Mind & Body

Cholesterol Myth Here's The Truth

Cholesterol Myth Here’s The Truth

Recently, I had a female patient in her early 50s come into my office in tears. She was upset because she applied for life insurance at a premium rate and was denied for the sole reason that her total cholesterol was elevated. I want to share some of the information I gave her so you have the facts on cholesterol and how it’s a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

This patient is a professor at a local university, so she’s extremely intelligent and asked relevant questions. Is cholesterol a myth or a controversy? Is there valid debate surrounding the benefit of cholesterol medication or is the evidence and the scientific consensus on one side of the issue? Has data been manipulated by researchers to corroborate their theories simply so they get more grant money?

Cholesterol Myth Here’s The Truth

The Science of Cholesterol

atherosclerosis is an accumulation of cholesterol in arteries

It is clear that among adults in industrialized countries, one-fourth of all deaths result from arterial blockage caused by atherosclerotic plaques. ‘Total cholesterol’ is a phrase used to refer to all circulating cholesterol molecules and is totaled by adding LDL, HDL, and VLDL, and it is distinct from triglycerides. However, LDL and HDL are proteins which envelop and carry cholesterol.

The key thing about cholesterol is the size of the particle, the density of the particle, and whether or not the particle is oxidized. In a lipoprotein, you have proteins carrying fatty acids and cholesterol weaving in and through it. It begins as a chylomicron, which is basically a joint effort between your liver and intestines to absorb fat. Chylomicron becomes VLDL, which becomes IDL, which becomes LDL, which ultimately becomes HDL. As VLDL and LDL go around the bloodstream to distribute fatty acids and cholesterol to cells around the body, it becomes denser.

Apolipoprotein and its receptor site in the liver are key proteins that allow the liver to reabsorb fatty acids and cholesterol. Unfortunately, sugar can glycate and disrupt the apolipoprotein binding site, preventing the cholesterol and fatty acids to be reabsorbed by the liver.

LDL particles binding to LDL receptors on the cell membrane

LDL brings fatty acids and cholesterol from the liver and then circulates them to tissues. They move slowly and are susceptible to oxidation compared to HDL by free radicals. Unfortunately, sugar can oxidize LDL which then contributes to cardiovascular disease. This means that LDL is often named the bad cholesterol, but is ‘bad’ a pejorative term?

In 2016, 16 out of 19 showed an inverse relationship between total LDL and all-cause mortality. That means as total LDL went up, all-cause mortality went down, and vice-versa. Total LDL does not take into consideration the size of the particle or how much it’s oxidized. As a marker, we can use lipoprotein(a) because it only attaches to oxidized LDL particles. HDL brings circulating cholesterol and fatty acids back to the liver in order to clear them from the blood, be recycled, and hopefully removed from the body.

Cholesterol is essential for human health and plays important roles in cell membranes, and it’s a precursor to many hormones and vitamin D. The body produces about 2000 milligrams of cholesterol a day. To put that into perspective, an egg contains about 300 milligrams of cholesterol.

High cholesterol, particularly LDL, may be a compensatory physiological response to arterial injury, inflammation, and stress. Cholesterol is needed for tissue repair and is a precursor to stress hormones like cortisol. You can think of cholesterol as the body’s Band-Aid and attempt to heal the inflammation in the arteries. Cholesterol is not the culprit, but the middleman instead. Inflammation and oxidation are the culprits.

How Atherosclerotic Plaques Form

illustration of fat cells in the bloodstream

Inside every blood vessel is something called the glycocalyx, which is a fuzzy, furry lining. Unfortunately, oscillating sugars, foods high in lectins, and oxidized LDL can damage the glycocalyx. Once it’s been damaged, small LDL particles slip into the subendothelial layer of arteries. LDO and white blood cells called macrophages can slip though as well, forming a huge foam cell. Macrophages start to scavenge receptors for damaged, oxidized LDL particles, which attracts more oxidized LDL particles. This foam cell ultimately attracts calcium as well, ultimately leading to atherosclerotic plaque or hardening of the arteries. The blood flow through the artery decreases, and when it becomes destabilized, there are problems of heart attack and stroke. 

Research of cholesterol and its relationship to cardiovascular disease began in earnest in the 1950s, and then regulation of cholesterol metabolism was extensively studied by several scientists in the US in the 1960s. Cholesterol in the body can be derived from what is absorbed from diet, chylomicrons, and from what is synthesized in the body by the liver. The former type is supplemented by the latter if the required levels are not met. Once the former type of exogenous dietary cholesterol reaches its required level, the liver’s synthesis function of cholesterol is suppressed to prevent excessive production of cholesterol.

doctor holding chalkboard with LDL cholesterol written on it

The suppression of cholesterol synthesis in the liver is mediated through changes of an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, which catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to another compound. Changes in reductase activity are closely related to changes in the overall rate of cholesterol synthesis. The liver can take up both LDL and HDL, but it cannot take up oxidized LDL.

In humans, cholesterol is produced in the liver and when it exceeds what is absorbed from the diet, the liver backs off its synthesis. This suggested to researches and drug developers that the inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase would be an effective means of lowering plasma or blood cholesterol in humans.

Studying Cholesterol

Three-dimensional molecular model of Cholesterol

The controversy between cholesterol and cardiovascular disease began early. The first studies compared the cholesterol between rabbits and dogs, but other scientists sad, “No, that’s not relevant because rabbits are vegetarian and dogs are carnivores.”

The next study was called the Honolulu Study, which compared Japanese men living in Japan compared to Japanese men who moved to Hawaii. When they moved to Hawaii, their risk factors and rate of cardiovascular disease and stroke went up. Maybe environment or maybe diet has an effect here.

A famous study began in 1948, called the Framingham Heart Study, coined the term risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It’s since become part of medical dogma for cardiovascular disease and stroke ever since.

The next studies were on particular diets, and the first one looked at individuals moving from a diet high in saturated fat to a diet high in polyunsaturated fat. Sure enough, individuals moving from polyunsaturated fat had lower risk factors and incidences of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Drug companies said, “You know what? People aren’t going to change their diet, so let’s develop a drug.” They developed medications that block cholesterol absorption, an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, and a drug that work through the LDL receptors on the liver.

HMG-CoA reductive inhibitors work through other mechanisms as well. They’re anti-inflammatory, reducing C-reactive protein and decreasing advanced glycation end products. They’re the second or third most commonly prescribed drug in the United States.

Lowering Cholersterol

We know that lowering cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality, but ultimately, we just want to live a long and happy life. A meta-analysis looked at 11 studies with 90,000 total participants to see what the average lifespan increase would be. The average lifespan increase of individuals taking statin with a history of cardiovascular disease was only five to six days, and just three and a half days in individuals without cardiovascular disease.

An increase in LDL receptor statins can cause an increase in LDL receptors in the liver, which is great. They take in LDL, but not oxidized LDL, which can increase the ratio of oxidized to non-oxidized by 10%. When it comes to medication, about 25% of individuals have side effects to statin medications. 1 in 10 cannot tolerate statins, means taking two different statins at the lowest dose instead. Common side effects include myalgia, muscle soreness or pain, liver damage, and an increased risk for diabetes. It also inhibits the production of an important nutrient called CoQ10, which is metabolized by HMG-CoA reductase. If you take a statin medication, please supplement with CoQ10.

Making Diet and Lifestyle Changes

image of a bicycle created with vegetables

The fact is that the benefits of statins are severely limited without diet and lifestyle changes. In fact, a recent quote from Mayo Clinic doctor said, “You can overeat your statin.” A pill will never be a replacement for lifestyle changes.

You need to avoid saturated fats, trans fats, diets high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and unfiltered coffee. These things can exacerbate LDL and oxidized LDL. Skipping breakfast and other meals can be problematic, so eat small meals frequently.

Add more polyunsaturated fats, nuts, seeds, and fish to your diet. You should also add monosaturated fats like olives and olive oil. Specific foods that help LDL and oxidized LDL include rice, bran, oil, oat bran, soy, nuts, seeds, tomatoes, complex carbohydrates, foods high in stanols and sterols, and fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber. I recommend nine servings of five colors of produce each and every day.

Consider taking supplements like vitamin B5, niacin, calcium, chromium, garlic, copper, L-carnitine, and red yeast rice. Garlic has 17 positive studies showing it can reduce LDL and increase HDL. Red yeast rice is interesting because it works on HMG-CoA without the side effects of statins.

selection of keto diet approved foods

Keto and paleo diets are more effective than low-fat diets for LDL particles, oxidized LDL particles, increasing HDL, and decreasing triglycerides. Remember, the culprit is not cholesterol. It’s inflammation! You have to get free radicals, oxidation, and inflammation under control.

There are other important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke, like high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high homocysteine, high c-reactive protein, high lipoprotein-a, high fibrinogen, and high platelet aggregation. Looking at that list, most of these are indicators of high inflammation and not a high total of cholesterol.

The Need for Melatonin

woman stretching in bed after waking up

The final thing I want to point out is that melatonin is one of the most powerful antioxidants our body naturally produces. Melatonin is the sleep hormone produced at night when it’s totally dark, so make sure your bedroom is completely dark with no ambient light, no technology, no alarm clock, or television. Your eyes communicate with your brain when it’s completely dark to promote the production of melatonin. Melatonin is cardioprotective because of its antioxidant properties, so consider taking it as a supplement.

If you have questions about LDL and its relationship to cardiovascular disease and stroke, please let me know. I want you to understand the true relationship between cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. I’ll help you achieve and maintain optimal health.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

Epigenetics What really influences our genes

Epigenetics: What really influences our genes?

How would you feel if I told you the expression of your genes and the chance of developing certain health conditions are not set in stone? Imagine the possibilities to your health if that were true! Good news: it is true thanks to a subcategory of genetics called epigenetics.

Epigenetics developed about 20 years ago, just as the human genome project was wrapping up. The human genome project was a huge scientific effort to try sequencing human genomes, which had scientists studying the expression of genes. Scientists were left scratching their heads because the code or sequence of DNA was not necessarily the determining factor on how genes were expressed.

Epigenetics: What really influences our genes?

female doctor looking at strand of DNA

In human beings, cells are the fundamental working units. Some scientists say there are close to 37 trillion cells in the body, and inside every cell is a nucleus which contains the majority of genetic material and chromosomes. A chromosome is made up of DNA, and the DNA sequence is important because it makes us all unique.

DNA is made up of approximately 3 billion nucleotides and the sequence of the code is what determines our life instructions. Interestingly enough, our DNA sequence is quite similar to that of a chimpanzee. The codes are 98% the same, so it’s only a fraction of distinctly different sequences within the nucleotides making humans unique.

Within the 3 billion bases, there are about 20,000 genes and epigenetics acts like a switch that tells your DNA which genes to switch on or off. Epigenetics is influenced by almost everything, like what you eat, where you live, who you interact with, how you sleep, how you exercise, your development stages in utero, environmental chemicals, prescription drugs, supplements, and even how you think and what you believe. All of these eventually cause chemical modifications around your genes, turning them on or off over time. This is exciting news because it gives you’re the power to control the expression of your genes. It’s a game-changer!

DNA strands that look frozen

In certain diseases, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s, various genes will be switched away from a normal healthy state but knowing that genes are not set in stone offers incredible potential for wellness. Phenotype is the expression of genes whereas genotype is the genes you’re born with, and how your genes are expressed is determined by your lifestyle. This research came to light about 20 years ago from studies on identical twins with the same genetic code and DNA sequence. Expression of genetics is different based on choices and environment. Epigenetics puts the power of health in your hands and empowers your choices.

two female researchers working in a lab

Epigenetics is all about histone tails, which are the switches to activate the expression of your DNA. You can think of histone tails as remodelers, or even like the director of a movie. Every cell plays a part, but the histones are the directors that make a profound difference.

30 or 40 years ago, we believed that behavioral choices made a difference in life but scientists at the time said it was pseudo-science that didn’t matter. Now a deeper understanding of epigenetics is changing medicine, how you look at your health, and your lifestyle choices. There are now 6,000 studies a year on epigenetics showing how powerful it is, changing how doctors practice and how patients live.

Longevity Activator supplement by Zenith Labs

At Zenith Labs, we’ve created a supplement called Longevity Activator which helps the histone tails activate healthy genes. We want you to learn more and feel empowered about your health and wellness. When you understand how powerful your behavioral and lifestyle changes are, you can change how your DNA is expressed and change your future.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

BPA free phthalate free PFOA free Doctor's Advice

BPA Free Phthalate free PFOA free Doctor’s Advice

It’s exciting to talk about environmental health and wellness because there are some simple steps you can take to limit or avoid your exposure to certain toxic elements. I’ll teach you to identify the sources you are exposed to and show you how to limit them or avoid them to the best of your ability.

BPA Free Phthalate free PFOA free Doctor’s Advice

There are three different environmental toxins negatively affecting your health: BPAs, phthalates, and PFOAs. Let’s talk about each of them so you can avoid them in order to promote optimal health and wellness.

1. BPA

plastic water bottles containing BPA

BPA stands for bisphenol A and is a structural component of plastic found in many household products, including food storage items, water bottles, plastic dishes and cutlery, and food packaging. BPA can be found in many items with the recycling codes number seven or number three.

The problem with BPA in packaging is that the chemical can leach from packaging into the food or liquid contained within. High heat or extreme cold can accelerate this process, which means using microwaves, dishwashers, or freezers can cause BPA to leach even faster. Since so many products are packaged in BPA-containing plastics, exposure to this chemical is widespread to a majority of the population.

Why is BPA such a health concern? BPA is an endocrine disruptor, so it interferes with hormone levels and communication in the body. In particular, BPA impacts estrogen receptors in the body and is linked to increased inflammation, ovarian and breast disease, female and male infertility, early puberty, breast cancer, childhood neurological problems, and more.

colorful fruit salad in plastic cups

The good news is that even though BPA seems to be everywhere, you can reduce your exposure to it with some easy changes. One study showed that people who stopped eating foods packaged in plastic for just three days showed a 60% drop of BPA levels in their bodies.

Look for packaging made of glass, steel, or porcelain rather than plastic. When plastic cannot be avoided, choose packaging with recycling codes one, two, four, or five as they contain less toxic types of plastic. Start using the bulk bins at your grocery store to reduce the amount of food packaging you come in contact with. At restaurants, grocery stores, and retail stores, opt for emailed receipts whenever you can as printed receipts contain a considerable amount of BPA.

plastic bottle caps spelling out FREE

Be wary of plastics that are labeled BPA-free, since they often contain other bisphenols like BPS. The full health impact of other bisphenols is not yet widely understood by scientists, but they are known to leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals as well. It’s best to avoid them entirely if you can.

When it comes to your family, look for the MADE SAFE label on baby products and water bottles. Baby bottles, teething rings, pacifiers, and toys are often made with plastics that contain BPAs. In addition to being BPA-free, MADE SAFE certified products are made without other toxic chemicals linked to health and ecosystem issues.

2. Phthalates

phthalates written on multiple road signs

Phthalates are a class of common chemicals used to make plastics more flexible in consumer products like toys, vinyl flooring, call coverings, vinyl mattress covers, shower curtains, and plastic food packaging. Phthalates are also used as solvents or dissolving agents in things like detergents and lubricating oils.

You’ll even find phthalates in personal care and household items, usually listed as fragrance ingredients in nail polish, hairspray, aftershave lotion, soaps, shampoos, and perfumes. Because these chemicals are not tightly bound to other molecules in the products, they often leach from the plastic and into your body.

Phthalates have been linked to a range of health concerns including developmental and reproductive endocrine disruption. According to one study, phthalate exposure in males has been linked to lower sperm counts and altered sperm quality. In females, phthalates can alter thyroid function.

colourful plastic children's toys

A recent report from the Centers of Disease Control found that phthalate exposure is widespread in the U.S. among both women and men, but higher in women because they use higher amounts of soaps, body washes, shampoos, cosmetics, and other personal care products than men do.

The European Union has banned all phthalates from cosmetics and the U.S. banned some phthalates from children’s toys. Unfortunately, these chemicals are still widespread, and studies have shown that phthalates are present in the urine of 99% of individuals tested.

female consultant looks cosmetic products in plastic packaging

Phthalates can be difficult to avoid as most labels simply list them as fragrance or perfume. However, you can reduce your use of fragrance products overall. Opt for products that disclose all ingredients on the label and source scents only from natural ingredients. Read labels on nail polishes and avoid any that list DBP as an ingredient. Reduce your use of plastic wrap and other products made from PVC.

Try to eat less packaged food, since exposure occurs from drinking and eating foods that are contained in plastics. Remember that heat or cold can accelerate the leaching process. Write to your favourite food companies and tell them you want phthalate-free packaging.

3. PFOAs

molecular structure of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

PFOAs stands for perfluorooctanoic acid, which is also called C8 and has related compounds called PFASs. There are currently more than 3000 PFOA and PFAS chemicals in consumer goods in the U.S. While PFOA has largely been phased out, it’s been replaced by PFASs with similar properties.

nonstick pot cookware

You can find them in Gortex, Teflon, and in carpet or furniture that has been made flame resistant. PFOAs are very persistent, which means they stay in the environment. They’re also bio-accumulative, so they stay in the human body for a long time.

PFOAs are ubiquitous as well, as a 2007 study from the CDC found PFOAs in the blood of 99.7% of Americans. After a class-action lawsuit that revealed PFOA’s links to cancer and other diseases, the manufacturer DuPont actually began to remove PFOAs from their products.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to avoid PFOAs completely but you can switch from nonstick cookware to cast iron or stainless steel. Try to avoid stain-resistant materials like clothing, carpet, and furniture. Similar to BPAs, look for the MADE SAFE seal since PFOAs are not permitted in certified products.

Zenith Detox supplement by Zenith Labs

Remember, the first two steps for better environmental health are identifying and avoiding products with these toxins in them. Then, you can follow those steps with a healthy supplement. Zenith Labs has created a supplement called Zenith Detox, which helps your liver process toxic elements from the environment around you.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

Doctor Reveals His #1 Master Tip To Deal With Anxiety

Doctor Reveals His #1 Master Tip To Deal With Anxiety

Millions of people suffer from stress and anxiety, so we’re going to talk about a simple and effective strategy for improving anxiety. First, I’d like to share two different stories.

The first story happened to me a few years ago in San Diego. I was walking back to my office on lunch break and I passed a guy who was obviously homeless. He reached out his hand and asked, “Sir, do you have any money to spare?”

I honestly didn’t. I had no cash, just debit and credit cards. However, he was an engaging fellow so I talked to him for about ten minutes. The entire time, I kept gazing down at his feet.

He had no shoes, no socks, and his feet were in bad shape. They were cracked, discolored, and on the verge of infection. I continued to talk to him, learning his story and how he had fallen on hard times. I looked down at my own feet. I had shoes and I knew I was only a couple blocks away from my office.

Homeless man asleep on a park bench

“You know what,” I said to him, “I don’t have any money, but I want you to take my shoes. I’ll walk back to my office, it’s fine.” I gave him my shoes and pleaded with him to seek care for his feet because I didn’t want him to lose them.

The point of this story is that there’s a difference between stress, which is a human experience, and stressors. Stressors can certainly cause stress, but it’s more about our reaction to those stressors.

For example, this homeless guy had his wits about him. He had fallen on hard times, but he was still quite positive. His feet weren’t causing him stress, but they were causing me stress because I’m a doctor and I wanted him to be well. He wasn’t anxious though, so you can see there’s a difference between stress from human experience and the stressors that cause anxiety.

Doctor Reveals His #1 Master Tip To Deal With Anxiety
How Anxiety Affects You Physically and Emotionally

silhouette of a stressed out male sitting on a bench

Stressors can be in our environment or our social systems, and the anxiety from stress can be problematic both physically and emotionally. Physically, anxiety can cause sweating, palpitations, fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, or muscle tension. Emotionally, anxiety can cause worry, fear, irritability, apprehension, or sleep disturbance.

It’s important to note that stress is not the only cause of anxiety. Some may have neurotransmitter imbalances, hormone imbalances, or reactive hypoglycemia. Anxiety can also be exacerbated by caffeine or food allergies.

The Difference Deep Breathing Can Make

air traffic controller waving a plane in

Now for the second story. Several years ago, I had a patient who was a gentleman in his mid-50s with a very stressful job as an air traffic controller. He came in for an appointment with me and was on medication for both high blood pressure and anxiety.

During his appointment, he asked, “Dr. Shelton, is there anything else I can do to manage my stress and to help defeat the anxiety that I feel each and every day? Because it’s affecting my entire life.”

We sat down, reviewed his medical history, and made some changes to his diet and lifestyle. I also recommended a couple of botanical nutritional supplements to help with his blood pressure and anxiety.

The main thing I taught my patient that day though was deep breathing. I told him he only needed to engage in deep breathing exercises a few minutes every day to help with his stress, anxiety, and blood pressure.

man taking a deep breath of fresh air outside

He immediately replied that he didn’t have the time to do deep breathing or meditation, but I convinced him to do it for just a couple of minutes a day. I taught him a breathing technique that would use all three breathing muscle groups: the diaphragm which pushes out the belly, the intercostal muscles that expand the chest, and the scalenes which pull the chest up to the neck.

While there are many different deep breathing strategies, I taught him a simple one. Breathe in through the nose for eight seconds, breathe out through the mouth for eight seconds, and then repeat that process for as many minutes as you can.

The patient thanked me and it was about a year before he made another appointment. He came in beaming and was a different man entirely. He told, “Doc, I didn’t think I had the time for deep breathing exercises but I started with just a couple minutes a day and I loved it. It made such a difference in my stress and anxiety levels!”

At this point, he had progressed to 15 minutes of deep breathing a day. He was able to cut his dose of anti-anxiety medication in half and come off his blood pressure medication completely. A simple deep breathing technique, a few diet and lifestyle changes, and botanical nutritional supplements made a profound difference in his life.

Why Deep Breathing Exercises Have a Profound Effect on Anxiety

young couple enjoying the sunset together

The nervous system is broken into two branches. One is the musculoskeletal which moves muscles and joints, and the other is the autonomic which is essentially responsible for all the automatic things your body does. The autonomic is involved in heart rate, breathing, digestion, the gastrointestinal tract, the genitourinary tract, and reproduction and sex.

The autonomic nervous system is broken down again into two branches. The first branch is the sympathetic, which is the fight or flight feeling you experience when stressed or fearful of danger. The second branch is the parasympathetic, which is quite relaxing.

The captain, so to speak, of the parasympathetic nervous system is the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve controls basically everything from the neck down, like heart rate, respiration rate, and digestion. The wonderful thing about deep breathing exercises is that you can use them to change how the vagus nerve speaks to the rest of the body and change how respiration relaxes you.

Studies on Deep Breathing  

musicians playing on stage

Let’s take a look at two studies on the positive effects of deep breathing. The first study was done on a group of musicians from the Julliard School of Music, where there was a study group and a control group. The study group was instructed to engage in deep breathing exercises for 10 to 15 minutes a day and the control group was vaguely told to ‘relax.’

Scientists found that the study group had better vagal tone, sleep, preservation of safety, performance, coping skills, and focus. They experienced less anxiety just through deep breathing.

Emotions are not solely a phenomenon within the brain but are composed of body responses as well. These can include autonomic and behavioral responses such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure, skin conductance, and respiration. Among these physiological responses, respiration has a unique relationship to emotion. While the primary role of respiration concerns metabolism and homeostasis, emotions such as disgust, anger, and happiness also influence respiratory activities.

While respiratory change that accompanies emotions can occur unconsciously, respiration can also be voluntarily altered associating with an activation of part of the brain called the motor cortex. There may be no physiological expression for the association of the three areas of the brain that regulate respiration: the brainstem, the limbic system, and the cerebral cortex. The brainstem works to maintain homeostasis, the limbic system is responsible for emotional processing, and the cerebral cortex controls intention. If you’re able to grab hold of that vagus nerve, you can change how the brain functions and responds to stress.

three people meditating at sunset

The second study was done on Zen meditation practitioners. The scientists asked the study group to continue their practice, and then had a control group as well. The study group was asked to focus on deep breathing exercises with all three muscle groups: the diaphragm, intercostals, and scalenes. They engaged in deep breathing exercises for 20 minutes a day.

Compared to the control group, scientists found there were dramatic changes in heart rate, incidents of asthmas, abdominal pain, pro-inflammatory cytokines, blood pressure, anxiety, and mental focus.

young woman relaxing outside

Just 20 minutes of deep breathing a day caused these significant improvements in physiological function. The respiratory system listens and carefully remembers how previous stimuli affects breathing. For example, repeated slow breathing sessions trigger a respiratory memory to strengthen the ability of respiratory motor neurons to trigger the contraction of breathing muscles, even when you’re not thinking about it. This type of respiratory plasticity is known as long-term facilitation

If you can commit to a few minutes of deep breathing exercises every day and increase the length over time, you’ll see a difference in your stress, anxiety, and other physiological effects that stress can cause. Never doubt that small changes, like deep breathing exercises, can have a profound effect on your health.

Meditation in a Bottle supplement by Zenith Labs

Zenith Labs created a supplement called Meditation in a Bottle. It contains several botanical adaptogens that help with stress hormones such as cortisol. Meditation in a Bottle can help with adrenal health, along with reducing the amount of stress and anxiety you feel.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

Grass fed beef vs grain fed

Grass Fed Beef vs Grain Fed Benefits from a Doctor and Rancher’s Son

I just drove my boys eight hours across the country to Kansas so they could visit with their grandparents and I wanted to write this post from here for two important reasons. The first reason was to emphasize how deeply I value family. Not just my immediate family, but my extended family including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. If you can foster healthy relationships with your family, friends, and community, science shows that you will live a happier, healthier, and longer life.

The second reason I wanted to write this post from here is because of these cows. My family has operated a small cattle ranch for a few decades and there are a couple of important difference between their cows and conventionally raised cows. Number one, my father treats his cows like they’re part of the family, checking on them several days a week to make sure they’re happy, healthy, and well.

father and son standing together and looking at cows grazing on farm

Number two, the cows are always grass-fed. Let’s talk about the benefits of grass-fed beef versus conventional beef. First of all, it’s healthier for the cows because grass is their natural habitat and natural food. They never get placed in a stockyard with hundreds or thousands of other cows and they’re not fattened up with grain. They eat grass their entire lives, staying happy and healthy.

Raising cows this way is also better for the environment. Multiple studies show that grass-few cows have far less environmental impact than conventionally raised cows or stock-raised, grain-fed cows. For us, grass-fed beef has fewer calories than conventional beef, especially if you choose 90% lean. Even if you choose 85% lean, fewer calories exist in grass-fed beef compared to conventional beef.

Grass Fed Beef vs Grain Fed Benefits

Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef

grass fed herd of cows at grazing on green field

Grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fats, and we know that high saturated fat levels in the diet are associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many other chronic health conditions. These cows are never placed in a stockyard so they’re not injected with hormones or antibiotics, and they don’t develop any superbugs. When you consume grass-few beef, you’re not exposed to the antibiotics or hormones found in conventional beef.

Next, grass-fed beef contains higher levels of something called CLA (conjugated linolenic acid) which has been shown in studies to protect against certain types of cancers. Grass-fed beef is five times higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and protective against free radical oxidation. Grass-fed beef is also higher in micronutrients like vitamin A, vitamin E, lutein, and beta-carotene than conventional beef. On top of all of that, protein levels are higher and saturated fat is lower.

Tips for Grass-Fed Beef

grass fed prime rib roast with mashed potatoes and asparagus

If you’re new to preparing grass-fed beef, be sure not to overcook it. Take it out of the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temperature so you can cook it slowly on lower heat. If you cook it too quickly on high heat, you may lose some of the important advantages of grass-fed beef like Omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients.

There aren’t any disadvantages to grass-fed beef other than the cost. It is more expensive than conventionally fed beef, but I encourage you to buy it as often as you can because you will be doing your health a favor. You’re also doing the cows and the environment a favor. If you can afford it, purchase grass-fed beef over conventionally fed beef as often as you can. It’s healthier for you, the cows, and the environment.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

The Key To Happiness

The Key To Happiness | Doctor Shelton’s advice

Most of the posts here on the Zenith Labs blog are about health conditions and their potential solutions, but today I’d like to talk about happiness. Health and happiness are mutually exclusive, which is no surprise. You can make small choices in life without immediately understanding how they will completely change the trajectory of your life and happiness going forward.

Why are we talking about happiness? I value happiness both for myself and my patients. Recently, I was in a grocery store and saw a Time magazine article about the state of happiness in human beings. Dedicated researchers and scientists looked at the commonalities worldwide on how people can experience and create more happiness in their lives. There are several contributing components for happiness to familiarize yourself with.

The Key To Happiness | Doctor Shelton’s advice

Geography

map of northern European countries

Geography and where you live can either help or hinder your happiness. Some studies show that the economics of gross domestic products (GDP) of a country can increase happiness. Some northern European countries are rated as the happiest countries on Earth because the GDP per capita is quite high. This can translate to many years of healthy life expectancy and freedom to make decisions independently, both of which encourage happiness in individuals.

Generosity

happy young adults around a generosity poster

Generosity fosters happiness in your own life. Making a point of giving back on regularly feeds into your happiness, and also fights the perception of corruption or danger in your life. Being generous comes back around multiple times and encourages happiness.

Sleep

man and woman sleeping in bed

Something as simple as sleep has a dramatic impact on your emotional wellbeing. If you’re not getting an average of eight hours of sleep each night, I encourage you to start immediately. 42% of Americans get less than the recommended eight hours of sleep per day, which encourages happiness in your life.

Exercise and Being Outdoors

woman exercising and celebrating outside

Exercise and spending time outdoors can increase happiness. Exercise boosts endorphins and being outside increases the amount of Vitamin D your skin produces from the sun, both improving your overall health. Being outdoors also increases serotonin levels in the brain, which many psychiatrists say is the ‘happy’ neurotransmitter. Heading outdoors for a walk in the park or the woods will easily boost serotonin levels.

Good Posture

three women stretching on a bridge in the forest

Studies have shown that people who pay attention to correct posture are more enthusiastic and excited through daily life. Having good posture means standing tall, pulling back your shoulders, and pushing your chest out. Staying mindful of your body decreases your likelihood of being passive, sleepy, fearful, and intimidated. Smiling is another easy action that increases positivity and in many studies has been shown to lower blood pressure.

There are a few other factors that feed your happiness. 40% of your experience is due to behavioural changes and the choices you make. 50% is genetics, which you can’t control. 10% is circumstance such as your geographic location or economic circumstance. Life is happening for you, not to you, so it’s important to understand the things you can change to create more happiness.

Creating Your Happiness

a rainbow in a blue sky

People who do simple things to create happiness in their lives also end up improving their heart health, strengthening their immune system, and reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Focusing on happiness also makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight, manage chronic pain, and increase the longevity of life.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of creating your happiness, remember that every master in the beginning was a disaster. Start by identifying what things will foster happiness in your life and making a few simple changes.

If you’re an introvert, you may not enjoy the work of creating relationships, being vulnerable in front of other people, or talking about your feelings and your health. I believe in something called the collective consciousness and the idea that we’re all in this together. If you can tap into that collective consciousness, be vulnerable, and create shared experiences with other people, it will go a long way in creating happiness in your life.

If you still struggle with the idea of being vulnerable, remember that we are here because of creation. Create something by writing down your thoughts, grow a garden build a bicycle, or make art. Keep it simple and just create something that has never been created before, and it will feed into your happiness.

There will be challenges and obstacles in creating your happiness such as doubt, skepticism, restlessness, and worry. Creating something will help you feel like you’re contributing something to the collective consciousness and fight those negative feelings.

Everyone craves happiness, wellbeing, and great health, and you can have that for yourself through creativity and connectivity to community.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.  

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

Sleep Tips and Tricks Doctor's Advice

Sleep Tips and Tricks Doctor’s Advice

 

We’re going to talk about sleep today and look at some simple steps you can take to get a better, more restful night of sleep. I’d like to share a real story with you to illustrate some of these steps. Recently, my wife and I purchased a camper so we could recreate some of the childhood memories we both had with our parents. We wanted to give our boys, ages three and five, the same kind of experiences.

Our boys had never been camping before but they had a ball the first night. I woke up around daybreak the next morning, made myself a cup of coffee, and relaxed at the table. Across the camper, I heard some rustling going on in one of the beds. Sure enough, my three year old looked at me, rubbed the sleep from his eyes, and came to cuddle with me.

little boy sleeping with teddy bear

We sat silently together for a few minutes, then he looked up at me. “Daddy, I love this. I want to do this again and again. This is an amazing experience,” he told me. Normally, my three-year-old is very grumpy when he wakes up, but not this morning. This morning, he was calm, peaceful, loving, and cuddly instead.

As the grayness of dawn started to reveal the colors of day, my son got more excited about his experience. I wondered, “Why the change in this kid? Why is so calm? And so amazed with life?” After some thinking, I realized it was because he had a great night’s sleep.

Sleep Tips and Tricks Master Tip!

Why You Need a Good Night of Sleep

young woman sleeping under dark blue covers

Sleep is important because it allows your body to recover every night and perform essential metabolic processes, such as cleaning toxic proteins in the brain. During REM sleep, your brain is very busy consolidating short-term memories and turning them into long-term memories.

Unsurprisingly, a lack of proper sleep has been associated with a multitude of health issues. It can increase inflammation and impair focus, fat loss, insulin signaling, testosterone production, and cardiovascular health.

Getting enough quality sleep isn’t just a health necessity either. It can help you perform better mentally, physically, and sexually. Overall, a good night of sleep will make you happier.

5 Simple Tips for Better Sleep

Five simple things created a better sleep for my son when we went camping, and you can use these five tips to encourage a more restful night of sleep for yourself. These five things made a difference in his attitude and his psychological wellbeing for the rest of the day.

1. Light

young african american woman waking up in a bright room

The first night of our family camping trip, we basically went to bed at sunset. We did enjoy a campfire and s’mores, but soon after that, we read the boys a couple of books as the sun was setting and they went to sleep peacefully.

Lighting is important, so make sure it’s dark in your bedroom at night. Avoid having televisions or computers on in the room, and be careful of bright alarm clocks too. It needs to be dark in your bedroom because darkness signals certain cells in your eyes to tell the brain to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone.

In the morning, make sure you have access to the sunrise. When you wake up, light is a natural signal for your eyes and your brain to stop producing melatonin so you can wake up naturally and feeling refreshed.

2. Noise

Young couple asleep in bed together

Many of us have a lot of noise to deal with in modern society and our homes. On the second day of our camping trip, both of my sons commented on how amazing the new noises were. They were amazed by the natural noises they heard at night like crickets chirping, owls hooting, and coyotes yelping in the background. The natural background noise was calming and helped them sleep through the nights incredibly well. In the morning, the boys heard a different set of noises. Once the sun started to rise, they could hear the welcoming songbirds starting the day.

At home, make sure any artificial noises are turned off. If weather will allow, open a window so you can hear more natural noise. Those calming sounds will put you to sleep at night and help you wake up in the morning.

3. Temperature

bedroom with the window open and a breeze on a moonlit night

Make sure your bedroom is not too hot nor too cold. Of course, we had all the windows open in the camper for a nice breeze. Do what you can to create the perfect temperature in your room. If you’re too hot or too cold through the night, you will struggle with sleep.

4. Exercise

senior woman giving thumbs up with people exercising

The first day of camping was full of hiking and playing so the boys were super active all day, which helped them sleep very well at bedtime. Exercising and being physically active throughout your day will help your body shut down at night.

5. Cold Shower

close up of a shower head for a cold shower

When you’re camping, you don’t always get the benefit of a hot shower. It might be warm, but it’s usually lukewarm or cold, so all four of us took cold showers while camping. For millennia, humans have used either cold baths or cold showers just before bedtime to help calm the nervous system and prepare for sleep.

This recent camping experience with our boys reminded me how simple it is to encourage a better night’s sleep. Use these tips around light, noise, temperature, exercise, and cold showers to create restful sleep for yourself.

Never doubt the small changes in your life that can make an enormous impact on your health.

Sleep Wave supplement by Zenith Labs

At Zenith Labs, we’ve developed a supplement called Sleep Wave which contains herbs and melatonin. Along with the five sleep tips, you can use this supplement to help calm your nervous system and achieve a better, more peaceful night of sleep.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

STRATEGIES FOR STRESS

STRATEGIES FOR STRESS And How They Benefit Your Health

Do you feel tired all the time, drifting through most days in a sluggish state even if you’ve had a full night’s sleep? Fatigue disrupts your pep and vitality, your creativity, and interferes with your relationships. It also negatively impacts your ability to be a parent and to work productively each day. Unfortunately, fatigue has many different causes so it can be hard to track down the specific culprit. I’ve struggled with fatigue from time to time, so I want to go over some of the possible causes to your fatigue.

STRATEGIES FOR STRESS…

Common Causes of Fatigue

Lack of Sleep

man awake in bed at night suffering from lack of sleep

The most obvious cause of fatigue is a lack of sleep. It’s estimated that 60 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation. Even if you do get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, various factors like your hormone levels can affect the quality of your sleep and make you feel less rested. Two key hormones involved in your sleep cycle are melatonin and cortisol. The levels of these hormones fluctuate throughout the day and are a determining factor of your sleep cycle.

Melatonin and Cortisol

illustrated diagram of how melatonin affects the brain

Melatonin regulates the body’s internal biological clock and is most active in the evenings. There are receptors in the back of your eyes to sense when it’s dark and time to sleep, which increases the output of melatonin. However, production of melatonin can be easily disrupted by too much ambient light, working night shifts, or jet lag. When the production of melatonin is disrupted, so is your sleep cycle.

illustrated diagram of cortisol strands

Cortisol signals your body to be awake and responsive. It’s produced by the adrenal hormones and is usually most active in the mornings. Certain factors such as chronic stress, lifestyle, diet, and other health issues can cause irregular cortisol levels which can negatively affect your sleep cycle.

Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but chronic stress will take a toll on your health and leave you feeling constantly fatigued. Stress-related cortisol spikes will disrupt your sleep, weaken your immune system, and strain your cardiovascular system. On the other hand, long-term stress taxes your adrenal glands which can lead to a depletion of cortisol and fatigue.

Dietary Habits

balanced foods like nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables

Your energy levels are determined by what you eat because your body converts the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that you eat into daily energy. Therefore, if your diet is less than ideal, it could become a cause of fatigue. A diet high in refined carbohydrates such as pasta, white breads, sugary desserts, sweetened sodas, and fruit juices can contribute to fatigue.

Fatigue can also stem from what you’re not eating. If you’re not eating a well-balanced diet consisting of colorful vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, and healthy fats, you could be deficient in essential nutrients. Micronutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate or folic acid, iron, and zinc are also necessary for a healthy sleep cycle, which is why diet is so important.

Other Hormones

illustrated image of thyroid hormones

The thyroid gland affects almost every organ in the body, producing hormones that regulate nearly every bodily process from how fast your heart beats to how efficiently your intestines can absorb foods. The two main thyroid hormones are T3 and T4, and their production is regulated by another hormone called the thyroid-stimulating hormone. If any of these hormones are out of balance, you will experience fatigue.

Hormonal changes leading up to, during, and after menopause can cause excessive fatigue. Estradiol, progesterone, thyroid, and adrenal hormones are involved with regulating energy at the cellular level. Menopause can cause these hormones to fluctuate at random, so if you’re going through menopause, make sure to get those hormones tested and balanced.

A low testosterone level in men and women is also linked to long-term fatigue. Testosterone has several important functions in the body, impacting many areas of health including bones and muscles, immunity system, fat distribution, heart health, blood sugar, metabolism, hair growth, and hair distribution.

How to Cope with Stress

man meditating cross legged under a sunset sky

Having coping strategies for stress is important. Make sure you have tools at the ready, like deep breathing exercises, meditation, and socializing with your loved ones.

Often, I have family members and patients who come to me with a long list of symptoms. Many of them say they feel fatigued and want to focus on getting their energy back. I always suggest addressing any issues with sleep, diet, and stress levels. I also recommend adaptogen herbs like ashwagandha, Rhodiola, holy basil, cordyceps, Schisandra, ginseng, and Eleutherococcus. These herbs help the adrenal glands combat stress, plus promote relaxation and sleep.

Meditation in a Bottle supplement by Zenith Labs

If your energy level is at a six, that’s not good enough. It needs to be at a nine or 10 because we only get one chance at this life and you should have the vitality to enjoy it fully. Zenith Labs has a supplement called Meditation in a Bottle which I often recommend to patients to make a difference in their energy levels. It will help you overcome fatigue and give you the energy to connect with your community, get creative, and be mindful of how you feel again.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

Fight Aging Naturally with These Essential Hormones for Your Skin

Fight Aging Naturally with These Essential Hormones for Your Skin

While walking down the path of time, most people experience the effects of aging physically on their skin from fine lines, wrinkles, and dark pigmentations. If you struggle with the physical appearance of aging, I have some simple solutions for you.

female face wrinkles and skin imperfection

I had the honor of attending a webinar hosted by Dr. Terry Hertoghe, a world-renown physician expert in hormone therapy. During this master class, Dr. Heritage talked about hormone therapy and how it can improve skin health. The old adage was that our hormones decline because we age, but the new answer is that we age because our hormones decline.

woman looks at herself in the mirror

Fortunately, Dr. Hertoghe shared some practical solutions to skin health so that aging and its consequences may be unnecessary.

Hormone and peptide therapy can stop or even reverse the aging process, making you look 40 years old instead of 60.

It can even improve the outcomes of cosmetic procedures and surgeries. Whole health and balanced hormones improve your appearance from the inside out, reversing the physical aging of your skin, creating cellular rejuvenation, and improving the seemingly irreversible effects of aging.

Fight Aging Naturally Master Tip!

Which Hormones Naturally Fight the Aging Process?

doctor checking woman's skin

Growth hormone improves how your body distributes fat, improving both cellulite and muscle appearance. The physical appearance of the thyroid hormone dates back to 1889 when doctors starting seeing that a thyroid deficiency contributed to the aging process of the skin.

Women are usually after a youthful, feminine face which comes from female hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Decreased levels of these hormones can cause paleness, dry skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and even flat hair.

Estrogen deficiencies can cause a 70% decrease in feminization in females, and the effects are worse for males. Certain foods such as cereals and grains have been shown to decrease estrogen levels, so be cautious with your diet. After the age of 40, 25% of individuals have a testosterone deficiency.

hormone Oxytocin and chemical formula

Another hormone that Dr. Hertoghe talked about was oxytocin, the hormone of affection. If you’re deficient in oxytocin, you can’t feel well-connected to your spouse, your kids, or even your community. You’ll likely suffer from burnout, anxiety, and a loss of dignity.

hormone vasopressin written on notebook

Vasopressin is another important hormone, capable of reversing dehydration, smoothing skin folds, and improving sunken skin. Facial creams containing vitamin C, melatonin, and topical progesterone can help with pigment spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. Topical progesterone can improve skin health, plus positively impact low moods, nervousness, and anxiety.

Balance Your Hormones for a Youthful Appearance

young and old women's skin comparision

When it comes to hormones, it’s a delicate balance. You need the correct amount of hormones and you typically only need to supplement with small doses. Overdosing on hormones can create other kinds of problems, so have your levels tested and get appropriate prescriptions. Know that hormone therapy can take months, so you have to be patient with it.

In order to reverse the aging process, be proactive with your health and wellness. Don’t just wait for age to happen to you and hope you can decrease symptoms. Have your hormone levels tested so you can correct any deficiencies as soon as they’re detected.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

Master Tip to Help Collagen

The #1 Master Tip to Help Collagen

 

Everyone wants to look and feel healthy, youthful, and vibrant. A big part of that is diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin due to the aging process, as well as the appearance of dark spots due to sun exposure. We also want our joints to be pain-free and flexible, and we want our immune system to be powerful.

The #1 Master Tip to Help Collagen

Several years ago, I had a patient in her early fifties walk into my office with two large bags of cosmeceutical and topical agents that she was applying as part of her daily routine. She was frustrated because she was spending hundreds of dollars a month and thousands of dollar a year on these anti-aging products, but not seeing the results the marketing material promised her.

“Dr. Shelton,” she asked, “Is there something else that I can do to improve the effectiveness of my skincare products?”

We sat down, and one by one, reviewed the topical ingredients of the products she was using. Some contained well-researched ingredients, but some were just a waste of her time and money.

senior woman with hand on her face

At the time, I knew the importance of a diet that was high in antioxidants like vitamin C and E, green tea, lycopene, and coenzyme Q10. These antioxidants prevent the oxidative and pro-inflammatory chemical damage of the skin, collagen fibers, elastin fibers, and reticular fibers.

For this patient however, I dove deeper into the research and what I found was surprising. There were many research articles on the importance of oral supplements to promote healthy-looking skin. It makes sense, consider I’ve always believed that health and wellbeing start from the inside out, even for the skin. Let’s go over three oral supplements that are important for healthy skin.

1. Oral Collagen

collagen pills and powder with a glass of water

Oral collagen has been shown to activate skin stem cells, improve the skin’s response to growth factors, stimulate collagen genes, neutralize free radicals, and decrease the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers.

Preliminary results are promising for both the short and long-term use of taking oral collagen supplements for wound healing and preventing the signs of aging skin. These supplements increase skin hydration, elasticity, and dermal collagen density. When dermal collagen and elastin fibers break down, we start to see the effects of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.

relaxed middle age woman lying in the grass

Collagen supplementation is generally safe with no reported adverse effects. A randomized double-blind placebo control was conducted on 120 subjects who consumed either a test oral collagen supplement or a placebo for 90 days. Subjects who consumed the oral collagen had a significant increase in skin elasticity by 40% compared to those taking the placebo. In addition to the skin benefits, the consumption of the collagen product reduced joint pain by 43% and improved joint mobility by 39%.

In another study, after 12 weeks of taking an oral collagen supplement, visual assessment scores and three parameters of skin wrinkling were significantly improved compared to the placebo group. After just 12 weeks, skin elasticity, hydration, and wrinkling were significantly improved in the collagen supplement group compared to the baseline group.

2. Antioxidants

foods rich in antioxidants like salmon, nuts, and produce

You can get a range of antioxidants through a diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables, but certain antioxidants prevent the appearance of aging, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. You can supplement your diet with Vitamins C and E, CoQ10, lycopene, and green tea. Just be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and drink at least two cups of green tea every day.

3. Polypodium

Polypodium vulgare grows among thick moss

Polypodium is a herb, coming from a species of fern, that acts like an internal sunscreen when taken orally. To be clear, I’m not dismissing the importance of applying external sunscreen to protect against the damaging UVB rays of the sun, as those rays can cause dark spots along with exacerbating fine lines and wrinkles.

However, polypodium is one of the most studied herbal substances that has proven protective activity, along with green tea extract, carotenoids, and carotenes. In one study, the results showed that polypodium can be used as an agent to lessen the negative photobiological effects from UVB rays.

The use of polypodium has been reported to be beneficial in the treatment of atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, and psoriasis. It’s also useful for the prevention of polymorphic light eruption, sunburns, and squamous cell carcinoma. As I’ve already suggested to many of my patients, taking oral polypodium supplements can help with youthful, vibrant looking skin.

Collagen Refresh, supplement by Zenith Labs

At Zenith Labs, we’ve created a supplement called Collagen Refresh that contains many of these helpful ingredients. With a lemon berry flavor, it has an enjoyable taste. My wife uses it daily and has seen significant positive changes to her skin’s health.


Dr. Ryan Shelton of Zenith LabsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!

 

 

 

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