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Fish Oil Benefit Articles

Cardiovascular Disease

No. 1 Killer of Women and Men in America 
  • 50 million have High Blood Pressure (140/90 or greater)
  • 13.2 million suffer from Heart Attack and Chest Pain
  • 5 million suffer from Congestive Heart Failure
  • 4.8 million suffer from Stroke

Scientific Evidence 

American Heart Association Statement on Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Heart Disease

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in epidemiological and clinical trials to reduce the incidence of Cardiovascular Disease. Although mechanisms responsible for omega-3 fatty acids’ reduction of Cardiovascular Disease risk are still being studied, research has shown: 

  • Decreased risk of sudden death and arrhythmia. 
  • Decreased thrombosis (blood clot). 
  • Decreased triglyceride levels. 
  • Decreased growth of atherosclerotic plaque. 
  • Improved arterial health. 
  • Lower blood pressure.


"Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics - 2004 Update," American Heart Association.

NHANES III, 1988-94. (Prevalance Data)

Penny M. Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD; William S. Harris, PhD; Lawrence J. Appel, MD, MPH, for the Nutrition Committee “AHA Scientific Statement: Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease.” Circulation. 2002;106:2747.

Additional References:

Albert, C. M., C. H. Hennekens, C.I. O'Donnel, U. A. Ajani, V. J. Carey, and W. C. Willett. "Fish consumption and risk of sudden cardiac death." JAMA 279:23-28 (1998).

Angerer P., Kothny W., Stork S., von Schacky C. “Effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids on progression of atherosclerosis in carotid arteries.” Klinikum der Universitat Munchen, Institut und Poliklinik fur Arbeits- und Umweltmedizin-Innenstadt, Ziemssenstrasse 1, Germany.

Appel, Lawrence J., et al. “Does supplementation of diet with "fish oil" reduce blood pressure?” Archives of Internal Medicine 153:1429-38 (1993).

Christensen, J. H., M. S. Christensen, J. Dyerberg, and E. B. Schmidt. "Heart rate variability and fatty acid content of blood cell membranes: A dose-response study with n-3 fatty acids." Am J Clin Nutr 70:331-337 (1999).

Christensen, Jeppe Hagstrup, et al. “Heart rate variability and fatty acid content of blood cell membranes: a dose-response study with n-3 fatty acids. “ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70:331-37 (1999).

Christensen, Jeppe Hagstrup, et al. “Effect of fish oil on heart rate variability in survivors of myocardial infarction. “ British Medical Journal 312:677-78 (1996).

Christensen, Jeppe Hagstrup, et al. “Heart rate variability and fatty acid content of blood cell membranes: a dose-response study with n-3 fatty acids. “ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70:331-37 (1999).

Dehmer, G. J., J. J. Popma, E. K. van den Berg, E. J. Eichorn, J. B. Prewitt, W. B. Campbell, L. Jennings, J. T. Willerson, and J. M. Schmitz. "reduction in the rate of early restenosis after coronary angioplasty by a diet supplemented with n-3 fatty acids." N Engl J Med 319:733-740 (1998).

Engler M. M., Engler M. B., Pierson D. M., Molteni L. B., Molteni A. “Effects of docosahexaenoic acid on vascular pathology and reactivity in hypertension.” Laboratory of Cardiovascular Physiology, Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0610, USA.

Eritsland, J., H. Arnesen, K. Bronseth, N. B. Fjeld, and M. Abdelnoor. "Effect of dietary supplementation with n-3 fatty acids on coronary artery bypass graft patency." Am J Cardio 77:31-36 (1996).

Eritsland, J., et al. "Long-term effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on haemostatic variables and bleeding episodes in patients with coronary artery disease." Blood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis 6:17-22 (1995).

Flaten, Hugo, et al. “Fish-oil concentrate: effects of variables related to cardiovascular disease.“ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 52:300-06 (1990).

Geelen A., Brouwer I. A., Zock P. L., Kors J. A., Swenne C. A., Katan M. B., Schouten E. G. “(N-3) fatty acids do not affect electrocardiographic characteristics of healthy men and women. J Nutr 132(10):3051-4 (2002).

GISSI-Prevenzione Investigators. "Dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E after myocardial infarction: Results of the GISSI-Prevenzione trial." Lancet 354:447-455 (1999).

Harris, W. S., and W. L. Isley. "Clinical trial evidence for the cardioprotective effects of omega-3 fatty acids." Curr Atheroscler Rep 3:174-197 (2001).

Leaf, A., G. E. Billman, and H. Hallaq. "Prevention of ischemia-induced ventricular fibrillation by omega-3 fatty acids." Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 91:4427-4430 (1994).

Leaf, A., and J. X. Kang. "Dietary n-3 fatty acids in the prevention of lethal cardiac arrhythmias." Curr Opin Lipidol 8:4-6 (1997).

Leaf, A., J. X. Kang, Y F. Xiao, and G. E. Billman. "Dietary n-3 fatty acids in the prevention of cardiac arrhythmias." Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 1:225-228 (1998).

Marchioli, Roberto, et al. “Efficacy of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids after myocardial infarction: results of GISSI-Prevenzione trial. “ Lipids 36:S119-S126 (2001).

Marchioli, Roberto, et al. “Early protection against sudden death by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids after myocardial infarction: time-course analysis of the results of GISSI-Prevenzione. “ Circulation 105:1897-1903 (2002).

Morris, Martha Clare, et al. “Does fish oil lower blood pressure? A meta-analysis of controlled trials.“ Circulation 88(2):523-33 (1993).

Olszewski, A. J. "Fish oil decreases homocysteine in hyperlipidemic men." Coronary Artery Dis 4:53-60 (1993).

Radack, K. C. Deck, and G. Huster. "Dietary supplementation with low-dose fish oils lowers fibrinogen levels." Ann Intern Med 11:757-758 (1989).

Radack, Kenneth, et al. “The effects of low doses of n-3 fatty acid supplementation on blood pressure in hypertensive subjects. “ Archives of Internal Medicine 151:1173-80 (1991).

Rissanen, T. S. Voutilainen, K. Myyssonen, T.A. Lakka, and J. T. Salonen. "Fish oil-derived fatty acids, dodosahexaenoic acid, and docosapentaenoic acid, and the risk of acute coronary events: The Kuopio ischaemic heart disease risk factor study." Circulation 102:2677-2679 (2000).

Singh, Ram B., et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of fish oil and mustard oil in patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction: the Indian experiment of infarct survival. Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy 11:485-91 (1997).

Von Schacky, C., P. Angerer, W. Kothny, K. Theisen, and H. Mudra. "The effect of dietary omega-3 fatty acids on coronary atherosclerosis: A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial." Ann Intern Med 130:554-562 (1999).

von Schacky, Clemens. n-3 fatty acids and the prevention of coronary atherosclerosis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71(suppl):S224-27S (2000). 

Omega-3’s Exhibit Cardioprotective Effects

In a pivotal study regarding the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil and heart health, Italian researchers investigated the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids on survivors of myocardial infarction over a 3 ½ year period. Over eleven thousand participants were randomly assigned either supplements of Vitamin E, Omega-3’s or both, or no supplements whatsoever.

The group receiving Omega-3’s alone experienced significantly lower mortality rates within the first three months of the study. Not only was the risk of sudden death notably reduced at four months, the fish oil subset enjoyed significantly reduced rates of all causes of death, as well as non-fatal myocardial infarction and non-fatal stroke. Overall, treatment with fish oil supplements yielded lower rates of sudden cardiac death (by 45%) and improved all-cause mortality (by 20%).

The researchers noted that the effects attributable to the fish oil supplements support the postulation that Omega-3’s have an anti-arrhythmic effect on the heart, consistent with prior experimental studies. The study also noted that treatment with Vitamin E alone had no statistically-valid beneficial effect.

“Early Protection Against Sudden Death by n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids After Myocardial Infarction: Time-Course Analysis of the Results of the Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto Miocardico (GISSI)-Prevenzione”. Circulation; 2002; 105;1897-1903.

Fish Oil Part of Regimen to Protect Against Heart Disease

In the first large-scale study of its kind, researchers from the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan investigated the health effects of daily Omega-3 supplements in combination with a drug commonly prescribed for those at-risk for heart attacks, angina and other coronary events.

Patients were all identified as having higher than average levels of cholesterol. They were divided into two groups: a main group that included nearly 15,000 participants with no prior history of coronary artery disease, and a secondary group with over 3,600 subjects with a prior history of coronary artery disease. Some of each group were given highly-purified fish oil supplements in addition to statins (enzyme blockers that lower cholesterol levels in the blood by reducing the production of cholesterol by the liver), while others were given only the prescription drug.

Over the course of the nearly five-year study, there was a significant difference between those receiving the fish oil supplements and those who did not. While both therapies proved effective in reducing levels of cholesterol, participants taking the fish oil supplements and statins had a 19% reduction in risk for heart illness. The research also noted that a similar, preventative benefit from daily fish oil supplementation that may convey to those not currently deemed at-risk for heart problems.

“Effects of eicosapentaenoic acid on cardiovascular events in Japanese patients with hypercholesterolemia: rationale, design, and baseline characteristics of the Japan EPA Lipid Intervention Study (JELIS).” American Heart Journal. 2003 Oct;146(4):613-20.


1 in 3 Adults Suffer from Some Form of Arthritis

  • Leading cause of disability for those over age 15
  • Second to heart disease as a cause of work disability
  • Baby Boomers now prime risk
  • Strikes women more often than men
  • Limits activities for more than 7 million Americans

Scientific Evidence

There is consistent scientific data that demonstrates the following health benefits of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation:

  • According to an article in “Arthritis Today,” a magazine offered by the Arthritis Foundation, there is strong evidence that fish oil supplements with omega-3 fatty acids can ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, help prevent Raynaud’s syndrome spasms and possible relieve some lupus symptoms. The article suggests that the American diet is overwhelmed by omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable and cooking oils used in processed food and we are likely getting too little omega-3 fatty acids and others that help reduce inflammation and improve circulation.

  • In an editorial written by doctors Leslie Cleland and Michael James for The Journal of Rheumatology, the doctors summarize based on efficacy and safety data, collateral health benefits, potential to reduce unwanted drug effects, and low cost, dietary fish oil supplements should now be regarded as part of standard therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis. 


Cleland, Leslie G. and James, Michael J. “Editorial - Fish oil and rheumatoid arthritis: anti-inflammatory and collateral health benefits.” Journal of Rheumatology, Vol. 27, October 2000, pp. 2305-06.

Horstman, J.  "Medical Oils."  July-August 1999.  Arthritis Foundation, P.O. Box 7669, Atlanta, GA 30357-0669. 

"The Facts About Arthritis."  Arthritis Foundation, P.O. Box 7669, Atlanta, GA 30357-0669.  April 6, 2004.

Additional References:

Ariza-Ariza, R., M. Peralta-Mestanza, and M. H. Cardiel. "Omega-3 fatty acids in rheumatoid arthritis: An overview." Sem Arthr Rheum 27:366-370 (1998).

Cleland, L. G., J. K. French, W. H. Betts, G. A. Murphy, and M. J. Elliott. "Clinical and biochemical effects of dietary fish oil supplements in rheumatoid arthritis." J Rheumatol 15:1471-1475 (1988).

Curtis C. L., Rees S. G., Cramp J., Flannery C. R., Hughes C. E., Little C. B., Williams R., Wilson C., Dent C. M., Harwood J. L., Caterson B. “Effects of n-3 fatty acids on cartilage metabolism.” Proc Nutr Soc 61(3):381-9 (2002).

Espersen, G. T., N. Grunnet, H. H. Lervang, G. L. Nielsen, B. S. Thomsen, K. L. Faarvang, J. Dyerberg, and E. Ernst. "Decreased interleukin-1 beta levels in plasma from rheumatoid arthritis patients after dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids." Clin Rheumatol 11:393-395 (1992).

Fortin, Paul R., et al. “Validation of a meta-analysis: the effects of fish oil in rheumatoid arthritis. “ Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 48:1379-90 (1995).

Geusens, P., C. Wouters, J. Nijs, Y. Jiang, and J. Dequeker. "Long-term effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in active rheumatoid arthritis: A 12-month, double-blind, controlled study." Arthritis Rheum 37:824-829 (1994).

Judex S., Wohl G. R., Wolff R. B., Leng W., Gillis A. M., Zernicke R. F. “Dietary fish oil supplementation adversely affects cortical bone morphology and biomechanics in growing rabbits.” Calcif Tissue Int 66(6):443-8 (2000).

Kremer, J. M., D. A. Lawrence, W. Jubiz, R. DiGiacomo, R. Rynes, L. F. Bartholomew, and M. Sherman. "Dietary fish oil and olive oil supplementation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Clinical and immunologic effects." Arthritis Rheum 33:810-820 (1990).

Kremer, J. M., D. A. Lawrence, G. F. Petrillo, L. L. Litts, P. M. Mullaly, R. J. Rynes, R. P. Stocker, N. Parhami, N. S. Greenstein, and B. R. Fuchs. "Effects of high-dose fish oil on rheumatoid arthritis after stopping nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Clinical and immune correslates." Arthritis Rheum 38:1107-1114 (1995).

Kremer, J. M. "N-3 Fatty acid supplements in rheumatoid arthritis." Am J Clin Nutr 71:349S-351S (2000).

Kremer, Joel M., et al. “Fish-oil fatty acid supplementation in active rheumatoid arthritis: A double-blinded, controlled, crossover study. “ Annals of Internal Medicine 106:497-503 (1987).

Terano, T. "Effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ingestion on bone metabolsim and osteoporosis." World Rev Nutr Diet 88:141-=147 (2001).

Volker, Dianne, et al. “Efficacy of fish oil concentrate in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. “ Journal of Rheumatology 27:2343-46 (2000). 

Effects Of High-Dose Fish Oil On Rheumatoid Arthritis

A study conducted at the Albany Medical College on 66 rheumatoid arthritis patients concluded that the dietary supplementation of fish oil improved the symptoms of this disease. In addition, this study found that some patients were able to discontinue their NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) without experiencing an increase in symptom flare-ups.

Kremer JM, Lawrence DA, et al. Effects of high-dose fish oil on rheumatoid arthritis after stopping NSAIDs: Clinical and immune correlates. Arthritis Rheum. 1995 Aug;38(8):1107–14

Omega-3’s from Fish Oil May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

According to an article in “Arthritis Today,” a magazine offered by the Arthritis Foundation, there is strong evidence that fish oil supplements with omega-3 fatty acids may ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, help prevent Raynaud’s syndrome spasms and possibly may relieve some lupus symptoms. The article suggests that the American diet is overwhelmed by omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable and cooking oils used in processed food and we are likely getting too little omega-3 fatty acids and others that help reduce inflammation and improve circulation.

Horstman, J. "Medical Oils." July-August 1999. Arthritis Foundation, P.O. Box 7669, Atlanta, GA 30357-0669.


Progressive, degenerative disease of the brain.
Most common form of dementia those age 65+

  • 4 million have Alzheimer’s Disease
  • 10% of those over 65 years have Alzheimer’s
  • Half of all nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimer’s or a related disorder
  • Alzheimer’s Disease is the third most expensive disease in the US, after heart disease and cancer

Scientific Evidence

Some studies suggest the following health benefits of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation; however, more research needs to be conducted:

  • “Dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids and weekly consumption of fish may reduce the risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease,” report researchers at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging in Chicago, Illinois. 

    “Participants who consumed fish once per week or more had 60% less risk of Alzheimer disease compared with those who rarely or never ate fish (relative risk, 0.4; 95% confidence interval, 0.2-0.9) in a model adjusted for age and other risk factors. Total intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids was associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer disease, as was intake of docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3). Eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) was not associated with Alzheimer disease. The associations remained unchanged with additional adjustment for intakes of other dietary fats and of vitamin E and for cardiovascular conditions.”

References  (Answers4Families is a partnership of the Nebraska Health & Human Services System and the Center on Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.) April 6, 2004.

Morris MC, Evans DA, Bienias JL, Tangney CC, Bennett DA, Wilson RS, Aggarwal N, Schneider J. "Consumption of fish and n-3 fatty acids and risk of incident Alzheimer disease." Arch Neurol. 2003 Jul;60(7):923-4.

National Institute on Aging. "2001-2002 Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report." National Institute on Aging (NIH) Publication. Bethesda, MD.

Additional References:

Conquer, J. A., M. C. Tierney, J. Zecevic, W.J. Bettger, and R.H. Fisher. "Fatty acid analysis of blood plasma of patients with Alzheimer's disease, other types of dementia, and cognitive impairment." Lipids 35:1305-1312 (2000).

Gamoh, S., M. Hashimoto, K. Sugioka, S. Hossain, N. Hata, Y. Misawa, and S. Masumura. "Chronic administration of docosahexaenoic acid improves reference memory-related learning ability in young rats." Neurosci 93:237-241 (1999).

Katzman, R., and J. E. Jackson. "Alzheimer disease: Basic and clinical advances." J Am Geriatrics Soc 39:516-525 (1991).

Kyle, D. J., E. Schaefer, G. Patton, and A. Beiser. "Low serum docosahexaenoic acid is a significant risk factor for Alzheimer's dementia." Lipids 34:S245 (1999).

Lauritzen, I., N. Blondeau, C. Heurteaux, C. Widmann, G. Romey, and M. Lazdunski. "Polyunsaturated fatty acids are potent neuroprotectors." EMBO J 19:1784-1793 (2000).

Sonderberg, M., C. Edlund, K. Kristensson, and G. Dallner. "Fatty acid composition of brain phospholipids in aging and Alzheimer's disease." Lipids 26:421-423 (1991).

Terano, T., S. Fujishiro, T. Ban, K. Yamamoto, T. Tanaka, Y. Noguchi, Y. Tamura, K. Yazawa, and T. Hirayama. "Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation improves moderately severe dementia from thromboitc cerebrovascular diseases. Lipids 34:S345-S346 (1999).

Yehuda, S., S. Rabinovitz, R.L. Carasso, and D.I. Mostofsky. "Essential fatty acid preparation improves Alzheimer's patients' quality of life." Int J Neurosci 87:141-149 (1996).


Men - 1 in 2 lifetime probability of  cancer. 
Women - 1 in 3 lifetime probably of cancer. 

  • Estimated 290,000 men and 272,000 women will die from some form of cancer in 2004.

  • Estimated 699,000 men and  668,000 women cancer cases in 2004.

Scientific Evidence 

Medical research studies suggest an increased intake of marine fatty acids (long-chain omega-3 fatty acids) with respect to cancer prevention have yet to be established clearly, but they may be important.  Some studies suggest the following health benefits of supplementation; however, more research needs to be conducted:

  • Tumors ... The relationship between the consumption of fish and the risk of selected tumors was analyzed by using data from an integrated series of case-control studies conducted in Northern Italy between 1983 and 1996.  This study suggests that the consumption of even relatively small amounts of fish is a favorable indicator of the risk of several cancers, especially of the digestive tract.  
  • Prostate Cancer ... Eating fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel could reduce the risk of prostate cancer by a third, according to a report in The Lancet dated June 2, 2001.  "Our results support the hypothesis that fatty fish consumption lowers the risk of prostate cancer, possibly through inhibition of arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoid biosynthesis, the authors say. Results of a cross-sectional study in 16 regions of Europe" showed greatly increased (three-fold to four-fold) plasma concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in people from Sweden and Denmark who consumed high amounts of fatty fish."  


"Cancer Statistics 2004, A Presentation From the American Cancer Society," American Cancer Society.

Fernandez, E., L. Chatenoud, C. La Vecchia, E. Negri, S. Franceschi. "Fish consumption and cancer risk." Am J Clin Nutr 70:85-90 (1999).

Terry, Paul, et al. "Fatty fish consumption and risk of prostate cancer."  The Lancet, Vol. 357, June 2, 2001, pp. 1764-66 (research letter)

Additional References:

Anti, Marcello, et al. “Effects of different doses of fish oil on rectal cell proliferation in patients with sporadic colonic adenomas.” Gastroenterology 107:1709-1718 (1994).

Barber, M. D., J. A. Ross, A. C. Voss, M. J. Tisdale, and K. C. Fearon. "The effect of an oral nutritional supplement enriched with fish oil on weight-loss in patients with pancreatic cancer.” Br J Cancer 81:80-86 (1999).

Barber, M. D., D. C. McMillan, T. Preston, J. A. Ross, and D. C. Fearon. "Metabolic response to feeding in weight-losing pancreatic cancer patients and its modulation by a fish-oil-enriched nutritional supplement." Clin Sci 98:389-399 (2000).

Barber, M. D., and K. C. H. Fearon. "Tolerance and incorporation of a high-dose eicosapentaenoic acid diester emulsion by patients with pancreatic cancer cachexia." Lipids 36:347-351 (2001).l

Bechoua, S., M. Dubois, G. Nemoz, P. Chapy, E. Vericel, M. Lagarde, and A. F. Prigent. "Very low dietary intake of n-3 fatty acids affects the immune function of healthy elderly people." Lipids 34:S143 (1999).

Endres, S., R. Ghorbani, V. E. Kelley, K. Georgilis, G. Lonnemann, J. W. van der Meer, J. G. Cannon, T. S. Rogers, M. S. Klempner, P. C. Weber, et al. "The effect of dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the synthesis of interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor by mononuclear cells." N Engl J Med 320:265-271 (1989).

Ergas D., Eilat E., Mendlovic S., Sthoeger Z. M. “n-3 fatty acids and the immune system in autoimmunity.” Isr Med Assoc J 4(1):34-8 (2002).

Gogos, C. A., P. Ginopoulos, B. Salsa, E. Apostolidou, N. C. Zoumbos, and F. Kalfarentzos. "Dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids plus vitamin E restore immunodeficiency and prolong survival for severely ill patients with generalized malignancy: A randomized control trial." Cancer 82:395-402 (1998).

Lee, T. H., R. L. Hoover, J. D. Williams, R. I. Sperling, J. Ravalese, B. W. Spur, D. R. Robinson, E. J. Corey, R. A. Lewis, and K. P Austen. "Effect of dietary enrichment with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid on in vitro neurophil and monocyte leukotriene generation and neurophil function." N Engl J Med 312:1217-1224 (1985).

Sperling, R. I. "The effects of dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on neutrophils." Proc Nutr Soc 57:527-534 (1998).

Terada S., Takizawa M., Yamamoto S., Ezaki O., Itakura H., Akagawa K. S. Suppressive mechanisms of EPA on human T cell proliferation.” Microbiol Immunol 45(6):473-81 (2001).

Wigmore, S. J. M. D. Barber, J. A. Ross, M. J. Tisdale, and K. C. Fearon. "Effect of oral eicosapentaenoic acid on weight loss in patients with pancreatic cancer." Nutr Cancer 36:177-814 (2000). 

Antioxidants & Cancer

Men - 1 in 2 lifetime probability of  cancer. 
Women - 1 in 3 lifetime probably of cancer. 

  • Estimated 290,000 men and 272,000 women will die from some form of cancer in 2004.

  • Estimated 699,000 men and  668,000 women cancer cases in 2004.

Scientific Evidence

Antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables, as well as other foods including nuts, grains and some meats.  The way in which antioxidants may work to help prevent cancer is through their ability to neutralize free radicals.  Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to cells.   

  • According to the American Cancer Society, eating fruits, vegetables and grains reduced cancer risk and researchers are looking for specific compounds in these foods that may account for the beneficial effects in humans. Some of the associations between individual phytochemicals (compounds founds in fruits, vegetables and other plants) and cancer risk are very compelling and make a very strong case for additional investigation. To date, none of the findings are conclusive.

  • The American Cancer Society reports on ellagic acid, a compound found in raspberries, strawberries and other plants. The research studies in animal and laboratory models have found ellagic acid inhibits the growth of tumors caused by certain carcinogens. This has prompted researchers to conduct human studies to determine the long-term effect of daily consumption of raspberries on cell activity in the human colon.


"Cancer Statistics 2004, A Presentation From the American Cancer Society," American Cancer Society.

"Ellagic Acid."  American Cancer Society web site. Retrieved April 2, 2004,

"Phytochemicals."  American Cancer Society web site.  Retrieved April 2, 2004.

Trace Minerals & Cancer

Men - 1 in 2 lifetime probability of  cancer. 
Women - 1 in 3 lifetime probably of cancer. 

  • Estimated 290,000 men and 272,000 women will die from some form of cancer in 2004.

  • Estimated 699,000 men and  668,000 women cancer cases in 2004.

Scientific Evidence 

The Food and Drug Administration authorized use of two health claims on the labels and in the labeling of dietary supplements containing Selenium in daily dose amounts of 400 micrograms or less:

  • Selenium may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Some scientific evidence suggests that consumption of selenium may reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer. However, FDA has determined that this evidence is limited and not conclusive.

  • Selenium may produce anticarcinogenic effects in the body. Some scientific evidence suggests that consumption of selenium may produce anticarcinogenic effects in the body. However, FDA has determined that this evidence is limited and not conclusive.


"Cancer Statistics 2004, A Presentation From the American Cancer Society," American Cancer Society.

"Selenium and Certain Cancers (Qualified Health Claim: Final Decision Letter) (Docket No. 02P-0457).  U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Nutritional Product, Labeling and Dietary Supplements.  April 28, 2003.  Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857.

Additional References:

Combs GF Jr, et al. "Reduction of cancer mortality and incidence by selenium supplementation." Med Klin. Sep1997;92(Suppl 3):42-5.

Combs GF Jr, et al." Chemopreventive agents: selenium." Pharmacol Ther. Sep1998;79(3):179-92.

Federico A, et al. "Effects of selenium and zinc supplementation on nutritional status in patients with cancer of digestive tract."  Eur J Clin Nutr. Apr2001;55(4):293-7.

Schrauzer GN, et al. "Cancer Mortality Correlation Studies--III: Statistical Associations with Dietary Selenium Intakes." Bioinorg Chem. 1977;7(1):23-31. 

Thikkurissy S, et al. "Effect of interleukin-2 and selenium on the growth of squamous cell carcinoma cells." Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Feb2001;124(2):142-9.

Wong HK, et al. "Effects of selenium supplementation on malignant lymphoproliferative pathologies associated with OF1 mouse ageing." Anticancer Res. Jan2001;21(1A):393-402.

Fish, Veggies & Fruit Protect Against Breast Cancer

According to a study conducted at the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute in Nagoya, Japan, the traditional dietary habits of the women in this country may be responsible for their relatively low breast cancer rates. Researchers noted that in particular, “The protective effects of the Japanese diet were more prominent among postmenopausal than premenopausal women.”

Hirose K, Takezaki T, Hamajima N, Miura S, Tajima K. Dietary factors protective against breast cancer in Japanese premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Int J Cancer. 2003 Nov 1;107(2):276-82.

Depression & Bipolar Disorder

18.8 Million Adults have a Depressive Disorder

  • Nearly twice as many women as men are affected
  • 12.4 million women suffer from depressive disorders
  • 6.4 million men suffer from depressive disorders
  • Depressive disorders may be appearing earlier in life in people born in recented decades compared to the past.
  • Bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness affects more than 2 million

Scientific Evidence 

Some studies suggest the following health benefits of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation; however, more research needs to be conducted:

  • According to a landmark study at Harvard Medical School conducted by Andrew L. Stoll, M.D. and other researchers on "Omega-3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder...", omega-3 fatty acids improved the short-term course of illness in a preliminary, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of patients with bipolar disorder. This study was scheduled to last for nine months; however it was stopped after four months because of the outstanding results. Dr. Stolls studies of omega-3 fatty acids suggest that natural sources of omega-3’s (especially fish oil) may help bring mood into balance.

  • Dr. Joseph Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health was quoted in a New York Times article as saying, “In the last century, [Western] diets have radically changed and we eat grossly fewer omega-3 fatty acids now. We also know that rates of depression have radically increased by perhaps a hundred-fold."  Links between fish consumption and neurological health may be supported by the results of global studies, which suggest "rates of major depression are markedly different across countries, depending upon how much fish is consumed in those countries."


"The Numbers Count." National Institute of Mental Health.  NIH publication No. 01-4584.

Mundell, EJ.  "Fish oil may fight psychiatric disorders."  New York Times.  1998 Sept. 03.

Stoll AL, Severus WE, Freeman MP, Rueter S, Zboyan HA, Diamond E, Cress KK, Marangell LB. “Omega 3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder: a preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999 May;56(5):407-12.

Additional References

Adams. P., S. Lawson, A. Sanigorski, and A.J. Sinclair. "Arachidonic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid ratio in blood correlates positively with clinical symptoms of depression." Lipids 31:S157-S161 (1996).

Hamazaki, T., S. Sawazaki, T. Nagasawa, Y. Nagao, Y Kanagawa, and K. Yazawa. "Administration of docosahexaenoic acid influences behavior and plasma catecholamine levels at time of psychological stress." Lipids 34:S33-S37 (1999).

Hibbeln, J.R.. "Fish consumption and major depression." The Lancet, 1998; 351: 1213. 

Hibbeln, J.R.. "Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in depression and related conditions, in Phospholipid Spectrum Disorder." (Lancashire, England: Marius Press, 1999), pp. 195-210. 

Maes, M. "Fatty acid composition in major depression: Decreased n-3 fractions in cholesterol esters and increased C20:46/C20:5n3 ratio in cholester ester and phosopholipds. J Affect Dis 38:35-46 (1996).

Maes, M., A Christophe, J. Delanghe, C. Altamura, H. Neels, and H.Y. Meltzer. "Lowered omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in serum phospholipids and cholesterol esters of depressed patients." Psychiatry Res 85:275-291 (1999).

Mills, D. E., K. M. Prkochin, K. A. Harvey, and R. P. Ward. "Dietary fatty acid supplementation alters stress reactvity and performance in man." J Human Hypertension 3:111-116 (1989).

Stoll, Andrew L., et al. “Omega 3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder.” Archives of General Psychiatry 56:407-12 (1999).

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 

Affects 1 in 20 Children

  • One of the most common reasons children are referred for mental health services.

  • Most children with ADHD have normal or above-normal intelligence.

  • 40-60% have serious learning disabilities.

  • Children with ADHD often have trouble developing meaningful relationships with peers and family members.

  • Some symptoms include difficulty following rules, waiting one’s turn or excessive talking.

  • Children and adolescents with ADHD are more likely than those without the disorder to suffer from other mental disorders.

Scientific Evidence

Some studies suggest the following health benefits of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation; however, more research needs to be conducted:

  • A deficiency of DHA may be the key to ADHA. A study reported in 1995 linked ADHD to a deficiency in certain long-chain fatty acids. J.R. Burgess and other Purdue University researchers are leaning towards the conclusion that a deficiency DHA is responsible for the abnormal behavior of children with ADHA. (DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is a component of fish oil.) 


Burgess, JR, Stevens L, Zhang W, Peck L. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71 (suppl), January 2000, pp. 327S-30S.

Hamazaki, T., S. Sawazaki, M. Itomura, E. Asaoka, Y. Nagao, N. Nishimura, K. Yazawa, T. Kuwamori, and M. Kobayashi. "The effect of docosahexaenoic acid on aggression in young adults." J Clin Invest 97:1129-1134 (1996).

Hamazaki, T., S. Sawazaki, M. Itomura, Y. Nagao, A. Thienprasert, T. Nagasawa, and S. Watanabe. "Effect of docosahexaenoic acid on hostility." World Rev Nutr Diet 88:47-52 (2001).

National Mental Health Association, “Children’s mental Health Matters,” part of the NMHA’s Campaign for America’s Mental Health.

Voigt, R. G., A. M. Llorente, C. L. Jensen, J. K. Fraley, M.C. Berretta, and W. C. Heird. "A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder." J Pediatr 139:189-196 (2001).

Healthy Bones

1 in 3 Adults Suffer from Some Form of Arthritis

  • Leading cause of disability for those over age 15
  • Second to heart disease as a cause of work disability
  • Baby Boomers now prime risk
  • Strikes women more often than men
  • Limits activities for more than 7 million Americans

Scientific Evidence

Boron is a non-metallic element present in the diet and in the human body in trace amounts. This trace mineral appears to affect the metabolism of calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D. 

Some studies suggest the following health benefits of Boron supplementation; however, more research needs to be conducted:

  • Healthy Bones … Preliminary research suggests that Boron may play a role in preventing bone-related diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Some studies have shown there is an inverse relationship between the intake of boron and the incidence of arthritis. 

  • Menopause … Studies on postmenopausal women have reported that Boron supplementation can reduce the loss of calcium through excretion in the urine, which could help lessen the risk of osteoporosis.

  • Magnesium Absorption ... Research say Boron may play a role in the metabolism of magnesium.

  • Calcium Absorption … Research suggests Boron may facilitate calcium absorption. 

  • Brain Function … Studies indicate that Boron may prove to be an essential nutrient in the areas of brain function and cognitive performance.


Travers RL, et al. Boron and Arthritis: The Results of a Double-blind Study. J Nutr Med. 1990;1:127-32. 

Newnham RE. Arthritis or Skeletal Fluorosis and Boron. Int Clin Nutr Rev. 1991;11(2):68-70. 

Newnham RE. Essentiality of boron for healthy bones and joints. Environ Health Perspect. Nov1994;102(Suppl 7):83-5. 

Nielsen FH, et al. Effect of Dietary Boron on Mineral, Estrogen, and Testosterone Metabolism in Postmenopausal Women. Fed Am Soc Exp Biol. 1987;1(15):394-97. 

Volpe SL, et al. The Relationship Between Boron and Magnesium Status and Bone Mineral Density in the Human: A Review. Magnes Res. Sep1993;6(3):291-96. 

Penland JG. Dietary boron, brain function, and cognitive performance. Environ Health Perspect. Nov1994;102(Suppl 7):65-72. 

Omega-3’s Help to Preserve Cognitive Functioning

In a study featured in Neurology, 1,613 subjects were examined between the ages of 45 and 70, testing the correlation between Omega-3 consumption and the preservation of cognitive abilities. Mental functioning was gauged on multiple measures by researchers (memory, psychomotor speed, higher-level information processing and overall cognition), and participants completed a food consumption questionnaire to record their eating patterns, especially as their diets related to intake of fatty fish.

Consumption of long-chain polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish was positively associated with a reduced risk of mental impairment, both on measures of overall cognitive function and psychomotor speed. Researchers also noted a significant correlation between higher consumption rates of cholesterol (saturated fats) and an increased risk of impaired memory and cognitive flexibility.

The researchers concluded that Omega-3’s may benefit cognitive performance due to their anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers further speculate that the diminished cognitive performance associated with lower intake of Omega-3’s may be a predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease later in life.

“Dietary intake of fatty acids and fish in relation to cognitive performance at middle age.” Neurology. 2004 Jan 27;62(2):275-80.

Eating Fish Lowers the Risk of Dementia

French researchers conducted an extensive, seven-year study to investigate correlations between consumption of fish (high in polyunsaturated fatty acids) or meat (high in saturated fatty acids) and the risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease. Subjects, who were aged at least 68 with no symptoms of dementia, recorded their consumption rates of these items. Researchers collected data at two, five and seven years following the start of the study.

Over the entire period in question, subjects who ate fish once per week or more had dramatically lower incidences of cognitive decline. Researchers speculated that in addition to providing vascular protection, the essential fatty acids (Omega-3’s) found in fish might be responsible for diminishing inflammation of brain tissue. They further hypothesized that Omega-3’s may play an important part in the development of the brain and the regeneration of nerve cells.

“Fish, meat, and risk of dementia: cohort study.” British Medical Journal, 2002; 325; 932-933.

Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

13 Million Diagnosed with Diabetes 
5.2 Undiagnosed

Complications of diabetes include:

  • Death rates about 2 to 4 times higher for diabetics.
  • Stroke risk 2 to 4 times higher among diabetics.
  • Blindness among 20-74 yrs, leading cause of new cases.      
  • End-stage renal disease, leading cause of new cases.
  • Mild to severe forms of nervous system damage is found in about 60-70% of those with diabetics.

Scientific Evidence


Chromium is an essential trace mineral. Its main function is to work with the hormone, insulin, to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Chromium helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. The health benefits of chromium are the subject of many studies. 

There is consistent scientific data that demonstrates the following health benefits of Chromium supplementation:

  • Maintains Blood Sugar Levels … Research suggests chromium plays a role in maintaining blood sugar levels.

  • Coronary Heart Disease … Researchers have found that patients with coronary heart disease have significantly lower chromium levels than healthy people.

Some studies suggest the following health benefits of Chromium supplementation; however, more research needs to be conducted:

  • Healthy Vision … Studies suggest chromium supplementation may support healthy vision.

  • Decrease Body Fat … Chromium supplementation may help decrease body fat while increasing lean body mass.


This mineral is necessary for the growth and maintenance of tissues, cartilage and bones. Manganese plays a role in the regulation of blood clotting. It also makes up part of one of the body’s most important antioxidants. Manganese supports the production of certain hormones and neurotransmitters while aiding in the metabolism of fats. 

Some studies suggest the following health benefits of Manganese supplementation; however, more research needs to be conducted:

  • Diabetes … Manganese supplementation may support health in diabetics.

  • Bone Health … Manganese is vital for bone health and may strengthen bones in patients with osteoporosis.


The interest in vanadium as a nutritional substance is building, especially since it was discovered that vanadium can improve symptoms of diabetes.

Some studies suggest the following health benefits of Vanadium supplementation; however, more research needs to be conducted:

  • Insulin-like properties … The most significant research on vanadium to date involves its insulin-like properties and its possible role in treating diabetes. There is some research that suggests vanadium compounds can help to normalize blood glucose levels in people with both type I and type II diabetes. 

Chromium References:

Anderson RA, et al. Elevated Intakes of Supplemental Chromium Improve Glucose and Insulin Variables in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes. Nov1997;46(11):1786-91.

Anderson RA. Effects of Chromium on Body Composition and Weight Loss. Nutr Rev. Sept1998;56(9): 266-70. 

Canonaco F, et al. Chromium and Atherosclerosis. Pediatr Med Chir. May1986;8(3):415-16.

Lane BC. Diet and the Glaucomas. J Am Coll Nutr. 1991;10(5):536.

Ghosh D, Bhattacharya B, Mukherjee B, et al. Role of chromium supplementation in Indians with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Nutr Biochem. Nov2002;13(11):690-697.

Newman HA, et al. Serum Chromium and Angiographically Determined Coronary Artery Disease. Clin Chem. Apr1978;24(4):541-44. 

Manganese References:

Luk E, Carroll M, Baker M, Culotta VC. Manganese activation of superoxide dismutase 2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires MTM1, a member of the mitochondrial carrier family. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep2003;100(18):10353-7.

Wimhurst JM, et al. Comparison of Ability of Mg and Mn to Activate the Key Enzymes of Glycolysis. FEBS Lett. Nov1972;27(2):321-26. 

Freeland-Graves J. Manganese: An Essential Nutrient for Humans. Nutrition Today. Dec1988:13-19. 

Keen CL, et al. Nutritional aspects of manganese from experimental studies. Neurotoxicology. Apr1993;20(2-3):213-23

Vanadium References:

Ganguli S, et al. Effects of Maternal Vanadate Treatment of Fetal Development. Life Sci. 1994;55(16):1267-76.


Men - 1 in 2 lifetime probability of  cancer. 
Women - 1 in 3 lifetime probably of cancer. 

  • Estimated 290,000 men and 272,000 women will die from some form of cancer in 2004.

  • Estimated 699,000 men and  668,000 women cancer cases in 2004.

Scientific Evidence

Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in almost every cell. This important mineral is necessary for the functioning of over 300 different enzymes, which are substances that promote biochemical reactions in the body. 

There is consistent scientific data that demonstrates the following health benefits of Zinc supplementation:

  • Immunity … Zinc helps regulate immune system functions and it may stimulate anti-viral activity. As a result of these benefits, it has been studied for use as a treatment for the common cold.

  • Wound Healing … Zinc is a component of one of the body’s important antioxidants and it may assist in wound healing, especially burns and scars.

Some other studies suggest the following health benefits of Zinc supplementation; however, more research needs to be conducted:

  • Reproduction … Zinc helps support normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.

  • Sensory Perception … Zinc is involved in sensory perceptions like taste, smell and vision.

  • Blood Sugar Levels … Zinc may also be involved with blood sugar levels and has been studied for use in the support of the symptoms of diabetes.

  • Acne … Zinc may support healthy skin and inhibit acne, eczema and psoriasis.

  • Anti-inflammatory … Zinc may have anti-inflammatory properties that could benefit arthritis sufferers.

  • Prostate Health … Zinc may support prostate health.

  • Stomach Ulcers … Zinc has been used with positive results to treat stomach ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Vision …. Zinc may support healthy vision.


Cerhan JR, Saag KG, Merlino LA, Mikuls TR, Criswell LA. "Antioxidant micronutrients and risk of rheumatoid arthritis in a cohort of older women." Am J Epidemiol. Feb2003;157(4):345-54.

Christian P, et al. "Zinc supplementation might potentiate the effect of vitamin A in restoring night vision in pregnant Nepalese women." Am J Clin Nutr. Jun2001;73(6):1045-51.

David TJ, et al. "Low Serum Zinc in Children with Atopic Eczema." Br J Dermatol. Nov1984;111(5):597-601. 

Fraker PJ, et al. "Interrelationships Between Zinc and Immune Function." Fed Proc. Apr1986;45(5):1474-79. 

Frommer DJ. "The Healing of Gastric Ulcers by Zinc Sulphate." Med J Aust. Nov1975;2(21):793-96.

Hendricks KM, Walker WA. "Zinc Deficiency in Inflammatory Bowel Disease." Nutr Rev. 1988;46(12):401-08. 

Michaelsson G, et al. "Patients with Dermatitis Herpetiformis, Acne, Psoriasis and Darier's Disease have Low Epidermal Zinc Concentrations." Acta Derm Venereol. 1990;70(4):304-08. 

Mossad SB, et al. "Zinc Gluconate Lozenges for Treating the Common Cold. A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study." Ann Intern Med. Jul1996;125(2):81-88. 

Mossad SB. "Effect of zincum gluconicum nasal gel on the duration and symptom severity of the common cold in otherwise healthy adults." QJM. Jan2003;96(1):35-43.

Nakamura T, et al. "Kinetics of Zinc Status in Children with IDDM. Diabetes Care." Jul1991;14(7):553-57. 

Newsome DA, et al. "Oral Zinc in Macular Degeneration." Arch Ophthalmol. Feb1988;106(2):192-98.

Okada A, et al. "Zinc in Clinical Surgery--A Research Review." Jpn J Surg. Nov1990;20(6):635-44. 

Peretz A, et al. "Effects of zinc supplementation on the phagocytic functions of polymorphonuclears in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases." J Trace Elem Electrolytes Health Dis. Dec1994;8(3-4):189-94.

Pidduck HG, et al. "Plasma Zinc and Copper in Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes." Apr1970;19(4):234-39. 

Simkin PA. "Oral Zinc Sulphate in Rheumatoid Arthritis." Lancet. Sep1976;2(7985):539-42. 

Sturniolo GC, et al. "Zinc supplementation tightens 'leaky gut' in Crohn's disease." Inflamm Bowel Dis. May2001;7(2):94-8.

Taylor CG, et al. "Dietary zinc deficiency and expression of T lymphocyte signal transduction proteins." Can J Physiol Pharmacol. Oct2000;78(10):823-8.

Verma KC, et al. "Oral Zinc Sulphate Therapy in Acne Vulgaris: A Double-blind Trial." Acta Derm Venereol. 1980;60(4):337-40. 

Inflammation & Its Relationship to Chronic Disease

by Dr Barry Sears

For the most part, current health care focuses its attention on treating the symptoms of chronic disease. I believe the focus should be on the promotion and maintenance of wellness to reduce the likelihood of developing chronic disease. This can be accomplished by concentrating on two broad goals: decreasing inflammation and increasing blood flow. The most efficient way to do this is to balance specific hormones in the body. Actually, that's the basis of the Zone Diet, which I introduced in my first book The Zone in 1995. The Zone is a state of hormonal balance that can be achieved through the diet and when specific hormones are balanced, this can help decrease inflammation and increase blood flow.

Although I have been researching and discussing the relationship of inflammation to chronic disease for many years, this important association is finally getting the attention it so deserves. In the Feb. 23, 2004 issue of Time Magazine, the cover story “The Secret Killer” reports on this important relationship and why it’s become one of the hottest areas of medical research today. The increased publicity on this subject could not have come at a better time because the current state of our health in America is poor and heading for crisis.

Health Crisis in America

Although the medical science community continues to improve treatments for many chronic diseases, Americans are headed for a health crisis. Our poor eating habits combined with a lack of exercise contribute greatly to our health problems. The incidence of obesity is increasing rapidly despite the concentrated efforts of the public health system, personal physicians and the flood of weight loss products on the market today. Currently, two-thirds of adults are overweight and one-third is obese. This situation should be of great concern to all of us because obesity is an inflammatory condition that is associated with a higher risk of contracting chronic diseases including Type II diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, some cancers, osteoarthritis and other health problems.

Take Control of Your Health

However, all is not lost. It is possible for you to take control of your health now. In this report, I will outline how you can reduce the inflammation associated with chronic disease and improve your state of wellness through dietary hormonal control. In order for you to fully understand this, I’ll briefly discuss how the hormones in your body control inflammation and chronic disease and then I will outline the steps you can take right now to improve your state of wellness

If there is one common, unifying factor of all chronic diseases, that factor is inflammation. It cuts across the entire spectrum of chronic diseases and aging. Actually, inflammation is a complex orchestration of pro- and anti-inflammatory events in the body, usually associated with pain.

However, there is a condition that is far more dangerous than outright pain and I refer to it as “silent inflammation.” When you have silent inflammation, it means inflammation is taking place in your body without any obvious pain. In other words, nothing hurts. Silent pain is insidious because it can go on for years or decades without notice. You have no pain and you think you’re okay. However, eventually this silent inflammation can turn into chronic disease.

Since many chronic diseases, such as, obesity, Type II diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s are known to be inflammatory diseases, why not take anti-inflammatory drugs on a lifetime basis? Three reasons:
(1) they can suppress the immune system, (2) they can cause osteoporosis and (3) they can cause death. More people die by taking the correct amount of anti-inflammatory drugs than die from AIDS.
Since the pathway from wellness to chronic disease is mediated through increasing levels of “silent inflammation” in the body, it is scientifically sound to assume that anything that decreases inflammation in the body is good medicine.

What can you do to reduce silent inflammation and avoid chronic disease?

The key to reducing silent inflammation is maintaining hormonal balance in a therapeutic Zone … not too high and not too low. The hormones that have the greatest affect on inflammation are insulin and eicosanoid hormones.

Insulin is controlled by the balance of protein and carbohydrate every time you eat. However, excess carbohydrate intake elevates insulin. Although you need some insulin to store incoming nutrients, excess insulin is unhealthy because it makes you fat and keeps you fat, accelerates the risk of heart disease and disrupts the balance of your eicosanoid hormones.

Unfortunately, excess body fat is more insidious than we think. Many people think of body fat as an inert substance, but these fats are active organs pumping out inflammation 24 hours day and 7 days week. The more fat you carry, the more inflammation you carry. The more inflammation you have, the faster you accelerate the onset of chronic disease.

Your eicosanoid hormones are the key to health because they control the flow of information in your “Biological Internet” or the way cells communicate in the body. Although the terms “good” and “bad” eicosanoid hormones are simply operational terms that describe very powerful, but opposite, physiological actions generated by different eicosanoids, it is important to keep in mind that you need a balance of “good” and “bad” eicosanoids for optimal health. See the chart below:
"Good" Eicosanoids "Bad" Eicosanoids
Prevent Blood Clots Promote Blood Clots
Cause Vasodilation of Blood Clots Cause Vasoconstriction of Blood Vessels
Reduce Pain Promote Pain
Decrease Cell Division Promote Cell Division
Enhance The Immune System Depress The Immune System
Improve Brain Function Depress Brain Function

There is a great deal of interaction between the eicosanoid and insulin hormones in your body and this interaction is controlled by the food you eat. If you control insulin through your diet, you will have a favorable balance of eicosanoid hormones and less inflammation. If you do not control insulin, you will have an unfavorable balance of your eicosanoids hormones and more inflammation. It is possible to control your insulin levels by adhering to the Zone Diet, which is the balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat during every meal. I created this diet as a life-long hormonal control strategy. However, if you do not control your insulin properly or if you currently have a health problem then I strongly suggest that you pay close attention to my recommendations on how nutrition can help prevent “silent inflammation.”

How Nutrition Can Help You Reduce Silent Inflammation and Avoid Chronic Disease

You can help control the “silent inflammation” in your body that is linked to chronic disease and you can do this by making sure you get the proper amounts of three nutrients. Not only is this a safe and natural way to improve your state of wellness, but supplementing your diet with these nutrients is also supported by years of scientific evidence. To reduce “silent inflammation,” supplement your diet with (1) long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish such as salmon or herring and fish oil supplements), (2) trace minerals (found in nutrient rich sea plants and land vegetables) and (3) antioxidants to deter dangerous free radicals (found in fruits and vegetables).

1. Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Since the body cannot make essential fatty acids, they must be a part of your daily diet. Essential fatty acids are classified as either long-chain omega-6 or long-chain omega-3, depending on the position of the double bonds in the fatty acid molecule. When metabolized, long-chain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids produce eicosanoids, which can have dramatically different physiological actions in your body. Simply said, the omega-6 fatty acids found in processed shortenings and vegetable oil products produce “bad” eicosanoids and the omega-3 fatty acids found abundantly in cold water fish and fish oils produce “good eicosanoids,” which control silent inflammation. The problem with our diet today is it contains numerous sources of omega-6 from processed foods and very little omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish Oil … an Excellent Source of Omega-3’s

The growing importance of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in the diet have been validated by leading medical researchers, universities including Harvard Medical School and the American Heart Association. Recently, the AHA said that patients with Coronary Heart Disease ideally should get their daily fish oil fix from an approximately three-ounce serving of fatty fish or a fish oil supplement. This is a major departure and the first pill supplement ever recommended by the American Heart Association. However, due to pollution, the fish in our oceans are contaminated with toxins such as mercury, PCB’s and dioxins. If consumers choose to get Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, they must be very careful when choosing a fish oil supplement. Make sure you choose an ultra-purified fish oil that is tested by an independent third party for concentration, purity and stability

2. Add Trace Minerals to Your Diet

In addition, to essential fatty acids, trace minerals are vital to good health. Without the proper trace minerals vitamins are useless, enzymes cannot function properly and certain hormones become out of balance, which can lead to inflammation. Since your body cannot make trace minerals, you must get them through your diet. In most cases, over farming has depleted the soil and robbed us of the mineral-rich food our bodies really need. So it’s important to supplement your diet with these important nutrients. I recommend trace minerals derived from a nutrient rich whole food such as sea plants. However, make sure the sea vegetable product you purchase is carefully tested and certified to ensure that no pesticides or other contaminants affect the natural purity of the product.

3. Add Antioxidants to Fight Dangerous Free Radicals

Everyday your body wages war against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that occur as a result of regular metabolism and are aggravated by pollution and many other stresses of modern life. Excess free radicals increase inflammatory responses, which as you know by now is the origin of many chronic diseases. Make sure you get adequate antioxidants in your diet from fruits, vegetables or a good nutritional supplement. However, it’s important to be an educated consumer when purchasing an antioxidant supplement. There is a new test called the Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity or ORAC test. The higher the ORAC rating of an antioxidant, the greater its ability to quench free radicals and their associated damage. So make sure you check the ORAC rating before you purchase an antioxidant supplement.

Take Control of Your Life Now

Unfortunately, the future of health in America today does not look bright. If we continue on this path of unhealthy eating habits and little exercise, expect the rates of chronic diseases to increase. Although current health care focuses its attention on treating the symptoms of chronic diseases as opposed to the maintenance of wellness, I believe the promotion and maintenance of wellness is possible based strictly on dietary hormonal control. The most effective way to control your hormones is by balancing the proteins and carbohydrates you eat daily and supplementing your diet with three vital nutrients: long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, trace minerals and antioxidants because the scientific evidence has proven the positive effect these nutrients have on hormones and “silent inflammation.”


Scientists are taking alternative medicine seriously. The government has established The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to promote understanding of alternative modalities and their effects of disease. Some of the grants include research on acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine on addiction, the effects of antioxidants on asthma and understanding the mind-body connection.

Nutrition is taken seriously by the government. Childhood obesity is at such high levels that the National Institute of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and numerous medical universities are calling for an aggressive comprehensive program to stop its spread. Parents are urged for more involvement by feeding healthier meals, encouraging exercise, and limiting access to television and video games. The department of agriculture has called upon schools to work with industry to develop new nutritional standards for foods and beverages. Schools have been asked to increase physical activity and set up weight programs for their students. More information is available on the Institute of Medicine’s Web site.

Fruits and Vegetables are being taken seriously. Researchers in the United States have developed a low-sugar watermelon. The low sugar water-melons are just crisp and refreshing just like other watermelons with the same health benefits and without the sugar. Drinking concord grape juice has been found to increase good cholesterol and promote health cardiovascular system.

Using Our Heads to Nourish Our Brains with Omega 3's

We always hear about the ways we can take care of our bodily organs with the foods we eat. When we think about our diet and lifestyle, we can't help but think about the effect our choices have on our heart, liver and kidneys. But, what about the brain? When it comes to our diet, the brain has traditionally been the most overlooked organ, when the brain is in fact greatly affected by our dietary choices. It's time we start using our brains to help nourish our brains.
Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most beneficial brain nutrients. Turns out, omega 3's protect the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are made up of DHA (or docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (or eicosapentaenoic acid).

Probably the most essential asset to the brain is DHA, the chief polyunsaturated fat in the central nervous system. DHA is said to have a direct effect on brain chemistry, development and functioning. DHA is crucial for people of all ages. However, DHA is as important to a child's diet as TV shows are to prime time television.

The richest source of omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish and fish oil.

Omega-3's and the Brain

There are several ways that the omega-3's found in fish oil can manage the brain. Here are a few of them, based on scientific research.

Helps Maintain a Positive State of Mind

DHA helps to regulate serotonin, a neurotransmitter known for keeping us "feeling good." Chronically sad people tend to have low levels of serotonin. Research suggests populations that consume large amounts of fish have lower numbers of people that are chronically sad. Also, a recent Australian study confirmed that the most severely saddened participants had imbalances of fatty acids in their cell membranes and in their blood. So, get some fish and don't worry, eat happy.

Encourages Calm Thinking

The expression of stress-induced aggression has proven to be less likely if your brain is under the influence of fish oil, according to an extensive Japanese study. In a test of 41 adult students, those taking 1.5 to 1.8 grams of DHA (in fish oil) for three months were less likely to become more socially aggressive at a time of severe mental stress: final exams. On the other side of the study, students taking dummy capsules displayed sometimes rather explosive moments of social aggression.

This may also explain why fish oil is good for heart health. Stress hormones triggered by anger and hostility can constrict the arteries and accelerate the formation of blockages. Fish oil is said to suppress the release of such detrimental hormones.

Stimulates young minds and enhances desirable behavior

Fetuses and toddlers must get enough omega-3 oils for optimal brain development. In a study of premature infants, those fed breast milk had 8 points higher IQ at age 8 than those fed standard infant formula. This suggests that the higher amounts of DHA in breast milk can attribute to superior intelligence. Doctors also advise soon-to-be moms to integrate omega-3's into their diet especially during the last trimester where most crucial brain growth takes place. Studies also show that boys with lower levels of omega-3 fat have a higher frequency of behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, anxiousness and temper tantrums.

It's this simple: brain cells need DHA to function at their most optimal levels. If our diets are low in this type of fat and the brain cells don't get enough, our brains will suffer and inevitably, so will we, in myriad ways. Once supplied with what it needs, the brain can function much better. Again, think of the brain as one big relay race. Thought travels in the form of electrical signals through the brain, getting passed like a baton from one neuron to the next. For a signal to enter a neuron, the signal needs to pass through the walls of the neuron, known as cell membranes. These walls consist entirely of fats and 20% of these are essential fatty acids like omega-3's. Omega-3's are said to strengthen our synapses, making it easier for signals to cross the gap between brain cells.

Because omega-3's are essential fats, which means not created by our bodies and has to be found in our diets, the question remains. Where can we get our hands on this good stuff?

Though Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in walnuts, flaxseed and a few other foods, the most beneficial form of Omega-3's, the fatty acids DHA and EPA, can only be found in fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, sablefish and bluefish.

Interestingly enough, omega-6 oils (found in corn, soy and sunflower seed oils and most margarines) tend to negate the benefits of omega-3's, so we recommend olive oil and canola oil instead. Unfortunately, we Americans consume a dangerously insufficient amount of omega-3's and too much of omega-6's for our own good. Let's just say this, the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be 1:1, but the typical American ratio ranges anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1! How's that for imbalance?

Also, fish oil in the form of daily supplements has proven to be a marvelous alternative, especially for those that don't eat fish often, those that don't like fish, those pregnant and nursing that should be avoiding mercury in their diets or those that are allergic. Speaking of mercury, this issue should be taken into serious consideration, as fish of all varieties from all water sources are now showing dangerously high levels of tasteless but toxic mercury. Some doctors are starting to tell their patients to be weary of this harmful metal that is taking up residence inside the bodies of fish thanks to our polluted skies and seas. In fact, there is some salmon out there that you can buy for an enormous price that has been lab tested for mercury and other toxins.