- Acupuncture Wellness Center2525 Wallingwood Dr Bld 15
Austin, Texas 78746512-565-9618
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This is a good article from Dr Andrew Weil on the differences between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are types of essential fatty acids – meaning we cannot make them on our own and have to obtain them from our diet. Both are polyunsaturated fatty acids that differ from each other in their chemical structure. In modern diets, there are few sources of omega-3 fatty acids, mainly the fat of cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, black cod, and bluefish. There are two critical omega-3 fatty acids, (eicosapentaenoic acid, called EPA and docosahexaenoic or DHA), that the body needs. Vegetarian sources, such as walnuts and flaxseeds contain a precursor omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid called ALA) that the body must convert to EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are the building blocks for hormones that control immune function, blood clotting, and cell growth as well as components of cell membranes.
By contrast, sources of omega-6 fatty acids are numerous in modern diets. They are found in seeds and nuts, and the oils extracted from them. Refined vegetable oils, such as soy oil, are used in most of the snack foods, cookies, crackers, and sweets in the American diet as well as in fast food. Soybean oil alone is now so ubiquitous in fast foods and processed foods that an astounding 20 percent of the calories in the American diet are estimated to come from this single source.
The body also constructs hormones from omega 6 fatty acids. In general, hormones derived from the two classes of essential fatty acids have opposite effects. Those from omega-6 fatty acids tend to increase inflammation (an important component of the immune response), blood clotting, and cell proliferation, while those from omega-3 fatty acids decrease those functions. Both families of hormones must be in balance to maintain optimum health.
Many nutrition experts believe that before we relied so heavily on processed foods, humans consumed omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in roughly equal amounts. But to our great detriment, most North Americans and Europeans now get far too much of the omega-6s and not enough of the omega-3s. This dietary imbalance may explain the rise of such diseases as asthma, coronary heart disease, many forms of cancer, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative diseases, all of which are believed to stem from inflammation in the body. The imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may also contribute to obesity, depression, dyslexia, hyperactivity and even a tendency toward violence. Bringing the fats into proper proportion may actually relieve those conditions, according to Joseph Hibbeln, M.D., a psychiatrist at the National Institutes of Health, and perhaps the world’s leading authority on the relationship between fat consumption and mental health. At the 2006 Nutrition and Health Conference sponsored by the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine and Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Hibbeln cited a study showing that violence in a British prison dropped by 37 percent after omega-3 oils and vitamins were added to the prisoners’ diets.
If you follow my anti-inflammatory diet, you should get a healthy ratio of these fatty acids. In general, however, you can cut down on omega-6 levels by reducing consumption of processed and fast foods and polyunsaturated vegetable oils (corn, sunflower, safflower, soy, and cottonseed, for example). At home, use extra virgin olive oil for cooking and in salad dressings. Eat more oily fish or take fish oil supplements, walnuts, flax seeds, and omega-3 fortified eggs. Your body and mind will thank you.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Acupuncture is a healing modality that has been used in China for at least 2,500 years. The treatment involves inserting very fine needles into specific healing points on the body. The process is painless and soothing. By clearing blockages in your body’s energy channels (meridians), acupuncture can restore health and vitality to specific organs and to your whole body. Using acupuncture to offer support and strength to your detoxifying and digestive organs during your detox would be helpful in relieving symptoms and increasing the effectiveness of your detox.
Why should I consider Acupuncture as detoxification support?
Stimulates release of pain relieving endorphins
Significantly reduces withdrawal symptoms
Has substantial “calming” effect
Restores balance between mind and body
Increases blood and lymphatic circulation
Increases resistance to disease
Increases range of motion
Reduces stress and tension
Removes toxins from tissue
Strengthens the immune system
Speeds healing processes
Stimulates emotional memory
Alleviates Chronic and Temporary Pain
New research demonstrates that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of vascular dementia. Published in the Chinese Journal of Gerontology, clinical and laboratory research finds acupuncture significantly effective in improving cognition and memory. Laboratory results and objective measurements confirm these findings; acupuncture successfully increases glucose metabolism in the brain areas related to cognition and memory. In addition, cerebral blood flow improves with acupuncture. As a result, the researchers note that acupuncture is effective in alleviating vascular dementia.
By Dr Mercola
1. Prescriptions for opioid painkillers have risen by 300 percent over the past 10 years, now killing 17,000 Americans annually.
2. Excessive use of over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers like acetaminophen is equally troublesome. Acetaminophen causes more than 80,000 emergency room visits each year due to accidental overdosing.
3. A major problem is that while acetaminophen is considered safe when taken as recommended, the margin between a safe dose and a potentially lethal one is very small.
4. Taking just 25 percent more than the daily recommended dose—the equivalent of just two extra strength pills per day—can cause liver damage after just a couple of weeks of daily use.
5. When taken all at once, just under four times the maximum daily dose of acetaminophen can be lethal.
Chronic pain is an exceedingly common condition impacting an estimated 76.5 million Americans, one-third of whom describe their pain as severe and “disabling.” When it comes to treating ailments such as chronic pain, I definitely prefer non-toxic options to modern medicine’s poor excuses for “cures.”
One such option is acupuncture, which can be an effective option for a number of health problems, but pain in particular.
In a recent analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,1 researchers concluded that acupuncture has a definite effect in reducing chronic pain, such as back pain and headaches – more so than standard pain treatment. Real acupuncture also produced slightly better results than using sham needles, which suggests the benefits of needling are due to more than the placebo effect.