Omega 3 Fatty Acid Testing

omega 3 fatty acid testing

Don’t guess, know your omega 3 fatty acid levels. There is a test available to help you know if you’re making the right dietary decisions. High levels of omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory and promote cardiovascular health by decreasing risk for stroke and heart attack. Meanwhile most Americans eat far too many omega 6 fatty acids which are pro-inflammatory and linked to multiple degenerative diseases. Eating things like avocado, almonds, pecans, salmon, and olive oil are a great way to increase your omega 3 fatty acid levels. Do you know if you’re eating enough omega 3’s? With a simple at home test you can test your omega 3 levels for around $50 dollars. For more information follow this link:

Omega 3 Blood Test – Test the Omega 3 Levels of Your Blood In Seconds, With A Simple Finger Poke – Mail Kit and Get Results Within 5 Days of Receiving Sample

omega 3 fatty acid testingYour test results will let you know if you’re eating sufficient amounts of omega 3’s. At home testing is great because you can understand how your diet directly impacts your lab values. Because this test looks at your omega 3 levels in your red blood cells you can retest in 4 months to see how dietary changes have effected your lab value. Some people are already on medications or have a history of heart disease and I always advise them to see a nutrition expert before making significant dietary changes. Otherwise consultation with a nutritionist is optional. For example you may have a hard time changing your values or some people just like more direction about ways to eat healthier. Either way at home omega 3 fatty acid testing is great because I find that educating and empowering patients helps them make healthier decisions.

 

 

Alternative Treatments for an Irregular Heartbeat

irregular heartbeat, atrial fibriillation, alternative treatments

I would like to thank Lynne for asking about natural treatments for atrial fibrillation (a-fib). A-fib is the most common form of irregular heartbeat. Its frequency increases with age especially after the age of 70. Patients usually complain of palpitations and fatigue which leads to testing and an eventual diagnosis. Unlike ventricular fibrillation atrial fibrillation by itself is not fatal but can cause complications. For example people with a-fib have a higher risk of stroke. Patients usually undergo treatment to control their symptoms of fatigue, chest pain, irregular pulse, lightheadedness, and etc.

irregular heartbeat, atrial fibriillation, alternative treatments

Other than undergoing surgery natural approaches are similar to conventional medical interventions with a few additional interventions. Conventional care focuses on anti-coagulation to prevent blood clots in patients with irregular heartbeats. For a truly holistic approach I would want to improve blood flow to the heart because during increased heart rates the energy demand goes up. If the heart’s blood flow is decreased due to things like heart disease or smoking then the risk for complications of irregular heartbeats increases. I would support the mitochondria to increase energy production. Also I would look at natural ways of slowing nerve impulses, decreasing stimulants in the diet, and really trying to improve the patients vascular health. By supporting the person’s body they are potentially able to decrease their risk of stroke, heart attack, and other symptoms.

Methylation Polymorphisms are more Complicated than MTHFR

Methylation Cycle Management Michigan Naturopathic Doctor

(warning this is a very technical blog entry for those that are familiar with MTHFR)

I love reading about the methylation cycle and methyl tetrahydrofolate
reductase (MTHFR) polymorphisms. MTHFR along with some other enzymes
in your body are responsible for transferring carbons. Carbons are necessary
for building everything in your body from DNA and neurotransmitters to
proteins, fats, and cell membranes. They are also vitality important for
proper detoxification. No wonder MTHFR variations are related to diseases
like:
Autism
Addictions: smoking, drugs, alcohol
Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
Fibromyalgia
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Atherosclerosis, Heart Attack, Stroke
Multiple Autoimmune Diseases
Unexplained Neurologic Disease
Asthma
These are only a fracture of diseases related to how well your body utilizes carbons from your food at the cellular level.

Methylation Management, Functional Medicine, Holistic, Integrative, Nauropathic

Unfortunately working with people that have MTHFR polymorphisms is often over simplified. As you can see from the picture above there is much more to it than testing for a single MTHFR variation followed by supplementation with methylated folate aka methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). Also supplementing with methylated folate is not completely benign because some of the conditions above are associated with an over abundance of carbons which is called over methylation. Therefore taking methylated folate can make some people feel worse. 5-MTHF also effects gene expression by down regulating your post synaptic neurotransmitters receptor sites.

 

Folate is not the only vitamin (co-factor) used in the Methylation Cycle. Other vitamins like B6 and B12 play vital roles as well as minerals like zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Also genes like Methionine synthase reductase (MTRR), Cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS), S-adenosylhomocysteine synthase (AHCY), and S-adenosylmethionine synthetase (MAT) all encode enzymes that effect how well your body transfers carbons.

 

The good news is that there is a test that looks at the SAM/SAH ratio to determine your methylation status. This test actually looks at what’s going on with your methylation in real time instead of trying to guess based off of symptoms and genes. What does this all mean? Treat the person and what they’re presenting with and not just genetic results. Inflammation and environmental exposures will completely disrupt methylation in a person with no polymorphisms. Meanwhile a person with multiple polymorphisms with few environmental exposures and a great diet might not need any intervention.

 

With all this said if you are chronically ill you might have disrupted methylation. Is it the chicken or the egg? It depends on the person and their clinical presentation. That is why it is important to have a knowledgeable physician working with you that says more than here take folate because you have a MTHFR polymorphism. To learn more call for a free 10 minute consult. Otherwise I recommend following researchers/clinicians like Drs. William Walsh, Amy Yasko and Benjamin Lynch.