It’s reportedly the second most common disease across the globe, yet the impact of periodontitis aka gum disease continues to fly under the radar of public consciousness.

A 2012 study from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 47.2 percent, or 64.7 million American adults have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. 8.7 percent had a mild case, 30 percent a moderate case, and 8.5 percent had severe periodontitis.

Although many are concerned with their teeth, they may not realize the looming threat is actually the condition of the gums, as periodontal disease is also the most common cause of tooth loss among adults.

Dieticians have long been encouraging North Americans to increase their weekly intake of fish for a healthier heart, however another key benefit is often ignored. Namely, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have the unique ability to improve the health of your gums.

Those consistently taking fish oil have noted their formerly red, inflamed gums are now pink, healthy and no longer prone to bleeding.

Evidence is Stacking Up

A Japanese study investigating the effect omega-3 has on periodontal disease in older adults found people with low DHA levels (found in omega 3 fatty acids) were 1.5 times more likely to experience a dental disease event.

A study conducted in 2014 aimed to discover if 2,000 mg of DHA and 81 mg of aspirin could successfully treat fifty-five adults with moderate periodontitis over three months. Researchers found that the mean pocket depth of the gums had decreased, and the proportion of DHA in red blood cell plasma membranes went up.

Can Fish Oil Help with Receding Gums?

Receding gums are a symptom of gum disease, and it often causes tooth sensitivity near the gum line.

Conventional wisdom states that once gum tissue has receded it will never grow back. New evidence may one day change this assumption. Although human studies are needed, researchers have managed to dramatically reverse receding gums in rodents by topically applying omega-3 fats on the gums.

Fish Oil and Bone Loss

Gum disease causes the gradual destruction of soft tissue surrounding the teeth, but it isn’t just the gums that are affected as it also causes bone loss. As bones and gums recede, pockets are formed in the gums, which provide a breeding ground for bad bacteria and a place for food debris to collect. The result is infection that can break down the teeth.

A 2006 study done on rats found that omega-3 fats resulted in significantly less alveolar bone resorption, one of the signs of adult periodontitis.

Drop the Capsules

Fish oil is commonly sold in capsules and while this is recommended for getting EPA and DHA into your body, to treat or prevent gum disease you’ll want to go with a supplement in liquid form. This allows easy topical application of the fatty acids on the gums, which is the superior method of ingestion for full oral health benefits.

The taste of cod liver oil, Norwegian fish oil and similar products rich in omega-3 can take some getting used to. For most people it’s recommended that you look for a supplement with lemon flavor added to make the fishy taste more palatable.

When shopping for a fish oil supplement look at the EPA and DHA contents listed under supplement facts on the label. More is better, especially with DHA as this is the specific fatty acid that was used in both studies mentioned earlier. Carlson and Nordic Natural are two safe, well-respected brands that deliver a top quality product.

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Photo: nøpe

Since both the grape seed extract and resveratrol supplements are associated with the grapes, many confuse them to be the same or rather similar. However, this is not the case as both are entirely different supplements having their own set of healthful benefits. Read on to know some of the way both the supplements are similar, their differences, and the how they are extracted.

Extraction & Identification

Grape seed extract is derived, as the name suggests, from the seed of the grape while resveratrol is extracted from the skin of the grape. Resveratrol is also a component of purple grape juice and peanuts. Japanese Knotweed is one of the best, cheapest sources so supplement companies commonly use it. Both the supplements contain properties that can prove to be extremely healthful for our bodies.

Anti-Aging Properties

Resveratrol is believed to have antibiotic, antioxidant, and anti-mutative elements that make it the best supplement for anti-aging properties. On the other hand, grape seed extract is not considered to be the best supplements for fighting aging signs as it deprived of the elements that make the resveratrol the best anti-aging supplement. However, it boasts of various other anti-oxidants and OPCs - oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes that are known to improve the blood circulation, enhance the health of the brain, and prevent tooth decay.

Difference in Amount of Dosage

As per the University of Maryland Medical Center, a dose 25 to 150 mg of grape seed extract can be consumed thrice a day for benefitting from its antioxidant effects. While in the treatment of Edema and chronic venous insufficiency, the dosage should 200 to 400 mg and 150 to 300 mg respectively. On the other hand, as per the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, resveratrol dose of 500 mg is considered to be enough for the day. However, one should consider their physician before deciding on the right amount of dose that can be healthful for their body.

Treatments

Resveratrol and grape seed extract both are believed to helpful in curing various diseases; however, their aid in treating the ailments haven’t been proven medically. Having said this, both the supplements boast of various elements that healthful for our bodies.

Resveratrol is known to:

  • Treat heart diseases
  • Prevent cancer
  • Enhances Liver Health
  • Fights Obesity
  • Have anti-aging properties
  • Helps in growth of muscles
  • Helps to cure infection

On the other hand, grape seed extract helps to:

  • Cure high cholesterol
  • Treat edema and poor night vision.
  • Treat diabetes
  • Treat chronic venous insufficiency
  • Heal constipation

Conclusion

To cut the long story short, both the supplements despite having certain similarities i.e. grape being their main source of extraction, are different from each other in the ways mentioned above. Consult your doctor or dietitian before using both or any of these for the betterment of your health as they can have certain side effects as well.

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Photo: Zoi Koraki

Recent studies are piling up that conclude supplements and multivitamins have no measurable impact on health.

Findings state popping capsules won’t fight memory less, cognitive decline, heart problems or extend your life. People that took supplements fared no better than those who swallowed a placebo.

Yet nutritional supplement continue to be multibillion-dollar industry with this evidence having seemingly little impact on sales. Beginning in 1994 consumer interest in supplements skyrocketed and it’s been stable ever since.

There’s something in our nature as humans that wants to believe we are in full control of our destiny, and a big part of that is our health. In truth outside of basic nutrition, exercise, and living a healthy lifestyle (sans drugs and heavy drinking), our ability to overcome genetics and universal laws of aging are modest or perhaps non-existent at present.

So are all supplements really a waste of time and money?

That extra skip in your step that comes with good health isn’t something we can easily measure. How well we feel depends on so many factors and processes in the body that it’s not feasible to analyze something so subjective. And yet being full of energy, and having a strong spark for life is what we all yearn for.

Proponents of supplements explain its benefits to be like that of an insurance policy. Sure, it would be better if we eat an ideal diet with the perfect medley of nutrients, but when everything goes wrong there are bottles in our kitchen cupboards to balance any deficiencies. Modern diets are notorious for being made up of too many foods containing empty calories. So many fear that they are not getting their daily allowance of vitamins and minerals.

In an article titled “The Supplement Paradox: Negligible Benefits, Robust Consumption” accompanying a new report, Dr. Pieter A. Cohen argued that “supplements are essential to treat vitamin and mineral deficiencies” and that certain combinations of nutrients can help some medical conditions, like age-related macular degeneration. He concluded, however, “for the majority of adults, supplements likely provide little, if any, benefit.”

So to take the best approach our doctor tests us for any deficiencies, then after examining the results we take only vitamins and minerals we’re deficient in.

Due to busy lifestyles and a possibly moving target depending on ongoing eating habits it seems alluring to most to take the shotgun approach. Go with a multivitamin even though many of its components will be wasted to gain what the body needs. After all, it’s only in extreme cases that an overabundance can harm us. So the only real downside here is the cost that comes with peace of mind, again much like insurance.

This may change many consumers skewed thinking regarding daily allowance figures printed on the side of multivitamins. Blasting ourselves with mega doses of vitamins is an exercise in futility, wastefulness and may also work our kidneys harder than necessarily to filter out the excess. Due to the mega-dosing fad that started in the 80s we’re still seeing this on the label of many supplements. It’s hard to convince people more isn’t always better.

If you opt to take a multivitamin tread lightly and keep in mind your interests differ from that of the supplement manufacturer that wants you to consume heavily. Likely all you need is a little boost as recommended on Quackwatch by doctor Stephen Barrett. Taking that daily multivitamin every other day will not only cut ongoing costs in half but is a good path to getting enough vitamins without overdoing it.

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Photo: Teresa Stanton

If you are experiencing temporary ringing of the ears due to a romp at a loud club or concert venue, consider yourself lucky. You heard correctly, it’s a good position to be in. Temporary tinnitus can be thought of as a warning sign that you were too hard on your ears. If you keep up the abuse it may lead to a permanent case of tinnitus, and it may happen faster than you think.

Of course there are other causes that don’t have to do with noise exposure such as stress, jaw misalignment or an ear infection; however, here the focus is on ringing due to noise.

Not your Momma’s Ear Plugs

Most people don’t want to compromise their lifestyle in order to protect their ears. Folks in their twenties especially completely disregard hearing protection. Still, the best solution is always prevention and with new advancements it isn’t burdensome at all. If you are attending a loud event, bring some hi-fi ear plugs with you. Even if you only wear the plugs during the less exciting portions of the show, you are still giving your ears a rest and it’s definitely better than nothing.

When people think of ear plugs they picture the cheap, disposable foam plugs so commonly found at the drug store. While this type works in a pinch, inexpensive ear plugs that last far longer and don’t muffle the sound are a much better option. When wearing Etymotic Research’s ER-20 High Fidelity ear plugs, everything around you sounds crisp and clear, just not as loud. Every music-lover should own at least a few pairs as you’re bound to lose a set at some point. If you do, it’s not a big deal because a pair costs just $12.

NAC before the Noise

Animal studies confirm that ingesting an anti-oxidant called N-acetylcysteine or NAC prevents hearing loss and therefore tinnitus. The U.S. Army and Navy are currently doing clinical trials to find if it’s as effective in humans.

If you’re a real skeptic you might want to wait for the conclusive evidence. For the rest of us, since N-acetylcysteine is terrific for the body in many more ways than to prevent hearing loss, taking a supplement seems like a no-brainer.

For the best results, take a standard dosage of NAC right before you go out to a loud event. This prevents damage to the tiny hairs in the ear from ever happening in the first place and temporarily makes the hairs more resilient. If you forget to take it before exposure, the next best thing is to take it right after you get home.

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Allow for Recovery Time the Next Day

The Motörhead concert was unbelievable. Unfortunately your head feels like it’s been smashed to smithereens by Lemmy and the ringing is driving you up the wall.

Designate the next day after a loud event as a “quiet day.” Since most hearing loss occurs because of repeat exposure, you can reduce the damage by avoiding more loud sounds. Whatever you do, don’t decide to mow the lawn at the crack of dawn.

This is where a hangover can actually be useful. People tend to oversleep after a long night of partying so as a side-effect the ears have some to recover too.

Common Sense

If you are experiencing temporary tinnitus you’re doing something wrong. Consider how much loud sounds you’ve been exposed to throughout the week. Cut it down by lowering the volume on your stereo, wearing ear plugs or listening for shorter periods of time. With a little luck and conscious effort you will prevent that temporary buzz from staying with you for life.

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Photo: Chris Thomson

A good CoQ10 supplement is a mainstay of any anti-aging regimen. It’s usually touted for its positive effects on heart health, but in actuality CoQ10 is useful throughout the body on a cellular level. It is vital in the creation of ATP (adenosine-5-triphosphate). ATP is the main source of energy for cells. Biological processes we take for granted are possible because of it.

CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant capable of zapping the free radicals that cause age-related decline. Besides heart health, its ability as an antioxidant is mentioned countless times by the media and in medical journals.

Functions: Ubiquinol vs Ubiquinone

Both forms of CoQ10, ubiquinol and ubiquinone, are contained in the body. Ubiquinone is used within the mitochondria to produce energy for the cell. Ubiquinol works outside of the cell by regenerating deactivated antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E. Once the process is complete ubiquinol is transformed into ubiquinone. It then goes to work at producing energy.

Due to the processes explained above ubiquinone-based supplements only do half the job that ubiquinol does. Ubiquinol has the ability to recycle otherwise used up front line antioxidants, making it a vastly superior solution to the problem of oxidative damage.

CoQ10 Supplement Facts

Most commonly ubiquinone is used by manufacturers. Until very recently it was the only game in town. It’s inexpensive, thus enabling supplement makers to keep costs low.

In 2006, Kaneka QH became the first form of supplemental ubiquinol that is identical to the form produced naturally by the body. The only difference is the molecule has two extra hydrogen atoms. However, this simple addition makes it far more effective as a free radical scavenger.

Ubiquinol-based supplements cost about four times as much as a typical ubiquinone-based brands per milligram. With such a large discrepancy in price, people often get sceptical about if it is worth it.

Ubiquinol-fed Mice Stay Youthful in Study

Based on the results of recent animal studies, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Researchers were shocked when they compared mice divided into three categories. The first group of mice (the control group) were given nothing to supplement their regular diet. The second group was given ubiquinone, the traditional supplemental form of CoQ10. The final group was given ubiquinol capsules.

Before the mice hit middle age, a difference was noticed between the three groups. The symptoms of old age were just beginning to take effect for mice in the control group. The mice given ubiquinone and ubiquinol stilled looked youthful.

Amazing results manifested when the mice all reached old age. The control group looked ghastly and was largely inactive. The group that was given ubiquinone was in better shape but still had characteristics of old mice; the coat was yellowish and hair loss was obvious. The mice that were given ubiquinol had a youthful coat and didn’t look like old mice at all! On top of that, they were far more active than the mice in the two other groups.

Conclusions

Based on the results of the study it appears ubiquinol-based supplements are the way to go. The only bummer is that emulating the study as a human isn’t cheap. You’ll need to take 200-300mg of ubiquinol to get results this drastic.

The good news is that supplementing with CoQ10 gets exponentially more important as you age. So if you failed to take any ubiquinol supplements before age 40, you’ll still get impressive results if you start later in life. Of course the earlier you start, the better, as this prevents damage from occurring in the first place. As time goes on, the supplementation will only continue to be more and more significant to your quality of life.

Aubrey de Grey has become the leading prophet of the radical life extension movement. To adherents, he has become a messiah figure as well; the long Jesus-like beard serves him well.

No other speaker trumps his passion for the subject of aging. Instead of searching for pragmatic methods to slow aging using current technology, de Grey has his sights set on the future.

His primary message is that even with all the major advances in regenerative medicine and biotech, we are still far from the goal of repairing damage accumulated from aging. Funding isn’t adequate enough to benefit people living today; it needs to be ramped up dramatically. Business will only act if there is sufficient demand along with promise of profitability. Aubrey’s goal is to convince scientists, decision makers, and the public at large that the answer to aging will materialize if we want it bad enough. The time has come to vote with our voices and our wallets.

Without further ado, here are some key quotes from Aubrey de Grey.

“A lot of people, especially journalists, like to characterize my work and the SENS Foundation’s work as being about immortality or living forever. (…) But actually what we’re about is stopping people from getting sick, which is a very down to earth and not terribly controversial topic.”

From Singularity University talk

Q. “First, a personal question; you are now approaching fifty; I am even older. Is it too late for you, and more importantly, is it too late for me to live to a thousand?”

A. “I have no idea, though I would say I have maybe a 50% chance. (You don't say how much older than me you are, so I can't comment.) All I know is that the sooner we develop these therapies, the better my chances. But my motivation is actually very largely independent of that. I focus on the fact that every day that I bring the defeat of aging forward, I'll have saved 100,000 lives (that's the number of people who die every day at present from causes that young adults rarely die of). That's pretty good motivation, whether or not I'm one of the people in question.”

From digitaljournal.com interview

“… I encounter knee-jerk resistance about the desirability of the ability of postponing aging; and this arises primarily from the way it is portrayed in the media. In the media there is a tendency to try to make everyone feel comfortable with what they are hearing and what they’re reading. The whole prospect of postponing aging doesn’t make people feel comfortable because they’re worried that it won’t be in time for them.”

From bigthink.com interview

Q. “Of the ‘seven deadly things’ that cause ageing - cell loss, mutant mitochondria, mutations, death-resistant cells, tissue stiffening, and extracellular and intracellular aggregates - which will be the most difficult to address?”

A. “I'm in no doubt that the hardest one to address is mutations in our chromosomes. The problem with those is that they lead to cancer, which has natural selection at its disposal - so the cleverer we get, the cleverer it gets. That's why the SENS approach to combating such mutations is so aggressive, and indeed so ambitious.”

From nextbigfuture.com interview

“People have fear of the unknown. They appreciate that a post-aging world will be unbelievably different from the world that we know today.”

From bigthink.com interview

“The human body is at root is a machine. It’s a really, really complicated machine. There’s no dispute about this… but as we all know the human body is a machine. (Swigs beer) Machines accumulate wear and tear. Machines have what you might think of as a warranty period. They’re built to last a certain amount of time and they probably won’t last much longer than that, other things being equal. (Shows slide of VW jeep) Here is a machine that has lasted unusually long, for a car. This is more than fifty years old. And the reason it has lasted that way is because it was built unusually well. (…) That’s one way for a car to last longer than the ten or fifteen years your average car is likely to last. (…) There is another way to achieve that level of longevity for a car. (…) There are just as many fifty year old VW bugs driving around the streets of the U.S.A as there are fifty year old land rabbits. (Shows slide of VW bug) And the reason is because they’ve got style. Their owners are sufficiently in love with them that they’ve done enough maintenance on them; comprehensive enough maintenance to keep them going.”

From Singularity University talk

“The phrase ‘natural causes’ is a very strange one, really. Ultimately what it means is: they die of aging in a way that has not been given an additional name. So when someone dies of cardiovascular disease, for example, from a heart attack or a stroke, they die of aging just the same as someone who dies of natural causes. It’s just that the last stage of what they died of is given a particular name. It’s just a matter of terminology.”

From bigthink.com interview

“Anything that mainly kills the elderly, anything that young adults essentially never die of is death from aging. (…) Which means if we look at the international classification of diseases, we can determine that something in the region of two-thirds of all deaths worldwide are from aging. That’s 30 World Trade Centers every day.”

From TEDMED talk

“I’m not a worrier, actually. I figure I’ve got an extraordinarily privileged life. I’ve been able to go into a position of making a very substantial difference to the world’s biggest problem. As a scientist… someone who likes working on hard problems, you can’t get much better than that.”

From bigthink.com interview