New study demonstrates omega-3 fatty acids increase blood flow to regions of the brain associated with cognition
According to a new study published last Thursday in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, by using neuroimaging, researchers were able to demonstrate increased blood flow in regions of the brain associated with memory and learning in individuals with higher omega-3 levels.
Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are a group of conditions that cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These conditions affect one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. It’s important to recognize that Alzheimer’s disease begins long before symptoms start, just like many other conditions. There is evidence that simple prevention strategies can reduce the risk of ADRD by as much as 50%.
This new study included 166 individuals from a psychiatric clinic in which Omega-3 Index results were available. These patients were categorized into two groups: higher EPA and DHA concentrations (>50th percentile) and lower concentrations (<50th percentile). Quantitative brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 128 regions of their brains and each individual completed computerized testing of their neurocognitive status.
SPECT can measure blood perfusion in the brain. In addition, performing various mentally stimulating cognitive tasks will show increased blood flow to specific brain regions. (Previous research has demonstrated that mentally stimulating activities reduce the risk of new-onset mild cognitive impairment even when performed later in life.) As a result, researchers identified significant relationships between the Omega-3 Index and regional perfusion on brain SPECT in areas that are involved with memory and neurocognitive testing.
This study demonstrated the positive relationships between omega-3 EPA and DHA status, brain perfusion, and cognition. This is significant because it shows a correlation between lower omega-3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia.
By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS
In a literature review published last Tuesday, researchers evaluated studies on the status and supplementation of fish oil, vitamin D, B vitamins, and vitamin E in patients in various stages of schizophrenia.
Although there have been medication advancements, the treatment of schizophrenia remains a challenge. There is an association with upregulated inflammation and oxidative stress in regards to schizophrenia. For this reason, supplementation of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties should be considered.
Cytokines play a critical role in inflammatory processes between the brain and the immune system. These act directly on the CNS and abnormal levels have been associated with schizophrenia.
In addition, we know that oxidative stress contributes to poor health outcomes. As one ages, the body’s cells are more susceptible to damage and death. In addition, the body produces less energy due to slower metabolism and as a result, cells are less able to produce antioxidants and soak up free radicals. Fish oil, vitamin D, B vitamins, and vitamin E may provide a therapeutic benefit, protecting against oxidation and abnormal levels of cytokines.
In this latest review, lower RBC omega-3 levels have been seen in those with schizophrenia. Fish oils were most effective in those with high risk and first episode psychosis patients compared to those in the chronic stage of the disease. EPA was more effective than DHA in reducing symptoms, with dosing between 2-3 grams per day.
Previous studies have demonstrated low vitamin D levels in these patients and a deficiency has been associated with more severe symptoms in first-episode schizophrenia. Research on therapeutic dosing of vitamin D is lacking; however, it is important to assess and supplement accordingly.
The status of folate and vitamin B12 has been shown to be low while plasma homocysteine levels are found to be high in schizophrenia. This is an important oxidative stress marker to indirectly assess methylation co-factors, and vitamin B6 and is commonly affected by genetic polymorphisms.
Studies on vitamin E suggest that it may enhance the effect of other nutrients (i.e., vitamin C, fish oil) in reducing schizophrenia symptoms.
Previous research also demonstrated low glutathione peroxidase levels in schizophrenia patients. Glutathione is an important antioxidant which has been found to be depleted with the natural aging process and in patients with neurodegenerative conditions.
N-acetyl-cysteine can definitely play a significant a role in helping to prevent the increased toxicity faced with aging and the body’s reduced ability to eliminate toxins. NAC has the ability to improve the metabolic resilience that is lost with the aging process as well as offering detoxification support.
By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS
This is a fabulous article of Helen Nichols on Facials. 11 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Facials. This article makes me want to have a facial right now! Why? Because I deserve it! Call Zen Aesthetics and Wellness and reserve your facial health treatment. 405-888-5614
Table of Contents
I am a vitamin junkie and have taken numerous brands of vitamins over the years. Recently, I had disappointing news about my favorite skin care representative at Zen Aesthetics & Wellness taking a new job with another company. I am here to tell you, I am so thankful that she shared with me, her new position because it opened a door to knowledge that I otherwise would not have known. She suggested that I order a collagen supplement for our aesthetics business and so I decided to order a few items including supplements for my joints. I started taking H-S-N Complex Skin and Joint Support Powder. Over a course of two months of faithful intake of the supplement and also Calcium, I have had tremendous results from this supplement. I first started noticing that my knees felt a little better and then I realized that my finger nails (which are very thin) were thicker and the skin on my face was much thicker, which is awesome at any age. I was so impressed with this product that I started doing more research on Autoimmune Disorders because joint inflammation is included in autoimmune disorders. I have learned a wealth of knowledge and decided to carry the line of supplements called Designs for Health at Zen Aesthetics in Edmond. The cool thing about this article is, when you get to the bottom where it talks about how important L-Glutamine is…it connects the dots. The H-S-N Complex for Skin and Joints has this nutrient in it. So, it benefits my body in many ways like stopping leaky gut so that my joints are not suffering as well as improving my hair, skin and nails!
Many of our friends and family members including myself have Autoimmune Disorders. This is a great article, one of many that I want to share with health seekers. It is from the Designs for Health Blog.
Char Butler, Zen Aesthetics And Wellness, Edmond
Autoimmune Disease – What Lies Beneath
There are different autoimmune diseases within all specialties, and all of these are looked at individually, yet they all share common triggers. Therefore, in knowing what causes the immune system to attack itself and knowing some of the triggers for what causes a malfunction in the immune system (which we do) we can achieve greater success in helping patients with these conditions.
Autoimmunity occurs a few different ways. With the first way, there can be a mistaken identity and the body attacks itself. This can occur with a virus where there is tissue destruction with the virus appearing to be foreign to the body. In addition, this can happen with heavy metal toxicities such as mercury. The second way autoimmunity occurs is through molecular mimicry which happens when the body makes an antibody (a protein that attacks objects in the body that appear to be foreign) to a specific antigen. These antigens can resemble certain proteins in the body and the antibodies attack our body’s own tissues. The third way is the development of T cells (of the immune system). This occurrence can be affected by genetics, stress, and environmental triggers. Environmental triggers are what integrative doctors mainly work with in functional medicine. These can be food triggers such as gluten or other food sensitivities that can trigger inflammation, as well as anything coming in with the food such as toxins or molds. Other factors include a person’s nutrient status and their gut health, which includes conditions such as “leaky gut” and dysbiosis. Finally, there are toxins that can affect the status of the immune system such as heavy metals and xenobiotics, as well as the total toxic burden in the body.
Many autoimmune conditions need to be addressed by optimizing gut health. Dietary approaches provide the most effective means to returning balance and dysfunction with the gastrointestinal system. Patients may need antimicrobials, botanicals, enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics to optimize the gastrointestinal environment. Integrative health care practitioners can offer hope to these patients. Diagnostic considerations include stool testing, organic acid testing, food antibody testing, as well as gluten sensitivity testing or elimination of gluten from the diet.
Gastrointestinal support following the 4-R approach
This focuses on eliminating pathogenic bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. Botanical extracts have a long history as natural antimicrobials. They offer a broad spectrum of activity against common pathogens in conditions of dysbiosis and are relatively sparing of normal flora. These may include tribulus extract, berberine sulfate, sweet wormwood, black walnut, grapefruit extract, bearberry extract, and caprylic acid. These botanical extracts are commonly represented on sensitivity testing stool profiles by major functional laboratories.
It is important to use digestive enzymes to support optimal digestion of food. Individuals who do not secrete enough proteases suffer from multiple food allergies and cause problems such as food allergies, leaky gut, colitis, and autoimmune diseases.
Proper probiotic supplementation helps to assist with food and nutrient assimilation, inhibits harmful bacteria, and replaces beneficial bacteria lost to antibiotic use, disease, poor diets, and stress.
Glutamine is the most important nutritional substance for healthy intestinal cells and main fuel of the colonocytes of the large intestine. Glutamine is essential in maintaining proper gastrointestinal function and helping to prevent “leaky gut.” N-acetyl glucosamine also supports proper mucosal health and reduces intestinal permeability. In addition, it inhibits the growth and functional of abnormal T-cells that incorrectly direct the immune system to attack specific tissues of the body, such as in autoimmune disease. Combining L-glutamine, N-acetyl glucosamine with mucilaginous relaxing herbs (such as DGL, slippery elm, marshmallow, chamomile, okra, and cat’s claw) will help soothe and coat the intestinal lining and promote healing of inflamed tissue.
What appears to happen with most autoimmune diseases is that there are multiple triggers chronically stimulating the immune system over a long period of time in multiple ways. As a result, our immune system gets into an overloaded, overwhelmed state and loses its ability to function. Lifestyle choices and environmental exposures filtered through genetic predisposition are fundamental factors in the expression of disease, and a successful treatment approach must address these factors.
By Dr. Michael Jurgelewicz
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Revolutionary Skin Treatment – Microneedling
Microneedling (also known as collagen induction therapy) is a minimally invasive treatment to rejuvenate the skin. A device with fine needles creates tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin, which triggers the body to create new collagen and elastin. Results can include improved texture and firmness, as well as a reduction in scars, pore size, and stretch marks. Microneedling may also be combined with a topical treatment, like PRP (platelet rich plasma) or another vitamin-rich serum. At Zen Aesthetics, upon request, we apply TNS growth serum a Skin Medica Skincare product to enhance the Microneedling treatment. If you have acne scars or want Collagen stimulation for wrinkles and fine lines this is the treatment for you.