A tragic reminder to be more careful when you drive.

Plus: A deep dive on fish oil.

Tuesday. So, are we finally done talking about the Oscars? We get it—Oppenheimer was a good movie. It is also three hours long, which is like 90 minutes too long. Oh, and John Cena walked on stage naked (WELL, KIND OF—SEE IT HERE). 

Now that we got that out of the way let’s talk about something that is much more serious than who had the best movie or who was the best actor. Something is killing tens of thousands of Americans every year, yet no one is talking about it. Let’s dive in.


Too Many Lives Lost

Last month, the endurance running world lost one of its most exciting rising stars. Kelvin Kiptum, who shattered the world record in the men’s marathon last year and flirted with the possibility of breaking the once unfathomable two-hour barrier, died in a car crash on February 11th in western Kenya (READ THE FULL STORY). He was only 24. 

The tragic incident brought us a stark reminder of the fragility of life. To see a 24-year-old have his life end so abruptly in a car accident underscores a harsh reality we don’t talk enough about: accidents remain a leading cause of death worldwide, regardless of one's age or health.

Kiptum's journey was nothing short of inspirational. Starting his career with a victory in a half marathon at just 18, using borrowed shoes, he shattered the world record for the fastest marathon debut just four years later. His achievement of finishing a marathon in just over two hours was a feat many thought impossible. Tragically, he will never have the opportunity to break his own record or challenge the 2-hour marathon again. 

This incident serves as a poignant reminder of the dangers that lurk on our roads. Traffic fatalities, particularly in the United States, have surged over the past decade, with accidents claiming lives across all age groups. The loss of such a promising athlete to a car crash is a tragic illustration of how road safety concerns us all, regardless of our lifestyle or physical condition.

We can all eat all the right foods, get plenty of exercise, prioritize our sleep and hydration, cross all our t’s, and dot all our i’s, but when we grab our keys and head out in our cars, the dangers of the road don’t care about our health, our fasting blood sugar, or our body fat percentage. It is dangerous out there, regardless of how healthy you are. Kelvin Kiptum was an elite athlete in peak health, and it ultimately didn’t matter. 

Driving remains one of the riskiest activities we undertake every day. With nearly 18,000 automotive accidents occurring every day in the U.S. alone, the likelihood of dying in a car accident is a lot higher than people think. This staggering frequency of road accidents contributes to an annual toll of tens of thousands of fatalities, highlighting the need to prioritize safety when we drive. 

But it is not all doom and gloom. While we cannot eliminate the risk of accidents entirely, there are measures we can take to protect ourselves and others. These may seem obvious, but given the statistics we just went through, they are obviously worth reiterating. 

Avoiding driving under the influence of alcohol, refraining from speeding, and staying alert behind the wheel can significantly reduce the likelihood of fatal accidents. Being aware of our surroundings, especially at intersections and on rural roads, can also save lives. 

We deal with so many distractions today when we drive. We get text messages, check emails at red lights, take incoming calls, scroll through our Spotify playlist for the right song—we all do these things to some extent, but we have to remember that all it takes is a split second for something to happen that could completely change the course of our lives. 

The key takeaway? The loss of Kelvin Kiptum is a tragic reminder of the preciousness of life and just how important it is to think about road safety. As we remember him and the potential he represented, let's also remember that we can all be more responsible drivers. 

We can do all the right things we write about on the Daily Tonic to optimize our health, but if we then go out and text while we drive or have a few too many drinks and choose to still get behind the wheel, we could not only harm our own health but put other people’s lives at risk as well. Safety on the roads is not just about following rules; it's about fostering a culture of care and mindfulness that protects us all.

Drive safe—that is the key takeaway for today. 


Tonic Shots

  • Another 3 common pesticides are now linked to Parkinson's disease risk. (READ MORE)

  • Cancer-causing chemical benzene found in common acne products. (READ MORE)

  • Interesting—FDA delays approval for Eli Lilly’s experimental Alzheimer’s treatment. (READ MORE)


How And Why Does Gut Health Influence Heart Health?

A popular adage has it that “you are what you eat.” And every year new research continues to suggest that this idea may, in fact, be correct.

Recently, scientists have been focusing on a potential link between the health of the gut and that of the heart.

Doctors already recommend eating heart-healthy foods, and medical professionals agree that much of the correlation between heart and gut health has to do with the gut microbiome, including its composition and a toxic byproduct it creates when metabolizing certain foods.

Medical News Today spoke with five experts to get to the bottom of how much gut health truly impacts cardiovascular health.


Deep Dive: Fish Oil

When it comes to fish oil, most health circles label it a superstar. Everyone seems to be talking about the benefits it can bring to our health — fish oil helps combat inflammation, improves heart health, and can prevent cognitive decline. It almost sounds too good to be true, and maybe it is.

First, let’s dive into what all the fuss is about. It’s the belief that fish oil is incredibly good for our heart health. So much so that the American Heart Association suggests we get a certain amount of it. But here’s the interesting part: studies show that less than 10% of people get the recommended dose. The solution? Just take a fish oil supplement, right? Well, it turns out it may not be that simple.

When you deep dive into the world of fish oil supplements, another concern pops up. Only 9% of these supplements give us the right amount of DHA and EPA combined. These two specific oils are known for their health benefits, and together, you’d want about 2 grams of them. But, many supplements out there aren’t giving us enough. Supplement brands are skimping on the good stuff!

Here’s the bigger shocker: even if you’re taking the supplement religiously, it might not be doing what you expect. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids, which fish oils are rich in, are fantastic in combating cardiovascular diseases. But the catch is that most of these studies looked at folks who were getting these fatty acids directly from their diet, from actual fish. The moment you start looking at the benefits of fish oil supplements, the story begins to change.


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