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Paleo Diet for Blood Pressure

Paleo Diet for Blood Pressure

Modern foods don’t sit very well with our unevolved bodies. At least this is what proponents of the paleo diet believe, and research is continually being conducted that proves them right.

Consisting of only grass fed meat, seafood and fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils like olive and walnut, the paleo diet recommends only consuming foods that our ancestors consumed during the Paleolithic era, over 10,000 years ago, and in proportionate quantities.

The Paleo Diet

For instance, while nuts and seeds are normally acceptable in the paleo diet, it’s not recommended to sit around stuffing cashews in your face. Our hunter/gatherer ancestors would have come across nuts somewhat infrequently, so peppering them into a more well-rounded diet is the name of the game.

The paleo diet stems from a belief that our modern diets, consisting of high fat, high carbohydrate, and high sugar foods have evolved past our body’s ability to effectively process them, which leads to poor health.

In addition to reducing inflammation in the body, the paleo diet can help you lose weight, detox the body, improve nutrient consumption, improve satiety, and decrease blood pressure.

Millions of people across the globe suffer from high blood pressure. Termed “the silent killer” high blood pressure can lead to hardening of the arteries, tinnitus, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even death.

The silent killer

Historical and anthropological studies show hunter-gatherers generally to be healthy, fit, and largely free of the degenerative cardiovascular diseases common in modern societies. Since we are what we eat, the natural conclusion is that in addition to nearly constant exercise, our ancestors consumed only wild and unprocessed food, providing a diet high in lean protein, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial phytochemicals.

The paleo diet can help lower blood pressure by producing weight loss – obesity is the number one cause of high blood pressure – reducing carbohydrate intake, especially refined carbohydrates like bleached flour, reducing refined sugar intake, and increasing intake of beneficial minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium.

It’s pretty safe to say that humans living 10,000 years ago, despite being exposed to much more harmful stressors – think sabre toothed tigers roaming about – weren’t plagued with high blood pressure as a civilization, so the root cause must be something we’re doing as modern people, and scientists believe that the diet is a great place to start looking for culprits.

Aging Diet

Aging Diet

What we choose to eat can have direct effects on how we age and cognitive decline. A large study recently found that people who consume the Mediterranean Diet are more likely to preserve the length of the telomeres on their DNA. Preserved telomere length is a reliable indicator of cell health and age and has become a fundamental focus of anti-aging clinics across this country. The Mediterranean Diet itself is complex and composed of a variety of different nutrients such as wine, olive oil, whole grain, fish, poultry, fruits, and vegetables. Which nutrients precisely may be responsible for this correlation is unknown at this point. What we do know is that anti-oxidants in foods are strongly related to telomere length. So it may be the resveratrol in the red wine, the Vitamin E or phenols in the olive oil, the omega 3 oils in the fish, or the carotene and Vitamin C content of the vegetables which are responsible for preserving the telomere length. It may a combination of them all and this process may begin as early as adolescence.

Mediterranean diet foods
Sugar sweetened beverages

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), including soft drinks/sodas, fruit-flavored drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks, are the largest source of added sugar in the American diet. Between 1999 and 2008, it was estimated that adults aged 20–34 years consumed an average of 333–421 calories/day, and adults aged 35 years or older consumed an average of 236–260 calories/day from SSBs. Because of these strikingly high levels of consumption, SSBs have emerged as an important target of public health efforts and policies.

In parallel to trends in SSB intake, the prevalences of obesity and type 2 diabetes have also increased in recent years. Epidemiologic studies have shown that regular consumption of SSBs is associated with increased risks of obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, the mechanisms for these associations are complex and not yet fully understood. There is evidence to suggest that excess calories (via lowered satiety) and high levels of insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and inflammation, may mediate these associations. Given that oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance are also associated with telomere shortening, impaired telomere length maintenance is a potential mechanism that may help to explain the association between SSB consumption and accelerated metabolic disease.

Telomeres are the DNA-protein caps at the end of chromosomes that promote chromosomal stability and protect the genomic DNA from damage. Telomere length naturally shortens with each cell cycle and, if it falls to a critical short length, the cell is no longer able to divide and often malfunctions. In addition to biological age, telomere shortness has been linked to lifestyle behaviors and psychological stress. In turn, shorter telomeres have been associated with increased risks of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers. In population studies, evidence exists for a causal role of impaired telomere maintenance in raising risks of pulmonary and cardiovascular disease. To date, the associations between dietary intake and telomere length have been examined in only a few studies; results for most food groups and nutrients have been mixed.


Given the effects of SSBs on oxidative stress and insulin resistance, scientists examined the associations between sugar-sweetened beverage, diet soda, and 100% fruit juice consumption and telomere length in a large, nationally representative sample of healthy adolescence and young adults. They found that beverages with high sugar content would be the most detrimental to cellular aging, such that sugar-sweetened sodas and non-carbonated SSBs would show the strongest associations with telomere shortness.

White bread

Another study in adolescence looked into telomere length and white bread consumption with interesting results. A positive correlation between dietary total antioxidant capacity and telomere length was found after adjustment for age and energy intake. However, higher white bread consumption was associated with shorter telomeres in fully-adjusted models. Interestingly, those individuals who had simultaneously higher dietary total antioxidant capacity and lower white bread consumption significantly presented the longest telomeres.

In a similar large study including participants from 40 countries researchers found that the same high quality diets which have been shown to be protective against the development of cardiovascular disease may also be protective for our aging brains and cognitive decline. The scientists used something called a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) to determine the mental “sharpness” of the participants. People who consumed foods associated with higher levels of antioxidants and healthy fats, such as vegetables, fruits, and fish were associated with better scores on the MMSE over time. To the contrary, those who consumed less of these foods and more fried foods, red meats, and alcohol had lower scores on the MMSE over time. This second group of participants also had a higher incidence of “cardiac events.” The study did not explore which food or food element in the healthy diet contributed most to the reduced cognitive decline. And because it is an observational study, it cannot establish causation. The researchers did presume that it is likely that the beneficial association between diet, cardiac events, and cognitive decline is mediated through effects on risk factors such as blood pressure, glucose and inflammation.

Huperzine A for Brain Health

Huperzine A for Brain Health

While all of the body’s organs are obviously vital for survival, few need protecting more than the brain, the organ responsible for every activity in the body. The brain is particularly difficult to treat and protect from damage, as its cells typically do not regenerate, so when damage occurs, it is usually for a lifetime.

While all of the body’s organs are obviously vital for survival, few need protecting more than the brain, the organ responsible for every activity in the body. The brain is particularly difficult to treat and protect from damage, as its cells typically do not regenerate, so when damage occurs, it is usually for a lifetime.

Neurons in the brain

Alzheimer’s disease is one such illness that permanently affects the brain, and in turn, affects the entire body. A form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that occurs when nerve cells in the brain die, which leads to symptoms like confusion, and impaired memory, thinking and behavior.

This disease begins by damaging brain cells, and eventually destroys them entirely, getting worse as the disease progresses.

As Alzheimer’s disease continually degrades the brain, the nerve cells are also degraded, and communication from the brain to the body begins to become difficult, which can affect bodily functions.

Recently, researchers have identified several abnormalities that contribute to an individual contracting Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Brain cells losing connection: The brain cells responsible for memory, communication, and learning begin to lose contact, making signal transmission impossible. This affects functions like memory, as brain cells cannot transmit memories from short term to long term for example.
Brain neurons losing connection
  • Plaques: Microscopic masses of a protein fragment called beta-amyloid are found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. These peptides are from a larger protein found in the fatty membrane surrounding nerve cells. Beta-amyloid is chemically “sticky” and gradually builds up into plaques. Beta amyloid peptides are toxic to nerve cells.
  • Tangles: Tangles are twisted microscopic strands of the protein tau that form in the nerve cells of the brain and destroy a vital cell transport system made of proteins.
  • Inflammation: The body’s natural immune system triggers the inflammatory effect throughout the body. Chronic inflammation causes a lot of trouble throughout the body and is thought to be responsible for most deadly diseases in one way or another.

Like other troubling diseases, studies are ongoing to develop more effective treatments for disorders of the brain like Alzheimer’s.

Huperzine A

One such treatment that researchers have found to show promise is a compound called huperzine A, a substance made from Chinese club moss. Huperzine A is highly purified from the Chinese club moss, and has shown promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease, as well as to improve memory and learning enhancement, energy, and alertness. Huperzine A is so effective at preventing nerve damage that it is even used to protect against agents that can damage the nerves, such as nerve gases.

Huperzine A (Hup A) is thought to be beneficial for problems with memory, loss of mental abilities (dementia), and the muscular disorder myasthenia gravis because it causes an increase in the levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the chemicals that our nerves use to communicate in the brain, muscles, and other areas.

A study published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine performed a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of this powerful compound for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VD). The analysis involved 8 AD trials with 733 participants, and two VD trials with 92 participants, evaluating the effectiveness of huperzine A via the minimental state examination (MMSE) and activities of daily living scale (ADL).

After scouring many other studies, researchers concluded that “Hup A could significantly improve the MMSE and ADL score of AD and VD patients, and longer durations would result in better efficacy for the patients with AD.”

In addition to improvements in the minimental state examination and activities of daily living scales, researchers also noticed that there was also a significant improvement of cognitive function, measured by memory quotient (MQ) in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and little to no negative side-effects were noticed. The side-effects were noted to be only of mild-to-moderate severity, leading researchers to believe that huperzine A is both effective and safe.


The explanation behind the effectiveness of huperzine A is its ability to inhibit an enzyme that degrades a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine is known as the “learning neurotransmitter”, as it is involved in many of the brain’s functions, and its degradation results in brain disorders. It is also involved in muscle contraction. Huperzine A works to help inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase from breaking down the acetylcholine molecules in the brain, leading to reduced damage from the enzyme in the brain.

Another meta-study noticed similarities in the effectiveness of huperzine A to protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease.

This study, published in PLoS ONE, conducted a review of randomized clinical trials of huperzine A for Alzheimer’s disease, and found 20 studies with 1823 total participants. Researchers conducting this study found that when compared to placebo, huperzine A showed “a significant beneficial effect on the improvement of cognitive function as measured by Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks, and by Hastgawa Dementia Scale (HDS) and Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) at 8 weeks and 12 weeks.”

Other studies have also noted that the longer huperzine A is administered, the greater the effect on the participant, suggesting the safety and efficacy of long term usage.

Huperzia serrata extracted from the Chinese club moss

Like all studies, these are simply guidelines for efficacy, but hundreds of independent studies do indeed point to the efficacy of huperzine A for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This new weapon in the fight against terrible brain diseases is just that, one approach. A major benefit of huperzine A is its safety.

Huperzine A has been found to be very safe for short term usage, as well as safe for use for up to three months, making it a good complement to other effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. And this seems to be the best approach to treatment, a complementary regimen of powerful compounds that together may represent an effective and safe long term treatment plan.

Acid Reflux and Canned Food

Acid Reflux and Canned Food

With a multitude of causes, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) will affect 60 percent of the United States population at some point in any given 12 month period, and as much as 30 percent will experience symptoms weekly. Data suggests that approximately 7 million Americans have some symptoms of GERD.

GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter, the ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach that keeps the esophagus closed in order to prevent stomach acid and consumed food from rising into the esophagus, is either weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the stomach’s contents to escape into the throat.


Some forms of GERD are caused by hiatal hernia which can weaken the esophageal sphincter. Hiatal hernia happens when the upper portion of the stomach moves up into the chest through a small hole in the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the stomach from the chest. Hiatal hernia is thought to allow the stomach’s contents to leak back up into the esophagus more easily.

Identified by symptoms ranging from heartburn to lasting damage to the esophagus, GERD is a serious gastroesophageal disorder. Most people will experience symptoms like burning sensations in the chest that moves up towards the neck and throat, leaving an acid taste in the mouth. Symptoms can last as long as two hours and are exacerbated by eating.

The causes of GERD are numerous and wide reaching, ranging from diet to genetic factors, to environmental factors. One interesting new link being explored is that between canned foods and acid reflux.

Canned foods

More specifically, the inner lining used in canning foods has recently been under fire for possible links to several health risks from exposure to BPA, a type of plastic. Bisphenol A, or BPA for short, has been linked to such things as structural damage to the brain, increased fat formation and higher risk of obesity, altered immune function, stimulation of cancer cells, specifically prostate cancer, increased prostate size and decreased sperm production, and even changes in gender-specific behavior or abnormal sexual behavior.

Studies are revealing that acid reflux may be another ailment to add to the list caused by consuming high amounts of canned food.

The elevated risk of acid reflux from canned foods is, as studies are revealing, related mostly to certain canned foods being high in salt content, with one study referring specifically to the risks of smoked and canned foods.

This study examines the Alimentary factors in the development of gastric intestinal metaplasia in functional dyspeptic patients, studying 320 patients with functional dyspepsia. Using a food consumption questionnaire, researchers measured food intake of half of the patients, each with intestinal metaplasia, the transformation (metaplasia) of epithelium (usually of the stomach or the esophagus) into a type of epithelium resembling that found in the intestine, a disorder that can lead to cancer.

Upon completion of the study, researchers found “a higher frequency of canned and smoked foods consumption in the first group and, on the other hand, a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables in patients without intestinal metaplasia” recommending that participants who consumed a lot of canned and smoked foods to decrease their consumption od said foods, and increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables, which researchers found can actually lead to a diminution of gastric metaplasia.

Fruits and Vegetables

Like the previous study, another study evaluates the role of salt intake in gastric intestinal metaplasia, hoping to draw a connection between salt intake and eventual gastric cancer.


Researchers conducted a meta-study, reviewing 17 articles that address the association between dietary salt exposure and gastric intestinal metaplasia, estimating salt exposure via salt and salty food consumption, preference for salty foods, use of table salt, and sodium urinary excretion.

This research found that the combined odds ratio was 1.68 for the association between salty meat consumption and intestinal metaplasia, as well, the combined odds ratio for salt preference in diet was 1.53, finding a statistically significant association between an over-preference of salt and intestinal metaplasia.

Consuming too much salt in the diet is harmful in many other ways as well, with studies showing a connection between high amounts of salt intake and extremely harmful diseases like kidney damage, high blood pressure which can lead to cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and even stroke or death, and some suggest that salt intake may be bad for our bones as well.

Eat less salt

Since sodium is a preservative, many canned foods have elevated sodium levels, making them doubly harmful; the high sodium levels causing the aforementioned diseases and the BPA and other chemicals in the lining of the can linked to cancer and other dangerous diseases.

Another stomach disorder that is plaguing Americans is functional dyspepsia, and there may be a link between this and GERD, as studies suggest common pathogenic mechanisms.

Functional dyspepsia (FD) is a chronic disorder of sensation and movement (peristalsis) in the upper digestive tract. Peristalsis is the normal downward pumping and squeezing of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, which begins after swallowing. The symptoms of this common disorder are stomach discomfort, bloating, burping, feeling full very quickly after eating, nausea, and vomiting.

To test the theory of commonality in GERD and functional dyspepsia, researchers studied 184 subjects for 4 months, using an interview-based questionnaire to diagnose functional dyspepsia and GERD while evaluating eating habits and frequency of food intake. GERD was deemed present in 31 percent of participants with predictors being advanced age and the use of canned foods. Functional dyspepsia was present in 7.6 percent of participants with its predictors being low education level, consumption of canned food, and the consumption of alcoholic drinks at least weekly.

Salty foods and alcoholic beverages

A common denominator in functional dyspepsia and GERD is regular consumption of canned foods, as well as consumption of fast food, notoriously salty and fat laden, and regular consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The connection with fast food further drives home the point that reducing sodium consumption is a great way to improve health almost instantly. Fast food is notorious for being extremely high in sodium, in addition, most meals are served with a side of French fries, to which most consumers can be seen adding more salt, making fast food a sure-fire cause of high blood pressure and eventually all of the effects of that disorder.

Our ancestors have been canning food since about 1810, the invention of which was the result of the French government requiring a cheap and effective way to store large amounts of food for long periods of time. It has helped our species survive famine, so there is obvious benefit in the practice of canning.

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Raspberry Ketones for Weight Loss

Raspberry Ketones for Weight Loss

The obesity epidemic has long been growing out of control, with over a third of the United States population being considered obese. While obesity is widely considered merely a cosmetic condition, many don’t think about the extreme damage being caused internally by carrying such large amounts of extra weight, as well as engaging in unhealthy dietary and exercise habits.

Obesity, as a disease, is among the most deadly on the planet. According to the National Institute of Health, obesity and overweight together are just behind tobacco use, and are the second leading cause of preventable death in the nation with an estimated 300,000 people yearly dying from related illnesses.

Weighing yourself

As a catalyst, obesity causes very serious illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke, and even some types of cancer. High blood pressure, dubbed the “silent killer” by members of the health community, can easily be caused by obesity. Too much extra fat in the body increases the amount of extra capillaries that must transport blood throughout the body. This coupled with hardening of the arteries and artery blockage forces the heart to work much harder, eventually leading to heart damage and failure.

Heart failure

As a catalyst, obesity causes very serious illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke, and even some types of cancer. High blood pressure, dubbed the “silent killer” by members of the health community, can easily be caused by obesity. Too much extra fat in the body increases the amount of extra capillaries that must transport blood throughout the body. This coupled with hardening of the arteries and artery blockage forces the heart to work much harder, eventually leading to heart damage and failure.

Diabetes is another deadly disease caused by obesity. Some may think that it is treatable, which it is, but this disease places much undue stress on the kidneys and body in general, and even with treatment will lead to deadly symptoms.


Now, more than ever, members of the medical field are exploring more options to get the obesity epidemic under control. While diet and exercise are always at the top of the list of recommendations, there are other diet aids that can help to maximize efforts and generate more weight loss while preserving health.

Raspberry ketones are a product that have been on the market for some time, but are still being studied for efficacy and safety, with great results.

Raspberry ketones in raspberries

Raspberry ketones are chemicals that are naturally found in red raspberries. These phenolic compounds are what give the raspberries their aroma. Ketones are not only found in raspberries. They are also found in kiwi, peaches, grapes, apples, other berries, and vegetables like rhubarb. These unique compounds are even found in certain tree bark like the bark of yew, pine, and maple trees.

Raspberry ketone is not just used for weight loss, it is also used in cosmetics, other foods, and as a flavoring agent, but because natural raspberry ketone is extremely expensive –a kilogram can cost as much as $20,000- most companies use synthetic raspberry ketone.

Research has shown that these aroma compounds may help to boost the metabolism, also affecting the production of adiponectin, a hormone in the body that regulates metabolism.

One study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition evaluated the efficacy of a multi-ingredient weight loss product containing raspberry ketone on 70 overweight men and women. This weight loss product contained a mixture of primarily raspberry ketone, but also caffeine, capsaicin, garlic, ginger and Citrus aurantium.

Using a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind design, 70 obese but otherwise healthy subjects were given either a weight loss product in question, or placebo, being tested for changes in things like body composition, serum adipocytokines (adiponectin, resistin, leptin, TNF-α, IL-6) and markers of health including heart rate and blood pressure.

While only 45 participants completed the study, those who did complete it showed significant improvement in body weight, fat mass, lean mass, waist girth, hip girth, and energy levels, without any changes or significant differences in dietary intake, systemic hemodynamics or clinical blood chemistries, and in addition “During the first 4 weeks, effects/trends for maintaining elevated serum leptin (P < 0.03) and decreased serum resistin (P < 0.08) in the METABO group vs. placebo were also observed.”

Leptin is a protein produced by fatty tissue in the body, and is responsible for regulating fat storage. Resistin has been found to link obesity with type 2 diabetes, and is produced fatty tissue as well, but leads to insulin resistance. This hormone is linked to type 2 diabetes because it is assumed that thiazolidinediones may work via PPARg receptors to switch on or off a fat cell specific gene that is involved in insulin mediated signaling pathways.

This study is great news for those who believe raspberry ketone to be an effective weight loss supplement, and also provides support to its contractors who were hesitant to get behind the compound due to no human trial evidence.

Raspberry ketones for weight loss

Researchers concluded in this study that the administration of this weight loss product, containing mostly raspberry ketones, is a safe and effective adjunct to an 8 week diet and exercise weight loss plan, and helps to improve body composition, as well as waist and hip girth.

One of the most talked about properties of raspberry ketone is its ability to help the body burn fat more effectively. Studies have shown, like one published in Planta Medica, that raspberry ketone increases both lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation, specifically preventing “high-fat diet-induced elevation in body weight and to increase lipolysis in white adipocytes.”

Fat cells

Researchers investigate the ability of raspberry ketone to prevent secretion of adiponectin, lipolysis, and fatty acid oxidation in 3T3-L1, and found that raspberry ketone increased lipolysis, the breakdown of fats and other lipids by hydrolysis to release fatty acids, significantly in adipose cells, the body fat cells.

Further blood tests showed that raspberry ketone, like other studies, “increased both the expression and the secretion of adiponectin, an adipocytokine mainly expressed and secreted by adipose tissue.” In this way, raspberry ketone acts as a metabolism booster, speeding up the amount of fat the body turns to energy, and regulating the amount of fat stored in the body.

While raspberry ketone, like other potent weight loss aids, shows great promise to help the body burn more fat and reduce body weight, it is always best to supplement diet aids with improved nutrition and exercise, and raspberry ketone has shown great promise, both in efficacy and safety, when combined with diet and exercise.

Everyone is looking for the magic weight loss bullet, to end obesity once and for all, but the plain truth is that it doesn’t exist, and may never exist, so the best way to lose a few pounds, or a hundred pounds or more and get back on the track to good health is to put in the work and use raspberry ketone as they are intended, a supplement that can help you lose weight more quickly and safely.

Raspberry ketones as supplements
Pollution's Effect on Blood Pressure

Pollution’s Effect on Blood Pressure

Millions of Americans suffer from high blood pressure. It seems that most would attribute these massive numbers from either poor diet, lack of exercise, overconsumption of alcohol, or any other of the myriad of causes commonly associated with high blood pressure.

Traffic Pollution

However, research is pointing to additional, less obvious factors that may contribute to high blood pressure. It seems that sitting in traffic has more than just a temporary effect on blood pressure rising, as studies show that traffic noise and pollution can actually cause more long term damage, among this damage, high blood pressure and eventually, hypertension.

Studies have linked two extremely scarcely examined causes of high blood pressure. Studies show that air pollution, specifically the type caused by traffic and traffic noise show a strong connection with high blood pressure.

An August 2016 study looked at the effect of traffic-related air pollution on cardio-metabolic risk. The study divided 371 people from Shanghai, China into four categories according to their distance from major roads.

An August 2016 study looked at the effect of traffic-related air pollution on cardio-metabolic risk. The study divided 371 people from Shanghai, China into four categories according to their distance from major roads.

The study found that long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution may cause a whole host of problems like serious cardio-metabolic disorders related to increased systemic inflammation, reduces insulin sensitivity, hardening of the arteries, and last but not least, high blood pressure.

High blood pressure

Similar studies show that the effects of traffic noise can have an equal, even compounding effect on high blood pressure, with one study concluding that “Long-term exposure to indoor traffic noise was associated with prevalent hypertension and SBP.”

Similar studies show that the effects of traffic noise can have an equal, even compounding effect on high blood pressure, with one study concluding that “Long-term exposure to indoor traffic noise was associated with prevalent hypertension and SBP.”

Stuck in traffic

It’s important to continually monitor your exposure to traffic, and more importantly, the pollution that it creates. Sitting in traffic can become deadly, even for the calmest commuter.

Coenzyme Q10 for Hearing Loss

Coenzyme Q10 for Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

Being the third most common health problem in America, more than 200,000 people in the United States report hearing loss each year. A total of about 48 million Americans live with some hearing loss. The causes vary widely from aging to catastrophic damage to the ear, with the usual cause being inner ear damage. Inner ear damage can be caused by genetic defects, disease, injury, prolonged exposure to loud noises, old age, and even via certain medications.

Due to the nature of the ear, many types of hearing loss are untreatable, which means that the best way to treat hearing loss is to avoid it.

Some types of hearing loss absolutely cannot be avoided. One such cause is old age. Old age is the most common cause of hearing loss, affecting one out of every three people between the ages of 65 and 74, and one in two people over the age of 75.

We are told that the medication we’re prescribed is to help us get better, but some medication can actually make matters worse, and some can cause hearing loss. Over 200 medications have been found to negatively impact hearing, and some are quite surprising, like aspirin and antibiotics. Other medications like chemotherapy drugs, loop diuretics, drugs to treat malaria, and even drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction have been found to cause hearing loss.

Drugs and prescription medications

Scientists are continually studying the effects that aging has on the ear, aside from the simplified notion that things just degrade as they age. Researchers are studying the mechanisms and biology of hearing loss in ways never done before.

One such compound being explored for its benefits to hearing is coenzyme Q10. Research is underway to find out if this antioxidant compound can help mitigate the effects of hearing loss.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, is an essential element in the body, responsible for aiding many daily biological functions, and providing powerful antioxidant properties to help eliminate free radicals. Commonly thought to help treat certain heart problems, CoQ10 has been used in medicine practices for decades.

On noise induced hearing loss, CoQ10 has also shown promise.

Not all exposure to extremely loud noises causes permanent hearing loss. Very often, the exposed person will experience temporary hearing loss or impairment. This condition is called temporary threshold shift (TTS) and can cause hearing to become diminished for an undeterminable amount of time. The amount of time that it takes to recover depends largely on the intensity and duration of the exposure, with the most recovery taking place within the first 15 minutes after exposure.

Coenzyme Q10, diluted in water for better bioavailability to cells, has been found to have a protective effect on the tiny hairs inside the ear after exposure to loud noises. Researchers exposed 30 volunteers to a 90 decibel noise in one ear for 10 minutes, after which they evaluated for severity of TTS.

The ear

Before treatment with coenzyme Q10, the longest recovery time was 45 minutes. After treatment, the mean recovery time was 31 minutes. Researchers speculate that the improvement has to do with the effect of Coenzyme Q10 on the outer ear hairs. Because CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant, it helps the hairs resist oxidative stress which can damage the follicle.

One of the worst ways to lose your hearing is from medication. The emotional stress and heartache can really take its toll on a person. People are prescribed medication that gives them hope of recovery from one illness, only to have it cause more ailments. Fortunately, coenzyme Q10 has also been shown to help treat medication induced hearing loss as well.

Ototoxicity refers to drug or chemical-related damage to the inner ear, resulting in damage to the organs responsible for hearing and balance. Even very safe drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen can cause ototoxicity if taken in excess, but the most common drugs that cause this ailment are certain antibiotics like gentamicin, streptomycin, and neomycin.

Taking coenzyme Q10

One study shows that CoQ10 is effective in mitigating the ototoxic effects on the ear caused by gentamicin. This antibiotic is known to produce free radicals in the body via the formation of an iron gentamicin complex. Antioxidants like CoQ10 help to eliminate free radicals and prevent cellular damage.

In a 14 day evaluation of guinea pigs, researchers found that “[coenzyme Q10] therapy slowed and attenuated the progression of hearing loss, yielding a threshold shift of 20 decibels.” Gentamicin caused significant loss of outer hair cells in the cochlear medio-basal turn, but this effect was not observed in the animals treated with coenzyme Q10.

Researchers believe that it is the antioxidant prowess of CoQ10 that helps to fight off free radicals, especially in the hair follicle.

The good news is that the body synthesizes CoQ10 naturally, and this natural creation coupled with dietary intake seems to be enough. But as the body ages, it produces less coenzyme Q10, so those over the age of 40 may want to think about supplementing. As an antioxidant, CoQ10 is fantastic, protecting the body all over against disease-causing free radicals, and for hearing, this means retaining the hairs in the inner and outer ear longer, slowing down the effects of all types of hearing loss.

Coenzyme Q10 supplements
Oxytocin for Weight Loss

Oxytocin for Weight Loss

The touch of another human being is an incredibly powerful thing, capable of eliciting an extremely vast array of emotions near instantly. No other animal uses touch quite like humans. We have a myriad of complex gestures to identify our feelings with others, we shake hands to greet or congratulate one another, and studies even show that children deprived of touching actually have a greater propensity for violence.


The psychologist James W. Prescott identified a link between mother/child physical bonding and lifelong emotional disturbances, noting that children whose mothers did not adequately bond with them may experience lifelong emotional disturbances.

The sense of touch

The sense of touch is not just great for bonding, but studies show that it can also be an integral part of a great diet plan, helping you to lose weight more effectively.

Scientists have been researching the chemical reactions that take place inside the body during physical contact. When we touch others, a stream of hormones circulate through the body, one of which is called oxytocin, a hormone produced in the magnocellular neurosecretory cells of the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei, and is stored in Herring bodies at the axon terminals in the posterior pituitary.

During moments of intimacy, the pituitary gland releases oxytocin into the bloodstream. Oxytocin affects many parts of the body, including the breasts and uterus, and as a chemical messenger in the brain controlling various key aspects of the reproductive system like childbirth and lactation, but can also affect certain aspects of human behavior.

As for weight loss, studies show that this unique hormone can also stimulate the body to lose weight more effectively. Studies show that when used as a weight loss treatment, usually via a nasal spray, participants were likely to eat fewer calories, leading to weight loss.

Studies show lower levels of oxytocin in obese individuals versus normal versus those with a healthier weight. In addition, circulating oxytocin has been found to be lower in those with type-2 diabetes versus normoglycemic individuals.

Because of its connection to human emotion, touch, and our expression of love, oxytocin has been referred to as the “love hormone”. Studies show that those with more circulating oxytocin simply eat less.

In love

This may be some kind of evolutionarily necessary reaction to being attractive for your mate, or it may be as simple as the age old idea that love can make a person sick, including widely documented loss of appetite. Now you know why you just don’t have the desire to eat as much when you’re in love.

Oxytocin also works by helping to curb some of the psychological triggers that can cause many to partake in emotionally-based eating. Emotions often cause us to treat our negative feelings with food, which is why it is called emotional eating.

Oxytocin can help with emotional eating as well, not only helping to curb appetite, but to trigger those happy thoughts you get while you’re being touched or cuddling.

A recent study published in the July 2016 edition of the journal Endocrine Practice, researched oxytocin’s ability to produce weight loss. For this study, scientists used a nasal spray to deliver oxytocin to the participants.

In this this double-blind study, caloric intake was indeed reduced for the 85 participants receiving oxytocin treatments. Calories were reduced by about 122 kcal per 24 ul of oxytocin treatment. The study proceeded for 9 weeks, producing an average of 9kg of weight loss per participant.


Researchers also found that a complimentary side-effect of oxytocin treatments was reduced postprandial –the period after a meal- glucose and insulin levels.

Another interesting effect being studied is oxytocin’s ability to help the body burn fat more efficiently. Some studies show that oxytocin can increase lipid utilization, essentially boosting the body’s fat burning potential.

A growing base of evidence supports the theory that oxytocin is vital in the regulation of energy balance in the body. Published in the American Journal of Physiology, researchers found a distinct tie between oxytocin and its ability to help the body burn fat.

When administered to rat being fed a high fat diet, oxytocin “elicited a sustained reduction of fat mass with no decrease of lean mass in rats with established diet-induced obesity.”

These results are not simply related to the ability of oxytocin to curb appetite either, scientists observed that these effects resulted from:

  1. Maintenance of energy expenditure at preintervention levels despite ongoing weight loss
  2. A reduction in respiratory quotient, consistent with increased fat oxidation
  3. An enhanced satiety response to cholecystokinin-8 and associated decrease of meal size.

The body continued burning fat at a higher rate for approximately 10 days after treatment subsided.

If decreased appetite and increased fat burning aren’t enough to convince you of the power of the love hormone, how about its ability to regulate bone mass?

Human skeleton

The relationship between fat and our skeleton, is a tight one. You might even say that they’re like best buds. Oxytocin, due to its regulation of energy metabolism can directly regulate bone mass as well. Studies show that mice with insufficient oxytocin or the oxytocin receptor display severe osteopenia, a condition that occurs when the body doesn’t make new bone as quickly as it reabsorbs old bone.

One study contends that oxytocin administration “normalizes ovariectomy-induced osteopenia, bone marrow adiposity, body weight, and intra-abdominal fat depots in mice.”

Losing a little weight can benefit many aspects of life, from mobility, to happiness and self-satisfaction, to internal health and avoidance of chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and with over 78 million Americans considered overweight, the current weight loss options we’re trying are clearly ineffective.

Oxytocin represents a great new possibility for safe, effective, and consistent weight loss without the side-effects of harmful medication or over-the-counter stimulants.

If you’re looking for the latest trend in weight loss aids, perhaps look no further than human contact. The powerful hormone oxytocin is simple to use, normally administered via a nasal spray, and unlike other invasive, pharmaceutical weight loss aids, oxytocin thus far exhibits very little or no side-effects, making it safe and effective for long term use.

The Importance of Potency in Supplements

The Importance of Potency in Supplements

Walk into any supermarket and you will undoubtedly see entire aisles dedicated to nutritional supplements, vitamins, and other health oriented products. Perhaps the fervor at which Americans pursue better health can be conflated to this image, an endless aisle filled with near limitless choices. Polls show that more than half of all Americans regularly supplement their diet with vitamins.

Supplements in a pharmacy

Yet, not all of the products on the market are equal in a few extremely important categories like potency, purity, and accuracy of labeling. Estimates have determined that billions of dollars are spent every year on supplements that simply do not work. There are many reasons to explain why a supplement may be ineffective, but potency is perhaps the most important.

Potency, defined as the power of something to influence or make an impression, is extremely important in determining the efficacy of a supplement. In pharmacology, potency is expressed in terms of the amount it takes of a substance to produce an effect of given intensity. A highly potent compound will produce strong results at low concentrations, and vice versa for lower potency compounds.

With potency being of so much importance, one would think that more oversight would exist concerning the accuracy of purity claims on supplement labels, but companies continue to sell less potent products than the label states, duping customers out of billions each year.

Do Your Research when Selecting a Supplement.

The Federal Drug Administration issues Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations, which a vigilant consumer should ensure are being followed by companies whose supplements they consume.

With growing concern about substandard manufacturing processes in the dietary supplement industry, the FDA introduced these standards, attempting to ensure that the proper controls be in place for dietary supplements during manufacturing, packaging, labeling and holding operations. As per the FDA website, “This includes establishing strong quality management systems, obtaining appropriate quality raw materials, establishing robust operating procedures, detecting and investigating product quality deviations, and maintaining reliable testing laboratories.”

Choosing supplements

Because consumer safety is the result of companies producing inferior products, the FDA considers any product manufactured by a company not following cGMPs to be “adulterated” under the law. However, like all consumer products, many inferior products slip through the cracks, so it is important to remain vigilant when selecting a supplement company.

Some companies take their supplements above and beyond United States standards. The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is similar to our American FDA, with the exception that they are even more stringent concerning which supplements make it to Australian shelves.

The TGA is considered to be the most stringent, toughest regulatory agency in the world, and because of this have an extremely great reputation for protecting Australian consumers from harmful products. The Aussies are among the leaders of the world in discovering and banning toxic substances, leaving the USA sometimes decades behind, so if a supplement you’re investigating has been approved by the TGA, it is extremely likely to be safe, effective, and accurately labeled, a luxury not always enjoyed by American shoppers.

Another great identifier of quality supplements is whether or not they’ve been tested by a third party laboratory. Because there are fewer restrictions on goods labeled “dietary supplements”, there are also fewer government oversights regulating the industry. This is why third party testing is important. A supplement that has been identified by an unbiased third party lends a lot of credibility to the supplement and its manufacturing process.

Third-party testing for supplements

To truly ensure that the potency of a supplement is as labeled, it must be tested by a reputable third party laboratory.

The Nutritional and Sports Supplements certification (NSF) has become the gold standard in third party evaluation, having developed the nation’s first independent testing standard and product certification program strictly for dietary supplements.

Using three major components, the NSF certifies products against NSF/ANSI 173, the only American National Standard that establishes requirements for the ingredients in dietary and nutritional supplements.

Checking labels on supplements
  1. Label Claim Review: Testing to certify that the label accurately reflects ingredients in the supplement.
  1. Toxicology Review: Certifying product formulation.
  1. Contamination Review: Certifying that the product does not contain any undeclared ingredients or toxic contaminants.

While some independent laboratories claim to be unbiased, there is a lot of collusion in American business, so the NSF is the self-proclaimed “independent, third-party testing organization that offers true testing of dietary supplements.”

In addition to good manufacturing practices and third party evaluation, when assessing the potency of a supplement you want to look for a certificate of analysis (COA). A certificate of analysis means that a product has been tested in areas like proper manufacturing guidelines, adherence to specifications, contaminant testing, and more.

Testing for potency

Each of these areas are important in determining the potency of the product. Because there are so little regulations in the Unites States concerning dietary supplements, companies from outside the U.S. are shipping in inferior products for much cheaper than American products. But this cost savings comes at a price. Many overseas factories do not place emphasis on meeting the health standards that Americans hold in such high regard.

This is not to say that all foreign supplements are inferior to American supplements, but in general, it is always best practice to ensure a supplement that you’re using has been certified as pure and potent with a certificate of analysis.

Pure supplements

When choosing a dietary supplement, remember, you are putting a foreign substance into your body, so don’t just take a company’s word for it. Do some investigating, and find out how far the company has gone to ensure the quality of its product.

Choosing a higher quality product will inevitably mean spending more, but when it comes to safety and reliability, you should really spare no expense, after all, your health and wellbeing relies on it.

Looking for a few simple quality identifiers like the NSF approval, certificate of analysis, and testing by an unbiased third party will ensure that you’re not wasting your money on dietary supplements that are ineffective and laden with harmful toxins. Putting in the extra work up front will ensure that you’re spending money on truly potent products.

Choline for Brain Health

Choline for Brain Health

Your brain

While almost every aspect of the body is completely vital for its survival, excluding a few leftover organs from the caveman era, the brain can prove to be especially needy for optimal function. The brain controls the entire life system, so when it’s not functioning properly, not just one body part shows the effects, numerous body parts cease to function properly

One great example of how an unhealthy brain can affect an entire body is in the event of a stroke. Most
strokes occur when blood vessels burst in the brain, or become blocked due to a blood clot. Strokes can
do tremendous damage to the brain, and in its wake, tremendous damage to the body. Those who’ve
experienced difficult strokes lose their most prized possessions, including the power of motion in certain
body parts, the power of speech, hearing, and taste; and in the occasion of a stroke, all other functions
and senses are on the table to be lost as well.

Most brain illness is not necessarily due to unhealthy or unsafe conditions. The brain is extremely intricate and simply put, in one way or another, age is the primary reason for mental deterioration. Cells eventually replicate less effectively, and eventually cease to replicate. As cells in the body age, they become less effective at doing their jobs, and as a result, the brain ultimately suffers, becoming less and less efficient at its job as the body ages.

Brain Cells

Before the ultimate end to our brains, they begin to decline in many ways, most notably in the realm of
cognition. Our thoughts come more slowly, feelings and senses become dulled and blunt, and reaction
time is severely delayed as the brain ages.

Some age related cognitive decline is more serious than others. Complicated and degenerative diseases
like Alzheimer’s disease pose not only cognitive threats to those suffering from them, but eventually
cause death.

But normal, nondisease related age related cognitive decline, or cognitive aging as it is commonly
referred to, effects certain cognitive abilities like conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed.

There are countless studies taking place daily in which scientists are fervently trying to uncover the
mysteries behind diseases like Alzheimer’s in order to develop effective and universal treatment
options. Thus far, it seems that a great way to help prevent age related cognitive decline is via diet, and
there are a lot of great dietary ways to include compounds that can strengthen the mind, even in old

A promising compound being studies is the macronutrient choline, a precursor of acetylcholine, a
neurotransmitter vital to nerve and muscle function. Studies show that choline deficiency can lead to
chronic liver damage and eventual liver failure.

Choline in foods

This compound that is great for the liver is also great for cognitive function. In all, choline helps support many functions throughout the body like liver function, brain function and development, nerve function, supports energy levels, muscle movement, and helps to balance the metabolism.

In brain function, the hippocampus is responsible for the autonomous nervous system, as well as emotion and memory.

A study published in the journal Brain Research, conducted testing on the effects of choline on the hippocampus, finding it to increase hippocampal neurogenesis and provide protection against seizure-induced neuronal death and cognitive impairment, having already been found to enhance memory and cognitive function in stroke and Alzheimer’s patients.

During a seizure, the brain can become damaged as neurons get damaged. This damage affects learning and memory among other cognitive functions.

Damaged neurons

Researchers tested whether or not choline can help to ameliorate seizure induced damage to the brain. Choline was injected into the muscle tissue of seizure-suffering rats, with positive results.

Treatments that were given between 1 and 3 weeks after seizure showed neuroprotective effect but no effect on neurogenesis. However, when researchers injected choline beginning at 3 weeks after seizure, participants showed positive results after 3 weeks of treatments.

The rats were initially given a maze test to measure cognitive function. After their seizures, cognitive function declined, but after 3 weeks of treatments researchers found reduced neuronal death and BBB disruption, as well as increased neurogenesis, concluding that choline injections could also be a beneficial treatment for improvement of cognitive function in people living with epilepsy.

Drugs for Alzheimer patients.

Choline can also help work synergistically with established cognitive function medications, with one study noting its ability to increase the effects of donepezil, a popular drug used to treat Alzheimer’s patients.

And finally, even one more study examining the benefits of choline touts choline’s ability to aid even moderate Alzheimer’s dementia.

For this study, 261 patients suffering from dementia were given 400mg capsules of either choline or a placebo for 180 days, assessing cognition at 90 days as well as the end of the trial.

Using a cognitive scale, researchers found that the patients being treated with choline supplements improved cognition, while those receiving a placebo had continued to decline, concluding that the study indeed suggests that choline can be an effective treatment to help slow cognitive decline in patients suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Perhaps the most promising data from studies involving natural and naturally occurring supplements is their safety. When consumed in the proper amounts, choline is safe and side-effect free, a claim that very few prescription medications can make.

While there aren’t daily recommended amounts of choline that you should be consuming, there are baseline amounts that researchers have shown to be beneficial. The average man or woman above the age of 14 years old, should be consuming between 425 and 550mg daily.

Some sources claim that it is very difficult to get enough choline through diet alone, as the body may have trouble absorbing it for various reasons, which include genetic disorders. These same experts recommend supplementing, and with high quality supplements.

Choline in the form of a supplement

Echoing the warnings of those public service announcements from the ‘80s, the mind is truly a terrible thing to waste, but it is even more unfortunate that most often, the mind simply deteriorates with age, thus making it the future endeavor of every brain on earth.

But that’s no reason to simply resolve yourself to inaction. Especially in the case of your brain, it is most beneficial to be proactive in maintaining its health, and choline is a proven, and effective place to begin.

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