Can Cocoa lower Hypertension?

Can Cocoa lower High blood pressure?

By: Arlene Gentallan

Can Cocoa lower Hypertension?
Can Cocoa lower Hypertension?

        Cocoa is use to make delicious chocolates. It is rich is antioxidant flavanol, mainly epicatechin. Researches shows the health benefits of cocoa among those suffering from hypertension and diabetes.

Did you know that theobroma (the latin name of cocoa) means "food of the gods."

        We enjoy chocolate nowadays in huge variety, mostly containing mouthwatering but potentially dangerous sugar, so for the sake of our health, let's focus on it's bitter form.

Dark chocolate vs. White chocolate

        In a study by Rostami, Khalili, Haghighat, et al., they've compared individuals suffering from diabetes type 2, in which one group is assigned to eat 25 grams of dark chocolate for 8 weeks while another group consumes 25 grams white cholate for 8 weeks.

        After 8 weeks, those individuals who ate "high-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate" has reduce fasting blood sugar, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, although they did not loose weight. On the other hand, those who eat white chocolate did not have significant improvement.

Cocoa is Heart Healthy

        Aside from cocoa's benefit in lowering blood pressure, regular consumption of this bitter goodie can also bring down "bad cholesterol" and dilates blood vessels.

        As we age, our blood vessel stiffens with lesser flexibility. Cocoa promotes nitric oxide production in the inner surface (aka. endothelium) of the arteries, causing it to relax and dilate.

        Blood pumping through stiff constricted arteries raises blood pressure. On the other hand, blood traveling through relax dilated blood vessels causes smooth blood flow which lowers blood pressure.

 Regular consumption of cocoa is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases.

The History

        Kuna Indians use cocoa extensively in their drinks and cuisine. These people have low incidence of cardiovascular disease. But Kuna Indians that migrated to Panama, who consume less cocoa flavanol, experience an increase in cardiovascular risk.

Hypertension "The Silent Killer"

        Did you know why hypertension is a silent killer? It's because many people with elevated blood pressure are not aware that they have indeed a high blood pressure.

        Having a high blood pressure can cause a person to feel nape pain, headache, dizziness, or have nose bleed. But for some people, this is not so. Even when their blood pressure is dangerously high, they remain asymptomatic.

        They don't feel the signs, they don't see it coming. With uncontrolled high blood pressure comes dangerous consequences like a sudden heart attack or stroke; kidney failure, and retinopathy

Here's a deadly example:

        You may be feeling nothing out of the ordinary, doing your usual work. But what you don't know is that you're blood pressure is dangerously high. Since you don't feel the signs, you continue whatever you're doing when all of a sudden a blood vessel in your brain could no longer contain the pressure in it so it blew...flooding your brain with blood, compressing it. You've just had a stroke ...will you be lucky enough to survive?

What is Hypertension

        High blood pressure (aka. hypertension) is defined as having a systolic blood pressure equal or greater than 140mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure equal or greater than 90mmHg.

Fact: The acidic environment of our stomach does not degrade flavanol.


8 Ways "good" bacteria works to your advantage

8 Health Benefits of Probiotics

By: Arlene Gentallan

health benefits of probiotics
8 Ways "good" bacteria works to your advantage

        Probiotics is the term we use to refer to live bacteria that benefits our health. You may have already stumble upon these microscopic allies in your cup of yogurt. You know that they are healthy, but do you wonder what exactly they do once they get in your body?

Among the most popular beneficial types are Streptococcus thermophilus, bifidobacteria and lactobacillus strain such as:

Lactobacillus acidophilus 
Lactobacillus casei
Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Streptococcus thermophilus, bifidobacteria and lactobacillus  are normal inhabitant of your gut.

Are probiotics killed by stomach acid?

        The above mentioned probiotics are generally acid-resistant bacteria, so they generally can survive stomach acid and travel to your intestine where they multiply and thrive.

1. Allergy

Studies has shown that dietary intake of yogurt can prevent allergy. A study by Aldinucci, Bellussi, Monciatti et al., shows that eating yogurt benefits individuals suffering from rhinitis.

2. Vitamins

        Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria produces B vitamins such as vitamin B9 (aka. folate) which is needed to produce healthy red blood cells, maintain function of the brain, and fetal development.

3. Fights "bad" bacteria

        Probiotics produces lactic acid as a by product of lactose metabolism which keeps the pH of the small intestine low. This reduces growth of "bad" bacteria like Salmonella (which is attributed to food poisoning) and Clostridium difficile (which causes diarrhea.)

4. Immune booster

        Intake of probiotic is associated with reduce risk of respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pnuemonia.

5. Lactose intolerance

        The lactobacillus strain of bacteria produces and enzyme called "lactase" which breaks down milk sugar "lactose" into glucose and galactose which are easier to digest. People with lactose intolerance can better tolerate yogurt compared to milk.

6. Diarrhea

        Antibiotic kills both "good" and "bad" bacteria. It's prolong use can lead to diarrhea. Consuming probiotics is an effective way to restore the normal bacterial population of your gut and stop diarrhea. Taking probiotics while on antibiotic therapy can prevent diarrhea.

7. Irritable bowel syndrome

        Taking probiotics can relieve symptoms of IBS. Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. Symptoms of IBS usually relieve by defecation.

8. Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis

        Taking fermented products with live culture of probiotics benifits people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease such as crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis by lengthening the period they are symptom-free.


One of the most popular fermented product containing probiotics are yogurts. But keep in mind that yogurts are not created equal. Not all of them contain live culture of the sought after "good" bacteria so make it a point to first check if they have the "Live active cultures" seal before purchasing.

How to do Pencil push ups

Pencil push ups for Convergence insufficiency

By: Arlene Gentallan

How to do Pencil push ups
How to do Pencil push ups

Pencil push up is recommended for individuals suffering from convergence insufficiency, a condition in which eyes turn inward when focusing on a nearby object.

        To do pencil push up?
  1. Hold a pencil vertically with your hand at arm's length in front of you. Make sure the tip of the pencil is at eye level.
  2. Focus at the tip of the pencil as you slowly bring it close to you until your vision of it doubles.
  3. While still focusing at the tip of the pencil, move it back at arm's length.
  4. Rest your eyes by looking at something else  or close your eyes for about 3 seconds.
  5. Repeat for about 15 minutes.

4 Tips to Improve Eyesight

Tips to Improve Eyesight

By Arlene Gentallan

Tips to Improve Eyesight
Tips to Improve Eyesight

        Our eyes is our window to the world. Through it, we see, we explore, we live. But if you're not one of those individuals fortunate enough to have 20/20 vision, you may there a way to make your eyesight better?

1. Follow the 20-20-20 rule

        Did you know that eye muscles is the most used muscle? Your eyes deserve some rest too... Every 20 minutes of computer use, rest your eyes by looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

        Remember the 20-20-20 rule so you won't end up with tired eyes!

2. Eye strengthening exercise

        It's not just your arms and legs needing good ol' exercise...your eyes need them too. Although there is proof that eye exercise can increase visual acuity, it can improve your focus, relax, and strengthen your eye muscles.

Close your eyes
Squeeze your eyes shut for about 5 seconds. Open your eyes and let it relax for about 5 seconds. Repeat this for about 5-10 times.

Rub your palm until it feels warm, then press each palm lightly into each of your eyes. Once you're no longer seeing floaters, you may remove your palm from your eyes.

Blink every 3 seconds for about 2 minutes.

Trace figure eight
Imagine a big number 8 approximately 10 feet away from you. Trace the number 8 slowly with your eyes for about 2-3 minutes. Trace it the other direction for about 2-3 minutes.

Directional eye movement
Move your eyes from side to side.
Move your eyes up and down slowly.
Make a circular motion with your eyes (counterclockwise, the clockwise).
Move your eyes diagonally.

Stretch your hand in front of you and make a "thumbs up" sign. Focus your eye on your thumb as you slowly move it towards your nose until your vision of your thumb doubles. Maintain your focus on your thumb as you slowly outstretch your hand. Rest your eyes by looking into another object for about 15 seconds. Repeat the exercise for about 5-10 times.

To improve your eye accommodation...
Focus on an object 10 inches in front of you for about 15 seconds. Then, focus on something about 20 feet away for 15 seconds.

3. Healthy Eating

Lutein & zeaxanthin

        Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids antioxidants found in the macula (point of highest visual acuity) of the eye where they serve a protective nature against damaging effect of sunlight. Lutein and zeaxanthin reduces risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataract.

        Food rich in lutein & zeaxanthin includes:
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Collards
  • Corn
  • Dark leafy vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Green peas
  • Kale
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinatch
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip greens
  • Zucchini
Lutein is also an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antihypertensive, and antidiabetic.

Vitamin A

        Vitamin A is essential for good eyesight. It is an important compenent of light-sensitive proteins called "rhodopsin" in the dones of the retina responsible for night vision. Vitamin A also maintains healthy cornea and mucous membranes.

Retinol (animal sources) & Beta carotene (plant sources)

        "Retinol" is vitamin A from animal sources while "carotenoid" is from plant sources. Beta Carotene is a antioxidant carotenoid from plant sources that has to be converted by our body to retinol.

        Be warry, when taking supplement because excess retinol (vitamin A) is toxic to the body. Excess beta carotene can cause yellowing of the skin and increase the risk of developing lung cancer among smokers.

Retinol rich foods includes:
  • Eggs
  • Liver
  • Milk
  • Salmon
  • Vitamin A fortified foods such as margarine

Beta carotene rich foods includes:
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Grapefruit
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Plums
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes

Fun fact: ...or horrible fact: If you eat a polar bear's may just be your last meal. Polar bear's liver contains high amounts of Vitamin A leading to death by toxicity.

4. Allow yourself to recover

        Make sure you are getting 8 hours of sleep per day. Enough sleep is important for the sound functioning of your body. It allows your body to recover.

Related Article: 

        14 Facts How Light destroys your Eyes
        8 Tried and Tested Home Remedies for Dry Eyes


10 Reasons Cinnamon is Good for your Health

10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Health Benefits of Cinnamon
10 Reasons Cinnamon is Good for your Health

By: Arlene Gentallan

        Cinnamon doesn't just make amazing teas and delicious cinnamon rolls, it's also packed with health benefits. In fact, this popular spice has been used as an alternative medicine since the ancient times.

        So the next time you indulge yourself with this treat, you know you're taking full advantage not only of it's flavour and fragrance

A word of caution

        But before you indulge on cinnamon, a word of caution, cinnamon contains coumarin, a fat-soluble anticoagulant compound which our body stores. High doses of coumarin in the body can damage kidneys and liver!

High doses of cinnamon is toxic to the body

        Avoid cinnamon cassia since it contains larger amount of coumarin. Cinnamon cassia is ironically the most widely available type of cinnamon in the market.

        It is recommended to use ceylon cinnamon (also known as "true" cinnamon) instead which contains lesser coumarin.

        Buying unlabeled cinnamon is risky. Keep in mind that you may not always find quality cinnamon from supermarkets and groceries. Buy only from credible sources, such as stores specialized in selling fresh organic products.

What is the recommended intake of cinnamon

        Although there is no standard daily intake for cinnamon, it is recommended to only consume about 1 teaspoon or 4 grams per day.

10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

1. Cancer & Tumor

        In an in vitro study by Ho-Keun Kwon, Ji-Sun Hwang, Jae-Seon So, et al., water soluble cinnamon cassia extract promotes natural death of cancer cells and prevents tumor growth. Cinnamon's antioxidant property also decreases risk of developing cancer.

2. Antioxidant

        Cinnamon contains antioxidants which defends the body from the damaging effect of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules either produced by the body or obtained from the environment (eg. smoking, pollution, radiation etc). Excessive accumulation of free radicals in the body can cause "oxidative stress" leading to mutation and cell damage, possibly leading to health problems like premature aging, memory loss and cancer.

3. Diabetes

        Studies have revealed that cinnamon lowers blood sugar and fasting gluclose level among people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

4. Hyperlipedemia

        Studies in rats shows that it can lower "bad" cholesterol LDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol, which decreases risk of cardiovascular disease.

5. Alzheimer's disease
        Studies have shown that ceylon cinnamon may benefit people with alzheimer's disease, by preventing the protein "tau" from forming tangles in the brain.

        Memories are stored in the basic building block of the central nervous system which are called nerve cells or neurons. In alzheimer's disease memory is progressively lost because of formation of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain. Connections between nerve cells disappear. Eventually nerve cells  die.

6. Parkinson's disease

        Currently, Parkinson's disease has no cure. Studies has shown that cinnamon improves movement among those afflicted with Parkinson's disease and protects nerce cells that produce dopamine.

        Parkinson's disease is characterized by a  deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.  Dopamine helps regulate our movement, sleep, and learning. Consequently, loss of it leads to symptoms of Parkinson's disease such as uncontrollable tremors of limbs, slow movement, slurring of speech, and stooped posture.

7. Bad breath & Oral Health

        Having bad breath or halitosis can cause embarrasment and strain close relationships. One of the most common cause of this unpleasant odor is bacterial breakdown of food particles.

        Cinnamon illuminates the root cause of this problem by killing odor-causing bacteria.

        Related article: DIY: Cinnamon Mouthwash to get rid of Bad Breath

        Did you know that cinnamon flavored chewing gum are available in the market? Also, you can add cinnamon to your home-made toothpase!

...But a word of caution: Cinnamon may trigger hypersensitivity reaction to some people. Constant use of cinnamon, like chewing cinnamon flavored chewing gum and cinnamon home-made toothpaste can result in oral mucous irritation. If you are sensitive to cinnamon, stop cinnamon use immediately.

8. Toothache emergency reliever!

        Almost all of us has experienced toothache. If the pain struck you at an untimely hour, you know you've got to do something about it. But instead of heading to the medicine cabinet, why not go to your kitchen for some good ol' cinnamon. That's right! Cinnamon is a home remedy to relieve toothache.

        For better taste, mix 1 pinch cinnamon powder with 1 teaspoon honey, then apply it directly to your aching teeth.

        Do remember that toothache is a common symptom of an underlying dental problem like dental carries so don't forget to go to your dentist to determine and treat the root cause of your toothache.

9. Natural insect repellent

        Mosquito is the leading cause of vector-borne disease. You can protect yourself and your family's health with cinnamon. Simply add 1 drop of cinnamon essential oil to 5ml of distilled water. Shake well and store in a spray bottle. Spray on your skin whenever needed.

        a word of caution: Do not exceed 1 drop per 5ml since it may cause skin irritation.

10. Blood thinner

        The coumarin content of cinnamon is a potent anticoagulant. Platelet coagulation is necessary to prevent mico and excessive bleeding, however it can also lead to formation of deadly blod clots that can clog arteries leading to lack of blood supply in the blocked area of the body.

        A word of caution: Consult your doctor if you are taking an anticoagulant medicine since it's synergystic effect with cinnamon may predispose your to hemorrhage.

        Take note the cinnamon cassia contains a larger amount of coumarin (anticoagulant agent) so you should avoid this. Instead, use cinnamon ceynon.

  • There are compounds in cinnamon that can accumulate in our body to the point of toxic. Avoid this by scheduling periods when you'll skip taking cinnamon. For example, every 6 weeks, stop taking cinnamon for 7 days.
  • Choose cinnamon ceynon. Avoid cinnamon cassia.
  • Use water-based extract of cinnamon. That's because the liver damaging compound coumarin is fat soluble.
  • Do not take more than 1 teaspoon or 4 grams cinnamon per day.


DIY: Cinnamon Mouthwash to get rid of Bad Breath

DIY: Cinnamon Mouthwash to get rid of Bad Breath

By: Arlene Gentallan

DIY: Cinnamon Mouthwash to get rid of Bad Breath
DIY: Cinnamon Mouthwash to get rid of Bad Breath

        Cinnamon is an indispensable spice famous for it's incredible aroma and superb taste. But it's not just a spice, it's also an ancient wonder with many health benefits which includes getting rid of bad breath or halitosis.

There are reasons to swtich to natural alternative medicine...

        Did you know that commercially available mouthwash contains ethanol which increases oral concentration of acetaldehyde which by the way is a carcinogenic compound. Studies have shown that using these products may increase your risk of developing mouth and throat cancer.

1. Cinnamon, Honey, Lemon & Baking soda Mouthwash

        We know that cinnamon has antimicrobial property, but it's not alone. Lemon, honey, and baking soda also kills bacteria. We can combine these natural ingredients to make a home made chemical-free mouthwash alternative.

  • Cinnamon powder (1/2 tablespoon)
  • Fresh lemons (2 pieces)
  • Honey (2 teaspoons)
  • Baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Storage bottle

  1. Fill the storage bottle with 1/2 cup water
  2. Pour in 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder
  3. Pour the juice of 2 freshly squeezed lemon (make sure no seeds are included)
  4. Pour 2 teaspoon of honey
  5. Put 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. Shake well until mixture is evenly mixed
  7. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water and shake well

You can also mix the ingredient in a mixing bowl and pour it in a storage bottle using a funnel.

2. Cinnamon Mouthwash

If you'd like to use cinnamon alone...ASAP, that's okay.

You'll need:
  • Cinnamon powder (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Warm water (40ml of 1/6 cup)

Evenly mix 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder withn 1/6 cup (40ml) warm water.

Rinse approximately 20ml of the cinnamon mixture for 30 minutes 2-3 times daily after brushing your teeth.

Does your eye show if you have high cholesterol?

Does your eye show if you have high cholesterol?

By: Arlene Gentallan

Does your eye show if you have high cholesterol?
Does your eye show if you have high cholesterol?

        Look into your eyes in front of a mirror...look closer. If you notice a greyish or  bluish ring surrounding your cornea, then you have what we call "arcus senilis." It's actually a lipid deposit at the periphery of your cornea. It may tell a number of things about your health.

Does having arcus senilis normal?

        Arcus senilis is normally present among the older population. However, if you develop arcus senilis at an early age, it may be associated with high blood cholesterol levels.

        The presence of arcus senilis increases with age. A study has shown that it's presence in men ages 30-39 years old is linked to higher risk of coronary artery disease.

Arcus senilis and cardiovascular diseases

        The association of arcus senilis to cardiovascular disease still remains debated. Several studies claims their is a link but others found none.

        In a study by Mirnaghi Moosavi, MD, Ahmad Sareshtedar, MD, Siamak Zarei-Ghanavati, MD, et al., they concluded that arcus senilis is "associated with age and hypercholesterolemia in patients with recent acute myocardial infarction."

Arcus senilis and high cholesterol level

        Arcus senilis is associated with having high cholesterol level among young people, however it's not a definitive test. If you suspect you have high cholesterol level, please make sure to consult your doctor.


8 Horrifying things Pesticide does to your body

8 Horrifying things Pesticide does to your body

By Arlene Gentallan

8 Horrifying things Pesticide does to your body
8 Horrifying things Pesticide does to your body

        "With great quantity comes less quality." Pesticide's worldwide use to increase production of fruits and vegetables feeds many at the cost of their own health.

        Pesticide poisons everything. It doesn't just kill pest and bugs, but it also poisons our air, water, and soil. Harmful chemicals are then passed on to supposedly healthy fruits and vegetables. Although you can wash away pesticide on the outer surface of those produce, you can't remove chemicals already absorbed inside.

        Pesticide content of a fruit or vegetable may vary from small to large amount depending on where it came from.

While eating fruits and vegetables with minimal pesticide residue may not show cause symptoms right away, long term consumption can lead to serious health effects:

1. Cancer & Tumor

        Pesticide contains many toxic compounds which are carcinogens. It promotes tumor and cancer growth. Pesticide exposure has been associated with brain cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, leukemia, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

2. Alzheimer disease

        In a study by Richardson, Roy, Shalat, et al., result shows that people exposed to pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer disease.

3. Learning problem in children

        We encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables, but they are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effect of pesticide. Exposure to pesticide may result to cognitive problems such as difficulty learning and concentrating.

4. Diabetes

        In a study by Evangelou, Ntritsos, Chondrogiorgi, et al, result shows that people exposed to  organochlorine pesticides have increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes

5. Parkinson's disease

        In a study by Ascherio, Chen, Weisskopf, et all., result shows that exposure to small amount of pesticide for a long period of time may increase a person's risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

6. Reproductive abnormality

        Exposure to pesticide decreases sperm quantity and quality! Now, that's not a good starting point as a parent.

7. Genetic abnormality

Pregnant women exposed to pesticide have increases their baby's chance of developing genetic disorder such as Down syndrome.

8. Work related exposure is Dangerous

        Occupational exposure to pesticide can result in headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. People who directly engage in pesticide application are at higher risk of developing cancer.

What should you do?

1. Buy certified organic produce to make sure you're there's no pesticide in what you eat.

2. Minimize pesticide content of fruits and vegetables:
  • Rinse fresh produce with any of the following: mixture of salt and water, or mixture of vinegar and water.
  • Peeling it. The skin of a fruit or vegetable can contain more pesticide. Peeling it off will remove chemical residues on the surface which otherwise is not removed by washing.
  • Cook it. Heating degrades certain chemicals in food.

Which produce has the most pesticide content?

        The EWG ranks fresh produce based on their pesticide content. Below are the fruits and vegetables with top ranks in terms of residual pesticide content. (U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration)
  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3. Nectarines
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Spinach
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Sweet bell peppers
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Cucumbers
  13. Snap peas - imported
  14. Blueberries - domestic
  15. Potatoes

Pesticide Facts:

Pesticide & Suicide: Pesticides so lethal that it is use by people around the world to commit suicide.


8 Cancer Facts that can save your Life

8 Cancer Facts that can save your Life

By: Arlene Gentallan

8 Cancer Facts that can save your Life

1. About half of cancer cases is a preventable. Did you know that about 90%-95% of cancer causes are due to unhealthy lifestyle, while only 5%-10% is attributed to genetics. Healthy lifestyle such as avoiding red meat and processed foods, quitting smoking, regular exercise, and enough sleep pays more days to your life.

2. If you can afford tobacco, then you can afford cancer. Smoking tobacco is the leading cause of lung cancer.

3. Indoor tanning causes more cases of skin cancer than smoking. This is because tanning lamps emit ultraviolet (UV) light.

4. Sleeping less than 6 hour each night like when you are working the night shift increases your chance of having colon cancer.

5. Eating processed meats and preserved foods can increase your risk of cancer because they contain nitrates as preservative. Nitrites in the form of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate, is a known carcinogen.

6. Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) can prevent cervical cancer. Hepatitis B vaccination can prevent liver cancer.

7. Early detection is important in successful treatment of cancer. Early detection tool includes self breast examination to detect breast cancer; pap smear to detect cervical cancer; digital rectal examination, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test to detect prostate cancer; fecal occult blood test (FOBT) to detect colon cancer.

8. There are about 28 million cancer survivors worldwide according to the American Cancer Society.

What omega-3 fatty acid does to your body?

13 Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acid

By: Arlene Gentallan

What omega-3 fatty acid does to your body?
What omega-3 fatty acid does to your body?

        Omega-3 fatty acid supplement has gained worldwide traction due to it's amazing health benefits. It  is an essential fatty acid which our body can not make on it's own so we have to get it from our diet. It's time you know what it really does to your body.

1. Protects your Heart & Blood vessels

        Omega-3 fatty acid lowers serum triglycerides level. Triglyceride is a type of lipid associated the hardening of arterial wall referred to as "atherosclerosis" and other forms of cardiovascular disease.

        Omega-3 fatty acid also has anticoagulant property. Although this will prevent potentially fatal blood clot from forming, caution should be taken. It has found out that taking omega-3 in very high doses, like 15 grams per day, increases risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

2. Weight loss

        Taking omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid has been shown to promote weight loss in obese individual. Omega-3 promotes loss of abdominal (visceral) fat.

3. Cancer

        Combining omega-3 supplementation with chemotherapy decreases unwanted side effect while improving the individual's response to the treatment. It helps cancer patient receiving chemotherapy to maintain their muscle mass. A study by Laviano, Rianda, Molfino, et al., concludes that "combination of chemotherapy and omega-3 supplementation appears an effective strategy to enhance the clinical outcome of cancer patients in their curative and palliative clinical trajectory."

        Whether or not omega-3 can prevent cancer is unclear. Some studies shows that omega-3 prevents tumor growth while other studies shows it doesn't prevent cancer. In fact, studies has shown that that high levels of omega-3 is associated with increased risk prostate cancer.

4. Boost cognitive performance

        A study by Bauer, Hughes, Rowsell, et al. has shown that taking omega-3 supplement within just 30 days significantly improves cognitive ability of young adults.

5. Protects your brain

        Omega-3 fatty acid has anti-inflammatory property which helps reduce neurodegeneration associated with aging. This is beneficial in preserving cognitive function among the older population and those diagnosed with mental deterioration such as Alzheimer's disease.

6. Psychiatric health

        Although further research is still needed, omega-3 has shown positive effect in those individuals suffering from schizophrenia, ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder)

7. Psoriasis

        Topical application of skin ointment containing omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to reduce itchiness, lesions, and skin redness in those people suffering from psoriasis.

8. Autoimmune diseases

        Omega-3 fatty acid's anti-inflammatory property benefits those with autoimmune diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and multiple sclerosis.

9. Migraine

        With regard to omega-3 fatty acid's benefit among migraine sufferers, there are conflicting findings. There are studies that shows omega-3 intake (like fish oil) results to reduction of migraine symptoms. Other studies have shown no positive result in taking omega-3 fatty acid for headache.

10. Helps with Depression
        Studies has shown that taking omega-3 fatty acid helps manage and prevent depression, although the exact mechanism of it's action is unknown.

11. Protects your eyes

        Omega-3 protects your eye's retina from damaging effect factors such as light, and inflammation.

12. Dry eyes syndrome

        Omega-3 fatty acid is also a home remedy for dry eyes syndrome.

13. Fetal development

        Omega-3 fatty acid is important for the crucial development of a baby's nervous system.

Note: Currently, studies have conflicting finding as to whether or not omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid prevents cardiovascular diseases. But it's undeniable that your body still needs this essential fatty acid to be able to function normally.


"Good" cholesterol goes "bad": A fatal turn

"Good" cholesterol goes "bad": A fatal turn

By: Arlene Gentallan

"Good" cholesterol goes "bad": A fatal turn
"Good" cholesterol goes "bad": A fatal turn.

        High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the "good cholesterol" because it removes "bad cholesterol" known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from the blood  stream. By doing so, HDL "good cholesterol" prevents LDL "bad cholesterol" from building-up fatty plaque (atherosclerosis) within the walls of the arteries.

        High levels of "good cholesterol" is linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

...But as it turns out, high levels of "good cholesterol" isn't good for everyone.

It's in your genes

        Inevitably, our genes can influence our health. People who possess the genetic variant "P376L" on their genes have unusually higher-than-normal levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) "good cholesterol" which increases their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers found out that people who carry the P376L genes have 79% higher chance of suffering from coronary heart disease.
        The presence of "P376L" gene casuses "good cholesterol" HDL to completely loss it's protective function of clearing up cholesterol from the bloodstream because SR-BI receptor are no longer functional.

Having high levels of "good cholesterol" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) can be disastrous to a small percentage of people.

How will you you know if you have the defective genes "P376L"?

        You'll have to undergo genetic testing. In this test, your dna in your blood, or skin sample, etc. will be examined.
But it's worth knowing that not all people with high levels of "good cholesterol" carries this faulty genes, and in fact, it's presence is very rare.

        This is a relatively new finding and although it provides some insight, further research is still needed regarding the relationship of high "good cholesterol" to cardiovascular diseases.

Related Articles:

8 Alternative Medicine to Lower Bad Cholesterol & Fats
5 Main Difference between Cholesterol and Fat

Atorvastatin protects you from Heart attack and Stroke


14 Facts How Light destroys your Eyes

14 Facts How Light destroys your Eyes

By: Arlene Gentallan

14 Facts How Light destroys your Eyes
14 Facts How Light destroys your Eyes

        Light plays a critical role in our daily lives, without which, we are not able to see the world around us. But today's modern technology has dramatically increased the exposure of human eyes to light. What does light really do to our eyes?

1. Is sunlight good for your eyes?

        Sunlight is both good and bad for the eyes. We need light to see! Sun exposure is our best source of vitamin D which, aside from aiding us to absorb calcium, also sharpens our vision, and according to research helps prevent macular degeneration. But sunlight is our major source of eye-damaging lights such as, blue light, ultraviolet and infrared light, which ironically increases risk of macular degeneration.

2. What happens to your eyes when you stare at the sun?

        Staring at the sun causes the clear outer part of your eye called "cornea" to be sunburned causing pain, gritty sensation, and blurring referred to as "photokeratitis." Once the intense light of the sun reaches the back of your eye called "retina" which contains light sensitive cells called "(rods and cones), a cascade of chemical reactions occurs causing damage which can possibly result to irreversible vision loss (solar retinopathy or photic retinopathy).

        In layman's turn, staring directly at the sun will fry your eyeballs!

3. Is it safe to stare directly at the sun with eyes closed?

        No, it is not safe! Even when you're eyes are close, damaging ultraviolet light will still reach your eye's retina causing damage.

4. Snow blindness

        Did you know that snow can reflect about 80% of the ultraviolet light? That's why snow skiers are at a higher risk of having their eyes sunburned.

5. At the Beach

        Sea Water and beach sand can also reflect ultraviolet light to some extent. That's why you should wear protective eye wear when you're at a beach.

6. Location and time are factors

        Your exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) light increases when you are at a place with high altitude, near the equator, cloudless sky, and during noon. I have to repeat it, always wear eye protection when exposed to sunlight!

7. Man-made UV lights

        Industrial device such as welding machines, and cosmetic devices such as tanning lamp emits ultraviolet radiation. Use of tanning beds has also increase the cases of skin cancer.

8. Laser pointers

        Don't ever point a laser on your eyes especially for a prolonged period of time. There are cases of individual who suffered permanent visual loss because of shining laser pointer directly at their eyes. Children are especially prone to the damaging effect because they have underdeveloped eyes. Some labels may not accurately reflect the power emitted by the laser pointer.

9. Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)

        Using CFL can save you electric bill cost, but as it turns out, it emits damaging ultraviolet (UV) light which can turn the tide in the long run.

10. Ozone layer depletion

        The ozone is Earth's invisible shied against ultraviolet (UV) rays, unfortunately it is being depleted. We have less protection nowadays folks.

11. Blue light

        It's not only direct sunlight that can destroy your eye. Commonly used devices such as LED screen exposes us to blue light which reaches deep in our retina, significantly increasing our risk of macular degeneration. Staring at LED screen such as computer can also lead to dry eyes.

Related Articles: Blind after using smartphone

LED screens such as:
  • Computer
  • Laptop
  • Smartphones
  • Tablet
  • Television
  • Fluorescent
  • Laser pointer
Related articles: 8 Tried and Tested Home Remedies for Dry Eyes

12. Why you're 20/20 vision is gone?

        Cumulative exposure to light can damage the eye in the long run. The more time you spent in front of blue light, ultraviolet, and infrared light, the more harm you do to your eyes. People's modern lifestyle greatly increases the time they are staring at a LED screen such as computers, tablets, and smartphones, causing a high prevalence of vision related problems

13. Eyeball: priceless

        Transplanting an eyeball is not possible because it's not possible to surgically connect the optic nerve to the brain. Visual loss or blindness due to damage to optic nerve is irreversible.

14. Corneal transplant

       If there is damage to the cornea, corneal transplant can be an option, but there is still a chance of rejection.

Suggested Reads:

8 Tried and Tested Home Remedies for Dry Eyes

8 Home Remedies for Dry Eye Syndrome

By: Arlene Gentallan

8 Tried and Tested Home Remedies for Dry Eyes
8 Tried and Tested Home Remedies for Dry Eyes

Are over the counter natural tears no longer effective in relieving the pain and irritation brought about by your dry eyes?

Are you looking for natural alternative medicine you can replace those preservative-laden eye drops that's only making your symptoms worse?

Here are tried and tested home remedies you can try...but you may want a little background about dry eyes syndrome...

What is dry eyes?

        Dry eyes syndrome (also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is a condition in which the eye produces insufficient tears to lubricate the outer surface of the eyeball. The tear produce can also be of sufficient quantity but of poor quality causing tears to evaporate more quickly, thus providing not enough protection to your eyes.

Tears is made up of mucus, oil, and water. It's oil component forms a layer which decreases the rate at which it's water layer evaporates. If the quality of your tears is poor, it's oil part can be smaller than normal thus encouraging evaporation of the tears. This forms small spots in your eyes devoid of tears resulting to dry eyes.

To better understand dry eyes syndrome, let's take a look into the purpose of tears:

        Blinking spreads the tear evenly on your eyes so that it forms a protective film that coats the outer surface of your eyeball providing essential role such as:
  • Protects the eye from abrasion
  • Lubricates the eyes
  • Wash away foreign particle such as dust
  • Maintains smoothness of the cornea
  • Tears has antimicrobial compound to prevent eye infection
Without this protective layer of tears covering your eyes, your eyes becomes vulnerable and irritated.

Sign and Symptoms of Dry eyes syndrome:

If you have dry eyes syndrome, you may have already experienced the following sign and symptoms on your eyes:
  • Eye pain
  • Burning gritty sensation
  • Sensation of foreign particles on the eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Tired eyes
  • Redness of the eye
  • Increase sensitivity to light
  • Excessive tearing / watering of the eye

You should take these sign and symptoms seriously because dry eyes syndrome may cause eye damage or scarring of the cornea which can lead to poor eyesight if not treated.

What causes dry eyes syndrome?

Various factors can cause dry eyes, including:
  • Exposure to dry windy environment
  • Activities that lessen blinking such as prolong computer usage, reading, and television watching.
  • Use of aircon, fan, or heater.
  • Prolong contact lens use
  • Eye surgery such as LASIK
  • Smoking
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Eye inflammation
  • Hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy or menopause.
  • Hormonal replacement therapy
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Aging. As we get older, our tear production is decreased
  • Medical conditions such as Sj√∂gren's syndrome, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, blepharitis and exophthalmos as seen in thyroid disorders.
  • Medicine side effects (such as use of antihistamines, decongestants, anti hypertensive, and antidepressants.)
  • Defect of the eye itself like meibomian gland dysfunction

8 Alternative Medicine for Dry Eyes Syndrome

1. Virgin Coconut Oil

        Artificial tears are the first line of treatment for dry eyes, unfortunately most commercially available eye drops contains preservatives which can aggravate the pain and dryness of the eye. You can replace it with natural oils such as virgin coconut oil to lubricate your eyes, and avoid tears from evaporating.

Putting oil on the eye manages dry eye syndrome because it prevents the tears itself from evaporating.

        Put 1 drop of virgin coconut oil in your eyes. It's normal for your vision to burr after instillation, so I recommend you use virgin coconut oil as a lubricant before you go to sleep, to avoid nighttime eye dryness.

        Virgin coconut oil has antimicrobial property which can potentially prevent eye infection; as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property.

        There are commercially available empty eye droppers so you can place your natural oil to make eye instillation easier.

2. Castor Oil

        Simply put a drop of castor oil on either eye as a home remedy for dry eyes.

        A study by Goto, Shimazaki, Monden, et al., shows that using castor oil as an eye drop is both effective and safe treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a condition when tears evaporate quickly due to meibomian glands's inadequate production of the oil component of tears.

3. Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

        Omega-3 is not only good for your heart and brain, but also for your eyes! In a study by Liu and Ji, they've found out that taking omega-3 essential fatty acid supplement benefits those with dry eyes by not only increasing tear production but also improves tear quality as measured in schirmer’s test and tear breakup time (TBUT) test.

4. Caffeine

        Although you may have been told that caffeine intake can further exacerbate dry eyes syndrome, there are researches that may prove otherwise. Studies have concluded that  ingesting caffeine increases tears production.

        A study by Arita, Yanagi, Honda, et al., concluded that "Caffeine intake increases tear volume and polymorphisms within ADORA2A, and CYP1A2 is associated with the tear increase after caffeine intake."

        But remember, it increase in the amount of tears doesn't amount to tear quality so further research is still needed. In the meantime, make sure to observe if drinking caffeinated drinks like coffee does improve the symptoms of your dry eyes.

5. Aloe Vera

        Put fresh aloe vera gel on your eye lids, however do not put the gel directly on your eyeball's surface because it will cause irritation. Regularly doing this will decrease the symptoms of dry eyes

Related Article: Aloe Vera: The Plant Of Immortality

6. Cucumber and Potato

        Cucumber's use for dry eyes is as popular as it is simple. Simply put fresh cucumber slice over each of your closed eyes for about 20 minutes. It's natural coolness will sooth tired and dry eyes.

        You can also use fresh raw potato slices to soothe your eyes! Simply put a potato slice over closed eyes for about 20 minutes as an effective home remedy for dry eyes.

7. Tea bags

        Don't throw your used tea bags just yet. After you make a tea, keep the tea bags and store it in the body of your refrigerator for later use a soothing eye patch. Simply pace a chilled tea bag over each of your closed eyes and let it stay for about 20 minutes. 

8. Warm compress

        Simply put a clean wash cloth dipped in warm water over your closed eyes to relax it and open up clogged ducts. Do this for about 20 minutes.

Habits you can incorporate in your daily routine to prevent dry eyes

  • Your eyes tend to dry when you are sleeping. Make it a habit to instill eye lubricant before going to bed.
  • Drink plenty of fluid to hydrate yourself...and your eyes.
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from wind and sunlight.
  • Make sure you are blinking regularly. Do not stare on the computer screen for too long without blinking!
  • Your eyes deserves rest. When you have to use a computer for too long, rest your eyes every 20 minutes. You do this by looking at something about 20 feet away for 20 minutes.
  • Quit smoking and don't hang out with smokers when they are smoking.
  • Use humidifier to add moisture to your environment.

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