#285 New Beachbody Supplements
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Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish
and you can get rid of him for an entire weekend.

Zenna Schaffer

Fish Oil: Nature's Miracle Ingredient

By Steve Edwards

Core Omega-3™For a number of years now, I've been telling our members that the simplest way to improve their diets is to take fish oil for its omega-3 content. I'm happy to announce that we've developed a fish oil supplement that's up to Beachbody's strict standards. Let's take a brief look at what fish oil is and how it will improve your diet and your health, and why you will benefit from Beachbody's all-new fish oil supplement, Core Omega-3™.

Fish oil is made up of two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. These are hard to find in the modern American diet and, thus, our bodies tend to lack necessary omega-3 levels, leading to myriad poor health conditions. Though our diets may not satisfy our omega-3 needs, fish oil supplementation can prove helpful and has been linked to multiple benefits, including:

  • Heart health and normal cholesterol levels
  • Immune system health, improved mood and memory, joint health, blood sugar health, and stress relief
  • Increased energy levels and greater cognitive function
  • Nutritional support for pregnant women
  • Regular cell growth and division
  • Skeletal system strength
  • Healthy inflammatory response

Why fish oil?

Cooked SalmonTo reiterate, fish contains two omega-3 fatty acids. They are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which are hard to find elsewhere and support healthy cardiovascular and immune health. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), another omega-3 fatty acid, can be found more readily, but ALA is not easily converted into EPA and DHA. Flaxseed is an example of a good omega-3 source that is all ALA. While flaxseed is healthy, fish oil is a far more efficient way to get your omega-3.

While you could just eat fish for your omega-3 needs, there is a downside—mercury contamination. Doctors now recommend limiting the number of servings of fish you have in a week. A good fish oil supplement puts you at no risk for mercury poisoning. For this reason, care should be taken when choosing a good fish oil supplement.

Health benefits of fish oil

The benefits of the omega-3 oils found in fish oil are still being studied. These benefits seem to begin at conception and increase throughout one's life—including contributing to a reduction in Alzheimer's disease. Studies have hinted at advantages like increased intelligence levels, fewer headaches, reduced incidences of and pain from arthritis, heart disease protection, fewer occurrences of depression and bipolar disorder, and even protection from breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Doctor Monitoring Heart RateIn Europe, patients who survive heart attacks are typically given a prescription for purified fish oil, which has significantly improved the survival rate. One study of 11,000 patients showed a 20 percent reduction in deaths and a 40 percent reduction in sudden deaths for those who took fish oil. Studies done in 2003 at Harvard Medical showed that taking fish oil on a daily basis can help protect the heart from damage and disease. Recent human trials have proven that when using fish oil that includes EPA and DHA, you can expect a decrease in the incidence of and the pain associated with inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, colitis, and cystitis.

Further studies suggest that fish oil intake during pregnancy can contribute to healthy pregnancies, and omega-3 supplementation, along with the restriction of omega-6, helps support brain function and mood both during pregnancy and post-partum. Infant formulas are beginning to include DHA as studies suggest improved cognitive function in adults who were breast-fed up to nine months while the mother was supplementing with fish oils. After conception, the new baby's brain calls on the mother's store of omega-3 fatty acids to develop a healthy brain. Fish has always been rumored as a "brain food." What's interesting is that recent research has shown that nearly 70 percent of a baby's brain and more than 60 percent of an adult brain are made up of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, like DHA, that come from fish.

Fat as a supplement

AvocadosWe've discussed this before in my article "Fat Is Where It's At" and Denis Faye's "Fat: It Does Your Body Good." Fat as a supplement is a tough pill for many to swallow (pun intended) because our most basic sense of aesthetics tends to confuse dietary fat with body fat percentage. As we've stated many times, these two things are not the same.

Your calories come from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. And these are needed in the proper ratio to maximize your body's functional capabilities. But all carbs, proteins, and fats are not created equal; and it's probably more variable in the fat category than the others. The types of fats we tend to consume on a daily basis don't give us the nutrients we need to fulfill our bodies' potentials. Therefore, like with any nutrient we're lacking, supplementing is a good option.

The skinny on fat

We need dietary fat to be healthy. But our diets don't often provide us with good dietary fat and, thus, our diets lack balance. We should maintain close to a 1:1 ratio between our omega-3 and our omega-6 consumption; however, it's estimated that the typical American diet is somewhere between 1:20 and 1:50! When you look at the list of benefits above and the things preventing this harmonious ratio (and leading to out-of-balance diets), it's no wonder we have so many health problems related to improper fat consumption.

How much do I need?

Omega-3 Soft GelsIt's estimated that nearly 20 percent of Americans have such low levels of DHA and EPA that test methods are unable to detect any in their blood. Recommended intakes of DHA and EPA have not been established by the FDA. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish per week to support cardiovascular health. The American College of Cardiology recommends that heart patients increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids to 1 gram a day. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that adults consume at least 1,000 mg (1 gram) a day of pure omega-3 fish oil and 1,200 mg for pregnant and nursing mothers.

How do I make sure it's safe?

SalmonInternational fish oil standards are increasingly being regulated, but it's important, at this stage, to ensure that you chose a brand committed to the highest quality and the strictest purity guidelines. The two most important criteria are that your brand is free of mercury, PCBs, and other contaminants and that the fish are exposed to low oxidation levels during processing. Since there is no regulatory agency doing this on a broad scale, it's important to spend a little time researching your brand of choice.

As far as our supplements go, quality is our most important criteria, and this is true of Core Omega-3. According to Beachbody Nutritionals Director of Product Development, Aaron Lowe, "It's safe to say that the oil is protected from oxygen during processing and tested for impurities during the entire process. There is a certain baseline it has to meet before it even undergoes processing, and if it does not meet this spec, it's not accepted for production." To further drive this point home, Lowe adds, "Who are you going to trust with your health? Beachbody has built a reputation of providing excellent products and our nutritional supplements are no exception. Our customers can trust our products for their friends and families because we trust our products for our friends and families too."

Related Articles
"9 Nutrition Myths Exposed"
"Coldwater Fish, the Top Superfood"
"4 Supplements to Watch Out For"

Steve Edwards If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, just email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.

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Featured from the Beachbody Store
Announcing Brand-New Beachbody Nutritionals™!
Get the essential nutrients you need for a healthy heart and strong bones—in just the right daily doses!
Core Cal-Mag™ NEW!
Core Cal-Mag™
Strengthen bones and teeth with our powerful calcium-magnesium supplement!* Made from pure milk, nature's best and purest calcium source, but safe for those who don't consume dairy.
Learn More
Core Omega-3™ NEW!
Core Omega-3™
Give your body the support it needs for optimal heart, brain, and joint health with our premium fish oil supplement packed with 1,000 mg of critical fatty acids.* Special enteric coating ensures no unpleasant aftertaste!
Learn More
Slim Series® Express Slim Series® Express
Jump-start your metabolism and shed the fat with Debbie's 30-minute workouts for a lean, sculpted body! Plus 2 FREE gifts!
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Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program or using any supplement or meal replacement product.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Beachbody Store

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Why You Need a Calcium-Magnesium Supplement

By Steve Edwards

Core Cal-Mag™"Providing supplements to our customers is a tremendous responsibility," says Beachbody Nutritionals Director of Product Development Aaron Lowe while discussing our latest supplement, Core Cal-Mag. "It's not as simple as bottling up what is popular." Supplement safety and quality have become as important when buying supplements as the supplement's nutritional value. Let's examine why you'll want to make a calcium and magnesium supplement a part of your daily regimen and why Beachbody should be your brand of choice.

Why we need calcium

MilkCalcium is the major mineral found in our bones and teeth. Along with phosphorus and other nutrients, calcium builds the hard structure that makes bones and teeth strong. We also need calcium for proper muscle and nerve function, blood clotting, and other body processes. These functions are so critical that our bodies take calcium from our bones to maintain normal blood calcium levels if dietary calcium is inadequate.

We need calcium throughout our lives to support us. We build most of the structure of our bones and teeth before we reach 30 years of age. So if we don't get enough calcium to make our bones strong when we're young, we will be at risk for osteoporosis as we get older. Since studies continually demonstrate that most of us don't get enough calcium in our diets, supplementing is a major element (along with exercise) of a program to reverse this risk.

Why we need magnesium

Magnesium is necessary for the proper function of all living cells. It supports the immune system, blood pressure regulation, blood clotting, heart health, and the proper performance of the entire cardiovascular system. As we exercise, it becomes even more vital, helping control nerve and muscle function under duress.

Why combine calcium and magnesium?

Core Cal-Mag TabletsIn combination, calcium and magnesium are required for over 300 critical metabolic and biological processes. Taken together, along with vitamin A, they have a symbiotic effect because nutrient absorption is maximized. According to Lowe, "Most of us want fast results when it comes to fitness and/or weight loss, and there are plenty of products that we offer to support those goals. However, we are also dedicated to helping the customer achieve lifetime optimal health through exercise and proper nutrition. It is critical to get those core nutrients every single day in order to allow the body to perform its basic functions as well as to perform under and recover from the stress of exercise."

The Beachbody Nutritionals difference

Not all supplements are created equal. A few high-profile athletes have been busted because they consumed supplements with ingredients that are not permissible. Beachbody has always been concerned with supplement safety, contracting watchdog agencies to audit our labs and only choosing those with excellent track records. Since arriving on the scene last year, Lowe's involvement has elevated those already strict standards.

Laboratory"We make sure our products are manufactured in the best possible environment. Our partner facility has an FDA drug manufacturing license. They do not make drugs, but the license holds them to a much higher standard for quality control. They even hold approval for the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration), which is Australia's version of the FDA. The TGA is considered the toughest in the world and very few U.S. manufacturers hold this approval. These safeguards ensure the products we send to the customers are of the highest quality available. Period."

Instead of flooding the market with every trendy supplement to make a splash, Beachbody Nutritionals has remained focused on a small number of core products. "We look at each raw material for its long history of safe use," says Lowe. "Even if it's very popular and new and effective, if we can't prove its safety for use in humans, we won't use it. Optimal nutrition is a lifetime commitment, and putting a concentrated nutrient in your body for 5, 10, 20 years means there is no chance for error in safety."

Aaron LoweOn the difference between our supplements and our competitors, Lowe sums up the problems the large chains have in trying to produce everything that's on the market. "The 'big box' stores sell thousands of different products and cannot possibly be experts at them all. We focus on one task, providing only the best nutritional supplements possible."

Related Articles
"Minerals"
"Nutrition 911, Part IX: Food, Drugs, and Supplements—What's the Difference"
"7 Foods with Healing Power"

Steve Edwards If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, just email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Test Your Vitamin IQ!

By Joe Wilkes

Match the vitamins with their sources (of course, if you're not that hungry, you can just take an ActiVit®, which contains the RDA for all of these vitamins).

  1. BroccoliVitamin A: (3) Liver, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach. Deficiencies in vitamin A can seriously affect vision, even leading to blindness. A lack of vitamin A can also compromise the body's immune system. Vitamin A can be formed from many carotenoids and antioxidants, including beta-carotene.

  2. Vitamin B: (5) Potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, brewer's yeast. Vitamin B is actually a complex of B vitamins, including: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), and cyanocobalomin (B12). Deficiencies in any of these vitamins can cause, among other things: beriberi, irregular heartbeat, and edema (B1); light-sensitivity and dermatitis (B2); insomnia and diarrhea (B3); acne (B5); and anemia, depression, and high blood pressure (B6).

  3. VitamKiwifruitin C: (1) Black currants, red pepper, parsley, guava, kiwifruit. Lack of vitamin C can cause scurvy, which can cause liver spots, bleeding from mucous membranes, tooth loss, and ultimately, death.

  4. Vitamin D: (2) Cod liver oil, catfish, salmon, mackerel. The human body can also produce vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Not getting enough can cause liver and kidney disorders and many bone diseases, such as rickets.

  5. PeanutsVitamin E: (4) Wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, hazelnuts, walnut oil, peanuts. Vitamin E deficiencies are rare, but proper supplementation has been linked to myriad advantages, including cardiovascular benefits.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, just email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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