When we are born, we are blessed with approximately 305 bones. As we grow and develop, many of these bones fuse together to become our basic skeleton. By the time we become an adult we have approximately 206 bones. This remarkable skeleton is made up of bones stronger than reinforced concrete. As we age, our bones become less dense and more brittle. What most people don’t understand is the connection between the foods we eat that cause us to lose this strength little by little – about 1% per year. Like the proverbial lobster boiled alive in water that starts out tepid and slowly comes to a boil – our poor food choices over time eventually takes its toll on our bones. This weakening of our bone structure becomes more pronounced at 30-40 years of age and gradually gets worse if we don’t take action. What you eat plays a (Read More)
What’s your favorite “comfort food”? You know you have one — a treat you use to soothe bruised feelings following some distressing event. Well, guess what: You’re kidding yourself. A new study finds comfort foods are no more effective at lifting moods than any other foods — or even sitting quietly without consuming a calorie. “Negative moods naturally dissipate over time,” writes a University of Minnesota research team led by psychologist Traci Mann. “Individuals may be giving comfort food ‘credit’ for mood effects that would have occurred even in the absence of the comfort food.” That tub of Haagen-Dazs may not have magical powers after all. Mann and her colleagues describe four experiments, three of which were similarly structured. At an introductory session, participants were specifically asked “What foods would make you feel better if you were in a bad mood?”, as well as other foods they enjoy but do (Read More)
Can you lose weight with a diet that places no restrictions on your fat intake? Those who swear by the Atkins plan and other low-carbohydrate regimes have long insisted you can – and new research backs them up, reports The New York Times. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, a racially diverse group of 148 obese men and women were given diets to follow. Half were put on low-fat regimes, which limited their total fat intake to less than 30 percent of their daily calories, while the other half followed low-carb diets that involved eating mostly protein and fat. Neither group was given calorie limits. Over the course of a year, those on the low-carb diet lost around 8 pounds more than the low-fat group, shed more body fat, and showed greater improvements in cholesterol levels and other measures of cardiovascular health. Those on the low-fat (Read More)
People looking to lose weight know the dangers of a diet high in carbohydrates. If you’re looking to transform your body, then protein is perhaps the most important macronutrient you could ever have on your side. It’s the macro with the highest thermic effect of feeding (i.e. you burn calories by eating it), it helps you regulate insulin by causing the release of insulin’s “balancing” hormone, glucagon, and it provides the vital building blocks to support maintenance of your calorie burning lean muscle as you lose those stubborn pounds.
Maybe it’s time to rejuvenate your thyroid – that master of metabolism. When your thyroid is functioning at less that optimum, you can bet that you will feel sluggish, tired and foggy. It is estimated that as high as twenty percent of all adults have hypothyroidism that has not been clinically diagnosed. And when the condition is diagnosed, the drugs used to combat it often yield little or no results. You see, the thyroid produces four different hormones and the drug addresses only one of these by replacing it. If you had four bad tires on your car, would you only replace one? Even worse, the “hormone replacement” drug actually depresses the thyroid from producing any hormones because it begins to feel as if “someone else” is doing its job, so why work?
There has been an age old question that scientists could not answer: Why is the flu most prevalent in winter? Fever, sore throat, cough, body pains and nausea all signal the onset of this debilitating condition. A fascinating new theory seeks to explain why flu takes hold during the winter months and why it infects mostly the elderly and those who are more sedentary. Dr. John Cannell is the chief author of a landmark theory that postulates that influenza epidemics are intimately linked to declining vitamin D levels. In California, Dr. Cannell works with patients at a maximum-security hospitals for the criminally insane. In recent years, he had become aware that vitamin D is a unique compound with profound effects on human immunity. He lists bone health, cancer prevention and blood pressure lowering effects as an indication that “vitamin D is really quite different from other vitamins.” Dr. Cannell postulated (Read More)
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of U.S. adults suffer from lack of sleep, routinely getting less than seven hours a night. This tossing and turning effects your cognitive function, immunity health, memory and weight. Research indicates that the harder we try to sleep, the more difficult it becomes. Because of that, a rising number of Americans are resorting to prescription sleep aids – which are linked to a 4.6 times higher risk of death and a significant increase in cancer. Among patients who were prescribed just 1-18 sleeping pills per year, the risk of death was 3.6 times higher. Rates of new cancers were 35% higher among patients who were prescribed at least 132 doses a year, compared with those who did not receive prescriptions. Source: BMJ Open, March 2012 With today’s “go go” mentality, it’s difficult to avoid caffeinated beverages to keep us going, (Read More)
There are two forms of vitamin B12 that you’re likely to come across – methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin. The latter is much more common in multivitamins and B12 supplements, but there are many strong arguments to replace this ingredient with methylcobalamin, which is slowly gaining popularity and will surely one day dominate the industry. But what is it that makes methylcobalamin a superior health supplement? The two different B12 forms are very similar, and the only chemical difference between them comes down to one small part of the molecule, where the names give it away: where methylcobalamin has a methyl group (just carbon and hydrogen), cyanocobalamin has a cyanide group. And obviously cyanide isn’t something you normally expect or want to find lurking in your multivitamin. In fact, cyanocobalamin isn’t something nature ever intended your body to deal with – it exists only as a chemical synthesized in laboratories and doesn’t occur (Read More)