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Sunday, December 18, 2016

What is Irisin?

Irisin is an enzyme which is secreted from muscle in response to movement (i.e. exercise).

This protein is also called the exercise hormone and may help in converting white fat (WAT) to brown fat (BAT).

It may help fight obesity and diabetes. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

What is Ursolic Acid?

Ursolic acid is a molecule (from a class of chemicals called pentacyclic triterpenoids) which increases brown fat production. (Brown fat burns calories vs white fat which stores them).

Ursolic acid is found in apple peel, holy basil, rosemary leaf, yerba mate.

This molecule shows some promise for supplementation by body builders except that it has a very low bioavailabily (.6%).

It may also have an anti-tumour effect as well as reduce fight or flight activity. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

What is an adaptogen?

An adaptogen is a natural substance ( ie. plant or root) which helps the body adapt to stress.

These herbs have been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.

Two of the more common adaptogens are Ashwagandha and Rhodiola.

Some researchers say that these compounds work by quietening a stress activated enzyme called JNK. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

How can you stimulate the production of brown fat?

Exercise stimulates an enzyme called irisin which helps turn white fat into brown fat.

Ursolic acid (found in apple peel and other foods) can boost the body's production of brown fat.

Melatonin can help increase beige fat (which is like brown fat).

Being cold (i.e. shivering) makes brown fat more active (meaning more calories are burnt).

Sunday, November 20, 2016

What is Brown Fat?

Brown fat is also known as Brown Adipose Tissue (as opposed to White Adipose Tissue).

It's called brown because it's darker than white fat due to the presence of mitochondria (the cell engine). This means that brown fat resembles muscle more than it does fat.

Brown fat has a blood supply and burns calories to help keep us warm.

Brown fat speeds up the body's metabolism and people with low BMI's seem to have more brown fat.

Brown fat is hard to find on the body as it's mixed in with white fat cells in fat tissue. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

What is Inulin?

Inulin is a prebiotic or a soluable dietry fibre. It is considered a fructon cannot be digested in the small intestine, thereby moving along into the large intestine to become a food source (prebiotic)  for the probiotics there. In other words, it stimulated the growth of good bacteria in the intestine.

It can also help the body absorb calcium and help blood sugar stay balanced.

Inulin is found in garlic, chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, leek, and bananas. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

What is a prebiotic?

A prebiotic is a nondigestible food or a type of fiber. It functions as a food source for a probiotic, therefore is essential for the creation of healthy gut bacteria.

The best sources are raw chicory, raw jerusalem artichoke, garlic, leek, and banana.

Monday, July 18, 2016

What is Vitamin K?

This vitamin aids in blood clotting and bone health, especially with aging.

It's found in leafy green vegetables as well as brasicas (brocoli family). Bacteria in the intestines also aids in Vitamin K formation.

It is fat soluable meaning that the K Vitamin is better absorbed when eaten with some fat.

Vitamin K does not store well in the body and can be rapidly depleted. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

What is Vitamin B 12?

This vitamin is also known as cobalamin and is responsible for healthy DNA formation, healthy blood cells, and nerves. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause anaemia, nerve damage, and heart disease.

The nest sources of Vitamin B 12 are from animal products including dairy.

There is much confusion and controversy on whether vegetarians and/or vegans can get enough of this vitamin to stay healthy.

Reseach shows that chlorella is a good source of plant based B 12.

Many nutritionists suggests that vegans take supplementation.  

Monday, July 4, 2016

What is lactobacillus acidophilus?

This good bacteria lives in the mouth, intestines, and female genitals and does not cause disease.

It helps produce Vitamin K as well as lactose (the enzyme which breaks down the sugars in milk ((lactose)) ).

Lactobacillus acidophilus is found in fermented foods, and is acid resistant and tolerates bile.

It will compete against bad bacteria such as E coli, Salmonella, Candida, Staphylococcus, Listeria, and Clostridium. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

What are the benefits of healthy bacteria?

Our colon contains 400-500 varieties of good bacteria, fungi, yeast, and virus.

Good bacteria helps acidify the colon which helps stop to slow down the growth of harmful bacteria.

Good bacteria improves the immune system by stimulating the formation of antibodies.

Good bacteria helps produce Vitamins K, B, & E.

The bacteria lactobacillus acidophilus helps kill toxins.

Good bacteria helps reduce bowel gas and fights bad breath.

Good bacteria helps form 30 different neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine.

Good bacteria helps stop diarrhea and loosen up constipation.

Monday, June 20, 2016

What is hydrochloric acid?

HCA lives in the stomach and turns solid food into a semi liquid, which is sent into the duodenum for further processing. When we drink liquds while eating, the HCA is diluted making digestion more difficult. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

What is ptyalin?

Ptyalin is a digestive enzyme secreted in the mouth where digestion starts by thorough chewing. Ptyalin starts to break starch into simple sugar.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

What is chyme?

Chyme is the semi-liquid formed in the stomach after solid food is broken down by hydrochloric acid. The chyme moves into the small intestine (duodenum) where it is further broken down by digestive enzymes. Most digestive enyzymes occur in the duodenum and are received from the pancreas.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What is glycine?

Glycine is an essential amino acid (protein). Glycine is produced via the conversion of serine (another amino acid) as well as our diets.

Our bodies need more glycine when sick or under stress and  if diet is poor, we can well end up with a deficit of glycine.

Glycine helps form another protein called collagen. Collagen is responsible for our structural form and is found in the skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, teeth, corneas, blood vessels, and back discs.

In order for healthy collagen production the body needs a steady supply of glycine. If a body does not get enough glycine, it compensates by slowing down the production of collagen. Lack of collagen shows up as the signs and symproms of aging, as in stiff joints, wrinkled skin, weakened eyesight, etc.

Good ways to stock up on glycine are with gelatine and bone broths. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What is the difference between grey and white matter in the brain?

Grey matter is greyish in colour because of the grey nuclei of cells and fills 40% of the brain, but consumes 94% of the oxygen.

White matter is whitish in colour because of myelin and fills 60% of the brain.

White matter is made up of long extending nerve fibers (axons) and connects various grey matter areas.

Grey matter is made up of neurons, dendrites, glial cells, synapses, and capillaries which are involved in muscle control, sensory perception, memory, emotions, speech, and self-control.

Grey matter contols how brain processing and cognition.

White matter controls how the brain functions and also controls temperature, blood pressure, heart rate.

Smokers loose grey matter at a greater rate than non-smokers.

The elderly with more grey matter have better cognitive function.

A US study has shown that there is an association in children between poverty and lower volume of grey matter.

Damage to white matter may be a sign of Alzheimers, even though Alzheimers is a grey matter disease.

Alcohol use may decrease white matter volume.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Which muscle is associated with best brain aging?

A study from Kings College, London looked at identical female twins over a ten year span. They found that the twin who had strongest leg power at the beginning of the study, also had the most amount of grey matter in the brain ten years later.

The boosting of physical activity which enhances leg strength may help with brain health as we age. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How much fat should a person lose in order to make them look more attractive?

A study conducted by the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto found that women and men of average height needed to loose about 3.5-4 kg (8-9 lbs) before the weight loss showed in the face.

The study shows that about twice that amount of weight needed to be lost before people were found to be more attractive.

Women needed to loose proportionally less weight then men. For women loss should be about 14 pounds and men 18 pounds.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Where is the root of happiness located in the brain?

A study conducted at the University of Kyoto, Japan found that happy people have a larger precuneus, which is grey matter located in the back of the brain between the two cerebral hemispheres. 

The precuneus is also linked to thoughts about self, memory, and the experience of consciousness.

Several studies show that meditation increases the grey matter in the precuneus.

In the study, researchers looked at two components of happiness:
1) the moment by moment experience of happiness.
2) overall feeling of satisfaction with life.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

What is Mind-Body healing?

Body-mind healing refers to the strong connection between the body and the mind during wellness and illness.

The mind co-operates with wellness when it trusts the treatment.

The body is then aware of this trust.

There is communication between the body and mind, meaning that cells participate in a healing response.

There are both physical and mental aspects to being well. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

What is the value of hope?

Hope Theory was developed by Charles Snyder in 1991. He said that hope consists of agency (the will) and pathways (the way) to stay motivated.

Having goals is not enough. Hope provides the attitude to make things happen. In hopelessness, people give up.

People without hope can act helpless and feel a lack of control over their lives.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Can healthy foods lead to weight gain?

In a recent study published in The Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, it was found that when trying to lose weight people tend towards eating healthy foods.

The paradox is that people also tend to eat more of the food if they think it is healthy. People believe that healthy food is less filling, therefore they eat more of it, leading to weight gain, not loss.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is when aspects of a body's immune system reddens and swells as a response to infection and/or injury. This is the body's attempt to heal and protect.

Acute inflammation is immediately after an injury lasting from a few moments to a few days.

Chronic inflammation is an over-responsive immune reaction lasting years. Many diseases (IBS, arthritis, cancer, depression, heart disease) are now being linked to chronic inflammation.

Long term inflammation can be linked to "wear and tear" conditions as well as lifestyle habits (stress, weight, smoking, alcohol, poor diet). 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What is a synapse?

A synapse is a very small gap between two nerve cells (neuron). An electrical or chemical impulse triggers neurotransmitters to carry information across the synapse.

The word synapse is from two Greek words, "syn" and "haptein" meaning "together" and "to clasp" respectively.

When the connection between two neurons is strengthened, this results in the storage of information, which becomes memory.