Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Green Tea and Fish Oil

Despite my devotion to evening primrose oil from AF to ovulation, I'm a bit wary of "alternative" medicines, often because they haven't been examined in high quality studies that address both their effectiveness and safety.

None. The. Less. I have become a big advocate of both green tea and fish oil of late, mainly because I've been listening to the People's Pharmacy on my Saturday morning runs (to combat the weight gain from my food-and-wine self-medication from m/c #1 and m/c #2, dontcha know).

Anyhoo, in the last month, they have reported about research in JAMA (no slouch) on the benefits of Green Tea and Fish Oil. And I have fallen for these supplements hook, link, sinker and teapot. Apparently, there is a strong dose-response curve for green tea which shows that drinking at least one cup of green tea reduces death for women 2% and for drinking 5 cups or more, over 15%! (Actually, the data says over 20% but I just can't buy that). Of course, all my scientific friends say, no you can't say there's a causal relationship---drinking more than 5 cups of green tea a day may mean you spend all day in the bathroom and hence can't die from much else. Nonetheless, I find it an interesting finding and I'm drinking as much green tea as I can daily now. (It's also believed to increase fertility.) So live longer and get pg? Brew me up a cup!

The fish oil issue is also interesting. JAMA also reports a positive effect of omega 3 fish oil in reducing heart attacks, however it's important to take at least 1 gram a day and as these things are horse pill in size...that's a lot! And you can read for one more day or so this article in the NY times that says that it would be considered malpractice in Italy not to prescribe fish oil to someone with heart disease. Also, fish oil doesn't have mercury (from a study of 20 supplements), so women don't have to worry about that. But it's very important NOT to take too much of this---so if you eat fish one day, you're not supposed to take the supplement. Only 1 gram a day is what you should take. And folks on blood thinning medicine should NOT take it. (Read the links! Ask your doctor! I'm not an MD, I only play one on the internets!)

In any case, we're trying to be healthy around here. What I need to be doing in addition to these supplements is RUNNING and EXERCISING, because I am currently fat. There are not two ways about it, I'm a big girl right now. (I feel rolls of fat on my neck. YUCK!) Conor poked my belly last night when he was about to nurse and said "booby!" I replied, "No, belly!" and he said, "BOOBY!" That's a roll of fat, my friends, when your belly rolls look like boobies.

And there's yet another new study that gaining weight between first and second pg is bad. Bad, bad, bad. Even just 8 pounds, which is where I'm at this morning. Bleah.

So there. I am getting up and running at 5:30 in the mornings 3-5 days per week. I can tell already that my pre-Conor pace is finally coming back. (I'm having to run a longer distance to go the same amount of time. This is good news). Now, i've got to get ahold of what I'm eating. Or let go of what I'm currently eating and eat healthier. I'll get there. And then I'll hopefully get pregnant again and gain it all back. I hope the next pregnancy sticks so that I can gain weight out of happiness and not out of coping.

Off to work.


Nancy said...

Do you have time to do anything other than read studies! Gesh! It's nice for me though, cuz I can just read you. Yay!

Could you find a study that says something like "the more chocolate you eat, the better"?

OneTiredEma said...

How about a study on how really excellent potato chips are, in fact, good for your soul?

Go you on the running. I lasted for a week this summer before I had funny pains in my ankle that freaked me out. Maybe next spring I will be sleeping enough to get off my ass.

gabriella said...

green tea? too much fluoride.

how about the paleolithic diet spiked with fermented grape juice? ;) i bet even paleoliths like a bit of fermentation at times.