Category: General Health

Colorectal Cancer Symptoms & Prevention

Colorectal cancer describes cancer that has spread from the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer has risen in younger people recently. Learn colon cancer symptoms, prevention, and treatment.

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Wine and Gut Health: The Perfect Pairing?

Cheers to wine and gut health! Moderate consumption of red wine or white wine can have some health benefits, including immune support and digestive health. However, too much alcohol can be problematic…

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Lung Health Tips to Improve Respiratory System

Your lung health is important, especially in the wake of COVID-19. Learn tricks to improve your lung health and fight off respiratory inflammation.
 
Our understanding of COVID-19 is ever-evolving and will continue to be, so long as we don’t have a cure. What we do know is that this novel coronavirus is a respiratory virus. According to the American Lung Association, those with chronic lung health conditions may develop severe complications if they contract COVID-19 [1]. Furthermore, we don’t know the lasting impact COVID-19 will have on the lung health of individuals without chronic conditions. That’s why we must do everything possible to improve the health of our lungs. Here are some tips.

 

How to Get COVID-19

 
The attack on lung health begins at the onset of a COVID-19 infection. It gets contracted from person-to-person through droplets of liquid transmitted from the infected into the non-infected.
Exchange of these fluids may be due to:
• Coughing
• Sneezing
• Breathing
• Kissing
 
These droplets can be present on a surface, in the air, or transferred by different forms of human interaction. The virus can enter the body through orifices, such as your eyes, mouth, and nose.

 

How COVID-19 Affects Lung Health

 
Next, the virus seeks out mucous membranes in the nose and throat. It incubates up to a 14 day period before people notice symptoms of COVID-19.\
As the virus spreads, it can travel along the respiratory tract. Inevitably, this will lead to the lungs.
 
According to the American Lung Association,
 

“The lungs are the first and main body organ affected by COVID-19. In the early days of an infection, the novel coronavirus rapidly invades cells in our lungs. COVID-19 is thought to attack the epithelial cells lining the airways—that catch and clear out things like pollen and viruses—flooding our airways with debris and fluids [2].”

American Lung Association
When the virus hits these organs, the lungs can become inflamed. Not only are these symptoms painful, but they can make it difficult to breathe.

 

How to Improve Lung Health

 
There are many changes we must make to our lifestyle to thwart off COVID-19, the flu, and future coronaviruses. One is to improve our immune system. However, we must also tend to each vital organ’s specific needs. They all provide our bodies with specific functions. Therefore, they’re going to need specific maintenance.
 
We rely on our lungs to breathe. Yet, the average person without a chronic lung disease doesn’t even use 70% of their lung capacity [3]. So, here are some ways to ensure that you enjoy quality breath for the majority of your years.

 

Deep Breathing Techniques

 
Think of your lungs like a muscle. The more you work out your biceps, the more bubbly they get. Your lungs need the same consideration. Achieve this by practicing deep breathing techniques.
 
Our breath is the ultimate workout tool for lung health. Best of all, it’s free. Here are a couple of ways you can use this lung training accessory to its max advantage.

 

4-7-8 Technique

 
If you’re new to deep breathing, start off with the 4-7-8 technique [4]. This method is an easy way to baby-step your way into deep breathing.
 
• Breathe in for four seconds.
• Hold for seven seconds.
• Exhale for eight seconds.
• Repeat three more times.
 
This lung health exercise can be performed anywhere and takes only a couple of minutes. So, you can do it during a lunch break, once you get out of the shower, or first thing in the morning.

 

Yoga

 
If you need to build up the stamina to improve your breath intake, try yoga. Yoga makes you become conscious to breath because you integrate your inhales and exhales with movement.

 

Meditation

 
A non-physical exercise to improve deep breathing is also meditation. Meditation forces you to pay attention to your inhales and exhales.
 
Each time you breathe in, consciously think “inhale.” Each exhale, think “exhale.”
 
Try to elongate each breath. Eventually, you’ll be a meditative state and will forget to count your inhales and exhales. However, they’ll naturally become more buoyant.

 

Hof Breathing

 
Another deep breathing technique that will improve your lung health is the Hof Method of breathing. This one is more time-consuming but helps draw more breath into the lungs, which helps clear the muck out caused by viruses.
 
• Sit comfortably and inhale through the nose and out through the mouth 30-40 times.
• After less exhale, inhale as deep as possible.
• Let the air out as much as possible.
• Stop breathing and hold until you autonomously breathe again.
• Draw in a big breath to fill up the lungs.
• At full capacity, hold for 15 seconds.
• Let go.
• Complete the cycle 3-4 times.
 
According to the Wim Hof website,
 

“By systematically and deeply breathing in and out, the pH-value in the blood increases (making the blood more alkaline) whereas the acidity lessens. Normally, on average the pH-value is 7.4. By exerting the breathing techniques, this becomes significantly higher and can even go up to 7.75 [5].”

Wim Hof
Leaning towards a more alkaline environment can do wonders for your immune system. Furthermore, a more acidic environment makes it easier for pathogenic stomach bacteria to take over [6].

 

Quit Smoking

 
It sounds obvious that smoking is detrimental to lung health. Yet, over 40 million American adults start smoking cigarettes [7]. There are so many pictures of harmed lungs caused by long-term cigarette use. In addition, the Surgeon General provides a warning on cigarettes. All of these are proof enough to know that smoking isn’t good for these vital organs.
 
person smoking
While some may have a valid point that smoking cannabis isn’t as harmful, you should still ere with caution. After all, you’re bringing a hot substance into your lungs. It was literally just on fire. So, you’re still doing lung damage.
 
Also, the vaping-related illnesses of the 2019 pre-pandemic should serve as a warning sign for these types of ways of using cannabis products [8]. Medical cannabis users can opt for edibles or topicals instead of flower. Meanwhile, CBD users should opt for tinctures or CBD syrup instead of vape pens.

 

Diffuse Essential Oils

 
Essential oils are a great all-natural way to improve your lung health. They enter through your nostrils, stimulating the olfactory system. Here, they bypass all toll booths to the brain, gaining instant access to the mind. Essentially, essential oils can biohack the brain.
 
As you inhale the essential oils through the nostril, these highly potent plant compounds come in contact with mucous membranes where viruses hide.
 
Antiviral essential oils include:
• Oregano
• Bergamot
• Cinnamon Leaf
• Eucalyptus
• Tea Tree
• Rosemary
• Lemon
 
Be careful when diffusing essential oils around pets. Some of these compounds are too toxic for their little livers to filter. So, quarantine yourself in a room away from there for about 20 minutes as you inhale. Otherwise, consider inhaling straight from the bottle.

 

Cardio Training

 
Many of us think of a cardiovascular workout as a way to improve heart health. However, it also trains your lungs. After all, the first thing to go when we’ve run too fast is our breath!
 
According to a study conducted by the University of Virginia School of Medicine,
 

“Regular exercise may reduce the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a major cause of death in patients with the COVID-19 virus…Research conducted prior to the pandemic suggested that approximately 45 percent of patients who develop severe ARDS will die [9].”

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Scientists hypothesize this perk of exercise is due to the fact that exercise produces an endogenous antioxidant that helps fight free radicals. This antioxidant is called “extracellular superoxide dismutase” (EcSOD).
 
Studies on EcSOD show that this antioxidant helps protect mice from developing multi-organ dysfunction syndrome [10]. Seeing as the lungs are an organ, there is strong evidence that this exercise-derived nutrient can help protect against respiratory viruses.

 

Saunas

 
Not many studies have been conducted on saunas and lung health. However, the research that is available all seems positive [11].
 
Evidence suggests that sauna bathing can improve:
• Vital Capacity
• Volume
• Ventilation
• Forced Expiratory Volume
 
The dry heat can help break up mucous in the respiratory tract. That way, you can expel potential infections through blowing your nose and coughing into a tissue.
 
Also, the heat makes your breathing slow down. So, you’re more prone to take deeper breaths.

 

HEPA and Carbon Air Purifiers

 
There are so many environmental toxins in our homes, offices, and other public places. Not to mention, our cosmetic items have toxic ingredients that linger in the air and collect in our dust.
 
One analysis of indoor pollutants found that there are at least 45 toxic chemicals that linger in the dust in an average person’s home [11].
 
We inhale these toxins on a daily basis. So, it’s best to purify the air we’re breathing in as much as possible. The most efficient way to do that is with HEPA and carbon air purifiers.
 
HEPA and carbon air purifiers pull moisture, mold, and heavy metals out of the air. It recycles clean air and releases the toxin-free air back into the atmosphere. That way, you are less likely to inhale these particles into your lung.

 

Probiotics

 
Anything inside of our body interacts with microbes. Therefore, controlling your microbiome is essential for optimal wellness, including improving lung health.
 
One meta-analysis of the gut-lung-axis noted,

 

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), mainly produced by the bacterial dietary fibers’ fermentation especially in case of a high-fiber diet (HFD), act in the lungs as signaling molecules on resident antigen-presenting cells to attenuate the inflammatory and allergic responses [13].”

Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol.
There are many microbes around your lung, but nothing compared to your gut biome. However, healthy lungs have many of the same commensal bacteria.
 
Bacteria for lung health include:
• Firmicutes
• Bacteroidetes
• Proteobacteria
• Actinobacteria
 
Thryve Gut Health
 
If you’re unsure that you have enough of these bacteria in your microbiome, try taking an at-home gut test. Thryve sends you everything you need to safely take procure a stool sample and mail it to us for analysis.
 
We analyze your DNA to determine the ratios of stomach bacteria in your body. Based on the gut test, we then provide you with a custom probiotic supplement. If you’re lacking any of the bacteria for optimal lung health, then they’ll be included in your probiotic!

 

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Resources

 

[1] Editorial Staff | May 29, 2020 Topics: Health & Wellness Top Story COVID-19. “Top Story: COVID-19.” American Lung Association, 2020, www.lung.org/blog/update-covid-19.
 
[2] “Learn about COVID-19.” Learn about COVID-19 | American Lung Association, 29 Apr. 2020, www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/covid-19/about-covid-19.
 
[3] Bradford, Alina. “Lungs: Facts, Function and Diseases.” LiveScience, Purch, 2 Feb. 2018, www.livescience.com/52250-lung.html.
 
[4] Weil., M.D., Dr. Andrew. “Video: Breathing Exercises: 4-7-8 Breath.” Dr. Weil, 2020, www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/breathing-exercises-4-7-8-breath/.
 
[5] Hof, Wim. “The Benefits of Breathing Exercises: Wim Hof Method.” The Benefits of Breathing Exercises | Wim Hof Method, 2020, www.wimhofmethod.com/breathing-exercises.
 
[6] University of Kansas. “Acidic Environment Could Boost Power of Harmful Pathogens.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 9 Jan. 2020, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200109141017.htm.
 
[7] “Data and Statistics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 Feb. 2020, www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/index.htm.
 
[8] Vaughn, Emily. “The Vaping Illness Outbreak: What We Know So Far.” NPR, NPR, 18 Sept. 2019, www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/09/18/760635457/the-vaping-illness-outbreak-what-we-know-so-far.
 
[9] Barney, Joshua. “COVID-19: Exercise May Help Prevent Deadly Complication.” UVA Health Newsroom, 25 May 2020, newsroom.uvahealth.com/2020/04/15/covid-19-exercise-may-help-prevent-deadly-complication/.
 
[10] Call, J. A., Donet, J., Martin, K. S., Sharma, A. K., Chen, X., Zhang, J., Cai, J., Galarreta, C. A., Okutsu, M., Du, Z., Lira, V. A., Zhang, M., Mehrad, B., Annex, B. H., Klibanov, A. L., Bowler, R. P., Laubach, V. E., Peirce, S. M., & Yan, Z. (2017). Muscle-derived extracellular superoxide dismutase inhibits endothelial activation and protects against multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in mice. Free radical biology & medicine, 113, 212–223. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2017.09.029.
 
[11] Laukkanen, Jari A. et al. Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 93, Issue 8, 1111 – 1121.
 
[12] “Making a Healthier Home.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 8 Sept. 2017, newsinhealth.nih.gov/2016/12/making-healthier-home.
 
[13] Enaud, Raphaël, et al. “The Gut-Lung Axis in Health and Respiratory Diseases: A Place for Inter-Organ and Inter-Kingdom Crosstalks.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 10 Jan. 2020, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcimb.2020.00009/full#B19.

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Recover Elegantly: Why Compression Therapy Is Gaining Popularity As A Recovery Technique

Compression therapy is a natural way to alleviate pain, improve skin health, and boost heart health. Plus, you can wear funky socks!
 
The human body can endure grueling workout sessions. However, while our muscles are pumping and our heart is racing, we cannot really predict the wear and tear that is going on inside our body. It is not until we cool off when we can feel that our muscles are screaming for a recovery session. Instead of turning to long-term medications that destroy your gut health, you might want to consider compression therapy (CT).
 
Compression Therapy (CT) has changed the realm of restoration and recovery. This holistic form of self-care boosts the recovery process. Using CT reduces the potential downtime of athletes, allowing them to get back into the game quicker. Before we get into the benefits of compression therapy, let’s get a rudimentary understanding of the phenomenon.

 

The Science Behind Compression Therapy Explained

 
Specific parts of the human body fatigue after intense workout sessions because of the build-up of unwanted fluids, such as lactic acid. These fluids are a result of anaerobic respiration, which occurs when the oxygen supply to our cells cannot keep up with the amount of energy required by our body. Hence, the oxygen-deficient respiration takes place.
 
compression therapy
Recovery periods were longer traditionally because the body naturally cannot flush out these unwanted fluids from fatigued parts. This downfall to intense exercise is where compression therapy comes in.
 
CT involves the use of innovative compression devices such as socks or inflatable boots, which facilitate the circulation of fluids. These devices can be rhythmically inflated or deflated so that the cardiac system within our body can be assisted in moving the fluids from the worn-out limbs back to the circulatory system.
 
One study involving the benefits of compression therapy found,
 
“Compression stockings exerting a pressure of ~20 mmHg on the distal leg are able to increase venous blood flow velocity in the supine position and to prevent leg swelling after prolonged sitting and standing… Compression is a cornerstone in the management of venous and lymphatic insufficiency [1].”
Ann Vasc Dis.
With CT, you can follow remove these unwanted fluids from your circulatory system. Ultimately, this will prevent inflammation that can destroy your gut health.
 
Compression devices are the most important element of CT, and should only be sought from certified suppliers such as FactoryDirectMedical.

 

The Benefits of Compression Therapy

 
compression therapy
 
Apart from the benefits in recovery, compression therapy has known to support wellness in the face of other diseases that involves limb pain. In some instances, compression therapy offers a comprehensive remedy.

 

Chronic Venous Disease

 
Since CT serves as a catalyst for boost fluid circulation, its target area is our veins. If our veins have restricted blood circulation, then pain in the lower limbs can become frequent. People suffering from this condition are known to have chronic venous disease [2].
 
During chronic venous disease, the pressure sustained by the leg veins causes the valves to stop pumping fluids efficiently. Therefore, blood doesn’t pump back to the heart, ultimately weakening heart health.

 

Pain Relief

 
Continous buildup of toxins and fluids can lead to heavy periods of fatigue and sudden outbreaks of pain. In this situation, CT is an amazing remedy for reducing aches.
It also effectively assists the veins in pumping fluids out of the limb area. This blood carries immune cells and antioxidants that promote healing.

 

Skin Health

 
Getting the blood pumping is also essential for skin health. Pooled areas of fluids leave the skin bloated and clammy. Improving circulation can prevent aging your skin prematurely.
 
Also, compression therapy helps prevent inflammation [3]. Inflammation destroys whatever it touches, including skin cells. Therefore, your skin might lose its vitality and elasticity.

 

How Often Should You Use Compression Therapy?

 
Compression therapy frequency is dependent on the nature of the physical activity that you undertake. If there are frequent intensive workouts within your routine, then spending 20-30 minutes in compression therapy every day can assist in circulation, and alleviate pain build-up.
The best thing about this therapy is that it is a non-invasive procedure. CT naturally aids the body to recover without surgery or medicine.
 
That’s why we believe compression therapy is an excellent addition to any gut health routine. Circulation improves all aspects of the body, including the gut biome.
 
Using compression therapy may take the burden off your immune cells, so they can focus on other important tasks. It also alleviates inflammation that may destroy your gut bacteria.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Partsch H. (2012). Compression therapy: clinical and experimental evidence. Annals of vascular diseases, 5(4), 416–422. https://doi.org/10.3400/avd.ra.12.00068.
 
[2] Andreozzi GM, Cordova RM, Scomparin A, et al. Quality of life in chronic venous insufficiency. An Italian pilot study of the Triveneto Region. Int Angiol. 2005;24(3):272‐277.
 
[3] Sibbald RG, Contreras-Ruiz J, Coutts P, Fierheller M, Rothman A, Woo K. Bacteriology, inflammation, and healing: a study of nanocrystalline silver dressings in chronic venous leg ulcers. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2007;20(10):549‐558. doi:10.1097/01.ASW.0000294757.05049.85.

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Signs Your Body Is Aging: What Are Your Growing Pains Telling You?

As we age, a whole lot of things start to change within our bodies. Our skin thins, our bones weaken, and our memories get worse. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to combat the signs your body is aging. Implement little life hack, such as changing your diet and adding supplements to supporting aches and pains through cutting-edge new therapies. Knowing what to look out for can help you formulate a care plan that makes your senior years as enjoyable as possible. Here’s how!

 

Combating Signs Your Body is Aging

 
Growing older shouldn’t be dreadful. It means you’ve accomplished some stuff, done some things, and are leaving a legacy in your path.
 
Aging allows you to see the fruits of your labors. You get to slow down a little, watch your family grow, and spend more time doing your hobbies.
 
Unfortunately, these little pleasures come with some roadblocks. When pain becomes chronic, it opens the door for disease development.
 
An analysis looking at the signs of aging and chronic disease found,
 

“The presence of daily pain also seems to be a risk factor for developing disability. In an observational study done in 11 European countries, 19% of those with daily pain developed disability during the following year, compared to only 14.9% of those without daily pain [1].”

Pain Medicine
So, when you experience the signs of aging, what do you do? Let’s discuss some ways to cope with these chronic pains.

 

Back Pain

signs your body is aging
 
One of the most common signs of aging is back pain. Your back and spine experience many age-related changes that can trigger pain and stiffness. These uncomfortable symptoms might be a result of spinal disk degeneration (osteoarthritis) and narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis).
 
Over time, these conditions can cause you to feel constant pain and may prevent mobility. As surgery is likely not a preferred option, routine massage therapy or using a laser light therapy belt for a half-hour a day can help.

 

Memory Loss

 
We all know that memory loss and mental fogginess often come with the territory of getting older. However, what causes this to happen? Well, as we age, our bodies produce fewer hormones and proteins that the brain uses to protect and repair brain cells [2].
 
signs your body is aging
Additionally, older adults tend to experience decreased blood flow to the brain. In turn, our brain gets less oxygen [3]. This inevitably leads to the deterioration of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is our part of the brain that retrieves and forms memories.

 

There are a few simple things you can do to prevent cognitive decline. Try socializing more, work on brain-teasers, exercise regularly, and consume a diet with healthy fats.

 

Getting Shorter

 
back pain
You spend the early part of your life growing and the later part shrinking! In fact, research shows that women lose an average of three inches, and men drop an average of two inches by the time they turn 80 [4]. So, why does this happen?

 

Shortness is one of the signs your body is aging because the disks in the spine dehydrate, compress, and degenerate. These setbacks cause your disks to pull the spine downward. This motion causes the semblance of a hunched back. In worst-case scenarios, the vertebrae can collapse and fracture due to these conditions.

 

More Susceptible to Illness

 
One of the top signs your body is aging is that you get sick easier. We’re learning this is very evident with the present-day crisis surrounding COVID-19. Unfortunately, aging lowers your immunity. So, if you feel like you’ve gotten sick more often as you’ve gotten older, it’s not your imagination.
While the body uses experience (and age) to build up a strong defense against the bacteria and viruses with which it has come into contact, many more things happen in the body to weaken immune defenses as we get older [5].
 
Much of these hardships center around toxins in our environment, allergens in our food, and Mother Time all coming together.
 
Also, conditions common in older adults—such as diabetes and cancer—can contribute to a weaker immune system. So, if you notice yourself getting sicker, please speak to your physician. Work with them to boost your immune system naturally so you can have a better chance of fighting illnesses.

 

Sweat Less

 
seniors exercise
One of the most overlooked signs your body is aging is a reduction in sweat. Sure, nobody likes to sweat.
 
However, we need this autonomous process to help remove toxins from our bodies.
 
When we were younger, we moved and exercised a lot more, so our bodies needed more sweat to regulate temperature and keep us cool. As we age, the sweat glands (endocrine glands) in our underarms shrink [6].
 
Consequently, less sweat is produced. Women may experience this change more than men due to menopause.

 

Thinner Skin

 
aging person
Many of us are told we need a thick skin to deal with the negativity in this world. However, thicker skin also keeps us looker younger and more vibrant. Aging skin is a clear indicator of how long you’ve been on this earth. Seemingly, there’s nothing we can do about it.
 
As we age, our bodies produce less collagen and elastin, two peptides our system uses to ensure that skin is protective, hydrated, and elastic. As a result, aging skin feels thin, dry, and less supple than it once did. Of course, this leads to the development of wrinkles and fine lines.
 
Don’t turn to cosmetics to fight against signs that your body is aging. Many beauty products are packed with synthetic ingredients that are harmful to your gut biome. Use vegetable and fruit oils for your skin to bring back vitality and enrich it with antioxidants. Also, drink bone broth to bring collagen and elastin back to your skin cells.

 

Frequent Bathroom Trips

signs your body is aging
Urinary problems are common among older adults because the bladder becomes less elastic with age. On top of that, the bladder is a muscle. Unfortunately, muscles tend to lose strength over time.
 
A weaker bladder may make it harder to fully empty when you go to the bathroom. As a result, it may cause loose bladder control (urinary incontinence).
 
An excellent way to gain strength in your bladder is to practice Kegel exercises. These slight movements exercise the pelvic floor muscles. Performing Kegels help strengthen bladder muscles, lowering the chance of incidents.

 

Fluctuating Weight

 
Depending on your health, and which stage of aging you’re in, you may be gaining or losing weight for seemingly no reason. Older people tend to gain weight because their metabolism slows down.
 
An analysis of metabolism during aging noted,
 

“The basal metabolic rate decreases almost linearly with age…The volume of skeletal musculature decreases and the percentage of fat tissue increases with age. It is shown that the decrease in muscle mass relative to total body may be wholly responsible for the age-related decreases in basal metabolic rate. Energy consumption by physical activity also decreases with atrophic changes of skeletal muscle. Thus, energy requirement in the elderly decreases [7].”

Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi.
You might also not feel well enough to exercise like you once did. This sedentary lifestyle will make it harder to burn off calories, resulting in an accumulation of fat tissue around the gut.
 
On the flip side, weight loss occurs in people with conditions common among older adults, such as depression, cancer, and dementia. Long-term use of certain medications may also lead to weight loss.

 

Dental Issues

 
elderly person skin
Have you noticed that your gums appear to be pulling back more from your teeth with every passing year? Are cavities becoming more frequent? These are some of the less talked about signs your body is aging.
 
Dental problems happen for many reasons. Some seem innocent enough, such as years of aggressive brushing. Otherwise, dental problems may indicate the development of periodontal disease (gum disease).
 
Another thing that happens when you get older is that your mouth dries out. With less moisture in the mouth, your teeth and gums are more vulnerable to decay and infection. Therefore, it is more important than ever to practice good dental hygiene in old age.

 

Hearing and Sight Problems

 
Unfortunately, our senses dwindle in old age, causing difficulty seeing and hearing. Age-related hearing loss occurs gradually over one’s lifetime due to decades of loud noises, excessive earwax buildup, and genetics.
signs your body is aging
Certain health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, also play a role in hearing loss [8]. All of these signs your body is aging is bad for your mental health. When your brain doesn’t hear specific frequencies frequently, it can lead to brain atrophy [9]. In turn, you become at-risk of developing dementia.
 
Eyesight also suffers from aging. You may experience common issues, such as presbyopia (the loss of ability to see close objects or read small print), floaters, and dry eyes.

 

Embracing Life While Showing Signs Your Body is Aging

young couple
Sure, there are some less-than-ideal things that happen when we add more years to the logbook, but there’s a trade-off to getting older. For all the bad, we also get a whole lot of good in the form of wisdom. Though we all have things we wish we knew when we were young (or things we wish we took more seriously), when it comes to health, it’s never too late to begin practicing good habits.
 
Fight off the signs your body is aging. Join the Thryve Gut Health Program to learn insights about your health, including your metabolism score. Make sure you practice a healthy lifestyle. Exercise and proper diet will help stave off many signs of aging so you can enjoy these years to their fullest!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Gibson, Stephen J., et al. “Prevalence and Relevance of Pain in Older Persons.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 12 Apr. 2012, academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/13/suppl_2/S23/1847844.
 
[2] Timmerman, K. L., & Volpi, E. (2008). Amino acid metabolism and regulatory effects in aging. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 11(1), 45–49. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0b013e3282f2a592.
 
[3] “Age-Related Memory Loss.” HelpGuide.org, 12 Mar. 2020, www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/age-related-memory-loss.htm.
 
[4] Sagon, Candy. “Are You Getting Shorter? What Height Loss Says About Your Health.” Blogs, 28 Aug. 2014, blog.aarp.org/healthy-living/are-you-getting-shorter-what-height-loss-says-about-your-health.
 
[5] Cicetti, Fred. “Aging Lowers Your Immunity.” LiveScience, Purch, 30 May 2013, www.livescience.com/35908-aging-lowers-your-immunity.html.
 
[6] van den Beld, A. W., Kaufman, J. M., Zillikens, M. C., Lamberts, S., Egan, J. M., & van der Lely, A. J. (2018). The physiology of endocrine systems with ageing. The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology, 6(8), 647–658. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(18)30026-3.
 
[7] Shimokata, H, and F Kuzuya. “Aging, Basal Metabolic Rate, and Nutrition.” Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. Japanese Journal of Geriatrics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 1993, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8361073.
 
[8] “Hearing Loss: A Common Problem for Older Adults.” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 20 Nov. 2018, www.nia.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-common-problem-older-adults#causes.
 
[9] Lin, F. R., & Albert, M. (2014). Hearing loss and dementia – who is listening?. Aging & mental health, 18(6), 671–673. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2014.915924.
 

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Mediterranean Diet Improves Gut Bacteria

It’s not news to many that the Mediterranean Diet might just be the healthiest to follow. After all, research has clearly indicated that the Mediterranean Diet improves longevity [1]. Now, a recent study finds that the Mediterranean Diet and gut health go hand-in-hand, too [2]. These findings not only prove that the Mediterranean Diet is the best to follow, but that gut health is the root of overall wellness. Let’s take a closer look at the Mediterranean Diet and gut health connection.

 

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

 
couscous mediterranean diet
Visions of the Mediterranean may conjure up ideas of relaxing by the sea. That’s pretty much how your gut feels when it thinks of the Mediterranean, too. Eating Mediterranean foods is a wonderful break from the garbage found in a typical Western Diet.
 
The Mediterranean has hot, dry summers that get nourished by cool, wet winters. Therefore, fresh produce is abundant throughout most of the year. Plus, easy access to the water makes fish far more accessible than beef.

 

Types of Mediterranean Foods

 
Common foods in a Mediterranean Diet include:
 
olive mediterranean diet
 
• Olives/Olive Oil
• Figs
• Dates
• Grapes
• Nuts
• Seeds
• Avocados
• Citrus Fruits
• Wild-Caught Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp)
• Fresh Vegetables
• Couscous
• Chickpeas
• Lentils
• Eggplant
• Whole Grains
 
As you can see, the Mediterranean Diet runs a lot of parallels with a whole foods diet. So, try following an Elimination Diet if you are looking to eat Mediterranean for gut health.

 

Why Mediterranean Diet is Good for Health

 
The Mediterranean Diet evolved to be the healthiest in the world, much in thanks to its location. Plants with deep roots, such as olive trees, survive much better than shallow-rooted plants like grass. Without grass to graze, there isn’t any feed for cows. So, many live a predominantly plant-based lifestyle.
 

Omega-6 vs. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

 
The Standard American Diet (SAD) has seen over two-thirds of the population become overweight or obese. That’s because SAD is stuffed with a litany of saturated fats.
 
Ultimate Guide to Weight Gut Axis
 
Saturated fats tend to accumulate around the gut, leading to weight gain. Furthermore, they come with a litany of omega-6 fatty acids. Our ancestors evolved with an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1:1. Presently, we’re upwards of 15:1.
 
An analysis about the dangers of this imbalance noted,
 

“Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects. In the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease [3].”

Biomed Pharmacother. 
Further proving life is about balance, the study noted that significant milestones in health improved as the 1:1 ratio got closer together.
 
Improvements in omega-6 to omega-3 ratios saw:
 
• 5:1 – Improvement in Asthma Symptoms
• 4:1 – 70% Decrease in Mortality
• 3:1 – Lessened Inflammation In Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
• 2.5:1 – Reduced Rectal Cell Proliferation in Colorectal Cancer Patients
 
By cutting down on red meat and dairy, you can improve so many aspects of your wellness. Now, research shows that there is a positive connection between the Mediterranean Diet and gut health too.

 

Mediterranean Diet and Gut Health Study

 
The recent study that shed a light on the Mediterranean Diet and gut health actually started as an analysis about frailty. Researchers followed 612 non-frail and pre-frail elderly people for one year.
 
These individuals came from the following regions:
• United Kingdom
• France
• Italy
• Poland
• Netherlands
 
Some of these participants were fed a Mediterranean Diet. At the end of the study, the researchers performed a stool test. They analyzed the DNA of the subjects and found that those who followed the Mediterranean protocol had a far more diverse gut biome.
 
Results noted,
 

“Taxa enriched by adherence to the diet were positively associated with several markers of lower frailty and improved cognitive function, and negatively associated with inflammatory markers including C-reactive protein and interleukin-17. Analysis of the inferred microbial metabolite profiles indicated that the diet-modulated microbiome change was associated with an increase in short/branch chained fatty acid production and lower production of secondary bile acids, p-cresols, ethanol and carbon dioxide.”

Gut Journal
So, what exactly do these findings mean? Let’s dive a little deeper into the benefits of Mediterranean foods for gut health.

 

How Mediterranean Diet Improves Gut Health

 
There are a lot of factors at play that causes the Mediterranean Diet to improve gut bacteria. Here’s a closer look at the perks of clean eating and how it can boost beneficial stomach bacteria in the gut biome.

 

Reduces Inflammation

 
mediterranean foods
 
Research shows that too many omega-6 fatty acids can lead to chronic disease [4]. One of the most common omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids responsible for inflammation is arachidonic acid (ARA).
 
ARA is a catalyst for many pro-inflammatory biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein [5]. If you recall from the Mediterranean Diet and frailty study, C-reactive protein is inhibited for those who followed the Mediterranean lifestyle.
 
When you don’t have excess omega-6 fatty acids bogging down the system, you are less likely to develop inflammation. In turn, your body remains strong enough to fight off a litany of diseases.

 

Boosts Immune System

 
colorful foods
 
On top of omegas, there are plenty of antioxidants found in Mediterranean foods. That’s because a majority of Mediterranean plates comprise of fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods provide us with a litany of micronutrients that are essential for every aspect of human functioning.
 
Essential vitamins and minerals give our cells life, regulate digestive organs, and clear out arteries of debris. Unfortunately, SAD followers don’t get enough fruits and veggies because they fill up on red meat and bread products. Denying your body these nutrients causes hardship on the system, igniting the immune system.

 

By eating a whole foods diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, those who follow a Mediterranean Diet have a stronger immune system. This deduction is even more relevant because the majority of our immune cells derived from the gut.

 

Decreases Secondary Bile Acids

 
We rely on primary bile salts to help digest food and absorb nutrients. However, some of these bile salts will pass by the ileum in the small intestine. Here they meet up in the colon and become susceptible to anaerobic bacteria. That’s when they become secondary bile acids.
 
One study on the potential dangers of excess secondary bile acids noted,
 

“Secondary bile acids solve the puzzle of colorectal cancer because they sit at the crossroad of nutritional and hormonal signals modulating the tangled interactions between the environmental factors, such as diet, and the nuclear receptors such as VDR (Vitamin D receptor) [6].

World J Surg Oncol
 
Hijacking the Vitamin D receptor can be a big problem. This essential vitamin that we already lack in, modulates our gut muscles. That’s why many people take Vitamin D for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

 

Feeds Probiotics with Prebiotics 

 
Between fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, there is plenty of dietary fiber in the Mediterranean Diet. These fibers are not digestible to humans. However, our probiotic bacteria love them. To them, this fiber is known as prebiotics.
 
 
Beneficial stomach bacteria flourish on carbohydrates found in dietary fiber. As a result, they produce metabolites known as short-chain fatty acids. Like the study noted, those who followed a Mediterranean Diet noticed an, “increase in short/branch chained fatty acid production.”
 
Short-chain fatty acids, like butyrate, are essential for healing the gut lining. These beneficial compounds act as energy for our cells.
 
They are especially beneficial to colon cells. So, consuming dietary fiber helps thwart off pathogenic bacteria and the development of conditions like Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).
 
Since their small in structure, our body burns through short-chain fatty acids very efficiently. Therefore, short-chain fatty acids don’t collect in our gut lining and cause weight gain.

 

How to Follow a Mediterranean Diet

 
salmon Mediterranean diet
Following a Mediterranean Diet is easy and delicious. Many of the foods are readily available in your grocery store.
 
Attempt cutting down on your red meat consumption. Try chickpea tacos instead of beef or have grilled wild-caught salmon instead of baby back ribs.
 
We can also help you follow a Mediterranean Diet. Join the Thryve Gut Health Program. Then, we can test your gut bacteria. Based on the results, we formulate a recipe plan that will help improve your gut health.
 
Our database has countless recipes that not only taste good but will have you feeling good too!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Martinez-Gonzalez, M. A., & Martin-Calvo, N. (2016). Mediterranean diet and life expectancy; beyond olive oil, fruits, and vegetables. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 19(6), 401–407. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0000000000000316
 
[2] Ghosh, Tarini Shankar, et al. “Mediterranean Diet Intervention Alters the Gut Microbiome in Older People Reducing Frailty and Improving Health Status: the NU-AGE 1-Year Dietary Intervention across Five European Countries.” Gut, BMJ Publishing Group, 30 Jan. 2020, gut.bmj.com/content/early/2020/01/31/gutjnl-2019-319654.
 
[3] Simopoulos, A P. “The Importance of the Ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids.” Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapie, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2002, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909.
 
[4] Innes, Jacqueline K, and Philip C Calder. “Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Inflammation.” Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29610056.
 
[5] Muka, Taulant, et al. “Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Serum C-Reactive Protein: The Rotterdam Study.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 21 Apr. 2015, academic.oup.com/aje/article/181/11/846/87496.
 
[6] Ajouz, H., Mukherji, D., & Shamseddine, A. (2014). Secondary bile acids: an underrecognized cause of colon cancer. World journal of surgical oncology, 12, 164. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7819-12-164
 

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Coronavirus: Superbug FAQ About This Respiratory Virus

So far, over 75,100 people in 25 countries have contracted the novel coronavirus, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) [1]. Over 2,000 have died. Cruise ships have been quarantined, and flight bans have been enacted in hopes of stopping the spread of coronavirus infection. Still, over 300 cases of this superbug have popped up in the United States. What are coronavirus symptoms, and how does it compare to other coronaviruses, such as the MERS virus? Here’s everything you need to know about the latest human coronavirus.

 

What is Coronavirus?

 
The term “coronavirus” might be a new one for you. However, you’re a lot more familiar with it than you realize. Seven known coronaviruses can cause a respiratory virus in humans. In fact, four of these seven are some of the 200-plus viruses that may cause the common cold [2].
 
One analysis about the coronavirus outbreak stated,
 

“Human coronaviruses probably account for 5 to 10 percent of all acute upper respiratory tract infections in adults, with outbreaks during which 25 to 35 percent of respiratory infections can be attributed to a single species [3].”

Kenneth McIntosh, MD
You’ve probably even heard about coronavirus infection on the news in the past. They were just viral infections that went by different names.
 
coronavirus
Most notably, there was the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS coronavirus) outbreak of 2003.
 
The latest respiratory virus is generically called “the coronavirus” by news outlets. Newscasters are just simplifying a rather complex explanation that we’re about to get into.
 
When they say, “the coronavirus,” anchors are referring to the latest of many viruses that share similar qualities. So close, that the latest human coronavirus has 96% the same RNA as past coronoavirus outbreaks. The genetic makeup for each respiratory virus is just different enough to make them impossible to treat with another coronavirus vaccine.

 

Types of Coronavirus

 
A respiratory virus classified as a coronavirus has the longest genome of any RNA virus. It consists of over 30,000 letters in its genetic makeup.
 
Each coronavirus consists of four primary parts:
 
coronavirus spike proteins
• Nucleocapsid – Protein That Makes Virus Shell
• Envelope – Combo of Viral Glycoproteins and Host Proteins That Envelope Nucleocapsid
• Membrane- Infected Cell
• Spike – Crown-Shaped Proteins Attach to Infected Cell
 
The crown-shaped proteins are a distinct characteristic of the coronavirus. In fact, the protein’s resemblance to royalty headwear is how this virus got the “corona” name.
 
There are eight known coronaviruses that can cause a coronavirus infection in humans:
• Human Coronavirus 229E
• Human Coronavirus NL63
• Human Coronavirus OC43
• Human Coronavirus HKU1
• Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Related Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, or MERS Virus)
• Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV, or SARS Coronavirus)
• Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
 
The first four a pretty common. Normal flu-like coronavirus symptoms in humans occur and our immune systems and medications help fight them off. However, some of these can mutate into more resistant viruses. That’s the case with the last three.
 
The MERS virus evolved from MERS-CoV. This superbug has claimed almost 3,000 lives to date. [4]. Meanwhile, SARS was a superbug that developed from SARS-CoV. As we now know, COVID-19 came from SARS-CoV-2 [5].

 

What is the Novel Coronavirus?

 
coronavirus prevention
The latest superbug was detected in Wuhan, China by Dr. Liu Zhiming. He has since unfortunately passed away from a coronavirus infection.
 
Initially, this was named Novel Coronavirus 2019 (nCoV-2019). Once scientists were able to trace the RNA sequence back to past pandemics, like the SARS virus, it became an official coronavirus.
 
Human coronavirus can take anywhere from 2 to 14 days to develop signs of coronavirus. Currently, there is no coronavirus vaccine for this novel coronavirus.

 

 

Novel Coronavirus Symptoms

 
Coronavirus symptoms in humans are similar to that of a common cold or influenza [7].
 
Signs of coronavirus include:
 
coronavirus symptoms in humans
Typical flu symptoms appear in
coronavirus patients
• Cough
• Sore Throat
• Fever
• Fatigue
• Body Pains
• Temperature Changes
• Headache
• Runny Nose
 
Depending on how strong your immune system is, you may feel worse coronavirus symptoms.
 
Severe coronavirus symptoms in humans include:
• Chest Pain/Tightness
• Mucous Formation
• Trouble Breathing
• Fever
• Pneumonia
 
Many of these symptoms overlap with other respiratory virus signs. For instance, you might think you are showing coronavirus symptoms but really have a case of parainfluenza or RSV. If you believe you have coronavirus, it’s imperative you seek medical help immediately.

 

How Did We Get Coronavirus in the First Place?

 
Most viruses come from animals. As humans, our immune system anticipates viral infections. Therefore, the immune system produces antibodies that allow us to feel mild symptoms or none at all. When we cause new pathogens to enter our system, that’s where things can go wrong.
 
Human coronavirus from animals
Chart of past viral infections from animals to humans
There are many microbes that humans and animals pass back and forth that are unique to that particular mammal. Most of the time, these interactions cause no issues. In fact, having pets can improve your gut health.
 
Unfortunately, there are times where viruses win. Humans can develop a really contagious condition, such as Respiratory Syntactical Virus (RSV). Painful and annoying, yes. However, RSV can be a bit more manageable than other conditions. Then there are worst-case scenarios. That’s when cases like the MERS virus and SARS coronavirus hit.

 

Animal to Human Coronavirus Infection

 
The origins of these viruses came from bats. In fact, many viral outbreaks start with bats infecting other animals that, in turn, contaminated us. We can confirm that with the MERS virus and SARS coronavirus. Whereas, the jury is still out with Ebola.
 
bats coronavirus outbreak
Past instances of animal to human coronavirus include:
• SARS Coronavirus: Asian Palm Civet
• Ebola: Bats to Gorillas and Chimpanzees
• Nipah: Pigs
• Hendra: Horses
• Marburg: African Green Monkeys
 
While the average person doesn’t interact with these animals, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Scarily, there also been cases of coronavirus cats in the past, too.
 
Unfortunately, this virus also gets spread from human-to-human. We’ll get to that in a bit, but first, let’s discuss how the coronavirus causes a respiratory virus.

 

How Does Coronavirus Cause Illness?

 
parainfluenza
A flu virus in action
Like all viral infections, coronaviruses reproduce within healthy cells. They infect the cytoplasm. Cytoplasm is a fluid-like substance that gives the cell structure and protects the nucleus.
 
Inevitably, the virus takes over the cytoplasm, causing the cell to act irregularly. When this happens, it causes coronavirus symptoms in humans that are similar to any other respiratory virus. However, there is no known coronavirus vaccine for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. So, this may post long-term problems.
 
Our immune system does not take kindly to intruders. It sparks inflammation, which causes even more distress throughout the system. In fact, studies even confirm this fear in cases of coronavirus infection.
 
A recent study was conducted with bats confirmed,
 

“Some bats — including those known to be the original source of human infections — have been shown to host immune systems that are perpetually primed to mount defenses against viruses. Viral infection in these bats leads to a swift response that walls the virus out of cells. While this may protect the bats from getting infected with high viral loads, it encourages these viruses to reproduce more quickly within a host before a defense can be mounted [6].”

Science Daily
Bats have an extremely high metabolic rate. That’s because they’re busy flying at fast paces. Scientists reason that’s why they’re the common facilitator of a viral mutation. With that said, it also shows how smart and intricate a virus can be, and why it’s so hard to create a coronavirus vaccine.

 

How to Get Human Coronavirus?

 
The most common transmission of the coronavirus is through humans. It’s passed through the air, our pores, and human contact.
 
people kissing
Swapping coronavirus?
You can get human coronavirus from:
• Touching Unwashed Surfaces
Breathing Air Infected By Sneezing and Coughing
• Kissing, Hugging, and Other Intimate Contact
• Contact with Feces
 
Much like parainfluenza and the cold, you are more likely to contract the novel coronavirus during the winter. Many hypothesize it’s because many of us stay indoors and in tight quarters during this time of the year.
 
Not to mention, viruses enjoy the colder weather. We’re warm-blooded creatures. So, having lower temperatures enable them to find the balance necessary to thrive [8]. Plus, they have their envelope to keep them warm!

 

What to Do If You Show Signs of Coronavirus?

 
Getting help for coronavirus symptoms should be done immediately, especially if you recently traveled. Signs of coronavirus will get worse, and the respiratory virus will become highly contagious.
 
coronavirus infection
Take precaution and being proactive
Left untreated, you run the risk of this developing into a fatal respiratory virus. Not to mention, your symptoms may spread the disease to someone with a compromised immune system. They might die, too. So, please don’t take coronavirus symptoms lightly.
 
Go to your doctor. Share your coronavirus symptoms and discuss your medical history. From there, they may choose to take blood and run some lab tests.
 
In the meantime, you should take over-the-counter medications to treat the coronavirus symptoms, such as headaches and body pain. There is no current novel coronavirus vaccine. So, you need to rest up and allow your body to heal.

 

Am I At High Risk for Coronavirus?

 
A respiratory virus is a reason to be on alert. However, you shouldn’t go into deep panic mode just yet. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came up with a chart to determine the risk factor of contracting human coronavirus [9].
 
You have a high-risk of coronavirus infection if you:
 
• Live with Someone Who Has the Novel Coronavirus
• Intimate Partner or Friend with Someone Who Has Human Coronavirus
• Recently Traveled from Hubei Province, China
 
Medium risks of developing coronavirus symptoms include:
 
• Close Contact with Someone Who Has COVID-19, Without Touch
• Sitting Within 2 Seats in Any Direction of a Person with Human Coronavirus on a Plane
• Living With Someone Who Has the Novel Coronavirus, But Using Sanitary Precautions
• Travel from mainland China outside Hubei Province
Low risks of showing coronavirus symptoms in humans include:
• Being in Same Room as Someone with Human Coronavirus, But No Contact
• On a Plane with Over Two Rows Difference from Person with Respiratory Virus
 
No matter where you are on this list, there’s no harm in going to a doctor. If you think there’s a gray area, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

 

How to Prevent Coronavirus

 
There is no novel coronavirus vaccine. So, we must be vigilant in preventative care. Take many of the same precautions you would during flu season.
 
Try to fight coronavirus symptoms by:
Stay here until you’re better
• Covering Mouth When Coughing and Sneezing
• Disinfecting Surfaces
• Washing Hands Regularly
• Delaying Travel Until Spring
Taking Probiotics to Support Immune System
• Visiting a Doctor
• Re-booking Your Cruise
• Throw Away Tissues
• Clean Your Trash Can
Stay at Home When Sick
• Avoid Close Contact with Others if Showing Coronavirus Symptoms
 
If you live in an area where coronavirus has been detected, try laying low. While early, there are signs of the respiratory virus slowing down in China [10]. Plus, viruses aren’t a fan of the spring. So, if everyone takes precaution, we can hopefully curb the casualties.

 

What Happens If You Have Coronavirus?

 
coronavirus quarantine
The human coronavirus is highly contagious. Many people who have traveled abroad to China or been on cruises have faced quarantine. It can take up to two weeks to be released. That’s because symptoms can take up to 14 days to manifest.
 
If you bounce back from flu-like symptoms sooner, you may be released. It’s all dependent on the case and the professional opinion of a medical specialist.

 

 

 

Will There Be a Coronavirus Vaccine?

 
Scientists are scrambling to find a coronavirus vaccine. Unfortunately, they’ve come up short so far. However, there is a lot of hope.
 
As we mentioned, this human coronavirus is the virus with the longest RNA sequence. That means there’s room for a lot of errors in the genetic code. We need to find that mistake. Then the scientists can finally find the novel coronavirus vaccine.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “Coronavirus Live Updates: Disease Roughly 20 Times Deadlier Than Seasonal Flu.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 Feb. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/02/18/world/asia/china-coronavirus.html.
 
[2] “Coronavirus.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 15 Feb. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/symptoms-causes/syc-20479963?page=0&citems=10.
 
[3] McIntosh, MD, Kenneth. “Coronaviruses.” UpToDate, 18 Feb. 2020, www.uptodate.com/contents/coronaviruses.
 
[4] “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 23 Jan. 2020, www.who.int/emergencies/mers-cov/en/.
 
[5] “CDC Grows SARS-CoV-2, the Virus That Causes COVID-19, in Cell Culture.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 Feb. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/grows-virus-cell-culture.html.
 
[6] University of California – Berkeley. “Coronavirus Outbreak Raises Question: Why Are Bat Viruses so Deadly?” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 10 Feb. 2020, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200210144854.htm.
 
[7] “Coronavirus Infections | Coronavirus.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Feb. 2020, medlineplus.gov/coronavirusinfections.html.
 
[8] Larson, Jennifer. “Why Flu Season Spikes in the Fall and Winter.” Insider, Insider, 22 Nov. 2019, www.insider.com/when-is-flu-season.
 
[9] “Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Exposure in Travel-Associated or Community Settings.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Feb. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html.
 
[10] Stankiewicz, Kevin. “It’s Too Early to Tell Whether the Coronavirus Is Actually Slowing in China, NIH Doctor Says.” CNBC, CNBC, 18 Feb. 2020, www.cnbc.com/2020/02/18/it-is-too-early-to-say-if-coronavirus-is-slowing-in-china-nih-doctor.html.
 

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Live a Healthier Lifestyle with These 10 Little Changes

We’re all looking for ways to live a healthier lifestyle. Some of us just don’t know where to begin. A lot of us get lost in the day-to-day. We cling to things that we know work and are willing to ride the status quo until the wheels fall off. Complacency might help you glide through life, but it won’t help you Thryve through it. Here are some little changes you can make to live a healthier lifestyle.

 

Why Live a Healthier Lifestyle?

 
Even healthy people can benefit from living healthier. Unfortunately, a majority of us don’t fit into the “healthy people” category. One out of three adults is considered overweight [1].
 
Much like every business expects an increase in profit every year, you should make changes to improve your overall wellness. Always strive for better. Take what you learned in one year, incorporate into your routine, and then come up with new goals the next.
 
Living a healthier lifestyle isn’t an end result. It’s an ongoing process that takes effort. However, once you fully integrate these healthy lifestyle changes, they will no longer be changes. They will be a part of your fabric and become second nature. From there, you’ll find new ways to live a healthier lifestyle to try.

 

10 Ways to Live a Healthier Lifestyle

live a healthier lifestyle
Get ready to live your best life
 
If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, you must make alterations to what you’re currently doing in your daily routine. Some of these changes are going to be monumental, such as switching to a healthy gut diet plan. Others are small alterations that will be rather easy.
 
We want to help you live a healthier lifestyle. However, we can’t force-feed you sweet potatoes and inject you with probiotics. All we can do is find ways to make these things more appealing to you so that you can easily adapt them into your wellness regimen. Here are some small changes that can make big differences for those who want to live a healthier lifestyle.

 

Cut Down the Screen Time

 
We are hooked to our screens. So much so that our addiction is already altering future generations. Thanks to too much screen time, Our children are evolving to have changes to their biological structure.
 
Younger generations are beginning to sprout bone spurs (exostosis) at the back of their skull [2]. Experts believe 18-30 year-olds are experiencing these changes due to staring down at smart devices for a majority of the day.
 
The analysists stated,
 

“The higher numbers of individuals with EEOP in the 18-30 age group out of all cases examined raises concern about the future musculoskeletal health of this population and suggests a potential avenue for prevention intervention through posture improvement education.”

Scientific Reports via Nature
how to live a healthier lifestyle
Break the addiction
Furthermore, our dependency on smartphones is hurting our mental health. One study found a direct link between phone addiction and depression [3].
 
Our gut health and mental health are connected through the gut-brain-axis. Therefore, excessive screen time can impede our mental state, ultimately altering our gut biome.
 
Look at your smart device and see how much screen time you do. Shave a half-hour off every day.

 

Read More Books

 
Need something to fill the void of less screen time? You did just pick up 30 extra minutes. Try picking up a book. Reading is a lost art, and it’s a real travesty.
 
Reading is fundamental for all
There are many reasons to read. The most important is that reading is mentally stimulating. This activity stimulates muscles in your brain, sparking different regions. Reading can cause connections between memory recall, emotions, and creativity.
 
In addition, reading educates you. While we like to unwind with fiction, try to throw in a wellness book every now and again. The more you know about your body and how to live a healthier lifestyle, the more likely you are to follow through with advice.

 

Switch Up Your Protein Once a Week

 
Take a walk on the wild-caught side
Variety is the spice of life. It’s also crucial to live a healthier lifestyle. A primary reason that society is overweight is due to its dependency on omega-6 fatty acids.
 
Omega-6 fatty acids are found in red meat and dairy products. While they are necessary for vital functions, we consume too many of them. To live a healthier lifestyle, you must tip the fatty acid intake scale in favor of omega-3s.
 
One analysis of the omega discrepancies noted that humans evolved with a 1:1 ratio [4]. We now hover around a 17:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. That would knock anyone off a seesaw. Experts noted we can still have more omega-6s than omega-3s, just a lot less than what we’re doing.
 
They noted,
 

“A ratio of 2-3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences.”

Biomed Pharmacother.
What’s alarming is that consequences begin at a 10:1 ratio. Since we’re at 17:1, that explains why chronic illness is running rampant across the West.
 
Swap out red meat and cheese for the following at least once a week:
 
plant based protein
Try incorporating more plant protein!
• Salmon
• Tuna
• Mackerel
• Chicken
• Turkey
• Tofu
• Chickpeas
• Edamame
• Tempeh
 
Make sure you are getting organic, free-range, and hormone-free meat sources. Otherwise, your body has to contend with pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. These will inevitably wreak havoc on the systems of those who want to live a healthier lifestyle.

 

Go on a Vacation

 
Live a little!
You work hard. It’s time to play hard, too. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, you need enrichment. Don’t spend your hard-earned money on another device. Invest in an experience.
 
Many of us forgo vacation time. There are 768 million wasted vacation days every year [5]. We don’t even staycation. Instead, we go to work and let the employers exploit our donated time.
 
Find work-life-balance. Look at your calendar and schedule a vacation. At least start actively looking for spots and daydreaming. These sorts of activities will give you things to look forward to and make life seem to have more meaning.

 

Get an Essential Oil Diffuser

 
live a healthier life with essential oils
Very little work required for this life hack!
This tip is one of the easiest ways to live a healthier lifestyle. You don’t need to do anything. The diffuser does all the work!
 
Essential oils are unique ways to improve your overall wellness. These aromatic molecules trigger a part of our body known as the olfactory system.
 
An analysis of this scent interpreter stated,
 

“The olfactory system provides numerous functions to humans, influencing ingestive behavior, awareness of environmental hazards and social communication [6].”

PLoS One
When we inhale essential oils, volatile molecules named terpenes trigger neural tissues in our olfactory bulb. These influential phytochemicals are able bypass all other systems and communicate directly to the brain. That’s why many find essential oils useful in improving mood, immune system, and sleep patterns.

 

Get to Know Your Cosmetics

 
Know what you’re putting on
We probably don’t realize how many toxins are in our cosmetics. One study found that we put 515 synthetic ingredients onto our skin on a daily basis [7]. How do you know which one these are? They’re usually the names you can’t pronounce.
 
There are fillers, like the parabens family, that are endocrine disruptors. Synthetic ingredients are a huge influence on the rise of infertility. Parabens also bad for the environment. These synthetic molecules are not breaking down in our water supply and ending up in the stomachs of wildlife [8]!
 
Parabens are a small example of all the problems hiding in our beauty items. So, get to know your labels. Learn a bunch of toxic beauty ingredients to look out for and take notes. When you run out of this item, try to find a replacement more conducive to living a healthier lifestyle.

 

Walk More

 
We sit 6.5 hours per day [9]. That’s on top of the supposed eight hours of sleep we’re supposed to get. So, sedentary time in a 24-hour period is almost 15 hours. 62.5% of our time is spent not being active!
 
Good habits start young!
Find more opportunities to get up and move. Go for laps around the building at work. Walk or bike to a get-together with friends. Do whatever you can to get more active.
 
While moving about your office is a nice change of pace, try to take that stroll outside. We need more sunshine in our life. Sun is our primary source of Vitamin D.
 
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that regulates many of our gastric functions. That’s why Vitamin D is one of the best supplements for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). So, going walking more will help you live a healthier lifestyle by improving fitness, Vitamin D intake, and gut health!

 

Swap Out Your Oils

 
Fats get a lot of blame for our health woes. As we discussed earlier, we live in an omega-6-heavy world. Many of these omega-6s are rich in the vegetable oils that litter the market.
 
oils
Oil quality matters
Look at labels for hydrogenated vegetable oils. These are the lowest quality oils you can purchase. They’re like the baby carrots of oils. It’s just the leftovers. That’s why vegetable oils are used in everything from fried foods in fast food joints to potato chips in the snack aisle.
 
Research shows that those who follow a Mediterranean Diet have a longer life expectancy [10]. One of their dietary staples is extra virgin olive oil. So, we need to act more like them with the types of oils they use.
 

 

Some of the healthiest oils for cosmetics, salad dressings, and cooking include:
 
• Coconut Oil
• Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) Oil
• Avocado Oil
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Ghee
• Grass-Fed Butter
 
Find a high-quality fruit oil that’s not in a plastic bottle. Make sure the product is cold-pressed oil and not extracted with the use of solvents. You’ll notice the difference in taste and how you feel.

 

Meditate

 
With less screen time, you’ll have more me-time. The ultimate form of self-care is to try meditation. Meditating allows you to unplug from the hectic chatter in your life. That’s why studies show meditation helps lower stress [11].
 
meditate to live a healthier lifestyle
Don’t expect you to get here just yet…but goals!
Meditation helps gut health, too. When you meditate, you channel inward. Your mind will find areas of your body that feel “off.” By working on your intuitiveness, you might recognize a red flag long before your next checkup.
 
Starting a meditation practice can be difficult. So, start off with five minutes for a couple of days. Sit up straight and focus on your breaths. Every few days, start tacking on an extra minute. Work your way up to 15 minutes of meditation.

 

Get a Get Test

 
thryve gut test
Thryve Inside today!
“Father of Medicine” Hippocrates said it best, “all disease begins in the gut.” Our gut biome is home to trillions of cells. While most of them work in unison to help us live a healthier lifestyle, they sometimes need help.
 
A lifetime of diet choices, inactivity, and toxic beauty ingredients can do a number on your beneficial stomach bacteria. In turn, inflammation sparks up, destroying the gut lining. This chain of events allows for pathogenic intestinal flora to set up shop in your microbiome.
 
Figure out who these buggers are. Get a gut health test. From there, we can determine which probiotic bacteria you need. With those results, we can offer you a custom probiotic supplement that will help you live a healthier lifestyle!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “Overweight & Obesity Statistics.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Aug. 2017, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity.
 
[2] Shahar, David, and Mark G. L. Sayers. “Prominent Exostosis Projecting from the Occipital Squama More Substantial and Prevalent in Young Adult than Older Age Groups.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 20 Feb. 2018, www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-21625-1.
 
[3] Bergland, Christopher. “Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 4 Jan. 2014, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201401/reading-fiction-improves-brain-connectivity-and-function.
 
[4] Simopoulos, A P. “The Importance of the Ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids.” Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapie, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2002, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909.
 
[5] “Paid Time Off Trends in the U.S. .” Paid Time Off Trends Fact Sheet, US Travel Association , 23 Feb. 2019, www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/media_root/document/Paid%20Time%20Off%20Trends %20Fact%20Sheet.pdf?utm_source=MagnetMail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=8%2E15%2E19%2DPress%2 DVacation%20Days% 20Release&utm_campaign=pr.
 
[6] Learning about the Functions of the Olfactory System from People without a Sense of Smell. Croy I, Negoias S, Novakova L, Landis BN, Hummel T (2012) Learning about the Functions of the Olfactory System from People without a Sense of Smell. PLOS ONE 7(3): e33365. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0033365
 
[7] Persad, Michelle. “The Average Woman Puts 515 Synthetic Chemicals On Her Body Every Day.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 7 Mar. 2016, www.huffpost.com/entry/synthetic-chemicals-skincare_n_56d8ad09e4b0000de403d995.
 
[8] Dubs, Zoe. “So What Exactly Are Parabens? The Truth About Skincare’s Biggest Bad Guy.” ELLE, ELLE, 21 Aug. 2018, www.elle.com/uk/beauty/skin/articles/a36356/what-are-parabens/.
 
[9] Searing, Linda. “The Big Number: The Average U.S. Adult Sits 6.5 Hours a Day. For Teens, It’s Even More.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 28 Apr. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-big-numberthe-average-us-adult-sits-65-hours-a-day-for-teens-its-even-more/2019/04/26/7c29e4c2-676a-11e9-a1b6-b29b90efa879_story.html.
 
[10] Martinez-Gonzalez, M. A., & Martin-Calvo, N. (2016). Mediterranean diet and life expectancy; beyond olive oil, fruits, and vegetables. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 19(6), 401–407. doi:10.1097/MCO.0000000000000316
 

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When’s the Best Time to Take Supplements?

We all know that it takes a village to keep our bodies going. For many of us, we thought exercise and a healthy gut diet plan was the key. However, there’s one more instrumental cog in the wheel that keeps a healthy person churning. That supplement is…supplements. Unfortunately, many people aren’t getting the most out of their vitamins. This missed opportunity is much in thanks to poor timing. So, what’s the best time to take supplements? Let’s figure it out!

 

Why You Should Find Out the Best Time to Take Supplements

 

best time to take supplements
So…which one is it?
 

Vitamin B, prenatal vitamins, and probiotics are all different ways to improve your health naturally.
 
However, they’re all unique formulas. Therefore, taking your vitamins might not be a one-size-fits-all approach…or at least not a one-time-fits-all.
 
The minerals in your supplement have distinct characteristics. That’s why you sought these supplements out in the first place.
 
So, for them to work optimally, you need to figure out the best time to take supplements. Otherwise, you may not receive the benefits you desired.

 

What is the Best Time to Take Supplements

 

Approximately 76% of adults take supplements [1]. Unfortunately, many are going about it all wrong. They’re popping their Vitamin C the same time they’re taking their Vitamin D. Seems harmless, but you’re doing your body a disservice. Together is not the best time to take supplements of differing solubility. Here’s the best time to take supplements.

 

Best Time to Take for Taking Fat-Soluble Supplements

 

Fat-soluble supplements like to blend in with other nutrients. That’s the point of fat. Healthy fats are intended to absorb as many vitamins and minerals as possible.
 

Take fat-soluble vitamins with healthy fats
 

When you consume nutrient-rich foods with healthy fats, the lipids will engulf the vitamins. As the solid food particles meet the hydrochloric acid in the stomach, the fats take the brunt of damage. In turn, the nutrients are free to enter into the bloodstream.
 
Furthermore, fats stick to our adipose tissue around the gut. Eventually, our body will draw energy from these fats, releasing the nutrients from its grasp.
 
Example of fat-soluble supplements include:
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin D
• Vitamin E
• Vitamin K

Fat-soluble vitamins enjoy other fats, as they aid in the absorption. One of the best meal options for these types of supplements includes wild-caught salmon with sweet potatoes. You can also get loads of benefits from consuming kale and feta salad with extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

 

Best Time to Take Water-Soluble Supplements

 

The best time to take water-soluble supplements is on an empty stomach. You don’t want these supplements to sit on top of a pile of food ready to digest. Otherwise, they will oxidize before hitting the bloodstream. Eating before taking water-soluble vitamins pretty much render them useless.
 

best time to take supplements
Start your day with water-soluble supplements
 

The best time to take supplements that are water soluble is:
 
• Upon Waking
• Half-Hour Before Eating
• Two Hours After Eating
 
The reason you take water-soluble supplements on an empty stomach is that it needs to get acclimated with the water in your system. Once the carbon clings to the nutrients, the rest gets flushed out through your urine.
 
The most common water-soluble supplements include:
 
• Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
• Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
• Niacin (Vitamin B3)
• Pantothenic Acid
• Vitamin B6
• Folic Acid
• Vitamin B12
 
Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble supplements don’t get stored in fat. They are used by your cells immediately, with the excess being eliminated from the system. Therefore, dosages of water-soluble vitamins may be higher than their fat-soluble counterparts.

 

Best Time for Taking Prenatal Vitamins

 
97% of women at childbearing age take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy [2]. There are so many hormonal changes going on in a woman’s body. Nutrients are zapped from bones, while minerals from nutrients are being gobbled up by the forming life. That’s why it’s so essential for many pregnant women to supplement.
 

Expecting moms should expect to take prenatal vitamins
 

When you’re carrying something as precious as life inside of you, you should take all precautions in ensuring optimal nutrients. That’s why you should find out the best time for taking supplements for expecting mothers.
 
A majority of vitamins and minerals in prenatal blends are water-soluble, including:
• Calcium
• Iron
• Folic Acid
 

Many of these minerals work best with other water-soluble vitamins. For instance, Vitamin C improves iron absorption [3]. Meanwhile, Vitamin D makes calcium more bioavailable [4].
 
An analysis about Vitamin D and calcium consumption stated,
 

“The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, one can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin D”). This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet.”

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resources Center

 
So, the best time to take prenatal vitamins is on an empty stomach, and perhaps with a multi-vitamin. If you can find a blend that’s fortified with these essential vitamins, even better!

 

Best Time for Taking Probiotics Supplements

 
While nootropic supplements and essential vitamins are an essential part of a wellness plan, we’re in the business of probiotics. So, figuring out when the best time to take supplements enriched with probiotics is important to us!
 
The best time to take probiotics supplements is on an empty stomach. Probiotics are living beings. They need a chance to survive. That’s why our probiotics supplements are enriched with inulin.



Probiotics with Inulin

 
Inulin is a dietary fiber that serves as prebiotics for probiotics. That way, the probiotics in Thryve Inside supplements grow strong before they even reach your system. We’ve set them up for success. It’s up to you to see these stomach bacteria through.
 
Thryve Probiotics and Microbiome Testing

 

Take the guess work out of supplements
 
Our capsule is formulated to handle the harsh environment that is our stomach acid. That way, the probiotic bacteria inside can colonize in the colon and gut biome. You don’t want to add roadblocks to the colonization by taking your probiotics with food.
 
Once you take your best probiotics supplements, wait at least 15 minutes. Then, you can start eating. For one, probiotics will help you absorb nutrients [5]. However, they will also aid your system in breaking down your foods. Just like us, probiotics are hungry beings. Once they’re done with the inulin in your capsule, they’re already onto the next meal!
 
Ready to get your gut health in check with probiotics? Let us help you by testing your stomach bacteria. That way, we can recommend a custom formula rich with intestinal flora your gut biome is missing. Biodiversity is the key to gut health, and for stepping up your nutrition game!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] “2017 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements.” Council for Responsible Nutrition, 2017, www.crnusa.org/resources/2017-crn-consumer-survey-dietary-supplements.
 
[2] “Fewer than Half of U.S. Women Take Recommended Vitamins Prior to Pregnancy, According to March of Dimes New Prenatal Health & Nutrition Survey.” Fewer than Half of U.S. Women Take Recommended Vitamins Prior to Pregnancy, According to March of Dimes New Prenatal Health & Nutrition Survey | March of Dimes, 19 Sept. 2017, www.marchofdimes.org/news/fewer-than-half-of-u-s-women-take-recommended-vitamins-prior-to-pregnancy-according-to-march-of-dimes-new-prenatal-health-nutrition-survey.aspx.
 
[3] Hallberg, L, et al. “The Role of Vitamin C in Iron Absorption.” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. Supplement = Internationale Zeitschrift Fur Vitamin- Und Ernahrungsforschung. Supplement, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1989, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2507689.
 
[4] “Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/nutrition/calcium-and-vitamin-d-important-every-age.
 
[5] Krajmalnik-Brown, R., Ilhan, Z. E., Kang, D. W., & DiBaise, J. K. (2012). Effects of gut microbes on nutrient absorption and energy regulation. Nutrition in clinical practice : official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 27(2), 201–214. doi:10.1177/0884533611436116
 

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Intermittent Fasting: Give Your Body a Break

We all believe we sometimes need to hit the reset button. Well, your body is an agreeance with that sentiment. That’s why intermittent fasting has become the newest wellness trend. With new diets coming in and out of fashion, it is good to be skeptical of how well each diet trend works. Let’s take a closer look at intermittent fasting and see if all of the hype is deserved.

 

What is Intermittent Fasting?

 
fasting empty plate
During fasting, meals looks like this

Intermittent fasting is when you do not eat anything for 16 or more hours. Then you allow yourself a specific time window (for example, eight hours) where you can eat.
 
The amount of time you spend fasting and eating is known as “protocols” in the world of intermittent fasting. To learn more about these protocols, please read our article about the benefits of intermittent fasting for gut health.
 
There are many ways to set up your fasting and non-fasting time windows. The brilliance of this diet trend is that you can make it work around your schedule. Plus, you sleep through a good portion of the fast. At the end of the day, the idea behind this wellness craze is to give your body a substantial break from consuming any calories.

 

Why Do Intermittent Fasting?

Fasting was a common practice among our ancestors
Intermittent fasting may seem like a new idea to many people looking for all-natural ways to improve our wellness. However, we’re just putting a label on something humans have been doing for centuries.
 
It’s common in many cultures to have extended periods of fasting for different holidays or religious reasons. Additionally, it’s typical in several societies to forgo breakfast or dinner, opting for just two large meals per day.
 
The idea of cutting back on calories is not an innovative concept, especially to those who are looking to lose weight. However, the benefits of lessening caloric intake and restricting calories altogether are completely different. Let’s take a closer look.

 

Difference Between Intermittent Fasting and Counting Calories

 
Don’t get us wrong; there are many benefits to cutting down on calories. However, even those who are watching what they eat are probably foraging throughout the day. Your body never gets a substantial break from decomposing solid food particles.
 
Research on intermittent fasting has shown,
 

“Intermittent fasting (IF; reduced meal frequency) and caloric restriction (CR) extend lifespan and increase resistance to age-related diseases in rodents and monkeys and improve the health of overweight humans. Both IF and CR enhance cardiovascular and brain functions and improve several risk factors for coronary artery disease and stroke including a reduction in blood pressure and increased insulin sensitivity [2].”

Science Direct
We’ve been trained to believe that we must feel full at all times. Instead of making the majority bigger and stronger, these ideals have led to an abundance of obesity. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of intermittent fasting.

 

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

 
There are many reasons to give fasting a try. It’s almost like meditation for the entire system. Instead of depriving yourself of unwanted chatter and clearing your mind, you’re giving your body a break and allowing the system to reset. Here are some of the benefits to laying off the grub for at least 16 hours.

 

Diabetes Management

sugar detox diabetes
Fasting can help lower insulin resistance
Diabetes is a disease defined by the body losing all sensitivity to insulin. Consequently, sometimes a low sensitivity to insulin is a sign of pre-diabetes [3]. 
 
Thankfully, intermittent fasting has shown to increase insulin sensitivity. Lower insulin resistance is ideal for preventative diabetic care. We rely on insulin to regulate blood glucose levels. The more sensitive you are to insulin, the healthier your metabolism is overall [4]. 

 

Weight Loss

 
Weight management is something that can seem more difficult than ever in the modern age. Luckily, intermittent fasting has shown to be an effective way to maintain a healthy weight.
 
A study was conducted involving obese mice on an alternate-day fasting protocol. One group was fed a high-fat diet (HFD), while the others followed a low-fat regimen (LFD).
 
Results found,
 

“After 4 weeks, IMF-HFD (∼13%) and IMF-LFD (∼18%) had significantly lower body weights than the HFD. Body fat was also lower (∼40%-52%) in all diet interventions. Lean mass was increased in the IMF-LFD (∼12%-13%) compared with the HFD and IMF-HFD groups [5].”

Endocrinology.
What’s so interesting about this conclusion is that both diets experienced weight loss. Therefore, caloric restriction can benefit anyone despite their dietary habits.

 

Increase Muscle Mass

 
One of the pitfalls of losing weight is that we lose muscle mass. Consequently, we don’t have the extra muscle for our skin to wrap around. That’s why people who lose a lot of weight end up with excess skin.
 
muscle mass fasting
Get swole with IF 
Research shows that intermittent fasting can help you maintain muscle mass. That’s because this diet protocol promotes the production of growth hormone [6].
 
Growth hormone is essential for your body to repair itself and build muscle. With this benefit, intermittent fasting can help you lose a large percentage of pure fat.
 
With this benefit, intermittent fasting can help you lose a large percentage of pure fat. By maintaining muscle mass and losing fat tissue, you can keep a high metabolism. That’s because muscle is more metabolically active than fat [7]. Not to mention, increased muscle mass helps to keep you strong and prevent injuries. 

 

Heart Health

 
Keeping a healthy heart is another important factor in living a quality life where intermittent fasting can help. Inflammatory biomarkers facilitated by food, play a significant role in the development of cardiovascular disease [8].
 
fasting for heart health
Gotta keep your ticker ticking!
Common indicators of heart disease include an abundance of:
• Resistin (Peptide Hormone)
• Homocysteine (Amino Acid)
• Interleukin-6 (IL-6) [Immune Cell]
• C-reactive protein (CRP) [Protein in Blood Plasma)
 
A primary reason why these inflammatory biomarkers cause heart conditions is because they lend themselves to the development of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a disease where plaque deposits build up in the arteries. Over time, the walls of the veins will thicken, making it more challenging for proper blood flow. Inevitably, atherosclerosis can lead to a heart attack [9].

 

Balances Cholesterol

 
Our body needs fat, just make sure you’re choosing the right fats!

Another large contributor to heart disease, is an imbalance in cholesterol levels. The ratio should lean towards more High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
 
Unfortunately, a majority of us have excess Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
 
A long-term abundance of LDL cholesterol increases the risk of developing a heart condition.
 
One analysis followed people who fasted during Ramadan. The participants only fasted 12 hours per day, which is four hours shy of the most popular protocol, Leangains. Yet, there were still many benefits to be found.
 
Researchers concluded,
 

“Our results demonstrate that prolonged intermittent fasting in a model like Ramadan has some positive effects on the inflammatory status of the body and on the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as homocysteine, CRP and TC/HDL ratio [10].”

Ann Nutr Metab. 
As you can see, this study found the balance of total cholesterol (TC) shift back in favor of HDL. However, they also noted that fasting lowered levels of the inflammatory biomarkers we talked about earlier in homocysteine and CRP. Therefore, intermittent fasting can be extremely beneficial in improving heart health.

 

Promotes Autophagy

 
Another crucial part of maintaining a healthy body is your cell’s ability to repair themselves and get rid of old worn-out cells properly. This process of cellular clean up is called autophagy. Autophagy is vital for your body to run smoothly.
 
As cardiologist Dr. Luiza Petre explained to Healthline,
 

“It is recycling and cleaning at the same time, just like hitting a reset button to your body. Plus, it promotes survival and adaptation as a response to various stressors and toxins accumulated in our cell [11].”

Dr. Luiza Petre via Healthline
Intermittent fasting, as well as just general fasting, has been shown to increase autophagy [12]. This realization makes sense because when you fast, your body doesn’t have to work to digest food. Therefore, your cells can go ahead and perform other necessary functions, with one of those being autophagy.  

 

Is Intermittent Fasting Safe?

 
Intermittent fasting may seem like just the newest diet trend with no real scientific legs to stand on, but that is far from the truth. Following one of the many protocols can be beneficial in numerous aspects of one’s health and fitness.
 
doctor and fasting
Please consult your doctor before fasting
Remember, it is essential to talk to your doctor before making any significant changes in your diet. If you have ever struggled with an eating disorder, this might not be the best wellness trend for you. Also, if you are pregnant or under the age of 18, then intermittent fasting may not be the right fit for you right now [13].
 
It is also important not to overlook the importance of eating the right foods. Eating healthy is critical for optimal benefits. If you are depriving your body of food, then the first foods you introduce to your gut biome need to be nutritious.

 

Intermittent Fasting with Thryve Inside Gut Health Program

 
We can help you meet your wellness goals. Join the Thryve Inside Gut Health Program. Our database has a load of recipes that will benefit your overall health and the vitality of your stomach bacteria. With our guidance, and following an intermittent fasting protocol, achieving quality life has never been easier!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Cai. “Fasting Around the World.” Cultural Awareness, 27 July 2018, culturalawareness.com/fasting-around-the-world/.
 
[2] Mattson, Mark P., and Ruiqian Wan. “Beneficial Effects of Intermittent Fasting and Caloric Restriction on the Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Systems.” The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Elsevier, 26 Feb. 2005, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S095528630400261X.
 
[3] “What Is Diabetes?” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Dec. 2016, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes.
 
[4] Lillis, Charlotte. “Insulin Sensitivity: How to Improve It Naturally.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 29 Mar. 2019, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323027.php.
 
[5] Gotthardt, Juliet D, et al. “Intermittent Fasting Promotes Fat Loss With Lean Mass Retention, Increased Hypothalamic Norepinephrine Content, and Increased Neuropeptide Y Gene Expression in Diet-Induced Obese Male Mice.” Endocrinology, Endocrine Society, Feb. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26653760.
 
[6] Ho, K. Y., Veldhuis, J. D., Johnson, M. L., Furlanetto, R., Evans, W. S., Alberti, K. G., & Thorner, M. O. (1988). Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man. The Journal of clinical investigation, 81(4), 968–975. doi:10.1172/JCI113450.
 
[7] McPherron, Alexandra C, et al. “Increasing Muscle Mass to Improve Metabolism.” Adipocyte, Landes Bioscience, 1 Apr. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3661116/.
 
[8] Reilly, Muredach P., et al. “Resistin Is an Inflammatory Marker of Atherosclerosis in Humans.” Circulation, 14 Feb. 2005, www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.CIR.0000155620.10387.43.
 
[9] “Atherosclerosis.” National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 14 Nov. 2018, www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/atherosclerosis.
 
[10] Aksungar, Fehime B, et al. “Interleukin-6, C-Reactive Protein and Biochemical Parameters during Prolonged Intermittent Fasting.” Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17374948.
 
[11] Lindberg, Sara. “Autophagy: Definition, Diet, Fasting, Cancer, Benefits, and More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 23 Aug. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/autophagy.
 
[12] Alirezaei, M., Kemball, C. C., Flynn, C. T., Wood, M. R., Whitton, J. L., & Kiosses, W. B. (2010). Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy. Autophagy, 6(6), 702–710. doi:10.4161/auto.6.6.12376.
 
[13] Kirkpatrick, Kristin. “Intermittent Fasting Has Benefits Beyond Weight Loss.” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 8 Jan. 2019, health.clevelandclinic.org/interested-fasting-health-get-facts-first/.
 

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