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!

 

 

 

How I Treat My Own Family

Doctor Treating His Own Family

 

Someone recently asked me, “Dr. Ryan, you’re so knowledgeable about health, wellness, and medicine. What do you do to treat your own family when they get sick?” The short answer is that I don’t. When anyone in my family gets sick, they go to the doctor just like everyone else. The long answer is that I do try to educate and inspire them, and because of that, my family is extraordinarily healthy.

Doctor Treating His Own Family

If you’ve read some of my other posts here on the blog, you may already know I have two small boys. I try to teach them that life is made up of your thoughts and internal images expressed to the extent you believe them. I also teach them to focus on positive thoughts and feelings. I know this sounds overly simplified, and that’s because it is.

As adults, we tend to complicate things, doubt our dreams, and fail to believe in ourselves. Sometimes we’re unclear about what we want and we’re inconsistent in how we go about achieving it. All of this slows us down or stops us from the health, wellness, and happiness we really want. The answer is always within ourselves, our genetics, and the decisions we make to move towards good health.

basket of tropical fruit including pineapple, mango, and papaya

My boys were originally raised in Hawaii so they were always exposed to delicious tropical fruits, vegetables, fish, and other seafood. They’ve learned to eat whatever mom and dad eat, so their palates are extraordinary. They’ll happily eat fresh produce, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and proteins. Maybe it’s because my wife and I are lucky, but maybe it’s because we inspire them to make good choices about how to take care of themselves. When it comes to snacks, my boys enjoy all kinds of healthy options. They’ll eat fruit salad, hummus and carrot sticks, apple slices with nut butters, and even nuts, seeds, and edamame.

Even though the boys consume a healthy diet, they still take three daily supplements. One is an omega fatty acid because research has shown that developing brains require essential fatty acids. They also take a multivitamin-mineral because some of the most common deficiencies in growing children are minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc. The third supplement they take is probiotics because it’s important to influence healthy gut bacteria in children.

herbal tincture for a healthy immune system

I’m blessed because both of my kids understand the importance of education and inspiration. When they get sick, they visit a doctor like anyone else. At the first signs of sniffles or stomach troubles, I may give them a herbal glyceride tincture to help boost their immune systems. The kids take great care of themselves though but eating a healthy diet and constantly playing to stay physically active. As young kids, they may not yet understand mindfulness and connectedness, but it is something we are starting to teach them because it creates happiness in life.

If you have kids in your family, I know it can sometimes be a struggle in terms of education and inspiration. There’s a lot to be mindful of including boosting their immune systems, expanding their palates, and making sure they’re constantly playing to avoid being sedentary. You can use the information here on the Zenith Labs website to learn how to create health and wellness in your life and the lives of your family members.


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!

 

 

 

BPA free phthalate free PFOA free Doctor's Advice

BPA Free Phthalate free PFOA free Doctor’s Advice

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

BPA Free Phthalate free PFOA free Doctor’s Advice

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

1. BPA

plastic water bottles containing BPA

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

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

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

colorful fruit salad in plastic cups

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

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

plastic bottle caps spelling out FREE

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

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

2. Phthalates

phthalates written on multiple road signs

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

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

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

colourful plastic children's toys

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

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

female consultant looks cosmetic products in plastic packaging

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

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

3. PFOAs

molecular structure of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

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

nonstick pot cookware

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

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

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

Zenith Detox supplement by Zenith Labs

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


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

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

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Heavy Metal Toxicity Symptoms Doctor's Advice

Heavy Metal Toxicity Symptoms Doctor’s Advice

Many people have growing concerns about their potential exposure to environmental toxins and the negative health consequences surrounding them, whether the toxins come through air pollution, water pollution, organophosphates, pesticides, plastics, or heavy metals. Awareness around environmental toxins is a passion of mine, having attended multiple conferences over the last 17 years that focus on heavy metals, toxic exposure, and how to handle the effects.

graphic of a green plant, ladybug, and a set of smoke stacks

My patients often come in with vague symptoms that go undiagnosed, so we’ll go through an exposure history and medical history. After running some lab tests, we often confirm they have elevated levels of heavy metals. Once we help them process those heavy metals, they start to feel better.

In this article, we’ll talk about the five most common heavy metals which are arsenic, lead, mercury, aluminum, and cadmium. We’ll also go over the sources of these metals, the negative impacts they have on the body, the symptoms they cause, and a few simple things you can do to help your body process these heavy metals.

Your first thought might be, “Well, I’ve never had any specific exposure since I’ve never worked as a painter, or with ceramics, or in a manufacturing plant.” However, it’s still an important question of whether these toxins are an obstacle for you achieving your health and wellness.

sign that says reduce toxins in your life

When we talk about heavy metals, there are three primary targets in the human body:

  • First is the immune system which can cause allergies, chronic infections, autoimmunity, and certain types of cancers.
  • Second is the neurological system, which would include cognitive abilities, brain fog, sensory changes, numbness and tingling, fine tremors, fine motor difficulties, and coordination issues. Mood alterations like depression, anxiety, and anger are part of the neurological system as well.
  • Third is the endocrine system which can cause sleep disruption, sensory disruption, and changes in energy levels and mood. Alterations can also happen in weight, appetite, bowel functions, sexual interest, and sexual functions. In women, there can be menstrual changes along with differences in temperature perception, sweating, flushing, and alteration of hair growth and nail growth.

Heavy Metal Toxicity Symptoms Doctor’s Advice

Why Some People Retain More Heavy Metals than Others

image of human body and a DNA strand

There are genetic differences in phase one and phase two detoxification pathways in the liver due to individual polymorphisms. This may be due to nutrient deficiencies, like magnesium, selenium, or vitamin B6, or may be due to a poor diet that is high in sugar and low on protein. It can also be due to stress, emotional suffering, trauma, or the presence of other heavy metals making you retain additional heavy metals.

effects of coffee on your liver

There are certain red flags I look for in patients including headaches, brain fog, fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, and an irritable bowel. An inability to handle caffeine is also a red flag, so take note if you can’t consume caffeine after noon without experiencing insomnia later in the day. An inability to handle medications is another red flag, like having to take very small doses or else suffering side effects.

Five Heavy Metals Contributing to Negative Health Conditions

1. Arsenic

worn paper listing arsenic carcinogens substances

Arsenic is the number one toxin in the United States ranked by the Environmental Protection Agency. Sources include cigarette smoke, wine from sprayed grapes, shellfish, seaweeds, wood preservatives, cattle and sheep dip, production of semiconductor parts, and production of photoelectric components in electronic manufacturing. Other sources are galvanizing, etching, fungicides, pesticides, fireworks, tanning leather products, textile printing, cable sheaths, copper or lead smelting, and glass manufacturing.

Exposure to arsenic can lead to several symptoms like fatigue, malaise, light sensitivity, headaches, and problems with your skin, nails, lungs, and cardiovascular system. You can also experience gastrointestinal, kidney, endocrine, musculoskeletal, and psychological problems.

2. Lead

batteries in the dirt

The toxin ranked number two by the EPA is lead. Sources of lead include bullets, fishing equipment, art supplies, weight equipment, radiation shields, bearing alloys, ceramic glazes, and pigments. Lead can also be found in plumbing, miners, mechanics, refinery smelting work, antiknock gasoline additives, paint, solar joints in water systems, batteries, and colored and stained glass.

A build-up of lead in your body can cause fatigue, malaise, weight loss, burning of the mouth, headaches, plus musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, kidney, and reproductive problems.

3. Mercury

piece of salmon in laboratory mercury and toxic dye

Mercury is ranked by the EPA as the number three toxin Americans are exposed to. One type is elemental mercury, which comes from coal power plants, medical waste incineration, municipal water waste incineration, and contaminated water and food products. Another type is organic or methyl mercury mercury. It’s methylated by organisms in water and soil which means it’s found in trout, pike, walleye, bass, tuna, tilefish, swordfish, and shark.

Elemental mercury is found in dental amalgams. Dentists have a high level of elemental mercury because they’re dealing with amalgams often. It can also be found in fossil fuels, latex paint, old thermometers, electrical switches, Dove soap, Ajax, and even some brands of dishwashing soap. Some of the symptoms elemental mercury causes include fatigue, hair loss, skin rashes, headaches, and a metallic taste in your mouth. It can also create neurological, cardiovascular, kidney, lung, gastrointestinal, and skin problems.

4. Aluminum

child holding crushed aluminum cans

Aluminum is often found in cookware like coffee pots, pizza pans, pots, and utensils, and cooking with tomato sauce can extract aluminum in higher quantities. Other items where traces of aluminum are found include certain brands of antacids, aspirin, paint, fireworks, glasswork, ceramics, aluminum baking powder, soy-based infant formulas, deodorants, drinking water clarified by aluminum, canned goods, coal power plants, incinerators, and pesticides. Aluminum exposure can cause fatigue, malaise, and even heat intolerance. You may also experience skin, neurological, lung, reproductive, and kidney problems.

5. Cadmium

image of cadmium table of elements

Cadmium is the number seventh-ranked EPA toxin in the United States. Exposure can come from batteries, plastic manufacturing, metal soldering, welding, fossil fuels, incineration, metal smelting, tattoos, fertilizer, fungicides, and cigarette smoking. Cadmium can cause malaise, weakness, fatigue, kidney problems, gastrointestinal problems, lung problems, cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, cancers of the lung and prostate, and endocrine problems.

Supplements You Can Take for Heavy Metal Toxicity

spoon with dietary supplement pills

Now that you know the five heavy metals to watch out for, you can take preventative action against them. There are general supplements you can take such as glutathione, Curcuma, Tinospora, milk thistle, calcium D-glucarate, epigallocatechin gallate, Brassica vegetables, and whey protein.

You can also take specific supplements to combat each of the heavy metals. Alpha-lipoic acid is specifically helpful for mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Arsenic is helped by taurine and mentha herbs like spearmint and peppermint. Mercury can be helped by Ocimum (Holy Basil), coriander, spirulina, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Lead can be helped with coriander, cadmium with zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, and ginger.

There are chelating agents you can take, like DMPS and DMSA, but I would highly recommend working with a qualified practitioner if you consider using them to extract heavy metals. A chelator goes into the body, grabs the heavy metals, and pulls them out of the body. In addition to chelators, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium, whey protein, an amino acid supplement, and plenty of magnesium can help your liver process these heavy metals.

Additional Resources on Heavy Metal Toxicity

stop heavy metals sign

Environmental Working Group is a website with helpful information about the sources of toxic heavy metals and what you can do about them. The first step is identifying sources of heavy metals and then limiting the amount of exposure your body has to them. Supplementation and chelation are effective, but it’s better to avoid these heavy metals altogether.

Even if you think you’ve never been directly exposed to these heavy metals, everyone is exposed in some way and at risk for possible health consequences. Continue educating yourself, your friends, and your family about the sources and symptoms these heavy metals can cause.

Zenith Detox, supplement by Zenith LabsHere at Zenith Labs, we’ve created a supplement called Zenith Detox. It contains many botanical agents and nutraceuticals to help your body process these heavy metals. Pair this with simple actions to avoid heavy metal toxins and you’re one step closer to better health and wellness.


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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Vegan Diet Benefits and Risks

Vegan Diet Benefits and Risks

 

People around the world implement a variety of dietary and nutritional plans to achieve and maintain their health and wellness. Often, these choices can vary from one culture and set of traditions to another. Some dietary strategies focus on fats or other trending topics, and as a result, they come and go quickly. Other dietary strategies, such as the vegan diet, have more staying power.

vegan wrap with avocado and carrots

We’re going to talk about the potential benefits and risks of choosing a vegan diet. People choose to be vegan for a variety of reasons such as tradition, culture, ecological reasons, or ethical beliefs. Some people choose to be vegan simply because, based on several studies, it’s good for your overall health.

Vegan Diet Benefits and Risks

My Experience as a Vegan

man chopping vegetables on a cutting board

I personally have experienced being a vegan. 25 years ago, when I was a freshman in university, I went through a personal tragedy that made me want to be a vegan. My grandfather died of a heart attack much too early in his life. I had watched him eat a lot of fried foods and meats, and as an aspiring scientist, my first instinct was to look up dietary research. Sure enough, I found several articles that showed how being a vegetarian or vegan can reduce major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.

I was only a vegan for one year because as a freshman in college, I found it difficult socially to keep up with. My friends wanted to go out to eat hamburgers and hot wings, so I often found myself on the outside looking in. I chose to gradually reintroduce meat in a responsible way and that choice has stuck to this day. I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy proteins, and healthy fats. When it comes to protein and dairy products, I make smart and ethical choices around what I choose to consume.

Being a Healthy Vegan

vegan protein sources like tofu, beans, and nuts

There is a healthy way to be a vegan as well as an unhealthy way. Some people switch to veganism and end up consuming primarily refined carbohydrates, thinking they’re making healthy choices. Unfortunately, that can lead to deficiencies in micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, and macronutrients like essential proteins.

If you’re not mindful of your food choices as a vegan, you may become deficient in calcium, iron, or zinc. It’s important to eat dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds for calcium and iron. Amino acid deficiencies can be common if you’re not eating enough nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes. The vegan diet also does not contain any natural vitamin B12 so it’s recommended that you use a supplement.

Beans and legumes tend to be low in an amino acid called methionine but high in lysine, both of which are essential amino acids. Grains are the opposite though, low in lysine but high in methionine. Therefore, it’s important to get both beans and grains in your diet, which will help you maintain good health on a vegan diet.


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

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

 

 

 

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