Archive for May, 2016

Source: The Weirdest Advertisements From The 1970’s

Previous research by Northwestern scientists showed that people who received the majority of their bright light in the morning weighed less than those who were exposed to most of their bright light after 12 p.m. The researchers wanted to understand why. Mouse studies also have shown that mice kept in constant light have altered glucose metabolism and gain weight compared to control mice.

“Our findings show that insulin was unable to acutely bring glucose levels back to a baseline level following a meal with bright light exposure in the evening,” said first author Ivy Cheung, a postdoctoral fellow in neurology at Feinberg. “The results of this study emphasize that our lighting environment impacts our health outcomes.”

The paper was published May 18 in the journal PLOS ONE.

There is increasing evidence that light and dark exposure patterns over time impact health outcomes such as body weight and food intake. The aim of the Northwestern study was to examine the acute effects of three hours of morning or evening blue-enriched light exposure compared to dim light on hunger, metabolic function and physiological arousal.

Nineteen healthy adults were randomized to three hours of blue-enriched light exposure starting either 0.5 hours after waking (morning group) or 10.5 hours after waking (evening group). Each person’s results were compared to their dim light exposure results as a baseline. The morning group ate breakfast in the light; the evening group ate dinner in the light.

The study showed blue-enriched light exposure acutely altered metabolic function in both the morning and the evening compared to dim light. While morning and evening blue-enriched light exposure both resulted in higher insulin resistance, evening blue-enriched light led to higher peak glucose. This suggests a greater inability of insulin to adequately compensate for the increase in glucose in the evening.

Other Northwestern authors include Dr. Phyllis Zee and Dr. Roneil Malkani.

The study was supported by grant 5T32HL790915 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health; Philips Lifestyle Research Grant 2011 and other sources.

Scientists found bright light exposure increased insulin resistance compared to dim light exposure in both the morning and the evening. In the evening, bright light also caused higher peak glucose (blood sugar) levels. Credit: © Sergey Nivens / Flickr Exposure to bright light could affect your met

Source: Bright light alters metabolism – Science Bulletin

The Amazing Sex Benefits Of Vitamin D-3 And Vitamin K-2! ATTENTION MEN!

The ability to have quality sexual experiences has a meaningful impact in our ability to form strong and even more intimate romantic relationships.

By: Jon Bender

Sex benefits are more than just romantic relations, they are physical and include but are not limited to: increased testosterone, healthy prostate, stronger immune system, and brain dopamine release, to name a few.  Important components to a healthy sex life range from exogenous sources such as diet and environment to endogenous ones like genetics.  To improve diet is to go a long way towards deriving those sex benefits, and being armed with information is the key to successfully improving the intake of vital nutrients and vitamins.

It Has Been Shown That Vitamin D-3 Is Important For A Vital Sex Life.

Vitamin D-3 increases testosterone, the hormone largely responsible for sex-drive.  Studies in Australia suggest that sexual desire may be increased by increasing the daily dose of vitamin D.  Men with 30 nanograms or more of vitamin D in each milliliter of blood had higher levels of available testosterone.

A Fun And Free Way To Absorb Vitamin D Is Through The Sun’s Rays.

Two thousand men were tracked for one year in 2009 by Clinical Endocrinology, a scientific journal.  The researchers found that testosterone levels peaked in the month of August, the month with the greatest amount of sunshine.  Those levels also dropped precipitously during the winter months when the sun was not out and people tended to remain indoors.  Sunlight hitting the skin creates vitamin D on the dermis.  Over 90 % of vitamin D is produced by the skin during direct sun contact.  The correlation of increased sun with higher testosterone levels is easy to link, once again, with the effect that D has on the production of testosterone, which correlates strongly with sex benefits.

Being Out In The Sun For As Little As One Hour Can Boost The Testosterone Level In The Average Male By Almost 70 %.

This is good news for those living below the 38 degree latitude line, but not as pertinent for those above. In the northern regions, men can keep their D levels up and get increased sex benefits by eating fish or taking fish oil supplements.  Fish such as wild salmon, mackerel and sardines are loaded with wonderful fishy oils and can help substitute sunshine for those not blessed by year round sunshine.

Sex Benefits Of Vitamin K-2 Are Profound As Well.

In the last century, anthropologists studied indigenous tribes worldwide and noticed something.  Many of these tribes’ men stayed strong in their sexual virility and potency far into their advanced years even into their 70s and older.  They didn’t specifically understand exactly why but did believe it was largely due to some component of their diet.  The researchers referred to this unknown dietary component as activator X and could observe the obvious and profound sex benefits and erection potency.  Today, some scientists are convinced that this activator X may be vitamin K-2.   Aside from being an essential component to the human body, vitamin K-2 provides blood-clotting properties.  Being vitamin K-2 deficient leads to the inability to maintain an erection as certain pathways that are supposed to close off during times of arousal won’t be able to. Therefore it’s vital for men to include vitamin K-2 to their daily diet.

Aside from the incredible sex benefits that can be obtained from optimizing your vitamin D-3 and K-2 levels,  one of the leading questions that comes up today in the area of health and nutrition is “What is the best anti-aging type supplement to help build and strengthen the bones as well as support over all health and well-being?” Without question, we believe AgelessImpact’s SunD is the superior product to fit the bill.

SunD’s Formula Starts With A Whopping 8,000 IU’s Per Serving Of Vitamin D-3.

Years ago Vitamin D deficiencies were virtually unheard of as most spent plenty of time outside getting our daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun (from just 20 minutes of continuous sun exposure). Unfortunately, the medical community has so “over scared” people about sun exposure that many Americans don’t get even the bare minimum amount of Vitamin D, much less the amount in SunD (4,000% of the recommended Daily Value!).

In addition to the large volume of research supporting the restorative power of Vitamin D to stimulate bone cells and enhance the uptake of calcium into the bones, emerging research touts the positive impact in boosting immunity, hormone regulation, brain health, metabolism, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention and even cardiovascular health. (Could you ask for anything more?)

To take things to a much higher support level, we’ve included 4,000 micrograms per serving of Vitamin K2 (3,333% of the recommended Daily Value!). Vitamin K-2 helps sweep calcium out of our arteries and tissues, then deposits it where hardening makes sense – your bones! Nearly all healthy adults in America reportedly have undiagnosed vitamin K deficiency. The beauty of adding K-2 is that its the most bioactive and absorbable of the K vitamins.

The Final Ingredient That Makes This Formula So Powerful And Complete Is Strontium.

It’s important to note that the Strontium in SunD has literally no relationship to the Strontium 90 that causes radioactive damage. Strontium is a common element naturally found in our bones. Studies have demonstrated that Strontium in its various forms is well tolerated and completely safe. It has a unique method of action, which provides a dual activity in your bones. Strontium both inhibits bone resorption (the process breaking down bone and releasing the mineral, that result in the transfer of calcium from bone fluid to the blood) and simultaneously stimulating bone growth. No other natural substance or drug that we know of is known to provide this dual effect!

We believe this powerful 1-2-3 punch will greatly assist those interested in maximizing their sex benefits as well as maintaining healthy bones and overall well being as you grow older.  One of these three ingredients without the other is not near as effective as the synergistic effect of combining them together. This unique combination of ingredients is what separates SunD from the rest!

Source: The Amazing Sex Benefits Of Vitamin D-3 And Vitamin K-2! – agelessimpact

A 60-year-old Beachwood woman whose parents lost their memories at about age 70 wrote for advice, worried she might lose her memory, too. There are ways to minimize that possibility, even though one in five will experience some form of brain drain, ranging from fuzzy thinking to Alzheimer’s disease.

While some causes of memory loss are genetic, you can build a bigger brain and postpone memory loss. One study found that there are nine risk factors for Alzheimer’s, ranging from obesity to inflammation to plaque in the arteries, and most of them are modifiable.

Because your brain is plastic (a good word in brain talk), it is flexible enough to grow and strengthen if you empower it to do so. Some specific tactics for creating a brain built for a centenarian follow:

• Avoid foods with sugar. Sugar for the slightly and very diseased brain is like cocaine; short-term increases in sugar improve function, but chronic, slightly raised sugar levels, even if you don’t have diabetes or pre-diabetes, will affect your memory. That excess blood glucose in that sugar doughnut (made worse by its saturated fat) and from the sugar in your coffee cause inflammation, which damages brain cells. Higher blood sugar is linked to a smaller hippocampus, which means poorer ability to form and store new memories. The same thing (or at least its rat equivalent) occurs when mouse were fed the equivalent of a liter of sugared soda a day.

• Manage stress or eradicate your stressor. Stress is the greatest cause of memory loss linked to a shrinking hippocampus. It seems that the inflammation caused by stress prunes old and makes new connections for establishing memories more difficult. You can use meditation and behavioral modification to control your reaction to stressful events, or learn to deal with the stress and eradicate its cause or causes.

• Do physical activity. Any physical activity for 45 minutes three times a week, even walking, expands your hippocampal region. New data would indicate that maybe intense exercise for 20 seconds three times in a 10-minute period three times a week may be even better, but check with your doctor before increasing the intensity of your exercise program.

• Learn something new. Try a new skill, hobby or game, or even try to find new directions – without GPS – to a place you visit regularly. These will create more connections that also help enlarge your hippocampus, lowering your risk of memory loss.

• Take in enough magnesium, foliate, B12, B6, and Vitamin D3. Magnesium ensures strong links between your brain cells, so you have a big network ready to solve problems. You need 420 milligrams daily, but most of us fall short. Turn to brown rice, almonds, hazelnuts, spinach, shredded wheat, lima beans, and bananas to top off your tank, or just get ½ a multimineral and vitamin supplement twice a day. The B vitamins are key for brain functioning, too. Vitamin D3, like DHA Omega-3, protects your DNA and seems to prevent damage from free radicals (rogue oxygen molecules that attack DNA). Aim for 1,000IU daily from a D3 supplement. Get it measured; you want to aim for a level over 35.

• Don’t short-change sleep. When you’re busy, it’s easy to say the thing you want to sacrifice is sleep. But you need sleep for lots of reasons, and one of the biggies is that it acts as a brain scrub and gets your brain in condition for optimal learning, problem-solving and memory.

Source: Avoid sugar, boost intelligence | Health | clevelandjewishnews.com

Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, but females also have small amounts of it.

It is a steroid hormone, produced in men’s testicles and women’s ovaries (1).

The adrenal glands also produce small amounts.

During puberty in boys, testosterone is one of the main drivers of physical changes like increased muscle, deeper voice and hair growth.

However, having optimal levels is also important throughout adulthood and even during old age.

In adults, healthy levels are important for general health, disease risk, body composition, sexual function and just about everything else (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Additionally, increasing your testosterone levels can cause rapid gains in muscle mass and vitality in only a matter of weeks (8, 9, 10).

Interestingly, it also plays an important role in female health and sexual well-being (11, 12, 13).

The research is pretty conclusive: both genders should ensure they have healthy levels of testosterone, especially as they age (13, 14).

Here are 8 evidence-based ways to increase testosterone levels naturally.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1461671199485-0’); });

1. Exercise and Lift Weights

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent many lifestyle-related diseases. Interestingly, it can also boost your testosterone.

A large review study found that people who exercised regularly had higher testosterone levels. In the elderly, exercise increases testosterone levels, fitness and reaction time (15, 16).

Fit Young Man Lifting Weights

New research in obese men suggests that increased physical activity was even more beneficial than a weight loss diet for increasing testosterone levels (17).

Resistance training, such as weight lifting, is the best type of exercise to boost testosterone in both the short- and long-term (18, 19).

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also be very effective, although all types of exercise should work to some extent (18, 19, 20, 21, 22).

Taking caffeine and creatine monohydrate as supplements may further boost your levels when combined with a training program (23, 24).

Bottom Line: All forms of exercise may increase your testosterone levels. Weight lifting and high-intensity interval training are the most effective.

2. Eat Protein, Fat and Carbs

Plate of Fish, Potatoes and Broccoli

What you eat has a major impact on testosterone as well as other hormone levels (25).

Therefore, you must pay attention to your long-term calorie intake and diet strategy.

Constant dieting or overeating may disrupt your testosterone levels (26, 27, 28, 29, 30).

Eating enough protein can help maintain healthy levels and aid in fat loss, which is also associated with your testosterone (28, 31, 32).

Carb intake also plays a role, with research showing carbs can help optimize testosterone levels during resistance training (22, 33).

However, research demonstrates that sufficient healthy fats are also beneficial for testosterone and health (25, 34, 35, 36, 37).

A diet based mainly on whole foods is best, with a healthy balance of fat, protein and carbs. This can optimize both hormone levels and long-term health.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Bottom Line: Don’t overeat and don’t restrict calories too much for too long. Try to eat balanced amounts of carbs, fat and protein.

3. Minimize Stress and Cortisol Levels

Research is always highlighting the dangers of long-term stress, which can elevate levels of the hormone cortisol (38, 39, 40).

Unnatural elevations in cortisol can quickly reduce testosterone. These hormones work in a seesaw-like manner: as one goes up, the other comes down (40, 41, 42).

Stress and high cortisol can also increase food intake, weight gain and the storage of harmful body fat around your organs. In turn, these changes may negatively impact your testosterone levels (43, 44, 45).

For both optimal health and hormone levels, you should try to reduce repetitive stressful situations in your life.

Focus on a diet based on whole foods, regular exercise, good sleep, laughter and a balanced lifestyle, all of which can reduce stress and improve your health and testosterone levels (46, 47, 48, 49, 50).

Bottom Line: High levels of stress are bad for your long-term health and can reduce your testosterone levels.

4. Get Some Sun or Take a Vitamin D Supplement

Bottle of Vitamin D Capsules

Vitamin D is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular vitamins.

Research has shown that it has various health benefits, and may also work as a natural testosterone booster (51, 52, 53, 54, 55).

Despite its importance, nearly half of the US population is deficient in vitamin D, and an even higher percentage has sub-optimal levels (56, 57).

A 12-month study found that supplementing with around 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day increased testosterone levels by around 25% (54).

In the elderly, vitamin D and calcium also optimized testosterone levels, which led to a reduced risk of falling (58).

To boost testosterone and reap the other benefits of vitamin D, try to get regular exposure to sunlight or take around 3,000 IU of a vitamin D3 supplement daily.

More information on vitamin D here: Vitamin D 101 — A Detailed Beginner’s Guide.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Bottom Line: Vitamin D3 supplements may boost testosterone levels, especially in the elderly and people who have low blood levels of vitamin D.

5. Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Young Man with a Pill and a Glass of Water in Hand

Although the benefits of multivitamins are hotly debated, specific vitamins and minerals may be beneficial (59).

In one study, zinc and vitamin B supplements increased sperm quality by 74%. Zinc also boosts testosterone in athletes and those who are deficient in zinc (60, 61, 62).

Other studies also suggest vitamins A, C and E can play a role in your sex hormone and testosterone levels, although more research is needed (25, 63, 64, 65).

Out of all the vitamins and minerals available, the research on testosterone shows vitamin D and zinc supplements may be best (54, 66, 67).

Bottom Line: Vitamin D and zinc have the strongest evidence as testosterone boosters. Other micronutrients may also have benefits, but require further research.

6. Get Plenty of Restful, High-Quality Sleep

Silver Alarm Clock

Getting good sleep is just as important for your health as diet and exercise (68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73).

It may also have major effects on your testosterone levels.

The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but one study found that sleeping only 5 hours per night was linked to a 15% reduction in testosterone levels (73).

One long-term study observed that those who slept only four hours per night had borderline deficient levels (46).

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Other long-term studies support this. One study calculated that for every additional hour of sleep you get, testosterone levels rise 15% higher, on average (74, 75).

Although some people seem to do fine with less sleep, research suggests around 7–10 hours of sleep per night is best for long-term health and your testosterone.

Bottom Line: Make sure you get plenty of high-quality sleep to maintain healthy testosterone levels and optimize your long-term health.

7. Take Some of These Natural Testosterone Boosters

Bottle of Herb Capsules

Only a few natural testosterone boosters are supported by scientific studies.

The herb with the most research behind it is called ashwagandha.

One study tested the effects of this herb on infertile men and found a 17% increase in testosterone levels and a 167% increase in sperm count (76).

In healthy men, ashwagandha increased levels by 15%. Another study found it lowered cortisol by around 25%, which may also aid testosterone (77, 78).

Ginger extract may also boost your levels. It is a delicious herb that also provides various other health benefits (79, 80, 81, 82, 83).

Most of the research on ginger has been done in animals. However, one study in infertile humans found that ginger can boost testosterone levels by 17% and increase levels of other key sex hormones (80, 84).

Other popular herbs that are supported by some studies in both animals and humans include horny goat weed, Mucuna pruriens, shilajit and tongkat ali.

Yet it’s important to note that most of the positive research has been conducted in mice or infertile humans with low testosterone levels.

If you have healthy testosterone function and normal levels, it is unclear whether you will benefit much from these supplements.

Bottom Line: Several herbal supplements are a natural way to boost testosterone for those with infertility or low levels.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1461352487305-0’); });

8. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle and Avoid Estrogen-like Compounds

BPA Free Logo

There are several other factors that may affect your hormone levels.

A healthy sex life plays an important role in regulating your sex hormone and testosterone levels (85, 86).

High exposure to estrogen-like chemicals may also affect your levels, so try to minimize daily exposure to BPA, parabens and other chemicals found in some types of plastic (86, 87, 88, 89).

It’s probably no surprise that excess alcohol or drug use, whether it’s medical or recreational, can also decrease testosterone levels (90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95).

In contrast, laughter, happiness and success may help boost your health and testosterone levels — so make sure they’re a part of your daily life (96, 97, 98, 99).

Bottom Line: Reducing exposure to estrogen-like chemicals, alcohol and drugs can positively affect your testosterone levels and health.

Why Do Testosterone Levels Matter?

From the age of 25–30, a man’s testosterone levels naturally start to decline.

This is a problem because strong research shows a link between low testosterone and obesity, increased disease risk and premature death.

Healthy testosterone levels are also important for women, along with other key hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

Therefore, everyone should take the necessary lifestyle steps to optimize testosterone levels. You will improve your health and body at the same time.

The article “8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally” appeared first on https://authoritynutrition.com

Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, but females also have small amounts of it. It is a steroid hormone, produced in men’s testicles and women’s ovaries (1). The adrenal glands also produce small amounts.

Source: 8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

The weird history of vitamin D | IOL

Washington – As you soak in rays of sunshine, your thoughts may turn to vitamin D – because you probably know it has something to do with the sun. But do you actually know what it is?

Humans are kinda capable of photosynthesis, and they use it to produce what scientists believe to be the oldest hormone that has ever existed on earth. It’s vitamin D, and it’s been around 750 million years, ever since tiny phytoplankton began cranking out the stuff in what is now the Atlantic Ocean.

Scientists aren’t sure exactly why vitamin D developed, but one theory is that it functioned as a kind of early sunscreen. It also helped with another stumbling block on the evolutionary road out of the water and on to land: calcium. Going from the calcium-rich environment of the sea on to dry land presented certain difficulties, namely getting enough of it, and it just so happens that the production of vitamin D in the body changes the ability of calcium to get into each cell. This likely made more of the calcium already present in the body usable.

Much like the noble phytoplankton, when rays from the sun strike your body you (along with amphibians, reptiles, all bird species, and most mammals) “photosynthesise” vitamin D to allow the body to metabolise calcium. It isn’t actually the same process by which plants create food from sunlight, but it is literally a form of photosynthesis – the use of light to synthesise a chemical.

So necessary is this process to life on this planet that some have theorised the dinosaurs died out in part because – when the debris from an infamous asteroid blocked out the sun – the creatures couldn’t produce enough vitamin D to carry on.

After all, it was tiny, nocturnal rodents that survived the dinosaurs – and then the apocalypse – to give rise to the age of mammals, and such organisms would have already sorted out how to acquire enough vitamin D without abundant sunlight.

 

So what is vitamin D, anyway?

First, a word on vitamins: The story of vitamins begins with a bunch of scientists trying to understand what we now know as deficiency syndromes, like scurvy and beriberi. Their work differentiating these types of diseases from those of an infectious nature led to our modern understanding of vitamins as organic compounds (that’s organic as in carbon-containing, not as in “the more expensive bananas.”) Vitamins are compounds that an organism requires for survival and cannot make enough of itself.

Today, there are 13 vitamins (that we know of) that keep the ol’ human meat sack in running order – vitamins that must be consumed, because the body cannot make enough to meet meat sack demands. But vitamin D is a weird one: Your body can make just plenty, provided some sunshine and perhaps a bit of nudity.

We can make all the vitamin D we need by flashing bare skin at a carcinogenic ball of plasma nearly 93 million miles away, but we can also get some of it from our food. And if you’re ever wondered how a blast of midday UVB rays to the epidermis can get your body to synthesise the same compounds food chemists are out there fortifying milk with, then today is your lucky day.

The modern understanding of vitamin D begins with a bunch of researchers torturing puppies in the name of science. Yes, really. Aren’t you glad you started down this sunny rabbit hole?

Rickets, a disease that causes bones to soften, became especially prevalent as the industrial revolution sent child workers indoors and factory pollution began to blot out the sun. When a rash of urban children developed skeletal deformities, researchers stepped up to find the cause and figure out a solution.

 

Enter the puppies

In 1919, a scientist named Edward Mellanby successfully induced rickets in puppies by feeding them only bread and low-fat milk, noting that the resulting bone imaging and physical appearance of the dogs mimicked that of children suffering from rickets. Supplementing the diets of the wee puppers with yeast and orange juice (for B vitamins and scurvy-prevention, respectively) did nothing to stave off the bone disease; however, supplementation with both butterfat and cod liver oil did the trick. And with that, rickets was officially outed as a disease of deficiency. And where there’s a deficiency, so too there must be a vitamin to be deficient in.

Today we know that rickets can be caused by a lack of or malfunction in the metabolism of phosphorus or calcium, and that the syndrome primarily results from vitamin D deficiency. During the early 20th century, it was discovered that certain foods – like cod liver oil and whole milk – could heal rickets, but then research threw science a little curveball: it seemed as if going outside could also cure the disease.

In a most plant-like fashion, the bodies of these factory-working tykes could use sunlight to make an essential vitamin.

The term vitamin D refers to a group of fat-soluble steroids with a special “broken ring” formation. The shape of the compound is notable because it helps the body absorb critical nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc through the gut wall. This is all well and good, and explains in part why we add vitamin D to calcium-rich milk, but what does any of this have to do with sunlight?

As mentioned, there are two avenues to acquiring vitamin D: food and sun. And while yes, fatty fish flesh is a decent source of vitamin D compared to other foods – few of which naturally contain the compound – the bulk of vitamin D is produced in the skin thanks to a process known as photosynthesis, photodissociation, photolysis, and – my personal favourite – photodecomposition.

 

Here’s how it works:

Human skin contains a compound that functions as a precursor to vitamin D, called 7-dehydrocholesterol; the compound is also a precursor to cholesterol. (Cholesterol gets a bad rap for giving bankers heart attacks, but is, in fact, completely necessary for the production of steroid hormones like androgens and estrogens, among other things.)

When light from our neighbourhood star lands on the skin, a specific portion of the light is able to transform 7-dehydrocholesterol into vitamin D3 by breaking a bond in the precursor molecule. The light that can do this is ultraviolet, meaning the length of the waves in which it travels are too short for the human eye to see. Specifically, it’s the UVB portion of the spectrum, which moves at a faster wavelength than its slower cousin, UVA rays. Simply put, sunlight breaks a bond in a molecule in your skin and then your body uses the new, sun-altered compound to manage its calcium needs.

And that’s how your body uses the photons streaming out of a 6 billion year old star to make its own vitamin D.

It doesn’t take much time to make enough vitamin D, if you time your light exposure correctly and you live in the right place. For a pale person – they make vitamin D the fastest – around 10 minutes in the midday summer sun with their arms and legs exposed is enough to make 50 times the vitamin D you need in a day. (But don’t worry, it’s impossible to OD on vitamin D in the sun.)

However, even though it’s astronomically easy for most people meet their vitamin D needs on a nice day, vitamin D deficiency is rampant in modern life. This is a significant problem, as those with the lowest levels of the vitamin may have more than twice the risk of death from heart disease, compared to those with the highest levels.

And while it doesn’t take much summer light to make lots of the vitamin, those north of Atlanta are virtually doomed to not synthesise enough of the vitamin during the wintertime. This is because the angle of the light hitting the earth makes it so UVB rays cannot penetrate the atmosphere; this can be mitigated with supplementation, but has always struck me as curious, given that people have been living in darker, colder areas for millennia without the synthetic bolstering of vitamin D levels.

Then I remember that cultures in the darkest, coldest parts of the world often eat a lot of fatty fish – a great source of vitamin D.

Researchers estimate that many Americans are vitamin D-deficient, which can lead to heart trouble, cognitive impairments in older adults, severe asthma in children, increased risk of cancer, and, of course, rickets. One 2010 study found 41 percent of Americans to be vitamin D deficient, a staggering number with wide-reaching implications for an already-burdened healthcare system.

All the more reason to get outsideto make like a plant and photosynthesise

How exactly do human beings get Vitamin D from the sun?

Source: The weird history of vitamin D | IOL

About one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime and the average age at the time of diagnosis is about 66.

Source: Vitamin D3 appears to fight prostate cancer – Hammond Star: Columnists

Let’s take a look at the top stories trending on the Philly.com health channel.

Source: Healthbeat: Vitamin D3 is good for the heart

STEAMY new BBC show Versailles is causing controversy for its graphic sex scenes before it has even aired on television.

Source: Anger over explicit new BBC drama Versailles ‘dressing up porn in cravat and tights’ | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV | Daily Express

BOCA RATON, FL–(Marketwired – May 12, 2016) – Cubic Pharmaceuticals, a company based in the UK that focuses on developing and distributing high-quality, unique medicines and supplements, announced its Cubicole D3 is more available in the US Market than ever, on Amazon.com and the supplement can help people manage depression.

“It is incredible that research has found Vitamin D to be effective with anti-depressants and to help manage the disorder. It is unbelievably important in this day and age to have more effective treatments for depression when millions of people worldwide are diagnosed with it,” said Saumil Bhatt, CEO of Cubic Pharmaceuticals.

An international study has discovered taking Vitamin D can have a potential impact on mental health and clinical depression according to a recent article on dailymail.co.uk. Vitamin D had been found to increase the effectiveness of antidepressants and Dr. Jerome Sarris, who led a study by ARCADIA Mental Health Research Group at the University of Melbourne, described the results as significant.

Sarris discovered Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, has been found to boost mood in combination with anti-depressants. These results were determined after researchers examined 40 clinical trials worldwide, where participants were prescribed with Vitamin D, some other nutraceuticals and placebo pills. Participants who took the Vitamin D supplement experienced less symptoms of depression than those taking the placebo.

Results of the trial is linked to certain receptors in the brain for vitamin D and these receptors are found in the areas of the brain that are linked to the development of depression. For this reason, vitamin D has been linked with depression, according to the Vitamin D Council, and the supplement may increase the amount of monoamines, which can help treat depression.

“People with depression now have a Vitamin D supplement to try in combination with medication to bring results and better treat their condition. I hope with Cubicole D3 more people can treat depression than ever,” Bhatt said.

Cubic Pharmaceuticals Ltd was founded in 2008 and by two pharmacists, Mr. Arun Jangra and Mr. Anwar Ali, who brought in their substantial experience of pharmacy and formulations whilst working with NHS. Since its inception, Cubic Pharmaceuticals Ltd has distributed and traded Ethical, Generics, OTC and Unlicensed Medicinal Products (SPECIALS) sharing knowledge and experiences. For more about the brand, visit: http://www.cubicpharmaceuticals.co.uk.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Source: Cubicole D3 Vitamin D Supplement May Help Treat Depression

Dr Gitte Bloch Rasmussen, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark

The news was announced in Rome today by the Danish medical doctor and PhD Gitte Bloch Rasmussen, speaking at ECTS 2016, the 43rd annual congress of the European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS).

Dr Rasmussen was reporting on trials that had been conducted among 193 women with low levels of vitamin D, who were all planning pregnancy and all attended a single centre in Aarhus, Denmark. The trials had been conducted by Dr Rasmussen with colleagues from Aarhus University Hospital, in Denmark.

Dr Rasmussen said:

Fertile women are often found to have low vitamin D levels, which are associated with low birth weight, reduced fertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Our aim was to look at the effects of vitamin D supplements on these areas in women with low levels of vitamin D.

The 193 women were aged 20 – 40, were planning pregnancy and had levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (known as 25OHD, the most accurate way to measure vitamin D levels) below 50 nmol/L, which is bordering on insufficiency. Before conceiving, they were allocated to groups, one being given a 70mcg daily supplement of vitamin D3 and one a 35mcg daily dose, with matching groups given placebos. The women continued the trial until 16 weeks after birth and were evaluated for their 25OHD level, birth weight, fertility and any complications.

56% of the women conceived within 12 months, 38% in the placebo group, 29% taking the 70mcg supplement and 33% taking the 35mcg supplement. 44% did not conceive.

Dr Rasmussen continued:

We found a noticeable difference in two of the four areas we evaluated. Whilst the lower daily dose of vitamin D3 did not significantly affect the chances of pregnancy, the higher 70mcg daily supplement significantly reduced the chances of conceiving. On the other hand, supplementation showed to be beneficial on risk of complications during labour, as these were significantly less frequent in the combined vitamin D3 groups (a 23% risk) than in the placebo group (a 52% risk).

However, birth weight did not differ significantly between those treated with vitamin D3 and those receiving placebos; there were also no differences between groups on any safety measures.

Dr Rasmussen concluded:

High doses of vitamin D3 may reduce the likelihood of conceiving, but may also be associated with fewer complications during childbirth, though without improving birth weight.

New research has established that high doses of vitamin D supplements can lead to fewer complications during childbirth but reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant in the first place.

Source: High doses of vitamin D supplements could lead to fewer birth complications but reduce fertility

VIDEO: Can’t change = will fail.

Source: Navy SEALs explain consequences of ego – Business Insider

You don’t have to delete photos.

Source: How to clear space on you iPhone – Business Insider

This is kind of unbelievable.

Source: What all blue-eyed people have in common – Business Insider

It started a revolution in medicine. And it wasn’t for the better.

Source: Porter and Jick letter launched the opioid epidemic – Business Insider

BERLIN — Two mysterious stone rings found deep inside a French cave were probably built by Neanderthals about 176,500 years ago, proving that the ancient cousins of humans were capable of more complex behavior than previously thought, scientists say.

The structures were made from hundreds of pillar-shaped mineral deposits, called stalagmites, which were chopped to a similar length and laid out in two oval patterns up to 40 centimeters (16 inches) inches high. They were discovered by chance in 1990, after remaining untouched for tens of thousands of years because a rockslide had closed the mouth of the cave at Bruniquel in southwest France.

While previous research had suggested the structures pre-dated the arrival of modern humans in Europe around 45,000 years ago, the notion that Neanderthals could have made them didn’t fit long-held assumptions that these early humans were incapable of the kind of complex behavior necessary to work underground.

Using sophisticated dating techniques, a team led by archaeologist Jacques Jaubert of the University of Bordeaux, France, found that the stalagmites must have been broken off the ground around 176,500 years ago “making these edifices among the oldest known well-dated constructions made by humans.”

“Their presence at 336 meters (368 yards) from the entrance of the cave indicates that humans from this period had already mastered the underground environment, which can be considered a major step in human modernity,” the researchers concluded in a study published online Wednesday by the journal Nature.

Jaubert ruled out that the carefully constructed rings, which show traces of fire, could have come about by chance or been assembled by animals such as the bears and wolves whose bones were found near the entrance of the cave.

“The origin of the structures is undeniably human. It really cannot be otherwise,” he told The Associated Press.

The Neanderthals who built them must have had a “project” to go so deep into a cave where there was no natural light, said Jaubert. They probably explored underground as a group and cooperated to build the rings, using fire to illuminate the cave, he said. “These are exceptional tours, certainly for extraordinary reasons we do not yet know.”

Paola Villa, an archaeologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder who wasn’t involved in the study, said the site “provides strong evidence of the great antiquity of those elaborate structures and is an important contribution to a new understanding of the greater level of social complexities of Neanderthal societies.”

The authors said the purpose of the oval structures — measuring 16 square meters (172 sq. feet) and 2.3 square meters (25 sq. feet) — is still a matter of speculation, though they may have served some symbolic or ritual purpose.

“A plausible explanation is that this was a common meeting place for some type of ritual social behavior,” Villa suggested.

Wil Roebroeks, a Neanderthal expert at the University of Leiden, Netherlands, noted that the structures in Bruniquel may represent only the tip of the iceberg of Neanderthal culture, but most relics would have been made of organic material and decayed long ago.

“Bruniquel cave (shows) that circular structures were a part of Neanderthals’ material culture,” said Roebroeks, who called the rings “an intriguing find, which underlines that a lot of Neanderthal material culture, including their ‘architecture,’ simply did not survive in the open.”

Roebroeks, who also wasn’t involved in the study, said the fact that similar rings haven’t been found anywhere else makes it hard to test any theory about how they came to be.

“One could even envisage that groups of Neanderthal teenagers explored this underground environment deep in the cave, as teenagers tend to do, building fires, breaking off stalagmites and gradually turning them into the structures that 175,000 years later made it into (the journal) Nature,” he said.

Two mysterious stone rings found deep inside a French cave were probably built by Neanderthals about 176,500 years ago, proving that the ancient cousins of humans were capable of more complex behavior than previously thought, scientists say.

Source: Scientists: Underground Stone Rings Made by Neanderthals – The New York Times

General consensus among Alzheimer’s researchers has it that the disease’s main culprit, a protein called amyloid beta, is an unfortunate waste product that is not known to play any useful role in the body—and one that can have devastating consequences. When not properly cleared from the brain it builds up into plaques that destroy synapses, the junctions between nerve cells, resulting in cognitive decline and memory loss. The protein has thus become a major drug target in the search for a cure to Alzheimer’s.

Now a team of researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital are proposing a very different story. In a study published this week in Science Translational Medicine, neurologists Rudolph Tanzi and Robert Moir report evidence that amyloid beta serves a crucial purpose: protecting the brain from invading microbes.

“The original idea goes back to 2010 or so when Rob had a few too many Coronas,” Tanzi jokes. Moir had come across surprising similarities between amyloid beta and LL37, a protein that acts as a foot soldier in the brain’s innate immune system, killing potentially harmful bugs and alerting other cells to their presence. “These types of proteins, although small, are very sophisticated in what they do,” Moir says. “And they’re very ancient, going back to the dawn of multicellular life.”

Just as amyloid beta is known to do, these antimicrobial proteins can build up and form fibrils that, when not properly regulated, have harmful effects. Yet unlike amyloid beta, their role in the immune system has been widely accepted: They prevent microbes from adhering to host cells, and ultimately trap them. So five years ago the pair of researchers set out to determine whether amyloid beta could also act as a natural antibiotic. They had previously explored their hypothesis in vitro, but in this new study they used worms and mice. For these animal models they compared what happened when amyloid beta was overexpressed to when it was not produced, and found that the former led to increased resistance to infection and longer survival rates.

The team first infected cultured human and hamster cells with a type of fungus called Candida albicans and found that high expression of amyloid beta had a protective effect, doubling the number of cells that were not infected. The researchers then moved on to roundworms, or nematodes, which usually do not survive for more than two to three days once the fungus takes hold. The nematodes with overexpressed amyloid beta, however, were still going strong five to six days after they were infected. Finally, the researchers infected the brains of mice with a strain of salmonella to cause meningitis. Mice that were genetically altered to overproduce human amyloid beta survived nearly twice as long as mice that did not have the protein at all.

Most shocking of all, according to Tanzi and Moir, was that when they injected bacteria into the brains of Alzheimer’s mouse models, amyloid plaques—the hallmark of the disease—formed within 48 hours. “We didn’t know this was even possible,” Tanzi says, “that amyloid plaques would form rapidly overnight.” And in the middle of each plaque was one Salmonella bacterium, supporting the theory that the amyloid deposition had formed around the microbe as an entrapment mechanism—just like LL37 and other established antimicrobial proteins.

“These results are particularly intriguing,” says Anna Palamara, a microbiologist at the Sapienza University of Rome who was not involved in the study. “Previous [research] shows that several infectious agents, including viruses, trigger amyloid beta production and accumulation.” Herpes and influenza are just two of the infections that have been tested by other research teams.

The Harvard team’s new findings provide further evidence that Alzheimer’s could be inadvertently spurred by an infection that causes the formation of too much amyloid. As people get older the immune system and blood-brain barrier become increasingly compromised, making it easier for microbes to sneak into the brain. It wouldn’t take many of these pathogens, according to Tanzi, to cause amyloid buildup. “And that could rapidly start the cascade toward the disease,” he says, “causing tangles and inflammation. You’ve got all three pillars of Alzheimer’s right there.”

“It is possible to speculate that during a mild infection the production of amyloid beta may help,” Palamara says. “But in the presence of persistent or repeated infections, amyloid beta levels may accumulate, exceeding a threshold. In this case its protective role might change to the well-known neurotoxic one.”

The idea that amyloid beta has a positive function in the body could potentially change how scientists approach potential treatments. Instead of attempting to completely eliminate the protein, “we might want to think about just dialing it down,” Tanzi says. Moreover, Moir adds, the drugs in trials now are for the most part designed to reduce inflammation by targeting pathways in the adaptive immune system. But if amyloid production and deposition are innate immune responses, then targeting pathways of innate immunity or the microbes themselves may be the way to go.

They do not expect convincing the scientific community of this to be easy. “This is really going to cause a lot of unrest in the field,” Tanzi says. “Any new revolutionary discovery is first ridiculed, then violently opposed, and finally taken to be self-evident. We’re ready for the ridicule and the violent opposition, and we think we have enough data so that we can look forward to self-evident.”

But the pair has a long way to go. They are now moving forward with a plan to systematically characterize the microbes found in the aging brain. From there they hope to identify the pathogens that may be involved in the onset of Alzheimer’s—as well as those that potentially play a role in other amyloid diseases, such as diabetes.

“We’re at the top of a mountain with a freshly formed layer of snow,” Moir says. “Where you go is where you choose. There’s so much to explore.”

A new study finds that a key protein implicated in Alzheimer’s may normally protect the brain from infection

Source: Antimicrobial Mechanism Gone Rogue May Play a Role in Alzheimer’s Disease – Scientific American

Healthy Habits That Increase Your Life Span. Saw this from Men’s Health Magazine and had to post it here. How many of these habits do you already do, or overdue?

Source: Healthy Habits That Increase Your Life SpanNatural Fitness Blog

Buy Infectious Burden: The Cause Of Aging And Age-Related Disease: Read Books Reviews – Amazon.com ✓ FREE DELIVERY possible on eligible purchases

Source: Amazon.com: Infectious Burden: The Cause Of Aging And Age-Related Disease eBook: Michael Lustgarten: Kindle Store

Source: Amino Acids Interp Guide – Amino-Acids-Interp-Guide.pdf

Which grain is the best source for protein, essential amino acids, BCAA and arginine?

Listed below are total protein, essential amino acids, branched chain amino acids, and arginine content for quinoa, oats, corn, millet, barley, brown rice and potato. The values provided are for 100 calories, for each respective grain.

Let’s ask some questions:

1. Is there a difference in protein content among these 7 grains?

Yes, there is a difference. Per 100 calories, oats are king, containing more than 2x the amount of protein in barley, the lowest ranking grain on this list. In fact, oats, quinoa and corn each have approximately 2x more total protein than each of the lowest ranking grains, potato, brown rice and barley. Millet is intermediate, at 2.95 grams of protein per 100 calories.

Table 1 Grains

2. Can these grains be considered as “complete protein”?

A “complete protein” is defined as containing all of the 10 essential amino acids (EAA). As shown in the table below, each of the 7 grains contains all of the 10 essential amino acids. Oats contain the greatest amount of essential amino acids (Total EAA), followed by corn and quinoa.

Table 2 Grains

3. Which grain contains the highest amount of branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine)?

The branched chain amino acids (BCAA) leucine, isoleucine and valine are well documented to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (Blomstrand et al. 2006). Oats, corn and millet contain the highest amounts of total BCAA, followed by quinoa, brown rice, potato and barley.

Table 3 Grains

4. Which grain is highest in arginine?

Arginine is the required precursor for the production of nitric oxide (NO), which has been claimed to promote vasodilation in active muscle during exercise, thereby improving strength, power and recovery (Alvares et al. 2011). As shown in the table below, once again, oats contain the highest amount of arginine, followed by quinoa and brown rice.

Table 4 Grains

Conclusions:

1) Oats contain the highest amount of total protein, relative to the other grains on this list.

2) All of the 7 grains on this list contain milligram amount of all of the 10 essential amino acids, making each of them a complete protein. Oats contain the highest total amount of essential amino acids, relative to the other grains on this list.

3) Oats also contain the highest amount of branched chain amino acids and arginine, when compared with all the other grains on this list.


References:

Álvares TS, Meirelles CM, Bhambhani YN, Paschoalin VM, Gomes PS. L-Arginine as a potential ergogenic aid in healthy subjects. Sports Med. 2011 Mar 1;41(3):233-48.

Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK,Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

Nutritional data provided by http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

Listed below are total protein, essential amino acids, branched chain amino acids, and arginine content for quinoa, oats, corn, millet, barley, brown rice and potato. The values provided are for 10…

Source: Which grain is the best source for protein, essential amino acids, BCAA and arginine? | Michael Lustgarten

Complete protein From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Main article: Protein (nutrient) A complete protein (or whole protein) is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of humans or other animals.[1] The following table lists the optimal profile of the essential amino acids, which comprises complete protein, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board:[2][3] Essential Amino Acid mg/g of Protein Tryptophan 7 Threonine 27 Isoleucine 25 Leucine 55 Lysine 51 Methionine+Cystine 25 Phenylalanine+Tyrosine 47 Valine 32 Histidine 18 The following table shows the amino acid requirements of adults as recommended by the World Health Organization[4] calculated for a 62-kilogram adult, and the amino acid profile of 2530 kilocalories of baked potatoes (9 large baked potatoes),[5] which comprise a day’s worth of calories for a 62-kilogram (136 lb) adult:[6] Essential Amino Acid Requirement /day/62 kg adult 9 large baked potatoes[5] Template:Link does not provide amino acid profile mg mg Tryptophan 248 565 Threonine 930 1830 Isoleucine 1240 1830 Leucine 2418 2691 Lysine 1860 2933 Methionine+Cystine 930 1534 Phenylalanine+Tyrosine 1550 3553 Valine 1612 2682 Histidine 620 942 Nearly all foods contain all twenty amino acids in some quantity, and nearly all animal foods contain the essential amino acids in sufficient quantity. Proportions vary, however, and most plant foods are deficient in one or more of the essential amino acids. Though some vegetable sources of protein contain sufficient values of all essential amino acids, many are lower in one or more essential amino acids than animal sources, especially lysine, and to a lesser extent methionine and threonine.[7] Consuming a mixture of plant-based protein sources can increase the biological value of food. For example, to obtain 25 grams of complete protein from canned pinto beans requires consuming 492 grams (423 kcal); however, only 364 g of pinto beans (391 kcal) are required if they are combined with 12 grams of Brazil nuts.[8] Complementary proteins need not be eaten at the same meal for your body to use them together. Studies now show that your body can combine complementary proteins that are eaten over the course of the day.[7][9] Sources of complete protein Generally, proteins derived from animal foods (meats, fish, poultry, milk, eggs) are complete.[1] Proteins derived from plant foods (legumes, seeds, grains, and vegetables) can be complete as well (examples include potatoes,[10] chickpeas,[11] black beans,[12] kidney beans,[13] pumpkin seeds,[14] cashews,[15] cauliflower,[16] quinoa,[17] pistachios,[18] turnip greens,[19] black-eyed peas,[20] Kasha, and soy[21]). Certain traditional dishes, such as Mexican beans (legumes) and corn (Poaceae), Japanese soybeans (legumes) and rice (Poaceae), Cajun red beans (legumes) and rice, or Indian dal (legumes) and rice or roti (both Poaceae) combine legumes with grains to provide a meal that is high in all essential amino acids.[22][23] Foods that also obtain the highest possible Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) score of 1.0 are certain dairy products (including whey), egg whites, and soy protein isolate.[citation needed] Other foods, such as amaranth, buckwheat, hempseed, meat, poultry, Salvia hispanica, soybeans, quinoa, seafood, seaweed, and spirulina also are complete protein foods, but may not obtain a PDCAAS score of 1.0.[1][24] Meal replacements and bodybuilding supplements based on whey protein, casein, egg albumen protein and other animal foods are considered complete protein. Vegan protein meal replacement and supplements based on individual plants (brown rice, yellow pea) are often deficient in one or more essential amino acids, while soy protein derived from soybean is complete. Very often, plant based meal replacements and supplements are made from plant protein blends, thus creating complete protein sources.

Source: Complete protein – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are as many as 100 thousand kinds of proteins that constitute the body, and these comprise only 20 kinds of amino acids in various combinations. These 20 kinds of amino acids are essential to the body. In addition to being the materials for proteins, they are used as an energy source for the body as necessary.
Further, each amino acid plays an important and unique role in the body. The list below shows the role of each amino acid.

Valine
Leucine
Isoleucine
All of these 3 amino acids are called branched chain amino acid (BCAAs). They perform the important functions of increasing proteins and serving as an energy source during exercise. more info.
Alanine It is an important amino acid as an energy source for the liver. more info.
Arginine It is an amino acid needed to maintain normal functions of blood vessels and other organs. more info.
Glutamine It is an amino acid needed to maintain normal functions of the gastrointestinal tract and muscles. more info.
Lysine It is a representative essential amino acid and tends to be insufficient when we are on a bread- or rice-centered diet. more info.
Aspartic acid It is contained in asparagus in large amounts. It is a fast-acting energy source. more info.
Glutamate It is contained in wheat and soybean in large amounts. It is a fast-acting energy source. more info.
Proline It is the main component of “collagen” which constitutes the skin and other tissues. It serves as a fast-acting energy source. more info.
Cysteine Cysteine is easy to be deficient in the infants. more info.
Threonine It is an essential amino acid which is used to form active sites of enzymes.
Methionine It is an essential amino acid which is used to produce various substances needed in the body.
Histidine It is an essential amino acid which is used to produce histamine and others.
Phenylalanine It is an essential amino acid which is used to produce various useful amines.
Tyrosine It is used to produce various useful amines and is sometimes called aromatic amino acid together with phenylalanine and tryptophan.
Tryptophan It is an essential amino acid which is used to produce various useful amines.
Asparagine It is an amino acid which is located close to the TCA cycle (place of energy generation) together with aspartic acid.
Glycine It is used to produce glutathione and porphyrin, a component of hemoglobin.
Serine It is used to produce phospholipids and glyceric acid.

For 100 years, since the discovery of glutamate, a kind of amino acid and the source of umami, the Ajinomoto Group has developed our business around the world.

Source: Ajinomoto Group | Features | Encyclopedia of Amino Acids | Let’s Learn about Amino Acids! | 20 Kinds of Amino Acids that Support the Body

Gelatin is my new favorite superfood! It’s rich in protein, great for your joints, skin, hair, digestive system, immune system, and is accessible and affordable

Gelatin may conjure images in your mind of that slimy, unnaturally green and orange dessert you got in the cafeteria with your school lunches, but dessert made with gelatin is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using this potent superfood. Gelatin is a byproduct of meat processing and comes from the bones and connective tissues of animals. It may sound unsavory, but these parts of animals are actually extremely good for you.

There was a time when people consumed nearly all of an animal, while today we simply end up with the processed and packaged meat, or muscle tissue. What we are missing out on are the nutrients found in those discarded parts. When you buy and use pure gelatin in your smoothies, you are adding back in important amino acids that have many benefits for your health.

Gelatin is composed primarily of collagen, the protein that makes up the connective tissues, bones, and skin of animals, like cows and chickens. It includes several amino acids, the building blocks of protein, but does not provide a complete complement of those needed in the human diet. Gelatin is highest in the amino acids glycine and proline.

Gelatin is used in many industries, not just for food. It is used in photography, pharmaceuticals, glues, and cosmetics. In the food industry, gelatin is used for its ability to act as a gelling agent. You will find it in the ingredient list for any gummy candy, marshmallows, but also in margarine, yogurt, cream cheese, and low-fat processed foods. Gelatin is not a vegan food, but there are substitutes if you don’t eat meat. These include agar and carrageen, both of which come from seaweed. Gelatins labeled as kosher are often vegan.

Health Benefits of Gelatin

So why should you add gelatin to your smoothie recipes? There are many reasons. The amino acids that are prevalent in gelatin have great health benefits, and most of us don’t get enough of them in our diets. Here are the top health benefits attributed to gelatin.

Protein: Why consider using unnatural, processed protein powders when you have this natural source available? Gelatin contains between six and twelve grams of protein in every tablespoon. It does not include a complete protein, but it is a significant source of many of the amino acids you need in your diet.

Digestion: Gelatin naturally attracts and binds water to itself, which means that when you add it to your diet, foods that you consume move more easily through your digestive tract.

Detoxification: Glycine, one of the main components of gelatin, is an amino acid that helps the liver function well. You need your liver functioning because it is responsible for eliminating toxins from the bloodstream.

Joint Health: There has been some research that indicates gelatin can help promote healthy joints and bones. Gelatin comes from the joints and bones of animals, so it only makes sense that it would help with ours. The proteins in gelatin may help prevent the degeneration of collagen that occurs naturally with aging. It has even been shown that eating gelatin reduces stiffness and pain in joints afflicted with arthritis.

Skin, Hair, and Nails: Eating gelatin regularly promotes healthy skin, nails, and hair because these tissues are made largely of proteins. Gelatin can make hair and nails stronger and less brittle, and improve the elasticity and appearance of skin. Although there is little evidence, some people claim gelatin also reduces the appearance of cellulite.

Sleep: It’s glycine to the rescue again. This amino acid has been proven to increase the quality of sleep when consumed regularly. Getting more glycine in your diet will also reduce your drowsiness during the day.

Weight Loss: Gelatin may increase the amount of human growth hormone that your body produces. This in turn helps to increase your metabolism so that you burn more calories. Additionally, the high protein content of gelatin means that it keeps you feeling full longer.

Ulcers: Gelatin has even been shown to reduce the size of stomach ulcers. It is believed to act by healing and strengthening the mucous lining of the stomach, which helps to heal ulcers, but also to prevent them from forming in the first place.

FAQs

Are all gelatins the same? No. Some gelatins have additives. Look for the highest quality gelatin that is 100 percent pure. See my recommended brands below under where to buy.

Do vegan substitutes for gelatin have the same nutrient profile? Unfortunately, no, the seaweed substitutes do not have the same superfood components that gelatin does. Carrageen and agar are largely made up of complex carbohydrates and fiber. They may not have the same health properties as gelatin, but they can be used when you need a gelling agent for a recipe.

Is bone broth the same thing as gelatin? If you do any research into the health benefits of gelatin, you will see bone broth come up again and again. In the past when people ate most of the parts of animals out of necessity, the bones went into the soup pot to make a broth. This broth contains the same proteins as gelatin. You can make bone broth and get the same health benefits as you will with gelatin, but it’s a lot more work.

What does gelatin taste like? Gelatin has no flavor. The gelatin that you see in dessert packets at the grocery store have had flavorings and sugar added. Pure gelatin without those additives is flavorless, which means you can add it to anything.

Gelatin in Smoothies

You truly can add gelatin to any smoothie you make because it has no flavor. Consider replacing your processed protein powder with this pure and natural protein source that will also give you so many other health benefits.

You can experiment with the amount of gelatin that you add to your recipes, but one tablespoon per smoothie serving is a good general rule. If you find that the gelatin clumps up in your smoothie, there are a couple of things you can try. Dissolve your gelatin in a small amount of warm water, or whatever liquid is going into your smoothie, and then add it to the blender. Another option is to use hydrolysate gelatin, which dissolves in cold liquids.

Here’s one of my favorite gelatin containing smoothies. For all of my smoothies featuring gelatin, click here.

Blueberry Gelatin Protein Smoothie

  • 1 cup milk (coconut, almond, hemp, or my favorite, raw milk)
  • 1/2 avocado, seed removed
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten

Place all of the ingredients into your high-speed blender and blend for around 30-45 seconds or until nice and smooth. Note, if you don’t have a very powerful blender you might want to blend everything except the coconut oil first, then drizzle it on and blend for another 5-10 seconds to avoid clumping.

I’d love to know if you use gelatin in your smoothies or cooking and what health benefits you have experienced – please divulge in the comments below.

Where to Buy Gelatin

Your local health food or grocery store likely carries gelatin. There are two brands of gelatin I recommend. Bernard Jensen’s 100% Pure Gelatin and Great Lakes Kosher Gelatin. Jensen’s gelatin contains a whopping 15 grams of protein per serving (1 tablespoon).

Sources for this blog post include:

http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/gelatin-alternatives.aspx
http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-crucial-reason-you-need-more-gelatin-in-your-diet/
http://wellnessmama.com/7419/12-uses-for-gelatin/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin
http://thecoconutmama.com/2013/01/gelatin-challenge-update-and-q-a/

Source: Gelatin: The Forgotten Protein Packed Superfood

I pulled a muscle in my vagina, and although it makes for funny jokes, an injury like that does not do well in the bedroom.

We were just stretching, getting ready for a super sexy burlesque dance routine. My teacher wanted us down in the splits. Well, I could never do the splits, not even when I was a bendy elementary school gymnast. She said I could do the splits. She leaned on me until I did the splits.

Because she is a friend, I did not kill her, but I certainly knew something was wrong pretty much immediately after my butt hit the floor. I thought maybe I just pulled a muscle in my leg. I thought maybe I’d be fine in a couple days. And I was — mostly. Then I had sex, and hell no.

I’m pretty sure my husband knew something was wrong when, instead of saying, “Oh, yeah,” I started screaming. It was then I realized what a successful split in dance class had cost me: a busted vagina.

More: The birth control method that just might save your life

I knew we had muscles down there, what with Kegel exercises and Ben Wa balls to keep the pelvic floor strong. Strength alludes to musculature, so, yeah, I knew I had muscles in my hoo-ha. What I didn’t realize was that I could injure those muscles with disastrous consequence.

I went to see my OB-GYN first who, upon checking, remarked with a serious frown, “Oh, you’re tight.” She didn’t look at me in a congratulatory way. She looked at me in the way I imagine professional football coaches look at guys with ACL tears. Season over. It appeared I’d strained my pelvic floor and developed “hypertonic muscles,” or muscles that are too tight.

I was referred to specialists who deal with female incontinence — except I had the opposite problem, which meant they had to treat me in sort of the opposite manner. Again, I got the “you’re tight” grimace, but through weeks of basically vagina physical therapy, I learned how to tense and relax the exact muscles that were causing the problem.

As part of my treatment, I had to contract my pelvic floor muscles … and then relax. Squeeze and relax. I would also have to sit and press my knees together then apart. Together, then apart. Kind of like opening and closing a car door.

More: A love letter to devoted, underappreciated labia

Another part of my homework? Stretch my vagina every day, as you would any other strained muscle. In other words, use a vibrator every day. In other words, masturbate every day. Best homework I’ve ever had.

Like any physical therapy, I had to keep with it. I had a set of exercises I had to do every day, sometimes a couple times a day. I had to change my sexual routine, too. For a while, there were no quickies, no sudden humps in the stairwell. Sex was about me being prepared, which meant stretching (wink, wink) and doing my exercises before intercourse.

My hubby, surprisingly, didn’t mind all the extra work. It was kind of fun making sex into An Event during the worst of my injury. Slowly, things got better downstairs, and I’m happy to say I’m now fully operational.

Yes, obviously, I became a joke among my dancer friends, probably giggling this very second. My dance teacher might never live down the fact that she broke a girl’s vagina, but hey, thank goodness our woman parts are resilient.

Source: I pulled a muscle in my vagina while taking a burlesque dance class

Source: Healthy Eats: 6 simple ways to add Protein to your vegetarian diet

Source: Immune system ‘plays a role in dementia’ – Health News – NHS Choices

eath is a depressingly inevitable consequence of life, but now scientists believe they may have found some light at the end of the tunnel.

The largest ever medical study into near-death and out-of-body experiences has discovered that some awareness may continue even after the brain has shut down completely.

It is a controversial subject which has, until recently, been treated with widespread scepticism.

But scientists at the University of Southampton have spent four years examining more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria.

And they found that nearly 40 per cent of people who survived described some kind of ‘awareness’ during the time when they were clinically dead before their hearts were restarted.

One man even recalled leaving his body entirely and watching his resuscitation from the corner of the room.

Despite being unconscious and ‘dead’ for three minutes, the 57-year-old social worker from Southampton, recounted the actions of the nursing staff in detail and described the sound of the machines.

“We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating,” said Dr Sam Parnia, a former research fellow at Southampton University, now at the State University of New York, who led the study.

“But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped.

“The man described everything that had happened in the room, but importantly, he heard two bleeps from a machine that makes a noise at three minute intervals. So we could time how long the experienced lasted for.

“He seemed very credible and everything that he said had happened to him had actually happened.”

Of 2,060 cardiac arrest patients studied, 330 survived and of 140 surveyed, 39 per cent said they had experienced some kind of awareness while being resuscitated.

Although many could not recall specific details, some themes emerged. One in five said they had felt an unusual sense of peacefulness while nearly one third said time had slowed down or speeded up.

Some recalled seeing a bright light; a golden flash or the Sun shining. Others recounted feelings of fear or drowning or being dragged through deep water. 13 per cent said they had felt separated from their bodies and the same number said their sensed had been heightened.

Dr Parnia believes many more people may have experiences when they are close to death but drugs or sedatives used in the process of rescuitation may stop them remembering.

“Estimates have suggested that millions of people have had vivid experiences in relation to death but the scientific evidence has been ambiguous at best.

“Many people have assumed that these were hallucinations or illusions but they do seem to corresponded to actual events.

“And a higher proportion of people may have vivid death experiences, but do not recall them due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory circuits.

“These experiences warrant further investigation. “

Dr David Wilde, a research psychologist and Nottingham Trent University, is currently compiling data on out-of-body experiences in an attempt to discover a pattern which links each episode.

He hopes the latest research will encourage new studies into the controversial topic.

“Most studies look retrospectively, 10 or 20 years ago, but the researchers went out looking for examples and used a really large sample size, so this gives the work a lot of validity.

“There is some very good evidence here that these experiences are actually happening after people have medically died.

“We just don’t know what is going on. We are still very much in the dark about what happens when you die and hopefully this study will help shine a scientific lens onto that.”

The study was published in the journal Resuscitation.

Dr Jerry Nolan, Editor-in-Chief at Resuscitation said: “Dr Parnia and his colleagues are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.”

Source: First hint of ‘life after death’ in biggest ever scientific study

g

roundbreaking trial to see if it is possible to regenerate the brains of dead people, has won approval from health watchdogs.

A biotech company in the US has been granted ethical permission to recruit 20 patients who have been declared clinically dead from a traumatic brain injury, to test whether parts of their central nervous system can be brought back to life.

Scientists will use a combination of therapies, which include injecting the brain with stem cells and a cocktail of peptides, as well as deploying lasers and nerve stimulation techniques which have been shown to bring patients out of comas.

The trial participants will have been certified dead and only kept alive through life support. They will be monitored for several months using brain imaging equipment to look for signs of regeneration, particularly in the upper spinal cord – the lowest region of the brain stem which controls independent breathing and heartbeat.

The team believes that the brain stem cells may be able to erase their history and re-start life again, based on their surrounding tissue – a process seen in the animal kingdom in creatures like salamanders who can regrow entire limbs.

Dr Ira Pastor, the CEO of Bioquark Inc. said: “This represents the first trial of its kind and another step towards the eventual reversal of death in our lifetime.

“We just received approval for our first 20 subjects and we hope to start recruiting patients immediately from this first site – we are working with the hospital now to identify families where there may be a religious or medical barrier to organ donation.

“To undertake such a complex initiative, we are combining biologic regenerative medicine tools with other existing medical devices typically used for stimulation of the central nervous system, in patients with other severe disorders of consciousness.

“We hope to see results within the first two to three months.”

A doctors looks at an MRS scan
The patients will be monitored using MRI scans for several months  Credit: Chronis Jons

The ReAnima Project has just received approach from an Institutional Review Board at the National Institutes of Health in the US and in India, and the team plans to start recruiting patients immediately.

The first stage, named ‘First In Human Neuro-Regeneration & Neuro-Reanimation’ will be a non-randomised, single group ‘proof of concept’ and will take place at Anupam Hospital in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand India.

The peptides will be administered into the spinal cord daily via a pump, with the stem cells given bi-weekly, over the course of a 6 week period.

Dr Pastor added: “It is a long term vision of ours that a full recovery in such patients is a possibility, although that is not the focus of this first study – but it is a bridge to that eventuality.”

Brain stem death is when a person no longer has any brain stem functions, and has permanently lost the potential for consciousness and the capacity to breathe.

A person is confirmed as being dead when their brain stem function is permanently lost.

However, although brain dead humans are technically no longer alive, their bodies can often still circulate blood, digest food, excrete waste, balance hormones, grow, sexually mature, heal wounds, spike a fever, and gestate and deliver a baby.

Recent studies have also suggested that some electrical activity and blood flow continues after brain cell death, just not enough to allow for the whole body to function.

And while human beings lack substantial regenerative capabilities in the central nervous system, many non-human species, such as amphibians and certain fish, can repair, regenerate and remodel substantial portions of their brain and brain stem even after critical life-threatening trauma.

“Through our study, we will gain unique insights into the state of human brain death, which will have important connections to future therapeutic development for other severe disorders of consciousness, such as coma, and the vegetative and minimally conscious states, as well as a range of degenerative CNS conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease,” added Dr Sergei Paylian, Founder, President, and Chief Science Officer of Bioquark Inc.

Commenting on the trial, Dr Dean Burnett, a neuroscientist at the Cardiff University’s Centre for Medical Education said: “While there have been numerous demonstrations in recent years that the human brain and nervous system may not be as fixed and irreparable as is typically assumed, the idea that brain death could be easily reversed seems very far-fetched, given our current abilities and understanding of neuroscience.

“Saving individual parts might be helpful but it’s a long way from resurrecting a whole working brain, in a functional, undamaged state.

Source: Dead could be brought ‘back to life’ in groundbreaking project 

“Somebody is going to get elected,” says Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who worked for Marco Rubio this cycle. “You could have pretty negative ratings, but if your opponent has more negative ratings, relatively, you’re the winner.” But it is entirely possible to be the winner and still not get much of a mandate—to enter office as a kind of default president who gets in because no other candidate is electable but who doesn’t have the faith and loyalty of a large portion of the nation. Clinton is selling “realism” to a electorate that is, judging from the polls, deeply unhappy with its current reality. Her steady-as-she-goes brand of politics, and her “one from column A and two from column B” ideas are out of sync with the mood of the electorate in this three-sheets-to-the-wind age. To invert the columnist Murray Kempton’s famous maxim about Mayor John Lindsay of New York, she is tired and everyone else is fresh.

Source: How Hillary Could Win the Election—and Lose the Country – POLITICO Magazine

Bloomberg remarked that college’s “whole purpose” is “to learn how to deal with difficult situations — not to run away from them.” “A microaggression is exactly that: micro,” he said. “And one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views.” “We can’t, and we shouldn’t, try — not in politics and not in the workplace,” he said.

Source: Bloomberg booed as he rips college ‘safe spaces’ – POLITICO

About fricking TIME:  make the Internal Revenue Service go away, and the largest conservative group in Congress is endorsing just that.

But they could also make it worse with a “flat tax that is higher”

The Republican Study Committee, which counts over two-thirds of House of Representatives Republicans as its members, called recently for “the complete elimination of the IRS.”

The committee’s support for this idea, once confined to the fringes of conservative ideology, suggests it is more widely accepted on Capitol Hill than ever. But many in Washington, including some Republicans, have trouble taking it seriously.

Calls to abolish the IRS have not been well thought through, said Republican Representative Charles Boustany in an interview.

“Before we start making blanket statements about abolishing the IRS, I think it’s important to focus on what the tax code for the 21st century should look like,” said Boustany, who does not belong to the 172-member study committee.

The question is does Boustany have so many deductions that he pays a much lower tax bill?

In an election year of dramatic rhetoric that is often short on details, the committee’s proposal, released April 22 and echoing language from a March budget plan, is brief.

As part of a wider appeal for federal tax reform, the committee says simply: “This proposal takes the bold step of calling for the complete elimination of the IRS. Tax collection and enforcement activities would be moved to a new, smaller and more accountable department at the Treasury.”

No further specifics were offered for how to replace an agency that is already part of Treasury, collected $3.3 trillion in revenue in 2015, and processed 240 million tax returns.

Texas Representative Bill Flores, chairman of the study committee, was not available for comment. His spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll said the IRS closure proposal should be seen as part of a larger push for comprehensive tax reform.

Steven Rosenthal, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute, a think tank , said, “We are in an election year, and bashing the IRS is particularly attractive in an election year.”

From a global perspective, the IRS does a good job, Rosenthal said, noting that U.S. income tax compliance is about 82 percent, one of the highest levels in the world.

Still, in the United States, antipathy for the IRS is widespread and long-standing. One of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s biggest applause lines on the campaign trail is, “Imagine abolishing the IRS!”

‘SOUNDS TRUMPISH’

Asked recently about Cruz’s line and calls to close the agency, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said: “If you want to call it something other than the IRS and that makes you feel better, that’s okay with me. But ultimately you got to have somebody somewhere who collects the information, audits it and makes sure it’s accurate and valid and collects the funding.”

Some Democrats scoff at the IRS closure proposal. “If there are problems at the IRS … we can straighten it out,” said Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, adding Republicans should be wary of advocating an idea that “sounds Trumpish.”

Donald Trump, the anti-establishment front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has not called for the abolition of the IRS.

Congress has cut the IRS’s budget 17 percent in real terms since 2010. In mid-April, the House approved several IRS-bashing bills, including one to prevent it from making new hires until Treasury certifies no agency employees are seriously delinquent on taxes themselves.

The IRS is a long-time congressional punching bag but Republicans have been hitting it harder since the IRS several years ago applied extra scrutiny to conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012 and came under attack for it from Republicans.

Republican Representative Rob Woodall of Georgia has introduced a bill every year since he entered Congress in 2011 to eliminate income taxes and abolish the IRS.

Support for Woodall’s bill has grown to 73 co-sponsors, including the heads of the House tax and budget committees, but it has never advanced. Nor has a similar bill in the Senate.

It was unclear how House Speaker Paul Ryan would treat the study committee’s proposal in drafting a party policy agenda ahead of the Republican convention in Cleveland in July.

“The speaker welcomes input from the RSC and all members of our conference,” said Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong. Ryan has sidestepped calls for abolishing the IRS in the past, while frequently criticizing the agency.

By Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It’s a U.S. taxpayer’s dream: make the Internal Revenue Service go away, and the largest conservative group in Congress is endorsing just that. The Republican Study Committee, which counts over two-thirds of House of Representatives Republicans as its

Source: Conservatives in Congress urge shutdown of tax-collecting IRS