiotics are one of the essential supplements that everyone should be taking.  Most people do not realize that they have 10 times more bacteria in their body than they do cells!  There’s about 1kg of probiotic bacteria in the intestines alone, and about 90% of your immune function is dictated by bacteria levels.  Most people have come across a yogurt label that says L. acidophilus.  That is just one strain of healthy probiotic that lives in our body.  In addition to the healthy bacteria, there are also infectious bacteria strains living in our bodies.  Everyone reading this post right now has Strep. in their throat and E. coli in their stool.  However, most of you probably do not have Strep throat or explosive diarrhea!  What’s the difference between those that have an infection and those that simply have the bacteria but NOT the infection?  It comes down to the balance of bacteria levels.  If the levels of the good bacteria outweigh the levels of bad bacteria, then sickness stays at bay.

If bacteria levels have so much influence on our immune function, what can we do to ensure we have enough?  Every time you put something in your mouth, you are deciding whether to feed the good bacteria or the bad bacteria.  Guess what the good bacteria like to eat?  Fruits and vegetables!  Guess what the bad bacteria like to eat?  Sugar!  So, every time you choose a donut, cookie, pasta or sandwich over a salad, apple, or guacamole (had to throw in my favorite snack), you are choosing to HELP THE BAD BACTERIA REPLICATE!  If anyone has ever been in a biology lab, they know that the best way to grow infectious bacteria quickly is to put it on a petri dish full of agar (aka sugar).  Think of your gut as a petri dish, and the environment within it decides which bacteria will grow. Plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha all have very high levels of probiotics in them.  Fermented foods are great sources of good bacteria; however, most people do not consume significant amounts of these foods on a daily basis.  In addition, if you take an antibiotic, drink alcohol, consume medications or have high levels of stress, you are negatively affecting good bacteria levels in your gut.  As a result, I find most people benefit from supplementing with a probiotic.

I encourage people to take a multi-strain probiotic.  That means that when you look at the label, it has at least 5 weird names on the back.  I also advise patients to take 1 capsule a day for maintenance.  Our capsules contain 22 billion live, active cultures.  Often times, patients will bring me the probiotic that they purchased at a convenience store, and I quickly point out that they would have to be taking 10 pills in order to get the amount of organisms needed.  What seemed like a cost-effective alternative has now cost more in the long run.  Also, probiotics that you find at doctor’s offices are highly regulated in terms of temperature regulation at the production facility, refrigeration during storage, and cooling mechanisms during the shipping process.  Once the probiotics are in a temperature controlled facility, their bacteria levels are guaranteed until the expiration date on the label.  Bacteria quickly die when exposed to excessive heat.  If you purchase a bottle of bacteria from a store that has not ensured its temperature regulation, you may be wasting your money on dead probiotics!  I also encourage patients to take them away from meals in order to ensure the least amount of digestive activity; this allows more active cultures to make it to the intestinal tract.

If you are someone who has digestive issues, an autoimmune disease, ear infections, autism, or chronic infections, you need probiotics the most!  I hope this clears up some confusion about what probiotics are and why they are important, but I encourage you to leave me questions! Once again, the “store” tab on the blog has suggestions for my favorite brands that I use with patients including Orthobiotic, PrescriptAssist, and Biokult.  I have different reasons for choosing different brands with people, but they are all generally good.  It’s also a good idea to rotate your probiotics to increase strain exposure.  If you have been taking one kind for months, try switching to a new kind this month.

Supplementation: Whole Food Multivitamin

When it comes to supplements, most people fall on one end of the spectrum: poor quality and not enough, or high quality but WAY too many!  There is so much confusion about what to take, how much to take, etc.  Like I said before, supplements are to be used to enhance a healthy, well-rounded diet and not in place of nutrients.  However, there are some supplements that everyone should be taking because getting adequate amounts through foods is unrealistic or impossible.  I’m going to start with your “multivitamin.”  When I ask patients what they are taking in terms of supplements, this is the most common answer.  Lots of people use this type of supplement as their safety net for inadequate amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diet.  Wrong way to look at it!  Everyone should be shooting for a minimum of 4 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit daily…MINIMUM! Lets say someone is very successful in getting these servings in every single day, do they need to use a multivitamin?  My answer is: Yes, possibly. The reason they may still need to take a multivitamin is because unless they are getting all of their fruits and vegetables from local, organic sources, the produce does not contain the amount of nutrients that it once did.  Due to our agricultural methods, many of us eat produce from places that are quite far away.  If you have ever grown your own strawberries (or any other fruit of veggie), you know that if you pick it when it’s ripe, it will not be long before it begins to decay.  If farmers in California picked produce when it was ripe and tried to ship it to New York, it would not be in very good shape by the time it arrived.  It would probably be inedible.  Therefore, they pick their produce before it is ripe in order to ensure an edible product.  This is a good thing in terms of getting produce that you can eat but a bad thing in terms of its nutrient content.  A tree only drops its fruit when there are enough nutrients in the flesh around the seed that it could grow another plant.  So, when the fruit is at its peak ripeness, it is at its most nutritious levels.  Most of us do not eat everything local and vine-ripened, so we eat lots of produce that has fewer vitamins and nutrients.  Therefore, a minimum of 7 servings does not even have enough nutrients to call it 7 servings worth.  If you buy a juicer, you can get around this by taking your daily dose of vitamins through juicing vegetables.  It is easy to get in 3-4 servings in one glass!  If you don’t juice everyday or eat all local, vine-ripened produce, then you should be supplementing with a multivitamin.

The most common type that most people are taking are a synthetic one-a-day version.  Let me begin with why I do not think this is the best choice.  When you isolate vitamins from their whole food, you are losing the synergistic effects of the other vitamins, enzymes, bioflavanoids, phytonutrients, etc.  This means that when you eat an orange for vitamin C, your body also gets a healthy dose of other vitamins and nutrients that help your body absorb the vitamin C and use it appropriately.  In addition, you are getting tons of fiber and water content when you eat whole produce.  Isolating that vitamin C drastically changes what occurs in the body.  Also, many multivitamins with contain levels that meet the recommended daily values; however, that does not mean you will be getting the same ratios as if you got it all from food sources.  Therefore, you have to worry about how much of “this” you are getting in order to absorb “that.”  Nature has taken care of those ratios for you and packaged them into delicious, bright-colored packages. ;)  Another thing about one-a-day  versions is that most of the content is water soluable.  This means that you wake up, take your vitamins for the day, your body uses what it needs……and pees the rest out.   When things are water soluble, they follow water.  Therefore, you took in your recommended daily amounts but didn’t use over half!  It would be like saying you should get 30 minutes of exercise everyday and doing 6 hours of workout on Monday in order to meet your weekly requirement.  Doesn’t work like that.

Many are probably wondering what you SHOULD be taking if a typical multivitamin is not ideal.  I am a huge supporter of whole food supplements.  These supplements are like multivitamins in the sense that they contain extra nutrients to supplement the produce you are getting in your diet, but they are from those food sources directly.  So, on the label you will see names of produce such as wheat grass, apples, algae, broccoli, etc. instead of names of vitamins.  This ensures you are getting the ratios of nutrients just like the ones you are eating from nature, and they are not isolated from the other components of the produce that help your body in utilization.  Also, you will take them spread throughout the day to ensure that you are not letting all those water-soluble vitamins go down the drain.  Some heat has be to added in order to process them, but the temperatures in good ones will stay low enough that some of the important enzymes from the produce are also kept intact.  Overall, its the closest thing you can get to eating the actual produce or juicing it.  The “store” tab on the blog as links to my preferred brands.  You can find those brands at doctor’s offices, but Amazon is not allowed to sell brands anymore due to the inability to regulate potency and product getting to the patient. “Deeper Greens” is what I prefer if I am traveling and not juicing.

Supplementation: Fish Oil

Back to my talk about supplements….if you were paying attention, I said that everyone should be taking 4 supplements regardless of their health status.  Supplements should only be in addition to a healthy diet.  If you aren’t eating the right foods, then you are merely trying to use a pill in place of food; that idea NEVER works.  That is why they are called SUPPLEMENTS; they SUPPLEMENT a healthy diet.  Therefore, the ONLY supplements that ANYONE should be taking are those that you can’t get adequately from foods.  The three I have previously mentioned are VitaminD, Probiotics, and a whole food supplement.  The fourth one I am about to cover is by far the most important supplement anyone can take, and I try and encourage everyone to integrate it into their healthy lifestyle.  What is it?  Omega 3 fatty acids aka Fish Oil. 

What exactly are Omega 3 fatty acids?

Omega 3 fatty acids are nothing more than fat!  They are fat compounds found in marine life, algae, and some plant oils.  They are ESSENTIAL fats.  “Essential” is term that refers to things that your body needs to function but can’t produce on its own.  Therefore, Omega3’s are essential for our health, our bodies can’t produce them, and therefore we must consume foods that contain them.  Simple!

What does our body do with them?

Omega 3’s are super important in the structure and function of every single cell in your body and the function of your cell is in direct relation to your health.  Your cells contribute to immune function, blood pressure, digestion, mood, and the list goes on forever.  Omega 3’s are part of every cell membrane and are REQUIRED to maintain proper shape and flexibility in addition to letting nutrients in and out of the cell.  You remember those vitamins you are taking, you need Omega3’s present for all of them to get to the right places!

How does deficiency happen?

Most people eat diets that are rich in grains, processed meats, fried foods, etc. and all of these things are extremely high in Omega 6 fatty acids.  You need BOTH types of omegas; however, you need the balance to be such that you have MORE omega 3’s or inflammation is a huge problem.  Having too many Omega 6’s and not enough Omega 3’s creates a pro-inflammatory state in the body.  Inflammation is at the heart of so many chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, arthritis, Crohn’s, IBS, Psoriasis, Fibromyalgia, MS, and once again, the list goes on.

*For you Paleo folk saying “I don’t eat ANY of that stuff you listed!”  Wait just a second;  you are probably not eating all your meat from organic, grassfed sources, you may not eat salmon regularly, you probably eat your fair share of nuts, you are probably eating MORE eggs than the general population, and even avocado has omega 6 fatty acids in it.  Like I said, you need both kinds of omega’s but you need to end up with more omega 3’s than 6’s at the end of the day.

What if you don’t have any of those illnesses?

It is so important to supplement Omega3’s  BEFORE an illness develops!  Trying to recover from a full blown deficiency is much harder than getting enough early on.  Trust me; my patients that suffer from omega 3 deficiencies would much rather have taken their fish oil in their childhood, teens, and 20s as opposed to seeing every doctor known to man, take a million medications, and go through the hassle of trying to fix it in their 50s.

Can’t I get them from fish?

Yes!  I want you to ask yourself a few questions though:  Do you eat fish daily?  Is the fish wild caught?

If you aren’t eating fish daily, then you aren’t getting enough Omega3’s, period.  Let’s say you were eating fish daily, you may then have issues with heavy metal toxicity due to polluted waters.  I know…..there’s always something.

Where did our ancestors get Omega 3’s if they didn’t live by water?

Wild game!  When animals run around and eat green leafy things and grass, guess what?, their meat has tons of Omega 3 fatty acids in it!  However, when they eat grains, their meat is full of Omega 6’s.  This is another reason choosing grassfed animals is important!

What to look for in a Fish Oil supplement….

This is key people.  Most brands at the store aren’t doing your dollar any justice!  If you look at the back of your fish oil bottle and add the EPA and DHA numbers together, THAT IS THE NUMBER YOU ARE GETTING IN EACH CAPSULE.  It may say “1000mg” on the front, but when you add those numbers together, you may actually only be getting 300mg.  Now you would have to take more than 3 of those pills to get the dosage you believed you were taking. Also, you want 3:2, EPA to DHA; make sure you have these ratios in your pill!  Form is another issue.  Companies are not required to tell you whether or not the fish oil is in a triglyceride form or an ethyl ester form.  The triglyceride form is how you would encounter it in nature, and that’s absolutely the form I recommend.  The EE form is a manmade version.  Quality is usually the other big kicker.  I have no idea how the fish oil is processed, how much it was heated, if it’s already rancid when you buy it, etc without truly knowing the company processing standard. Therefore, I take Orthomega Fish Oil that you can find at many healthcare professional offices because I know the company standards, have researched their potency, spoken directly with the company representatives, etc. There are very few that I would recommend outside of a practitioner’s office.  You can get a brand at Healthy by Nature on Bristol St. I believe called Innate Choice.  That is an awesome product; other than that, I’d stay away from readily available brands.

How much do I take?

Depends (as always).  If you are healthy and just want to add it to your healthy lifestyle, I would say that 720mg a day is adequate.  If you are battling health issues that are linked to inflammation, brain health, or are pregnant/nursing, I would say closer to 3,000mg a day minimum.

How much do they cost?

The product that I mentioned, is $75.00 for 180 count.  If you are a healthy individual, you can take one a day.  That turns out to be 42 cents a day for a product that plays a major role in your health (which is my most prized possession for those of you that have heard my health talk ;)) The children’s version is $21.00 for 120 count.  Not bad if it can keep you from paying for ADD medication, ensure proper development, and protect your children from development of asthma, allergies, and eczema! Visit the link to fullscript under my “store” tab to find the brands I prefer.  This product is actually one of the products that required me to create the store.  This company specifically is shutting down amazon sellers because of the inability to regulate the product potency upon arrival, etc.  If you have a doctor that carries this line, then you could most certainly buy it there, as well!

Supplementation: Vitamin D

As I mention in all of my supplementation posts, you should only be supplementing with those nutrients that you can’t get from reasonable dietary changes.  Vitamin D3 happens to be one of those essential nutrients that us Northern Indiana folk don’t get enough of when it comes to the winter months.  Often times, we are going to work when it’s dark and coming home when it’s dark.  Therefore, we will go days without adequate sun exposure. Another amazing source of Vitamin D is organ meats!  If you don’t consume them on a regular basis, then that’s another reason supplementation may be necessary.

Our body is programmed to produce vitamin D naturally on its own.  However, the process is triggered by sunlight exposure.  Those that lay in the sun all summer do not need to supplement with vitamin D during those months because 15 minutes of full sun exposure without sunscreen will give you an adequate daily dose.  I typically recommend everybody getting 5,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 daily.

There are 30,000 genes in your body and vitamin D influences over 2,000 of them!  It has protective effects against cancer, infections, Parkinson’s, depression, and so many more.  It is an inexpensive supplement that is necessary in EVERYONE that isn’t getting sun exposure or quality organ meats.  When you think about the people that need this nutrient the most, it is ironic that they are also the one’s often in nursing homes and hospitals where they may not get sun exposure even in the summer months!

Vitamin D is a fat soluble nutrient and therefore it will store quantities within the body.  While overdosing on vitamin D would be difficult, it is something to be aware of.  Everyone should take 5,000 units daily when they are not in the sunlight.  The beauty of getting vitamin D from natural sunlight lies in the feedback loops that our body has in place to make sure we never accumulate too much.  Once again, the version nature intended is superior to any pill you can take.😉 You can check out my “store” tab for idea of brands I like.; however, most vitamin D is pretty standard.  Quality can be a huge issue in other kinds of supplements.  If you want to know your vitamin D levels to decide how much to supplement, I recommend an at-home Vitamin D test, that costs about $58, and is easy, convenient, and quick!  Visit https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/ to order a kit like the one shown in this post!