A couple of weeks ago, I touched briefly on the new field of Functional Medicine and remarked that while it’s far from accepted by the vast majority of conventional physicians, the prestigious Cleveland Clinic had opened their own Institute of Functional Medicine, headed by the popular physician-author Mark Hyman, MD. I added that we at […]
Although you may never have heard of it, the organic sulfur compound known as MSM (short for methylsulfonylmethane) is contained in minute amounts in everyone’s blood and most foods. It’s unclear what role MSM plays in the complex chemistry of the human body, but some experts believe that, like other sulfur compounds, it’s a necessary building block for proteins, especially those found in the hair, muscles, and connective tissue of the joints and skin. Sulfur also is found in insulin and bile acid.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fats, one of four basic types of fat that the body derives from food. (Cholesterol, saturated fat, and monounsaturated fat are the others.) All polyunsaturated fats, including the omega-3s, are increasingly recognized as important to human health.
Eating too many foods rich in saturated fats has been associated with the development of degenerative diseases, including heart disease and even cancer. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, however, are actually good for you. Omega-3s (found primarily in cold-water fish) fall into this category, along with omega-6s, another type of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in grains, most plant-based oils, poultry, and eggs. (For more information, see our WholeHealth Chicago entry on Omega-6 Fatty Acids.)