A Natural Alternative: A Guide to Alternative Medicines
Health Perk: Omega-3s, like DHA and EPA in fish oil, may help prevent heart disease, breast cancer, and depression.
Drawback: They thin the blood, so ask your doc before taking if you have a bleeding disorder or if you're on a blood thinner, such as aspirin.
Bottom Line: Talk to your MD about a daily supplement that includes 180 milligrams of EPA and 120 of DHA.
Health Perk: Made from shrimp and crab shells, glucosamine can ease the pain of osteoarthritis.
Drawback: Avoid this if you have shellfish allergies.
Bottom Line: It works best on osteoarthritis of the knee.
Health Perk: Some research suggests this helps ease cold and flu symptoms.
Drawback: If you have ragweed allergies, echinacea may trigger a similar reaction.
Bottom Line: When taken with at least 75 milligrams of vitamin C and plenty of fluids, it could bolster immunity.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2009.
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