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POSSIBLE REASONS WHY YOU OVEREAT

So many times we tend to eat when we’re not hungry due to emotional related issues.

By doing this, it might lead to dysfunctional hormones and weight gain which gets you sus
1. Stress
After a long day behind the system or a long day in traffic, cortisol levels are raised. Cortisol is a hormone released any time the body is stressed either for a fight or flight situation. When this happens, this hormone makes your body to want to eat more food to refuel the body even when you’re not hungry. If you know stress is always inevitable for you, you should watch and learn how to curtail constant stress.
2. Fatigue
When your activity levels are way above your caloric intake, tiredness sets in and your ghrelin hormone soars (hormone responsible for hunger). Meanwhile, your levels of leptin (a hormone that decreases hunger and the desire to eat) go down. Your body might need food but rest at that period, but these hormones would be sending signals to eat.
3. Nerves
Eating seems like a legit way to keep you distracted when you feel all edgy. But really, emotional eating doesn’t help at all. When this happens, you might just overeat because of its distraction from worry or whatever makes you nervous.
4. Anxiety
Binge eating can be a way to help manage your worries and stress. Sometimes, most people get angry ore worried and the only thing they can turn to is food. While at this, you wont know you’ve even overeaten because your emotions are in control and you’ve chosen food as a safe haven.

5. Peer Pressure
Sometimes when in the company of friends or in a group, its easy to get caught up in the mood and overeat or even over consume alcohol.
6. Alcohol
‘Booze lowers your inhibitions, and that includes good judgment about when and how much to eat’. Boozing also motivates you to eat more unhealthy things like sugary stuff and high fat containing foods. Studies show that drinking affects the part of your brain that monitors self-control, making it much harder to resist a tasty snack.
7. Pictures of Food
What motivates people more to eat is the pictoral presentation of a well garnished meal or snack. Some people just view, and order even when they’re not hungry.
The Cost of Mindless Eating
The cost of not being aware and intentional about your eating habits are weight gain and other chronic diseases. You should always be mindful of emotional eating at all times.
Must you Eat?
Real hunger actually comes slowly and is easy to ignore till later. Emotional eating on the other hand comes quickly and makes you crave specific foods. You may also respond to food availability and eat because the food is there. This opens you up to overfeeding.

How to Stop Mindless Eating
While shopping, keep junk foods out of the house. Make sure you’re always with friends who would encourage you to eat healthy. Create outlets for emotions ; try exercise, reading, taking a walk etc. make sure you’re not stressed.
SOURCE: https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/ss/slideshow-why-eat-when-not-hungry?ecd=wnl_faf_021921&ctr=wnl-faf-021921&mb=LUUQQ%40zicPGFTxGdm%40H60rXlTp2CSLJZzpl6SmvoMRc%3d_leadCTA

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General Research

LIPEDEMA:ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

OVERVIEW
Lipedema affects closely 11% of women globally. It occurs when fat distribution is in an irregular/uneven way beneath your skin, usually in the buttocks and legs. It can eventually cause pain and other problems. Most times, lipedema can be mistaken for regular obesity or lymphedema.
Education/awareness about lipedema is rare in the society today and due to this, there is lack of psychosocial support for women with lipedema, causing them to suffer from psychosocial disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Therefore, proper counseling and treatment of these conditions are important.

SYMPTOMS OF LIPEDEMA
The typical symptoms are a large lower half body size (from waist downwards), which are often tender and bruise easily. For example, the top half of your body may be a size 8, but the bottom half may be double.
As time goes on and the condition seems to progress, there is continuous buildup of fat, and your lower body grows heavier. The lipedemic fat can later collect in the arm.
Over time, excess fat cells block the vessels of your lymphatic system, which normally makes sure there is a balance in body fluid levels and protect against infection. This blockage prevents the proper drainage of lymph fluid, leading to a buildup of fluid called lymphedema (oedema in the lymphatic system).
If not treated, lymphedema can lead to problems such as infections, delayed wound healing, development of scar-like tissue called fibrosis, and hardened skin in the legs.
In comparison to obesity and lymphedema, it targets legs, thighs and sometimes arms and starts in the upper legs. It usually affects both legs.

CAUSES OF LIPEDEMA
The cause is not known, but doctors suspect female hormones play a role and also genes as people involved has a family history of it. This theory is based on the fact that it mostly affects women especially at their stages of menopause.

PATHOPYSIOLOGY
From the onset, swelling in lipedema is a result of both an increase in cell number and size in the adipocyte. Apart from the incidence of enlarged adipocytes, there is thickening of the interstitium with the presence of increased interstitial fluid, and this leads to a blockage causing oedema in the lymphatic vessels. Although interstitial fluid is increased, at least in early stages, the lymphatic system seems to be functioning normally.

LIPEDEMA TREATMENTS
Although managing lipedema fat with lifestyle modifications is almost futile, there is evidence to support the positive effects of exercise, particularly aquatic therapy, and lifestyle change on lymphedema, lymph flow, and overall health.
A treatment called complete decongestive therapy can ease painful symptoms. Complete decongestive therapy involves:
Manual lymphatic drainage: “A form of massage that uses gentle, rhythmic pumping movements to stimulate the flow of lymph around blocked areas to healthy vessels, where it can drain into the venous system. This helps relieve pain and prevent fibrosis”.
Compression: “The use of stretch bandages or custom-fitted panty hose, panties, or spandex shorts to increase tissue pressure in the swollen legs and lessen the odds of fluid building up again”.
Exercise: ” Helps to reduce fluid buildup, boost mobility, and maintain or improve how well your legs work”
Thorough skin and nail care: “Helps lower the risk of wounds and infection if you have lipedema associated with swelling”.
Liposuction: “specifically water-assisted liposuction and tumescent liposuction, can remove the lipedema fat. The procedure uses a hollow tube that is placed under the skin to suction the fat tissue. Several sessions may be needed depending on the amount of abnormal fat”.

MISCONCEPTIONS
One of the most common misconceptions about patients with lipedema is that they have excess fat stored up due to lifestyle or diet induced obesity. Although some patients with lipedema may also have obesity, lipedema should be diagnosed exclusively. Likewise, despite an elevated body mass index, the incidence of diabetes is relatively low among women with lipedema.

CONCLUSION
In a society where body shaming individuals with extra pounds’ flies easily, it’s very important to create awareness about this anomaly and make people understand its implications on individuals.
Sine it is also a condition with so many misconceptions, it should be taught about more in medical schools to avoid unnecessary laboratory tests and consultations.

SOURCES: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2653640/
https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/lipedema-symptoms-treatment-causes

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Diet Therapy of Diseases

NUTRITION IN HEPATITIS

OVERVIEW
Everything you eat and drink has to go through your liver in order to change food substances into stored energy and chemicals which are necessary for life. Your liver makes nutrients available so your body can use them to build cells, give you energy, and maintain normal body functions.

The liver is responsible for:
– removing toxins from drugs and alcohol from the body
– metabolizing fat
– excretion of bilirubin (a product of broken-down red blood cells), cholesterol, hormones, and drugs
– breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
– activation of enzymes, which are specialized proteins essential to body functions
– storage of glycogen (a form of sugar), minerals, and vitamins (A, D, E, and K)
– synthesis of blood proteins, such as albumin
– synthesis of clotting factors

HOW DIET AFFECTS THE LIVER
An unhealthy choice in diet can sometimes give the liver to much work to do thereby leading to a liver failure. If your diet provides too many calories, you will gain weight. Being overweight is linked to the buildup of fat in the liver, called “fatty liver.” Toxins, such as alcohol, damage the liver over time.
One very common liver disease (failure) is hepatitis.
Hepatitis refers to a common inflammation of the kidneys caused mostly by viral infections and other factors as toxins, auto immune diseases and alcohol.
There are different types of hepatitis and are all differentiated by Alphabets A-G.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, approximately 4.4 million Americans are currently living with chronic hepatitis B and C. Many more people don’t even know that they have hepatitis.
There are 5 types of viral infections with 5 distinct types of viruses:

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is caused by an infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). This type of hepatitis is most commonly transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by feces from a person infected with hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, vaginal secretions, or semen, containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Injection drug use, having sex with an infected partner, or sharing razors with an infected person increase your risk of getting hepatitis B.
It’s estimated by the CDC that 1.2 million people in the United States and 350 million people worldwide live with this chronic disease.

Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C comes from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, typically through injection drug use and sexual contact. HCV is among the most common bloodborne viral infections in the United States. Approximately 2.7-3.9 million people currently living with a chronic form of this infection.

Hepatitis D
Also called delta hepatitis, hepatitis D is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). HDV is contracted through direct contact with infected blood. Hepatitis D is a rare form of hepatitis that only occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B infection. The hepatitis D virus can’t multiply without the presence of hepatitis B. It’s very uncommon in the United States.

Hepatitis E
Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). Hepatitis E is mainly found in areas with poor sanitation and typically results from ingesting fecal matter that contaminates the water supply. This disease is uncommon in the United States. However, cases of hepatitis E have been reported in the Middle East, Asia, Central America, and Africa, according to the CDC .

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS
• fatigue
• flu-like symptoms
• dark urine
• pale stool
• abdominal pain
• loss of appetite
• unexplained weight loss
• yellow skin and eyes, which may be signs of jaundice

DIAGNOSIS OF HEPATITIS
Hepatitis can be diagnosed by liver function test, blood test, ultra sound, liver biopsy. The doctor always checks for risk before deciding what method to adopt in diagnosis.

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR HEPATITIS
All types of hepatitis require either anti-viral vaccination, hydration if there is diarrhea (especially in type A), and nutrition.
Currently, there is no vaccination for Hepatitis C. Those that develop cirrhosis during the course of this would require a liver transplant.
Acute cases like Hepatitis E usually don’t require vaccination or treatment as they go on their own if the individual heeds to lifestyle modification by a professional.

RISK FACTORS
These include contact with an infected person (either living in close contact or sexual contact), poor hygiene, traveling to areas with inadequate sanitation, contaminated food (especially shellfish), and illicit drug use. Also, Patients with underlying liver disease (e.g., autoimmune hepatitis, hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency) are at increased risk of developing symptomatic hepatitis.
Alcohol use, smoking, HIV infection, and fatty liver are risk factors for progression of hepatitis.

NUTRITION AND HEPATITIS
Dietary management in hepatitis involves more of a lifestyle modification and hygienic approach.
Hygiene and sanitation: you should be careful of what you eat as a travller as you can pick up the virus from under cooked and contaminated foods. Make sure you heat food appropriately.

Avoiding contaminated shellfish and game meats.

Avoiding high-iron foods and iron supplements. Hepatitis C progression occurs in patients as a result of accelerated hepatic iron uptake and the oxidative stress caused by iron-catalyzed free radical production. Along with phlebotomy, a low-iron diet helps lower the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in these patients.

Nutritional supplementation may be required. Treatment with interferon (IFN) has shown to be very effective especially in Hep C patients. Research has it that it could help in weight reduction as it reduces appetite.

A low-fat, low-cholesterol diet may be helpful. Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection increases the risk for hepatic steatosis. A higher intake of dietary cholesterol contributes to this problem and is associated with the progression of hepatitis C-related liver disease. A dietary regimen that is reduced in fat (23% of calories) and cholesterol (185 mg/d) is adviced to help in the management of this Hepatitis.

Adequate vitamin D status. Vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with chronic liver disease, and these patients may have a reduced ability to convert vitamin D to its active form. An inverse relationship seems to exist between vitamin D concentrations and viral load in patients with CHC. Deficiency significantly lowers the chance for a sustained virological response to pegylated interferon and ribavirin, and vitamin D supplementation improves the probability of response to treatment.

Avoidance of extremes in B12 status. Adequate B12 status helps with clearance of hepatitis C from the circulation of infected patients. However, overly high serum B12 levels may also foster viral replication and are associated with concentrations of hepatitis C RNA levels.

Coffee consumption and chronic hepatitis C. Coffee consumption may be helpful, reducing oxidative DNA damage, increasing death of virus-infected cells, stabilizing chromosomes, and reducing fibrosis.

HOW HEPATITIS C AFFECTS DIET
If you have hepatitis, you usually don’t need a special diet. Just trying to eat healthy, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid alcohol is all that is needed. Its mostly lifestyle modification. Though, in severe cases, there might be nutrient restrictions especially fat restriction.
There are special cases, however, when hepatitis C can affect the diet:
• Patients with cirrhosis
As liver disease progresses, patients may lose their appetite and become so tired they have a hard time eating. They may become very thin and poorly nourished and be less able to fight off disease. They may need to limit salt in their diet to prevent their body from putting fluid into their legs and abdomen.
• Other medical conditions and diet
People who have other medical conditions may need other specific changes in their diet. Conditions that warrant specific dietary restrictions include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, celiac sprue or chronic kidney disease.

EATING TIPS
People with hepatitis C don’t need to follow a special “hepatitis C diet.” The advice that an average, healthy person gets will work just as well for people with hepatitis C, unless those people also have cirrhosis or another condition, such as diabetes, HIV, or kidney disease.
General dietary advice:
• Eat regular, balanced meals
• Maintain healthy calorie intake
• Eat whole-grain cereals, breads, and grains
• Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
• Get adequate protein
• Go easy on fatty, salty, and sugary foods
• Drink enough fluids
• Reach and maintain a healthy weight
Cautions:
• Avoid alcohol
• Be careful with dietary supplements
Herbal products
Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it is harmless. Certain herbs, including Kava-Kava and pennyroyal, can cause liver damage.
Endeavour to always talk to your doctor before taking megavitamin therapy, herbal products, or any other dietary supplement. Remember, your first concern should be safety.
SOURCE: https://nutritionguide.pcrm.org/nutritionguide/view/Nutrition_Guide_for_Clinicians/1342052/all/Viral_Hepatitis
https://www.hepatitis.va.gov/hcv/patient/diet/single-page.asp#:~:text=If%20you%20have%20hepatitis%2C%20you,is%20all%20that%20is%20needed.&text=As%20liver%20disease%20progresses%2C%20patients,have%20a%20hard%20time%20eating.

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General Research

COVID-19: THE ROLE OF NUTRIENT SUPPLEMENTATION

OVERVIEW
It’s been established how nutrition plays a vital role in the in supporting and building a healthy immune system.
A new strain of the dreaded COVID-19 is out and so much research is going on about food supplementation and drugs to help in the management of coronavirus.
Apart from protein which helps to rebuild worn out tissues and support immunological functions, there are other micronutrients to consider while preventing against coronavirus.

Let’s take a close look at the possible nutrients which are implicated in immune defense and how to supplement them to avoid deficiencies during this pandemic.
These micronutrients include vitamin C, vitamin D, B complex vitamins, iron, zinc etc.

A little research claims that that people who suffer from infectious diseases will show abnormal low levels of vitamin C; this could result in impaired immunity and higher susceptibility of the immune system being attacked by the viral infection have an impact on vitamin C levels due to enhanced metabolic requirement.

A deficiency in other aforementioned nutrients might lead to high susceptibility of a breakdown in the immune system leading to high vulnerability to the virus and other infections.
As we all know, the virus comes in through the respiratory system and takes it route through the circulatory system to other organs thereby leading to multiple organ failure.

Since the onset of the virus, there has been so much speculations as to the roles of supplementation with various nutrients as mentioned above. Let’s see these speculations and how plausible they are:

Currently there is no robust research to support supplemental therapy for the prevention or treatment of patients with COVID-19. At this point in time, ascorbic acid, zinc, vitamin D, and N-acetylcysteine are noted as biologically plausible for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, however, additional research is needed to look at taking these agents for treatment. Here we take a look at their biologic plausibility, clinical data and potential role.

ZINC
Zinc is known to be important for immune function. It has a role in antibody and white blood cell production and fights infections, while zinc deficiency increases inflammation and decreases the production of antibodies. High-dose zinc has also been found to reduce the duration of symptoms of the common cold. It is not yet clear whether zinc supplementation benefits patients with lower respiratory tract infections such as COVID-19. Because of its role in immune function and potential to decrease coronavirus replication, zinc is currently being investigated for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

VITAMIN D
Vitamin D deficiency is common, with lack of sun exposure, older age, corticosteroid use and darker skin associated with lower concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. This deficiency is associated with a higher incidence of acute respiratory infections. It is also hypothesized that there is a link between seasonal influenza and vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D supplementation has also been shown to decrease the incidence of acute respiratory infection. While it has yet to be studied for prevention of COVID-19 infection and should not be recommended to patients, some recent articles have recommended taking daily supplements to raise 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations to reduce infection risk.

VITAMIN C
Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is an antioxidant, with a number of studies suggesting that vitamin C supplementation impacts the immune system. Additionally, studies in birds have shown that vitamin C might protect against avian coronavirus infection, with human trials finding that vitamin C may decrease susceptibility to viral respiratory infections and pneumonia. New clinical trials are underway in China and the United States to determine if vitamin C might be used as a treatment for COVID-19.
Very high doses of ascorbic acid are being administered to patients to ascertain the effects of vitamin C in managing COVID-19 affected patients. Doses that are 10 times the normal 65mg-90mg daily.

N-ACETYLCYSTEINE
N-acetylcysteine is converted to glutathione, which is an antioxidant that is depleted due to oxidative stress or systemic inflammation. Administration in vitro and in vivo leads to anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant effects in a number of pulmonary diseases, including viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Because patients with COVID-19 have evidence of systemic inflammation, often have their course complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome, and may have respiratory mucus buildup limiting adequate airflow, systemic or aerosolized N-acetylcysteine (or both) may be beneficial in this specific patient population.
There does not seem to be a role for N-acetylcysteine supplementation to prevent COVID-19. However, N-acetylcysteine administration may improve outcomes in patients with established COVID-19 and should be studied further.

CONCLUSION
These are still speculations and still ongoing trials. To keep a healthy immune system, your body needs loads of micro and macro nutrients to achieve that. These nutrients mentioned in the post are all embedded in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. Endeavor you get optimum nutrition always and swap refined foods for vegetables and fruits.

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Sports

ANABOLIC STEROIDS: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

The tale about steroids is one that is known to all-good or bad? We’ll know from this write up.
From the steroid scandals that plagued major sportsmen both track and field, it’s quite obvious that steroids won’t be earning a reputation quite soon.

It’s true that using certain steroids in small amounts under medical supervision won’t hurt you. However, using large amounts of anabolic steroids for a long period of time can do you real harm.

This write up would help look closely into the usefulness of steroids both legal and illegal.

WHAT ARE ANABOLIC STEROIDS?
Technically called anabolic-androgenic steroids (AASs) , steroids are a type of artificial testosterone. They can be taken as a supplement to replace or raise your body’s natural levels of testosterone.

Testosterone is a hormone typically associated with the male body. The average male has about 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) of this hormone in their body.
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for bodily changes in the male body during puberty, making the voice deeper and the body hairier. It also increases sperm production in the testicles.
The female body also produces testosterone. But it’s usually found in smaller amounts, where it’s used to keep bones strong and sexual function healthy.

And having testosterone levels that are higher than normal, such as through use of steroids, can help create proteins that are used to support:
• muscle growth
• hair growth
• sexual functions
• bone density
That’s why steroids are associated with athletes like bodybuilders. It’s thought that the more anabolic steroids you take, the more potential for strength and muscle growth you have. That’s why you may hear these referred to as performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

WHAT ARE ANABOLIC STEROIDS USED FOR?
Steroids aren’t always harmful when used appropriately. They’re used for a variety of both health and athletic purposes, including:
• gaining body mass from more protein production in the body (about 4.5 to 11 lbs)
• lowering your overall body fat percentage
• gaining muscle strength and endurance
• increasing how dense your bones are
• increased red blood cell production
• improve performance in strength-related sports, such as weightlifting
• “stacking” steroids with other substances, such as growth hormones and insulin, for increased muscle mass
• maintaining muscle mass when you have a condition like liver disease or cancer that causes your muscles to waste away

WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF ANABOLIC STEROIDS?
In small doses for short amounts of time, when their use is monitored by a doctor, anabolic steroids have lower risk of long-term or harmful side effects.
Your genetic make up can influence how steroids affect you.
There’s also a ratio of androgenic to anabolic components for most steroids:
• anabolic components help grow muscle
• androgenic components affect male sex traits like body hair or sperm production
But using high amounts of steroids, even for a short time, or using them for a long period can lead to numerous side effects, including:
• raising your risk of heart disease and heart attacks
• making you act more aggressively and impulsively
• making you feel worse about your body
• damaging your liver
• causing fat tissue to grow in your breasts (called gynecomastia in men) because of a loss of hormone balance, especially if you stop taking steroids
• reducing how much testosterone your body makes naturally (hypogonadism), as your body gets used to the extra dose from steroids and stops producing as much
• reducing your fertility because of lower sperm production
• causing male-pattern baldness or making it start earlier in life

Side effects for women
Steroid use can have specific side effects in the female body in addition to the others listed above, including:
• deeper voice
• changes in face shape
• facial hair growth
• clitoris growing larger than normal
• period becoming irregular
• shrinking breasts
• infertility

How are anabolic steroids abused?
Many anabolic steroids come in supplement or injection form. These forms usually contain these substances in very high concentrations. Many people who abuse these steroids do so without medical supervision.

The way they’re abused can make them dangerous too:
• cycling: using a large amount of steroids and then stopping for a while before using them again
• stacking: use multiple types of steroids at once, or using different delivery forms (like injections and supplements together)
• pyramiding: starting with small doses and then taking more and more, followed by reducing the amount again
• plateauing: changing to another steroid suddenly to keep the steroid from become ineffective and then switching back
Some people can become used to the feeling of strength or endurance that steroids give them and become dangerously addicted.

ARE THERE SAFE ALTERNATIVES TO ANABOLIC STEROIDS?
There are plenty of safe, natural ways to get the performance, strength, and bulk you’re looking for:
• Eat a healthy, balanced diet high in proteins, fiber, and healthy fats.
• Work closely on different muscle groups. Focus on sets of muscles like biceps, triceps, or quads during a single workout. Alternate between muscles groups for the best long-term results.
• Get on a consistent exercise plan. Use a fitness app or work with a personal trainer to keep yourself on track and accountable whether you’re trying to get fit, compete, or bulk up.
When used in moderation under medical supervision, anabolic steroids aren’t dangerous.
But like any artificial supplement, they can be dangerous or even deadly when misused, whether you use too much or for too long a time.
Talk to a doctor before you add steroids to your workout routine or just because you want increase muscle mass. Steroids get the best results if your dosage is specifically recommended for your body by an expert.
People use performance enhancers to improve their performance during high-intensity physical exercise. A performance enhancer, or ergogenic aid, is anything that gives you a mental or physical edge while exercising or competing.

This can range from caffeine and sports drinks to illegal substances. There are a variety of both safe and harmful ergogenic aids.
Safe ergogenic dietary supplements
Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, “vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other botanicals that are taken by mouth and don’t also contain controlled substances can be labeled “supplements”.
Many of these supplements are marketed to boost athletic performance. However, scientific proof of their effectiveness is sometimes lacking.
There are other ergogenic aids that are generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Examples include naturally occurring compounds like: HMB, creatine, chromium, carnitine, CLA.

Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB)
HMB is an amino acid found naturally in the body. It’s purported to enhance and strengthen muscle as well as help slow muscle wear and tear during strenuous activities/exercise.
Research hasn’t proven that HMB will enhance athletic performance. When taken at standard doses of about 3 grams, the supplement is generally considered safe. However, in large doses, it can be harmful to the kidneys.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
CLA is a type of fat that athletes take to reduce muscle damage and increase lean body mass after exercise. The supplement is especially popular with bodybuilders, who use it to enhance recovery.
However, CLA can cause side effects, including upset stomach, nausea, and fatigue. It can also impact how well the body uses insulin for energy. CLA can interact negatively with certain medications, like antipsychotics.

Carnitine
Carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria. This allows them to be burned for energy, which can boost exercise performance. The body’s liver and kidneys naturally produce lysine and methionine, amino acids that break down into carnitine.
Carnitine hasn’t yet been scientifically proven to enhance athletic performance. Even so, many athletes continue to take the supplement. Taking more than 3 grams of carnitine per day can cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, and diarrhea. Carnitine can also interact harmfully with some medications, such as pivampicillin, an antibiotic.

Chromium
Chromium is a trace mineral in the body, but it’s essential to daily body functioning. The mineral is said to increase lean muscle mass, burn fat, and enhance a person’s energy levels. However, chromium hasn’t been proven to enhance athletic performance.
Taking too much chromium can be harmful because it’s associated with damaging DNA and healthy fats.

Creatine
Muscles use creatine to release energy, which enhances lean muscle mass and increases muscle energy. While creatine is a natural substance, it’s also produced in a laboratory and sold as a supplement. Those who take creatine often do so as a means to build muscle mass.
Taking creatine is also not without its side effects. For example, creatine can cause weight gain, muscle cramping, and stomach cramping. Additionally, the liver and kidneys must filter creatine. Taking an excessive amount can put too much workload on these important organs, which could potentially damage them.

HARMFUL OR ILLEGAL ERGOGENIC AIDS
The NCAA and the Olympics commission have banned some substances. This is because they offer an unfair advantage or can cause harm to the athlete.
Examples include androstenedione, stanozolol, axiron, and fortesta, diuretics.

 

THE TAKEAWAY
Steroids, legal or not, are never the best solution for building muscle or getting fit. They can cause many side effects that may threaten any progress you’ve made at all and have long-term health consequences.
It’s best to focus on sustainable, healthy ways to build muscle and stay fit. You’ll also prevent the possible physical and psychological harm of relying on artificial substances to achieve the level of fitness you want in the process.

To achieve optimum performance, focus more on a healthy diet and exercise routine supervised by sports nutritionist and physiotherapist, the high risk of abuse of these steroids come in handy.

 

Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/anabolic-steroids

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LifeStyleUncategorized

THE LINK BETWEEN YOUR GUT AND HORMONES

The talk about gut health and hormones isn’t yet hitting the internet as it should. Rather, everyone is more concerned about their shape and the size of their belly. Your gut and hormones are intrinsically connected and affect your health in ways you can’t imagine.
This write up helps explain the link between your gut and hormones.

What Is The Estrobolome?
The estrobolome is a collection of bacteria in the gut which is capable of metabolising and modulating the body’s circulating estrogen. It is the bacteria in the gut, and the estrobolome, that affects estrogen levels, which in turn can impact weight, libido and mood. The estroblome modulates the enterohepatic circulation of estrogens and affects circulating and excreted estrogen levels.

Hormones And Gut Health: Why should I care about my Gut Health?
Scientific research has demonstrated that gut microbes regulate many aspects of human physiology, including intestinal permeability, the absorption of nutrients from food, and immunity.

Optimising our gut health is key to keeping our hormones in balance. Gut health is so important because the microbiome has many functions as listed below:
• Aids the synthesis and regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters
• Facilitates absorption of macro and micronutrients
• Has an essential role in the immune system
• Contributes to regulation of estrogen levels in the body
Estrogens are primarily made in the ovaries and adrenal glands. There are three different types, which are Estradiol, Estriol, and Estrone. All of which have vital roles in the body. In women, estrogens help regulate body fat, are essential to female reproductive function, cardiovascular health, bone health, and brain function (including memory). In men, estrogens aid in the maturation of sperm and maintenance of libido, oh yes! Male folks has estrogen too.
When the gut microbiome is healthy, the estrobolome is producing optimal levels of an enzyme called betaglucuronidase – there is an imbalance in estrogen when there is too much production of this enzyme.
Betaglucuronidase also has an important role in breaking down complex carbohydrates and the absorption of bilirubin and flavonoids. A healthy, diverse gut microbiome with a rich collection of different bacteria is critical for hormonal balance.
A healthy estrobolome minimises reabsorption of estrogen from the gut allowing safe removal as waste in stool and urine again ensuring hormone balance.
Gut dysbiosis is an imbalance of the gut bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Elevated betaglucuronidase levels are associated with conditions including:
• Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
• Obesity
• Metabolic syndrome
• Estrogen-related cancers (breast and prostate)
• Endometriosis
• Infertility
• Mood swings (the feel good hormones are produced in the gut, if the gut is not healthy, it sends wrong signals)
• Heart disease
Unfortunately, gut dysbiosis and gut microbiome imbalance are very common and the delicate balance of the microbiome and estrobolome can be affected by many different factors which include genetics, age, weight, diet, alcohol, antibiotics, environmental pollutants and more.

Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
There are many signs of an unhealthy gut, which can often be misdiagnosed as something else.
• Digestive issues (bloating, gas, diarrhoea or constipation)
• Weight changes
• Food sensitivities
• Fatigue
• Skin irritation
• Autoimmune conditions
• Hormonal imbalance

Factors that affect Gut Health And Hormone Balance
To correct hormone imbalance, there are ways to ensure that the gut stays healthy and those ways include:
1. Dietary considerations
“The food we eat not only feeds our cells, but also determines what kind of inner garden we are growing in our guts.” – Dr. Mark Hyman.
Well, the saying “you are what you eat” comes to limelight here. Diet plays a vital role in shaping our gut microbiome. A low GI (glycaemic index) diet which contains a diverse range of fruit, vegetables and fibre, high in phytonutrients – the so-called ‘rainbow plate’ – can encourage microbial diversity.
It is important to go moderate on what is referred to as ‘white carbs’ such as pasta, rice and potatoes which contain resistant starch; a type that promotes healthy gut. Cutting them out totally would mean cutting out the sources of resistant starch.
Bear in mind that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, contain compounds that ease detoxification of estrogen. The supplement DIM (diindolylmethane) contains concentrates of such compounds and can be effective in lowering more toxic estrogen byproducts.
Prebiotics and probiotics should also be considered. Prebiotic foods such as garlic, onion, asparagus and bananas provide the material that gut bacteria like to feed on. Probiotic foods such as kefir, kombucha, kimchi, plain yoghurt and other fermented foods are really useful for introducing beneficial bacterial strains, like lactobacillus, to the gut.
It’s important to note that the supplement calcium D glucarate is a betaglucuronidase inhibitor and allows estrogen to remain conjugated, and therefore safely eliminated by intestinal detoxification.
2. Your environment matters a lot
Phytoestrogens from plants such as soya, tofu and tempeh are consumed as food while others are synthetically manufactured and called Xenoestrogens. These are found in common household products such as fragrances, pesticides and plastics, and can easily be obtained from the environment around us. It is important to find ways of reducing these toxic substances that impact our health and find more environmentally friendly solutions. Xenoestrogens are absorbed by the body and stored in liver and fat cells. They act synergistically with endogenously produced estrogens and influence cell proliferation and disrupt the delicate balance of hormones.
3. Antibiotics
So many people abuse antibiotics, if not prescribed, please desist from using them. The use of antibiotics disrupts the ecology of the gut microbiome, and can cause overgrowth or dysbiosis. A study by the University of Copenhagen found that six months after stopping antibiotics, most healthy people can recover the microbiome composition and function. However, the gut can still lack some of the beneficial bacteria and we then need to reintroduce the good guys!
4. Alcohol
No one really wants to hear that overconsumption of alcohol is detrimental to the health. Our society has made it look like consuming alcohol doesn’t make you vulnerable at all. But alcohol consumption can have a negative impact, not only on the gut microbiome but also on the liver and its ability to detoxify. This contributes to estrogen dominance symptoms and an increased risk of estrogen related cancers. Its festive season and you must unwind with friends and families, so we won’t put a knife to your throat not to take alcohol. 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men( 1 drink equates 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits and liquor). A single large glass of wine can contain up to 3 units of alcohol!
5. Physical activity
Physical activity can never be overemphasised. Exercise is an excellent way to support the detoxification that happens in the liver. Regular, moderate intensity exercise can lower levels of circulating estrogens. It can also reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, which can have a negative impact on our sex hormones. However, we do need to be mindful of individuality as different people have different stress levels/thresholds. Activities that stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system or the body’s ‘rest and digest’ mode, such as yoga, are also very beneficial to hormonal health and keeps the hormones balanced.
Summary
Lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity and stress management all play important roles in helping to balance your estrobolome and also ensuring that we keep our hormones balanced and optimal.

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Uncategorized

PECANS: BENEFITS

OVERVIEW

Pecans are a type of tree nut native to North Mexico and southern United States in the region of Mississipi River.

 Their rich and buttery flavor nakes them a common ingredient in appetizers, desserts, and main dishes alike.

Although they contain a long list of essential nutrients, they’re also high in calories and fat, causing many to wonder whether they’re healthy.

Let’s take a closer look at the nutrients contained in pecans

NUTRIENTS

Pecans are rich in a number of important nutrients.

In particular, they’re a good source of fiber, along with copper, thiamine, and zinc.

1 oz (28 grams) of pecans contains the following nutrients

Calories: 196

Protein: 2.5 grams

Fat: 20.5 grams

Carbs: 4 grams

Fiber: 2.7 grams

Copper: 38% of the Daily Value (DV)

Thiamine (vitamin B1): 16% of the DV

Zinc: 12% of the DV

Magnesium: 8% of the DV

Phosphorus: 6% of the DV

Iron: 4% of the DV

Copper is an important mineral involved in many aspects of your health, including nerve cell function, immune health, and the production of red blood cells.

Meanwhile, thiamine, or vitamin B1, is essential for converting carbohydrates into energy to help fuel your body (3Trusted Source).

Zinc is another key mineral found in pecans, and it’s necessary for immune function, as well as cell growth, brain function, and wound healing.

BENEFITS

Pecans have been associated with numerous health benefits. Some are still theory, while some have been proven.

IMPROVES HEART HEALTH

Pecans are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids(MUFAs), a type of fat that may benefit heart health .

Accoring to a study,  204 people with coronary artery disease, which is characterized by the narrowing of arteries, found that eating 1oz (30 grams) of pecans daily for 12 weeks improved the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood.

Other research shows that an increased intake of tree nuts, including pecans, may be linked to reduced levels of total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides — all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

One small study in 26 adults with overweight or obesity found that eating a pecan-rich diet for 4 weeks improved the body’s ability to use insulin effectively. Insulin is the hormone that transports sugar from your bloodstream into your cells.

But remember, a handful of pecans contains a great amount of calories.

Similarly, a review of 12 studies showed that adding tree nuts to your diet could help lower levels of hemoglobin A1C, a measure of long-term blood sugar control (12Trusted Source).

PROMOTED BRAIN FUNCTION 

Pecans are brimming with nutrients that may benefit brain function, including mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Monounsaturated fatty acids, in particular, have been linked to decreased mental decline and reduced inflammation.

Recently, a large study in over 15,000 women lasting over 40 years linked a higher consumption of nuts with improved long-term cognition.

Similarly, a study in 4,822 older adults showed that those who ate at least 1/3 0z (10 grams) of nuts per day were 40% less likely to have poor cognition.

That said, more research is needed to evaluate how pecans specifically may affect brain function.

POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES

Although pecans have been linked to several potential health benefits, there are some downsides to consider.

First, those with an allergy to tree nuts should avoid them, along with other types of tree nuts like almonds, cashews, chestnuts, and walnuts.

Keep in mind that they’re also relatively high in calories, packing nearly 200 calories in each 1-ounce (28-gram) serving.

As such, eating multiple servings can increase your daily calorie intake, which could contribute to weight gain if you don’t make other adjustments to your diet or level of physical activity.

For this reason, its adviceable to moderate your intake, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

Moreover, it’s best to opt for natural pecans without added sugar or salt.

HOW TO ADD PECANS TO YOUR DIET

Pecans are loaded with essential nutrients and can be an excellent addition to a well-rounded, healthy diet.

Be sure to pay attention to your portion sizes and stick to around 1 ounce (28 grams), or about 20 pecan halves, at a time.

Try sprinkling a handful of these tasty nuts onto your next yogurt parfait, salad, or oatmeal for extra crunch and nutrients.

They also work well in trail mix or chopped up in baked goods like muffins, pancakes, or banana bread.

Alternatively, enjoy raw pecans on their own for a quick, convenient, and nutritious on-the-go snack.

Pecans are a type of tree nut that’s rich in several key nutrients, including fiber, copper, thiamine, and zinc.

They’ve been associated with many potential health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, heart health, and brain function.

You can enjoy them in moderation as part of a nutritious diet — and in a number of different recipes.

BOTTOM LINE.

Pecans are amazing tree nuts  with so much health benefits.

They could be incoporated into the diet or eaten alone.

Its important to be aware that a small amountof them contain so much calories, so its best you stick to moderation if you’re on a weightloss program.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/are-pecans-good-for-you#bottom-line

 

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General ResearchLifeStyle

EVER HEARD OF WATER WEIGHT?

So much obsession about weightloss nowadays drives people to indulge in all sorts of practices to aid rapid weightloss. So many “road-side” nutritionist has leveraged on this to device different means to boycott the body’s normal physiology.

The most common one is the “keto” diet which involves using chainsaw to almost totally “cut-out” carbs so there can be a rapid and drastic weightloss.

Truly, when you cut out carbs, weightloss occurs rapidly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost fat.

At the initial stage of every weightloss journey, especially the drastic and fast types, what is lost is “water weight”, and after this, weightloss tends to slow down significantly and the individual involved goes into a plateau faster than required.

What happens during a weightloss is the change in muscle mass, amount of fat, water and an “let-out” of gases; if exercise is involved.

Fat, carbs and even protein doesn’t lead to weight gain but an excess of calories coupled with a deficit of physical exercise.

WHAT IS WATER WEIGHT?

Water weight is when the body retains so much water in spaces; sometimes it could cause bloating.

60% of your body is made up of water, so when you lose weight, water reduces first.

Carbs are responsible for retaining water, when you remove them, you remove the body’s ability to retain water and not excess calories.

The body has a means of storing excess energy; its stores it as glycogen and this glycogen is stored with lots of water. When there is a need for carbs during the body’s metabolic duties, thr body automatically sources out carbs from its storage form in the liver and skeletal muscles. This process involves releasing lots of water thats stored with the glycogen which automatically leads to weightloss.

Going by figures, 1g of carbs requires 3-4g of water to store and process it; so when you eat 3 slices of white bread (6g of carbs per slice), you’ve just added 18-24g of water to your body.

RISKS?

The risk involved in cutting out carbs from the diet are mostly related to the gut microbes. Carbs contain resistant starch which provides a healthy environment for the microorganisms present in the gut.

Also, carbs are the major source of energy to the body and fuel to the brain as the brain needs glucose to function properly. Glucose is the major building block for neurotransmitters in the brain and when there is a deficit, there is a break in communication among neurons.

Lack of glucose could lead to seizures and coma, as often seen in “ketoers”

TAKE HOME

To achieve a healthy weightloss, exercise and a mild calorie deficit supervised by a registered dietitian is key.  You didnt gain that weight in 1 month, so losing it in one month is quite unhealthy.

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Uncategorized

STRESS, IBS AND NUTRITION

STRESS IN ITSELF
The word stress is quite a complex phenomenon with individualistic stress levels.
Stress is the body’s way to respond to triggering events that the brain goes through. It might be emotional, biological or physical response and might vary from individual to individual depending on the environmental and genetic factors involved.
When stress levels are low, the body is often in a state of homeostasis: All body systems are operating smoothly to maintain equilibrium.

POSSIBLE TRIGGERS
According to a research: Stressors trigger a “crisis-mode” physiological response, a physiological response which the body attempts to return to homeostasis by means of an adaptive response. The internal fight to restore homeostasis in the face of a stressor is known as the general adaptation syndrome, or GAS. The GAS has three distinct phases: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. This leads to various physiological changes in the body. Stress is often described as a “disease of prolonged arousal” that leads to a cascade of negative health effects whose likelihood increases with on-going stress. Nearly all body systems become potential targets, and the long-term effects may be devastating.
Your stress levels when not adequately managed, could interfere with your medication and diet

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
On the other hand, Irritable bowel syndrome is your guts response to extreme stress levels
Triggers that easily affect the gut in IBS are sometimes perceived as psychological stress (loss of job, money, spouse), physical, physiological stress (diet, hormonal changes).
IBS can result from a very intricate biological interaction between the brain and the gut – this is why addressing psychological and emotional stressors that may be associated with IBS symptoms is the first step in understanding IBS triggers. Not all people with IBS have symptoms of psychological distress, but for those who do, stress management techniques become critical in managing IBS symptoms.
Another possible could be food anxiety (orthorexia), where one always gets worried about what to eat, how the food was prepared, the source and so on. Anxiety might precipitate IBS symptoms and not even the food itself.

STRESS MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES AND DIETARY APPROACHES
Managing stress sometimes involves some self-care techniques which might include:
• Guided meditation
• Reading
• Knitting or needlework
• Bubble baths
• Exercise
• Listening to music
• Taking a stroll
It’s very important to note that everyone’s coping mechanism or stress management techniques are different. But it’s important to add these techniques to your daily routines.

DIETARY APPROACH
Role of specific nutrient in regulation of food intake, in the maintenance of homeostatic mechanisms and emotional processes is very dense. Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamin or 5-HT) is synthesized from the dietary amino-acid tryptophan (TRP). Likewise, tyrosine is a precursor of noradrenaline (NA). Psychosocial and physical stress increases the rate of release of noradrenaline (NA) in both the periphery and the central nervous system hence more protein especially tyrosine is required. Likewise various other nutrients are required to reduce the levels of the stress chemicals (cortisol and adrenaline) that activate fight and flight response in the body.
Nutrients which includes vitamin C, vitamin B, tryptophan, threonine, magnesium, phenylalanine all have roles to play in helping individuals reduce stress levels and they could be found in grains, pulses, legumes and vegetables.

CONCLUSION
Stress management is different for everyone. It’s important to seek a therapist and medical care if your stress levels are extreme. For IBS patients, a change of lifestyle would suffice to manage symptoms.

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General Research

SHOULD A PREGNANT WOMAN GO ON A VERY LOW SALT DIET?

Salt is unarguably essential to health, even though some extremist might not agree with this. It is one of the five basic tastes we have receptors for in our mouth (along with sweetness, bitterness, sourness and umami), and it is an important element in the body’s “interior ocean”.

The human body tightly regulates salt concentration because it’s crucial role in supporting chemical reactions  that involve enzyme function, energy and hormone production, protein transport and several other biological processes.

In the context of pregnancy, salt is critical for the development of the glial (immune) cells in the brain which maintain homeostatis, form myelin, and provide support and protection for neurones. It also plays an important role in ensuring adequate birth weight, metabolic function and development of the nervous, respiratory and cardiovascular system.

“Salt is especially important to the brain development of premature babies. In premature babies, language, memory, intelligence and coordination were all better in children whose diets had been supplemented with salt shortly after birth”.

A VERY LOW SALT DIET COULD BE DANGEROUS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

A 2007 study found that babies with low sodium in their blood (due to low salt intakes by their mothers during pregnancy) were more likely to be underweight at birth. Low birth weight is associated with a higher risk of developing several health problems later in life.

Another study found that infants with low sodium intake may experience poor neurological function in early adolescence.

IS SALT REALLY THAT DANGEROUS?

The same way carbs has been demonized, is also same way Salt has been unjustifiably demonized by the mainstream media and medical establishment. So many atimes, health care providers who mean well, but not professional, advice patients to completely take off salt from their diet. The only time this is adviceable is during a very crucial kidney problem where sodium and potassium has to be balanced.

Salt has the highest amount of iodine contained in it when compared to other food sources of iodine. Iodine prevents against hypothyroidism leading to goitre.

So many studies tell us that it has never been proven that salt significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension or obesity. In fact, in many cases restricting salt intake can actually increase the risk of these conditions. For example, a review of the largest U.S. database of nutrition and health (NHANES) found a higher rate of cardiac events and death with patients on low-salt diets.

“During pregnancy, the demand for daily iodine increases by 50–70% which occurs to reach around 250 μg/day. Limited information is available on the association of high-risk pregnancy (HRP) with urinary iodine concentration (UIC) and variables such as socioeconomic factors”.

According to a study, among the 73% of hypertensive women adhering to a salt-restricted diet, there was a 112% increased risk of iodine deficiency observed (OR = 2.127; 95% confidence interval [1.178–3.829]; p = 0.011). Adhering to a salt-restricted diet was associated with iodine deficiency (OR = 1.82; 95% confidence interval [1.073–3.088], p = 0,026). Hypertension and salt restriction diet significantly increased susceptibility for iodine deficiency in high risk pregnancy. Therefore, low-salt diet when prescribed to pregnant women (PW) might be carefully followed by iodine nutritional status assessment or universal preconception iodine supplementation.

TAKE HOME

This is not a call for you to sprinkle salt till your ancestors say stop!

Its still very important to note that if you’re hypertensive or have a history, or even are vulnerable to pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, then you should adhere to 2300mg of sodium per day which equals 1 teaspoon.

During pregnancy, make sure there are alternative iodine supplements if you would go on a salt restricted diet.

Seek dietary counsel from a Registered Dietitian 

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