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A healthy body depends upon all its systems being in balance; interrupt any one of them and eventually there will be widespread disruption. The brain and heart are arguably two of the most important systems as they are at the center of many vital body functions. The heart acts as your body’s lifeline, sending oxygen and nutrients to every cell. Your brain acts much like a computer, processing information, controlling thoughts and feelings, as well as coordinating actions and reactions.
With control over so many important functions, a glitch in either system can quickly lead to disruptions in overall body function.
Where Do Glitches Stem From?
Factors that can interfere with optimal heart and brain function include: a poor diet (think high fat, high sugar and low fiber), a sedentary lifestyle, elevated stress levels, frequent exposures to environmental toxins as well as a lack of sleep. Though you might not feel the immediate effects from any one of these things, their impact to systems like your heart and brain will eventually turn outward. An interruption might present itself as an elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, absent-mindedness, brain-fog, decreased mood or lack of focus—all indications that body function is less than ideal.
Internally, the disruption happens at the cellular level. Each system is made up of specialized cells that work together to coordinate the many responsibilities of the heart and the brain. Interfere with cell function for too long and you end up with an imbalance that leads to the undesirable conditions listed above. To protect the health of your heart and brain, then, requires two things –
1) engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors as much as possible, and
2) finding ways to protect the health of your cells.
Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors
In an ideal world, we would all be eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, keeping our stress levels low, avoiding exposure to toxins and getting plenty of sleep. That’s in a perfect world; unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.
Temptations get the better of us and we indulge in the not-so-healthy foods more often than we should. Our busy lifestyles make it difficult to exercise daily and are often the reason for our elevated stress levels. We value productivity, which leaves many of us sleep deprived. We live in a world where it’s difficult to limit exposures to things like air pollution and pesticides. Therefore, we must find additional ways to protect our health; specifically, the health of our cells.
In the case of your heart and brain, research supports the use of omega-3 fatty acids to optimize cellular health. You’ve likely heard of omega-3s—they are the good fats you get from foods like fish and walnuts. But what makes them so special?
When it comes to nutrients the body needs to survive, fat is one of them. The body can make most types of fats it needs from the raw materials provided by the diet; however, that is not the case for omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are considered essential fats as they can’t be made by the body and thus, must be consumed through the diet.
There are three main omega-3 fatty acids:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – These omega-3s are mainly found in fish.
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – This is the most common omega-3 fatty acid in Western diets and is found in nuts, seeds, leafy vegetables and vegetable oils. Generally, the body uses ALA as an energy source.
The Many Functions of Omega-3s
Omega-3s are used for many functions within the body. They act as a structural component of cell membranes and can influence the production of other important signaling molecules. They have been shown to alter the expression of a number of genes, including those involved with fat metabolism. They are building blocks of hormones that regulate blood clotting and are involved with the contracting and relaxing of arteries. They also provide energy for the body.
Increasing omega-3 intake directly impacts the amount of omega-3s found in cell membranes; especially, the cells of the eyes, heart and brain. The brain’s gray matter contains high levels of DHA, suggesting that they are important to brain function such as learning and memory. Additionally, research shows a strong correlation between intake of omega-3s, especially DHA, and brain development. Specifically, higher DHA in an infant’s diet appears to promote healthy brain development which is essential for optimal brain function. In adult brains, a greater incorporation of DHA into cell membranes has been shown to protect against oxidative stress in neurons and support the maintenance of normal brain function.
A higher intake of omega-3s has also been found to contribute to normal heart function. The beneficial effects have been linked to EPA and DHA’s ability to help maintain normal blood pressure as well as normal triglyceride and cholesterol levels; although, a daily intake of 2-3 grams seems to be necessary in order to achieve these benefits. When it comes to supporting eye health, omega-3s appear to play an important role in visual transduction—the first step of many that allow you to see.
More EPA & DHA, Less ALA
Collectively, research suggests that the health benefits provided by omega-3s come from EPA and DHA. Unfortunately, most of us have higher intakes of ALA and lower intakes of EPA and DHA. While the body can convert ALA to EPA and DHA, research suggests that only a small amount actually gets converted.
In addition to low EPA and DHA intake, people are consuming higher amounts of another essential fatty acid, omega-6. Though omega-6 has many important roles in the body, the functions performed by omega-3s (specifically EPA and DHA) appear to offer greater health benefits. Because high omega-6 consumption can inhibit the use of omega-3s in the body, they must be consumed in a specific ratio—between 1:1 and 4:1 (omega-6:omega-3). In the Western diet, due to high consumption of processed foods and oils, the intake ratio for many people is between 10:1 and 25:1.
Diet vs. Supplements
With these things in mind, there is no question we could benefit from increasing our intake of omega-3 fats. But as mentioned earlier, getting what we need from our diet isn’t always realistic, which makes supplements a good alternative to protecting the health of our cells. That’s where LifeVantage Omega+ comes in.
LifeVantage Omega+ is a dietary supplement that provides a unique blend of omega-3 fatty acids, omega-7 fatty acids and Vitamin D3. Each serving contains roughly 1,500mg of omega 3s, providing the recommended 500mg dose of EPA and DHA. With increasing evidence to support omega-7’s important role in cardiovascular health, fish oil from Alaskan Pollock (a source of omega-7’s) was added to ensure adequate daily intake. The product also provides 100% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin D3, a key nutrient involved in many body processes including bone formation, muscle function, cell division and immune function. Though most people are not deficient in vitamin D, they do not have optimal levels which can interfere with normal body function.
By combining Omega 7 and Vitamin D3 with Omega 3, LifeVantage Omega+ works to:
- Support cardiovascular health*
- Help maintain normal blood triglyceride levels already within the normal range**
- Help maintain normal blood pressure levels already within the normal range***
- Support cognitive health*
- Promote cellular health *
|*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
**Beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 2g of EPA and DHA. It is recommended not to exceed a supplemental daily intake of 5g of EPA and DHA combined.
***Beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 3g of EPA and DHA. It is recommended not to exceed a supplemental daily intake of 5g of EPA and DHA combined.