Wednesday, Jun. 2nd 2010

Seasonal Allergies and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Veterinary Alternatives E-Newsletter—Information about pet health as well as yours, holistic therapies, and the house-call veterinary acupuncture business.

Updates: This is the season for grass allergies and hot spots. These are called “Damp heat” in traditional Chinese medicine and can be difficult to treat. However, there are some things you can do to help your pet minimize or avoid these itchy problems. First, minimize your pet’s exposure to pollens. Wipe their face, then paws and belly with a damp cloth every time they come inside to remove allergens. Avoid spraying your lawn with chemicals as these often cause irritation to your pets (or upset tummies) not to mention damage the environment. Bathe your pets thoroughly in a shampoo intended to soothe skin (look for Aloe, calendula, tea tree oil, and other soothing ingredients) about weekly, making sure to rinse well. Finally, feed a diet high in ingredients which are cooling, drain dampness, and contain Omega 3 fatty acids. This may include: turkey, white fish, rabbit, and small amounts of sardines or salmon. Bitter greens are wonderful to include, such as asparagus, broccoli, kale, mustard, endive, etc. These may be steamed and chopped finely to improve their palatability. Small amounts of orange veggies such as sweet potato or pumpkin support the spleen and counter the bitter tastes. Also, Indian spices such as cumin, cardamom, turmeric, coriander, thyme, and fenugreek stimulate digestion. With allergies, a trial low-ingredient diet may help find out what your pet is allergic to. Dr. Leonard can assist you in balancing such a diet, or in deciding whether your pet has a damp-heat issue.

Health News: Omega Fatty Acids—often seen in nutritional articles, but do you really know what they are or why they are important? There are actually numerous different kinds of omega fatty acids—Omega 3 and 6are most commonly referred to. The numbers refer to chemical structure. ALA, DHA and EPA are important Omega 3’s. These are mainly found in fish, such as sardines, anchovies, and salmon. They are anti-inflammatory, may aid in cancer prevention or treatment, help prevent cardiac disease, and also seem to aid in depression and anxiety conditions. Overuse may cause increased bleeding or stroke (in very high doses) so moderation is wise in supplementation, but the health benefits are HUGE. Other sources besides fish include flaxseed oil, eggs, some other plants and nuts, and even grass-fed beef, milk, and cheese. Omega 6 fatty acids, while still essential to bodily functions, can actually increase inflammation if taken in amounts out of balance with Omega 3’s. Ideally, they will be consumed in approximately equal amounts, up to 4 times more 6’s than 3’s but no higher. Supplementation of Omega 6’s is usually not necessary as they are much more common in the average diet, causing a 6:3 ration of 10:1 up to 20:1. This contributes to inflammation such as skin disorders, arthritis, allergies, Chrohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and many others. Supplementation of Omega 3’s to bring the ratio into better balance is highly beneficial. Symptoms of Omega 3 deficiency include dry hair or nails, constipation, depression, frequent colds or infections, fatigue, poor concentration, lack of endurance and joint pain. Since Omega 3 fatty acids are safe in reasonable amounts of 1 to 2 grams daily for people, and about about ½ gram per 30 pounds body weight in our pets, supplementation is highly recommended. Dr. Leonard carries a supplement called Ulta EFA which contains ½ gram per teaspoon of Omega 3’s, ½ gram of GLA (another fatty acid), lecithin and zinc known to aid skin disorders, rosemary extract as an antioxidant and preservative, Biotin (a B-vitamin), and Vitamin E as a preservative. It comes in a liquid form easy to squirt onto your pet’s food daily.

Posted in General | 2 Comments »

2 Comments on “Seasonal Allergies and Omega 3 Fatty Acids”

  1. Terry Says:

    Hello! Quick question that’s totallly off topic.
    Do you know hoow to make your site mobile friendly?
    My weblog looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to ffix this issue.
    If you have any recommendations, please share.
    Appreciate it!

    My homepage – china and hong Kong on wikipedia

  2. Doc Sandi Says:

    No, my web designers do that, though. You’d have to find a professional.

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