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Inflammation, Arteries and Heart Disease

“There are factors with regard to inflammation that are completely silent with no indications of a problem.”

Inflammation…we are all familiar with this term! 

Inflammation, when it is as a result of an injury, is a healthy response. It’s part of the healing process.  Unfortunately, inflammation can also get out of control and become the cause of pain and suffering as it won’t go away without intervention. 

Although younger people can suffer from it, it is generally an older person’s problem.  You only need to look around you to see the number of people obviously suffering. They are walking around hunched over, obviously in pain, and their movements are not as fluid as when they were younger. 

Now, these are the obvious signs…and painful ones. But there are other factors with regard to inflammation that are not only not obvious; they are completely silent with no indications of a problem. 

I am talking about inflammation in your arteries. 

Inflammation in your arteries

When your arteries become inflamed, they will narrow (just like when you damage yourself amd get bruising and swelling as your body repairs itself). 

That is fine as it is only temporary. 

But, if you have excessive and continuous inflammation throughout your body and you don’t know it, it is not temporary. It can be a contributing factor to a fatal heart attack or stroke. 

I find it fascinating that testing for abnormal inflammation in the body is not a standard.  When you go and do your check up with the Doctor they will generally order a blood test for

  • Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Total blood count
  • Renal function

and maybe one or two more.  But rarely do they do a test to measure the amount of inflammation in your body which is a clue as to your general health. 

The C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test

Over the last 20 years I have conveyed the importance of this test to many thousands of our customers. It is inexpensive. The test is called C-Reactive Protein or CRP for short. 

The liver produces CRP in response to inflammation in the body.  If you have little or no inflammation your readings would be very low.  If it is elevated, you need to do something about it. The body cannot sustain high levels of inflammation long term. 

What are the best solutions for reducing inflammation of the blood? 

There are many natural options, but I am just going to briefly talk about one category.  I am sure you are already familiar with Omega 3 oils

There are numerous studies supporting the efficacy of Omega 3 fish oils in reducing inflammation. 

Know your Omega 3s: ALA, DHA and EPA

Now it is important that you don’t confuse the Omega 3 oils with the vegetarian form – ALA or Alpha-linolenic acid.  

Although ALA is good for you it won’t do you as much good as the fish oil forms that contain DHA and EPA.  In some people it is possible to convert a small fraction of ALA to EPA and then on to DHA but it is miniscule. 

  • ALA has 18 double carbon bonds
  • EPA has 20 double carbon bonds
  • DHA has 22 double carbon bonds

The body can easily convert downwards and convert DHA to EPA, and EPA to ALA by dropping off some bonds, but cannot easily go the other way. 

So, DHA is by far the most important Omega 3 fatty acid and makes up the bulk of your brain. This would account for the positive studies of Omega 3 fish oils for brain function. 

Most fish oil manufacturers tend to have higher concentrations of EPA in their oils rather than the more valuable DHA.  For the last 14 years we have bucked that trend and focused on higher DHA levels. 

Now there is another Omega substance that you may not have heard of which helps lower inflammation: Omega 7.  I will tell you more about that in the next video.  For now make sure you are getting a regular daily dose of Omega 3 fish oils

What to look for in an Omega 3 fish oil

There are a lot of good brands on the market.  Be sure that the brand owner is a member of GOED. GOED is an international organization for research into Omega 3 fish oils, with guidelines around quality that their members have to conform to.  We at Xtend-Life are members, but our self- imposed specifications are even more stringent than GOED. 

The dangers of heat for your fish oil

One thing you should look for in a fish oil supplement is the type of oil used. 

When a fish oil is concentrated it is subject to high heat as part of the molecular distillation process.  This means it has to be converted from the natural triglyceride form to an ethyl ester to handle the heat.  Then it is converted back to the triglyceride form by another process. 

The only problem with that is that the carbon bonds can attach to random areas of the backbone. This means it is no longer a natural substance but more a synthetic one. 

Because of this we used the ethyl ester form for about 12 years to avoid that. 

Fish oil benefits from new technology

But, about two years ago new technology was developed that enabled the concentration of the natural oil to take place without the high heat and the need to convert the triglyceride to an ethyl ester form.  This was achieved through low heat distillation with an enzymatic process. 

All our oil is now in the natural triglyceride form. 

There are a few other manufacturers in the world who are using this technology, but they are pretty limited as it is a more expensive process. In time it will become more wide spread…but, it is available if you do your research. 

I will tell you about the Omega 7 I mentioned earlier in a few days.

Until then..bye for now.

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