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The Omega-3 Index

The omega-3 index is a measure of the levels of two important omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in red blood cell membranes. A high omega-3 index is associated with several health benefits due to the critical roles these fatty acids play in various bodily functions. Here’s why maintaining a high omega-3 index is important:

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  1. Heart Health: EPA and DHA have been extensively studied for their cardioprotective effects. They can help reduce triglyceride levels, decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure, improve endothelial function, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. A high omega-3 index is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death.
  2. Brain Health: DHA is a major structural component of the brain and is essential for proper brain development and function. It plays a crucial role in maintaining cognitive function, memory, and learning abilities throughout life. Adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids, and maintaining a high omega-3 index, is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Eye Health: DHA is also abundant in the retina of the eye, where it plays a vital role in maintaining retinal structure and function. Adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, is associated with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye conditions that can lead to vision loss.
  4. Inflammation and Immune Function: EPA and DHA have anti-inflammatory properties and can help modulate the body’s immune response. They can reduce the production of inflammatory molecules and promote the resolution of inflammation, which is important for managing chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma.
  5. Mood and Mental Health: Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to improved mood and mental well-being. They can help regulate neurotransmitter function, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and promote overall mental health and emotional resilience.
  6. Pregnancy and Child Development: Adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, during pregnancy and breastfeeding is crucial for fetal and infant brain development, vision development, and overall growth. Maintaining a high omega-3 index during these critical periods can have long-lasting benefits for the child’s cognitive function and neurodevelopment.

Overall, maintaining a high omega-3 index through dietary sources such as fatty fish, fish oil supplements, and fortified foods can contribute to better overall health and reduced risk of various chronic diseases. The highest levels of omega-3 from seafood is one of the top preventable causes of early death. Very high levels of omega-3 can reduce sudden, cardiac death by 90%. The highest levels of omega-3 such as found in the Japanese population, increased life by at least five years. High levels of omega-3 in a smoker, had the same life expectancy as that of a non-smoker with low omega-3 a non-smoker with highest levels of omega-3 live the longest and a smoker with the lowest levels of omega-3 on average died earlier. Regular monitoring of the omega-3 index can help individuals assess their omega-3 status and make informed decisions about their dietary and supplementation choices to optimize health outcomes. Our current recommendation of supplementation is either pure encapsulation brand which we carry in the office or Nordic naturals which can be found online. 1000 mg a day is the minimal amount and 2000 mg a day is even better. We measure the omega-3 index at least once a year on all of our patients.

 

See our links below for more free information relating to diet and nutrition

Low Carb Diet for Glycemic Control (30-60g/day)

Synopsis of Unlocking the keto code by Dr Steven Gundry

Kick Start Your Metabolism: A Patient Driven Challenge

 

 

Just a Little Cut

Patients who are members of a direct primary care practice experience unparalleled benefits. By bypassing the need for insurance companies, they can receive prompt and individualized medical attention without worrying about costly co-pays or deductibles.

At the office, they obtain quality care directly from their primary care physician efficiently and conveniently, resulting in faster diagnoses, treatments, and recoveries.

With nearly 24/7 access to their doctor, direct primary care members can build a close and trustworthy relationship, contributing to their overall health and well-being. A direct primary care membership offers a cost-effective and valuable alternative to traditional healthcare.

One patient had an exceptionally positive experience at the direct primary care office.

On Wednesday morning, he called to report a fall on black ice and a head injury. He even sent a picture that showed a 3-inch laceration on the top of his scalp. Because he had no signs of loss of consciousness, headache, blurred vision, or ringing in the ears, a friend drove him directly to the office. The wound was numbed and cleansed with a combination of Betadine water and hydrogen peroxide before being closed with a skin stapler in just 10 minutes.

The patient was able to avoid a lengthy and expensive trip to the emergency room thanks to the quick and efficient care he received at Action Medicine.

Head Wound
Head Wound

Summer is here!

Are you ready for cookouts, trips to the beach. . . and tick bites?

There are almost 100,000 cases of Lyme Disease in Massachusetts every year, and most of these occur in June, July and August.   A person usually becomes infected with Lyme Disease when they are bitten by a deer tick that stays attached for 4 to 5 days.  Most people with Lyme did not even know that they were bitten by a tick.

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Preventing Tick Bites

  • Wear light colored clothing (long sleeves and pants are best, tucking pants into socks can help)
  • After spending time outdoors: rinse off in the shower, throw clothes in a hot dryer for at least 5 minutes, and check yourself for ticks.
  • Consider using a repellent containing DEET.

Apply it outdoors in a well-ventilated area.  Use the least concentrated version that works for your activity:  10% DEET works for about 2 hours, 20-30% DEET works for about 5 hours.  DEET is not recommended for use in infants or pregnant women.  There is a tiny risk of neurological problems if DEET is used in large amounts or frequently.

  • Consider using the insect repellent permethrin on clothes if you are at high risk. One application can remain on clothes for 2 weeks or more, even after several washes.  May be best to avoid use in children or pregnant women.
  • Citronella and lemon eucalyptus oil do not work well to repel ticks
  • Take care of your yard:

Remove old leaves, tall grass, and brush at the edge of the lawn.  A 3 foot zone of wood chips or gravel at the edge of the yard can help keep ticks away.  Cut grass often.  Stack wood neatly in a dry area to cut down on rodents.  Keep recreational areas like swing sets and decks away from the edge of the yard.  Fences can keep out wild animals that carry ticks.

 

  • Dr. Brown

Happy June solstice! It’s the first day of summer!

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To help celebrate, we are offering a selection of healthy, organic tomato plants. They are in 3” pots, ready to be put in a garden or in a patio container.

Please stop by to choose a few of your favorites. They are located on our 2nd floor foyer.

Happy gardening from your Action Medicine, DPC team !

Type II Diabetes

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Type II diabetes is running rampant in the United States. A big problem is that it is not diagnosed early enough. Most physicians don’t even check for it unless a person is obese and has an abnormally high random blood sugar.

Risk factors for Type II diabetes include a history of gestational diabetes, being overweight, being inactive, and a family history of diabetes. Symptoms can be excessive thirst, hunger, and urination.

As Americans get more and more overweight, the lab values have risen including the “normal“ blood sugar levels. At Action Medicine, DPC, we test fasting glucose, insulin, and C-peptide. This gives us the best opportunity to diagnose prediabetes short of doing a full three-hour glucose tolerance test with insulin levels.

A regular glucose tolerance test is not enough because we need to test insulin levels at the same time. You can have a normal blood sugar but if you must have high insulin levels to keep it normal, you are insulin resistant, carbohydrate overloaded, and you are on your way to diabetes.

A study was done on several hundred Yale undergrads who were not overweight, but they did not exercise. 25% of the students tested positive for early diabetes and another 25% were prediabetic. Another 25% had high normal blood sugars. Action Medicine runs these tests on our patients during their yearly medical exam and lab work.

Please contact the office to schedule your annual physical, if needed.

~Dr. Mike and Action Medicine team

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Synopsis of Unlocking the keto code by Dr Steven Gundry

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As it turns out the ketogenic diet works by a biocellular process known as mitochondrial uncoupling. This process is facilitated through the gut when our bacteria manufacture post-biotics. This whole process builds more mitochondria which burn more energy and forces fat cells to release their calories.

There are three simple rules:

1) Consume some of your calories as medium chain triglycerides, MCT oil for example. Start with a tablespoon per day and try to increase it to three times a day gradually.

2) Utilize time restricted eating

3) Feed on fermented foods and fiber including cruciferous vegetables.

MCT oil can be added to beverages or consumed directly. They should ideally be non-GMO and organic. Start with a tablespoon a day in the morning and this will not break your fast. I also suggest 1 teaspoon of organic India psyllium in the morning as this is a resistant starch and it will tend to make you feel full. It will also help keep your bowel movements normal.

Time restricted eating ideally would be one meal a day (OMAD). People who are originally on a higher carbohydrate diet will have a hard time with time restricted eating initially. If this is the case, delay your first meal of the day as long as possible. Each week try to delay it a little longer until you get to about a six hour eating window, say 2 to 8. Do this Monday through Friday and be more lenient on weekends. Try to avoid grazing, and stay hydrated. Use the MCT oil and the psyllium in the morning and MCT oil in the afternoon. Drink black coffee or coffee with MCT oil powder. Drink black or green tea. Your meal should consist of grass fed and grass finished animals, wild caught fish, dairy from southern European cows, buffalo, sheep and goat and should be full fat. Cruciferous vegetables should be chopped before steaming and these include broccoli, cauliflower as well as other sulfur containing vegetables like onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, etc.

Feast on fermented foods and resistant starches. Sauerkraut, kombucha, miso paste, kimchi. Sweet potatoes, yams, plantains. Yogurt and cheeses from France, Italy and Switzerland. Goat and sheep dairy. Up to 6 ounces of red wine per day. Try to buy organic. Try a good quality vinegar such as Braggs in warm water as a beverage snack. Other high-fiber foods include artichokes, asparagus, leeks and chicory. Avoid sweets including fruit juices which are high in fructose. If you need to sweeten a dish, try swerve or Monk fruit sweeteners. Try and macadamia nut creamer.

For additional food selections go to DrGrundy.compdf-food list

Better yet, read the book as it has a bunch of good keto recipes

As always, if you have any questions, call, text or E-mail me.

  • Dr. Mike

Traditional Food Pyramid questioned

I attended a virtual conference a few weeks ago put on by an organization that I belong to called “lowcarbUSA.org“.

At least 3/4 of Americans suffer from carbohydrate toxicity syndrome. This is because the “food pyramid “is upside down. We should be eating more protein in the form of meat, grass fed if available. We should also be eating good quality full fat dairy & avoiding low fat anything. Other good quality fats would be avocados and olive oil.

We should be doing our best to eat a very low or no carbohydrate diet. Low carb USA.org recommends that we definitely avoid highly processed carbohydrates that are found in foods like bread, pizza and pasta. These carbohydrates are extremely addictive and are often combined with sugar found in sugary cereals or fats as we find in pizza. They cause a rise in our insulin levels that makes us feel constantly hungry. This is why the average American eats eight times a day.

I suggest watching the free documentary film, “Fat Fiction” and check out Dr. Ken Berry on YouTube. The links are below.

YouTube.com/watch?v=TUADs-CK7vl

YouTube.com/watch?v=jwagCofBDj8

Stay tuned for additional information from this conference.

~Dr. Mike & Action Medicine team

For our members, a new service offered

PRP ultrasoundAction Medicine, DPC has just taken a big step forward for our members. We have invested in a state of the art diagnostic ultrasound device.

Initially, it was purchased to help us do platelet rich plasma, PRP and stem cell joint injections. Within the first week, we were able to use it diagnostically in other areas. We used it to see a fractured toe, which verified our diagnosis and helped determine the treatment. We were able to look at the spleen of someone who had mononucleosis to reassure him that it was not enlarged. He can now go back to doing his workouts. We can use this device to look at the arteries and veins in the body. When someone has a swollen leg, we can determine if it is due to blood clots or not.

We are making efforts to enhance our services. Utilizing this new ultrasound device is offered at no additional charge for our members. Thank you for being a part of the Action Medicine, DPC family.

~Dr. Mike and Action Medicine team

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200 Ledgewood Place, Ste 102A

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781-767-0910

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