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Definitions of Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Terms
There are a number of health terms, words and phrases of health and nutritional significance, that everyone should be familiar with. Many of these terms are heard constantly on TV news programs.
Obese- having a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or greater; the BMI considers height and weight in its computations. Obesity raises the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, various cancers, Alzheimer's disease, sleep apnea, and other medical problems.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no state in America had obesity rates above 19 percent 15 years ago; today, only 4 states report obesity rates below 20 percent!
Find your body mass index here:
Note: if you are an athlete and carry lean muscle, the significance of this reading does not apply to you; I am a bodybuilder and carry a lot of muscle mass. My reading although over 25 does not qualify me as being overweight or pre-obese. Body mass index only applies to people who are non-athletic and sedentary.
Metabolic Syndrome- otherwise known as 'syndrome X' or 'insulin resistance' or MSX (metabolic syndrome X); according to U.S guidelines, if a person has 3 of the following 5 symptoms, he falls into this category: a. elevated triglycerides b. low HDL cholesterol c. elevated blood pressure d. elevated fasting blood sugar or e. excess abdomial fat. Excitotoxins such as MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) can trigger this syndrome. The metabolic syndrome can cause type II diabetes, atherosclerosis, and hypertension.
The risk for being included in the metabolic syndrome category increases by 40% when a man's waist reaches 40 inches; 37 inches for a woman.
Excitotoxin- protein substances such as MSG and the artificial sweetener aspartame; these chemicals cause brain cells to fire their impulses rapidly when they make contact with them. These cells continue firing and remain in a highly agitated until they burn themselves out. Excitotoxins will make you fat.
Waist-to-Hip Ratio- a method to determine bodyfat levels; one study found that this method is the most accurate in determining the risk of heart attacks. To get this ratio you simply measure your waist and divide that number by your hip measurement. A healthy waist-to-hip measurement for women should be 0.8 or less; for men the number should be 1.00 or less.
Numbers greater than these indicates too much adominal (visceral) fat. This places the individual at greater risk for diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. This person has an 'apple' type body. A person with a 'pear' shape body carries fat primarily around the hips.
New research is showing that a waist measurement is a better indication of general health than bodyweight alone. A person with an 'apple' body type carries fat primarily around the abdomen. Abdominal fat is located near vital organs. This can lead to increases in cholesterol and triglyceride levels which negatively impacts the health. Excess fat in the abdominal region has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
The target waist size for men should be 35 inches or less and 32-1/2 inches or less for women. Waist size greater than these numbers leads to a corresponding increase in health risks.
Natural Flavor- Natural flavors and artificial flavors sometimes contain exactly the same chemicals although produced through different methods. Amyl acetate, for example, provides a banana flavor. When amyl acetate is distilled from bananas with a solvent, it is called a natural flavor.
When it is produced by mixing vinegar with amyl alcohol and adding sulfuric acid as a catalyst, amyl acetate is recognized as an artificial flavor. Either way it smells and tastes the same.
"Natural flavor" is now listed among the ingredients of everything from Health Valley Blueberry Granola Bars to Taco Bell Hot Taco Sauce. When it comes to the food industry and the FDA, you can't expect terms such as 'natural' to mean what you would normally expect them to mean.
PLU (Price Lookup Codes)- A code developed for produce (fruit and vegetables) that specifies whether it was grown conventionally, organically, or genetically modified. Conventinally grown produce has four (4) numbers (for example: 1022.) Organically grown produce contains five (5) numbers and is always preceded by the number '9'; genetically modified food also contains five (5) numbers but is always preceded by the number '8'.
Stevia- An herb which grows in parts of Paraguay and Brazil. It has been used in South America for hundreds of years. Stevia is a sugar substitute which is concentrated and has virtually no calories.
In its natural form, stevia is approximately 10 to 15 times sweeter than table sugar. It can be used by diabetics since it doesn't raise blood sugar. It is commonly processed into liquid, powder, packets, crystals and tablets. This plant extract is a natural healthy alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study which found that extracts from the South American plant from which stevia is made contain antioxidants. According to researchers, these antioxidants could potentially protect DNA from the damage caused by hydroxide radicals.
Sprouted Grain- Sprouted grain provides the maximun amount of nutrient content possible. As a matter of fact, sprouting is the only way to release all of the nutrients naturally stored in whole grain. Sprouted grain is loaded with protein, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins A, B, and C. One of the richest sources of vitamin C is sprouted grain.
When wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt are combined an amazing thing happens. A complete protein is formed which resembles the quality protein found in milk and eggs. They mixture has all nine essential amino acids. In addition, there are 18 amino acids found in all vegetable sources.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)- AMD is the leading cause of blindness for people over 50. There are two lifestyle factors which can dramatically raise the risk for AMD. These factors are cigarette smoking and ACE inhibitor use (prescription hypertension drug use.)
An Australian study has revealed that the risk factor for AMD was reduced by 70 percent for people who ate 3 or more servings of fish a week.
Plant pigments lutein and zeaxanthin were also found to be effective taken together for AMD. Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants. Lutein is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and collard greens. Zeaxanthin is found in yellow corn, orange peppers, kiwifruit, squash, mango, honeydew, broccoli, and egg yolk.
The study which confirmed the risk reduction benefit of these two antioxidants found this to be true in women under the age of 75. There was no risk reduction for women over the age of 75.
The May, 2007 issue of Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported on a study conducted on more than 1,000 women. The women with the highest bone mineral density (BMD) had a 34 percent lower risk of AMD than women with lower BMD. Calcium and vitamin D are important for dense bones.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration was rare as late as 1980. And in recent decades there has been a 1000% increase! Dr. Paul Beaumont, one of the world's foremost food researchers, has found that people who eat higher amounts of vegetable oils (corn, soybean, safflower, etc.) lose theri vision 3.8 times faster, and have twice the risk of developing macular degeneration.
A compound known as HNE forms when vegetable oils are heated. HNE attacks the arteries, nerves, and eye tissue. It has been implicated in hardening of the arteries, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, liver disease, as well as ARM.
Processed vegetable oils are dangerous to your health and should not be used at all. Cook with butter, lard, or coconut oil.
Cruciferous vegetables- A study conducted by the Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health (University of Ulster) has revealed that the vegetable watercress contains one of the highest amounts of the nutrient PEITC (phenylethy isothiocyanate.)
PEITC is believed to prevent the activation of an enzyme which is necessary for cancer to live. Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable. All cruciferous vegetables are high in cancer fighting nutrients including PEITC. In addition to watercress, cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, turnips, rutabaga, arugula, radish, horseradish, bok choy, and wasabi.
Enriched food- a food in which vitamins and minerals which were lost during the refining process have been added back in.
Fortified food- vitamins and minerals have been added to food in addition to what was lost in the refining process. For example, milk is fortified with calcium and salt is fortified with iodine.
DASH diet- Dietary Aapproaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet stresses nutrition to stop hypertension (high blood pressure.)
The following dietary plan has been shown to reduce systolic pressure (the first or upper number) by 5.5 points and the diastolic pressure by 3. The reduction in numbers are said to be greater for African-Americans who are at the greatest risk for hypertension:
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)- scientists manipulate the genes of plants (fruits, vegetables, grain) to achieve characteristics not found in nature. Soybean and corn are typically GMOs.
Genetic modification involves adding new genes from some other living organism. Genes are strings of chemicals which comprise DNA. If, for instance, resistance to a pesticide is desired, the food would be genetically modified. The goal is to give new characteristics to a food that didn't have it by nature. This is truly man circumventing God's plan with human engineering.
Whereas nutritional labeling is mandatory for all foods, the government doesn't require that the food companies label that their product has been genetically modified.
Genetic modification, or as some are calling it, Frankenfood, is a new technology. As such it is untested. Scientists do not know if genetically modified foods will prove harmful. Despite this fact, it has been declared GRAS. One fourth of America's farmland has been converted to raise genetically modified crops. More...
Carcinogen- a substance that leads to or causes cancer.
Interesterified fat- a fat used by some manufacturers as a substitute for trans fat. Tests show that it may be even more harmful than trans fats.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil- one of the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet is the extensive use of Olive Oil. Olive Oil is a heart-healthy monounsaturated product. The best of the various varieties of olive oil is extra-virgin.
Extra-virgin olive oil undergoes the least processing and keeps the most antioxidants. Olive oil is 75% omega-9 oil with no omega-3. Antioxidants are necessary to fight the free radicals which accelerate the aging process and are responsible for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Cancer may have found another deadly enemy. Researchers at the Spanish Institute de la Grasa and the University Hospital of Valme have found that extra-virgin olive oil may protect the stomach from ulcers as well as cancer by preventing infection by bacteria that cause them.
GRAS- Generally Recognized As Safe; a designation used by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to denote that a substance has been deemed safe for human consumption.
Free radical- a molecule with an unpaired electron; free radicals are unstable and attempt to capture an electron from another molecule in order to gain stability. When successful, they create another free radical and so begins a domino effect.
Free radicals are very destructive to human life. They create inflammation and cause cell damage. Many things create free radicals. They are created when mitocrondria, which all human cells contain, convert nutrients from food into energy. Free radicals are also the result of excess iron in the body's organs and intense exercise (See rice bran extract.)
The mitocrondria in people over the age of 60 is 40 percent less efficient than the mitochrondria in someone aged 40.
Antioxidant- donates one of its electrons to a free radical; antioxidants are stable in both forms. Vitamin E is the body's most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant; vitamin C is the body's most abundant water-soluble antioxidant.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)- weight training causes small or micro tears in the muscle; this damage frequently occurs when the muscle experiences new trauma such as a new exercise, greater intensity, etc. DOMS will happen 24 to 48 hours after training. The muscle will adapt to the trauma getting stronger.
Basal metabolic rate (BMR)- amount of energy the body needs to maintain normal functions (heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, etc.) while at rest. Specifically: the energy expended when the digestive system is inactive (requires 12 hours of fasting) and the subject is awake but completely at rest. Basal metabolic rate decreases with age.
The body's metabolism begins to slow down at a rate of 2 to 4% per decade after the age of 40. In addition to this, weight loss will slow it down even more because valuable calorie-burning muscle is lost too.
A University of Colorado Health Sciences study found that losing a pound of weight a week for 12 weeks lowered metabolism by 165 calories a day.
Many see BMR and RMR (resting metabolic rate) as being synonymous. RMR is not as rigid as BMR.
Carotenoid- the fat-soluble pigment in plant foods which give them their characteristic color. Carotenoid hues are typically red, orange, and yellow. Carrots, yams, and sweet potatoes are good examples.
The major carotenoids are: alpha carotene, beta carotene, lycopene, and zeaxanthin. The body converts beta carotene into vitamun A.
Daily Value (DV)- are a set of standards developed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) which compares the percentage amount of nutrients in foods to what has been determined for a healthy diet. This percentage is usually based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Atherosclerosis- the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
Flavonoid- class of water-soluble plant pigments. They are also known as bioflavonoids. One system breaks flavonoids down into sub-categories of: isoflavones, anthocyanidins, flavans, flavonols, flavones, and flavanones.
Examples of flavonoids are genistein in soy and quercetin in onions. Researchers have discovered more than 4,000 flavonoids in plants.
Phytochemical- non-nutritive cheimcals that have protective or disease preventative properties. Phyto- is the Greek word for 'plant.'
Catechins- class of powerful antioxidants; EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) in green tea is an example.
Studies show that EGCG and ECG found in green tea may help fight the destruction of cartilage and collagen in arthritic joints. These flavonoids seem to be effective against inflammation. It is also thought that EGCG and ECG work against the underlying mechanisms in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Anthocyanins- a flavonoid. A pigment found in red/purplish fruits and vegetables. Examples are purple cabbage, beets, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, purple grapes, black beans, wild rice, etc.
According to research performed at Ohio State University, anthocyanins may slow down the growth of colon cancer cells. They also may prevent heart disease and cancer-causing inflammation.
Researchers have found 600 anthocyanins in foods.
USP- U.S. Pharmacopeia. A non-profit organization whose responsibility is the setting of dietary supplement and medication standards recognized by U.S. federal law.
Products bearing this mark (See right) on their labels have been independently tested and verified to contain the ingredients listed in the declared amounts. Also, you are assured that the contents are free of harmful levels of contaminants. Their ingredients will properly release into your body, and were made using good, safe manufacturing processes.
ORAC- (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity); measures the antioxidant levels of food and other chemical substances. The higher the ORAC value, the higher the food's antioxidant level.
The recommended '5-a-day' fruit and vegetable servings will give an ORAC score of 1,750 units. A large handful of blueberries will give an ORAC value of about 6,000. ORAC score suggested by experts is approximately 5,000 units per day in order to have a significant impact on plasma and tissue antioxidant levels.
Following are a some of the highest fruit and vegetable ORAC levels:
Plaque- buildup in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks; it can be composed of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances which are found in the blood. New studies reveal that cholesterol is NOT the problem it was once thought to be.
On March 8, 2004 the FOX News network had the following headline: "Excess Calcium in the Blood Causes Heart and Bone Disease." Findings from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, show that the buildup of calcium plaque in the arteries causes an increased risk of heart attacks and death from heart disease across many ethnic groups.
Flatulence: Foods to Watch- Flatulence is defined as: a mixture of gases in the digestive tract. It's a natural phenomena which happens when normal, good bacteria in the intestine break down undigested food particles. Most of the gas is odorless and quiet. The normal human body passes gas 10 to 20 times a day.
The underlying cause of most flatulence is the diet. Drinking water with meals, especially as you age and stomach acid decreases, makes complete digestion of food impossible. Food that is not thoroughly chewed is also a likely candidate for causing embarrassing gas.
Food combinations can cause flatulence. Protein takes a while for the body to digest. When mixed with carbohydrates such as French fries and white potatoes and high sugar foods such as fruit will cause problems. The sugars from carbohydrates will sit in the digestive tract and ferment.
A Mayo Clinic Health Letter compiled a list of foods which can cause gas:
Dairy products which contain lactose (milk sugar.)
Vegetables: onions, radishes, cabbage, celery, carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, legumes
Fruit: those that are high in sugar (fructose) including prunes, raisins, bananas, apples, apricots, and fruit juices from prunes, grapes, and apples
Fatty foods and carbonated beverages
Artificial sweeteners: sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol
Sources: NutraIngredients.com January 4, 2008
Homeopathy- uses the principle of like cures like. A small amount of a disease or an allegen provokes a reaction in a patient which then serves to protect against it. Pain or symptoms of an illness are understood to be how the body attempts to heal itself.
Homeopathic medicines are made from plants, minerals, and animal products.
Irradiation- the process by which foods are exposed to radiation such as gamma rays, X-rays, or electron beams. This is also known as ionizing radiation. The purpose is to destroy insects and pathogens.
(This symbol (left) must be displayed on all irradiated foods.)
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved irradiation for wheat, potatoes, flour, spices, tea, fruits, and vegetables. This process destroys valuable nutrients. "The process may cause a small loss of nutrients but no more so than with other processing methods such as cooking, canning, or heat pasteurization" (from the FDA's website.)
I advocate as much of your food raw as possible. This ensures you get all the nutrients which would otherwise be destroyed by cooking and irradiation. As far as the safety issue is concerned, if factory-farming and toxic chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides were eliminated, and safe farming techniques implemented, safety would not be an issue (See...
Number Needed to Treat- a statistic developed in 1988 to determine the value of a pharmaceutical drug. Its use was to assist the consumer to decide whether to take a certain medication. This is one number Big Pharma doesn't want the consumer to know.
The number needed to treat was devised to answer the following question, 'How many people have to take a particular drug in order to avoid one incidence of a medical issue?'
The NNT can best be illustrated by looking at BusinessWeek's story on this subject earlier this year. They examined Pfizer's newspaper advertisement for its cholesterol-lowering drug, Lipitor. The ad states that Lipitor reduces heart attacks by 36 percent.
This claim however had an asterisk. Following the asterisk led to the statement: "That means in a large clinical study, 3% of patients taking a sugar pill or placebo had a heart attack compared to 2% of patients taking Lipitor."
That means for every 100 people who took Lipitor over the course of 3.3 years, three on placebos and two on Lipitor had heart attacks! The NNT in this instance was 100. One hundred people would need to take Lipitor for over three years to prevent one heart attack! Looked at another way, ninety-nine people wasted hundreds of hard earned money and possibly suffered side effects for nothing at all.
"Anything over an NNT of 50 is worse than a lottery ticket; there may be no winners" (Dr. Nortin M. Hadler, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.)
Dr. Jerome R. Hoffman, professor of clinical medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles weighed in with this question, "What if you put 250 people in a room and told them they would each pay $1,000 a year for a drug they would have to take every day, that many would get diarrhea and muscle pain, and that 249 would have no benefit? And that they could do just as well by exercising? How many would take that?"
The above scenario paints the reality of cholesterol-lowering drugs. (See also Healthy heart)
Carrageenan- a universal food additive used in ice cream and other dairy products, toothpaste, beer, processed meat, diet sodas, and soy milk. Carrageenan is extracted from red seaweed (chondrus crispus). The name comes from the type of seaweed found abundantly along the Irish coastline.
Carrageenan is used to as a thickening agent, an emulsifier, and a stabilizer. It is also used in vegetarian products in place of animal-derived gelatin.
Chondrus crispus or carrageenan is a food grade substance which unfortunately has been confused with industrial grade "carrageenan" which is more appropriately known as poligeenan. For a while poligeenan was known as carrageenan. In other words, carrageenan referred to food grade carrageenan and poligeenan.
Carrageenan has no known toxicity or carcinogenicity.
Source: Tom's of Maine.com.
Prebiotics feed healthy bacteria and assists in their flourishing as they move through the intestinal tract. Research from the Institute of Food Research found that almonds significantly increase levels of helpful gut bacteria.
Nanofoods are a subgroup of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology centers around the design and manipulation of substances on a molecular level. When applied to foods, manufacturers can enhance the flavor or nutritional profile of food.
But, like genetically modified organisms and irradiation, sufficient testing hasn't been done to find out if there are any potential dangers. And similarly like GMOs, nanofoods are not required to be identified on food packaging.
Anything which is engineered for consumption runs the risk of causing complications if the body cannot effectively process foreign materials. This is the problem with microwaved food. Its molecular structure is changed so much that it harms your body.
As far as is known to date, there are three food products utilizing nanotechnology: canola oil (by Shemen Industries of Israel), Nanotea, and Nanoceuticals Slim Shake Chocolate (RBC Life Science.) Nanofoods are listed on product labels under the generalized heading artificial flavors.
The only way to avoid this untested technology, as well as genetically modified organisms, is to stay away from ALL processed food.
C-reactive protein is the measure of the level of inflammation present in the body. Chronic inflammation saps the immune system of its strength and causes tissue destruction and tissue failure where ever it's found.
Crystalline Fructose- is produced by allowing the fructose to crystallize from a fructose-enriched corn syrup. Crystalline fructose is even more dangerous than high fructose corn syrup because it contains 99.5 percent fructose assay. This is a higher percentage of fructose than what high fructose corn syrup has. The crystalline form of fructose also contains heavy metals, arsenic, lead, and chloride.
Dr. Joseph Mercola calls crystalline fructose a high octane form of high fructose corn syrup. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, "Your body doesn�t handle large amounts of fructose well. You can maintain life with intravenous glucose, but not with intravenous fructose; severe derangement of liver function results. There�s also evidence that a high intake of fructose elevates levels of circulating fats (serum triglycerides), increasing the risk of heart disease. I never use fructose in my home.�
There is currently on the market a product named Vitaminwater which contains crystalline fructose. Despite its name, this and all other products containing crystalline fructose and HFCS should be avoided.
Calorie- unbeknownst to the average person, a calorie is actually a unit of energy. It is defined as 'the amount of energy it takes to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius (or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.') The human body needs energy (measured in calories) in order to function.
Food contains energy in the form of calories. Food can be broken down into protein, carbohydrates, and fat. When protein and carbohydrates are metabolized, they yield 4 calories each. Fats yield 9 calories when metabolized.
Core Muscles- a group of 29 muscles primarily located in the back, abdomen, and pelvis. These muscles protect and support the back, makes the spine and body less susceptible to injury, and gives the body greater balance and stability. Core muscles provides the foundation for movement throughout the entire body.
Phytosterols- group of organic compounds that play an important role in the development and reproduction of eukaryotic cells. Phytosterols are by and large found in nuts, legumes, and vegetables. They compete with cholesterol receptor sites within the bloodstream.
Free Range- the average American's definition of free range is more likely than not to differ from the government's definition. The United States Department of Agriculture allows the poultry industry to label chickens 'free range' as long as they have access to the outdoors.
Outdoor access could be grass or a paved area. These chickens could be debeaked too. This is an extremely painful procedure in which chickens have their beaks removed to prevent their pecking at other birds. This procedure is common in factory-farming.
Instead of searching for the free range label, look for meat labeled pasture-raised or that have been stamped Certified Humane Raised and Handled. Meat thusly marked means that the animal has enough shelter, and can engage in their natural behavior. For chickens that signifies foraging for food such as grass and grubs.
Recommended Daily Allowances- Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) was developed by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council. The purpose of the RDAs is to specify the amount of nutrients needed for the average person to remain healthy.
Recommended Daily Allowances differ between children and adults and male and female.
The numbers the scientists came up with only stated the basic health requirements of the average person. However, the body needs much more than just basic requirements.
Glucagon- a hormone that works the opposite of insulin; glucagon transports stored sugar (glucose) back to the bloodstream in order for it to be burned for energy.
Nitric Oxide- nitric oxide (NO) is a gas that relaxes the small muscles that line blood vessels and enlarges their diameter through dilation; arginine is changed into NO in the body. It also increases growth hormone levels and assists with weight loss.
Horny goat weed decreases the breakdown of existing NO in your body. Vitamin C accomplishes this too.
Organic Food- the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) defines organic as: products grown and processed using organic farming methods that recycle resources and promote biodiversity. Crops must be grown without synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. These products bear this seal.
A 2003 study which was published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry discovered that organic food is better in the fight against cancer than conventionally produced food. A 2005 study found that rats who were fed organic food had:
The European Union (EU) funded the largest study to date relating to organic food at a cost of $25 million. Researchers grew fruits and vegetables and raised cattle on adjacent organic and non-organic lots.
This study was called the Quality Low Input Food (QLIF) project. They found that organic food is undoubtedly the most nutritious-far out pacing conventionally grown fruits and vegetables and commercially raised cattle. They added that organic food can assist in improving health and longevity.
This study also reported that (a) organic fruits and vegetables have up to 40% more antioxidants than those conventionally grown (b) organic foods have higher levels of beneficial minerals like iron and zinc (c) milk from organic cows have up to 90% more antioxidants and (d) eating organic food can help to increase the nutrient intake of people who don't eat the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Phthalates- (thal-ates) a family of industrial chemicals used as plastic softeners or solvents in many consumer products. Phthalates can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled as fumes, and ingested when they contaminate food.
Phthalates are used in hundreds of commercial products. Many leading beauty care products such as hair sprays, deodorants, nail polish, and perfume contain them.
According to published studies, phthalates can damage the liver, kidneys, and reproductive system (especially developing testes.)
Protein Bioavailability- the usefulness of protein or a protein source; bioavailability specifically determines how closely matched the amino acids in protein are in relation to your body's requirements. Bioavailability is expressed in biological value (BV).Biological values are as follows:
Nitric Oxide- nitric oxide (NO) is a gas which is produced naturally in the body; involved in almost all of the body's processing, it is critical to good health. Among other things, nitric oxide transmits messages between nerve cells, helps the immune system fight invaders, and controls blood flow.
Nitric oxide performs a valuable function for bodybuilders and men with erectile dysfunction. It signals the smooth muscles lining the blood vessels to relax. This causes them to dilate (expand; become wider.) The wider the blood vessel, the more nutrients and blood flow to the muscles. This results in more nutrients reaching the muscles leading to repair and growth. Dilated blood vessels is good for high blood pressure too.
Research presented at the 2009 meeting of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that participants who took a supplement to boost nitric oxide (NO) production and weight trained for four weeks had a significant increase of muscle mass and strength.
A study which was published in the American Journal of Physiology found that NO enhances lipolysis. Lipolysis is the release of fat cells from storage into the blood to be burned.
Nitric oxide itself cannot be purchased as a supplement. The body processes the amino acid arginine to make NO. However, there are some scientists who say that arginine alone is not well absorbed into the body. You can find the following arginine compounds in your local health food store: arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG), arginine ketoisocaproate (akic), arginine malate, or arginine ethyl ester.
Agave Syrup- comes from the agave (ah-GAV-vay) plant which grows and thrives in the volcanic soil of Southern Mexico; the highly processed sap is almost all fructose.
|Stem Cell Information, The National Institutes of Health resource for stem cell research, Appendix C: Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Human Embryonic Germ Cells.|
In November, 2009 some of the world's most eminent anti-aging biologists and experts gathered for a summit. The most talked about subject within the anti-aging/longevity field is undoubtably telomeres. But what exactly are telomeres?
Your body is composed of 100 trillion (that's 100 with 12 zeroes after it!) cells. Each cell contains a nucleus. Inside this nucleus are chromosomes each of which contains a single molecule DNA. A chromosome has two arms. Telomeres are located at the very tip of each chromosome's arm. A telomere has been compared to the plastic sleeve at the tip of your shoelace.
Immediately after conception, your cells divide and telomeres shorten in length. The division of cells and shortening of telomeres continues until death.
This shortening process cannot be stopped even by a healthy lifestyle of exercise, plenty of sleep, nutritious food, and managed stress. But it can be accelerated by an unhealthy lifestyle of obesity, lack of exercise, psychological stress, and smoking.
These bad habits produce free radicals which are at the very heart of chronic disease such as cancer and heart disease. Free radicals cling to telomeres, and speeds up their shortening.
Although a healthy lifestyle doesn't impact a telomere's shortening acceleration, it does its rate of acceleration.
Research has discovered that every cell except reproductive cells undergo telomere shortening. This means that reproductive cells do not age!.
Reproductive cells produce an enzyme known as telomerase. However, all your other cells, known as somatic cells, have a gene for the telomerase enzyme. The gene though is turned off.
Anti-aging scienists are hard at work on finding out how to turn this gene on. But a possibl breakthrough is years away. There is a way to accomplish this task nutritionally.
By increasing glutathione (GHS) levels, you can stop the shortening of telomeres. Glutathione is created inside your body's cells from its precursor amino acids glycine, glutamate and cystine.
This can be accomplished quite easily by consuming whey protein. You can also include grass-fed red meat and eggs in your diet as they will provide the nutrients to maintain and increase your GSH levels.
Make sure to get high quality whey protein. Ideally it should be sourced from free-grazing, grass-fed cows and totally natural, organic ingredients. Miracle whey protein is a high quality product which will increase your glutathione levels and take you along the road to longevity.
Research conducted at the University of California at San Francisco reveals that omega-3 fatty acids can slow down the aging process. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that omega-3s can effectively slow down the shortening of telomeres.
One of the best sources of omega-3 is krill oil. Three grams of this nutrient daily is recommended.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who supplemented with a multivitamin on a daily basis maintained and extended the life of their telomeres. Study participants had younger DNA, and their telomeres were 5.1 percent longer than those who did not take a daily multivitamin.
That same study found that B12 increased telomere length and vitamins C and E stop telomeres from becoming shorter; this resulted in the increase of the lifespan of cells. Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants, and telomeres are vulerable to oxidative stress.
Of the 608 participants in the study, those with high levels of omega-3s in their blood had a slower rate of telomere shortening. This tanslated into a reversal of five years of aging. The exact process is not understood.
Enzymes- Biological catalysts; enzymes consist of various kinds of proteins that work to drive the chemical reaction necessary for a specific action or nutrient. Enzymes can either speed up a reaction or launch it.
Your body has over 3,000 active enzymes. They combine with coenzymes to form almost 100,000 functions to keep you healthy and alive.
As you age, the production of enzymes declines. Some research claims that the production of enzymes decreases by 13 percent with the passing of each decade.
Common symptoms of enzyme deficiency include back weakness, fungus, constipation, high blood pressure, insomnia, hearing problems, parasites, gum disorders, and gingivitis. Enzymes are needed for the important task of breaking down such nutrients as vitamins, supplements, and herbs.
If you are over 40, you may be enzyme deficient, or on your way to becoming so.
The following is a list of things which can destroy enzymes:
Raw Foods Diet- a diet qualifies as raw foods if the food eaten is in its whole, live, uncooked and unprocessed state 75 to 100 percent of the time. In general, those adhering to a raw food lifestyle agree that it encourages a healthy weight, or a loss of excess weight, and prevents or heals many chronic diseases.
Foods can be heated up to 115 degreees fahrenheit in a raw foods diet. After that temperature, nutrients begin to break down and lose their potency.
Enzymes are the most sensitive of all nutrients. They can be damaged or destroyed at temperatures above 118 degrees fahrenheit. Fats heated above that temperature can become carcinogenic. Almost all vitamins and micro-nutrients are completely destroyed at cooking temperatures above 130 degrees.
Foods eaten in their raw state have their nutrients preserved and available for your body to absorb them. And by preserving their enzymes, your body has an easy time in digesting food. As a matter of fact, raw food is so easily digested that it passes through the digestive tract in one-third to one-half the time of cooked food.
Destroying these enzymes by cooking foods at high temperatures forces your body to work hard in attempting to digest food.
The entire purpose of a raw food diet is to get all of the nutrients your body requires for growth, repair, and weight maintainence. Most of the foods eaten raw are fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. For people who are not vegetarian or vegan, raw milk, raw eggs, and raw meat can be added.
Most people associate a raw foods diet with vegetarianism. I suppose that many people on this diet are in fact vegetarians. But now people such as Dr. Joseph Mercola eats raw meat too. But remember, meat can be cooked up to 115 degrees which places it in the rare to medium rare state.
A raw foods diet excludes processed food. It emphasizes organic or local farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. Eggs, milk, and meat come from free-ranged, humanely treated animals.
In summary, here are the beliefs held by raw foods advocates:
Alpha-Linolenic Acid- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), not to be confused with alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), is a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. The other omega-3 acids are animal-based, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA.) DHA and EPA are longer-chained.
Your body converts ALA into both DHA and EPA. It has been estimated that the converson rate of ALA to EPA varies from 0.2 percent to 8 percent; the conversion of ALA to DHA is more limited -- most studies showing only 0.05 percent.
Dietary sources of alpha-linolenic acid include flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, soybeans and soybean oil, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, perilla seed oil, tofu, walnuts, and walnut oil.
Some manufacturing methods can destroy the nutrient value of products that contain alpha-linolenic acid by exposing them to air, heat, or light. Generally, high-quality oil is bottled in light-resistant containers, refrigerated, and marked with an expiration date. All sources of omega-3 fatty acids are best kept refrigerated.
Chromium- commercial pigs were fed chromium in a study and it led to a significant reduction in weight; nothing else in the pigs' diet was changed by the researchers.
Researchers from the University of Kentucky did the same thing. They fed chromium to pigs and measured an increase in muscle percentage and a reduction in fat percentage.
An Austrian study used chromium on human subjects. One group was put on a calorie-restricted diet while another group was given chromium. The study lasted for 26 weeks. The group placed on the chromium diet achieved the same weight loss as did the calorie-restricted group. In addition, the chromium group had an increase in muscle.
The Austrian researchers then incorporated chromium in the group who lost weight through calorie-restriction. They were able to increase their lean muscle mass without regaining the fat they had lost.
The downside to this amazing discovery is that most Americans don't get enough chromium through their diets. One study showed that 90 percent of Americans aren't getting enough chromium. The major reasons are:
Chromium works with insulin; it makes it more efficient. Chromium helps insulin take sugar and turn it into energy. This helps you decrease your insulin production so your body doesn't take sugar from your bloodstream and store it as fat.
It is doubtful that you are getting the chromium from your diet that you need for melting excess fat. Studies show conclusively that "pigs don't lie." Chromium will reduce bodyfat and build lean muscle mass.
Due to America's adulterated food supply and glut of processed snacks, chromium supplementation is a necessity.And even if you were to eat a chromium-rich diet, you would only get about one-fourth the optimum amount.
That optimum amount is 200 mcg. This can be obtained by purchasing chromium polynicotinate and taking 200 mcg daily. Amazon.com carries a 200 mcg bottle (100 capsules) for only $11.97.
Leucine- Leucine is a part of what is known as branched chain amino acids (BCAA.) The other two are known as isoleucine and valine.
BCAAs make up about one-third of muscle protein. They are essential and thereby must be gotten from dietary sources. These sources are meat, beans, and dairy products. Whey protein contains the most leucine by far.
Research has shown that leucine alone, and combined with the other BCAAs, improves muscle synthesis, decreases muscle catabolism (breakdown), and promotes muscle recovery.
A 1999 research review noted several of leucine's benefits. One benefit is that by taking a BCAA supplement with 30 to 35 percent leucine prior to or during endurance exercise can halt exercise-induced protein breakdown. It also has the ability to help maintain the body's glycogen stores. Like glycogen reserves, leucine stores are depleted after a strenuous exercise session.
In 2005, researchers from the Netherlands reported that by adding leucine to a carb-protein supplement stimulated muscle protein synthesis and optimized whole-body protein balance compared to a carb-only supplement.
Not only does leucine help build muscle, it burns fat too. A 1999 review showed that dieters who moderately restricted calorie intake and took a BCAA supplement having 76 percent leucine lost weight. It seems that leucine helps the body to target fat stores for energy.
A 2003 report in the Journal of Nutrition revealed leucine helps to preserve muscle mass during a weight-loss diet. It increases plasma and intracellular levels of leucine.
The researchers through their study showed that by combining a moderate diet that includes 10 grams of leucine daily, along with exercise, promoted more weight loss in the participants than those who strictly followed recommended daily allowances for fat, carbs, and protein consumption. The weight loss was highly significant.
The group who were given leucine supplements lost more fat and maintained more muscle mass during the 16-week study than the participants in the control group.
Researchers believe that leucine is affected by exercise more than the two other BCAAs. Studies conclusively show that leucine acts synergistically with insulin in certain intracellular pathways to stimulate protein synthesis. This makes a post-exercise meal absolutely essential for muscle growth and recovery.
Natural Farming- In contrast to conventional farming or organic farming, natural farming differs in that it uses the natural resources available on the farm itself to raise crops and livestock.
Farmers bolster beneficial microbes that naturally occur in the soil by collecting and cultivating them with everyday food ingredients such as brown sugar and steamed rice. Crops are fed solutions containing minerals and amino acids made from unlikely items like eggshells and fish bones too.
Han Kyo Cho, a farmer from South Korea, is a master of natural farming techniques and he teaches others through lectures and workshops. He is founder of the Janong Natural Farming Institute in Chungbuk, South Korea.
"What others consider rubbish, we use ... Natural farming uses local resources, but you have to give what the plants need, when they need it and in the right amounts," said Cho at a workshop.
Farmer Samson Delos Reyes has benefited enormously by implementing Cho's natural farming techniques. He has grown Vietnamese kalo which stands taller than he does and his basil bushes has thick leaves. The production on his ten acre plot has doubled. Mr. Reyes now has trouble keeping up with customer orders.
And that is not even the amazing part. Mr. Reyes' ten acre plot was once considered "unfarmable!"
He no longer has to buy fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides, and he has cut water use by 30 percent. The indigenous microorganisms in the dirt � bacteria, fungi and protozoa � help nourish his crops. The plants grow hardier because their roots have to reach further to find water, according to Cho.
Natural farming works just as well, and produces just as astounding results in raising animals as it does with crops. The first of its kind pig farm in the United States (Hawaii) doesn't smell or attrack flies. And, even more unbelievable, the piggery doesn't require cleaning.
"It's been in production for 20 months, and I haven't cleaned the piggery yet. It looks the same as the day I opened it. No smell, no flies.
It's a combination of the dry litter soaking up all the liquids and the microbes working together to break down the manure," says Michael
DuPonte, a livestock extension agent with the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and a technical adviser on the
Alpha-Carotene- A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that people with the highest levels of alpha-carotene were 39 percent less likely to die from any cause than those with the lowest levels. The study followed 15,000 participants for nearly 20 years.
The study discovered that alpha-carotene protects against cardiovascular disease and skin and liver cancers.
According to the AIM (Archives of Internal Medicine) study, a diet of processed foods is almost totally devoid of alpha-carotene. Eating whole, natural foods is essential.
Best sources of alpha-carotene include brightly colored vegetables. Carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, and peppers are good choices. A cup of pimento or bell peppers contain enough carotenoids such as alpha-carotene to deliver over 5,000 IU of vitamin A.
Other sources of alpha-carotene are bright, green vegetables like green beans. Red and orange colored fruits are good too like mangoes, cranberries, apricots, and cantaloupe.
Naturopathic Medicine- Naturopathic doctors (ND) or naturopahic medical doctors (NMD) are trained in four-year medical schools just as conventinal doctors are. What differs is the fact that in addition to learning such basic medical sciences as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, immunology, histology, neuroscience and genetics, naturopaths also take classroom courses in the clinical sciences: obstetrics, gynecology, urology, cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, rheumatology, oncology, gerontology, otorhinolaryngology and dermatology.
Naturopathic doctors learn therapies such as clinical nutrition (that is nutrition as both a healing therapy and applied biochemistry), botanical medicine (nutritive and therapeutic herbs), homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine such as acupuncture and Chinese herbs, as well as environmental medicine, physical medicine and hydrotherapy too. Traditionally, conventional medicine does not include these therapies in its treatment protocol.
In contrast to convetionally-trained doctors, licensed naturopaths can help the patient get well without the use of drugs. The licensed naturopath receives more classroom hours in medical sciences and natural therapies and their application to patients than any other type of physician.
Licensed naturopaths are both classroom and clinically trained to practice medicine using herbs, homeopathy, nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine, hydrotherapy and physical medicine, as well as environmental medicine.
Naturopathic medicine can be summarized by these principles:
Look at point four. Conventionally trained doctors note a patient's symptom, and then find a drug to treat that symptom. The naturopathic doctor, by contrast, finds the cause of that symptom.
For example, if you have arteriosclerosis which has led to heart problems and high blood pressure, the naturopath does not treat the blood
pressure right away. The naturopath goes to the cause of the problem and treats the hardening of the arteries. When you clean out
the arteries, the blood pressure comes down, and the heart is able to heal. That way you solve all three problems instead of just one.
Source: Dr. Colleen Huber, NMD. Dr. Huber practices naturopathic medicine in the state of Arizona.
In describing her website, Dr. Huber says:
The Naturopathyworks website serves to acknowledge time-honored and successful natural medicine treatments. Here you will find an introduction to some of the most effective and health-promoting natural treatments in use today, as well as a sampling of the research on these treatments showing that natural medicine does indeed work. We hope you find your visit to be an informative one!
Maltodextrin- a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose; there are two types of maltodextrin: synthetic and naturally-occurring.
Synthetic maltodextrin comes about when acid/enzymes are added to starch. You naturally want to avoid all synthetic maltodextrin.
Of course all commercially produced food products which use synthetic maltodextrin will not tell you. The product's ingredient label will just list it as maltodextrin.
The benefits of naturally-occurring maltodextrin are:
Vegetarian- in its most general sense, a vegetarian is any person who refrains from eating meat (including poultry and seafood.) But there are various degrees of vegetarianism:
Brown Rice Syrup- brown rice syrup is a table sugar and artificial sweentener alternative; it is made by fermenting brown rice. Unlike white rice, brown rice has the bran intact. It is the bran which contains valuable fiber.
Today (February 16, 2012), CNN reported that researchers discovered high levels of arsenic in organic powered baby formula which was sweetened with brown rice syrup.
According to the report, the baby formula, which remained unidentified, contained six times the amount of arsenic that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) considers safe for our water supply.
High levels of arsenic were also found in cereal bars, energy bars, and energy "shots" which are popular with endurance athletes. These products are all sweetened with brown rice syrup.
I must hasten to add that the fact that the brown rice syrup is organic has nothing whatsoever to do with the high levels of arsenic. An organic form of arsenic occurs naturally in the soil. And of all the grains, rice absorbs more.
There is nothing inherent in growing organic brown rice which predisposes it to accumulate higher levels of arsenic than brown rice which is conventionally raised. Arsenic aside, organically raised brown rice is healthier than conventionally raised brown rice because it is GMO and pesticide free.
Organically-raised grains, meats, and produce are still healthier alternatives to their conventionally-raised counterparts.
I would advise mothers to avoid any commercially available infant formulas. Breastfeeding is much more preferable in regards to the health and nutrition of your child.Non-GMO Seal- The significance of this seal is that it assures the consumer that the product bearing it has been produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance, including testing of risk ingredients. Testing of all ingredients is required (everything being grown in GMO form in North America). The exception is that every single finished product doesn't have to be tested.
The Non-GMO Project is the only organization offering independent verification of testing and GMO controls for products in the United States and Canada.
The non-GMO seal is not to be confused with the USDA certified organic seal (National Organic Program [NOP].) Although the NOP specifies that GMO seeds are not supposed to be planted, and GMO ingredients are not supposed to be used, no testing is required.
The rules established when NOP was inaugurated were formulated at a time when GMOs were in limited production and accidental contamination was not a significant risk. This is no longer true.
You can find retailers who participate in the voluntary program, along with their specific products, here at:
Source: Non-GMO Program.
These characterostics make it hugely popular for bodybuilders (male and female.)
Like many chemically-formulated substances developed to treat a medical condition, the abuse of steroids blackens its reputation. Anabolic steroids were first developed in the 1930s to treat testes which fail to produce sufficient testosterone for normal growth, development, and sexual needs (a condition known as hypogonadism.)
Valid medical uses are to combat the wasting of muscles brought on by HIV infection or some other disease; delayed puberty and some instances of impotence are also treated with steroids.
During the time of development, scientists discovered that anabolic steroids facilitated the growth of muscle in laboratory animals.
Once it became public knowledge that steroids could influence muscle growth, bodybuilders and weightlifters began using them to build huge muscles and develop their strength.
A bodybuilder for over 30 years, I first learned of anabolic steroids in the late 1970s. Professional bodybuilders were taking these substances in order to gain a competitive edge in competition.
Then steroid abuse began to filter down into the amateur ranks. I heard of and met bodybuilders who would use anabolic steroids to win amateur competitions.
I asked one amateur bodybuilder who had excellent genes to develop huge muscles why he took them. His response was that "everyone" used them and he would need to in order to stand a chance of winning a competition. He added though that he took steroids under a doctor's supervision.
Unfortunately many of these athletes went on the develop health problems, and some died as a direct consequense of steroid abuse.
Anabolic steroids can potentially cause medical issues - some of which are serious. It can cause voice deepening in women, the enlargement of the clitoris, and excessive growth of body hair. Male-pattern baldness has also been observed.
In men, steroid use can cause "bitch tits" - a colloquial term which means the enlargement of the breast. The medical term is gynecomastia. It is the embarrasing feminization of the pecs or breast.
More serious consequences of steroid abuse are liver cancer, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.
On a personal note, the reason I began weight training was not only to develop my size, but to remain healthy. I never for once considered taking anabolic steroids.
There is no replacement for hard work and good nutrition. Be an all-natural bodybuilder - not a synthetic one!
Source: Drug Abuse.gov
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