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Are Chia seeds are good source of Omega 3?

I am a vegetarian and looking for a good source of Omega 3’s. I’ve seen Chia seeds are rich in Omega but was wondering was they are really tiny seeds is it possible to absorb the nutrients from them?

Answer:

I would not worry too much about absorption issues, Chia has around 60% Calcium and 40% Iron per 100 grams. A typical serving might be one or two heaped teaspoons so around 10 grams which equals only 6% and 4% of those minerals respectively. Absorption issues typically occur when consuming large amounts of one or the other minerals, which is not the case with Chia. They are perfectly fine to add to smoothies. They are an excellent source of Omega-3 and fiber. When you use Chia you should drink your smoothie straight away as due to the rich fiber content you will find that they form a gel fairly quickly that can give your smoothie a very thick consistency.

Vitamins

I have started doing intense training which included running everyday anywhere from 2 to 4 miles and going to the gym and doing a circuit every other day as well as weight training everyday. I have decided to take Whey Protein for breakfast and post workout, casein before bed and take multi vitamins, calcium, carnipure, vitamin k, and fish oil. I try to eat 6 times a day which included 4 oz of chicken and fish, whole wheat rice, mixed vegetables, salad, grilled chicken wraps and a couple other healthy meals. I’m 24 / 5′ 7” what do you think?

Answer:

There is nothing particularly wrong with your program. I probably would drop the carnipure carnitine, as the science in my opinion is not really that strong as to its benefits. A recent study has suggested that carnitine may potentially play a role in heart disease by causing more cholesterol to be deposited into the artery walls, and less to be eliminated from the body. I would also not consume the casein before bed. Whilst there are many suggestions that having a slow digesting protein before bed can help you build muscle, I believe that it is better to let your digestive system have some downtime while you are sleeping. Bearing in mind you are eating throughout the day, night time is when you body repairs and recovers from the days activities, keeping your stomach full while you are sleeping diverts some of your bodies resources away from recovery to deal with the food you just ate before bed. It is also suggested that you will get a better quality of sleep on an empty stomach. Ensuring good quality deep sleep is more important to aid in your recovery than consuming protein during the night.

Protection of stomach from acid

We know that suppression of Cox-1 enzyme results in loss of the protective coating on the stomach wall, leaving it susceptible to attack by its own acid, possibly causing the development of gastric ulcers. When my horse develops an ulcer, I dose her with lecithin granules, since lecithin is a phospholipid similar to the stomach’s natural protective secretion — and it works. I dose about 1/3 cup per day. Now, my son, age 59, seems to have developed an ulcer, and his physicians claim no knowledge of the use of lecithin for this purpose. As an expert in your field, our questions are, what would be the suggested dosage, and are there side- or after-effects we should know about (there are none with my horse). Thank you very much. Walt Friedrich.

Answer:

Hello Walt, there is not a huge amount of human studies that suggest the benefit of Lecithin in the treatment of ulcers. However as you pointed out there has been some success with using it in the equine world. Lecithin is made up of Phospholipids which are a major component of cell membranes. It may well be of benefit, it just simply hasn’t been studied in humans for this condition. If you do with to use the granules, it can cause an upset stomach in some people as well as an allergy. It should be consumed with food, but away from fatty foods, to minimise the chance of an upset stomach. Also I would suggest choosing a non-GMO (non genetically modified) source of lecithin. Other foods you may want to consider are Alfalfa, spinach, avocados, kale which are rich sources of natural vitamin K. Vitamin K is responsible for the production of platelets that clot blood and prevent excessive bleeding, which may help reduce ulcer bleeding. Alcohol, Caffeine and fatty foods increase the production of stomach acid which will exacerbate the condition. Avoiding NSAID painkillers such as paracetamol and aspirin is also important. I would also recommend drinking camomile tea, as this has natural anti-inflammatory properties that have shown to be particularly useful in healing the digestive tract. If you have any further questions feel free to ask.

Supplement suggestions

Hello, I am a 42 year old male, and have recently become very interested in Nutrition and Supplements. I regularly take: DHEA (50mg), GABA, Omega 3 Oil, Gingko Biloba, Zinc/Magnesium/Calcium, R-ALA, L-Arginine. I have a good diet of 2 boiled eggs for breakfast with 2 grilled fish fingers and a banana & Almond smoothie mixed with a good quality protein drink (no Cholesterol, Rice based protein), I also mix in a little Maca powder and some Guarana powder too. For lunch & Dinner I have grilled Chicken breast, with either cous cous or Quinoa (alternated) with salad on the side. As a beverage I always have Natural Coconut Juice with my meals My goals are: Fat loss/Muscle development (I work out regularly). Memory/focus/concentration. Libido/Sex Drive. Is there anything that you would suggest to add/remove from the above to enhance matters? Also, is there is risk of the supplements having an adverse reaction/effect if taken together? Also, is 2 boiled eggs per day too many? Thanking you in advance for your time and also for this valuable resource.

Answer:

Hi, Thanks for your question. Reading your question I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong with your diet. 2 eggs per day is not a problem, although you may want to give yourself a break from time to time. If you want an alternative protein source to eggs for your breakfast, perhaps try low fat cottage cheese. Regarding removing adding from the above, personally I would drop, the DHEA, GABA, R-ALA, MACA and Guarana powder. With the exception of Guarana which is ultimately a source of caffeine, the other items have very little scientific literature to validate their benefits. Most of the studies have been carried out in animals and were at best inconclusive. DHEA is a hormone and the jury is still out on whether you could potentially supress production of your own natural DHEA by taking it. Guarana as mentioned above is another source of caffeine and a cheaper alternative might be to drink some green tea.

Supplementation

Hi! I have a very hectic work/travel schedule, so my eating, sleep, and exercise habits suffer a great deal. Have moved to supplementation, but questioning if I’m overdoing it. Here is my daily regime of supplements I take spread throughout the day. Is this safe…? Hello – Taking the following supplements daily. Is this a safe regime? Perricone Skin & Total Body Supplement Phytoceramides CLA Tonalin Multi-Mineral Caps Lutein /w Super Zeaxanthin Lycopene Pycnogenol Osteo Bi-Flex (Chondroitin, MSM, Glucosamine) Vitamin D3 CoQ10 Grape Seed Extract Benfotimine Saw Palmetto Extract Tocotrienols Omega-3 L-Carnosine Acetyl-L-Carnitine L-Carnitine L-Glutathione Raspberry Ketone Forskolin Eleuthro Cordyceps Golden Root Ashwagandha Astragulus Maxi-HGH (Amino Booster for HGH)

Answer:

Hi, thanks for your question. That is a very extensive list of supplements to be taking and I would be concerned about anyone taking so many items for the following reasons: 1. Interactions – People assume that a supplement is not a “drug” and they are therefore safe, however, supplements are effectively drugs and the possibility of a negative interaction between some of these ingredients could happen. Many of these supplements have never been studied in humans, let alone in combination. Additionally if you are taking medications or using them periodically there is also the possibility for interactions with your medications. 2. Overdose/Toxicity – I don’t know the dosage of these products, but taking so many on a daily basis may lead to overdosing. For example many multivitamin and mineral formulas contain way over 100% of your Recommended daily allowance, sometimes many in are in the thousands. It is possible to overdose on vitamins, which in turn can have toxic effects. I would check the RDA on your vitamins and minerals to make sure you stay within reasonable limits. 3. Efficacy – many of the supplements you listed have very little scientific research to prove their effectiveness. Much of the advertising for these products refer to scientific studies showing their effectiveness, but what they don’t say is the studies were conducted on mice or rats which does not necessarily correlate to humans. Additionally the studies are often funded by the company that makes the supplement so there is a conflict of interest where researchers “go looking” for positive results in their experiment statistics. Some of the other supplements are not even absorbed, as they have been shown to be destroyed in the stomach. Some studies show that many of these isolated nutrients are not absorbed well by the body when compared to when they are eaten in their natural form, i.e. Vitamin E in a capsule vs Vitamin E from an Avocado. The only supplements I would recommend from that list, that have some reasonable scientific evidence are the following: Multi-Mineral Caps – ones that do not exceed 100% RDA Chondroitin, Glucosamine Vitamin D3 CoQ10 Omega-3 Lutein Supplements can be of benefit and help people in certain circumstance, but you do need to be careful not to overdose on them or use them as a nutritional crutch. You have to look at your schedule and find some ways to get some natural sources of nutrients and anti-oxidants into your diet, whether it means stopping off on the road to go to the supermarket just to pick up some fruit. Perhaps you could try making smoothies at home, use a selection of vegetable, fruit, probiotic yoghurt, raw honey. This can be an easy way to get your 5-a-day and take in a variety of beneficial nutrients in one go!

Is it safe to mix these supplements?

I am 23, female. I have mild depression, ADD, and social anxiety. I took prescription dextro-amphetamine salts which seems to help all symptoms for about a year, but I moved and am having some trouble getting new prescriptions. I have always been a fan of natural supplements and I have found a list of supplements I would like to try taking instead because without the regular medication I was taking I lack motivation to the point I don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning but I know I can feel better than this. I was going to start taking the daily recommended dose of the following: SAM-e, St john’s Wort, Green tea supplements, fish oil supplements, calcium tablets (like tums?) for acid reflux, APS phenadrine capsules for energy and workouts, and maybe multi-vitamin? Would this combination be dangerous? Any suggestions would be very helpful, thank you.

Answer:

Depression is a difficult condition to tackle and of course should always be discussed with your doctor or healthcare practitioner before embarking on any treatment. There are certainly a number of things you can do to improve your symptoms and elevate mood naturally. Exercise, good diet and in certain cases supplements can definitely help. In regards to your specific question, the only supplements from your list I would recommend is Fish Oil and the multi-vitamin. While St Johns Worth has been shown to have some benefits for mild depression, it can also have a number of negative side effects and possibly interact with other medications and anti-depressants. It can in some cases depending on the type of condition, actually make things worse. I would recommend that you discuss the use of this particular supplement with your doctor. APS phenadrine I am not directly familiar with, although I have seen a number of these fat loss/energy, in general they contain the same ingredients which is usually a combination of stimulants, that can have significant effects on your central nervous system leading to potential adverse affects. Secondly the regulation of these products is very limited and recently a number of products have been found to be purposely contaminated with other pharmaceutical products to increase their stimulant of fat loss capability. I would strongly recommend ceasing the use of this product. In regards to supplements you can use, firstly I would recommend taking a Vitamin D supplement, Vitamin D has been shown to improve symptoms in people with depression. Take the D3 form of Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) and aim for around 800iu daily. If you are taking a multi-vitamin already then factor in how much vitamin D you get from this into your total, so adding the two together gives you 800iu per day. You may also want to consider vitamin B12 although must multi’s contain a lot of B12 already. Additionally Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because our bodies produce it when exposed to sunlight. Try to get some exposure to sunlight every day if that is possible. Vitamin D is also present in small amounts in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel as well as cheese, and egg yolks. Try to include these in your diet. Salmon and mackerel are also a rich source of natural Omega-3 fatty acids, again linked to improving depression symptoms. You may also want to consider trying Udo’s Choice oil blend, its a natural blend of Omega-3,6 and 9’s. it contains all the food good fats, already in the correct ratio needed for your body, so takes a bit of the work out of getting it right in your diet. It can be added to salad dressings or live yoghurt, but should not be cooked with as heat will damage it. The Mediterranean diet has also been promoted as having positive benefits. Try to cook using spices and herbs instead of salt and include ingredients such as olives, olive oil, fresh fruit and veg, nuts such as almonds and walnuts and red wine in small portions. Many of these foods and herbs are believed to have phytonutrients which are beneficial to the brain and overall health. I would swap your green tea supplement for drinking the real thing, drinking green tea does have health benefits, however the same cannot be said for the supplement form, which has failed to show the same benefits as drinking the real thing. Green tea does contain caffeine so perhaps you might want to save drinking this in place of when you previously used your energy supplements.

Flaxseed during early childhood (males)

I have a 20 month old son who I’m trying to feed the “right” way but I’m still learning and could use all the help I can get. The issue I’m struggling with now is regarding flaxseed. I’ve read about all the amazing health benefits and have been incorporating it into my son’s diet for a little while now. I recently learned that flaxseed contains phytoestrogens that could potentially be linked to impotence and infertility in men and are not recommended during pregnancy and early childhood. I’m kind of freaking out a little now. All the articles I read were from 7-10 years ago, I couldn’t find anything more recent. Can anyone shed some light on this for me???

Answer:

As you correctly stated flaxseeds do indeed contain phytoestrogens, which exert a hormonal effect. Additionally flaxseeds also contain a substance called phytic acid which has a strong binding affinity to minerals. When phytic acid binds to a mineral it cannot be absorbed by the intestines and can potentially lead to mineral deficiencies. In my opinion flaxseeds are not suitable for infants and I would not recommend feeding your son with flaxseeds. The only nutrient found in flaxseeds which is of benefit to an infant is Omega 3. Omega 3’s are believed to contribute to an infants brain development, reduce the risk of developing allergies, and conditions such as ADHD. If you wish to provide this to your son, I would suggest looking specifically for an infant formula Omega 3 supplement. There are products available. Make sure it is specifically developed for infants and contains Omega 3 from fish sources(not flax) and contains EPA and DHA. Do not use Cod liver oil or adult fish oil supplements. When your son is old enough you can introduce oily fish into his diet so he can get Omega3 in his diet naturally. However due to mercury and other contaminants being found in many fish, it is very important that you choose the right fish, certain fish such as mackerel, swordfish and shark are not suitable for children, and many other fish such as farmed salmon and tinned tuna should only be consumed in limited amounts. At this point I would stick with a specifically developed Omega 3 supplement for infants.

Supplements

I wanted to ask about RDA for a few supplemts I’m taking. A day I take the following supplemts together: 1 x zinc 10mg 1x vitamin B Complex 1x cod liver oil & multivitamin 1x Glucosamine 3x whey protein (30g) Is this to much?

Answer:

Based on your profile and activity level, there is nothing particularly wrong with the supplements you are taking. My only comments would be if you are taking a multivitamin already then I wouldn’t take an additional Vitamin B complex and zinc tablet on top. I’m assuming the multivitamin contains these already, if so then you probably wont gain any real benefit from taking more on top. Remember you will get additional vitamins from your diet so in most cases if your following a healthy diet, and taking a multi, you will have consumed your 100% RDA already.

Nutrient Supplementation

I am a 28 year old male. I have a healthy lifestyle and diet, but I’m trying to replace vegetables with a dietary shake or bar of some sort. I have many reasons for this: vegetables are expensive, I spend a lot of time preparing them, I need to go to the grocery store twice a week, and Beano can only do so much. I’ve looked around for replacements and have seen a lot of sites. They generally swear their product is some sort or miracle or super-food and preach things like “fat is bad for you” and “you can eat 1000 calories per day and still gain weight”. Then they pump you full of Vitamin B and electrolytes. I’m not looking to lose weight or follow some fad diet but rather to replace what is probably the most important part of my diet with some sort of nutrient goop. Something like dog-food except for people. Is there anything like this?

Answer:

Hi, I think you probably know the answer I am going to give….No! Unfortunately there isn’t a way, or a product to replace vegetables, if there was, you would definitely know the name of it and everybody would be buying it!! Most meal replacements are protein powder with some sugar and vitamins, in no way is this a replacement for fruit and veg. They are not cheap either especially when you compare what you are actually getting. If you don’t like the hassle of cooking and preparing your vegetables, the only thing I can suggest is that you consider a smoothie maker. You can blend a handful of fruit and veg at the same time, mix in some other ingredients, live yoghurt, healthy fats such as Udo’s oil, or some flax seed oil, Manuka honey and you will have a healthy and fast way to get your daily serving of fruit and veg.

L-Carnitine

I’ve been taking L-Carnitine supplement for years thinking it was beneficial for me (helps turn fat into energy) & good for my heart. Now, Dr Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic says that the main culprit (behind heart disease) may be the gut’s metabolism of L-Carnitine –rather than saturated fat. Have I been making things worse instead of better?

Answer:

I am also familiar with the recent comments on L-Carnitine. Unfortunately in todays world it is very difficult to trust much of the science regarding the benefits of supplements. Many of the studies are either funded by the manufacturer of the supplement or are carried out on very small number of subjects, or often only on animals. Researchers will then “look” to find positive results in the studies that they can then make health claims for advertising purposes. Additionally studies have found that the bioavailability of supplements often cannot match the bioavailability of these nutrients in their natural source, i.e. the vitamin E in a capsule may not be as well absorbed as the vitamin E in an Avocado. Isolated chemicals often need co-factors, other nutrients, which create a synergistic effect to impart their health benefits. While consuming olive oil has proven benefits, some suggest that eating olives may be even better as there are other substances present in the olives that are not extracted when the oil is made. There are studies out there for and against L-carnitine, so its difficult to say whether taking your carnitine supplement has been of benefit or not. In my opinion I would not recommend using it at this stage and would focus on eating heart healthy foods that are rich in natural anti-oxidants and other phytonutrients of which there are many out there.