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Omega-3s: Fishing for a Mechanism

Mithridates VI, king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia (now Turkey) from about 120 BC to 63 BC, was a forward-thinking and perceptive individual who understood that a little bit of stress can be a good thing. Terrified of succumbing to the same fate as his father, who was assassinated by poisoning at his own banquet, Mithridates began ingesting sublethal doses of poisons to develop immunity to them, a real-life example of The Princess Bride’s Westley.

The benefit of this practice, which in modern times is known as “hormesis,” is believed to stem from the fact that in low, subtoxic amounts, poisons, toxins, and other types of stress will upregulate antioxidants and detoxification enzymes in the liver, heart, and other major organs, thereby augmenting the natural ability of the body to detoxify and protect itself against future exposure to those same toxins. Could that be what’s happening with n-3 PUFAs in the heart? Could the highly reactive oxidized products generated from PUFA oxidation cause adaptations in the heart—such as biochemical/biophysical alterations in membranes and the upregulation of cardio-protective genes—that subsequently protect the vital organ against disease and stress?

via Omega-3s: Fishing for a Mechanism | The Scientist Magazine®.

via Omega-3s: Fishing for a Mechanism | The Scientist Magazine®.

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A Healthy Smile Equals Good Health

Do you take good care of your teeth? How about your gums? Do you know what good oral health care means?

Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and is not only a risk factor for diabetes, but it may make diabetes worse. Tteeth cleaning twice a year not only keeps the teeth white brights and healthy, but allows your dentist to monitor your gum health. Regular visits to the dentist combined with a good at-home oral hygiene regimen will keep your mouth healthy for years to come.

Common problems experienced by those with gingivitis or periodontal disease include bad breath, bleeding gums, and a coating on the tongue. Talk to your dentist if you experience any of these problems. If caught early, periodontal disease can be easily harnessed and corrected. For white coating on the tongue, scrapers are available in most pharmacies. But using a little toothpaste on your tongue, then carefully brushing, will get the job done.

Adding a flossing regimen is recommended at least once each day. With a little practice, flossing can take less than 2 minutes and the payoffs are huge. Without brushing and flossing daily, food particles can stay in your mouth. This, in turn, promotes bacterial growth between the teeth around the gums and on your tongue. This not only contributes to poor oral health, but also to bad breath.

Ffor couples, there is some research showing that oral bacteria is shared. So, helping each other remember to floss and brush and to keep dental appointments contributes to the health of both.

Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold it sometimes caused by receding gum tissue. When tissue pulls away from the teeth, the root of the tooth is exposed. If you experience sensitivity to hot and cold, ask your dentist for her advice.

Brushing morning and night and flossing at least once each day should contribute greatly to overall oral healthcare.  him him himBesides, a great smile is welcome anywhere.

Genetic Risk for Heart Trouble Is Offset with Healthy Diet

Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada say a diet rich in fruits and vegetables appears to offset the genetic risk for heart problems. The study was published this week.

Approximately 20% of all people carry at least one copy of a bad genetic variant that has only recently been connected to heart attacks. In 2007 the same researchers found variants in the chromosome 9p21 region were highly linked with heart disease and heart attack. Those reports were subsequently confirmed by other groups.

The new information, linking a healthy diet to lower risk for those genetically predisposed to heart problems, is good news. Just one more reminder that, for most of us, genetics are just one of many factors  determining our health and vitality.

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