Posted on Leave a comment

Foods to Support Testosterone Production

TestosteroneMisoSoup
June is Men’s Health Month, so let’s talk about an important hormone that’s on the top of many men’s minds: testosterone. Commonly known as the male sex hormone (though women produce small amounts as well), testosterone is responsible for sperm production, sex drive, bone mass, muscle size and strength and more—all things you (and the women in your life) care about. Levels of circulating testosterone in your blood begin to fall after the age of 30.
Low serum testosterone levels are correlated with a lower desire for sex, diminished erectile quality, fatigue, mood imbalances, decreased muscular mass and increased abdominal fat.
Aging is rough and reduced testosterone levels just make it rougher. A trip to the doctor’s office will reveal if you have low testosterone and there are several treatment options available if your levels fall critically low.
The best thing you can do to be proactive about your testosterone level is to keep up your healthy lifestyle. Getting adequate sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and reducing stress all help to support testosterone levels. Beyond making sure that you eating enough calories, macro and micronutrients to support your level of activity, adding more of the foods below to your diet can also help to support healthy testosterone levels. (And no, ladies, eating these foods below you won’t start sprouting chest hair or dropping several vocal octaves—your body won’t use these foods to produce testosterone because of your hormonal chemistry).
 

Zinc-rich Foods

Zinc is an essential mineral found in every single cell of your body. It stimulates the activity of over 100 enzymes and is essential for testosterone production. In the standard American diet, red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc. Phytates from whole grains and legumes reduce zinc absorption, so if you’re eating a mostly plant-based diet, zinc is a mineral to make sure you’re getting enough of.1 Adult men should aim to get 11mg of zinc a day. If you eat an exclusively plant-based diet you may require as much as 16mg a day.2
 
Plant-based sources of zinc3:

  • Wheat germ (3.5mg per ¼ cup)
  • Sesame seeds (2mg per ounce)
  • Pumpkin seeds (2mg per ¼ cup)
  • Crimini mushrooms (1mg per cup)
  • Miso (1mg per 2 Tbsp)
  • Maple syrup (1mg per ¼ cup)
  • Chickpeas (1.3mg per ½ cup)
  • Almonds (1 mg per ounce)

 
Soaking beans, grains and seeds in water for several hours before cooking them as well as sprouting can increase the bio-availability of zinc in plant-based foods.2 For a zinc-rich meal make Mushroom Miso Soup, followed by a protein-rich salad stacked with spinach, shelled hemp seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds, followed by a dessert of raw chocolate.
 

Vitamin-D Rich Foods

Preliminary research suggests that vitamin D deficiency is correlated with low testosterone levels in the blood.4 Your body can naturally produce vitamin D by getting 5 to 10 minutes a day of direct sunlight.
 
Plant-based sources of vitamin D:

  • White, kidney and black beans (sources of both vitamin D and zinc)
  • UV-exposed Mushrooms
  • Supplements
  • Healthy Fats e.g. Omegas

 
Cutting fat from your diet can decrease your testosterone levels, since hormones require dietary fat to be produced.5,6 So don’t skimp on your healthy fats!
 
Plant-based sources of healthy fats:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds (chia seeds, sacha inchi seeds, hemp seeds in particular)
  • Cold-pressed oils
  • Coconut oil

 
Eating these foods, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, catching enough ZZZs and managing stress levels is important keep up healthy testosterone levels as you age. If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, book an appointment at your doctor’s office and keep prioritizing your health!
 
How are you making your health better during Men’s Health Month?
 
References :

  1. Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S. (2008). Krause’s Food & Nutrition Therapy. Saunders Elsevier. 12th ed.
  2. National Institute for Health. (2013). Fact Sheet for Health Professionals: Zinc. Accessed on 6/4/15 from: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional.
  3. United States Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/food
  4. Lee DM (2012). Association of hypogonadism with vitamin D status: the European Male Ageing Study. European Journal of Endocrinology. Accessed on 6/4/15 from: http://eje-online.org/content/166/1/77.full.pdf+html
  5. Wang C (2005). Low-fat high-fiber diet decreased serum and urine androgens in men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 90(6):3550-9
  6. Dorgan JF (1996). Effects of dietary fat and fiber on plasma and urine androgens and estrogens in men: a controlled feeding study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 64(6):850-5. Accessed on 6/4/15 from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/64/6/850.long

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Essential Fatty Acids Are Vital for Muscle Growth and Fat Loss

What are Essential Fatty acids and are they really essential? Why bodybuilders need EFAs to maximize muscle and assist with fat loss.
FitBodsYou are selling your results short by not giving your body all the nutrients it needs. I am talking specifically about the nutrients that are “essential” to the body. Essential nutrients are nutrients that the body cannot make and therefore must be obtained through the diet. Concerning the macronutrients, there are two groups of essential nutrients, Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) And Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).
Getting adequate protein in your diet each and every day is heavily stressed in the fitness community, but what is not stressed is getting in adequate Essential Fatty Acids each day. Why would you focus on only getting one of the two essential nutrients? Both EAAs (in the form of protein) and EFAs MUST be obtained from your diet. To get the best results possible you must focus on getting enough of both protein and essential fats.
There are two fatty acids that are essential to the body, the Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) and the Omega-6 Fatty Acid Linoleic Acid (LA). ALA and LA are readily available in food, but to obtain their full benefits they must be converted into their long-chain metabolites, ALA to Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and LA to Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA).  Getting adequate healthy fats in your diet is the first step to getting these EFAs.
The conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA as well as the conversion of LA to GLA is limited, so even if you get some ALA and LA in your diet you may not be getting enough EPA, DHA, or GLA. Adding fat sources that contain EPA and DHA and GLA (think Hemp Seed Oil) is the second step and ideal to ensure you get these essential fatty acid metabolites.
If you are deficient in EAAs, protein synthesis cannot proceed at its full rate due to lacking the needed building blocks (Amino Acids) to build muscle tissue. The same holds true for the EFAs. Being deficient in EFAs and their metabolites will decrease protein synthesis and muscle repair due to lacking the needed materials. An EFA deficiency may also cause your body to try to “hold on to” your body fat because it senses it does not have all the materials/nutrients it needs. So if you do not have enough EFAs then you are not gaining muscle and progressing at the rate you could and your fat loss can become impeded.
EPA and DHA have been shown:

  • Decrease protein breakdown
  • Decrease body fat mass
  • Increase amino acid uptake
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Increase insulin sensitivity
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve joint health
  • Necessary for proper functioning of the brain
  • Repair damaged cell membranes
  • Provide building blocks for Eicosanoids (signaling molecules) and growth factors
  • Increase cell membrane permeability (ability to transport nutrients in and out of cells)

GLA has been shown to:

  • Decrease fat regain after a diet
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve nerve functioning
  • Increase calcium absorption leading to stronger bones
  • Improve skin health
  • Decrease joint pain and swelling
  • Improve blood pressure
  • Assist in weight management
  • Decreases PMS (A GLA deficiency may be responsible for some PMS symptoms)
  • Boosts immune system

We see that EPA, DHA and GLA are vital for muscle growth and fat loss. To get in sufficient EFAs – and in a balanced 3:1 ratio, take Hemp Seed Oil – either in raw Oil or Capsules.

Posted on Leave a comment

A need for EFA Balance

Hemp Seed Oil is considered to be the best nutritional oil for health because it’s Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) profile is closest to that required by the human body.   are termed as such because the body cannot manufacture them. Therefore, they must continually be replenished in the diet. EFAs are not stored or used for energy as are other fats. Instead, they are used as raw materials (building blocks) for cell structure and as precursors for the synthesis of many of the body’s vital biochemicals, including hormones – increases testosterone and prostaglandins ideal for boosting building growth of lean body mass both in men and women. Increases valuable insulin sensitivity – this simply put, increased sensitivity promotes a much greater anabolic response to insulin and increases your fat-burning ability immensely, while insulin resistance leads to elevated fat storage, reduced hypertrophy and increased susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes. In fact studies show Omega 3s increase insulin sensitivity drastically, while its counterpart Omega 6s in higher dosage lead to insulin resistance so key to keep both at balance levels to prevent an imbalance of conversions of the fats, hence the reason why Hemp Seed’s EFA profile is one of the best sources.
 
What are Prostaglandins?
Prostaglandins regulate cellular functions such as communication, cholesterol production and blood platelet aggregation. Since different prostaglandins often have opposite effects, they are needed by the body in a delicate balance. This is obtained from a balanced intake of the two essential Fatty Acids (Omega-6 and Omega-3). For instance, the prostaglandins that key up the body’s response to stress are all made by Omega-6 fatty acids while the ones that gear down the body’s response to stress are nearly all made by Omega-3 fatty acids. Not surprisingly, stress-related diseases tend to respond to Omega-3 supplementation.
Hemp Seed’s EFAs are precursors to the prostaglandin series (PGE 1, 2 and 3). PGE1 inhibits the production of cholesterol and dilates blood vessels and prevents the blood clotting of platelets in arteries. A study reported in 1992 indicated that a diet of Hemp Seed causes the serum levels of total cholesterol to drop dramatically. Blood pressure also decreases after several weeks of eating Hemp Seeds, apparently due to the steady supply of EFAs.
By weight, Hemp Seed is 30-35% oil, of which 80% consists of polyunsaturated EFAs, specifically the two most important ones – Linoleic Acid (LA – Omega-6 at 60%) and Linolenic Acid (LNA or ALA – Omega-3 at 20%). These are the parent compounds which build longer-chain fatty acids. LNA then converts to DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) – two of the most critically needed forms of EFA and LA converts to AA (Arachidonic Acid), which has opposite effects of those from DHA. An excess of AA – the result of too much Omega-6 – ultimately leads to such health problems as inflammation and more importantly, increases blood clotting, which can cause heart attack, stroke, or embolism. In the last 40 years, the Western diet has become loaded with excess Omega-6 from corn and soybean oil, margarine and similar processed fats. At the same time, Westerners eat 500 mg of Omega-3 per day, much less than they need. Consequently, instead of the 3:1 ratio they should be getting, most people consuming the western-type diet, end up with a ratio of 50:1.
Other fatty acids in Hemp Seed Oil include:  Palmitoleic Acid, Heptadecanoic Acid, Arachiditic Acid, Eicosenoic Acid, Behenic Acid, Erucic Acid, Lignoceric Acid and Nervonic Acid; but it also contains several higher fatty acids. It is one of the only food oils to contain the direct metabolites of LA and LNA. Most notable are GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid from LA) and SDA (Stearidonic Acid from LNA), which serve as intermediaries in the formation of longer-chain fatty acids and vital hormone-like prostaglandins in the body. Because of this, Hemp Seed Oil is able to circumvent the impaired EFA metabolism and physical compromise that can result from genetic factors, intake of other fats, aging and lifestyle patterns.
Symptoms of an LNA (Omega-3) deficiency include: dry skin, growth retardation, weakness, impaired learning ability, poor motor coordination, behavioural changes, impaired vision, high blood pressure, sticky platelets, edema, mental deterioration, low metabolic rate and immune dysfunction.
Although LA (Omega-6) is present in our bodies in much greater quantities and because the western diet has an over-abundance, deficiencies are rare but can happen. Symptoms of an LA deficiency include: skin eruptions (acne and eczema-like), loss of hair, poor blood circulation, behavioral disturbances, liver and kidney degeneration, gallbladder problems, prostatitis, muscle tremors, abnormal water loss through the skin (sweating profusely) and susceptibility to infections.
These deficiency symptoms are all reversible with adequate intakes of EFAs from Hemp Seed Oil. But if ignored for a long time, health problems can develop into more serious degenerative conditions, paired wound healing, male sterility, miscarriage, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and growth retardation.
 
Low Fat Diets:
Reductions of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) in ultra-low fat and fat-free diets actually cause people to feel hungrier than they did before going on such a diet. It can also begin the process of dangerous EFA deficiency which causes people to binge on high-calorie foods to compensate for feeling unsatisfied.
The body absolutely requires fat in the diet in order to process such fat-soluble nutrients as vitamins A, D, E and K as well as phytochemicals. Fat substitutes, slide through the digestive system intact – which most people think is advantageous. But, fat substitutes compound a problem by not only being unable to absorb these nutrients into the body, but also they carry them directly into the feces for elimination.
Fat-free diets have been correlated with violent, short tempers in human and animal studies. Such diets can also cause high cholesterol levels because the body produces excess cholesterol in an attempt to make up for the lack of EFAs.
Hemp Seed Oil, therefore, may be thought of as a “diet” oil, because it contributes fewer calories than most other oils or fats and because it is so rich in EFAs, vital for cell metabolism. Experts say getting more than 12-15% of calories from EFAs will actually aid in burning off excess fat and thereby contributing to weight loss & insulin management.
 
Suggested Hemp Seed Oil Dosage
One tablespoon of Hemp Seed Oil of shelled (hulled) Hemp Seed supplies roughly 6.6 grams of Omega-6 and 2.2 grams of Omega-3 – just the amounts needed for a 2 000-calorie diet. This is a suitable amount even for vegetarians and takes into account the conversion ratio of 1% ALA to DHA, the currently accepted conversion rate for plant sources of Omega-3.
Hemp Seed Oil is best stored in the fridge or best in a freezer. It will stay fluid and does not need to be defrosted. One to 3 tablespoons is the suggested daily intake for adults; athletes up to 3 tbsp; children can take half that amount  and breast-fed babies obtain its benefits through the mother’s milk
Two tablespoons of He mp Seed supplies roughly 6.6 grams of Omega-6 and 2.2 grams of Omega-3 – just the amounts needed for a 2 000-calorie diet. This is a suitable amount even for vegetarians and takes into account the conversion ration of 1% ALA to DHA, the currently accepted conversion rate for plant sources of omega-3.
Hemp Seed Oil is best stored in the fridge or best in a freezer. It will stay fluid and does not need to be defrosted. One to 3 tablespoons is the suggested daily intake for adults; athletes up to 3 tbsp; children can take half that amount; and breast-fed babies obtain its benefits through the mother’s milk

Posted on Leave a comment

Hemp & GLA – Good Fat for Weight Loss

More than 66% of Westerners are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  While a sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary choices can contribute to Westerners’ expanding waistlines, there may be more to the story.
Research has found that a deficiency in the Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acid, Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), can actually inhibit healthy weight loss and weight control. In fact, recent studies suggest that obesity is linked with low levels of GLA.

GLA assists in weight loss by significantly increasing metabolism and encouraging stored fat to effectively be used for energy. GLA activates brown adipose tissue (BAT), which is an active tissue that burns calories for heat.  When BAT is actively functioning, it acts as a powerful mechanism for weight loss and weight control.  Studies report that BAT is less active in people who are overweight.

In addition, GLA also activates the metabolic process through its role in providing the nutrients necessary to control the sodium potassium pump in each cell of the body. The sodium potassium pump is essential for cellular homeostasis and when it’s functioning properly, it can use up to 20-50% of daily caloric energy. Thus, if the pump is not working effectively, the body will store this unused energy as fat.

As important as GLA is for an effective weight management, the challenge is that it only occurs in a very small number of foods in nature. As its name implies, it’s an essential fatty acid, meaning that it must be obtained from the diet.
I recommend Hemp as the best source of GLA due to it’s easy to assimilate and naturally balanced profile of essential fatty acids.

Posted on Leave a comment

Attention Deficit Disorder & Essential Fatty Acids

Intuitive parents have long suspected that in some children undesirable behaviour and poor school performance are linked to poor nutrition. New scientific studies of children with Attention Deficit Disorder are beginning to confirm these suspicions. One theory about ADD is that it is caused by a neurotransmitter imbalance. Children with ADD use hyperactivity and undesirable behaviour to stimulate production of neurotransmitters, but then they get overstressed and deplete themselves of neurotransmitters and are soon out of control. It seems, that a child with a tendency toward ADD needs a diet rich in nutrients that build neurotransmitters, given the difficulties he may have regulating their production. Research supports this idea, specifically:

  • A 1996 study of 96 boys found that those with lower blood levels of Omega-3 fatty acids were significantly more likely to have learning and behaviour problems than those whose levels were normal.
  • DHA and A.D.D. Another study showed that children with ADHD tended to have low blood levels of DHA and Arachidonic Acid (Essential Fatty Acids), two key brain fats. Perhaps this is why studies have shown that children who have been breast-fed are less likely to have ADHD and the longer the period of breastfeeding , the less the likelihood of having ADHD. The reason seems to be that breast milk is high in important fatty acids, such as GLA, ALA, DHA, Arachidonic Acid and others, but prior to 1997 most formulas contained none or little of these fatty acids. Studies at Purdue University in Indiana suggest that many boys with ADHD have low levels of the Omega Fatty Acids DHA, GLA and AA in their blood and tended to have lower levels of ALA and LA precursors in their blood than boys without ADHD, suggesting that these children were unable to make the fatty acids their brain needs from the fats in their diet.
  • The boys with ADHD who had the lowest levels of DHA, GLA and AA, exhibited the most anxiety, impulsivity, hyperactivity and conduct disorders. The researchers suggested three possible explanations for their findings: the children’s diets were deficient in Essential Fatty Acids, the children had a metabolic problem that prevented the body from converting dietary nutrients to Essential Fatty Acids for the brain, or various lifestyle and dietary factors reduced the level of Essential Fatty Acids available to the brain.
  • While a deficiency of Omega 3 fats can contribute to poor behaviour and learning, the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet is also important. A study of fifteen children with motor coordination problems showed that motor skills improved after the children were given a diet rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids. Brain researchers believe that the ideal ratio in the diet is 3:1, but a study found that children with ADHD had a higher Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio in their diet. When the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio gets too high, the important Omega 3 fats may be less available to the brain.
  • Some children with ADHD have outward symptoms of Essential Fatty Acid deficiency, such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, dry hair and dry skin. These symptoms appear because the vital organs, such as the brain, seem to have claim on the Essential Fatty Acids in the diet and rob these vital nutrients from less important organs, such as the skin.
  • The Hyperactive Children’s Support Group inEngland, after researching the connection between ADD and Essential Fatty Acid deficiency, concluded that since some children may have a problem with the normal metabolism of Essential Fatty Acids, they should supplement their diets with Essential Fatty Acids.
  • The group even suggested that perhaps males require two to three times more Essential Fatty Acids than females, since hyperactive male children seem to outnumber females by three to one.
  • In a study of DHA and behaviour, a group of college students were given a daily supplement of DHA beginning in August and continuing until final exams. Students who took DHA supplements displayed far less external aggression than those not taking supplements.
  • Sugars can also affect the learning and behaviour of children. Glucose tolerance tests on 261 hyperactive children showed that 74 percent had abnormal glucose tolerance tests, indicating that some children with ADHD are more prone to blood sugar swings and the poor behaviour and school performance that may accompany them. In one study, seventeen children with ADD were shown to have a lower rise in plasma epinephrine and nor-epinephrine in response to glucose infusion, another indication that these children may have more difficulty with blood-sugar changes.
  • Some research suggests that vitamin and mineral supplements may help children with A.D.H.D. Studies have shown that A.D.H.D., along with their lower serum levels of free fatty acids, may contribute to their A.D.H.D. Studies have shown that schoolchildren receiving a daily multivitamin containing the recommended dietary allowance of essential vitamins and minerals showed better school performance. However, studies using megavitamin therapy (doses of vitamins well above the RDA) on children with A.D.D. showed no effects; researchers concluded that this type of treatment should be discouraged because of potential toxic effects from excess amounts of some vitamins.
  • Other studies show that children placed on vitamin and mineral supplements tend to exhibit less violent, anti-social behaviour and show higher gains in academic performance than children on placebos. One study found that children who took 100 percent of the RDAs did better on I.Q. tests than those receiving 200 percent or 50 percent of the RDA. The conclusion was that taking more or less than the RDA may not be helpful.
  • Finally, nutritionists who reviewed studies linking diet, behaviour and school performance, concluded that students who generally ate a nutritious diet showed improved conduct and academic performance.

All the why’s and wherefores may not have been discovered yet, but common sense prevails.

Posted on Leave a comment

Hemp Seed Oil


Hemp Seed Oil is recognized by the World Health Organization as a natural anti-oxidant and the only balanced (perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3) source of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and is also a good source of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA).
Hemp Seed Oil has a high content of the enzyme lipase, which is a superior non-invasive chelation therapy for removing plaque build-up (undigested protein and cholesterol) from arteries and cell membrane.
Cold-pressed, unrefined Hemp Seed Oil is light green and has a nutty/grassy flavour. The oil contains fatty acids. Saturated fats and
monounsaturated fats are not necessary in our diet as our bodies can make them. But there are some polyunsaturated fatty acids that our body cannot make – in particular Linoleic Acid and Alpha-Linolenic Acid. These fatty acids must be included in the diet and are therefore known as ‘Essential Fatty Acids’. Both these essential fatty acids are present in Hemp Seed Oil. Hemp Seed Oil provides a safer source of the essential fatty acids than from fish, where the risk of mercury poisoning exists.
Essential fatty acids are essential for the formation of healthy cell membranes, the proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. Our body can convert the linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid into longer chain fatty acids which serve as precursors for Eicosanoids. Eicosanoids are hormone-like substances which regulate numerous body functions such as blood pressure, blood viscosity, vaso-constriction, immune and inflammatory responses.
Eicosanoids can be produced from both Omega  3 fatty acids and from Omega  6 fatty acids, with opposing effects i.e. when made from Omega  6 they have the potential to increase blood pressure, inflammation, platelet aggregation, thrombosis, allergic reaction and cell proliferation, whereas when formed from Omega  3 they will have the opposite effect. Omega  3 and Omega  6 fatty acids compete for enzymes in their desaturation, so excessive consumption of foods rich in Omega  6 fatty acids may compromise the conversion of Omega  3 fatty acids, with resultant health risks.
Hemp Seed Oil is nutritious and contains the essential Omega -3 and Omega -6 fatty acids as well as Gamma-Linolenic acid. Hemp is the best source of EFAs not only because it has the highest total EFAs of any seed oil (80%) but also because the ratio of EFAs is considered the optimum balance for human health. Omega -3 and Omega -6 in the right proportions lower blood pressure, help organ muscles to contract and regulate stomach acid and body temperature.
When we are deficient in EFAs, changes in the cell structure occur that can result in brittle and dull hair, nail problems, dandruff, allergies and dermatitis and many of the diseases associated with aging, from arthritis to liver spots on the skin.
Hemp Seed Oil can be used as a salad dressing. Because hemp requires little or no pesticide or herbicide application the seed can easily be produced organically, making it a desirable food supplement or addition.
Hemp seed oil’s high EFA content means it is vulnerable to spoilage. It requires cool, dark, oxygen-free storage conditions. An unopened container can be stored in the deep freezer indefinitely and in the refrigerator for one year; an opened container will last for ten to twelve weeks in the refrigerator and at room temperature, an unopened container can last four to six weeks. An opened container should be used within one to two weeks.

Hemp Seed Oil should be taken daily because EFAs support the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous systems. A primary function of EFAs is the production of prostaglandins, which regulate body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting, fertility, conception and play a role in immune function by regulating inflammation and encouraging the body to fight infection. Essential Fatty Acids are also needed for proper growth in children, particularly for neural development and maturation of sensory systems, with male children having higher needs than females. Foetuses and breast-fed infants also require an adequate supply of EFAs through the mother’s dietary intake.

Hemptons’ organic Hemp Seed oil is cold-pressed at temperatures below 20˚ Celsius in an oxygen-free environment and nitrogen capped to maintain freshness.

Hemp Seed Oil requires cool and dark storage conditions – it is the very thing that makes Hemp Seed Oil such a valuable product that makes it vulnerable to spoilage – its high Essential Fatty Content content.

Suggested Daily Oil Dosage :

  • Adults:  1 to 2 tablespoons a day (approximately 1 tablespoon per 45Kgs of body weight)*
  • Children over 14 months:  2 to 4 teaspoons* 
  • Babies under 14 months:  1 to 2 teaspoons a day*

Capsules :

  • Adults:  2 Capsules 3 times a day*
  • Babies under 14 months:  Not recommended as they may choke (we recommend giving babies under 14  months   raw Hemp Seed Oil – 1 to 2 teaspoons per day)*
  • Children over 14 months:  2 to 4 capsules (please administer under supervision to ensure the child does not choke)

             *  always taken with food
This amount should provide between 8 to 16 grams of Omega 6 EFA and between 3 to 6 grams of Omega 3 EFA in a normal adult body.

Each 15ml (1 Tablespoon) contains the following Essential Fatty Acids:

Linoleic Acid (Omega 6)   54.8%
Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3)   18.1%
Oleic Acid (Omega 9)   11.2%
Palmitic Acid   6.8%
Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)   4.8%
Stearic Acid   2.4%
Octadecatetraenoic Acid   1.4%
Eicosenoic Acid   0.3%
Behenic Acid   0.3%
Posted on Leave a comment

Pregnancy Brain" may be First Sign of EFA Deficiency

“Pregnancy brain” is a condition whereby expectant mothers experience short term memory loss and forgetfulness that often persists into the postpartum and breastfeeding period. Given widespread fatty acid deficiency in the standard Western diet, along with the fact that the brain is built on fat, it is incumbent upon us to consider adequate and optimal fats in the prevention and treatment of “pregnancy brain”. It also stands to reason that pregnancy brain, if left unchecked, may be the first and most benign symptom of a deficiency, which could later prove to have much greater consequence.According to Michael A. Schimdt, PhD (a NASA researcher), “To achieve adequate levels for brain development, the baby essentially robs the mother of these fatty acids by taking them from the placental blood.”  
Growing evidence supports the importance of supplementing with EFAs during pregnancy especially Omega 3. There are some Fatty Acids that we need to ingest (take in via food or supplementation) as the human body is unable to create it. These Fatty Acids are however essential to the development of body – hence the term ‘essential fatty acid’ – as they are essential to the body. The human body can however, synthesize ingested long chain fatty acids into other, short chain fatty acids like EPA, DHA, ALA etc.  EPA and DHA ( Docosahexaenoic Acid ) and the Arachidonic Acid (ARA) for essential for brain and eye development from Omega 3, Omega 6, etc. The January 2003 Pediatrics published data linking better intelligence and higher IQ scores to DHA supplementation. The World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, British Nutrition Foundation and Children’s Health Foundation have also recommended DHA inclusion in infant formula.
There is evidence from published clinical trials that women with higher DHA intakes or by way of supplementation during pregnancy, ranging up to 1100 mg DHA (plus 800 mg EPA) daily, gave birth to infants with higher cognitive development scores and young children with higher mental processing scores up to 4 years of age.  There is also published evidence that mothers with higher intakes of DHA during pregnancy along with higher corresponding levels in their body give birth to infants with improved sleep patterns. Furthermore, supplementation during pregnancy may enhance infant immunity (better allergy protection) and reduce risk of allergic disease.
In addition, higher intakes of EFAs during pregnancy (levels as low as 150 mg/day) have been implicated with increased birth weights, moderately prolonged gestation and reduced risk of preterm delivery. Finally, a higher dietary intake of EFA during pregnancy to support brain development of the baby in the womb has been associated with a great availability to the mother herself and a lesser risk of postpartum depression.
If not attended to, EFA status in the mother will continue to decline throughout the breastfeeding period, with repercussions to both her breastfeeding baby and subsequent children. Essential fatty acid deficiency has been shown to play a key role in many growth and developmental difficulties such as: learning, behavioral, nervous and immune related disorders.
Pregnant women who are deficient in essential fats, as well as mothers who have birthed more than one child (without adequate time in between to replenish their EFA status), may be more vulnerable to prolonged depression and disease later in life. It seems plausible that the wide spread prevalence of postpartum depression could be due at least in part to EFA deficiency. It is well established that essential fats play a substantial role in the prevention and treatment of depression. Chronic deficiencies originating during this critical time period may also explain why women tend to experience far more depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and autoimmune disease than men.
While “pregnancy brain” is also associated with the “amnesia” effects of the hormone oxytocin and other nutritional deficiencies, science has now shown that a pregnant woman`s brain actually shrinks in size during pregnancy, and then increases again at six months postpartum. It is likely no coincidence that this occurrence co-relates with the time when many women stop or decrease breastfeeding, thus eliminating or reducing the strain on the mother`s EFA stores. Since we know that 60% of the human brain is composed of fat and that a woman’s reserves are most strained during the childbearing years, we have to at least consider essential fats as a significant contributing piece of the “pregnancy brain” puzzle.
The cause and occurrence of “pregnancy brain” and the potential consequences of declining EFA status in women of childbearing years is an important topic that warrants further investigation. Due to the fact that it is so common, “pregnancy brain” has been mostly overlooked as a normal part of an otherwise healthy pregnancy. On the other hand, it may point to the likelihood that, modern mothers may need to attend to their essential fatty acid status through better diet and/or supplementation both during and after pregnancy – especially while breast feeding.
References:
Birch, E.E., et al. A randomized controlled trial of early dietary supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and mental development in term infants. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 42: 174-181, 2000.
Glomset, J.A. Role of docosahexaenoic acid in neuronal plasma membranes. Sci STKE. 321: 6, 2006.
Litman, B. J., et al . The role of docosahexaenoic acid containing phospholipids in modulating G protein-coupled signaling pathways : visual transduction. J. Mol. Neurosci. 16(2-3):237-242, 2001.
O’Brien, J.S., and Sampson, L. Fatty acid and fatty aldehyde composition of the major brain lipids in normal human gray matter, white matter, and myelin. J. Lipid Res. 6: 545-551, 1965.
Salem, N. Jr., et al . Mechanism of action of docosahexaenoic acid in the nervous system. Lipids. 36(9):945-959, 2001.
SanGiovanni, J. P., and Chew, E. Y. The role of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in health and disease of the retina. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 24:87-138, 2005.
Stilwell, W., and Wassall, S. R. Docosahexaenoic acid: membrance properties of a unique fatty acid. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids. 126:1-27, 2003.
Svennerholm, L. Distribution and fatty acid composition of phosphoglycerides in normal human brain. J. Lipid Res. 9: 570-579, 1965.
Youdin, K.A., et al . Essential fatty acids and the brain: possible health implications. Int. J. Neurosci. 18: 383-399, 2000.
Posted on Leave a comment

“Pregnancy Brain” may be First Sign of EFA Deficiency

“Pregnancy brain” is a condition whereby expectant mothers experience short term memory loss and forgetfulness that often persists into the postpartum and breastfeeding period. Given widespread fatty acid deficiency in the standard Western diet, along with the fact that the brain is built on fat, it is incumbent upon us to consider adequate and optimal fats in the prevention and treatment of “pregnancy brain”. It also stands to reason that pregnancy brain, if left unchecked, may be the first and most benign symptom of a deficiency, which could later prove to have much greater consequence.According to Michael A. Schimdt, PhD (a NASA researcher), “To achieve adequate levels for brain development, the baby essentially robs the mother of these fatty acids by taking them from the placental blood.”  

Growing evidence supports the importance of supplementing with EFAs during pregnancy especially Omega 3. There are some Fatty Acids that we need to ingest (take in via food or supplementation) as the human body is unable to create it. These Fatty Acids are however essential to the development of body – hence the term ‘essential fatty acid’ – as they are essential to the body. The human body can however, synthesize ingested long chain fatty acids into other, short chain fatty acids like EPA, DHA, ALA etc.  EPA and DHA ( Docosahexaenoic Acid ) and the Arachidonic Acid (ARA) for essential for brain and eye development from Omega 3, Omega 6, etc. The January 2003 Pediatrics published data linking better intelligence and higher IQ scores to DHA supplementation. The World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, British Nutrition Foundation and Children’s Health Foundation have also recommended DHA inclusion in infant formula.

There is evidence from published clinical trials that women with higher DHA intakes or by way of supplementation during pregnancy, ranging up to 1100 mg DHA (plus 800 mg EPA) daily, gave birth to infants with higher cognitive development scores and young children with higher mental processing scores up to 4 years of age.  There is also published evidence that mothers with higher intakes of DHA during pregnancy along with higher corresponding levels in their body give birth to infants with improved sleep patterns. Furthermore, supplementation during pregnancy may enhance infant immunity (better allergy protection) and reduce risk of allergic disease.
In addition, higher intakes of EFAs during pregnancy (levels as low as 150 mg/day) have been implicated with increased birth weights, moderately prolonged gestation and reduced risk of preterm delivery. Finally, a higher dietary intake of EFA during pregnancy to support brain development of the baby in the womb has been associated with a great availability to the mother herself and a lesser risk of postpartum depression.

If not attended to, EFA status in the mother will continue to decline throughout the breastfeeding period, with repercussions to both her breastfeeding baby and subsequent children. Essential fatty acid deficiency has been shown to play a key role in many growth and developmental difficulties such as: learning, behavioral, nervous and immune related disorders.

Pregnant women who are deficient in essential fats, as well as mothers who have birthed more than one child (without adequate time in between to replenish their EFA status), may be more vulnerable to prolonged depression and disease later in life. It seems plausible that the wide spread prevalence of postpartum depression could be due at least in part to EFA deficiency. It is well established that essential fats play a substantial role in the prevention and treatment of depression. Chronic deficiencies originating during this critical time period may also explain why women tend to experience far more depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and autoimmune disease than men.
While “pregnancy brain” is also associated with the “amnesia” effects of the hormone oxytocin and other nutritional deficiencies, science has now shown that a pregnant woman`s brain actually shrinks in size during pregnancy, and then increases again at six months postpartum. It is likely no coincidence that this occurrence co-relates with the time when many women stop or decrease breastfeeding, thus eliminating or reducing the strain on the mother`s EFA stores. Since we know that 60% of the human brain is composed of fat and that a woman’s reserves are most strained during the childbearing years, we have to at least consider essential fats as a significant contributing piece of the “pregnancy brain” puzzle.

The cause and occurrence of “pregnancy brain” and the potential consequences of declining EFA status in women of childbearing years is an important topic that warrants further investigation. Due to the fact that it is so common, “pregnancy brain” has been mostly overlooked as a normal part of an otherwise healthy pregnancy. On the other hand, it may point to the likelihood that, modern mothers may need to attend to their essential fatty acid status through better diet and/or supplementation both during and after pregnancy – especially while breast feeding.

References:
Birch, E.E., et al. A randomized controlled trial of early dietary supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and mental development in term infants. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 42: 174-181, 2000.
Glomset, J.A. Role of docosahexaenoic acid in neuronal plasma membranes. Sci STKE. 321: 6, 2006.
Litman, B. J., et al . The role of docosahexaenoic acid containing phospholipids in modulating G protein-coupled signaling pathways : visual transduction. J. Mol. Neurosci. 16(2-3):237-242, 2001.
O’Brien, J.S., and Sampson, L. Fatty acid and fatty aldehyde composition of the major brain lipids in normal human gray matter, white matter, and myelin. J. Lipid Res. 6: 545-551, 1965.
Salem, N. Jr., et al . Mechanism of action of docosahexaenoic acid in the nervous system. Lipids. 36(9):945-959, 2001.
SanGiovanni, J. P., and Chew, E. Y. The role of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in health and disease of the retina. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 24:87-138, 2005.
Stilwell, W., and Wassall, S. R. Docosahexaenoic acid: membrance properties of a unique fatty acid. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids. 126:1-27, 2003.
Svennerholm, L. Distribution and fatty acid composition of phosphoglycerides in normal human brain. J. Lipid Res. 9: 570-579, 1965.
Youdin, K.A., et al . Essential fatty acids and the brain: possible health implications. Int. J. Neurosci. 18: 383-399, 2000.

Posted on Leave a comment

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and Weight Loss

 Any time you see “essential”, when it pertains to health, be it vitamins or other items, it means that the body isn’t capable of producing those items and they have to be gotten from outside sources like food or supplements. There are two main types of essential fatty acids (EFA’s), Omega-3 and Omega-6.A healthy ratio in the diet is four parts Omega-6 to one Omega-3 (4:1).  The normal diet consumed in the West contains anywhere from 20:1 to 25:1 Omega-6 to Omega-3.  That’s because the Omega-6 oils used in processed foods, have a longer shelf life.  To make things worse, the oils are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated to add even more shelf life.  Hydrogenating is the same basic process used in making plastics, only in plastics the base oil is petroleum, not vegetable.

CLA (Conjugated Linolenic Acid) is a manufactured by the body from ingested Omega-6 fatty acids and has been proven in research to effectively reduce body fat and increase muscle mass.  The research projects stated that CLA reduced body fat from 43 to 88 percent in 6 weeks when included in the diet of laboratory mice.  The same research group followed up with another study and found it as effective for reducing fat and increasing muscle mass in humans.  The area that appeared most prone to lose the fat was the abdominal region.  A Norwegian Journal of Nutrition study showed 3.3 grams of CLA was all that was required per day.  Whole milk, some cheeses, cheddar, blue, brie, edam, and Swiss, beef, lamb, yogurt and turkey all contain varying amounts of CLA.  The problem lies in what the animals are fed.  If Omega-6 feeds are used, the % of CLA is significantly reduced. 

Hemp Seed or Hemp Seed Oil can be used to balance out your EFA ratio and has proven to be helpful in losing and keeping off extra pounds.  How do Hemp Seed and CLA work?  They increase your metabolic rate and so that you burn fats more quickly and efficiently.  Hemp Seed and/or Hemp Seed Oil also increase energy production, facilitates oxygen transfer, lowers blood pressure and decreases the stickiness of your blood platelets. Hemp Seed is available at health food stores as Hulled Hemp Seed.

Some oils – such as Hemp Seed Oil – are considered good sources of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). EFAs are essential because they are required in the diet to remain healthy. The fats that heal contain unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) which make them liquid oils. Examples are Linoleic acid and Alpha-linoleic acid. Our bodies convert the EFAs into longer and more ‘super-unsaturated’ fatty acids (SUFAs) which have important functions in brain cells, nerve endings (synapses), sense organs, adrenal glands, sex glands, and all cells. Our bodies use some of these derivatives to make prostaglandins, which have hormone-like regulating and communicating functions in our cells. These are extremely important to our health.