Exciting News on the Synergy of Omega-3 and Vitamin D

By Naturally Savvy





Jolie Root, Senior Nutritionist & Educator, Carlson Labs
, joined Lisa Davis on Naturally Savvy Radio to talk about the synergy of Omega-3 and Vitamin D. [The following transcript has been edited for print.]

Listen to the full radio interview here

Participants:
Lisa Davis, MPH

Andrea Donsky, RHN
Jolie Root, Senior Nutritionist & Educator, Carlson Labs

Lisa Davis:
I’m Lisa Davis. My fabulous co-host Andrea is away today. We’re going to be talking about exciting news on the synergy of Omega-3 and Vitamin D. Now I always take my Omega-3 and sometimes I forgot about my Vitamin D so when I heard about this I thought; Number one I should be taking my Vitamin D anyway and Number Two, okay there’s some cool stuff going on. Here to talk about this is Jolie Root. She is a Senior Nutritionist and Educator at Carlson Labs. She’s also a well-known radio personality, a nurse, a nutritionist, a health educator and a medical journalist. Holy cow! You rock! Hello Jolie, welcome to the show.

Jolie Root:    
Thanks Lisa. I know you’re just as busy as I am. It’s great thought to have such a good message to share with everybody.

Lisa Davis:
Oh isn’t it? It must be so fantastic. Before we jump into this cool synergy and this exciting news, I’d love to hear a little bit about what got you interested in Health Ed and nutrition and all this good stuff.

Jolie Root:
I was always a bit of a geek and I always had a good head for science. I thought maybe I was going to go into medicine, but with animals because I’m a big horse lover. I thought I’d be a large animal vet. As I was gearing up for college, my dad had a heart attack and died, just suddenly at the age of 42.

Lisa Davis:
Oh gosh, I’m so sorry.

Jolie Root:
Oh gosh, now it’s been so many years ago.

Lisa Davis:
I can’t even imagine.

Jolie Root:
It so switched my focus and my field of interest because it had never happened in our family and he seemed to be the picture of health. So I thought, “What on earth could have happened?” I was already a health food store shopper and I went in and I had a couple of conversations with this woman that ran a health food store and she asked me some great questions. He didn’t have high cholesterol or any of the typical risk factors. And she said, “Well how much stress was part of his life? What did he eat?” Asked me questions that the doctors hadn’t even considered.

By the end of a couple of months of ongoing conversations with her, I had learned, among other things, that men that ate fish a couple of times a week had half the risk of fatal heart attacks. I thought, “Are you kidding? Why doesn’t everyone know this? What’s in this fish?” That led to the studies and that led to Omega-3 and it also is just part of my nature that if there is something that can save lives that is as easy as a couple of fish meals a week, why isn’t everybody out talking about it? I’ve got the gift for gab.

Lisa Davis:
Me too.

Jolie Root:
So I totally switched my whole focus and led to what has been a phenomenal career, so a good thing came from a very sad thing. It turns out to be that Omega-3s and Vitamin D are life-savers when it comes to reducing risk of heart disease and so many other things. But I think if my dad had realized that taking Omega-3s, having fish a couple of times of week instead of his typical burgers and red meat diet, might have saved some of his future, I think those are choices he would have made. So I just decided I’m going to teach people to make the better choices. That’s what my life is going to be about.

Lisa Davis:
That makes so much sense, I love that. Now let’s jump into this exciting news. Tell us about the synergy of Omega-3 and Vitamin D and why you want to take them together.

Jolie Root:
Well, Children’s Hospital in Oakland, a researcher who has heretofore, really been somebody that’s been famous for antioxidant research had gotten looking at the function of Vitamin D in something in an unexpected connection for Vitamin D, which was the production of serotonin. Serotonin is that feel good neurotransmitters we associate with depression. Low serotonin equals depression and hence the need for things like Prozac or Zoloft, that’s what the medical community would say.

It turns out that the body can’t produce Serotonin in the brain without activated Vitamin D. So, if we need Serotonin for better mood, autistic children have very low brain serotonin levels, if we serotonin not to be depressed, but it also functions to control behavior, we really can’t produce adequate levels of it without the hormone Vitamin D, the activated form of Vitamin D. So it gives us pause that a wide swath of the population doesn’t measure up for Vitamin D. When they looked at the connections between low serotonin and behavioral issues, even things like aggression and self-harm, that opened the door to thinking that maybe there was a link with the Omega-3s, EPA and DHA.

What they found out was the Vitamin D switches on this enzyme that helps the body make serotonin from dietary proteins, tryptophan. But the Omega-3s help with the signaling of serotonin. The EPA helps with the sending of serotonin across the synopsis in brain and the DHA Omega-3 that forms more receptors for the serotonin so the signaling of serotonin which is part of the way that Prozac works, actually organically is made possible with these Omega-3s and the Vitamin D is the switch that helps the brain make the serotonin in the first place.

This is all very, very new but is has relevance for depression, it has relevance for the kinds of societal problems that we’re seeing. We ask ourselves why do people just snap and go crazy? Why is there so much depression? Why are teens committing suicide at the rates that they are? Other than accidents, it’s the leading cause of death in kids under the age of 19. I think, as a nutritionist, I think partly we can explain that because of the population wide insufficient levels of Vitamin D.

In North America our Omega-3 intake is the lowest of any developed nation. We really need to boost the Omega-3s, the EPA and DHA, high quality fish oil supplement is the best way to do that on a day by day basis, and we need to get a Vitamin D test at least once a year, even in kids, in order to be sure that we’re not at risk for some of these kinds of debilitating issues that are linked with low Vitamin D. I think it’s a fascinating finding and I think it explains a lot of some of the more unfortunate things that we see in the news these days.

Lisa Davis:
Yeah, I totally agree. I mean it’s just been heartbreaking what’s been going on. I think it has to do also with just the standard American diet, wouldn’t you say?

Jolie Root:
Yes, absolutely. Sugar, the junk foods, the non-nutritive, high calorie, but empty calorie, foods that Americans grab in a hurry because of convenience or that we get addicted to. Sugar is addictive, just like drugs. I do think that these choices are the foundation for much of what we regrettably see in health and in current events.

Lisa Davis:
Oh, I think so too. Well we only have about a minute, but if somebody’s brand new to this, what do they need to look for when they go to the store so they get the right Omega-3 and the right Vitamin D.

Jolie Root:
Well with Omega-3 you’re looking for sources of EPA and DHA, those are the fish derived Omega-3s. Adults need about 1,000 milligrams of those two combined and kids need about 650. Make sure that that fish oil is purified so that it’s not a source of mercury or other pollutants. With Vitamin D, we can get tested to see how much we need but kids are recommended to take 400 units, but it’s absolutely safe for kids under ten to take up to 1,000 and adolescents to take up to 2,000 and most adults will need somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 units a day of Vitamin D to ensure that their blood levels are where they should be.

Lisa Davis:
Well Jolie you have got to come back, you are fabulous. I want to thank everyone for listening. You can like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @yourradiomd and @naturallysavvy. Be sure and go back to RadioMD and you can listen to our past shows and listen to shows from other folks as well. Thank you so much again and stay well.

[Editor's Note: We recommend quality omega-3 supplements from our sponsors: Barlean's, Carlson Labs, and Nordic Naturals.]


By Naturally Savvy| January 09, 2016
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Naturally Savvy

Naturally Savvy

Add A Comment

Comment

Allowed HTML: <b>, <i>, <u>

Comments


What's Fresh

FacebookTwitterGplusPinterestYoutubeRss




 

RSS

In the Spotlight

  • Made Good

    MadeGood Granola Snacks come in 5 delicious flavors. They are free from nuts and 8 common allergens, are organic, non-GMO, and have a hidden serving of vegetables.


  • Lily of the Desert

    The Original Super Juice. Aloe vera health benefits have been known for 5,000 years. Whether taken internally or applied topically, it has incredible benefits for digestion & soothes the skin.


  • San-J

    Making premium Tamari and quality Asian cooking sauces since 1804. Now gluten free and non-GMO verified, there is something right for every meal.





Copyright © Agility Inc. 2017