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Overall Health

Zinc

Zinc is a metal. It is called an "essential trace element" because very small amounts of zinc are necessary for human health.

Zinc is frequently used for boosting the immune system, treating the common cold and recurrent ear infections, and preventing lower respiratory infections. Many people use zinc for it's other reported benefits of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), male infertility, erectile dysfunction (ED), weak bones (osteoporosis), rheumatoid arthritis, and muscle cramps associated with liver disease.

Zinc is also used for asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Many athletes also use zinc for improving hormone balance, athletic performance and strength. Some use zinc for an eye disease called macular degeneration, for night blindness, and for cataracts.1

Zinc Key Benefits:

  • Improved hormone balance
  • Healthier hair and skin
  • Healthier immune system

Vitamin D

Vitamin D Key Benefits:

  • Protection against bone loss
  • Improving blood pressure
  • Improving cholesterol levels
  • Reducing cancer risks
  • Improving the immune system

While Vitamin D is classically referred to as a vitamin, it is also in the true sense a hormone as it can be synthesized within the body provided adequate sun exposure. It can be found in small amounts in a few foods, including fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines and tuna. To make vitamin D more available, it is added to dairy products, juices, and cereals that are then said to be “fortified with vitamin D.”

Vitamin D is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It is also used for diabetes, obesity, muscle weakness, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and tooth and gum disease.

It is also used for boosting the immune system, preventing autoimmune diseases, preventing cancer, and treating osteoporosis (weak bones). Taking a specific form of vitamin D called cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) along with calcium seems to help prevent bone loss and bone breaks.

In addition, researchers noticed that people who don't have enough vitamin D tend to fall more often than other people, this is particularly important to note in the elderly. They found that taking a vitamin D supplement reduces the risk of falling by up to 22%. Higher doses of vitamin D are more effective than lower doses. One study found that taking 800 IU of vitamin D reduced the risk of falling, but lower doses didn't.1

Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty layers of cold-water fish and shellfish, plant and nut oils, English walnuts, flaxseed, algae oils, and fortified foods. You can also get omega-3s as supplements. Food and supplement sources of these fatty acids differ in the forms and amounts they contain.

There are the two main types of omega-3 fatty acids:

  1. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These are plentiful in fish and shellfish. Algae often provides only DHA.
  2. Short-chain omega-3 fatty acids are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). These are found in plants, such as flaxseed. Though beneficial, ALA omega-3 fatty acids have less potent health benefits than EPA and DHA. You'd have to eat a lot to gain the same benefits as you do from fish.

Hundreds of studies suggest that omega-3s may provide some benefits to a wide range of diseases: cancer, asthma, depression, cardiovascular disease, ADHD, and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.1

EPA and DHA from fish oil promote cardiovascular health by supporting optimal triglyceride and cholesterol levels and reducing platelet aggregation. Fish oil has also been shown to promote optimal joint function and overall brain and nervous system function.

In addition, fish oil is an effective treatment for acne. EPA is known to inhibit androgen formation, which can affect the formation of sebum in hair follicle, leading to acne.

Fish oil also helps maintain a good luster of the hair, because omega-3 has growth stimulating properties, since it provides nourishment to the follicles. It aids in increased development of hair and in preventing hair loss. A good supply of protein is also necessary for hair growth, and since most fish varieties are rich in protein, eating fish helps to keep hair healthy.2

Fish Oil Key Benefits:

  • Improved triglyceride and cholesterol levels
  • Optimal joint function
  • Improved neurological function
  • Healthier hair and skin
  • Decreased cardiovascular disease

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