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Fish oil, fish oil, fish oil, you are hearing about it from all sides. It helps with heart disease, dry eye, cholesterol and everyone has a fish oil product, it can get confusing. A Google search of fish oil yields over 38 million hits and narrow it down to EPA and DHA you still have over 500,000 hits.
Fish oil contains essential Omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), precursors to eicosanoids that reduce inflammation throughout the body. Smaller fish such as anchovies and sardines are high in EPA and DHA. Larger fish such as salmon, cod and tuna also have high concentrations of EPA and DHA. Because these fish are higher on the food chain they can also accumulate toxins such as polychorinated biphenyls (PCB) and mercury.
ABC News recently reported on the results from preliminary testing of some fish oil products on the market. Some of these products show levels of PCBs above California standards, but within national standards. Some of the brands included in the study were Nature Made, GNC and TwinLab.
When I evaluate fish oil I look for brands that use smaller fish and come from a producer that has U.S. Pharmacopeia verification (USP). This is the organization that establishes quality standards for the FDA and all medicines in the United States. Products that meet this standard include Science Based Health’s, HydroEyes and Nordic Natural’s, Arctic Omega.
Surfing is an essential part of our community. While you do not need great vision to surf, you need some vision to see waves and other surfers. I am always excited to hear from patients who surf for the first time in their contact lenses and how it is a much more rewarding experience. I often get asked about which contact lenses are best for surfing. Yes, there are contact lenses that act like sunglasses and are tinted to decrease the amount of light reaching the eye as well as absorbing ultra violet light, they have met with limited success. The marine layer rolls, in rolls out, many people surf either early or late in the day when the light is poor, you get the picture.
The lens that is the best for surfers is a daily disposable lens. This is a lens that you take out at night and throw away. While today’s disinfecting systems are very good, they do not always have the desired effect on contaminants that are in the ocean. Therefore, a daily disposable lens does not have time to get an accumulation of irritants within the lens, reducing irritation of the eyes and most importantly reducing the risk of infection. Additionally, the unit cost of a disposable lens is far less than that of a monthly replacement lens. So, if you unfortunately lose a lens when surfing the cost of the lost lens is much less. On average the yearly cost of daily disposable lenses is very similar to monthly replacement lenses because you do not need to buy solutions. Finally, if you are someone who prefers glasses but also would like to see when you are surfing these lenses are a nice solution. You do need to worry about expensive lenses drying out in a case because you have not worn them in a few weeks. Simple put in a new pair each time you surf or play other sports that do not do well with glasses. To learn more about daily disposable lenses you can go to http://www.dailies.com.
I am always seeing diabetic patients and it pains me when they lose vision. It is always good to see when we develop new technology that may help prevent what should be preventable blindness.
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have found a way to use a natural compound to stop one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. The research appears online this month in the journal Diabetes, a publication of the American Diabetes Association.
The discovery of the compound’s function in inflammation and blood vessel formation related to eye disease means scientists can now develop new therapies – including eye drops – to stop diabetic retinopathy, a disease which affects as many as five million Americans with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes…
…Oklahoma researchers found that this inflammation and leakage is caused by an imbalance of two systems in the eye. To restore balance, they delivered the new compound to cells using nanoparticle technology. The treatment in research models stopped the leakage, blocked inflammation and kept unwanted blood vessels from growing. Researchers are now testing the compound’s uses for cancer and age-related macular degeneration.