9 Super Supplements

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For Your Mood and Brain

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These essential fatty acids can lower your risk of complications from cardiovascular disease, lessen the symptoms of inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and possibly improve insulin resistance and alleviate depression. Studies released in 2004 show that omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce deaths and problems associated with heart disease, primarily by lowering triglycerides, a fat in the blood. The evidence of its impact on other conditions is mixed, but promising.

Dose: For heart health, take 650 to 1,000mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexanoic acid), the most important omega-3s. Fish oil is probably the best source of omega-3s, but they're also found in flaxseed and hemp oil.

St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort is widely used for the treatment of mild or moderate depression in Europe, where several studies have demonstrated its effectiveness as an antidepressant. But recent studies show it is not effective for severe depression. The herb is believed to work by increasing the activity of serotonin in the brain. It may also help with anxiety and sleep disorders.

Dose: Recommended dosage is 900mg, taken three times a day. Choose products that contain 0.3 percent hypericin, the active ingredient.

Warning: St. John's Wort interacts significantly with several drugs including Prilosec, oral contraceptives, and HIV medications.

Ginkgo Biloba

Extracts from the leaves of the ancient Chinese gingko biloba tree may improve memory, and slow the progression of dementia. Gingko works by increasing blood flow in the brain and boosting neurotransmitter activity. A phase III clinical trial now under way will examine gingko's effects on the elderly who have Alzheimer's disease.

Dose: To enhance memory, try 120 to 240mg a day, taken in two or three doses. For best results, choose gingko that contains 24 percent of flavoglycosides and six percent terpene lactones, the active ingredients.

Continued on page 4:  For Your Cholesterol


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