CoQ10 and Exercise

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Supplementing with CoQ10 during exercise may help to reduce the muscle damage associated with intense exercise, according to a new study. CoQ10 was shown to reduce oxidative stress and modulate markers of inflammation, including TNF-alpha.

Coenzyme Q10 is a lipid soluble, vitamin-like substance and is found primarily in the mitochondria. It is a component of the electron transport chain and participates in aerobic cellular respiration, generating energy in the form of ATP.  – Michelle LeSeuer

 

Coenzyme Q10 supplementation ameliorates inflammatory signaling and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise

Background

Exhausting exercise induces muscle damage associated with high production of free radicals and pro-inflammatory mediators.

 

Aim

The objective of this study was to determine for the first time and simultaneously whether oral coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation can prevent over-expression of inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise.

 

Methods

The participants were classified in two groups: CoQ10 group (CG) and placebo group (PG). The physical test consisted in a constant run (50 km) that combined several degrees of high effort (mountain run and ultra-endurance), in permanent climbing.

 

Results

Exercise was associated with an increase in TNF-α, IL-6, 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and isoprostane levels, revealing the degree of inflammation and oxidative stress induced. Oral supplementation of CoQ10 during exercise was efficient reducing oxidative stress (decreased membrane hydroperoxides, 8-OHdG and isoprostanes generation, increased catalase, and total antioxidant status), which would lead to the maintenance of the cell integrity. Data obtained also indicate that CoQ10prevents over-expression of TNF-α after exercise, together with an increase in sTNF-RII that limits the pro-inflammatory actions of TNF. Moreover, CoQ10 supplementation reduced creatinine production.

 

Conclusions

CoQ10 supplementation before strenuous exercise decreases the oxidative stress and modulates the inflammatory signaling, reducing the subsequent muscle damage.

 

 

Study from: European Journal of Nutrition

http://www.springerlink.com/content/c803p51862683170/

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5 Best Energy Foods

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5 Best Energy Foods

By Rachel Merkhofer

Next time your energy drops, skip the caffeine.
You’re better off grabbing fruit, nuts, or beans, says Steven Pratt, M.D., coauthor ofSuperFoodsRx Diet (Rodale, 2008). These foods boost energy more effectively because they contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that combat inflammation, support your immune system, and help you recover faster from exercise, explains Pratt.

Citrus
Snack on citrus fruits: They’re rich in vitamin C, a powerful nutrient that can have an antioxidant effect 20 minutes after you eat it, explains Pratt. If you prefer juice, choose one with pulp for more fiber, he says.

Dark Honey
Replace the white sugar in your tea with a dark honey like buckwheat honey, which your body processes more slowly, says Pratt. (The darker the honey, the more nutrients it has, he adds.)

Beans
Eat a quarter cup of beans such as pinto or black beans (cooked any style, just don’t add too much salt) for a low-calorie source of slow, steady energy.

Trail Mix
Make a trail mix out of your favorite nuts and seeds (like walnuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, and pumpkin and sesame seeds), raisins, and a little bit of dark chocolate. Include as much or as little of each ingredient as you like (they’re all healthy), but eat just one handful of the mix—you’ll get sustained energy without too many calories, says Pratt.

Berry Juice
Mix 4 oz. of dark berry juice—like grape, pomegranate, cherry, blueberry, açai, or black currant—with 4 oz. of water. (Diluting the juice helps keep sugar levels down.) Look for a brand with a low sugar content.

L-Carnitine – A Great Health and Weight Loss Choice For Massachusetts TRT/HRT Patients

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Boston Testosterone Partners is proud to offer injectable pharmaceutical grade  L-Carnitine for our clients. It is the most efficient, safest and cost effective way to get the recommended dose of 2 grams a day.  Adding this simple amino acid to you Testosterone Replacement or Hormone Replacement Therapy will add numerous health benefits as described in the article below.  Call us today and find out how we can add L-Carnitine to your health protocol.

 

Alternative Energy Source

Emerging research on carnitine reveals it is a key nutrient for energy, heart health, and much more…

 Who couldn’t use more energy? Taking carnitine can help. The nutrient enables our heart and other muscles to make energy, eliminate toxic byproducts, and continue to function well as we live longer.

Our bodies make carnitine from the amino acids lysine and methionine, found in proteins, but we may not produce enough when faced with physical challenges, such as exercise. In particular, anything that stresses the heart, including diabetes, any form of heart disease or precursors to these, increase carnitine demands. And, our natural ability to produce carnitine decreases as we get older.

How Carnitine Works

Each of our cells contains mitochondria, tiny components that generate energy for the cell. They’re like microscopic furnaces that use fatty acids—broken down fats—as fuel. Carnitine acts as a cargo train, transporting the fatty acids to the mitochondria and, once the fuel is burned, taking away the trash—byproducts that would be toxic if left in the cell. Without sufficient carnitine, mitochondria can’t function optimally and energy suffers.

Mitochondria also play a key role in aging because they contain their own DNA, separate from the overall cell. According to studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and other scientific publications, mitochondrial DNA influences cell regeneration and death, and if that DNA is damaged, cells don’t function as they should—they may die prematurely or mutate, and the aging process accelerates. Keeping mitochondria healthy is considered one of the key strategies for staying in good shape during a long life, and carnitine is a necessary ingredient.

Heart-Warming News

Many studies have shown that carnitine helps the heart work more efficiently. For example, research presented at a conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, included these findings:

  • The heart is dependent on carnitine because fatty acids are the major source of energy for the heart muscle
  • Studies of more than 2,500 patients who suffered a heart attack found that carnitine significantly reduced deaths, chest pain and shortness of breath, improved recovery of the heart, and lowered the odds of patients developing heart failure.
  • Research at 49 centers in 8 European countries found that carnitine improved the ability to walk and do physical exercise in patients with chronic heart failure.

These are some other research highlights:

Muscle Soreness

A study published in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental concluded that carnitine helps middle-aged people recover better from exercise, with less muscle soreness. Other research has found similar benefits among younger people.

Gestational Diabetes

A study of pregnant women, published in the Journal for Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that 2 grams daily of carnitine reduced the incidence of gestational diabetes. Levels of carnitine typically drop during pregnancy and may contribute to diabetes risk.

Brain Health

A review of research, published in Alternative Medicine Review, found that a specific form of carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine, improved mental function among people with Alzheimer’s disease; reduced depression; helped to relieve neuropathy (disorders in nerve endings) due to diabetes, HIV drug therapy or chemotherapy; helped the brain recover from oxygen deprivation (due to a stroke, for example); and, in combination with L-carnitine, increased sperm mobility, improving male fertility.

Dosage Guidelines

Carnitine is an ingredient in some energy drinks and many supplement formulas, and is available as an individual supplement. It isn’t a stimulant and doesn’t cause jitters or other caffeine-like side effects.

The nutrient is also found in food, chiefly red meats, but their carnitine content is not sufficient to have the therapeutic effects produced by supplements in studies. For example, a 3-ounce serving of beef contains about 80 mg of carnitine, but in people who are not perfectly healthy, studies have most often found beneficial amounts range from 1 to 3 grams daily. To obtain just 1 gram, you would need to eat approximately 2.3 lb. of beef!

If you are healthy, take 500 mg once or twice daily.

If you have diabetes, prediabetes or heart disease, take up to 3 gm daily in divided doses. Start with a lower dose and increase gradually.

 

Article By: Vera Tweed

Trans Fats are Damaging Your Brain

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We’ve been hearing for a long time that the nasty trans fats that the food industry relies on to increase its revenues is harming consumers by raising levels of low-density (bad) cholesterol and reducing levels of high-density (good) cholesterol and influencing other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. You can add another harm to that list: Brain Damage.

The Study

A study by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and published in the journal Neurology showed that elderly people with diets containing large amounts of trans fats are more likely to show signs of a specific type of brain shrinkage that is associated with Alzheimer disease.

The researchers looked at the levels of a wide range of nutrients in the blood of study participants (all of whom were in their mid-to-late 80s, but healthy with few known risk factors for Alzheimer’s).

They found evidence on MRI tests that people with high levels of trans fats in their blood had brain shrinkage not seen in their low-trans-fat eating counterparts. Plus, the trans fat eaters performed poorly on memory and thinking tasks, whereas people with higher levels of vitamins B, C, D, and E, and omega-3 fatty acids performed well on the tests.

My Advice

The take-home message is clear: Avoid trans fats. The simplest way to do this is to resolve to limit or eliminate processed and packaged foods from your diet. You won’t go hungry! Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of nuts, seeds, and beans, lean meats, and low-fat dairy.

Source: G. L. Bowman, et al., Nutrient biomarker patterns, cognitive function, and MRI measures of brain aging. Neurology. (2012) –
By: Mark Stengler, NMD

Adrenal Fatigue Explained

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It’s that time of year again.  Everywhere you turn you hear about diets and getting back into shape.  Let Boston Testosterone Partners help you start the new year off with a healthy body.  We have programs to fit all needs and budgets. Many of our weightloss patients are also, unknowingly, suffering from adrenal fatigue.  For the month of January, we are offering our proprietary weight loss and adrenal fatigue protocols at a discounted start up of only $399, $500 off our normal start up! Don’t live another day unhappy with yourself, call today.

 

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Adrenal Fatigue or Hypoadrenia can be treated. Those with adrenal fatigue can recover with proven and safe adrenal fatique supplement. Adrenal fatique occurs when poor nutrition, physical or emotional stress weaken and deplete the adrenal glands to the point that they no longer are able to provide balanced amounts of steroid hormones. The adrenal glands can deplete the body’s hormonal and energy reserves, and may either shrink in size or hypertrophy (enlarge).

 

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms that is the results of the adrenal glands inability to produce enough hormones to supply the body’s demand. It should not be confused with Addison’s Disease which is adrenal failure. Such condition can worsen if proper Adrenal Fatigue Treatment is not taken.

 

Find out more about the Adrenal Fatigue Supplements we have available!

The overproduction of adrenal hormones caused by prolonged stress can weaken the immune system and inhibit the production of white blood cells that protect the body against foreign invaders (in particular lymphocytes and lymph node function). Adrenal dysfunction can disrupt the body’s blood sugar metabolism, causing weakness, fatigue, and a feeling of being run down. It can also interfere with normal sleep rhythms and produce a wakeful, unrelaxing sleep state, making a person feel worn out even after a full night’s sleep.

 

Many patients appear in their practitioner’s office with symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic attacks and are placed on antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication when in reality they suffer from adrenal fatigue.

 

Normal Adrenal Gland Functions

Your adrenal glands are two tiny pyramid-shaped pieces of tissue situated right above each kidney. Their job is to produce and release, when appropriate, certain regulatory hormones and chemical messengers.

 

The adrenal glands are controlled via the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. There is an existing negative feedback loop that governs the amount of adrenal hormones secreted under normal circumstances. The inner or medulla modulates the sympathetic nervous system through secretion and regulation of two hormones called epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) that are responsible for the fight or flight response.

 

The outer cortex manufactures the steroid hormones cortisone, hydrocortisone, testosterone, estrogen, 17-hydroxy-ketosteroids, DHEA and DHEA sulfate, cholesterol, pregnenolone, aldosterone, androstenedione, progesterone and a variety of intermediary hormones. The adrenals are the major steroid factories of the body.

 

In addition to helping you handle stress, these two primary adrenal hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, along with others similarly produced, help control body fluid balance, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other central metabolic functions.

 

Adrenaline

Adrenaline (epinephrine) is the “fight-or-flight” stress hormone. Epinephrine is a neurotransmitter secreted by the adrenal gland that is associated with sympathetic nervous system activity. It prolongs and intensifies the following effects of the sympathetic nervous system.

  • Causes the pupils of the eyes to dilate
  • Increases the heart rate, force of contraction, and blood pressure
  • Constricts the blood vessels of nonessential organs such as the skin
  • Dilates blood vessels to increase blood flow to organs involved in exercise or fighting off danger, skeletal muscles, cardiac muscle, liver, and adipose tissue
  • Increases the rate and depth of breathing and dilates the bronchioles to allow faster movement of air in and out of the lungs
  • Raises blood sugar as the liver glycogen is converted to glucose
  • Slows down or even stops processes that are not essential for meeting the stress situation, such as muscular movements of the gastrointestinal tract and digestive secretions

Cortisol

Cortisone and hydrocortisone are the major “glucocorticoids.” They help regulate the level of glucose in the body through a process known as “gluconeogenesis.

Cortisol, your long term stress hormone is made in the exterior portion of the gland, called the adrenal cortex. Cortisol, commonly called hydrocortisone, is the most abundant — and one of the most important — of many adrenal cortex hormones.

  • Stimulates the liver to convert amino acids to glucose, the primary fuel for energy production.
  • Stimulates increased glycogen in the liver. Glycogen is the stored form of glucose.
  • Mobilizes and increases fatty acids in the blood (from fat cells) to be used as fuel for energy production.
  • Counteracts inflammation and allergies.
  • Prevents the loss of sodium in urine and thus helps maintain blood volume and blood pressure.
  • Maintains resistance to stress (e.g., infections, physical trauma, temperature extremes, emotional trauma, etc.).
  • Maintains mood and emotional stability.
  • Excess Cortisol

Effects of elevated cortisol

  • Stimulates fat deposits and can result in weight gain.
  • Increased fat accumulation around waist.
  • Increases blood pressure.
  • Increases protein breakdown that can lead to muscle loss.
  • Causes demineralization of bone that can lead to osteoporosis.
  • Interferes with skin’s ability to regeneration and heal.
  • Causes demineralization of bone that can lead to osteoporosis.
  • Interferes with skin’s ability to regeneration and heal.
  • Cortisol is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Suppresses the immune system.
  • Immune shutdown: yeast, viral, and bacterial infections.
  • Poor memory: Brain (hippocampus) atrophy
  • Estrogen dominance, leading to PMS, uterine fibroids, and breast cancer.
  • Increases blood sugar, which leads to reduced insulin sensitivity and diabetes

Symptoms of elevated cortisol

  • Fatigue/ decreased energy
  • Impaired memory
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Crying
  • Impaired concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Feelings of Hopelessness

DHEA

  • Is a precursor for testosterone and estrogen.
  • Reverses immune suppression caused by excess cortisol levels. thereby improving resistance against viruses,  bacteria and Candida albicans, parasites, allergies, and cancer.
  • Stimulates bone deposition and remodeling to prevent osteoporosis.
  • Improves cardiovascular status by lowering total cholesterol and LDL levels, thereby lessening incidences of heart attack.
  • Increases muscle mass. Decreases percentage of body fat.
  • Involved in the thyroid gland’s conversion of the less active T4 to the more active T3.
  • Reverses many of the unfavorable effects of excess cortisol, creating subsequent improvement in energy/ vitality, sleep, premenstrual symptoms, and mental clarity.
  • Accelerates recovery from any kind of acute stress (e.g., insufficient sleep, excessive exercise, mental strain, etc.).

Pregnenolone

Leads to the production of progesterone and as one of the intermediary steps in the making of cortisol. Pregnenolone is therefore one of the  most important intermediate hormones being produced in the hormonal cascade. Prolonged deficiencies in pregnenolone will lead to reduction of both glucocorticosteroids and mineralcorticoids such as cortisol and aldosterone respectively.

 

Causes Of Adrenal Fatigue

Stress, Stress, and more Stress!

 

The most common causes of stress are work pressure, death of a love one, moving, changing jobs, physical illness and marital problems.

 

Other Adrenal Stressors:

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Worry/anxiety
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Overwork/ physical or mental strain
  • Excessive exercise
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Light-cycle disruption
  • Going to sleep late
  • Surgery
  • Trauma/injury
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Chronic infection
  •  Chronic pain
  • Temperature extremes
  • Toxic exposure
  • Malabsorption
  •  Maldigestion
  • Chronic illness
  • Chronic-severe allergies
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Stages of Adrenal Fatigue

The famous researcher Hans Selye described the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) in 1936. It involves three stages. In the first stage, the alarm reaction, a new situation is met with anxiety and surprise. A person intermittently secretes slightly higher levels of the adrenalin, the fight or flight hormone, in response to a slightly higher level of stress. The adrenal cortex is stimulated to produce additional cortisol and related hormones.

 

The second stage, called adaptation or resistance begins when the stress is constant enough, to cause sustained excessive levels of certain adrenal hormones. This is the body’s response to long term protection. It secretes further hormones that increase blood sugar levels to sustain energy and raise blood pressure. The adrenal cortex (outer covering) produces hormones called corticosteroids for this resistance reaction.

 

The third phase is called exhaustion, wherein the body’s ability to cope with the stress is now depleted. At this point, adrenal hormones drop from excessively high to excessively low and the body experiences adrenal exhaustion. Mental, physical and emotional resources suffer heavily. The body experiences “adrenal exhaustion”. The blood sugar levels decrease as the adrenals become depleted, leading to decreased stress tolerance, progressive mental and physical exhaustion, illness and collapse.

 

Disruptions in the body’s stress center–the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis–act as crucial triggers in the initial onset and progression of depression. HPA under activity is linked to atypical depression fatigue, lethargy, indifference.  Over activity of the body’s stress system is associated with anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and loss of libido. A hyperactive Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis, results in significantly higher morning and midnight salivary cortisol levels which contributes to anxiety and mood symptoms by interfering with serotonin activity. This also leads to an impairment in the thyroid gland, which can cause a further decline in energy level and mood and is one of the reasons why many people have thyroid glands that don’t work well.

 

Adrenal Fatigue Test

In order to determine the health of your adrenal glands you need to have a  blood, urine, or saliva test performed by a practitioner trained to treat adrenal fatigue. Most doctors are unfamiliar with this condition for the simple reason that it is difficult to diagnose effectively by traditional blood test. Conventional labs set the ranges to detect adrenal failure (Addison’s Disease).

 

Cortisol levels may be checked throughout the day by a saliva test to determine if they are highest in the morning and lowest in the evening. Saliva testing is preferred as it measures the amount of free and circulating hormones instead of the binded hormone commonly measured in blood test. DHEA, Epinephrine, and norepinephrine are some other indicators of adrenal function. The information provided by testing can help to determine the most appropriate type of treatment.

 

Self Screening Tests for Adrenal Dysfunction

Ragland’s sign (blood pressure test) — (Equipment required: Home blood pressure kit) Take your blood pressure while sitting down. Then, stand up and immediately take your blood pressure again. Your systolic (first) number should have raised 8 to 10 mm. If it dropped, you probably have adrenal fatigue.

 

Pupil dilation exam — (Equipment required: Flashlight and a mirror) Look into the mirror and shine the flashlight into the pupil of one eye. It should contract. If after 30 seconds, it stays the same or, even worse, dilates, you most likely have adrenal fatigue.

 

Pain when pressing on adrenal glands (located over kidneys)

 

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

  • Low body temperature
  • Weakness
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Nervousness
  • Difficulty building muscle
  • Irritability
  • Mental depression
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Apprehension
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Excessive hunger
  • Tendency towards inflammation
  • Moments of confusion
  • Indigestion
  • Feelings of frustration
  • Poor memory
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lack of energy
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Lightheadedness
  • Palpitations [heart fluttering
  • Dizziness that occurs upon standing
  • Poor resistance to infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Food and/or inhalant allergies
  • PMS
  • Craving for sweets
  • Dry and thin skin
  • Headaches
  • Scanty perspiration
  • Alcohol intolerance

Treatment for Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue treatment requires diet and lifestyle changes. It may take 6 month to 2 years for the adrenal fatigue to resolve.

 

Adrenal Fatigue Supplements

Supplements for adrenal fatigue play an important role in nourishing and strengthening your adrenal gland. The will allow the adrenal gland to be restored to a more healthy level of functioning which could not occur without them. It can consist of herbs, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.

 

**Because of the similarities in low and high cortisol symptoms it is highly advisable to obtain a saliva cortisol test before beginning any treatment plan. If you are suffering from excessive amounts of cortisol and take adrenal cortical extracts or other supplements to raise an already elevated cortisol level your symptoms will become worse.

 

 

Find out more about the Adrenal Stress Test that is available!

Lifestyle changes such as:

Reduce Stress.  Family, job, financial, and marital stress are factors that must be reduced or eliminated when possible. Sometimes seeing a mental health counselor to develop coping skills to deal with life’s stressors can be helpful.

Eat steadily, all day long. Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do for your body. When you’re hungry, your blood sugar drops, stressing your adrenal glands and triggering your sympathetic nervous system. That causes light-headedness, cravings, anxiety and fatigue.

 

Skipping breakfast is particularly bad, as it is a sure fire way to gain, not lose, weight. If you start each morning with a good breakfast and “graze” healthfully every two to four hours, your blood sugar won’t take any sharp dips. You’ll feel more rested and energetic. Another drawback to skipping meals: The resulting low blood sugar can slow the speed at which you process.

 

Exercise to relax. Walking, YOGA, deep breathing, and stretching are great stress reducers.  Vigorous or aerobic exercise can deplete the adrenals. If your symptoms are severe wait until you feel a little stronger to do these.

Get 8 hours sleep or more. During sleep your adrenal glands are restored and repaired. Unfortunately, most of us place little value on sleep, and end up getting less than we need, night after night. Result: Your adrenal glands stay depleted.

 

Foods to Avoid in Adrenal Fatigue

  • Eat protein with every meal. Eat Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice. Avoid sugar, junk food, white pasta, white rice, white bread.
  • Alcoholic beverages in excess reduce the functioning of the immune and energy production systems
  • Artificial sweeteners (Stevia is okay)

    Foods high in potassium make adrenal fatigue worse (bananas, all melons, dried figs, raisins, dates, oranges, grapefruit, etc.)

  • Chemicals, additives and preservatives such as sodium nitrate, MSG

    Oysters, clams, lobster, deep-sea fish such as tuna, mackerel, and swordfish that may contain toxic levels of mercury.

  • Absolutely NO Caffeine
  • Coffee/Sodas over stimulates your adrenals. They deplete important B vitamins and alter your pH levels. Coffee does not give you energy; coffee gives you the illusion of energy. Coffee actually drains the body of energy and makes you more tired, because of vitamin and adrenal depletion.
  • Sweetened fruit juices

The following have been shown to relieve Adrenal Fatigue symptoms:

  • Sleeping until 9 a.m. as often as possible
  • Laughing
  • Exercising
  • Minimizing stress
  • Taking negative people out of your life
  • Eating regular meals
  • Chewing well
  • Doing something fun each day
  • Combining unrefined carbohydrates with protein and oils
  • Avoiding junk food, white potatoes, white bread, white flour, white rice, and refined sugar
  • Eating five to six servings of vegetables each day
  • Taking calcium and magnesium supplements
  • Adding sea salt to your diet (May add ½ tsp sea salt to 8 oz water in the morning)

by:http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net

The 10 All-Time Most Tempting Junk Foods (and Smart Alternatives)

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It’s that time of year again.  Everywhere you turn you hear about diets and getting back into shape.  Let Boston Testosterone Partners help you start the new year off with a healthy body.  We have programs to fit all needs and budgets.  Don’t live another day unhappy with yourself, call today.

www.BostonTestosterone.com

855-617-MEDS (6337)

 

These common health offenders are incredibly tempting for even the most disciplined person from time to time. We bring you some sensible alternatives for those moments when you are wavering.

1. French fries

This is the ultimate junk food for most of us – and America’s #1 consumed “vegetable”. (Shudder.) French fries satisfy that craving for fat and saltiness, but because they are actually a starch, your blood sugar pays the price. Part of the reason they are so addictive is that there is a tremendous amount of oral reinforcement – much like smoking a cigarette.

Here are a couple of ideas: You can make yam fries at home – simply slice, coat with egg whites and a seasoning like Lawry’s, and bake instead of frying. When you’re at a restaurant, get creamed spinach or buttered broccoli instead of fries to kill those fat-salt cravings while providing fiber and vitamins. At convenience stores, go for a stick of string cheese. At fast-food joints, get a small salad and enjoy some grated cheese or creamy dressing to mimic the saltiness and fatty mouth-feel of a french fry.

2. Donuts

Take hydrogenated fat and bleached worthless flour. Combine. Now deep fry in lard. Wow, sounds excellent! A fluffy, tender, sweet donut is a brutal temptation found in seemingly every office in America. Just say no, and bite into trail mix instead. Cashews and pistachios are particularly good as substitutes because they are so fatty and contain a hint of sweetness.

3. Chips

Like french fries, chips quickly become addictive with each additional crispy bite. The combination of sodium, trans fat, and empty sugar (the starch) makes the chip one of the most nutrient-deficient and simultaneously unhealthy foods on the planet. Chips are easier to control, however, as they usually aren’t offered to you at restaurants. You have to hit up the vending machine or take home a few packs from the store. Simply stop doing that, silly! To deal with snack cravings, go for nuts. Also consider if you are drinking enough water every day. Properly hydrated bodies don’t crave as much salt. Try it!

4. Ice cream

Ice cream and milkshakes are incredibly satisfying because they are loaded with fat and sugar. Just ask Mark. He used to tear through an entire carton of ice cream every night in his running days! To kill the ice cream craving, a smart idea is to simply allow yourself a planned indulgence once a month with the absolute richest, highest quality ice cream around. That is usually enough to satisfy cravings and also remind you why you have given up junk food in the first place (oh, those sugar hangovers). You can try the malitol and “no sugar added” varieties, but they’re loaded with chemicals and are rather sorry alternatives, in our opinion.

5. Fried…oh, fried anything!

You get to a restaurant and have the best of intentions: fish and vegetables only! That’s terrific, except for the fact that you’ve ordered fried fish. Breaded and deep-fried seafood, chicken, cheese and snacks are weak points for many people. But the truth is that extra flavor – from seasonings like garlic, sea salt, herbs, and good stock – can fool your mouth pretty easily. Now that we know fat isn’t bad for us, be generous with the olive oil or butter and you’ll satisfy your body’s cravings without wandering into trans-fat sugar-shock territory. At home, you can pan fry chicken, fish, pork chops or a small steak at searing high heat with some butter or coconut oil to lock in a crispy natural crust that is just as good as anything breaded and deep fried. And stay away from the 88 deadliest foods.

6. Candy bars

This is easy: simply indulge in a small portion of dark chocolate and berries or a piece of fruit! You can also whip up a protein smoothie with fruit instead of chomping down on bars. Trail mix provides chewiness, fiber, and the salty-sweet taste we love. In fact, there’s just no reason to eat a candy bar with all the wonderful dark chocolate and exotic fruits available these days! The best part: these alternatives are good for you.

7. Soda

If it’s not a fried latte, it’s a can of Coke. Sweet drinks in general are the nutrition world’s minefield, and your body doesn’t need any of these sugar bombs going off inside it. If you can go cold turkey, good for you. Alternatives include diet soda, which we don’t recommend, but sometimes baby steps are in order. You might try seltzer water with a squeeze of orange, lemon or a few raspberries for flavor. Water doesn’t have to be boring: add a sprig of fresh mint or a few slices of cucumber.

8. Pizza

Oh, the greasy, melting cheese atop that fluffy, crispy crust of starch. Toss in some “meat” toppings and it really doesn’t get any worse. Pizza is America’s favorite dinner and corporate America’s default lunch: we eat 100 acres of the stuff daily. No wonder we’re so overweight and diabetic. A better alternative is a grilled chicken breast with marinara and melted provolone, or a salad jammed with chewy, satisfying ingredients like cheese, chicken, boiled eggs, artichokes, nuts, and mushrooms.

9. Cookies

It’s often easy enough to turn down pie or cake or some other dessert. But those blasted cookies are everywhere! Meetings, church, school plays, sporting events, games, even in the waiting room! You might need to consider keeping a steady supply of trail mix or nuts in your purse or glove compartment if cookies are a weakness for you. Though even a little sugar can get you back into the craving cycle, if you are someone who can control your intake easily, consider just eating one bite of the cookie. And we also recommend going the route of ice cream and planning an indulgence in one amazing cookie every month or so, rather than stuffing yourself with the unsatisfying little dried buggers that pop up everywhere. After a few of those, you don’t feel good and may still crave the decadent cookie anyway.

10. What’s your biggest dietary temptation and how do you control it?

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-10-all-time-most-tempting-junk-foods-and-smart-alternatives/#ixzz1icds5WKC

Are Women Causing Cancer in Men?

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Research now suggests that excess estrogen may be culprit in causing prostate cancer in men.

At Boston Testosterone Partners, we are one of the few Age Management Clinics that erases Low Testosterone, stimulates natural testosterone production, while at the same time, modulates every patient’s estrogen level into the preferred low area of the reference range.  No other clinic in New England offers that type of Testosterone Replacement Therapy.  So why do we place so much importance on making sure every one of our patients lower estrogens and maintains natural testosterone production as well?

Liike women, men also make estrogens such as estradiol, although (usually) in much lower amounts than women.

Even the characteristically “male” hormone testosterone can be converted into estradiol via the hormone aromatase – which is found in higher concentrations in fat tissue.

While this process of testosterone-to-estrogen conversion is necessary for proper bone density and quality in men, for instance, it may also contribute to prostate growth and malignancy.

Fortunately, testosterone is also antagonist to estrogens like estradiol, which may explain why men with low testosterone are at greater risk of prostate cancer.

It may be, also, that men are being exposed to hidden sources of estrogen from the environment.

Estrogen-mimicking chemicals such as bisphenol-A, PFOA and phthalates are disturbingly widespread; as are soy foods that contain high levels of phytoestrogens, which are capable of mimicking estrogens and/or disrupting their cellular receptor sites.

Not only that, but a wide range of heavy metals have been identified to have powerfully estrogenic properties.

These “metalloestrogens,” as they are called, include aluminium, antimony, arsenite, barium, cadmium, chromium (Cr(II)), cobalt, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenite, and tin.

Recently, an interesting new theory has been proposed that suggests another route of estrogen exposure in men: water contaminated by women’s birth control pills. Could this be the culprit in the rising number of prostate cancer cases?

Drug Residues Common in Drinking Water

Many waterways in the United States contain residues of birth control pills, antidepressants, painkillers, and many other chemical compounds. This has been known for many years now.

Most of them enter water supplies from human and animal waste that enter rivers from sewage treatment plants, leach into groundwater from septic systems, or run off into groundwater. Even drugs thrown into the trash can wind up in your drinking water, as when it enters a landfill its contents can and do mingle with other trash and its surrounding environment, including water supplies.

The drug industry, while admitting that pharmaceuticals are clearly contaminating water supplies, maintains that the levels are too low to cause any harm. Yet, it’s known that drugs in waterways can harm fish and other aquatic species, and laboratory studies show human cells do not grow normally when exposed to even trace amounts of certain drugs.

Many drugs in the water supply are known to have dangerous side effects when taken in normal prescription doses, not to mention that some people are now exposed to traces of multiple drugs at one time, in addition to other harmful metals and chemicals in their water. Further, people are now being exposed to combinations of drugs that should never be combined, leading to unknown consequences.

Birth Control Pills in Water Supply Linked to Men’s Prostate Cancer

Using data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the United Nations World Contraceptive Use report, which spanned 100 countries, researchers analyzed rates of prostate cancer and prostate cancer deaths, as well as oral contraceptive use among women.

The report concluded that the areas with a high rate of oral contraceptive use also had a high rate of prostate cancer. In addition, the researchers speculated that higher environmental levels of estrogen — and by implication, higher cumulative estrogen exposures in men — may be to blame.

In the United States alone, over 82 percent of women aged 15-44 have used oral contraceptives, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Typically, hormonal birth control methods like The Pill work by releasing estrogen and progestin into a woman’s body, preventing her ovaries from releasing eggs.

While it’s argued that only a small amount of additional estrogen is excreted by a woman using this form of contraception, this “small amount” is compounded by millions of women, many of whom use the pill for long periods of time. Also, synthetic estrogen and progesterone (progestin) – being unnatural – does not biodegrade as rapidly and is far harder to remove through conventional water purification systems – resulting in greater accumulation in the environment.

While this latest study did not prove cause and effect — that is, it did not prove that environmental estrogen from women’s oral contraceptive use causes prostate cancer in men — it did find a significant association between the two that deserves further investigation, especially in light of estrogen’s well established role in a wide range of cancers.

Estrogen Already Proven to Cause Breast Cancer

The guidelines for preventing and treating prostate cancer are almost identical to those for treating breast cancer (more on those shortly), which is why it’s worth noting that causative factors — like estrogen — may also be similar. It is, in fact, already known that breast cancer is closely tied to estrogen exposure.

According to a study published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer rates for women dropped in tandem with decreased use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which exposed women to synthetic estrogen. In Canada, between 2002 and 2004 HRT use dropped by 7.8 percent. In fact, it was no coincidence that, during that same time, breast cancer rates also fell by 9.6 percent.

However, after remaining stable at around 5 percent between 2004 and 2006, breast cancer rates then began to rise again, even though HRT use remained lower. The researchers claim this is an indication that HRT simply speeds up tumor growth, as opposed to directly causing it.

It’s also important to consider that you are exposed to a large number of estrogen-like compounds daily, called xenoestrogens. Estrogen pollution is increasingly present all around you, from plastics to canned food and drinks, food additives, household cleaning products, and pesticides. And estrogen levels are rising in our waterways, not only as pollution from birth control use but as a result of the runoff from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

So whether it’s a promoter or a causative factor (likely it’s both), there’s a wealth of evidence supporting excess estrogen exposure as a risk factor for cancer.

By Dr. Mercola