Dr. Oz discussed blood clots and pulmonary embolisms with "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star NeNe Leakes and the weight-loss benefits of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids on the June 12 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.
NeNe is well now, but had a harrowing health scare in November 2013, when she was hospitalized for blood clots in her lungs.
Leakes, 46, told Dr. Oz she woke up one morning with shooting pains on her side and near her breast. "I just had this pain," said Leakes. "It got worse and worse."
An X-ray and CT scan revealed NeNe had several blood clots in her lung, which was partially collapsed. Dr. Oz said pulmonary embolisms (or blockages of an artery in the lung) can be deadly, and told NeNe she was lucky to be alive. "People die from this condition," he said.
The risk factors for pulmonary embolisms include the following:
- You sit for extended periods of time (especially in a cramped position, like on an airplane).
- You're overweight.
- You have high blood pressure.
- You take birth control pills.
- You cross your legs for prolonged periods.
Dr. Oz said pulmonary embolisms occur when blood circulation is cut off due to inactivity or prolonged sitting. NeNe travels a lot and sits for long periods of time during her flights. NeNe's doctor said her extensive airplane travel contributed to her blood clots.
Dr. Oz said blood clots usually start in the leg, travel up to a person's heart and then to her lungs. You can prevent blood clots by not sitting for long periods, following a healthy diet, and exercising — all of which Leakes now does.
Vitamin D and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Aid Depression and Weight Loss
Dr. Oz said most people don't get enough nutrients from their diet, which is why taking vitamins and supplements is critical for good health. The three most important supplements he recommends are:
1. Omega-3 fatty acids. Dr. Oz said omega-3 fatty acids curb stress and enhance heart and brain health. They've also been shown to relieve depression and aid weight loss.
In January 2014, a teenage boy who fell into a coma after a horrific car accident made headlines after it was revealed that high doses of omega-3 fatty acids were responsible for his miraculous recovery. Dr. Oz suggests taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement every morning with breakfast.
2. Vitamin D. Vitamin D promotes a healthy immune system, gives you natural energy, and has been shown to help with weight loss. The sun is a natural source of vitamin D, but most people don't get enough sun exposure during the dark winter months. Dr. Oz suggests taking 1,000 mg of vitamin D every day.
3. Multivitamin. Dr. Oz said taking a multivitamin that contains 100% of the daily recommended dosage of 12 essential vitamins and minerals is crucial because most people's diets are deficient. Dr. Oz suggests taking a multivitamin every day, but splitting up the dosage, so you take half the vitamin in the morning and half in the evening.