Collagen has been the rage for a few years now. But with so many types on the market, how do we know which is the best type to supplement with?
Did you know, as we age, our body’s ability to produce new collagen declines, and existing collagen begins to break down? The loss of collagen effects skin, joints, and bones. The decreased collagen may also lead to increased digestive problems, weakened immune systems, and increased risk of chronic illness. Good news! Science has shown that collagen supplementation can protect against and reverse these effects.
Marine Collagen, which is a type 1 collagen, is made of collagen peptides derived from fish and has the most efficient absorption of all collagen types. Marine Collagen is environmentally friendly and sustainable as it uses parts of the fish that are normally thrown away.
Clear Medicine’s Top Ten Benefits of Marine Collagen:
1. Builds Bone Strength – Studies have shown that marine collagen peptides help the absorption of calcium and other minerals that are essential for bone strength. Check out Dr. Turner ND’s pre-workout cocktail here!
2. Improves Skin, Hair and Nails – Increasing type 1 collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness, and help your skin cells keep renewing and repairing normally. Clinical trials have shown patients who supplement with marine collagen have a decrease in wrinkles and improved skin hydration and firmness.
3. Stabilizes Blood Sugar – 2016 study by the Alberta Diabetes Institutefound consistently low levels of circulating glycine among people with type 2 diabetes. Thus, supplementing with marine collagen, which contains high amounts of glycine, may help balance blood sugar levels, which is especially important for diabetics.
4. Boosts Metabolism – a boost in collagen may help improve metabolism by adding lean muscle mass to your frame and helping with the conversion of essential nutrients.
5. Improves Wound Healing and Reduces Scars – Supplementing with marine collagen can lead to accelerated and more efficient healing of wounds. As the main component of the dermal matrix of the skin, collagen is necessary for regeneration of skin after any skin injury or deformation, such as scars, rashes, and burns.
6. Reduces Inflammation and helps with joint pain – With its gel-like, smooth structure that covers and holds our bones together, collagen allows us to glide and move without pain. Studies are showing that it helps your joints move more easily, reduces pain often associated with aging and even reduces the risk of joint deterioration.
7. Brain Health – Glycine makes up roughly 20% of the amino acids in collagen. Some of the glycine benefits range from improving sleep to having inhibitory functions that take action against excessive excitation in the brain. This allows your mind to calm down and focus.
8. Thyroid Boost – Collagen can help boost your thyroid hormone levels by balancing the other proteins in your body. Collagen helps to boost your liver’s ability to convert thyroid hormone into active T3 thyroid hormone by lowering cortisol levels in your blood.
9. Antibacterial Effects – recent research has discovered that peptide fragments contained within marine collagen have antibacterial properties. Specifically, collagencin, a peptide derived from collagen, has been found to inhibit the growth of infection and disease-causing bacteria.
10. Superior Protein Source for Weight Management – is a pure protein source that does not contain any carbs, sugar or fat. Daily intake of marine collagen may help to suppress appetite by keeping you feeling full longer and thus can help promote weight loss.
Source Credit from https://clearmedicine.com/top-ten-benefits-marine-collagen/
Mitochondria…Remember them from high school biology? You may not have known their importance, especially in their role in anti-aging, back then, but more research is revealing how amazing they are!! Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cell, and for good reason. These tiny organelles are not actually human, but we have developed a symbiotic relationship with them and need them to survive, just as we need the microbes in our gut. Mitochondria are responsible for producing the energy that our cells need to function, and they play a critical role in maintaining our overall health and well-being. The more mitochondria, the better our metabolism (healthy weight). Let’s explore further. Benefits of Mitochondria Mitochondria are vital for cellular energy production, and they help regulate several key processes within the cell, including cell growth and division, hormone regulation, and the immune response. In addition, the mitochondria play a critical role in maintaining healthy brain function, and they are involved in the regulation of many physiological processes, including heart function, muscle function, and the regulation of metabolism. Mitochondria and Aging As we age, our mitochondrial function decreases, which can lead to decreased energy production, increased oxidative stress, and the accumulation of cellular damage. This decline in mitochondrial function is a major contributor to the aging process and is associated with the development of age-related diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. In fact, studies have shown that increased oxidative stress, caused by a decline in mitochondrial function, is one of the key factors driving the aging process. Boosting Mitochondrial Health Fortunately, there are specific ways that we can boost our mitochondrial health and protect against the decline in function that occurs with aging. Here are a few strategies to consider: Exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to increase the number of mitochondria in our cells and improve their overall function. Exercise is especially beneficial for boosting mitochondrial health in the muscles, as it can lead to an increase in the number of mitochondria in these cells. Diet: A healthy diet can also play a key role in maintaining and improving mitochondrial function. Antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries, leafy greens, and nuts, can help protect against oxidative stress, which is known to damage the mitochondria. In addition, foods that are rich in coenzyme Q10, such as fatty fish, can help support mitochondrial function. Supplementation: Certain dietary supplements, such as MCT Oil, acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, caffeine, and if you really want to turn back the clock there are anti-aging NAD boosters on the market; Recharge NAD+, NR, NMN and even red light therapy have been shown to help boost mitochondrial function and are offering much hope. Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is also important for maintaining healthy mitochondrial function. Studies have shown that poor sleep can lead to a decline in mitochondrial function, so it’s important to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to support optimal mitochondrial health. In conclusion, mitochondria play a critical role in our overall health and well-being, and a decline in mitochondrial function can contribute to the aging process and the development of age-related diseases. Fortunately, there are specific strategies we can use to boost our mitochondrial health, including exercise, a healthy diet, supplementation, and adequate sleep. By incorporating these strategies into our daily lives, we can help protect against the decline in mitochondrial function that occurs with aging and maintain optimal health and well-being.
Ghrelin, one of the hunger hormones, gets bad rap, because nobody wants to be hungry when they are trying to lose weight and reduce their caloric intake. However, ghrelin actually signals the body to do some very beneficial things for fat loss and overall health.
So try going a little hungry at times. Have at least 3 hours between eating. Do Intermittent fasting. Exercise on an empty stomach. Don’t eat to complete fullness; 80% full. Go to bed mildly hungry: eat your dinner earlier and keep the meal smaller. If you’re feeling truly hungry, have a little protein before bed. (My company has a great solution called the Bedtime Belly Buster)
Benefits of the Ghrelin Hormone in Studies:
Activates Fat Burning Hormones
Autophagy Increases- Recycling parts of damaged cells so they don’t replicate poor copies.
Sleep Quality Improvements
HGH production increased
Improves Blood Pressure
When ghrelin is increased it helps the body put on muscle. Ghrelin stimulates the release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland, which, unlike ghrelin itself, breaks down fat tissue and causes the build-up of muscle. In clinical studies mice without ghrelin lost muscle and mice with added ghrelin gained muscle.
You may want to lose weight, but ask yourself why? Weight loss should be just a part of a goal in a commitment to a healthier lifestyle, not the only reason for a temporarily healthier lifestyle. It may initially motivate you to make a change, but you’ll need more to reach a goal and sustain your progress. You’ll need to dig a little deeper.
Do you want to lose weight to look better? Most can identify with this. But, If so, WHY do you want to look better? Most likely because of how it makes you FEEL about yourself. Your emotional and mental state can have a profound effects on your physical health and overall wellbeing. Feeling more confident can affect other aspects of your life as well.
Do you want to lose weight because your weight is making you feel uncomfortable in certain clothing, makes it more difficult to accomplish physical activities that used to be easy?
Do you want to lose weight because it is causing health problems that are affecting the quality of your life, or maybe even at risk of reducing your lifespan? Did your doctor suggest that you need to lose weight for your health?
Is your weight affecting your intimate relationship with your partner? Making you feel self conscious in your own skin? Does your partner make comments and suggestions about your weight that make you feel embarrassed, hurt, angry or self conscious?
Maybe your weight is in normal range, but you just want to get leaner, more sculpted and defined because you feel more confident, vibrant and energetic when you’re physique in top condition.
Losing weight is a goal for many, but it’s not a purpose. And if you don’t know WHY, that can hinder your results.
Identifying and focusing on WHY you’re changing your nutrition and or exercise (ideally both) to accomplish goals is important.
If you look at a change as temporary then you’re subconsciously telling yourself this isn’t a lifestyle, it will be over soon and things can go back to “normal” when you reach your goal…back to the habits that didn’t serve you well. So what happens when you reach a plateau or get off track? Do you get frustrated and stop, go back to old habits, gain the weight back and tell yourself “that didn’t work for me” because you didn’t reach your weight loss goal and regained the weight?
And what will happen if/when you reach your goal? Do you keep the healthy lifestyle going, or do you pat yourself on the back for reaching your weight loss goal, then go back to your old habits which will cause you to gain the weight back?
That is why diets don’t work. Anything that lasts must be a healthy sustainable lifestyle. Not losing, going back to old ways, gaining back, starting again, etc. You know…the YoYo dieting. Connecting with why you’re changing your habits will help set you up for long term success.
Have you heard the parable about the three men laying bricks; one man kneeling, one man crouching, and one man (further along) standing?
A man asks the first man, who is kneeling, what he’s doing. The man says “I’m a bricklayer and I’m working to feed my family.” Next, he asks the second man, who was a bit further along, the same question. He replied “I’m a builder, I’m building a wall.” But when he asked the third man, who was much further along than the other two, he replied “I’m building a great cathedral for the Almighty.” Purpose affects attitude and attitude affects productivity and productivity affects outcome. If you’re not connected to the big picture then you can have a bad attitude about the whole process, and the process will definitely affect the outcome.
What is the big picture? YOUR BIG PICTURE? Goals are fine, and serve a purpose. But think beyond a goal and keep the vision of a larger purpose. Connecting to your purpose will help you be more successful, get past obstacles that can cause setbacks and feeling of frustration. It can change a mere interest into a commitment, motivation into inspiration.
Do you want to get leaner, healthier and feel more vibrant? Let’s chat about your goals, targeted solutions to help you achieve them, and maybe discover your WHY. Maybe it’s so you can be more involved with your kids and set a better example. Maybe it’s so that your health doesn’t become a burden to your kids down the road and you want to remain independent. Maybe it’s because you want to feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin. Maybe it’s because you’re just tired of feeling uncomfortable either physically, mentally or both. Maybe it’s because you realize that you have to be more intentional about your lifestyle because you don’t want to age more vibrantly, be active, and not feel old.
Show me someone over forty who is healthy and fit, and I can assure you they made it a priority. You cannot make meaningful and lasting change without making it a priority and a habit. It’s not a punishment or expense. It’s a worthwhile commitment and investment. The habits you commit to now, can profoundly change your health trajectory over time. Focus on what direction you want to go in and WHY.
Be like the cathedral builder, have vision and purpose in your mission, and treat your body like a temple.
As a reforming artificial sweetener addict, I can attest to the damage it did to my gut. Not only was I putting it in my coffee every morning, but I was also ingesting it in other products, most notably my whey protein. Initially, I had no idea why I was having such digestive issues. After all, I ate very healthy.
While it is good to cut back on sugar consumption, the alternative sugar substitutes, specifically artificial sweeteners, may be wreaking havoc on your health. Popular artificial sweeteners, such as Sucralose, may increase blood glucose and insulin levels: Sucralose may negatively affect the very people who are using it to decrease sugar consumption and stabilize blood glucose levels. A study found that Sucralose increased blood glucose levels and insulin levels while decreasing insulin sensitivity. This could negatively affect people, especially those with diabetes, who consume Sucralose to try to manage their blood glucose levels.
Sucralose and gut health: Gastrointestinal health, gut health, has become a topic of great interest. It’s no surprise that our bodies and gastrointestinal (GI) tract are home to more bacteria than we have cells in our body. We tend to think of bacteria as something to avoid but bacteria also play a beneficial role in our health. A large portion of our immune system is located in the GI tract and beneficial bacteria play a major role in a healthy immune system. A study on Sucralose and the GI microbiome found that Sucralose altered the gut microbiome by decreasing beneficial bacteria by up to 50%. Additionally, they found that 12 weeks after the study the beneficial bacteria in the GI tract had not recovered. Which means that even after Sucralose was no longer being consumed the GI tract was still negatively affected. The study also found that Sucralose may limit the bioavailability of certain orally administered medications which may make medications less effective.
Cooking and chloropropanols: One of the proposed uses of Splenda is to reduce calories when cooking and baking. Splenda was considered to be heat resistant but research is finding otherwise. When heated, Splenda was found to degrade and release harmful chloropropanols at high temperatures.7/8 Chloropropanols are toxic and may lead to cancer and infertility in men.
Choose sugar substitutes such as stevia and monk fruit and other natural alternatives that do not elevate insulin levels or have adverse health effects. Check your labels for aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin and avoid such products, especially if it’s something you’re consuming on a daily basis.
Xenoestrogens are found in a variety of items that we have grown accustomed. Most of us don’t think twice about the makeup we wear, the lotion we slather on each day or the plastic container we use to pack our lunch…or worse, the plastic container we use to reheat something in the microwave. We know organic food is supposed to be better for us, but sometimes we just don’t want to pay the extra money. Unfortunately, all of the above may be altering the way our body naturally functions because they all contain endocrine disruptors called, xenoestrogens.
Endocrine disruptors are a category of chemicals that alter the normal function of hormones. Normally, our endocrine system releases hormones that signal different tissues telling them what to do. When chemicals from the outside get into our bodies, they have the ability to mimic our natural hormones; blocking or binding hormone receptors. This is particularly detrimental to hormone sensitive organs like the uterus and the breast, the immune and neurological systems, as well as human development.
Xenoestrogens fall into of the endocrine disruptor group that specifically have estrogen-like effects. While estrogen is a natural hormone in humans that is important for many important bodily functions in both men and women, when we add outside chemical sources mimicking estrogen, it can be disruptive to normal body functions. When xenoestrogens enter the body they increase the total amount of estrogen resulting in a phenomenon called, estrogen dominance. Xenoestrogens are stored in our fat cells because our bodies cannot readily eliminate them. Some of the build up of xenoestrogens have been indicated in many conditions including: breast, prostate and testicular cancer, obesity, infertility, endometriosis, early onset puberty, miscarriages and diabetes.
Fasting nutritional cleanses can help eliminate some of the fat soluble toxins such as the xenoestrogens, that are stored in the fat cells. Eliminating these toxins can often make it easier to lose fat and reduce inflammation in the body.
You also want to avoid
Avoid Xenoestrogens by limiting exposure to:
Avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
Choose organic, locally-grown and in-season foods.
Peel non-organic fruits and vegetables.
Buy hormone-free meats and dairy products to avoid hormones and pesticides.
Reduce the use of plastics whenever possible.
Do not microwave food in plastic containers.
Avoid the use of plastic wrap to cover food for storing or microwaving.
Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food.
Do not leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun.
If a plastic water container has heated up significantly, throw it away.
Don’t refill plastic water bottles.
Avoid freezing water in plastic bottles to drink later.
Use chemical free, biodegradable laundry and household cleaning products.
Choose chlorine-free products and unbleached paper products (i.e. tampons, menstrual pads, toilet paper, paper towel, coffee filters).
Use a chlorine filter on shower heads and filter drinking water
Health and Beauty Products
Avoid creams and cosmetics that have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens and stearalkonium chloride.
Minimize your exposure to nail polish and nail polish removers.
Use naturally based fragrances, such as essential oils.
Use chemical free soaps and toothpastes.
Read the labels on condoms and diaphragm gels.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive system to burn fat and cleanse your cells of toxins you can find synergistic systems here.
At 55 years old (as I write this), I’ve been dealing with chronic inflammation for over half my life. Debilitating pain and swelling started in my mid 20s and went undiagnosed for years, until eventually being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as Hashimotos Thyroiditis. At times, by being very proactive about my health with intentional nutrition, exercise and effective medication, I have been in remission. But after menopause, the familiar pain and swelling started again, which sent me back to the drawing board, and being more determined than ever to rid myself of this chronic inflammation. While bloodwork still indicates things are fine, ultrasound to several joints revealed otherwise.
Health is a fine balance, and learning what ignites the fire of inflammation and what can douse it out can mean the difference in living a vibrant life or a life constantly trying to chase away pain and/or disease. Medication can surely help, but it doesn’t heal. So I suggest if you’re experiencing these or any autoimmune issues, you don’t just rely on a medication prescribed by your doctor, and for you start being proactive about your holistic health.
Inflammation is your body’s protective response to injury or damage. It helps your natural healing and repair processes. While this is process is critical for repairing injuries, major health issues can arise when your body is chronically inflamed. Many modern stressors, such as pollution, food sensitivities and carrying extra weight, can lead to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation not only can lead to a variety of diseases, to include cancer, Alzheimers and more, but it also accelerates the aging process and this is commonly called “inflammaging”.
Not only do we need to avoid the triggers and purge toxins, we need to also include nutrients that help our bodies combat inflammation. Our bodies are miraculous and we have been given a beautiful planet full of what we need for optimal health, but our society over the years has turned to pharmaceuticals and food has become more of an indulgence and source of entertainment than a fuel source for our body’s health.
Nutrients known to reduce C-reactive protein (CRP;a measurement of inflammation)
Prevented exercise-induced rises in CRP in athletes49
Lowered CRP more than control in patients with toxin-induced skinirritation50
Lowered CRP by a huge 6.4 mg/L in a meta-analysis of 6 studies of patients with elevated CRP51
Reversed elevated CRP levels in rats with experimental arthritis52
Reduced hs-CRP in diabetic adults47
Green Tea Polyphenols
Lowered CRP in a rat model of systemic inflammation53
Reduced CRP by 1.1 mg/L in postmenopausal women when combined with exercise54
Lowered CRP in end-stage renal disease patients on dialysis55
Higher serum magnesium correlated with lower CRP in overweight middle-aged women56
Lowered hs-CRP in diabetes patients57
Omega-3 fatty acids
Low omega-3 in blood correlated with higher CRP in patients with peripheral artery disease58
Lowered hs-CRP and depression scores in depressed shift workers59
Lowered CRP and CRP/albumin ratio (beneficial) in colorectal cancer patients60
Lowered CRP when given with vitamin C61
Red yeast rice
Lowered hs-CRP by nearly 24% in people with moderately highcholesterol46
Reduced plasma CRP 24% in active or passive smokers48
Lowered hs-CRP in hemodialysis patients62
Higher vitamin D levels correlated with lower CRP in humans with rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory condition63
Reduced serum CRP in pregnant women by 1.4 mg/L while controls rose by 1.5 mg/L (400 IU daily dose)64
Lowered CRP in humans and animals65
Lowered hs-CRP from more than 10 to 7.7 mg/L in diabetics with kidney disease66
Lowered hs-CRP in young obese women67
Mixture of resveratrol, pterostilbene, quercetin, delta-tocotrienol,and nicotinic acid reduced CRP 29% in healthy seniors68
There are many different herbs that can help you reduce or prevent inflammation in your body.
1. Turmeric (Curcumin)
The anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric is its yellow pigment called curcumin. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines have long used turmeric and curcumin to reduce inflammation as well as treat digestive disorders, wounds and infections.
Studies have shown that curcumin also acts as an antioxidant and may combat cancer. Fresh or powdered turmeric is excellent in curries, soups or other dishes. Fresh turmeric can be added to fresh vegetable juices. Supplements of curcumin are also available.
2. Green Tea
The preventative effects of green tea against cardiovascular disease and cancer are well established. More recent studies have shown that green tea can be an effective anti-inflammatory, particularly in the treatment of arthritis. It can also reduce inflammation of the digestive tract potentially helping conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
It’s recommended to drink 3 to 4 cups of tea daily. Green tea extract can also be found in pill form. And for those who don’t want the caffeine, decaffeinated green teas are available.
3. White Willow Bark
White willow tree bark has been used as a treatment for pain and inflammation since ancient Egyptian and Roman times. Many studies have shown that white willow bark has a similar effects as aspirin, but with fewer side effects than aspirin.
The usual dose of white willow bark is 240 mg per day for ongoing conditions. There are also herbal blends that contain white willow bark which can be used for an acute event, such as a headache.
4. Maritime Pine Bark (Pycnogenol)
Bark from the maritime pine tree (Pinus maritima) can be processed into pycnogenol. This extract has been used for more than 2,000 years to help heal wounds, scurvy and ulcers as well as reducing vascular inflammation. It is one of the strongest antioxidants known today.
Studies have shown that pycnogenol is 50 to 100 times more potent than vitamin E in neutralizing free radicals in the body. It has also been found to reduce blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. A typical dosage is 100-200 mg daily.
5. Chili Peppers (Capsaicin)
The countless varieties of hot peppers we have today began as one small shrub (Capsicum annum), native to tropical regions of the Americas. The chemical capsaicin is what makes a pepper hot. And it’s capsaicin that’s been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effectin your body.
Any type of chili pepper, such as cayenne or jalapeno, contains capsaicin. You can use chili peppers fresh or powdered in a wide variety of dishes, including desserts. Supplements containing capsaicin are often mixed with other herbs to create natural anti-inflammatory blends.
6. Frankincense (Boswellia serrata)
Boswellia is a tree variety native to India, Somalia, Ethiopia and the Arabian Peninsula. Frankincense is a resin extracted from the trees. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and pain-controlling properties. Boswellia resin is currently used to treat degenerative and inflammatory joint disorders
One study showed that a combination of Boswellia and curcumin was more effective for treating osteoarthritis than a commonly used synthetic drug. It’s recommended to take 300-500 mg of Boswellia extract two or three times a day for ongoing inflammatory conditions.
7. Black Pepper
This unassuming spice actually packs an anti-inflammatory punch. The distinctive flavor of black pepper comes from the chemical piperine. Even at low doses, piperine has been shown to reduce inflammation. It can inhibit the spread of cancer and has been shown to suppress the feeling of pain and arthritis symptoms.
This is an antioxidant found in many plants. The highest amounts have been found in Japanese knot weed (Polygonum cuspidatum) and in the skins of red wine grapes. Resveratrol has been shown to be a strong anti-inflammatory. It also protects against DNA damage and mutations. You can find resveratrol as a common supplement in natural food stores. A typical dosage is from 50 to 500 mg per day.
9. Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
This herb is derived from a woody vine native to Peru. The bark of cat’s claw has traditionally been used to treat arthritis, bursitis and intestinal disorders. Studies have shown that it can reduce inflammatory responses in the body and it has a protective effect against gastrointestinal inflammation.
You can make a tea from cat’s claw from either a prepared tea or use 1000 mg of the bark to 8 ounces of water. It is also available as a dry extract in a capsule. It’s recommended to take 20 to 60 mg daily.
In one study, participants were given small amounts of various common herbs and spices for a period of 7 days. Rosemary showed one of the strongest protective affects against inflammation and oxidation.
The other top spices were turmeric, cloves and ginger. The researchers noted that the amounts given of each herb were no more than what someone would normally eat in a seasoned soup, sauce or other dish.
Clove oil can be applied directly to the gums to help with a toothache or for pain control during dental work. Cloves have been shown to reduce mouth and throat inflammation. Cloves can also be used to treat diarrhea, nausea, hernia, bad breath and as an expectorant.
The powdered or whole dried flower buds are delicious in many savory dishes as well as in desserts and hot drinks.
Research has shown that ginger has a better therapeutic effect than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat pain and inflammation. Ginger also inhibits the activation of several genes involved in an inflammatory response.
This popular spice is made from the bark of cinnamon trees native to China, India and Southeast Asia. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, cinnamon has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-cancer and lipid-lowering properties. It has even been found to act against neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
In addition to the nutritional component, it is important to keep the body moving. Exercise will keep the blood flow to get the micronutrients to their targeted tissues remove toxins with the lymphatic system, and keep the joints stable with muscle support.
Last, but most definitely not least, meditation will help reduce pain as well as stress (which is known to increase inflammation) so that can stop the constant cycle. It’s not “woo woo”, it’s actually science.
If you would like more information on coaching please reach out to me at Suzie@StrongHappyHealthy.com
Thank you to EcoWatch and Chatelaine websites for information used to write this article.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? That’s hormesis!
Hormesis is essentially a good type of stress. It’s having a positive response to temporary minor stressors. Having some stress is good, and is necessary to improve the body and mind to become more resilient and stronger, but not all stress is created equal or is beneficial. And obviously, having constant mental stress or physical stress can wreak havoc on our health and have no benefits. So what stress is good and how can we use it to benefit ourselves?
Exercise is a classic form of hormesis. When you’re lifting heavy weights or even light weight to the point of muscle fatigue, you damage your muscle fibers and they built back bigger and stronger. This also applies to endurance exercises as well.
One of the best types of exercise for boosting your resilience is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It has a particularly strong hormetic effect on your mitochondria — they become more efficient to deal with the stress, which increases your energy production and slows down aging at the cellular level.
It makes your cells more resilient to oxidative damage
It protects your brain cells and improves cognitive function
It burns fat like crazy
It gives the body a rest from digestion so it can effectively cleanse itself
It produces more growth hormone
It helps you live longer.
The ideal window for fasting is between 16-48 hours. Shorter than that and you don’t see the above benefits as much. Longer, and you start to run into downsides, like dips in energy and muscle loss.
Extreme temperatures are also another type of hormesis. Cold exposure, for example, makes your cells produce antioxidants system-wide, protecting your body from inflammation and damage and increases immunity. Heat exposure makes the proteins in your cells more resilient to stress and slows down cellular aging.
Hypoxia is another example; when you cut off oxygen to your brain for a short amount of time, it gently stresses your neurons. They respond by creating brand new mitochondria, increasing your brainpower and helping you think faster and work smarter. You’ve probably seen the guys at the gym wearing the Darth Vader looking mask. They are doing hypoxia training.
Another type of hormesis is exposure to sunlight. We all hear warnings to stay out of the sun or cover up and slather on sunscreen to exposed areas because of the damage the sun can do. But the sun in right doses has many health benefits that we need. Sunlight in the right dose actually makes your cells stronger and helps them protect themselves from cancer. An appropriate dose of sunlight also drives your cells to produce more vitamin D, which affects more than 1,000 reactions across your whole body, including testosterone production, antioxidant production, and more.
But, to keep the body from being overstressed from our perceived stress/ mental/emotional; bills, relationship issues, traffic etc, physical stress ;overtraining, injuries, surgeries, or even chemical stress; viruses, bacteria, alcohol etc, our bodies can benefit from adaptogenic herbs as well as other techniques to keep the cortisol levels in check and not constantly elevated. Our stress is designed to help us when we need to survive, but if that switch is constantly turned to the “on” position, we never have time to recover from stress mode and go back to homeostasis, which can create a chemical imbalance. That is when stress does not benefit us; distress. There are many ways to combat that as well, but I will leave that for another post.
This may make some people defensive, but it needs to be said. You, me, WE, have a responsibility to at least try to be healthy. If we will not do it for the quality of our own lives, then we need to consider its effects on our children and/or society as a whole.
In the United States, and some other Western Societies, the lack of personal responsibility in health is causing everyone’s medical cost to skyrocket. If you’re neglecting your health, you’re contributing to the problem. Period. Health insurance is not supposed to replace personal responsibility or preventative care. Some people obviously can’t help a specific disease, but if your habits created the condition they can reverse or alleviate it, so make the choice to be proactive about your health!!! Ignorance is no longer an excuse. We know what is healthy and what is not, for the most part. Yes, there are hard to avoid toxins in our food and environment, but that’s another topic, and we can work on that as well (individually and as a society).
My family encouraged my grandmother to strength train after a couple of falls which required assistance in her getting back up; once stranded upside down in a laundry basket. We all, including her, had a good laugh over that. But sadly, she eventually needed costly round the clock care, and it caused a huge rift between her children, and eventually completely fractured our once fun family. Who wants to spend their retirement funds on their parents or give up all their free time because they need to be a caregiver for a debilitated parent who is adamant to stay in their own home? And let’s not even get into the guilt associated with it all, which can turn into anger and resentment directed in all directions.
She sadly spent her last few years in a retirement home, bed ridden, and too weak to even use the TV remote. She “still had her wits about her”, as they say, and lived until she was 101years old. She had a brilliant mind and had been an avid reader, but that mind became bored and foggy. She couldn’t read due to cataracts and was too weak to even hold a book. She was completely dependent on other people to help her do everything, to include wiping her butt. We loved her dearly, but we dreaded visiting her. It was depressing (especially for my kids), as we sat in that small, warm, dim room, trying to engage in intermittent conversations with her, between episodes of her nodding off. It was painful seeing her in that state, but probably equally painful imagining ourselves in that condition. Nobody wants to end up there at the end of their life.
Now, given this situation, and how it ultimately affected my mom’s life, causing her to miss work to the point she just gave up and retired from her once thriving Real Estate career, and ultimately severing a relationship with a brother she had once been very close to, you would think she would have been more proactive about her own health. But NOPE. For years, I begged her to eat right and I begged her exercise. I would give her health club memberships, workout equipment, a FItBit, nutritional supplements, etc., but couldn’t force her to do any of it.
Every time I engaged her in a conversation about it, she would come up with an excuse or change the subject altogether. She was really good at that. She was and in victim mode, and when someone is in victim mode, they don’t take responsibility they cast blame. It was so incredibly frustrating to have someone you love not take responsibility for something as basic as their own health.
As she grew increasingly more negative, I felt helpless as I witnessed her joy for life and her health suffer. She broke her leg from a simple fall, that could have been prevented had her health been better. Her rehab was difficult because she was so weak. She went into a depression and more serious health issues developed, that I feel were the ultimate outcome of poor mental/emotional state and lack of attention to nutrition and exercise (Mindset, Nutrition and Exercise; in that order). She is now in a memory care facility, against her wishes. This is as burden left for primarily for my brother, now her legal guardian, and me. We take on the responsibility of her care, selling her house, and living with the guilt that she lays on us heavily. And living so far away, I feel guilty I can’t visit her or help more.
There are unforeseen circumstances that may render us dependent at times in our lives, this is true. But when we become dependent on others from neglect of our own personal health….well, it’s inconsiderate. Many “health issues” can be prevented our cured with a change in lifestyle. Making a different choice every day to create healthier habits. Type II Diabetes can lead to a myriad of other diseases, to include Alzheimers. They are referring to Alzheimers as Type 3 Diabetes. So, you may lose your foot, your eye sight and your mind because of choices and habits you’re making NOW!
If that doesn’t concern you, then have the courage to improve your own health in order to potentially reduce the burden on your children and/or society. You will also find great reward in the quality of your life by doing so.
Depression and Anxiety could be due to lack of micronutrients; B12.
Did you know that our ability to absorb vitamin B12 decreases with age? In fact, research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that 4-percent of females between the ages of 40 to 60-years old suffer from a B12 deficiency. Combine age with certain prescription medications (i.e., for heartburn), drinking too much alcohol, certain GI disorders that affect absorption, and a lack of meat in your diet, and you could find yourself deficient in vitamin B12. B12 is not found in plants, so people who avoid eating animal products (I’m talking to you Vegans and Vegetarians) need to supplement with B12.
Vitamin B12 benefits your mood, energy level, memory, heart, skin, hair, digestion and more. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin in treating adrenal fatigue, multiple metabolic functions — including enzyme production, DNA synthesis and hormonal balance, as well as maintaining a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system. B12 is also required for the production of serotonin and dopamine, the feel good chemicals.