Posts Tagged ‘mind and body’

mind and body

Vaping vs Smoking

Vaping vs Smoking

Someone recently asked us if vaping was safer than smoking, and this question was particularly intriguing to me. It’s a rather new human behavior and very little is known about it. I love research though, so I decided to find out as much as I could about the subject and share the information with you.

First of all, I want to assure you that we are not going to pull a new rabbit out of an old hat – both vaping and smoking are bad, and I want to be clear about that. The simple answer through research is that yes, vaping may be less harmful. It’s not that vaping is healthier, but simply less harmful than smoking cigarettes.

Vaping vs Smoking

What is Vaping?

close up of female vaping with cloud of smoke

Over 500 articles have been published on vaping in the last few years, but very few of them are direct comparisons on the health risks or benefits of vaping versus smoking cigarettes. E-cigarettes are devices that produce an aerosol by heating a liquid containing various chemicals including nicotine, flavorings, and other additives. Users inhale the aerosol and those additives into their lungs. The aerosols produced by e-cigarettes can contain harmful chemicals such as heavy metals, lead, volatile organic compounds, ultra-fine particles, potentially cancer-causing chemicals, and other agents used for cleaning the device. Over 80 compounds are inhaled every time that you use an e-cigarette. Compare that to over 7,000 chemicals that are inhaled every time you smoke a cigarette!

electronic cigarette lying next to regular cigarettes

There has been a recent epidemic of e-cigarette users going to their doctor or even the emergency room because of lung disorders. The onset of respiratory findings, which can include nonproductive cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath, can occur several days or weeks before hospitalization. Systemic findings can include fast heart rate, fever, chills, fatigue, GI distress, and diarrhea preceding the lung symptoms.

Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based smoking cessation treatments, including counseling, nicotine replacement, and FDA-approved medications. Those who need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, should contact their medical provider.

Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Tobacco Cigarettes?  

man holding electronic cigarette and tobacco cigarettes

Smoking tobacco cigarettes is the primary cause of preventable cardiovascular deaths in the United States, and stopping the use of tobacco has long been the focus of public health organizations. According to the Surgeon General Report in 2014, rates of smoking in the US have reached historic lows. Parallel to the decline in cigarette smoking is the use of electronic cigarettes, which were introduced to the US in 2007. The market has since increased, especially among young people, which is a major concern. 3.1 million high school students in 2018 used e-cigarettes or vaped, and only 600,000 of them are illegal age.

E-cigarette use may be less harmful than tobacco use, but it comes with its own risks. Usage has increased from 700,000 users in 2012 to 3.2 million users in 2018. The effects of e-cigarettes on long-term cardiovascular health are rather inconclusive but still concerning. Multiple studies have shown temporary increases in oxidative stress, inflammation, vascular dysfunction, and platelet aggregation as well. These effects are consistent with the properties of nicotine, though the other components of e-cigarette emissions may also contribute to this.

E-cigarette use is less carcinogenic than tobacco smoke, as tobacco smoke is associated with lung cancer and other cancers throughout the body. It’s the number one risk factor for cardiovascular disease in the United States and worsens virtually every health condition we’re aware of. Tobacco smoke weakens the walls of the lungs, so we got plenty of air when we breathe in, but there’s little lung tissue left which means we’re not actually delivering air to the vital cells of our bodies.

vaporiser with different flavors on tabletop

Now let’s be clear: the vapor of e-cigarettes contains less harmful substances than tobacco smoke, but e-cigarettes are not a hazard-free lifestyle product. Just like tobacco, e-cigarettes cause inflammation of the lungs. E-cigarettes are also associated with a higher rate of illicit drug use because other drugs can be used in the vaporizing units.

Vaping with e-cigarettes may be less harmful to your health than tobacco cigarettes and less associated with cancers, but they have their own acute symptoms to be aware of. There’s a recent epidemic of e-cigarettes because of market increase and adulterated agents that you can put in the vaporizers, causing more individuals to need emergency room visits.

If you smoke tobacco, you should certainly move to e-cigarettes. If you use e-cigarettes, work with your healthcare provider to come up with techniques for quitting permanently.


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!  

 

 

 

Are you Gluten Free Or Is It Just More Marketing...

Are you Gluten-Free Or Is It Just More Marketing…

It’s difficult nowadays to go a week without encountering someone who claims to have a gluten allergy, but in reality, many people who have diagnosed themselves with a gluten allergy are actually suffering from a gluten sensitivity.

Are you Gluten-Free? Or Is It Just More Marketing…

Gluten-Free by the Numbers

breads, pastas, rice, and other foods with gluten

Gluten-free dieting has gained considerable popularity with the general population. Between 2004 and 2011, the market for gluten-free products reached an annual growth rate of 28%, with sales in 2012 hitting $2.6 billion. In 2012, Amazon listed about 4,800 gluten-free entries, but today lists over 18,000. A Google search at the same time for a gluten-free diet produced 4.2 million results but now has over 375 million results!

The number one reason consumers cite for buying gluten-free products is that they are perceived to be healthier than options containing gluten. Endorsements from celebrities have also contributed to the increased interest of possible health benefits from avoiding gluten, including potential weight loss. In 2014, the annual market share of gluten-free was at $5.94 billion. The global gluten-free market size was estimated at $17.59 billion in 2018 and is expected to expand at a rate of 9% from 2019 to 2025.

It’s estimated that only between 3 and 10% of the population may have a gluten sensitivity, so something is going on here. Are there more people with a gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity, or is the public simply becoming more aware of it because of marketing strategies? Are gluten issues a myth or a real problem?

Living as a Gluten-Free Family

two women preparing a gluten-free meal together in the kitchen

This topic is near and dear to me because I have some personal experience with it. A little over seven years ago, I met and started dating the woman who is now my wife. She eventually shared with me that she suffered from chronic migraines and a skin problem she simply called, ‘itchy bumps.’ These bumps were basically systemic urticaria or hives. As her boyfriend at the time, I asked if she had ever tried to manipulate her diet to see if she was sensitive to anything she was eating. She ended up removing gluten from her diet and hasn’t had a migraine or any itchy bumps ever since.

Now I live with my wife and our two boys in a gluten-free home. I’m not sensitive to gluten but we find it easier to just prepare one gluten-free meal for all of us to eat as a family. I don’t mind at all because the gluten-free options now available are delicious and you can’t tell the difference most of the time.

Sources of Gluten

burger, beer, and fries with gluten on a table

Gluten is a protein consisting of gliadins and glutenins, found in foods processed from wheat and related grains like barley bulgur, couscous, farina, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt, rye, and oats. Although oats do not contain the protein gliadin so most people who are simply gluten sensitive can eat oats. Those with celiac disease, a true wheat gluten allergy, tend not to do well with oats.

You do need to watch for hidden sources of gluten including malt, soups, broths, bouillons, cold cuts, French fries, processed cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, soy sauce, salad dressings, sausages, hotdogs, fried veggies with tempura, gravy, canned baked beans, chocolate milk, foods that are breaded, energy bars, wine coolers, meatballs, meatloaf, veggie burgers, roasted nuts, beer, and some vitamins and supplements. You also have to watch out for some topical agents like shampoos, cosmetics, and even pet food.

It’s important to be aware that gluten does not necessarily equal wheat. Gluten is in a variety of products and if you are sensitive or allergic to gluten, you must carefully read ingredient lists.

A Range of Gluten Disorders

wheat intolerant woman holding bread showing her stomach

There is a spectrum of gluten-related disorders including wheat allergy, gluten sensitivity, and celiac disease. Wheat allergy is an adverse immunologic reaction to specific proteins just in wheat. A wheat allergy can be treated with wheat avoidance, which means a wheat-free diet can be more permissive than a strict gluten-free diet.

Gluten sensitivity, also referred to as non-celiac gluten sensitivity or intolerance, is characterized by a heightened immunological reaction to gluten in genetically susceptible people. For a clinical diagnosis, it’s generally based on responses to a gluten-free diet. Common symptoms of gluten sensitivity include fatigue, headaches, and skin problems. Symptoms usually include GI distress as well, like gas, bloating, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. All of these symptoms frequently improve with the adoption of a gluten-free diet.

illustration of the intestines and bowels

The inherent subjectivity in the diagnosis and resolution of these symptoms likely contributes to the popularity of gluten-free diets. There is some data to suggest that following a gluten-free diet may improve GI or systemic symptoms in individuals with lupus, dermatitis, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes 1 and 2, thyroid problems, and psoriasis. Gluten-free diets have also been used by patients with autism spectrum disorders, however, there is no definitive data to support this and the American Academy of Pediatrics does not support the use of gluten-free diets as a primary treatment for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Despite the growing popularity and celebrity endorsements of a gluten-free diet for weight loss, there are no published reports showing that gluten-free diets produce weight loss. Is a gluten-free diet good for weight loss? Not unless you’re sensitive or allergic to gluten.

A celiac versus a non-celiac gluten sensitivity differs because celiac is a true food allergy. Food allergies are an adverse immune response to a food protein, most commonly an immunoglobulin called IgE. When the immune system detects IgE in the bloodstream, white blood cells attack and trigger an allergic response.

woman with gluten sensitivity choosing a rice cake instead of bread

Other allergies are mediated by the IgG immunoglobulin, which is characterized by symptoms which appear delayed, sometimes up to three or four days after the food is consumed. Symptoms of allergies include GI distress, skin inflammation, pain, fatigue, osteoporosis, mood disorders, liver problems, infertility, asthma, psoriasis, hair loss, premature gray hair, dental abnormalities, and even life-threatening anaphylaxis.

The real difference between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is that celiac disease produces antibodies that attack the inner lining of the small intestine, destroying it. For individuals with gluten sensitivities, that does not happen. Either way though, the treatment is the same. Work with your doctor to come up with a great dietary plan and think about supplementing with anti-inflammatories.

Going Gluten-Free

a selection of gluten-free foods like pastas and bread

When it comes to treatment, avoidance works best. Remember that my wife cut out gluten and got much better. When mild symptoms came back later, we figured out that using the same toaster for her gluten-free bread and my regular bread was causing problems. We also switched to gluten-free dog food to avoid problems there. If your sensitive or allergic to gluten, you have to watch out for hidden sources of gluten.

The results of addressing a gluten issue are unmistakable, as most people rave about their increased energy levels, mental clarity, and an obvious decrease in symptoms. There are lab tests, skin tests, and blood tests that can help detect food allergies, but the gold standard is something called an elimination challenge diet. Eliminate all gluten products from your diet for 3-7 days, then challenge your body with gluten and see what happens. If symptoms go away and then return once you start eating gluten again, you know you’re gluten sensitive.

calendar showing the start of gluten-free living

Most individuals who are sensitive to gluten, especially celiac patients, tend to be sensitive to disaccharide sugars like lactose, sucrose, maltose, and isomaltose. Read labels carefully and if the food you’re eating contains one of these disaccharides, test your sensitivity by trying an elimination challenge of those foods as well.

Now it’s becoming easier to be on a gluten-free diet as many restaurants and conventional grocery stores offer gluten-free options. You can find gluten-free bread, pasta, bagels, waffles, pizza, and more. I can tell you from personal experience that they’re getting good at making gluten-free food delicious. Most of the time, you can’t even tell the difference between the gluten-free option and the option with gluten.

If you know or suspect that you have a gluten sensitivity or allergy, let us know. I want to understand what your experience is like and offer suggestions to make a gluten-free diet not just tolerable, but delicious. I’ve been working with patients on nutrition and dietary plans for over 16 years, so together we can come up with a plan that fits your needs.


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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Atherosclerosis The SECRETS OF LONGEVITY That You Do Not Know

Atherosclerosis: The SECRETS OF LONGEVITY That You Do Not Know

Atherosclerosis is the number one cause of disease and disability for adults in the United States, and research shows it develops in your 20s, 30s, and 40s. It’s important to understand so I want to share with you seven shockingly strange factors that contribute to heart disease and strokes.

atherosclerosis diagram of a clogged artery

Is it possible to prevent or reverse heart disease? Absolutely. When people ask me to explain heart attacks and strokes, I give them one simple answer: inflammation. Inflammation equals heart attacks and strokes.

Think of your heart and brain as plants that need a constant flow of water. High blood pressure is like turning the water pressure up too high, which causes damage to the arteries. High cholesterol, on the other hand, is like clogging your arteries with liquid concrete. However, cholesterol is not the enemy. It’s actually produced by the body in high amounts to repair the damage of inflammation in your arteries.

Secrets to Longevity… Atherosclerosis

7 Strange Factors Contributing to Heart Disease

1. Sound and Noise

young woman listening to headphones

Sounds can be damaging to your heart and your brain. Starting around 50 decibels, the volume of a refrigerator or a friendly chat, noise can raise your blood pressure and increase the likelihood of heart failure. For every 10-decibel increase, your odds of getting heart disease and having a stroke go up even more. It’s your body in survival mode, as it reacts to loud noises by pumping you with stress hormones.

2. Irregular Menstruation

menstruation calendar

Women who get their first period before they’re 12 years old or who stop having their periods before they’ve reached 47 years old are more likely to have a stroke or develop heart disease. A woman’s risk also goes up if she’s had a miscarriage or have her ovaries or uterus removed.

3. Migraines

woman with headache working at her desk

You’re more likely to experience chest pain, strokes, or heart attacks when you get migraines because of inflammation. If heart disease runs in your family or you’ve had heart problems before, you should probably avoid taking medicines called triptans because they narrow your blood vessels and exacerbate the process of inflammation and atherosclerosis.

4. Loneliness

woman alone on a swing on the beach at sunset

Having too few friends or being unhappy with your life raises your odds of heart disease by about as much as second-hand smoke does. Feeling alone has been linked to high blood pressure and other effects of stress.

5. Stimulant Medications

medications and pills on the table

Stimulant drugs such as dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate are designed to help you focus, but they can also raise your heart rate and blood pressure. It’s important to work with your doctor to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks with these kinds of medications.

6. Overworking

woman overworking at her desk late at night

People who work 55 hours per week are more likely to have heart disease than those who only work 35 to 40 hours a week. This could be the result of many things including increased stress, a sedentary lifestyle, or perhaps drinking more alcohol. If you tend to work a lot, it’s especially important to take care of yourself to avoid heart disease and stroke.

7. Gum Disease

woman checking for gum disease

Bacteria from your mouth can enter your blood and cause inflammation in the lining of your arteries, which can lead to the buildup of fatty lipids and cholesterol. Research shows that by treating gum disease, you can lower the level of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein in your blood. Doctors use this measurement through laboratory results along with cholesterol levels to predict cardiac events.

Key Steps to Take

doctor checking patient's blood pressure

In order to protect yourself from atherosclerosis, there are several key steps you can take. Control your blood pressure, keep your cholesterol and triglycerides under control, stay at a healthy weight, don’t smoke, manage your stress, manage diabetes, and get plenty of sleep.

Medications

stethoscope wrapped around a red apple

One class of medications that are typically used to treat heart disease is blood pressure agents, and one of the most common agents is lycinapro. Lycinapro comes with a variety of side effects, so work with your doctor when taking this medication and get your blood pressure down through diet and exercise.

When it comes to statin medications, some studies have shown there is only a 1% decrease in heart disease if you’re taking a statin medication. Cholesterol is important for the body as a precursor hormone for testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. A decline in these hormones can aggravate the process of heart disease and stroke.

senior couple exercising outdoors together

The rise in cholesterol is late in the chain of events because remember, cholesterol is patching up the arteries and repairing the damage of inflammation. Fear of cholesterol comes from a primitive perspective of pharmaceutical companies and even some doctors. High cholesterol actually signals that you have extraordinary inflammation and your body is trying to repair the inflammation.

Statin medications lead to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. It decreases CoQ10, which can lead to negative consequences in your health like muscle pain, hormonal imbalances, and more. There are more than 300 adverse effects of statin medications, so try to correct your diet, activity level, and hormones first.

I tell patients that mindfulness is most important. Understanding heart disease as inflammation and not high cholesterol, and knowing that it can be improved with lifestyle changes. It takes some effort but you can make drastic changes not just for heart disease but for a number of health conditions.


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!

 

 

 

Antioxidants The Good, The Bad And The Ugly!

Antioxidants: The Good, The Bad (And The Ugly!)

You’re probably like over two-thirds of American who take at least one dietary supplement every day, and if you look at the ingredients of that supplement, it probably contains at least one antioxidant. However, if you take just one antioxidant or the wrong kind of antioxidant, it may cause more damage than good.

Antioxidants: The Good, The Bad (And The Ugly!)

How are Free Radicals Affecting You?

word cloud of free radicals and health We are constantly inundated by free radicals from our environment and within our bodies. We each have over 37 trillion cells, plus bacteria and microbes, but free radicals are always stealing electrons in an attempt to stabilize themselves. In doing so, they begin a chain reaction which can damage cell membranes, mitochondria, and alter your DNA. If left unchecked, it can wreak havoc on your body, affecting your immune system, accelerating aging, and making you more vulnerable to chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and vision and hearing changes.

Our bodies can counterattack by generating antioxidants to extract free radicals and help protect us. We also have enzyme systems like catalysts, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione paroxetine, and thioredoxin. There’s a catch though. Those electrons have to go somewhere out of the body so they’re not causing damage.

array of foods high in antioxidants

Consuming an antioxidant-rich diet full of fruits and vegetables, essential fatty acids, and functional foods can play a positive role, but many of us need additional support from dietary supplements. The buzz around antioxidants took off in the early ‘90s as the connection between oxidative damage, chronic inflammation, and chronic disease became increasingly clear. Additionally, studies came out showing that individuals who consumed a high content of antioxidants in their diet through fruits, vegetables, and fatty acids were at a lower risk of chronic disease than those individuals who did not.

Marketers began adding antioxidant-related claims to all sorts of foods and beverages, so in 1997 the FDA introduced rules about having to be specific with labeling. Companies had to list the antioxidants specifically as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, lycopene, polyphenols, proanthocyanidins, quercetin, or catechins.

Antioxidants don’t work in the same ways but rather work together as a matrix, always regenerating and recycling. For instance, if your cellular membranes are being attacked by free radicals, essential fatty acids and vitamin E can help rid your body of those electrons while quercetin or ubiquinol can take care of those free radicals. Each antioxidant has its cycle of regeneration so if you’re taking just one antioxidant, you’re not paying attention to all the different pathways and cycles. Instead of relying on marketing claims, you need to figure out which supplements are worth your money and time.

What Kind of Antioxidants Should You Take?

senior woman struggling with joint pain in her knees

You should take a specific supplement based on your individual health goals. A 60-year-old with joint pain has different needs than a 30-year-old who’s struggling with sleep and insomnia. Looking specifically at mitochondria, which are in every cell of your body and are the energy producers. When mitochondria are damaged by free radicals, you experience changes in your sleep, muscle strength, aging, thyroid, and lipids. You can experience diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. One in 5000 individuals are affected by free radical damage to mitochondria, and making sense of all the information out there can be overwhelming.

breakfast foods with antioxidants and supplements

There’s a ton of conflicting information online and much of it is pushed by people trying to sell you specific supplements. It’s important to remember that antioxidants work as a team and if you’re not getting the full team, you may be causing more harm than good. When it comes to your diet, focus on eating the rainbow – eat nine servings of five colors of fruits and vegetables every day.

You should feel empowered on your journey to better health and part of that is taking the right supplements. Be sure to take a multi-antioxidant supplement so it can protect you from the damaging effects of free radicals.


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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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