Fish oils are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid found in moderate to high concentrations in certain fish, as well as other foods. Also known as omega-3 fatty acids, fish oils are classified as being essential; meaning that they must be consumed in the diet in order to survive. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are two of the omega-3 fatty acids that have received the most research attention to date. Most cold and deep water fatty fish contain significant amounts of DHA and EPA. Among them are anchovy, herring, salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, swordfish, white (albacore) tuna, and
When we go in for a physical exam that includes blood work, our physician will typically want to test our blood glucose level. A normal fasting blood glucose level is between 70-99 mg/dl. Individuals with fasting glucose levels between 100-125 mg/dl on two separate occasions have prediabetes, while individuals with fasting glucose levels >125 mg/dl on two separate occasions have diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, the prevalence of diabetes in the U.S. is estimated to be 26 million; the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is 10-20 times that of type 1 diabetes. Additionally, there are an estimated 90
Heart failure (HF) is a condition which typically results from a gradual decline in the heart’s ability to pump and fill properly. It may surprise you to know that HF is the leading cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for individuals ages 65 and older, and accounts for nearly 60,000 deaths annually. There are currently 6 million Americans who are living with heart failure. Well-established risk factors for HF include hypertension, diabetes, age, obesity, smoking, heart valve disease, previous myocardial infarction, and family history of HF. While sedentary lifestyle has also been identified as a risk factor for HF, previous
Hypertension is a major public health problem worldwide, with prevalence in the United States estimated at 78 million (33% of the adult population). Because it is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, identification and aggressive treatment of hypertension is of paramount importance. However, because most people with hypertension have no symptoms, it is estimated that 20% of hypertensive individuals are unaware of their condition. Thus, regular monitoring of resting blood pressure is one key for identifying and managing this very common condition. Unless resting blood pressure is severely elevated, lifestyle changes are recommended as the initial treatment strategy for
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is a general term to describe all diseases related to the heart and circulatory system, has been the leading cause of death in the U.S. for the past century. Each year, nearly 1 million Americans die from CVD. Two of the most common types of CVD are coronary heart disease and stroke. Because abnormal blood cholesterol level is a major risk factor for both coronary heart disease and stroke, the discovery of statin drugs in the late 1980’s was a major breakthrough for the prevention and treatment of these two conditions. Statin drugs have powerful lowering
Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been the leading cause of death in the U.S. for over a century, risk factors for CVD were completely unknown as recently as the 1950’s. In fact, heart attack and stroke were thought to be simply a natural consequence of the aging process up until that time! In the late 1940’s, Dr. William Kannel boldly suggested that CVD might be related to behaviors or environmental factors. Accordingly, the epic Framingham Heart Study was launched in 1948. Residents of Framingham MA were invited to participate in a lifelong research project where they would receive free comprehensive
Are all obese individuals at high risk for adverse health outcomes? Well, it is well-established that obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and many other serious health problems such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. It would be hard to find a health and fitness professional that is unaware that current rates of obesity in the U.S. are at an all-time high; with a current prevalence of ~35% in both men and women. However, not everyone is aware that a subset of obese individuals exist who seem to have protection against many
No one would argue that most Americans need to improve their eating habits and increase their levels of physical activity. Rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes are at an all-time high among adults and children, while annual health care costs are approaching 2.5 trillion dollars. These and other factors provide a rich and fertile environment for dozens of ‘miraculous’ and ‘revolutionary’ dietary approaches that are promoted every time we turn around. One such current fad is The Paleo Diet; also known as ‘The Caveman Diet.’ The basic premise of The Paleo Diet is that we should only eat the
Despite an abundance of ‘miracle’ diets and weight loss supplements, most health and fitness professionals are keenly aware of the fact that 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese using Body Mass Index (BMI) as the criterion. Thus, it would appear that these fad diets and supplements overpromise and under-deliver.
For well over a century, a cornerstone for middle distance and endurance competitors has been long slow distance (LSD) training. In addition to performing LSD, these individuals also perform interval training (IT) on a regular basis.