Your Road to Wellness

Wellness

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, BMJ Formula, 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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This function is involved in a variety conditions from viral diseases to heart disease, stroke and diabetes

Posted by on 7:25 am Cardiovascular Disease, Diet, Diet, Diseases, General Health, Green tea, Health, Nut consumption, Stay healthy, The Learn to Eat Plan, Vegetables, Wellness | 0 comments

Vascular endothelial cells line the entire circulatory system, from the heart to the smallest capillaries.  

The endothelium is the inner layer of the blood vessels and is extremely important.

When the endothelium is functioning normally, it helps to regulate blood clotting, assists the body’s immune response, controls the volume of fluid and the amount of electrolytes and other substances that pass from the blood into the tissues, and produces dilation or constriction of the blood vessels.

The endothelium is directly involved in peripheral vascular disease, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance,  chronic kidney failure, tumor growth, metastasis, venous thrombosis, and severe viral infectious diseases (Rajendran P, et.al., 2013).

Free radicals can disrupt the balance of NO (Nitric Oxide), damage the endothelium, and leave it overly permeable, allowing toxins to pass into body tissues (Rubanyi GM, Vanhoutte PM. et.al., 1986).

How can you keep the endothelium healthy?

A high nutrient, low glycemic index plant based diet will go a long way.  In addition to that you can eat some blueberries.

In this double blind crossover study the researchers gave the participants blueberry flavonoids and measured flow-mediated dilation (Rodriguez-Mateos A, et.al., 2013).

They found a significant increase in flow-mediated dilation at 1-2 and 6 h after consumption of the blueberry polyphenols.

The researchers concluded that blueberry intake acutely improves vascular function in healthy men.

You can also drink green tea.

Low-mediated dilation significantly improved after drinking green tea, and has a beneficial effect on endothelial function (Alexopoulos N, et.al., 2008).

References

Alexopoulos N1, Vlachopoulos C, Aznaouridis K, Baou K, Vasiliadou C, Pietri P, Xaplanteris P, Stefanadi E, Stefanadis C.The acute effect of green tea consumption on endothelial function in healthy individuals. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2008 Jun;15(3):300-5.

Rajendran P, Rengarajan T, Thangavel J, Nishigaki Y, Sakthisekaran D, Sethi G, Nishigaki I.The vascular endothelium and human diseases. Int J Biol Sci. 2013 Nov 9;9(10):1057-69.

Rodriguez-Mateos A1, Rendeiro C, Bergillos-Meca T, Tabatabaee S, George TW, Heiss C, Spencer JP.Intake and time dependence of blueberry flavonoid-induced improvements in vascular function: a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover intervention study with mechanistic insights into biological activityAm J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov;98(5):1179-91.

Rubanyi GM, Vanhoutte PM. Superoxide anions and hyperoxia inactivate endothelium-derived relaxing factor.Am J Physiol. 1986 May;250(5 Pt 2):H822-7.

 

 

 

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Not only what we eat but how the food is prepared can either help us or hurt us

Posted by on 7:44 am Cardiovascular Disease, Diet, Diet, General Health, Health Risk, Stay healthy, Wellness | 0 comments

 

Advanced glycation end products are compounds that can be found in food and they also can be formed when the food is cooked.

Glycation takes place when sugar reacts with fat and protein, and can also be formed when the blood glucose is high.  

These products accumulate intracellularly and extracellularly in all tissues and body fluids and can cross-link with other proteins and affect their normal functions (Chen JH, et.al., 2018). Glycation end products can interact with specific cell surface receptors and alter intracellular signaling, gene expression, the production of reactive oxygen species and activate several inflammatory pathways.

High levels of these products in the diet as well as in tissues and the circulation are pathogenic to a wide range of diseases.

When glycation end products accumulate in bones and joints, they can contribute to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis and also affect mobility.

Since glycation end products contributes to increased oxidative stress and inflammation, they  also contribute to cardiovascular disease and diabetes (Uribarri J, et.al., 2010).

It’s important to avoid glycation as much as possible, and the these researchers also tested a lot of common foods and the way the preparation of these food affected the accumulation of glycation.

They found that dry cooking at high temperature like frying, grilling and baking was producing the most glycation.

They also documented that animal source protein was higher in these products and the more fat they contained the worse it was.

Plant based foods were the lowest in glycation end products and did not accumulate much of these products when cooked.

The best way was to boil or steam the food, that was less damaging. Marinating food in lemon or vinegar to lower the the ph was also found to reduce glycation.

What else can you do to reduce the damage of glycation?

You can use curcumine which helps reduce free radical damage and inflammation (Yamagishi SI, et.al., 2017).

If you are going to use curcumine, be sure is is in a better absorbed form since regular curcumin is not well absorbed.

References

Chen JH, Lin X, Bu C, Zhang X.Role of advanced glycation end products in mobility and considerations in possible dietary and nutritional intervention strategies. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2018 Oct 10;15:72.

Uribarri J, Woodruff S, Goodman S, Cai W, Chen X, Pyzik R, Yong A, Striker GE, Vlassara H. Advanced glycation end products in foods and a practical guide to their reduction in the dietJ Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jun;110(6):911-16.e12.

Yamagishi SI, Matsui T, Ishibashi Y, Isami F, Abe Y, Sakaguchi T, Higashimoto Y.Yamagishi SI,Phytochemicals Against Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) and the Receptor System. Curr Pharm Des. 2017;23(8):1135-1141

 

 

 

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Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
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What can you do to help your immune system to better protect yourself from pathogens like viruses?

Posted by on 9:52 am Anti-aging, BMJ Formula, General Health, Health, Supplements, Wellness | 0 comments

We are exposed to pathogens–especially viruses–all the time and our immune system is very effective at protecting us.  This means that most of the time, we don’t get sick.

Research has, however, found evidence of decreased levels of glutathione in several diseases–such as cancer, viral infections and immune dysfunction–as well as in aging (Fraternale A, et.al., 2006, Fraternale A, et. al., 2017).

Intra-cellular glutathione levels influence the Th1/Th2 immune response and the effectiveness of the immune system.

The body makes glutathione, which is involved in many cellular functions such as detoxification, amino acid transport, production of coenzymes, and the recycling of vitamins E and C.

Glutathione has also been found to inhibit viral replication (Fraternale, et.al., 2006).

It’s no doubt that glutathione is very important, and as long as your body is able to make what’s necessary to protect you, everything is fine.

The problem, however, is that the body is not able to provide adequate amounts of glutathione as we get older. The decrease is gradual.  Additionally, the rate of decrease depends on our exposure to pathogens, toxins, and oxidative stressors that require the protection of glutathione.  

You would not usually need to supplement with glutathione in your twenties, but as you get into your forties, the need for supplementation will increase.

Reduced glutathione–which is the most common form on the market–is not very effective since it is oxidized in your stomach and very little is absorbed.

S-Acetyl Glutathione a patented substance is however very effective and gets into the cells where it is needed (Cacciatore I, et.al., 2010).

Researchers have proposed molecules able to increase glutathione levels as new tools to more effectively hinder different pathogens by acting as both immunomodulators and antimicrobials.

References

Cacciatore I1, Cornacchia C, Pinnen F, Mollica A, Di Stefano A. Prodrug approach for increasing cellular glutathione levelsMolecules. 2010 Mar 3;15(3):1242-64.

Fraternale A, Paoletti MF, Casabianca A, Oiry J, Clayette P, Vogel JU, Cinatl J Jr, Palamara AT, Sgarbanti R, Garaci E, Millo E, Benatti U, Magnani M. Antiviral and immunomodulatory properties of new pro-glutathione (GSH) molecules. Curr Med Chem. 2006;13(15):1749-55.

Fraternale A, Brundu S, Magnani M. Glutathione and glutathione derivatives in immunotherapy. Biol Chem. 2017 Feb 1;398(2):261-275.

 

 

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

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What type of protein is best if you want to live longer?

Posted by on 7:32 am Cardiovascular Disease, Diet, Diet, General Health, Health Risk, Nut consumption, The Learn to Eat Plan, Tissue Recovery Blog, Vegetables, Wellness | 0 comments

Does the source of protein really matter as long as we get an adequate supply?

That’s exactly what the researchers of the following study investigated.  85 013 women and 46 329 men, a total of 131342 participants were included in this research (Song M, et.al., 2016).

They examined the associations of animal and plant protein intake with the risk for mortality.

The median protein intake, as assessed by percentage of energy, was 14% for animal protein  and 4% for plant protein.

The researchers concluded that high animal protein intake was positively associated with cardiovascular mortality, and high plant protein intake was inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, especially among individuals with at least 1 lifestyle risk factor.

The worst form of protein was processed red meat.

If you want to improve your odds of living longer, plant protein is what you should eat.

A common trait for populations known to live longer, is that they eat very little animal protein, they only do it occasionally.

Research has also documented that we don’t need a lot of protein. It’s a common misconception that we need a Iot, most people in the western world unless they are vegetarians, eat more protein than they need.

If you eat a plant based diet which includes beans, nuts and seeds, you will not get more protein than you need, but you will get enough.

Reference

Song M, Fung TT, Hu FB, Willett WC, Longo VD, Chan AT, Giovannucci EL, Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality.JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Oct 1;176(10):1453-1463.

 

 

 

Learn to Eat Program

Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
you reduce inflammation and feel great.

Read more…