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- I have been helping people reach their health and fitness goals for over 15 years.
13 Apr 2014
Antioxidants, Just What Are They?
Your body’s cells get their protection from powerful nutrients called antioxidants. A result of this is a great boost to your overall health in a number of different ways, so it is important to be including antioxidant rich foods into your diet. This article will take a look at just what are antioxidants and some of the benefits you may get when you include them into your diet.
Antioxidants Role In Your Body
Your body uses oxygen to extract all the nutrients from the foods you eat and also use the energy it can get from those foods. However, a by-product that is called free radicals is produced from these reactions. The cells within our bodies can be damaged from these extremely dangerous free radicals. Free radicals have been associated with a number of health issues such as, a weak immune system, diabetes, increase cancer risk, and increased aging signs.
These dangerous free radicals can be prevented from damaging your body by being neautralized by antioxidants. Antioxidants allow you to get the most out of the nutrients in the foods you eat while protecting you from all the damaging things free radicals can do. Because of this, you can get the many positive health benefits from antioxidants such as the optimum function of all your vital organs.Improvement in vision, healthier skin, nails and hair, increased energy, and improved concentration, are all possible benefits you may get from adding antioxidant rich foods to your diet.
Great Antioxidant Food Sources
Foods that are plant based are a great place to find antioxidants, so by consuming plenty of nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, you will be able to give your body high levels of these great health boosting nutrients. Below is a list of some of main antioxidants and the best food sources that has them:
Manganese: Manganese may assist the body in the activation of enzymes and can be found in green tea, garlic, and pineapples.
Flavonoids: Flavonoids are a are a big group of antioxidants that can support the body in several ways. They can be found in citrus, berries, green leafy vegetables, fruits, tea, and in almost every plant based food.
Vitamin A: Healthy vision is one of Vitamin As main role in the body. Spinach, dairy products, and carrotsCarrots, are all great sources of this vitamin.
Vitamin C: The production of collagen is the responsibility of Vitamin C. Citrus fruits, berries, peppers and fruits are some of the top food sources of this antioxidant.
Vitamin E: This pure antioxidant, Vitamin E has the main function to fight off free radicals within the body. It can be found in such food sources such as oils, nuts, and wheat germ.
As you can see from eveything stated above, there are plenty of positive reasons for you to add antioxidants to your diet. If you would like to get maximum benefit from all these powerful nutrients, make it a priority to eat some antioxidant rich foods every single day.
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29 Mar 2014
Back Pain At Work
Have you ever suffered a backache so severe that you couldn’t perform such basic tasks as standing up or bending over? If so, then you can imagine what havoc back pain can wreak in the workplace. The American Chiropractic Association cites back problems as a leading cause of missed workdays, with half the American population suffering some type of back complaint at any given time. Unsafe work practices and sheer carelessness contribute to numerous cases of work-related back pain and injury.
The human spine is remarkably strong, supporting the entire body as it moves and balances itself, and yet its series of articulated joints also makes it vulnerable to several types of injury. When stressed beyond its capacity by extreme torsion or sudden impact, the vertebrae can lose their normal vertical alignment, allowing the discs that lie between them to slip out of place. Slipped discs put pressure on sensitive nerves, causing pain and other odd sensations both at the injury site and throughout the nervous system. The muscles that support the spine are also subject to a wide range of stresses, and muscular strain can cause debilitating backaches and loss of mobility.
Some occupations lend themselves to back pain more readily than others. Workers who are at risk for falls, for example, may suffer painful spinal compression or ruptured discs, while those who spend much of their day lifting heavy objects can easily over-stress their back muscles. But may cases or work-related back pain have more subtle origins. Office workers who sit at ill-fitting desks for long periods of time may suffer back strain as a result of poor ergonomics. at the same time, the sedentary nature of their work may encourage loss of tone in the muscles that provide crucial support to the spinal column, creating prime conditions for future back strain.
Putting Back Pain Solutions to Work
Employers worried about the tremendous potential for lost productivity, absenteeism and other issues stemming from employee back pain can implement any of several possible preventative measures. Equipment purchases such as forklifts and back support belts provide a degree of insurance against unnecessary lifting stresses on the spine. Regulations regarding safe lifting and carrying techniques, such as the “team lift” recommended for certain heavy objects where no mechanical lifting aid is available, should be clearly stated and rigorously enforced. Positive reinforcement, such as rewarding the team or department with the best injury record, can also help workers get motivated to use correct work safety techniques.
Workplaces concerned about office – related back pain should educate employees on correct ergonomics, such as adjusting the sat height until both feet can rest flat on the floor. Introducing a wellness program in the office, complete with yoga classes, spinal evaluations and exercise equipment, is an excellent way to promote physical fitness among workers who might otherwise have not time to work out. Stronger muscles mean better spinal support against the jolts and stresses that so frequently cause back pain.
- American Chiropractic Association
- University of Virginia , Environmental Health and Safety
- Yoga Medics
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21 Mar 2014
Cycle To Lose Weight
Amongst all exercise routines to lose weight, cycling is undoubtedly one of the most effective and enjoyable. Cycling can be an amazing calorie-burning workout regimen and you could get on a cycle even to lose weight. Cycling offers a multitude of health benefits, whether it is improving your cardiovascular health or burning calories to lose weight. Cycling can provide different levels of training intensities and being a non-weight exercise, you are not likely to hurt your muscles and joints. Moreover, cycling is inexpensive and can be done both indoors and outdoors, alone or in the company of friends. The best part about cycling is that this exercise provides aerobic training, isometric resistance training and leg muscles training, cross training for swimming and running.
Why should you choose cycling to lose weight?
Cycling can help you burn a lot of calories; this automatically reduces body weight. It can also increase your cardiovascular fitness and provides you with greater energy. Cycling also helps you to stay away from different lifestyle diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. You can spend quality time with your loved ones when you accompany them on cycling trips.
Cycling also helps to add variety to the existing exercise routine you follow. It can complement your weight loss effort if you follow a planned diet. You can also consider joining weight loss programs like Nutrisystem which deliver portion controlled meals to the dieters’ home. In fact, Nutrisystem greatly emphasizes performing an effective 30-minute workout everyday to lose weight in a healthy manner. Their workouts DVDs are popular among the followers. So whether it is to improve your fitness levels or avoid diseases or go green, cycling is a great exercise to take up.
Ways in which cycling helps you lose weight:
- Cycling makes use of the largest muscle groups in your body namely the hip muscles, hamstrings, quads etc. This helps to increase your body’s fat-burning ability.
- Cycling trains muscles to burn more fats. It involves steady and long rides which help to build capillaries in the legs; this allows more oxygen-rich blood to reach the working muscles. The fat-burning parts of the muscle cells called mitochondria become larger and this heightens fat burning.
- Cycling offers endurance training which increases levels of fatty-acid binding proteins. The body is better able to move the fatty acids to the working muscles instead of getting stored. When you get fitter, you use up more oxygen and burn more fats.
- With cycling, you can increase your daily calorie burning capacity. When you turn pedals, you burn calories. Even when you are following a recreational pace, you can burn nearly 600 calorie every hour. Incidentally, even after you have racked your bike, your body continues to burn calories. This is because the body continues to work to replenish the muscles.
- Cycling helps to build lean muscle tissues and improves the body’s metabolic rate.
Cycling ensures that you lose weight steadily but continuously; this helps you to sustain weight loss unlike deprivation diets that only guarantee short term results. If you can burn about 3500 calories each week, you can effectively lose one pound weight in a week’s time. When you introduce an activity like cycling in your daily routine, you should bring about other changes slowly; for instance, it may not be a wise decision to start cycling, giving up sugar, quit smoking and hitting the gym all at the same time.
Jessica Robert keenly blogs about weight loss ideas and diet tips. She runs a simple blog displaying helpful articles on easy dieting methods and weight loss ideas.
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16 Mar 2014
Having The Right Exercise Program Environment
Most exercise programs focus fully on the specific activities you need to perform to burn the calories and gain the muscle. But what’s often left out of these conversations is the exercise program environment in which you perform your workouts and how it can lead to a greater chance of having success.
Succeeding with an exercise program means avoiding injuries, boredom, and wasted time. If you experience an uptick in one of those downers, you may be unwilling or unable to continue the program. Given the importance of exercise for good health in any person of any age, that’s just not acceptable. So consider more than just the exercises your body is doing or the ability of your body to do them. Remember, taking the worry out of your exercise program environment can give you more time to focus on what you should be. Check out some of these external factors to think about.
While many gyms like an industrial-looking environment in an old building–the tie to working hard helps motivate us–it’s critically important that whatever kind of walls and ceiling surround you, you still have a modern floor intended for exercise activities. Avoid a club (or home workout space) that has unusually rough or slippery floors, as either can cause falls, sprains, or strains. Form is crucial when working out so it is important to be able to do your workout with no worries. Old buildings often have cold floors where condensation can occur, creating a slip hazard. Ensure that you use weights in an area where the floors can tolerate their mass during storage and use.
Safety & Security
Those older buildings are often in somewhat unsavory parts of town. Check the security measures at your club. Is there an attendant at the front entrance? How many doors are there? Can you get quickly to your car after a late-evening workout?
And consider your safety in the event of a medical emergency. This is an important consideration if you already are suffering from some type of health condition. Being located where medical personnel can reach you quickly is important. If it’s a public gym or club, check about the availability of trained medical personnel on site, and–particularly if you already have heart issues–review for the presence of an automated external defibrillator equipped with a philips defibrillator battery. These devices can save your life if used prior to the arrival of paramedics.
Your Apparel and Shoes
It is important to be using the proper footwear for a successful exercise program. It is far more important to buy footwear that is compatible to what exercises you will be doing than buying them because they look good. Quality walking shoes must be designed for longer-duration, higher-speed walking than your ordinary daily shoes. You may be out of shape and overweight, but you will find that the intensity of your walking increases quickly once you start a program.
Buying for quality also applies to your clothing, which can cause irritation if it’s not meant to be used during vigorous activity. Moisture-wicking fabrics are also helpful in keeping you comfortable during your exercise. You should also wear clothing that will not restrict you from doing movements needed for certain exercises.
Having the right exercise program environment can help you achieve success by taking away some unnecessary worry. Taking these factors into consideration will give you your best odds of success in reaching your health and fitness goals.
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4 Mar 2014
Keeping children fit and healthy is incredibly important and isn’t just about helping them to avoid weight gain. If you allow your children to be sedentary, then even if they look fine they will likely be suffering from a range of issues and it will be affecting them in more ways than you can probably guess. Read on to find out how a sedentary lifestyle can land your children in real trouble and why it’s paramount that you find ways to keep them active…
If you think that fitness only affects your child’s body, then you’d be wrong unfortunately. In reality, the health and fitness of your child will greatly impact on their cognitive abilities, and if you don’t ensure your children are getting regular exercise then it can negatively affect their memory, their attention – even their mood. Spending too much time indoors can lead to depression due to a lack of vitamin D, while exercise has the opposite effect of causing the body to produce the happiness hormone ‘serotonin‘. Combined with the increased brain activity that comes from being active, this can all lead to school performance create being affected by your child’s fitness of lack thereof.
Note as well, that if your child doesn’t get enough exercise, they will also be likely to have excess energy in class, they will be less confident and so less likely to speak up and to work well in teams (and more likely to be bullied), and they won’t perform as well in PE. There are many knock on effects of a sedentary lifestyle for children, so don’t let this fate affect your own.
That confidence will have many other knock on effects for children. It will affect how well they speak up, it will affect how good they feel and look in their clothes and it will impact on their early romantic endeavours – which can set the pattern for years to come.
And it’s not just that they’ll look more physically impressive if they workout either: working out will also cause their body to produce more growth hormone and testosterone which will make them automatically more powerful and ‘alpha’ while also giving them the height advantage. And this doesn’t just apply to males either.
Keeping your children active and fit is not just important for their ability to concentrate and to keep the weight off, it can also help them to avoid a number of life-long conditions that could reduce their lifespan, damage their quality of life, and even lead to an early death.
If your children are less active for instance then they will be more likely to suffer from obesity, but also from type 2 diabetes, from heart disease, from strokes and much more. Physical fitness will also help to keep the blood and oxygen pumping healthily around your children’s bodies, which will lead to better delivery of nutrients where they are needed around the body and in turn better hair, teeth, skin and nails.
Don’t think that you’re protecting your children from needing physical therapy by preventing injuries either: if your children don’t get exercise then they’ll actually be more likely to suffer injuries as their bones will be more brittle and their muscles will be more imbalanced.
Again this won’t just impact on your children now either. A bad posture caused from too much time indoors is something that can lead to problems for children for their entire life. Likewise a lack of physical fitness is something that stays with someone – if your child is used to not working out or playing sports then they will be unlikely to take them up any time soon and as such their muscles are likely to remain undefined and their bodies are likely to continue to gain in fat.
There are countless reasons then to keep your children active and to encourage fitness. Don’t just do it for them now – do it for their future wellbeing and happiness too!
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
Today’s contributor, Jamie Weber, works at Cheshire Fitness Zone, providers of occupational therapy programs in CT. Whether it is on a trail or a bike lane, Jamie loves cycling and mountain biking.
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28 Feb 2014
Getting Fit Without Getting Injured
Exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s far too easy to be injured while you’re working out, training for a race or event, or playing sports. Avoid doctors, therapists, and seasons spent on the bench by taking the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe while you’re getting fit. Here are a few tips to taking care of your body while you’re trying to stay healthy and active.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Arguably the most important part of any exercise program and getting fit is the warm-up and cool-down. If you’re lucky enough to have never been injured while exercising, you might not see the need for a warm up. Injuries can happen regardless of whether you warm up or not, but are much less common if you take the proper precautions. Stretch your muscles, and make sure your body is ready to move before hopping onto the treadmill. Make sure you warm up the same muscles that you’ll be using for your work-out, and cool down using your warm-up drill.
Use Proper Equipment
Even if you don’t work out with actual equipment, make sure that what you do use is in good condition. Your running shoes, for example, need to be good quality and in good condition. You don’t want to risk damaging your arches or pulling a muscle in your feet if you’re training for a marathon. Make sure you know how to use any exercise equipment properly, and that you’re not lifting weights too heavy for you or cycling on a bike that’s too small or too tall for your legs.
Don’t do the same workout every day. Your muscles need time to adjust and relax, and if you work your arms for a week straight or do nothing but core exercises you’ll run a higher risk of injury. Cross-training will ease the stress on your joints. Alternate between high-impact sports like running, and low-impact like swimming or cycling. Your body will work best under different stresses, and it will keep you from getting bored, too.
Listen to Your Body
Your body knows what’s best for it. Don’t try to push through pain in the hopes that it will just go away if you work hard enough. There’s a difference between pushing your endurance and pushing through an injury, and you need to be able to recognize that difference. Pain is not “just fear leaving the body”…it’s your body’s way of telling you that you need to stop before the injury gets worse. If you’re new to exercising regularly, be extra cautious until you learn to recognize the difference between pushing your body appropriately and the pain of a more serious injury.
Exercise isn’t easy, and if you’re doing it right you should be working hard. “No pain, no gain” is fairly accurate—just make sure it’s the right kind of pain. Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable, but listen to your body when it tells you that it needs to stop.
Know your limits when getting fit. If you’ve never run before, don’t try to run a marathon in a day. Start slow, and don’t push yourself too hard. Fooling around with exercise equipment, sporting equipment, or pushing yourself too hard too fast is the fastest way to injure yourself needlessly. Take the time to learn proper technique, and don’t take shortcuts with your training.
Seek Help Immediately
If you have been injured, don’t assume that you’ll heal on your own. Seek a therapist, doctor, or other medical help immediately. Pushing past an injury will only make it worse, not better, and the last thing you want to do is cause irreparable damage. Another expert to consult might be a sports or brain injury lawyer (Alberta has some good options, if you’re in the area)—don’t be shy about exploring your options. Depending on how you acquired the injury, you may be eligible for financial help.
Exercising will keep you healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally, but it’s important to do it right. Don’t cut corners. Take your time, and make sure that you listen to your body when it tells you to stop. Not all injuries are preventable, but taking the necessary precautions will greatly reduce the chance of hurting yourself irreparably. Your body will thank you.
Georgiah Cook studies finance & accounting. She loves learning about higher education, law, and personal health, and has done some recent studying with Braithwaite and Boyle. She also loves writing about what she learns, biking, hiking, and people-watching at the beach.
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17 Feb 2014
Better Eyesight With These Foods?
Food is usually eaten to fulfill different purposes in the body. The main reason as to why people eat is to eliminate hunger, which is linked to the performance of several other tasks in the body. They include building the body, provision of energy and the prevention of disease attacks.
Despite all these functions people still worry about how they can get fit by eating food and in turn, the different ways with which they can keep healthy. However, there is one major point that individuals have not considered. This is the thought about how the food that is eaten can affect the eyes. Food is known to have great health benefits to different parts of the body. With this, there are certain foods that if taken, they bring a lot of positive effects to the eye as they help to improve your eyesight.
Here is a list of the 7 Foods That Will Improve Your Eyesight
Eyes are among some of the important parts of the body, hence the need to maintain eyesight for many more years. It is important to start working on this element while you are still young since most of the eye problems are experienced in old age. Thus the right time to start worrying about your eyesight is now.
It has been known to prevent you from contacting a number of eye diseases. It is because of its main component which is carotenoid that is also known as gluten. It is an important element in the protection of your eyes against macular degeneration and the likelihood of cataract development in the later days.
The implementation of garlic continuously improves your eyesight. It is because it contains Sulfur which results in a resilient lens that gets stronger with time.
The eating of more and more apricots will increase the supply of vitamin A to your body. This will help in the restoration of your eyes from the effect of free radicals. They also help to improve your vision since they contain sufficient quantities of carotenoids.
The idea that carrots offer great nutrients to your eyes has been constantly communicated for a long time. It contains a lot of Vitamin A as well as beta carotene, which is an antioxidant. They are an excellent source of great eye health as they also prevent blindness.
They are also very good for your eyes. They have great vitamins and also contain Sulfur, amino acids, lecithin among other useful nutrients. These help protect your eyes from conditions such as cataracts in the future.
It is good for your eyes since it contains anti-inflammatory agents in their natural form, and vitamin E among other great vitamins. Soy can also be found in a variety of other sources that include beans, and yogurt besides its presence in the form of soy milk. So, if you love soy milk it is a great advantage to your eyes.
7. Dark Chocolate:
This means that a sweet tooth is also an advantage to your eyes. It possesses flavanoids that help to protect the blood vessels in your eyes. In this way, the cornea and lens can maintain their good shape. However, the eating of dark chocolate should be occasional.
It is important that you eat food, which is likely to bring a number of benefits to your body. This should not only be in relation to the general body but specific parts as well. With this, you will be in a position to improve the functions of each on an individual basis. One of these is the consideration on your eyes since it will help you improve your eyesight.
This post has been contributed by Parker Ben. He loves to write about Health and Fitness. He recommends contactlensheaven.com for providing best contact lens for your eyes.
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10 Feb 2014
Dietary Fats Benefits
When you hear of dietary fats such things as heart disease, clogged arteries, and weight gain, are usually associated with them. However, there are some benefits of dietary fats benefits that many people are not aware of and without them your body just can’t function properly. This article will look at ways that dietary fats can help to improve your health when you include them in your diet.
Benefits of Dietary Fats 1: Blood That is Healthier
Dietary fats may have an effect on your blood in different ways. First, monounsaturated fats can raise HDL levels (a type of cholesterol that stimulates blood flow and removes LDL cholesterol from the body) and lower levels of LDL cholesterol ( a type of cholesterol that blocks blood flow by building up in the walls of your arteries).
Monounsaturated fats can be beneficial as it helps keep your blood glucose levels regulated which keeps your energy levels consistent and stable which is especially great for people with diabetes.
Finally, polyunsaturated fats have been known to fight high blood pressure and lower your blood triglyceride levels ( a kind of fat found in the blood in which high levels can increase heart disease).
Benefits of Dietary Fats 2: Vital Organs May Get Healthier
Another benefit of dietary fats is that almost every vital organ can be better optimized in your body. Saturated fats have several uses such as protecting your heart against stress and disease, construct brain cells, reverse liver damage, keep the liver safe from many harmful substances, and even help your lungs.
In addition to these dietary fats benefits, polyunsaturated fats help stimulate the production of cell membranes and pathway signals in the brain, help the body produce retinal tissue in the eyes, and help keep your heart free of disease and healthy.
Benefits of Dietary Fats 3: Better Immunity
An improvement in immunity can be achieved with saturated fats as it strengthens your white blood cells and can help increase the ability to fight infection and disease. This benefit of dietary fats can help reduce your risk of getting an illness and also means a quicker recovery if you do happen to become ill.
Benefits of Dietary Fats 4: Decreased Body Fat Levels
Even though the common belief is that dietary fats make you fat, they may actually help you drop the weight in some instances.There have been studies that have shown a diet rich in monounsaturated fats increases the rate in which the body uses fat which limits the amount of fat stored.
Benefits of Dietary Fats 5: Risk Of Chronic Disease Reduction
Another one of the benefits of dietary fats is that they may give added protection to your body against some chronic disease. Like mentioned before, both saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats just may lower your risk of getting heart disease. Also, monounsaturated fats may give added protection against certain cancers while saturated fats may help with Alzheimer’s disease.
As stated above, the possible benefits of dietary fats should give you enough reason to include them on a daily basis. There are a wide variety of foods including nut, seeds, fatty fish, and dairy that contain these essential fats. So if you would like to begin to enjoy the benefits of dietary fats, make it a dietary priority to include these in your diet.
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1 Feb 2014
Is Today’s Superfoods As Good As Moms Home Food?
Moms, back in the day, produced many foods at home for their families’ basic consumption whether they had a garden and produced all foods at home or used old fashioned ingredients and prepared the foods with love. Mom’s always pampered their baby with what was nutritious and unique for their needs. Many mom’s used these foods to protect and comfort their infants and nurtured them until they reached the stage where they could eat more traditional foods. These foods were unique and helpful for babies of all states.
Many of these foods protected and nurtured children. Moms would even treat colds flus and other options with special foods. Chicken soup for example which has been clinically proven to work to ward off disease. Such was the magic of mom’s innovative and home produced foods!
Foods that mom’s would prepare at home were the very definition of organic as many times they were grown on a farm or came straight for a garden. Nothing really beats fresh foods grown and processed at home for nutrition value and also their helpfulness to a growing body. The fresh aromas also filled the air. They made sure that you had the foods you needed for the body and the health that is desired later on in life, and tasted and smelled great. Are these home grown and healthy foods a thing of the past? Can they be utilized by current consumers?
Super foods with lots of hype!!
-Acai berry antioxidant
-Goji berries another antioxidant supposed super food
-maqui berries other super foods that give the individual supreme nutritional benefits according to the hype.
In present times, a lot of hoopla surrounds so called super foods. Foods like Acai berry, goji berries, and maqui berries are all the rage. The question rises are these so called super foods better than what mom has prepared for generations? What makes these foods so great? Are they here to stay? Well the answer would be yes and no. Many of these trendy foods are probably not here to stay however some old fashioned healthy foods may be. These would include such things as yogurt, beans. Broccoli tomatoes and so forth. Many of these foods are here to stay. They have also been part of traditional diets in a sense they may be considered super foods of their own.
Traditional foods are not that much different from superfoods. Many people would get foods out of their garden. This would include greens which are of course included among superfoods. Honey and bee pollens are also superfoods which were used in traditional foods as well. Meats in traditional foods were often antibiotic free and prepared at home. Beans are also considered to be superfoods, as well as tomatoes with their lycopene. The only difference between superfoods and traditional foods would be more exotic berries, and extracts like wheat grass and seaweed which are included in the superfoods of today.
Mom’s traditional Cooking Is Healthy
It is true that many of these so called super foods have been around for generations, but have not been called as such. Foods like broccoli and cauliflower are other super foods that individuals may wish to partake of. They are great fiber foods and may work as anti-carcinogens as well. Find and eat these superfoods as you see fit. They are beneficial and can give you the disease fighting potential that you need.
Remember to use the ehic renewal form if you are in the UK. It is the right thing to do, and is fundamentally sound in protecting your health. This is an important part of making sure your health is protected always with the right government forms and staying current on your health coverage. Stay Healthy and Happy with comfort food!!
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27 Jan 2014
Some say it is an internal fountain of youth – a rapid and natural means of diminishing wrinkles, restoring libido, decreasing body fat, and building lean muscle. Others say human growth hormone (HGH) is unproven and may even be dangerous.
Who do you believe?
It isn’t unusual for opposing camps to disagree with one another – especially in matters concerning health. Each side likes to point to science as evidence, but that often adds to the confusion. Do you remember when eggs used to be good for you, then bad, then they were good again? If scientists can’t make up their minds about something as seemingly simple as eggs, how in the world can the rest of us decide?
Let’s look at the basics of the human growth hormone debate to see if there is any solid ground.
How does human growth hormone function?
To say HGH is a complex topic may be an understatement. It is composed of 191 amino acids and is secreted by the pituitary gland – a pea-sized structure located in the skull behind the bridge of your nose. Scientists once believed the pituitary controlled all glandular functions, but have now identified the nearby hypothalamic region as the link between the pituitary and your nervous system. The importance of this system cannot be overemphasized. Functions as diverse as hunger, sleep, and parental desire are managed here.
Human growth hormone serves to stimulate growth and helps control the makeup of your body. Bone density, muscle size, and rate of metabolism are all affected by the HGH enzyme. A synthetic form of HGH has been used since 1985 as an injectable means of helping children reach optimal stature.
As one ages, HGH levels in the body fall. Spurred by a 1990 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, many scientists, physicians, and laymen theorized that HGH supplementation could delay, or even reverse the effects of aging. That kicked off a rush for product development and a fury of head-butting controversy lasts to this very day.
The study that started the battle over HGH
In their now infamous study, Daniel Rudman, M.D., and others theorized that the decline of human growth hormone as age increased was a primary contributor to declining muscle tone and increased fat in the elderly. Researchers studied 21 healthy men, aged 61 to 81 years of age.
Twelve of the men received biosynthetic growth hormone and nine received none. After six months of treatment, the team observed that the first group (those who received HGH) enjoyed an increase of 8.8 percent in lean body mass, a 14.4 decrease in body fat, and a 1.6 percent increase in vertebral bone density. The second group, those who received no HGH, showed no significant change in any of those areas.
As you might imagine, those impressive gains (and losses) quickly made a splash in the world of health, and created an overnight demand for HGH therapy.
Some say Go HGH, others say No HGH
For example, this site features an HGH-promoting video by Dr. Steven Lamm, a widely hailed physician featured on the ABC television show, The View. And another very public physician, Dr. Mehmet Oz, aired a series of episodes showing fans how to “Supercharge Your Body With Human Growth Hormone.”
On the other side of the coin, Major League Baseball star, Alex Rodriguez, found himself in the midst of a scandal and a suspension for receiving HGH injections. Moreover, the popular WebMD site says HGH can increase your cholesterol levels, lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, and even increase your risk of diabetes and cancer.
Who to believe? It’s just like the battle over whether or not you should eat eggs – the very best you can do is study the research, consider the findings, and make your own decision. Do the potential benefits from HGH outweigh the potential hazards?
Only you can decide.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Author Abel Cane focuses on health and fitness news. Able hails from the Pacific Northwest, loves to hike, and figures health is worth working for. You can get a message to Abel on Twitter. He is launching a new health-centered site called Get Gone Gut (coming soon).
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