Your Road to Wellness

Stress

What damage can high blood sugar and oxidative stress cause?

Posted by on 10:33 am Blood Pressure, Bloodsugar, Energy, General Health, Glucose, Health, Stress, Supplements, Wellness | 0 comments

It is common knowledge that having high blood sugar levels is damaging to our health, but in what way is it harmful to us?  

Having high blood glucose levels causes oxidation of glucose and a reaction causing glycation of proteins.  These reactions cause tissue damage and create a lot of free radicals. This also decreases the activity of superoxide dismutase–which is the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.  This decrease in antioxidant activity again will increase the oxidative stress in a seemingly endless cycle.

This oxidation and glycation reaction chain has shown to alter the mitochondria–which are the energy-producing entities of the cell–and has shown to be involved in a variety of diseases (Edeas, et. al., 2009).  The damaged mitochondria will produce less ATP (energy) than a normal mitochondria. Additionally, the damaged mitochondria cannot use glucose or lipids in a normal way. This means that a person with high blood sugar is unable to produce as much energy as they should.  

So what can be done to offset the production of these advanced glycation-end products?  The researchers of this study show that curcumin could suppress the advanced glycation-end products and also stimulate the synthesis of glutathione (Stefanska, 2012).

It is also important to eat food with a high nutrient content and low glycemic index, but you can take curcumin to help reduce damage from higher glucose levels. Just be sure that the curcumin you take is well absorbed since regular curcumin is not.  

Taking S-Acetyl Glutathione is also an excellent way to get protection from the negative effects of elevated blood glucose, it works really well.   Taking regular glutathione is not effective since it is oxidised in the stomach and not very bioavailable. Don’t waste your money.

References

Edeas, M, et al. “Maillard Reaction, Mitochondria and Oxidative Stress: Potential Role of Antioxidants.” Pathologie Biologie, Academic Press, 23 Dec. 2009, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0369811409001898.

Stefanska, B. “Curcumin Ameliorates Hepatic Fibrosis in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – Insights into Its Mechanisms of Action.” Addiction & Health, British Journal of Pharmacology , Aug. 2012, europepmc.org/articles/PMC3448887.

 

 

 

Curcumin is a good antioxidant but it is especially effective in helping to reduce inflammation. For these reasons, curcumin provides many health benefits.

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Glutathione helps your cells reduce free radical damage and also helps lower inflammation.

BioPro, Inc. Tissue Recovery is using the patented form of S-Acetyl Glutathione from the Italian company that has the patent for S-Acetyl Glutathione.

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Improve your genetic potential

Posted by on 8:50 am Anti-aging, General Health, Happiness, Meditation, Research, Stress, Wellness | 0 comments

While we can’t change our genes yet, we can however improve the expression of our genes.  There are several factors that affect how we express our genes.

One of the more important factors is stress.

In this study, researchers tested several functions after a practice session of healthy individuals who had practiced meditation for many years and participants that had only practiced for eight weeks, comparing it with participants who listen to health education (Bhasin MK, et.al., 2013).

The practice of meditation enhanced expression of genes associated with energy metabolism, mitochondrial function, insulin secretion and telomere maintenance, and reduced expression of genes linked to inflammatory response and stress-related pathways.

The response was stronger in those who had been practicing meditation for a long time.

In another study the researchers found that practitioners of “Loving-Kindness Meditation” had significantly longer telomere length than controls when Genomic DNA was tested (Hoge EA, et.al., 2013).

Telomeres relates to how fast we age.

Shorter telomeres have been linked to chronic stress and shorter telomere length can serve as a marker of accelerated aging.

When telomerase was measured in participants practising meditation at a retreat, an increase in telomerase activity was found compared to the control group (Jacobs TL, et.al., 2011).

This was also very interesting. Increases in “Purpose in Life” directly mediated the telomerase group difference, whereas increases in Mindfulness did not.

So the research shows that not all meditation produces the same results.

References

Bhasin MK, Dusek JA, Chang BH, Joseph MG, Denninger JW, Fricchione GL, Benson H, Libermann TA.Relaxation response induces temporal transcriptome changes in energy metabolism, insulin secretion and inflammatory pathways. PLoS One. 2013 May 1;8(5):e62817.

Jacobs TL, Epel ES, Lin J, Blackburn EH, Wolkowitz OM, Bridwell DA, Zanesco AP, Aichele SR, Sahdra BK, MacLean KA, King BG, Shaver PR, Rosenberg EL, Ferrer E, Wallace BA, Saron CD. Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2011 Jun;36(5):664-81.

Hoge EA, Chen MM, Orr E, Metcalf CA, Fischer LE, Pollack MH, De Vivo I, Simon NM.Loving-Kindness Meditation practice associated with longer telomeres in women. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Aug;32:159-63.

 

 

 

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Stress shortens your telomeres…but why does that matter?

Posted by on 7:26 am Anti-Aging, General Health, Happiness, Health, Meditation, Stress, Wellness | 0 comments

A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotides consisting of DNA and RNA at the end of a chromosome that protects the chromosome from deterioration.

Shorter telomeres are known to determine cell longevity and shorter telomeres lead to a shorter lifespan.  Telomeres can therefore give us information on how fast we age.

Several factors can affect the length of the telomeres. We will look at one of these factors here.

Psychological stress, both perceived stress and chronicity of stress. is significantly associated with higher oxidative stress, lower telomerase activity, and shorter telomere length (Epel ES, et.al., 2004).

In a study which included 2911 men and women aged 30-64, a significant association was found between work exhaustion and telomere length related to the acceleration of the rate of biological aging (Ahola K, et.al., 2012).

In this study the researchers  examined relative telomere length in a group of individuals experienced in Loving-Kindness Meditation, a practice derived from the Buddhist tradition (Hoge EA, et.al., 2013).

The meditation practitioners had longer telomeres than the group not practicing meditation indicating an effect on longevity.

When family dementia caregivers were practicing Kirtan Kriya meditation or listening to relaxation music for 12 min per day for 8 weeks, this was the results.

The meditation group showed 43% improvement in telomerase activity compared with 3.7% in the relaxation group (Lavretsky H, et. al., 2013).

The meditation group also improved mental and cognitive functioning and had lower levels of depressive symptoms.

This is one of the things you can do to keep your telomeres longer and counteract stress.  Starting to meditate regularly is well worth the time you spend on the meditating,

References

Ahola K, Sirén I, Kivimäki M, Ripatti S, Aromaa A, Lönnqvist J, Hovatta I.Work-related exhaustion and telomere length: a population-based study. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40186.

Epel ES, Blackburn EH, Lin J, Dhabhar FS, Adler NE, Morrow JD, Cawthon RM, Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2004 Dec 7;101(49):17312-5.

Hoge EA, Chen MM, Orr E, Metcalf CA, Fischer LE, Pollack MH, De Vivo I, Simon NM. Loving-Kindness Meditation practice associated with longer telomeres in women. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Aug;32:159-63.

Lavretsky H, Epel ES, Siddarth P, Nazarian N, Cyr NS, Khalsa DS, Lin J, Blackburn E, Irwin MR. A pilot study of yogic meditation for family dementia caregivers with depressive symptoms: effects on mental health, cognition, and telomerase activity. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;28(1):57-65.

 

 

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Decrease blood pressure and cardiovascular risk by affecting this nerve

Posted by on 6:35 pm Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular Disease, General Health, Health Risk, Risk of death, Stay healthy, Stress | 0 comments

You don’t need any equipment or take any pills to decrease blood pressure and cardiovascular risk.

When a broad range of indicators of vagal function were tested, the researchers of the following study showed that decreased vagal function is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality (Thayer JF, Lane RD, 2007).

The vagus nerve–which is the 10th cranial nerve–is involved in numerous functions and has a big impact on how we feel and function.

How can we affect the vagus nerve?

You can activate the vagus nerve by breathing at a rate of 6 breaths per minute.

Slow and deep breathing with equal duration of inhalation and exhalation for 5 minutes was found to significantly decrease systolic blood pressure (Bhavanani AB, Sanjay Z, 2011).

It does not take much time to see the benefits from implementing this type of breathing, you notice a difference in the way you feel within some few minutes.

This is diaphragmatic breathing where you see your abdomen rising when you breathe in and lowering as you breathe out.

With some practice you will automatically breathe this way most of the the time, which will make you more relaxed.

References

Bhavanani AB, Sanjay Z, Madanmohan.Immediate effect of sukha pranayama on cardiovascular variables in patients of hypertension.Int J Yoga Therap. 2011;(21):73-6.

Thayer JF, Lane RD.The role of vagal function in the risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality.Biol Psychol. 2007 Feb;74(2):224-42.

 

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Feel more relaxed, improve your focus and be more stress resistant by controlling your breathing.

Posted by on 8:43 am Blood Pressure, Breathing, General Health, Happiness, Health, Pain, Research, Stress | 0 comments

The way you breathe has a strong effect on how you feel and function. Research has shown that the amount of times you breath and also how you breathe is important.

The following study included 47 healthy college students which implemented different breathing patterns (Lin IM, et., al., 2014). Anxiety and relaxation levels were measured as well as heart rate variability (HRV).

The reason HRV was measured is because research has shown a relationship between low HRV and worsening of depression or anxiety. A low HRV has even been associated with an increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease. People who have a high HRV may have greater cardiovascular fitness and be more resilient to stress.

In this study the researchers showed that breathing at a rate of 5.5 breaths per minute and with an equal time used to breathe in and out resulted in a higher HRV and an increased feeling of relaxation. The other breathing patterns were not as effective.

A breathing frequency of 6 breaths per minute has been the frequency found to be most effective in most of the studies.

Using your diaphragm when breathing is also important. Implementing that with slow breathing increased sustained attention and lowered cortisol levels–cortisol is a stress hormone– in another study (Ma X, et.al., 2017).

When you use your diaphragm in breathing, you will see your abdomen raising when you breathe in.

This type of breathing has even shown to improve sleep when practiced before bed time (Tsai HJ,et.al., 2015).

 

References

Lin IM, Tai LY, Fan SY,Breathing at a rate of 5.5 breaths per minute with equal inhalation-to-exhalation ratio increases heart rate variability, Int J Psychophysiol. 2014 Mar;91(3):206-11.

Ma X, Yue ZQ, Gong ZQ, Zhang H, Duan NY, Shi YT, Wei GX, Li YF, The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults,Front Psychol. 2017 Jun 6;8:874. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874.

Tsai HJ1, Kuo TB, Lee GS, Yang CC,Efficacy of paced breathing for insomnia: enhances vagal activity and improves sleep qualityPsychophysiology. 2015 Mar;52(3):388-96. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12333.

 

 

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Can Omega 3 Fatty Acids Affect Your Mood?

Posted by on 11:42 am Body fat, Fish Oil, General Health, Omega-3, fish oil, Stay healthy, Stress, Wellness, Womens health | 0 comments

Omega 3 fatty acids have been demonstrated to significantly influence the nervous system and affect brain structures.

Can omega 3 fat also impact the way you feel emotionally?

This was evaluated in young adults with depressive symptoms by giving them 1.4 g of EPA and DHA, the active ingredients of omega 3 fat, or a placebo (Ginty AT, Conclin SM, 2015).

The participants took the omega 3 fatty acids for 21 days, and the results showed a significant difference between the treatment group and the placebo group.

67% of the participant taking the omega 3 fatty acids no longer met the criteria for being depressed, while only 20% in the placebo group were no longer depressed.

 

When medical students were given either 2085 mg of EPA and 348 mg of DHA or a placebo, the ones who received the omega 3 fatty acids experienced a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms and a 14% reduction in IL-6 and TNF-alpha, both markers of inflammation (Kiecolt-Glaser JK et.al., 2011).

 

The fatty acid composition of the red blood cells in patients with recurrent major depression was found to be significantly lower in the patients compared to the control group without depression ( Assies J, et.al., 2010).

 

According to these studies, just by taking some capsules of a high-quality omega 3 fish oil daily, you should see a positive effect on your mood.

 

References

Assies J, Pouwer F, Lok A, Mocking RJ, Bockting CL, Visser I, Abeling NG, Duran M, Schene AH Plasma and erythrocyte fatty acid patterns in patients with recurrent depression: a matched case-control study. PLoS One. 2010 May 14;5(5):e10635.

Ginty AT, Conklin SM. Short-term supplementation of acute long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may alter depression status and decrease symptomology among young adults with depression: A preliminary randomized and placebo controlled trial.
Psychiatry Res. 2015 Sep 30;229(1-2):485-9.

Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Belury MA, Andridge R, Malarkey WB, Glaser R. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2011 Nov;25(8):1725-34.

 

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The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 fatty acids are well known. Most people that eat a western diet can benefit from increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid since their diet usually contains too much Omega 6 from vegetable oils and saturated fat from dairy and other animal sources

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