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07/Sep/2023

Dealing with injury can be a real challenge, especially if you’re an active person who loves to exercise regularly. As a parent, taking care of yourself and recovering properly from injuries is incredibly important, not just for your own sake but also for your family’s. That’s why I’m sharing some of my top strategies and supplements for injury recovery that have helped me and many others get back in shape after various injuries.

Specific Incremental Retraining

One of the most effective ways to recover from an injury is to gradually reintroduce movement and exercise to the affected area. This process is called specific incremental retraining, and it involves focusing on specific movements that were previously painful or difficult and gradually increasing the intensity and duration over time. For example, if you’re recovering from a knee injury, you might start with simple knee stretches and then gradually progress to more challenging exercises like lunges and squats. This type of retraining can help you rebuild strength and flexibility while reducing the risk of re-injury.

Stretching

Stretching is another crucial element of injury recovery and prevention, especially if you have tight or stiff muscles that are contributing to your injury. By stretching regularly, you can improve your range of motion, reduce stiffness, and help your muscles recover more quickly. Some of the best stretches for injury recovery include hip flexor stretches, hamstring stretches, and calf stretches. Make sure to stretch gradually and gently, and don’t push yourself beyond your limits.

Check out this article all about the benefits of stretching!

Supplements

In addition to exercise and stretching, certain supplements can also be incredibly helpful for injury recovery. Creatine, for example, is a popular supplement that can help boost muscle growth and improve strength. Collagen is another supplement that’s been shown to help promote joint health, reduce pain, and aid in healing and recovery. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C are also important supplements that can support the healing process and reduce inflammation. Finally, Glutamine is another supplement with promising research in injury recovery. Let’s now take a closer look at these supplements:

Creatine

Creatine supplementation has been extensively researched and shows promising results in aiding recovery from various types of injuries. The supplement is known for enhancing muscle force recovery after eccentrically-induced muscle damage, and it could be effective at reducing severity or enhancing recovery from mild traumatic brain injury. Studies also suggest its potential in improving functional recovery and tissue sparing in spinal cord injuries. Moreover, creatine supplementation could be valuable in enhancing recovery from brain injuries, even years after the occurrence.

Collagen

Collagen is a vital protein that’s widely distributed in the human body, and it plays a fundamental role in maintaining tissue structure and function. As a primary component of connective tissue, it’s crucial in upholding the integrity of various bodily structures, including skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. This structural protein provides strength and elasticity to these tissues, contributing to their overall health and resilience.

Supplementing with collagen has been shown to have positive effects on certain health conditions, particularly those related to joint health. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that collagen supplementation improved osteoarthritis-related symptoms. In this study, patients with severe osteoarthritis of the knee who took a specific collagen supplement experienced significant improvements in pain, stiffness, and physical function. The results suggest that collagen supplementation may be an effective therapeutic strategy for managing osteoarthritis symptoms and potentially other joint disorders.

These findings also indicate that collagen supplementation could be beneficial for individuals dealing with joint injuries. As collagen is a key component in joint tissues, increasing its levels through supplementation could help support the healing process and promote recovery. It’s believed that collagen supplements can stimulate the body’s own collagen-producing cells, known as fibroblasts, thereby enhancing tissue repair and regeneration.

Check out this article all about collagen!

Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil, flaxseeds, and walnuts, are renowned for their health benefits, particularly their anti-inflammatory properties. These fatty acids, specifically EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), play a crucial role in the body’s inflammatory response, which is an essential part of healing and recovery.

A study conducted on athletes showed that Omega-3 supplementation could be beneficial in injury recovery. The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega-3s may help reduce inflammation, a common response to injury that can cause pain and delay the healing process. By managing inflammation, Omega-3s could help speed up recovery, reducing downtime and enabling athletes to return to their activities sooner.

Furthermore, Omega-3 fatty acids have also been found to improve joint health, which could further benefit athletes prone to joint injuries. They can also play a role in muscle protein synthesis, potentially aiding in the repair and growth of damaged muscle tissue after strenuous physical activity.

Additionally, Omega-3s are known to promote heart health and improve cognitive function, making them an excellent addition to any athlete’s diet.Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant recognized for its multiple health benefits. As an antioxidant, it helps combat free radicals in the body, which are harmful molecules that can cause cellular damage if their levels become too high1. This property of Vitamin C contributes significantly to the repair and regeneration of tissues, making it essential for the healing process.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant recognized for its multiple health benefits. As an antioxidant, it helps combat free radicals in the body, which are harmful molecules that can cause cellular damage if their levels become too high. This property of Vitamin C contributes significantly to the repair and regeneration of tissues, making it essential for the healing process.

Moreover, Vitamin C plays a pivotal role in the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals across nerve endings, helping regulate a wide array of bodily functions, from mood to muscle movement. Therefore, adequate Vitamin C intake is crucial for maintaining proper neurological function.

One of the most well-known roles of Vitamin C is its involvement in wound healing. It assists in the formation of collagen, a key protein that gives structure to skin, blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bones. By promoting collagen synthesis, Vitamin C helps wounds heal more effectively and efficiently.

In addition to wound healing, Vitamin C is vital for maintaining healthy cartilage, bones, and teeth. It aids in the absorption of calcium and other minerals that are integral to bone health. Furthermore, it’s involved in the formation of dentin, a necessary component for strong and healthy teeth.

Despite being an essential nutrient, Vitamin C cannot be produced by the human body and must therefore be obtained through diet or supplementation. Common sources include citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, and kale.

Glutamine

Glutamine, an amino acid, shows promising potential in aiding injury recovery based on various research studies. For instance, it has been found to preserve cardiomyocyte viability and enhance recovery of contractile function after ischemia-reperfusion injury. In the case of traumatic brain injury, early Glx measurements, which involve glutamine, have been associated with recovery outcomes.

Glutamine has also been reported to stimulate extracellular regulated kinases and enhance recovery of villous surface area in porcine ischemic-injured mucosa. Notably, oral glutamine can prevent gut mucosal injury and improve mucosal recovery following lipopolysaccharide endotoxemia in a rat. In terms of muscle recovery from resistance training, both free glutamine and the dipeptide l-alanyl-l-glutamine have shown positive effects.

Moreover, L-glutamine has demonstrated neuroprotective effects by reducing brain infarct volume and promoting neurobehavioral recovery in mice after cerebral ischemic injury. Glutamine supplementation has also been found to accelerate the functional recovery of EDL muscles after injury by modulating the expression of S100 calcium-binding proteins.

While supplements can be useful, they should not replace a balanced diet. It’s also important to note that the use of supplements should be discussed with a healthcare professional, as they can interact with other medications and may have side effects. For example, too much Vitamin C can cause digestive issues, while high doses of Omega-3s can thin your blood, increasing the risk of bleeding.

Rest and Recovery

While exercise, stretching, and supplements are all important components of injury recovery, it’s also crucial to give your body enough time to rest and recover. This means avoiding high-impact exercises or activities that put excessive strain on the injured area, getting enough sleep, and taking time to relax and recharge. Remember, the healing process takes time, and it’s important to be patient and give your body the time it needs to recover fully.

Positive Mindset

Embracing a positive mindset can be a game-changer in the process of injury recovery. A range of research has highlighted the significant role that psychological resilience and a proactive attitude can play in healing. For instance, one study found that athletes with a positive outlook were better equipped to manage the emotional impact of injuries, thus promoting quicker recovery.

A positive attitude towards recovery doesn’t just boost morale – it can actually influence physiological processes to foster better outcomes. This can be achieved through a variety of strategies like practicing mindfulness, engaging in other enjoyable activities, and maintaining social connections. Mindfulness can help individuals stay present, reducing anxiety about the future and regrets about the past. Engaging in other activities helps shift focus away from the injury, while social connections provide emotional support and motivation during the recovery journey.

Recovering from an injury can be a long and challenging process, but with the right strategies and supplements, you can help your body heal more quickly and completely. By focusing on specific incremental retraining, stretching, supplements, rest and recovery, and a positive mindset, you can give your body the support it needs to get back to feeling strong and healthy. Remember, injury recovery is a journey, but with patience, determination, and the right resources, you can reach the finish line and get back to the activities you love.

For more amazing articles on health, wellness and supplementation click here!

Human Kinetics Journals The Journal of Neurosurgery American Journal of Gastroenterology MDPI NEJM ASPEN Journals BioMed Central Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology National Institutes of Health Mayo Clinic
ASPEN Journals

Journal of Neurotrauma
Surgery
Surgery
Sports Medicine – Open
Neuroscience & Therapeutics
Histochemistry and Cell Biology


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01/Aug/2023

As we age, our bodies start to show signs of wear and tear. Our muscles weaken, our bones become brittle, and our metabolism slows down. However, there’s no need to accept these changes as inevitable. With the right strategies, you can become a bionic boomer – someone who defies the aging process and stays active, healthy and energetic well into your later years. In this article, we’ll explore the naturopathic exercise, diet and supplement strategies that can help you achieve this goal.

Exercise:

Exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy body and mind, and it’s never too late to start. In fact, studies have shown that regular exercise can help to prevent and manage a wide range of age-related conditions, from heart disease and diabetes to arthritis and depression.

When it comes to naturopathic exercise, a combination of low-impact cardiovascular workouts, strength training and flexibility exercises is ideal. Some good examples include brisk walking, swimming, yoga and resistance band workouts. These forms of exercise are gentle on the joints, promote muscle strength and flexibility and improve circulation and cardiovascular health. Here’s an example of an approachable exercise routine to kickstart your bionic boomer body:

Workout Plan for the bionic boomer

  1. Warm-Up:
      • March in Place: 5 minutes
      • Gentle Arm Circles: 10 circles forward and backward
  2. Strength Training (2 times per week):
      • Seated Leg Extensions: 2 sets of 10 reps each leg
      • Chair Squats: 2 sets of 10 reps
      • Wall Push-Ups: 2 sets of 10 reps
      • Bicep Curls (using light weights): 2 sets of 10 reps
      • Overhead Press (using light weights): 2 sets of 10 reps
  3. Flexibility Exercises (3-4 times per week):
      • Seated Hamstring Stretch: Hold for 20-30 seconds each leg
      • Standing Quadriceps Stretch: Hold for 20-30 seconds each leg
      • Overhead Tricep Stretch: Hold for 20-30 seconds each arm
      • Chest Stretch: Hold for 20-30 seconds
  4. Cardiovascular Exercise (150 minutes per week, as recommended by the American Heart Association1):
      • Walking, swimming, cycling, or any other low-impact cardio activity that can be done safely and comfortably. Aim to reach the target heart rate.
  5. Balance and Stability (daily):
      • Heel-to-Toe Walk: 2 sets of 10 steps
      • Single-Leg Stands: Hold for 10 seconds each leg

Diet:

What you eat is just as important as how active you are when it comes to staying healthy and energetic in your later years. A balanced, whole-foods-based diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats can help to reduce inflammation, boost cognitive function and promote heart and brain health.

Naturopathic principles recommend avoiding processed foods, refined sugars and artificial additives, and instead focusing on whole foods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Some good options include leafy greens, nuts and seeds, wild-caught fish, and high-quality grass-fed meats. Here’s an example of a dietary program for the aspiring bioic boomer:

Diet Composition for the bionic boomer:

  1. Proteins: They are essential for muscle repair and growth. Include lean meats like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and plant-based proteins like lentils, chickpeas, and tofu in your diet.
  2. Healthy Carbohydrates: Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables should be your primary source of carbohydrates. They provide energy and are rich in fiber, which aids digestion.
  3. Fats: Focus on healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. They help with the absorption of vitamins and are essential for brain health.
  4. Calcium and Vitamin D: These nutrients are crucial for bone health. Dairy products, fortified plant milks, leafy green vegetables, and fatty fish are good sources.
  5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These can help support joint health. Sources include fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

Meal Suggestions for the bionic boomer:

  1. Breakfast: Greek yogurt with mixed berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds.
  2. Mid-Morning Snack: A handful of almonds and an apple.
  3. Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with plenty of colorful veggies, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Afternoon Snack: Carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus.
  5. Dinner: Baked salmon with quinoa and steamed broccoli.
  6. Evening Snack: A small bowl of mixed fruit.

Eating Schedule: Aim for three balanced meals and two to three small snacks per day to keep your metabolism active and prevent overeating at meal times.

Coping with Cravings and Cheat Meals: It’s natural to have cravings. Instead of fighting them, find healthier alternatives that satisfy your cravings. For instance, if you’re craving something sweet, try having a piece of dark chocolate or a fruit instead of a sugar-laden dessert. Allow yourself a cheat meal once a week to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.

Long-Term Maintenance and Lifestyle Changes:

  1. Regular Exercise: Incorporate both strength training and cardiovascular activities into your routine.
  2. Hydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  3. Sleep: Ensure you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night.

Remember, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making major changes to your diet, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Supplements:

While a healthy diet is the foundation of good health, sometimes we need an extra boost in the form of supplements. A naturopathic practitioner can help you identify the supplements that are right for your specific needs, depending on factors such as your age, gender, medical history, and lifestyle.

Some popular naturopathic supplements for promoting vitality and wellness in later years include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and antioxidants like CoQ10 and resveratrol. These supplements can help to reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and support brain and heart health.

Mind-body Techniques:

In addition to exercise, diet and supplements, mind-body techniques can also play an essential role in promoting wellness and vitality in later years. Practices like meditation, deep breathing, and tai chi can help to reduce stress, improve sleep, and promote mental clarity.

Conclusion:

Aging is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t have to mean a decline in health and wellbeing. With the right naturopathic strategies, you can unleash your inner bionic boomer and stay active, healthy and energetic well into your later years. By embracing a balanced, whole-foods-based diet, regular exercise, targeted supplements and mind-body practices, you’ll be able to reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, prevent illness and feel youthful for years to come. So why wait? Start your bionic boomer journey today!


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26/Jul/2023

A healthy body is necessary for a healthy mind, but often we forget that the reverse is also true. A healthy mind is the foundation for overall well-being. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that maintaining a healthy brain is essential to living a fulfilling life. Much like our bodies, our brains need proper nutrition, exercise, and rest to function at their best. Supplementation can have a role in supporting a healthy brain routine. Here I have listed my top 10 supplements that you can incorporate into your routine for a healthier brain.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, the unsung heroes of brain health, are stepping into the limelight. These essential fats, found in foods like fatty fish and flaxseeds, play a vital role in maintaining and improving brain function.

According to an intriguing study published in Cerebral Cortex, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids can improve brain function and structure in older adults, suggesting that these potent nutrients may be key to maintaining cognitive functions as we age.

But the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids go beyond just keeping our brains sharp. Research has shown that these powerful nutrients can help improve memory, attention, and even mood. Imagine being able to remember names, dates, and details with ease, or having laser-like focus when you’re working on a project. Even better, imagine feeling upbeat and positive, thanks to the mood-boosting benefits of omega-3s.

Not getting enough of these essential fats? The consequences could include cognitive decline and mood disorders. But don’t worry, it’s easy to get your daily dose of omega-3s. Foods rich in these fats include fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Incorporating these into your diet can be as simple as adding a sprinkle of chia seeds to your morning smoothie or enjoying a delicious salmon fillet for dinner. However, for those who may not get enough from their diet, supplements are a viable option. 2-4 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids is a good therapeutic dose.

Lions Mane

Lions Mane mushroom, a unique variety of medicinal fungi, has been gaining attention in the health and wellness sector for its potential cognitive and mood-boosting benefits. This edible mushroom, which has a striking appearance reminiscent of a lion’s mane, is believed to possess potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may contribute to improved brain function.

Research into the cognitive benefits of Lions Mane mushroom is promising. Various studies have pointed towards its potential to stimulate the growth of new brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis. For instance, a study published in 2019 found that Lion’s Mane decreases inflammation, potentially helping to relieve depression and anxiety1. Another research article highlighted the mushroom’s ability to improve memory and boost brain cell growth.

The mushroom owes these benefits largely to two chemicals it contains: hericenones and erinacines. These compounds are believed to accelerate the growth of brain cells. Furthermore, the mushroom is often referred to as “the smart mushroom” due to its reported ability to enhance memory, focus, and clarity.

As for dosage, there isn’t a universal recommendation, as the ideal amount may vary based on several factors, including age, health status, and the specific reason for consumption. However, many supplement brands offer Lions Mane extract in capsule form, making it easy to incorporate this powerhouse mushroom into your wellness routine. 1-2 grams per day is a good therapeutic dose. For more information check out my article on Lions Mane.

Ginkgo Biloba

For centuries, the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree have been used in traditional medicine. Today, science is beginning to unlock the secrets behind this ancient remedy, revealing its potential to enhance cognitive health.

A number of clinical trials and studies have explored the effects of Ginkgo biloba on cognitive function, with promising results. One such study published by Frontiers in Pharmacology found that participants undergoing treatment with Ginkgo biloba extract showed improvements in cognitive function. This suggests that Ginkgo biloba may have the potential to enhance memory, focus, and mental clarity.

Ginkgo biloba contains high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids, antioxidants that provide a defense against damaging free radicals. By protecting our brain cells from oxidative stress, Ginkgo biloba helps maintain the health of our neurons, which are crucial for cognitive function.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that Ginkgo biloba could potentially play a role in preventing dementia2. This highlights the supplement’s potential not just for enhancing cognitive function in the short-term, but also for maintaining cognitive health in the long run.

While the research is promising, it’s important to remember that supplements should be used responsibly. Based on the current scientific research, a dosage of 120 to 240 mg of Ginkgo biloba extract per day, divided into two or three doses, is considered safe and effective for cognitive health benefits. However, always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regime.

Adding Ginkbo biloba to your daily routine is simple. The extract is available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and teas. Consider taking your Ginkgo biloba supplement in the morning with breakfast to kick-start your cognitive function for the day.

Curcumin

Curcumin has been a staple of traditional medicine for centuries, revered for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. But how does it benefit our brains?

A groundbreaking study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry investigated the effects of curcumin on cognitive function in adults aged between 50 and 90. Participants who took 90 mg of curcumin twice daily showed significant improvements in memory and attention abilities, compared to those who received a placebo. This is promising evidence that curcumin could be a powerful ally in maintaining cognitive health as we age.

In addition to boosting memory and attention, curcumin also offers protective benefits for the brain. A study published in the journal Antioxidants found that curcumin’s antioxidant activity helps to combat oxidative stress, a key factor in cognitive decline. By neutralizing harmful free radicals, curcumin can help preserve neuron integrity and function.

But the advantages of curcumin extend beyond its antioxidant capabilities. It’s also a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Chronic inflammation has been linked to numerous cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that curcumin could reduce markers of inflammation in the brain, potentially slowing the progression of these debilitating conditions.

So, how can you incorporate this golden spice into your daily routine? Curcumin supplements are a convenient and effective way to reap the cognitive benefits of this potent compound. While curcumin is safe for most people, it’s always wise to consult your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement regimen.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea, often referred to as Roseroot or Golden Root, is a plant native to the cold regions of Europe and Asia. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, particularly in Russia and Scandinavian countries, for its adaptogenic properties – its ability to help the body adapt to stress. But today, we’re diving deep into another exciting facet of this plant: its cognitive benefits.

A number of clinical trials and studies have explored the effects of Rhodiola Rosea on cognitive function, revealing promising results. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggested that Rhodiola Rosea ingestion could potentially improve cognitive function. This suggests that Rhodiola Rosea may have the potential to enhance memory, focus, and mental clarity.

In addition to boosting cognitive performance, Rhodiola Rosea is also known for its dual action of cognitive stimulation and emotional calming, which creates benefits for both immediate cognitive and memory performance and the long-term preservation of brain functions. This means that not only can it give your brain a quick boost, but it may also help maintain its health over time.

Moreover, a research article published in Phytotherapy Research assessed the effects of Rhodiola Rosea on cognitive function, stress, anxiety, and other mood symptoms. The study concluded that Rhodiola Rosea appears to have an adequate safety and tolerability profile, with a positive benefit-risk ratio.

So, how can you incorporate this powerful herb into your daily routine? Rhodiola Rosea is available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and teas. However, always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regime. Based on current scientific research, a dosage of 200-600mg per day is considered safe and effective for cognitive health benefits.

Vitamin B Complex

B-complex vitamins, which include eight water-soluble vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin), work together to support brain function.

Research suggests that B-complex vitamins can have a significant impact on cognitive health. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found potential mental benefits from supplementation with a high-dose, B-complex multivitamin/mineral supplement.

Another study published in Phytotherapy Research found that a formula of methylated B-complex vitamins showed modest improvements in mood and mental health. This suggests that B-complex vitamins may help reduce stress, improve mood, and ultimately enhance cognitive function.

Moreover, a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease highlighted the potential role of B-complex vitamins in preventing cognitive disorders. The research indicated that B vitamins play central roles in the metabolism of neurotransmitters, which are crucial for cognitive function.

So, how can you incorporate these brain-boosting vitamins into your daily routine? While B-complex vitamins are available in supplement form, they can also be found in a variety of foods. These include whole grains, beans, peas, nuts, eggs, dairy products, meat, and leafy greens.

When it comes to dosage, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider. However, a typical supplemental dose ranges from 1-25 mg per day for each of the B vitamins, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Magnesium

Recent research underscores the importance of magnesium for brain health. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that a higher intake of magnesium is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive impairment.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies, including several that pertain to brain function. It aids in transmitting nerve signals and promotes the plasticity of synapses, which are critical for learning and memory.

Moreover, magnesium is vital for maintaining the health of our neurons. A deficiency in this mineral can lead to neuronal damage, which could potentially lead to memory issues and other cognitive impairments.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium varies by age and sex, but general guidelines suggest an intake of 310-420 mg for adults. While it’s possible to get sufficient magnesium through a balanced diet, supplementation can be beneficial for those who aren’t meeting their needs through food alone.

Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is particularly abundant in the brain, where it participates directly in key signaling pathways. It supports the formation of short- and long-term memory, the ability to create new memories, and the ability to learn and recall information.

Recent research underscores the importance of phosphatidylserine for cognitive health. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggested that dietary supplementation of phosphatidylserine could improve brain function. This compound also stimulates the release of dopamine, a mood regulator, and increases the production of acetylcholine, necessary for learning and memory.

So, how can you incorporate this brain-boosting nutrient into your life? Phosphatidylserine supplements are available over the counter in capsule or powder form. While the dosage can vary depending on individual needs, a common recommendation is 100 mg three times a day. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

In addition to supplementation, phosphatidylserine can also be found in certain foods, including soy, white beans, egg yolks, chicken liver, and beef liver. Incorporating these foods into your daily diet can provide additional support for cognitive health.

Creatine

Creatine, a compound naturally produced in our bodies and found in dietary sources like meat and fish, is often associated with muscle growth and energy production. However, recent research suggests it also plays a significant role in cognitive health.

A study published in Psychopharmacology found that creatine supplementation had a significant positive effect on both working memory and intelligence, both tasks that require speed of processing. This indicates that creatine can enhance cognitive function, making it a valuable supplement for those looking to boost their mental prowess.

But how much creatine should you take? While the optimal dosage can vary based on individual needs and health status, a common recommendation for cognitive health benefits is 5 grams per day. It’s important to note that while creatine is generally safe for long-term use, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Furthermore, creatine supplements are most effective when taken consistently. Some people may experience mild side effects such as stomach discomfort or muscle cramps. These can often be mitigated by taking the supplement with a meal or spreading the dosage throughout the day.

Incorporating creatine into your routine could be as simple as mixing a scoop of creatine powder into your morning smoothie or post-workout shake. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to reaping the cognitive benefits of this powerful supplement. For more information check out my article on Creatine.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” plays a fundamental role in our brain health. But how exactly does this nutrient support our cognitive function?

Vitamin D aids in the function of neuronal and glial tissues, which are essential components of our nervous system. Furthermore, it has been shown to influence the synthesis of neurotrophins, growth factors that aid neuron survival and function, contributing to cognitive preservation.

However, maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D is crucial. A study published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society found that low levels of vitamin D were associated with cognitive impairment. This indicates that insufficient intake or absorption of vitamin D may negatively impact cognitive function.

The good news is, vitamin D supplementation could offer a solution. Research has suggested that maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D could help in preventing cognitive decline. A systematic review published in Aging Research Reviews found that vitamin D supplementation had a significant positive effect on cognition, particularly in individuals with low vitamin D levels.

So, what’s the recommended dosage? While individual needs can vary based on factors like age, sex, and geographical location, a general guideline suggests an intake of 600-800 IU (15-20 mcg) per day for adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. For more information check out this article on Vitamin D.

No matter what age we are, it is essential to take care of our brains. Using supplements can be a safe and effective way to support brain function and maintain its health. However, supplements should not replace a well-balanced diet or prescribed medication. Remember to consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplement. So, grab your supplements and let’s keep our brains healthy for a better tomorrow!


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18/Jul/2023

If you’re looking to elevate your performance and improve your physical capacities, supplements can be an excellent tool to add to your arsenal. Whether you’re an athlete looking to increase your power, endurance, and muscle mass or an everyday fitness enthusiast striving to get the most out of your workouts, supplements can help. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the top supplements for boosting performance, including creatine, beta-alanine, caffeine, rhodiola, and electrolytes. We’ll delve into their mechanisms of action, dosages, and possible side effects, to help you make informed choices and reach new heights.

1. Creatine:

Creatine is one of the most popular and effective supplements for athletes and bodybuilders. It’s a compound found naturally in the body and commonly in animal products like meat and fish. Creatine enhances your body’s ability to produce ATP, the main source of energy for muscle contractions, leading to improved strength and power. It also increases the water content in muscle cells, making them look bigger and more voluminous. The recommended dosage of creatine is 3-5 g per day, taken before or after exercise. Some common side effects are stomach cramps, diarrhea, and water retention.

2. Beta-Alanine:

Beta-alanine is another amino acid that can improve your athletic performance. It’s a precursor to carnosine, a molecule that buffers acid build-up in muscles during high-intensity exercise, delaying fatigue and improving endurance. Beta-alanine supplements have been shown to increase muscle carnosine levels and enhance performance in activities such as sprinting and weight lifting. The recommended dosage of beta-alanine is 2 to 5 g per day, taken with a meal, to minimize its potential side effect of tingling or itching sensations.

3. Caffeine:

Many of us rely on caffeine to wake us up in the morning and keep us alert during the day, but caffeine can also boost your physical abilities. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that enhances alertness, focus, and mood, and reduces perceived effort during exercise. Caffeine also increases the release of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which can be used as fuel by muscles. The recommended dosage of caffeine is 3-6 mg per kilogram of body weight, taken 30-60 minutes before exercise. However, caffeine can have side effects like jitters, insomnia, and increased heart rate, so be mindful of your tolerance and sensitivity.

4. Rhodiola:

Rhodiola rosea is an herb that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to reduce fatigue, stress, and improve mental and physical performance. Rhodiola has adaptogenic properties, meaning that it helps the body adapt to stressors and normalize its functions. Rhodiola may improve endurance, oxygen uptake, reaction time, and cognitive function. The recommended dosage of rhodiola is 200-600 mg per day, taken with food. Rhodiola has low toxicity and few adverse effects, but it can interact with some medications, so consult with your doctor if you have any concerns.

5. Electrolytes:

Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium that play essential roles in fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contraction. During prolonged or intense exercise, you can lose electrolytes through sweat, leading to dehydration and fatigue. Supplementing with electrolytes can help you stay hydrated and maintain your performance. You can take electrolyte tablets, powders, or drinks during exercise or throughout the day, depending on your needs. Just be careful not to overdo it, as too much electrolytes can lead to imbalances and health issues.

Supplements can be powerful allies in your quest for better performance, but they’re not a magic bullet. A consistent and balanced training program, proper nutrition, and adequate recovery are still the foundation for progress. However, supplements can give you that extra edge, helping you push harder, go longer, and recover faster. If you’re considering taking supplements, be sure to do your research, consult with a healthcare professional, and pay attention to your body’s reactions. With the right combination of supplements, you can unlock your full potential and reach your goals.


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12/Jul/2023

For many men and women, hair loss can be a source of insecurity and can negatively impact their self-esteem. This often leads them to seek treatment, with finasteride being one of the most common solutions to prevent further hair loss. However, despite its popularity, this medication can cause adverse effects, including sexual dysfunction and breast tenderness. But don’t worry, there are natural alternatives to finasteride to address hair loss. In this article, we will explore a few options that are safe, effective, and without the unwanted side effects.

1. Saw Palmetto:

Native to the Southeastern United States, saw palmetto is a plant extract that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for male hair loss. It works by inhibiting the production of DHT, a male hormone that causes hair loss. Saw palmetto can be consumed in capsule form or applied to the scalp as an oil. In a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, saw palmetto was found to be as effective as finasteride in improving hair growth.
The recommended dosage of saw palmetto for hair loss varies across different sources. According to a 2-year study, men with male pattern baldness were given 320 mg of saw palmetto per day. Some sources suggest a general recommended dosage between 160–320 milligrams daily.

2. Biotin:

Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is a B-complex vitamin that plays a critical role in healthy hair growth. It works by strengthening hair follicles and preventing hair breakage and damage. Biotin can be found in many foods, including eggs, nuts, and bananas, but it’s also available in supplement form. In a clinical trial published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, biotin was found to improve hair volume and thickness in women with hair loss.

3. Rosemary:

Rosemary is an herb that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. It’s believed that rosemary works by stimulating blood circulation in the scalp, which promotes hair growth. Rosemary oil can be applied topically to the hair and scalp, or consumed as a tea. In a study published in Skin med, rosemary was found to be effective in promoting hair growth in people with alopecia.

4. Lavender:

Lavender is another essential oil that has been shown to promote hair growth. It contains compounds that stimulate the growth of new hair cells and improve blood circulation in the scalp. Lavender oil can be applied topically or added to shampoo. In a clinical trial published in the Archives of Dermatology, lavender was found to be effective in treating alopecia areata, a type of hair loss that causes patchy hair loss.

5. Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has several health benefits, including promoting hair growth. It contains enzymes and vitamins that repair and strengthen damaged hair follicles. Aloe vera gel can be applied topically to the scalp or consumed as a juice. In a study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, aloe vera was found to improve hair growth in mice.

6.Pumpkin seed oil:

Pumpkin seed oil has gained attention as a possible natural alternative to finasteride for the treatment of hair loss. Several studies have suggested that pumpkin seed oil might improve hair count and hair thickness, especially in men with androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness.
A study conducted in 2014 reported that the oral administration of 400 mg of pumpkin seed oil for 24 weeks to men with androgenic baldness increased hair growth. Phytosterols, sterols found in pumpkin seed oil, are believed to promote hair growth.
The exact mechanism by which pumpkin seed oil works for hair loss is not fully understood. However, it is hypothesized that the oil may inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a hormone that has been linked to hair loss.
To use pumpkin seed oil for hair growth, it can be applied topically as a scalp massage oil, or it can be ingested in capsule form. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen.
Hair loss is a common problem that affects many men worldwide, and while finasteride may be a popular solution for hair loss, there are natural alternatives that you can use instead. Saw palmetto, biotin, rosemary, lavender, and aloe vera are all safe, effective, and without the unwanted side effects of finasteride. So instead of resorting to medication, try incorporating these natural remedies into your hair care routine to promote healthy hair growth and prevent hair loss.
For more information on reversing hair loss click here.

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30/May/2023

Berberine and Ozempic are two medicines that have gained popularity in recently. Berberine is a natural supplement, while Ozempic is a prescription drug. Both have been shown to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, making them popular among people with diabetes and weight loss. In this blog post, we will explore the similarities and differences between these two medicines.

1. What is Berberine?

Berberine is a remarkable natural compound, has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Extracted from the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of plants like goldenseal, Oregon grape, and barberry, berberine’s vibrant yellow color and impressive therapeutic properties have made it a prized ingredient in ancient healing practices.
The mechanism of action for berberine is quite fascinating. It functions by activating an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which plays a critical role in regulating metabolism and maintaining cellular energy homeostasis. This activation leads to numerous health benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, and enhanced lipid metabolism.
Recent scientific studies have confirmed berberine’s effectiveness in managing several conditions. One of its most notable applications is in treating type 2 diabetes, where it has exhibited remarkable potential in lowering blood sugar levels, comparable to the widely prescribed drug metformin. Additionally, berberine has demonstrated promising results in improving cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It has also displayed antimicrobial properties against various bacteria, fungi, and parasites, making it a valuable ally in combating infections.

2. What is Ozempic?

Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, is a groundbreaking medication that has taken the world of diabetes management by storm. Developed by Novo Nordisk, Ozempic was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults (FDA, 2017). This innovative drug belongs to a class of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, which are designed to mimic the action of GLP-1, a naturally occurring hormone involved in regulating blood sugar levels.
The mechanism of action for Ozempic is truly fascinating. As a GLP-1 receptor agonist, it works by stimulating insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells when blood sugar levels are high, thus helping to lower glucose levels in the bloodstream. Moreover, it suppresses the release of glucagon, a hormone that raises blood sugar levels, and slows down gastric emptying, resulting in a decrease in appetite and caloric intake.
Clinical trials have demonstrated Ozempic’s effectiveness in managing type 2 diabetes, showing significant reductions in HbA1c levels (a measure of long-term blood sugar control) and body weight. Additionally, it has been proven to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, in patients with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease. With its promising results and innovative mechanism of action, Ozempic has emerged as a powerful tool in the ongoing battle against diabetes and its complications.

3. How does Berberine compare to Ozempic?

In terms of blood sugar regulation, berberine has been shown to lower blood glucose levels by activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which helps improve insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin resistance. On the other hand, Ozempic mimics the action of GLP-1, stimulating insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells when blood sugar levels are high, suppressing glucagon release, and slowing gastric emptying . Both compounds have demonstrated significant reductions in HbA1c levels, a measure of long-term blood sugar control, in patients with type 2 diabetes).
When it comes to weight loss, both berberine and Ozempic have shown promising results. Berberine’s activation of AMPK leads to enhanced lipid metabolism, contributing to weight loss (Turner et al., 2008). Ozempic’s effect on weight loss can be attributed to its ability to slow gastric emptying, resulting in reduced appetite and caloric intake. Clinical trials have demonstrated significant weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with either compound.
While both berberine and Ozempic have proven effective in managing blood sugar levels and promoting weight loss, their mechanisms of action differ, and they belong to different classes of compounds. Berberine is a natural compound with a broader range of applications, including antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Ozempic, as a synthetic GLP-1 receptor agonist, has been specifically developed for type 2 diabetes treatment and has demonstrated additional cardiovascular benefits in patients with established cardiovascular disease.

4. Can Berberine and Ozempic be taken together?

It is not advisable to take Berberine and Ozempic together without consulting a doctor. Both medicines can lower blood sugar levels, and taking them together can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If you are already taking Ozempic, it is crucial to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and follow your doctor’s advice on adjusting your medication.

5. Which one should you choose?

Generally, Berberine is a safer and more affordable option compared to Ozempic, especially for people with mild to moderate blood sugar problems. However, for people with severe diabetes or other health complications, Ozempic may be the better choice, as it is a more potent and targeted medication. Ultimately, the decision to use Berberine or Ozempic should be made in consultation with a physician or naturopathic doctor, who can assess your particular health needs and goals.
References:

Imanshahidi, M., & Hosseinzadeh, H. (2016). Pharmacological and therapeutic effects of Berberis vulgaris and its active constituent, berberine. Phytotherapy Research, 22(8), 999-1012.

Turner, N., Li, J. Y., Gosby, A., To, S. W. C., Cheng, Z., Miyoshi, H., … & Xu, A. (2008). Berberine and its more biologically available derivative, dihydroberberine, inhibit mitochondrial respiratory complex I: a mechanism for the action of berberine to activate AMP-activated protein kinase and improve insulin action. Diabetes, 57(5), 1414-1418.

Yin, J., Xing, H., & Ye, J. (2008). Efficacy of berberine in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism, 57(5), 712-717.

Zhang, Y., Li, X., Zou, D., Liu, W., Yang, J., Zhu, N., … & Gong, H. (2008). Treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia with the natural plant alkaloid berberine. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 93(7), 2559-2565.

Imanshahidi, M., & Hosseinzadeh, H. (2010). Berberis Vulgaris and Berberine: An Update Review. Phytotherapy Research, 22(11), 1485-1494.

FDA. (2017). FDA approves new drug to treat type 2 diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-drug-treat-type-2-diabetes

Aroda, V. R., Bain, S. C., Cariou, B., Piletic, M., Rose, L., Axelsen, M., … & Marre, M. (2017). Efficacy and safety of once-weekly semaglutide versus once-daily sitagliptin as an add-on to metformin, thiazolidinediones, or both, in patients with type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN 2): a 56-week, double-blind, phase 3a, randomised trial. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 5(5), 341-354.

Nauck, M. A., Petrie, J. R., Sesti, G., Mannucci, E., Courrèges, J. P., Lindegaard, M. L., … & Madsbad, S. (2016). A phase 2, randomized, dose-finding study of the novel once-weekly human GLP-1 analog, semaglutide, compared with placebo and open-label liraglutide in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 39(2), 231-241.

Pratley, R. E., Amod, A., Hoff, S. T., Kadowaki, T., Lingvay, I., Nauck, M., … & Soska, V. (2018). Oral semaglutide versus subcutaneous liraglutide and placebo in type 2 diabetes (PIONEER 4): a randomised, double-blind, phase 3a trial. The Lancet, 394(10192), 39-50.

Marso, S. P., Bain, S. C., Consoli, A., Eliaschewitz, F. G., Jódar, E., Leiter, L. A., … & Seufert, J. (2016). Semaglutide and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine, 375(19), 1834-1844.

Zhang, Y., Li, X., Zou, D., Liu, W., Yang, J., Zhu, N., … & Gong, H. (2008). Treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia with the natural plant alkaloid berberine. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 93(7), 2559-2565.

Sorli, C., Harashima, S. I., Tsoukas, G. M., Unger, J., Karsbøl, J. D., Hansen, T., & Bain, S. C. (2017). Efficacy and safety of once-weekly semaglutide monotherapy versus placebo in patients with type 2 diabetes (SUSTAIN 1): a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multinational, multicentre phase 3a trial. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 5(4), 251-260.


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24/May/2023

Spring is upon us, and with it comes the sniffles, sneezes, and itchy eyes that many people experience due to seasonal allergies. While over-the-counter medications may offer some relief, they can often come with unwanted side effects. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies that can be effective in treating seasonal allergies. Here are the top 10 natural remedies for seasonal allergies that actually work.

Local honey

Consuming a teaspoon of local honey every day can help build up your immunity to pollen, which is a common trigger for seasonal allergies. This technique is also known as allergen-specific immunotherapy. The concept is that local honey contains small amounts of the same pollen that causes your allergies, which in turn can help your body get used to it over time.

Neti pot

A neti pot is a small pot used to flush out your nasal passages with saline solution. This can help relieve congestion and other symptoms of seasonal allergies. Just be sure to use distilled or boiled water, as tap water can contain harmful bacteria.
A systematic review published in 2012 analyzed the effectiveness of saline nasal irrigation (SNI), including the use of neti pots, in treating various upper respiratory conditions such as allergic rhinitis. The review concluded that SNI could be effective in alleviating symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.

Probiotics

Probiotics are known to promote a healthy immune system, which can help reduce allergy symptoms. You can consume probiotics in supplement form or by eating foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi.
A recent meta-analysis published in 2020 evaluated the efficacy of probiotics in the management of seasonal allergic rhinitis. The study analyzed data from 23 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 1916 participants. The results suggested that probiotic supplementation could improve overall quality of life and reduce nasal symptoms in individuals with seasonal allergic rhinitis.
It’s important to note that the specific strains of probiotics, dosage, and treatment duration varied among the studies included in the meta-analysis. Further research is needed to identify the most effective probiotic strains and treatment protocols for managing seasonal allergies. As always, it’s recommended to consult with your naturopathic doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.

Quercetin

Quercetin is a flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables, such as apples, onions, and broccoli. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce allergy symptoms. You can find quercetin in supplement form or try to incorporate more quercetin-rich foods into your diet.
A study published in 2016 investigated the effects of quercetin combined with vitamin C and bromelain on upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), which can share some symptoms with seasonal allergies.
The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involved 45 participants who were given the quercetin-vitamin C-bromelain combination or a placebo. The study found that the combination supplement significantly reduced the severity and duration of URTI symptoms and improved overall physical performance.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can also reduce inflammation in the body, making it a great natural remedy for seasonal allergies. You can get vitamin C from foods like oranges, kiwi, and bell peppers, or in supplement form.
Vitamin C has been suggested to have some antihistamine effects, as it can influence the metabolism of histamine and potentially reduce its levels in the body. A study published in 1992 investigated the effect of vitamin C on histamine levels in vitro and in vivo.
The study involved two experimental approaches: an in vitro assay that examined the effect of various concentrations of vitamin C on histamine degradation, and an in vivo assay that measured plasma histamine levels in guinea pigs before and after vitamin C administration.
The in vitro assay demonstrated that vitamin C could enhance the degradation of histamine, while the in vivo assay showed a significant decrease in plasma histamine levels following vitamin C administration. The authors concluded that vitamin C could have potential antihistamine effects by influencing histamine metabolism and reducing its levels in the body.

Butterbur

Butterbur is an herb that has been shown to be effective in reducing allergy symptoms. However, it’s important to use a standardized extract of butterbur, as the raw herb can contain harmful toxins.
There is research suggesting that Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) can help reduce allergy symptoms, particularly in individuals with allergic rhinitis. One notable study published in 2002 compared the efficacy of Butterbur extract (ZE 339) to the antihistamine cetirizine in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
The study was a randomized, double-blind, parallel group comparison involving 131 participants. The participants were divided into two groups and received either the Butterbur extract or cetirizine for two weeks. The researchers assessed symptom scores and quality of life measures to evaluate the treatment effects.
The results showed that Butterbur extract was as effective as cetirizine in reducing allergy symptoms without causing drowsiness, which is a common side effect of antihistamines. The authors concluded that Butterbur extract could be an effective treatment option for patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis.