Posts Tagged ‘heart health’

heart health

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!

 

 

 

The Single Best Daily Habit To Prevent A Heart Attack

The Single Best Daily Habit To Prevent A Heart Attack

Did you know that every 40 seconds in the United States someone dies of a heart attack? You likely know someone who has suffered the devastating, often deadly effects of a heart attack. A heart attack is called the silent killer because we don’t know when and where it’s going to happen.

The Single Best Daily Habit To Prevent A Heart Attack

What is a heart attack?

man having a heart attack, clutching his chestA heart attack begins with inflammation, which can be caused by chemicals that your body produces, environmental toxins you’re exposed to every day, or damage from high blood pressure. Inflammation causes damage to the interior lining of blood vessels, specifically your arteries.

That inflammation begins to attract white blood cells and platelets which thicken the arteries over time. A heart attack is a silent killer because a small clot of that thickening can unknowingly break off, travel down the bloodstream, and cut off blood supply to the heart.

We have to get inflammation under control, and I want to share with you my favourite habit for preventing heart attacks.

The Best Daily Habit to Prevent a Heart Attack

woman holding a plastic red heart in her handsMy son Maxwell loves riding his bike every day, and that’s an example of my recommended habit for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. I recommend exercise and therapeutic movement for 75 to 150 minutes every week. If you can bump that up to 200 to 300 minutes per week, you would be doing yourself an even bigger favor and greatly reducing your risk of coronary artery disease.

My favourite kind of exercise to recommend is the exercise you will enjoy each and every day. Maxwell riding his bike is the perfect example because it’s an activity he enjoys. It’s a form of play for him and he doesn’t even realize he’s decreasing his future risk factors. Maxwell is just playing, moving, having fun, smiling, and gaining the benefits of exercise.

heart-healthy diet with fruits and vegetablesThere are other contributing factors that can cause a heart attack and it’s important to get them under control.

To reduce risk factors, quit smoking, get your weight within a normal BMI, limit your alcohol intake, get plenty of sleep, reduce stress, and eat a balanced diet. Be sure to limit saturated and trans fats, and get healthy fats instead, like omega-3, 7, and 9. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, aiming for nine servings of five colors every day.

Remember though, the best strategy to reduce your risk factors for heart attack and coronary artery disease is engaging in exercise. Moderate movement like walking, biking, or cycling will reduce your risk factors for cardiovascular disease.


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!

 

 

 

How Much Is Too Much Caffeine

How Much Is Too Much Caffeine? (Doctor’s Opinion)

Due to the boom in commercial coffee businesses and local coffee shops, there has been a significant increase in caffeine intake among adults, adolescents, and children over the past decade. This has also led to increased additive caffeine in common foods and energy drinks. All of this leads us to the question: How much caffeine is too much caffeine?

Caffeine is a drug

coffee beans coming out of a pill bottleCaffeine is the only drug that is present naturally or added to widely-consumed foods. In fact, caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug in the world, and one of the most comprehensively studied ingredients in our food supply. It is mildly addictive, which is one possible reason why makers of soft drinks add it to their products. Many coffee drinkers experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability, sleeplessness, and lethargy or fatigue when they stop drinking coffee. Like any drug, the effects of caffeine on the body are not necessarily wholly good or wholly bad. Caffeine is a substance that may boost your mood, metabolism, and mental and physical performance. Recent estimates in adults suggest that about 85% of adults in the US regularly consume caffeine, with an average daily intake around 180 milligrams per day, about the amount of caffeine found in two eight-ounce cups of coffee.

topdown view of electrocardiogram line made with roasted coffee grains with a cup of coffee and a red paper heartHistorically, the addition of caffeine was limited to soda-type beverages. Over the past decade, caffeine has been added to a diverse variety of foods and non-food items to promote arousal, alertness, energy, and elevated mood. The recent increase in caffeine-containing food products and energy drinks, as well as changes in patterns of consumption of the more traditional sources of caffeine, has increased scrutiny by health authorities and regulatory bodies of the overall consumption of caffeine and its potential cumulative effects on behavior and body physiology. Of particular concern is the rate of caffeine intake among populations potentially vulnerable to its negative effects.

Health and regulatory authorities have recently highlighted the risk of consumption of caffeine among pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescents, young adults, and people with underlying heart and health conditions.

Caffeine content in food and beverages

Coffee

cup of coffee next to a burlap bag with coffee beans spilling out of it onto the wooden tableA 15 to 20-ounce serving ranges anywhere from 150 to 400 milligrams per serving. The average amount of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup of coffee is about 95 milligrams, but we do not drink coffee as our grandparents did. They had a cup or two of Joe in the morning to get the day started. We go and get a huge cup of coffee, and that influences the caffeine intake.

The amount of caffeine in coffee depends on many factors:

  1. Type of coffee beans – there are many varieties of coffee beans available, which may naturally contain different amounts of caffeine.
  2. The roasting process – lighter roasts have more caffeine than darker roasts, although the darker roasts tend to have a more rich, deeper flavor.
  3. Type of coffee – the caffeine content can vary significantly between regularly brewed coffee, espresso, instant coffee and decaf coffee. Yes — decaf coffee does contain small amounts of caffeine, typically seven to 15 milligrams per eight-ounce cup.
  4. Serving size – one cup of coffee can range anywhere from 300 to 700 millilitres or one to 24 ounces, greatly affecting the total caffeine content that you’re taking in.

Teas

different glasses of colorful floral teas on a white wooden tableEarl Grey tea contains about 110 milligrams per serving, the highest amount of caffeine amongst teas. The typical black tea ranges between 50 and 80 milligrams per serving. Iced tea ranges from 50 to 60 milligrams per serving, and green tea contains about 30 to 50 grams per serving.

 

 

Soft drinks and energy drinks

tall colorful glasses of iced drinksMost soft drinks range between 35 and 50 milligrams per serving. Energy drinks can vary wildly between 100 and 350 milligrams per serving.

 

 

 

Chocolate

bar of chocolate with bits broken off and a teaspoon with chocolate powderChocolate contains caffeine, typically between eight and 15 milligrams per serving, though the amount of caffeine in chocolate varies by the percentage of cocoa it contains.

 

 

 

Medication

small piles of white pills next to a pile of coffee beans on a wooden tableCertain medications contain caffeine, like Excedrin and Mydol, about 60 milligrams per dose. It’s included because research has shown that the addition of caffeine improves the potency of certain pain medications. Over the counter weight loss supplements typically contain caffeine as well.

Caffeine has a relatively long half-life in most individuals, ranging from three to seven hours.

 

Risks and Benefits of Consuming Caffeine

man in a suit holding a massive cup of coffeeWe do know that caffeine has some benefits for mental alertness and mental performance. Coffee and tea are also high in antioxidants and many studies show that they can be potentially good for your health.

However, getting too much caffeine is linked to adverse health effects like anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, and restlessness. Research has concluded that consuming four to 500 milligrams of caffeine a day is generally not associated with adverse effects in most people. This is about six milligrams per kilogram body weight or three milligrams per pound body weight, an average of four to six eight-ounce cups of coffee a day. That being said, caffeine affects different people in widely different ways. Some are very sensitive to it and others can consume large amounts without having negative side effects. This is largely due to genetic differences.

a stomach on a pile of coffee beansCaffeine and coffee may, in fact, reduce risk factors for certain conditions like gallbladder disease, Parkinson’s disease, and type two diabetes. However, it can worsen certain health conditions such as aggressive and violent behavior, anxiety, heart arrhythmias or palpitations, bipolar disorders, essential tremors, fibrous cystic breasts changes, GERD or acid reflux, high blood pressure and hypertension, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, migraine headaches, and it can negatively affect bone mass density and contribute to osteoporosis. There’s a higher risk of miscarriage in pregnant women who consume large amounts of caffeine. If you have either irritable bladder syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome, it can worsen those symptoms as well.

In a recent FDA report, researchers concluded that there is insufficient evidence of safety nor a consensus of scientific opinion to conclude that the high levels of caffeine found in energy drinks are safe.

Medically speaking, caffeine overdose is defined as the following:

  • An excess of 250 milligrams of caffeine intake per day.
  • The development of five or more of the following symptoms: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, diarrhea, increased frequency of urination, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, tachycardia/increased heart rate, increased heart palpitations, periods of inexhaustibility or psychomotor agitation.

coffee beans spelling out the word coffee with the shape of a heart above itCaffeine withdrawal disorder is diagnosed with an individual who experiences clinically significant impairment related to withdrawal symptoms after abrupt stopping of caffeine intake, including headache, difficulty concentration, fatigue, nausea, flu-like symptoms, and changes in mood. These symptoms of caffeine withdrawal typically begin 12 to 24 hours after stopping caffeine and may continue for three to seven days.

 

Caffeine Sensitivity

As mentioned above, genetics have something to do with your levels of caffeine sensitivity. It all comes down to an enzyme system called Cytochrome P450. It’s a detoxification pathway in the liver, specifically the Cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP1A2. The Cytochrome P450 enzyme system is the same enzyme system that metabolizes steroid hormones. Thus, steroid hormones slow caffeine metabolism.

woman holding onto a cup of coffeeIn women, this effect slows the metabolism of caffeine during pregnancy and when taking oral contraceptive pills. Oral contraceptives are estimated to double the half-life of caffeine in the system. We know that cigarette smoking doubles the rate of caffeine clearance by increasing liver enzyme activity, which may explain the higher rate of caffeine consumption among smokers. Substantial alcohol intake increases the half-life of caffeine and decreases its clearance.

If you’re looking for ways to give yourself an additional energy boost, we’ve created a yummy chocolate drink called Cacao Melody. It’s made from the beans that ultimately are made into chocolate. It contains a small amount of caffeine and additional vitamins and botanical agents to improve alertness and energy. Check it out and let us know what you think.


dr ryan sheltonIf 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!

 

 

 

smoking

What’s Worse Smoking Or Alcohol (Doctor’s Opinion)

We’re all gonna die. It is inevitable. Excluding accidents and genetic causes, the most common contributing factor to how we die is how we live and lifestyle choices. So when it comes to lifestyle choices, have you ever wondered which is worse? Smoking or alcohol? We’ll be looking at the statistics and effects of smoking and alcohol to evaluate if one is, in fact, worse than the other.

About smoking

fingers holding a smoking cigaretteNo matter how you slice it, inhaling any amount of cigarette smoke is bad for your health. A new meta-analysis study in the British Medical Journal found that smoking just one cigarette a day can drastically increase the risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke. They found that men who had one cigarette per day had a 48% higher risk of heart disease and stroke. For women, the numbers are even grimmer. Women who smoke one cigarette per day have a 57% chance of heart disease and a 30% higher risk factor of stroke compared to non- smokers.

middle aged man breaking a cigarette in halfAlthough cutting down smoking has clear benefits (particularly for the risk of cancer), the reduction in cardiovascular disease risk is not as large as smokers would hope. Smokers need to quit completely (rather than cut down) if they wish to avoid most of the risks associated with heart disease and stroke, two of the most common and major disorders caused by smoking.

Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke accounts for about 1 in 5 deaths annually, about 1300 deaths every single day in the United States. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers.

young woman smoking a cigarette against dark blue backgroundThe tobacco epidemic is one of the largest, biggest health threats the world has ever faced. Tobacco kills up to half of its users, which is more than seven million people each year worldwide. More than six million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco intake while 890,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Around 80% of the world’s population live in low and middle-income countries where people are more likely to smoke.

If you’re a smoker, there is still hope. Quitting smoking before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking by almost 90%.

About alcohol

close up of hand holding onto a glass filled with whiskyPeople drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax. Alcohol often has a strong effect on people and throughout history, we’ve struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power over us. About 27% of people over the age of 18 have reported that they’ve engaged in binge drinking in the past month. 7% report that they’ve engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month. Over 15 million adults over the age of 18 have some kind of alcohol-dependency problem. This includes 9.8 million men and 5.3 million females.

An estimated 88,000 people, approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women, die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third most preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical activity.

close up of waiter pouring red wine into a glassIn 2012, 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9% of all global deaths, were attributed to alcohol consumption. In 2014, the World Health Organization reported that alcohol contributed to more than 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions. Most notably, liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries such as motor vehicle accidents.

So, smoking is a worse vice than alcohol. No cigarette intake is safe, whereas science does show that alcohol intake, particularly red wine or darker beer, may be protective in extreme moderation. Drinking one to two drinks a day can be beneficial, but any more than that and it can be extremely problematic.

What happens if you smoke and drink?

close up on a man's hand holding a glass of beer and lit cigaretteCigarettes and alcohol are often used together. Studies have found that people who smoke are much more likely to drink, and that people who drink are much more likely to smoke. Dependence on alcohol and tobacco is correlated. People who are dependent on alcohol are three times more likely than those in the general population to be smokers. People who are dependent on tobacco are four times more likely than the general population to be drinkers.

We all have vices. However, it is prudent to understand that some of your vices may leave serious impacts on your health. Quitting smoking and/or drinking in extreme moderation will help prolong your life. The good news is, there are options. You can reach out locally to organizations, societies, or your local physician to get help.


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!

 

 

 

Dairy and is it good for you Doctor's thoughts

Dairy: Is it good for you? Doctor’s Thoughts!

 

Many of our engaged and curious clients take time to write to us with questions, hoping for a deeper understanding of how to make smarter choices for their health. A common question came in recently: Is dairy really bad for you? The short answer is, ‘probably,’ but let’s get into the details.

Dairy: Is it good for you? Doctor’s Thoughts!

Why Dairy is Bad for You

spread of cheese and dairy products

A long time ago, the cows in parts of northern Europe went through a genetic mutation causing their milk to become full of a lectin-like protein known as casein A1. Once you ingest casein A1, it transforms in your body to become a new protein. This new protein is called beta-casomorphin and can cause autoimmune problems including diabetes. In fact, many people who complain of lactose intolerance and its symptoms are actually struggling from casein A1 intolerance.

In southern Europe, several cowherds never went through the genetic mutation, so they create a different protein called casein A2. Casein A2 is better for you and is not turned into the catastrophic protein, casomorphin.

Dairy is often called nature’s perfect food, but that’s only if you’re a calf. Dairy was evolutionarily created for cows and not for human consumption. If that sounds shocking to you, it’s because very few people are willing to tell the truth about dairy. Criticizing milk in America is like trying to go against classics like apple pie or baseball.

man trying to drink milk but experiencing lactose intolerance

Going against dairy is what we have to do based on the research though. Based on my experience practicing medicine, I advise most of my patients to avoid dairy products completely. I like ice cream and yogurt as much as the next person, but as a physician, I have to look honestly at what is known about dairy. From an evolutionary standpoint, milk is a very strange food for humans.

Consider this: the majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme needed to metabolize lactose, between the ages of two and five. In fact, the normal condition for most mammals is to stop producing the enzymes needed to properly digest milk from the mother after they’ve been weaned.

5 Reasons to Stop Consuming Dairy

woman refusing to drink a glass of milk

  1. Milk does not reduce fractures. That’s why we’re always told to drink it, right? For “strong, healthy bones.” Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the nurses’ health study, dairy may increase the risk of fractures by 50%.
  1. Less dairy actually means better bones. Countries with the lowest rates of dairy consumption, like those living in Africa and Asia, have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.
  1. Calcium doesn’t protect our bones the way we once thought. Studies of calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing fracture risk, and vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures. Focus on vitamin D instead by leaving your house or office and getting more sunlight.
  1. Calcium supplementation may increase cancer risk. Research shows that higher intakes of both calcium and dairy products may increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer between 30% to 50%. Dairy consumption also increases the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which a known cancer promoter.
  1. Calcium has health benefits that dairy does not, like reducing the risk of colon cancer. Not everyone can stomach dairy. About 75% of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products, which is lactose intolerance.

Don’t rely on dairy for healthy bones. If you want healthy bones, get plenty of exercise, sunshine, and supplement with vitamin D. Get your calcium from other food sources like leafy green vegetables, broccoli, sesame, tahini, sea vegetables, sardines, and fish. All of these are excellent sources of calcium and don’t have the bad effects that dairy does.

Test Your Dairy Tolerance with an Elimination Diet

coconut and coconut yogurt together

Try giving up all dairy by eliminating milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream for two weeks and see if you feel better. You should notice improvements in your sinuses, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, energy levels, and weight. After the two weeks is finished, start eating dairy again and see how you feel again. If you feel worse, you should give up dairy for life.

If you can tolerate dairy, use only raw, organic dairy products. Try focusing on fermented products like yogurt and kefir, but only for occasional consumption. A great substitute for dairy products is coconut products like coconut milk, yogurt, butter, and fermented options. Coconut has some tremendous positive benefits without causing the problems that dairy does.

Overall, is dairy bad for most people? Probably. There’s a small percentage of people, like 10% to 25%, who are fine with dairy, but I encourage you to try the elimination diet mentioned above. Take all dairy out of your diet for a couple of weeks, reintroduce it, and see the difference avoiding dairy makes.


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!

 

 

 

Your Bottled Water Could Be Harming Your Health

WARNING! Your Bottled Water Could Be Harming Your Health

When you were a kid, you probably drank your water straight from the tap or even from the garden hose if you were playing outside. Times have changed though and huge corporations worldwide are promising better living through the chemistry of bottled water.

Now, don’t get it wrong – if bottled water is your only source of hydration, drink it. Hydration is so important! Small choices in life though, like your source of water, can have big effects. Keep reading to learn about the potential hazards of drinking bottled water.

WARNING! Your Bottled Water Could Be Harming Your Health

The truth about bottled water

a flat of bottled waterIt’s estimated that one million bottles of water are purchased every minute. That’s 20,000 per second! Approximately 25% of bottled water is sourced from, you guessed it, tap. Companies filter and process the water but it’s still originally sourced from tap.

Four potential hazards of drinking bottled water

There are four potential hazards of drinking bottled water daily, and they all relate to each other. One hazard is microplastics, another is the disruption of the endocrine system, and then two specific microplastics, bisphenol and phthalate.

1. Microplastics

close up of plastic water bottle up in a hot car93% of bottled water contains microplastics, as heat and age increase the leaching of microplastics like bisphenols and phthalates into the water. For example, we don’t think of water as having an expiration date but leaving a bottle of water in a hot car is a problem. The longer water is in contact with the plastic bottle, the more plastic that leaches out.

Bacteria can also be a problem if the bottles are reused. One study found that more germs can be grown after just one week of reusing a plastic water bottle than on a toilet seat!

Along with these potential health problems, you can’t dismiss the impact bottled water has on the environment. Less than 50% of plastic water bottles are collected for recycling and nearly 80% end up in landfills.

2. Endocrine disruptors

mother drinking water with her sonThe different microplastics in bottled water are endocrine disruptors. They can potentially increase risk factors for obesity, diabetes, prostate problems, thyroid problems, neurodevelopmental, neuroendocrine systems, and male and female reproduction.

In 2009, US fertility rates hit an all-time low of 102 children per 1000 women, and one study showed a 60% to 200% more likely chance of IVF failure in women with high BPA levels.

3. Bisphenols

BPA in a plastic water bottleYou’ve probably heard of BPA before, a specific type of bisphenol. BPA was developed in 1891 and in 2008, world production of BPA hit 5.2 million metric tons. It’s a polycarbonate in water bottles that help to harden plastic and is now detected in 40% of all streams and rivers. It’s found in 90% of all U.S. residents, and the average daily intake greatly exceeds the recommended level of 50 micrograms per kilogram per day.

There are multiple potential problems with bisphenols. BPA binds to estrogen receptors. It’s been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. It causes progesterone deficiency in females. It causes testosterone deficiency in males. It binds to thyroid receptors, hindering the thyroid’s function in the body. It blocks insulin receptor sites, increasing risk of insulin insensitivity and diabetes. It increases high blood pressure, and of course, it’s an oxidative stress on the body.

Bisphenols are used to harden the plastic of water bottles, but they’re also found unsuspecting items like the store receipts you get, and they’re absorbed through the skin. Fat intake also increases the absorption of BPA, so if you’re drinking bottled water and eating fatty fast food, you’re increasing your potential absorption of BPA.

One study showed that each tenfold increase in urinary BPA is associated with an increased BMI, increased weight circumference, and an increase in skinfold thickness. The most troubling thing in this study? The highest amounts of urinary BPA were found in children and teens.

4. Phthalates

woman giving a thumbs down to plastic water bottlePhthalates provide flexibility to plastic but it’s not chemically bound to plastic, which means it can be easily released into the environment. It is rapidly cleared by the body in about 24 hours, but can still cause problems in those 24 hours. It can decrease testosterone, increase risk of breast cancer, and increase risk of obesity and insulin resistance.

There’s an interesting book called Slow Death by Rubber Duck, which is worth a read. This book showed that in two days of avoiding all plastics and then reintroducing them to the system, levels went from 64 nanograms in urinary excretion to over 1,400 nanograms.

woman holding a glass of clean water in two handsHydration is very important, so drink up even if plastic water bottles are your only water source. Just remember there are other options! You can drink water out of glass or stainless steel. Stay dedicated to your health and never doubt that a small group of people can influence the world.


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!

 

 

 

keto

The Ugly Truth About The Keto Diet

 

If you’re on a low carb ketogenic diet for weight loss, or if you plan on going on this diet or know of anyone who plans on going on this diet, you should know that there are hazards associated with being on a ketogenic diet, especially long-term. One of the most common problems to arise from being on a low carb ketogenic diet is nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies can have chronic impacts on your health and body.

Low Carb Diets and the Ketogenic Diet

There are three versions of a low carb diet:

  • lean meat next to a pink measuring tape and a sign that says low carb diet Eating less than 50g of total carbohydrates a day. This is also classified as a “ketogenic diet”. Apart from nutrient deficiencies, adopters of this diet may also experience “keto flu”, especially during the first two to three weeks of the dietary transition. Keto flu symptoms include low energy, fatigue, malaise, sore muscles, and trouble sleeping.
  • Eating less than 150g of total carbohydrates a day. Your liver stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. When you’re eating a low carb diet, your liver can generate some glucose or carbohydrates, and 150 grams is about what the liver can produce for you. You may feel kind of crummy, find yourself craving more carbs, or even experience keto flu even if you’re not in ketogenesis or producing ketone bodies. If you’re eating less than 150 grams of carbs a day, try eating more protein calories to balance it out.
  • Eating less than 250g of total carbohydrates a day. The average American eats a little over 300 grams of carbs, so if you’re eating less than 250 carbs, that’s also considered a low carb diet, although it’s not considered a ketogenetic diet.

Nutrient Deficiencies on a Ketogenic Diet

ketogenic diet foods A large study done back in 2010 showed that out of the 27 essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals that are typically included in a well-balanced whole food diet), six micronutrients plus four minerals can become deficient on a ketogenic diet. In the study, they were all identified as being consistently low, and they have a high likelihood of continuing to be low the longer that you’re on a ketogenic diet.

 

The four minerals that tend to be deficient on a ketogenic diet are:

  1. Sodium: If you’re on a ketogenic diet, make sure that you’re getting enough sodium. It’s important for so many processes in the body. Whilst an excess of sodium may be harmful, there is still a minimal amount that you should intake. Target about 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of sodium intake a day. You can easily achieve this through seasoning foods with pink Himalayan or Celtic salt, using broth or bullion, or eating shellfish.
  2. spinach, pumpkin seeds, avocado, nuts, and tomatoes on a tablePotassium: Potassium-rich foods include spinach, chicken breast, salmon, beef, avocado, broccoli, asparagus, and mushrooms. Eat these foods while you’re on a ketogenic diet.
  3. Magnesium: Magnesium is important for over 350 enzymatic or enzyme processes in the body. It can become deficient when you’re on a ketogenic diet. Magnesium-rich foods include spinach, dark leafy green vegetables like Swiss chard and kale, pumpkin seeds, oysters, yogurt, and avocado.
  4. Zinc: Zinc is high in red meat, shellfish, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and eggs. It is one of the four important minerals for you to pay attention to if you’re on a ketogenic diet.

There are also six micronutrients that can become deficient when following a ketogenic diet:

  1. Vitamin B7 foods such as green peas, eggs, cheeseVitamin B7: Also known as biotin, vitamin B7 can be found in meats, eggs, nuts and seeds, salmon, dairy, avocados, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, and dark leafy green vegetables.
  2. Vitamin D: Vitamin D has had a tremendous amount of research of late because of its negative associations with chronic health disease, chronic cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Vitamin D is a unique vitamin that most people don’t get enough of. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 40% of American adults have a vitamin D deficiency. This vitamin is made from cholesterol in your skin when it’s exposed to the sun. That’s why getting enough sunlight is very important for maintaining optimal vitamin D levels. At noon, the sun is at its highest point and the UVB rays are most intense. That means you need less time in the sun to make sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Many studies also show that the body is most efficient at making vitamin D around noontime. For example, in the UK, 13 minutes of midday sunlight exposure during summer three times per week is enough to maintain healthy levels among Caucasian adults. Another study found that 30 minutes of midday summer sun exposure in Norway was equivalent to consuming about 10,000 to 20,000 international units of Vitamin D.

back of a woman in a bikini with sunscreen spelling the word sun on her backThe commonly recommended dose of Vitamin D is about 600 IUs if you take it as a supplement, but natural sunlight is always best. Not only is getting vitamin D around midday more efficient and more effective, but it might also be safer than getting some later in the day. One study found that afternoon sun exposure may actually increase your risk for dangerous skin cancers. Some scientists recommend exposing only around a third of your body area to the sun.

According to this recommendation, wearing a tank top and shorts for 10 – 30 minutes a day, three days per week, should give you adequate amounts of vitamin D. Just make sure to prevent burning if you’re staying in the sun for a long time. Instead, try going with some sunscreen after you have your 10 – 30 minutes of exposure.

  1. foods with vitamin E such as nuts and seeds on a round wooden trayVitamin E: Another vitamin that can become deficient on a keto diet. Make sure you get enough of these vitamins in your diet. Vitamin E rich foods include nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, seafood, avocado, bell peppers, mango, and dark leafy green vegetables.
  2. Chromium: Chromium can also become deficient in a ketogenic diet. Chromium-rich foods include those dark, leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, red meat, green beans, and eggs.
  3. Iodine: Iodine can become deficient in a ketogenic diet, but can be replenished by consuming seafood and iodized salt.
  4. a bunch of green beansMolybdenum: Molybdenum is rich in beans and legumes, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds, dark, leafy green vegetables, eggs, and tomatoes.
  5. Essential fatty acids: Finally, essential fatty acids can become deficient in a ketogenetic diet if you’re not choosing the right kinds of protein that are rich in omega-3, omega-7, or omega-9 fatty acids. You can find these in nuts and seeds, seafood, and avocados.

Nutrient deficiencies tend to be problematic when you’re on a ketogenic diet. You should consider supplementation if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you’re an adult over the age of 50
  • If you don’t get enough sun
  • If you’re not getting enough calories on the ketogenic diet
  • If you’re not eating a wide variety of foods, including vegetables, meats, and fish
  • If you’re a vegetarian
  • If you have a medical condition that affects your health otherwise

Omega 3-7-9 + Krill by zenith labsThis does not make the ketogenic diet a bad diet to be on, it just means you have to be aware of your intakes. If you’re on it long-term (i.e. more than four to six weeks), know that there is a real chance you may become nutrient deficient if you don’t pay attention to your specific food intakes. Consult with your physician before starting any diet.

We’ve actually created a tremendously physician-grade effective omega supplement. It’s called Omega 3-7-9 plus Krill. It contains adequate amounts of omega 3-7-9, plus krill oil. Check it out because essential fatty acids is one of the deficiencies you may experience on a keto diet.


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!

 

 

 

Pill Nation Doctor Speaks Out

 

Instead of talking about a specific health condition in this article, we’re going to touch on a topic I’m quite passionate about. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I ultimately decided to become a naturopathic medical doctor. It’s something I call, ‘pill nation.’

Pill Nation Doctor Speaks Out

An important disclaimer

small glass jars of pills, supplements, and medicine

First, let’s start with a disclaimer: many medications are essential for maintaining good health and you should never discontinue a medication without speaking to the prescribing physician first. Many supplements, whether nutritional or botanical, are great for supporting health and wellness. Again, you should not discontinue these supplements without checking in with the individual who recommended or prescribed them to you.

Alarming facts around pill dependency

pile of different pills

There’s an alarming trend that’s been developing in America over the last few decades, and unfortunately, other countries around the world are following our patterns.

In the year 2000, 50% of Americans were taking at least one medication. Fast forward to 2012 and that number jumped up to 60%. During that 12-year gap, the number of people taking five or more medications doubled from 8% to 16%, and these numbers are still increasing every year.

Why are people taking more than five medications? There are many factors. We know that medications can cause side effects, so some doctors prescribe additional medications to treat the side effects of the first, second, or even third medication. Another key factor is due to the legal changes that happened in the early 1980s. Legislation was passed by Congress and Ronald Reagan, president at the time, allowing for direct to consumer marketing and advertising.

handful of different pills

This new legislation took some of the power from a physician. A physician would typically review your medical history, give you a physical exam, make a proper diagnosis, recommend a treatment, and probably prescribe medication. Thanks to the new legislation though, big pharma companies were able to bypass this practice of medicine by marketing directly to people. Suddenly there were commercials on TV, sometimes with cartoons involved but always with happy people.

Patients turned into consumers, visiting the doctor, requesting a certain medication based on an advertisement they saw, and having the doctor sign off on it. This trend is still on the rise. In 2014, 4.3 billion prescriptions were written, equaling $375 billion – and that doesn’t even include over the counter medications or supplements. In 2014, roughly a third of Americans were taking at least one nutritional or botanical supplement, equaling $5 billion. We’re becoming increasingly dependent on pills.

Why it’s dangerous to depend on pills

young woman sorting through her pills

Why is the idea of a ‘pill nation’ so alarming? Some pills certainly cause side effects and some pills can actually cause disease. A common one is proton pump inhibitors. Proton pump inhibitors are quite effective at reducing acid reflux, but they’re almost too effective. They can decrease your acid to the point where you’re not able to extract and absorb certain nutrients anymore.

If you’re not absorbing nutrients because of low stomach acid, you can face mood changes, physical pain, increased rates of asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even osteoporosis.

In 2018, John Hopkins University showed that due to medical errors and excessive medications, modern medicine is now the third most common cause of death. I believe that most doctors intend to help with health, but the trend of individuals taking more and more pills is alarming.

Good health begins with you

close up of herbal pills

Instead of immediately turning to pills, remember that good health begins with you. If you follow a healthy diet, engage in physical activity, balance your hormones, and reduce stress in your life, you can make tremendous strides in your health and wellbeing.

The next step in creating your good health is adding in nutritional or botanical supplements. Look for companies that do in-house testing and third-party testing to ensure the potency and purity of the ingredients. If you do need medication for a health condition, remember to consult with a physician instead of blindly following an advertisement. You can have a dramatic impact on your health with the right lifestyle changes.


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!

 

 

 

long life

The 5 Commandments Of Eating Healthy To Live A Long Life

If you’re feeling inundated, overwhelmed, and confused about the best dietary nutritional program that you should eat to reduce your risk factors for chronic health conditions – you’re not alone. There’s tons of information online and tens of thousands of scientific research articles to examine just this topic.

Fortunately, there are a few common trends that come up over and over again, and the medical scientific community (for the most part) are behind these recommendations because they consistently show that they’re successful in reducing risk factors for chronic health conditions and promote optimal health and wellness. For the sake of this post, we’ll call them the Five Commandments of Healthy Eating.

I’ve made some other posts about foods to avoid. And if you haven’t seen them, I encourage you to check them out. And again, the scientific community is, for the most part, agreed upon these, like avoiding or limiting trans fats, avoiding or eliminating fried foods and fast foods, avoiding or eliminating refined sugars, and avoiding any kind of food allergy or food sensitivity that you may have. Some research articles show that Americans may have as many as one to three food sensitivities or food allergies in as many as 25 to 33% of Americans.

The five commandments of healthy eating

1. Increase fruit and vegetable intakes

various fresh fruits and vegetables laid out on a table

Research has shown that as few as 10 to 15% of Americans are consuming adequate recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Fruits contain important macronutrients and micronutrients, complex carbohydrates, protein, essential fatty acids, and fiber.

Fiber is an important macronutrient that is severely under-consumed by Americans. It’s recommended that you take in roughly 40 to 50 grams of fiber a day. Fiber is only found in the vegetable/fruit kingdom where we get those insoluble fibers, which research consistently has shown may reduce risk factors for the development of certain kinds of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Plus fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, polyphenols, and proanthocyanidins, that are important for every cellular function in the body. It is recommended to have nine servings of five colors each and every day.

2. Get sufficient essential fatty acids

different omega 3-and essential fatty-rich foods such as salmon, eggs, nuts and seeds

A report in 2010 showed that most Americans were not getting adequate amounts of essential fatty acids. The recommended intake is one gram per day (of both EPA and DHA), and even higher amounts if you have a pre-existing medical condition such as cardiovascular disease, or if you’re pregnant or lactating. Essential fatty acids can be found in seafood, nuts seeds, avocados, olives, and olive oil.

 

3. Plan meal schedules

a breakfast table with salad, fresh juice, eggs, fruits, croissants, and a cup of coffee“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”. Most individuals are backward to that. They have a scant breakfast or they skip breakfast altogether. They have a modest lunch, and they have a huge dinner. This can be detrimental for blood sugar control and cardiovascular disease. Make sure to get most of your calories in the morning, have a modest lunch, and fewer calories for dinner.

4. Include cruciferous vegetables

top down view of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sproutsCruciferous vegetables are high in indoles, sulforaphane, DIM, and kaempferol. Each of these components have been independently studied to reduce risk factors for the development of certain types of cancer. We also know that cruciferous vegetables are very helpful for both phase one and phase two detoxification pathways in the liver. We’re all carrying chemicals so we could do with a little help in detoxification. Include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and chard in your diet.

5. Eat organic

woman carrying a large wooden crate of fresh organic vegetablesIf possible, wherever possible, eat organic. They contain higher amounts of essential vitamins and minerals than non-organic produce. In addition, non-organic produce has been shown to contain a higher level of pesticide, herbicide, and fungicides. There are 12 foods that are particularly high in these chemicals: strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes. If eating organic is too expensive, try to just eat organic for these 12 foods at least so as to avoid the consumption of these chemicals. Plus, organic foods inherently contain higher amounts of essential probiotics, the healthy bacteria for our gut, for our brain, for our immune system.

So, there you have it – the five commandments to healthy eating! Let us know what rules you abide by for a healthier life and your experiences with these five commandments.


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!

 

 

 

fasting

Intermittent Fasting for Longevity

 

If you’re looking for the perfect meal to roll back the clock, stop embarrassing aging symptoms, and make you feel younger at the cellular level, this is it! You don’t have to give up your favorite foods for good, but if you’re looking for a way to ease aching joints, reduce fine lines and wrinkles on your face, and turn your body’s metabolism back up to where it needs to be to lose weight and reclaim your mental sharpness, then fasting should be a part of your diet. You should incorporate it now as part of your yearly routine.


thin woman trying to stop an overweight woman from eating a burgerStudies show that fasting — when done right — can actually stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce body fat, and combat inflammation. In fact, many cultures attribute their long, healthy lifespans to regular fasting. Here’s the catch: You can’t just stop eating. There’s a very specific and measured way you need to incorporate fasting to get the best results.

That’s exactly what is revealed in this brand new, Anti-Aging Masterclass. When you claim your spot for this master class, you’ll learn how to start reaping the rewards of fasting without going hungry or giving up your favorite foods, all while rolling back the clock naturally to make you look and feel younger.

We’re offering unlimited access to this Anti-Aging Masterclass for free if you claim your spot today. Click the link right now to get started! Bon appetite!


dr ryan sheltonIf 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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