An Anti-Aging Drug Cocktail

 

Drug combinations work to synergistically extend the life- and healthspan in worms.

The most successful drug combination tested almost doubled lifespan, a feat never reported before. Furthermore, more than half of the worms receiving the drug combination were still in optimal health after all control animals had died! Finally, the authors show that these drugs also extend the lifespan of fruit flies and in fact the same combination that almost doubled worm lifespan was also the most successful one at extending the lifespan of fruit flies.

In a new paper published on the preprint server bioRxiv Jan Gruber and colleagues test various combinations of life extending drugs in worms.

Preprint servers allow scientists to publish their article to the wide world for anyone to criticize before submitting it to a classical journal for publication.

Furthermore they allow for rapid dissemination of research results as the publication in a peer-reviewed journal can take months to years between submission and publication.

While around a thousand compounds have been found to extend lifespan in at least one study in a model organism few studies have been conducted using combinations of two or more compounds.

A rare example includes the combination of rapamycin with metformin which was shown to outperform either drug alone in mice.

The authors started by identifying well known mechanisms for lifespan extension based on a literature review. Then they looked for drugs that influence these mechanisms and had previously been found to extend lifespan leading to the selection of 12 compounds for testing in this study.

Next the researchers tested these compounds in roundworms, a common model organism in aging research. When tested in isolation five drugs significantly extended mean and maximal lifespan: Psora-4, rifampicin, rapamycin, metformin, and allantoin.

Next the researchers tested all pairwise combinations of these five compounds. The combination of metformin and rapamycin, both at optimal doses, did not lead to a further increase in lifespan.

However if the combination was tested at suboptimal doses than lifespan was further increased.

Given that the optimal dose of metformin and rapamycin in mice is unknown the beneficial effect of the combination observed in the mice study mentioned before could possibly be the result of suboptimal concentrations of both drugs.

Two combinations, rifampicin + rapamycin and rifampicin + Psora-4 all at optimal concentrations did result in synergistic increases in lifespan.

Next the researchers tested triple combinations of the various compounds. As testing all combinations would be impractical (220 different lifespan tests would be necessary) the researchers decided to first try the combination of the 3 most successful compounds so far (rapamycin + rifampicin + Psora-4).

However this combination resulted in a shorter lifespan than the two successful pairwise combinations. Next, the researchers decided to test the two pairwise combinations from before with allantoin added as the third drug.

They chose this combination because allantoin shares no mechanistic overlap with the other drugs. Both of these triple combinations resulted in a significant extension of mean and maximal lifespan with the most successful one (rapamycin + rifampicin + allantoin) resulting in a doubling of mean lifespan! The authors remark that this is the largest lifespan extension ever observed by a drug intervention initiated in adult worms.

Abbreviations: Rif = rifampicin; Rap = rapamycin, Allan = allantoin. Image credit: Sven Bulterijs Certain interventions that result in lifespan extension reduce fertility but neither of the triple drug combinations reduced total fertility and actually slightly extended the fertile period of life.

Furthermore, both drug combinations extended the period of life spend in good health (= the healthspan).

In fact, more than half of the worms receiving the triple drug combination were still in optimal health after all control animals had died! Old animals on the triple drug combinations were indistinguishable from young control worms when judged by spontaneous movement.

Worms really show a significant decrease in spontaneous movement with age. Finally, the two successful triple drug combinations also significantly increased resistance to oxidative and heat stress.

Total mortality is made up of two distinguishable parts: age-dependent and age-independent mortality. The age-dependent mortality is a measure for the rate of aging.

So the authors tested which mortality rate was reduced by the drug combinations. Interestingly, the rifampicin + Psora-4 + allantoin combination significantly reduced the rate of age-dependent and age-independent mortality showing that this drug slows down aging in addition to making them more robust at young ages.

Abbreviations: Rif = rifampicin; Rap = rapamycin, Allan = allantoin. Image credit: Sven Bulterijs

The evolutionary distance between fruit flies and worms is larger than between fruit flies and humans. Hence the fact that the drug combinations worked in both fruit flies and worms offers hope that their lifespan extending effect may be conserved in humans.

The two drug combinations (Rap + Rif and Rap + Rif + Allan) significantly extended mean and maximum lifespan in fruit flies.

High Amounts of Fat May Improve Insulin Sensitivity – New Study

Studies show that calorie-reduced diets improve insulin sensitivity, regardless of their fat content.

However, it’s unclear if this is due to the composition of the diet or weight loss.

For this reason, a group of scientists compared the effects of high- and low-fat diets, while maintaining stable weight.

Below is a review of their findings, published in the European Journal of Nutrition.

BACKGROUND

Insulin sensitivity refers to how sensitive the body is to the effects of insulin.

Low insulin sensitivity, also known as insulin resistance, means the body doesn’t respond to insulin efficiently. This adverse condition characterizes type 2 diabetes and can lead to abnormally high blood sugar after meals.

It’s unclear exactly what causes insulin resistance, but several studies have examined how diet composition affects insulin sensitivity.

Two short-term studies compared the effects of diets high in fat (50–55% of calories) and low in fat (20–25% of calories) on insulin sensitivity. They found no significant differences in insulin sensitivity between diets.

Another study in older individuals showed that a 4-week, high-fat diet (42% of calories), high in saturated fat (24% of calories), did not cause significant changes in insulin sensitivity.

What’s more, an 11-day study found that a very-high-fat diet (83% of calories) had no effects on insulin sensitivity, compared to a diet that contained no fat.

However, the evidence is not entirely conclusive. Some studies indicate that low-fat diets may improve insulin sensitivity.

In short, it seems that eating high amounts of fat does not increase your risk of becoming insulin resistant, but more research is needed.

ARTICLE REVIEWED

Researchers from the University of Washington in the US compared the effects of a very high-fat diet and a low-fat diet on insulin sensitivity.

A high‑fat, high‑saturated fat diet decreases insulin sensitivity without changing intra‑abdominal fat in weight‑stable overweight and obese adults.

STUDY DESIGN

The main purpose of this small, randomized, controlled trial was to examine the effects of a high-fat diet, rich in saturated fat, on insulin sensitivity.

The study included 13 overweight or obese men and women, aged 18–55 years.

For the first 10 days of the study, all of the participants followed a standardized diet. It provided 47% of calories from carbs, 18% from protein, and 35% from fat, including 12% from saturated fat.

Then, the participants were assigned to two 4-week diets in a random order:

  • Low-fat diet: 20% of calories from fat, including 8% from saturated fat, 62% from carbs and 18% from protein.
  • High-fat diet: 55% of calories from fat, including 25% from saturated fat, 27% from carbs and 18% from protein.

These two diets were identical, apart from their varying fat and carb content. The major sources of fat in both diets were butter and safflower oil, high in oleic acid.

The study kitchen provided participants with all food, and they were weighed twice weekly to ensure weight stability.

The study had a crossover design, meaning that the participants followed both diets on different study periods, separated by 6 weeks.

At the beginning and end of the diets, the researchers measured insulin sensitivity, abdominal fat and fasting levels of very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs).

Only 7 participants completed both diets, or 54% of those who originally started.

Bottom Line: This was a randomized, crossover trial comparing the effects of a very high-fat diet and a low-fat diet on insulin sensitivity.

FINDING 1: A HIGH-FAT DIET REDUCED INSULIN SENSITIVITY

Insulin sensitivity is often assessed by injecting people with insulin and then measuring blood sugar clearance, or how quickly blood sugar levels drop.

During the high-fat diet, insulin sensitivity decreased, whereas it remained constant during the low-fat diet.

The chart below compares the differences in the change in blood sugar clearance during each of the two diets. The blood sugar response is shown for both low and high doses of insulin.

These results cannot be explained by changes in body weight or abdominal fat, since the participants’ weight remained the same during the study.

The researchers speculated that the saturated fat in the high-fat diet may have contributed to the decrease in insulin sensitivity, which is supported by other studies.

In one study, when healthy participants followed a diet high in saturated fat (17% of calories) for three months, insulin sensitivity decreased by 12.5%.

Other studies have shown that single meals or diets high in polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat improve insulin sensitivity, compared to saturated fat.

These studies indicate that insulin sensitivity is influenced by the type of fat eaten, rather than the total dietary fat content. However, further studies are needed.

Bottom Line: The high-fat diet reduced insulin sensitivity, whereas it remained constant on the low-fat diet.

FINDING 2: INCREASES IN SKIN FAT WERE ASSOCIATED WITH HIGHER INSULIN SENSITIVITY

Why the high-fat diet reduced insulin sensitivity is unclear. However, the researchers observed a few significant associations.

During the low-fat diet, the researchers found that increases in the amounts of skin fat were associated with better insulin sensitivity.

Although there was a similar trend during the high-fat diet, the association was not statistically significant.

Conversely, on both diets, an increase in the content of omega-6 docosapentaenoic acid in very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) was associated with reduced insulin sensitivity.

Yet it should be noted that these were observational findings, and do not prove a causal relationship.

Bottom Line: Increased skin fat was associated with increased insulin sensitivity. Conversely, high blood levels of omega-6 docosapentaenoic acid were associated with reduced insulin sensitivity.

LIMITATIONS

This study was nicely designed, but had a few minor limitations.

First, the study was very small, including only 13 participants. For this reason, it may not have had the statistical power to detect smaller differences as significant.

Second, the dropout rate was very high, or 46%, indicating that dietary adherence may have been difficult.

Third, the study was designed to compare the effects of high-fat and low-fat diets oninsulin sensitivity. Therefore, it does not provide any evidence for the effects of saturated fat on insulin sensitivity.

Finally, the study included individuals with normal blood sugar control, and the high-fat diet contained higher amounts of fat than are typically consumed. As a result, the findings may not apply to diabetics or those who consume lower amounts of fat.

Bottom Line: This study was very small and the dropout rate was high. Additionally, the findings may not apply to normal real-life settings or people with type 2 diabetes.

SUMMARY AND REAL-LIFE APPLICATION

In short, this study suggests that a diet very high in fat, or saturated fat, make the body less sensitive to the effects of insulin.

However, the results may only apply to very high amounts of fat or specific types of fatty acids.

Bloating, a Problem, It’s Causes And How To Prevent It

What is Bloating? Foods that cause bloating? What should you eat instead? Ways that would help in reduce/ eliminate bloating?

What is Bloating?

This simply refers to the body condition where one feels that their bellies have swollen more so after eating.

The main cause of bloating is excess production of gas within the digestive system. In addition to this, muscle movement disturbance in the digestive system would also lead to such bloating in the belly.

The effect of bloating is that one is left feeling uncomfortable keeping in mind that the stomach gets bigger. In extreme cases, the condition would be termed as “food baby”.

One thing that you ought to understand clearly is that bloating is quite different from water retention. Nonetheless, both terms are at times used interchangeably.

In layman’s language, the presence of excessive liquids, solids or even gases within the digestive system would lead to bloating. In other individuals, increased sensitivity is the main cause of bloating.

The feeling one gets during bloating is basically the notion of increased pressure within the abdomen. According to reports, bloating is considered as a common issue.

Despite the fact that bloating can be attributed to serious medical issues, in other cases the problem could be as a result of the diet that you stick to.

When the diet is the problem, it could be a clear indication that your body is intolerant to them.

Some of the foods that cause bloating alongside suggestions of the best meals to take instead.

1. Beans

Beans are normally categorized as legumes. The good thing about beans is that they are proteins as well as they offer healthy carbs to its users.

Similarly, they are rich in fiber content and that they offer vital minerals and vitamins. In spite of these benefits, beans have sugar content in them which are termed as alpha-galactosides.

These types of sugars are basically carbs from the group known as FODMAPs. Fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) are basically short chain carbs that avoid being digested.

After escaping digestion, the carbs are normally fermented by gut bacteria present in the colon. The by-product of such fermentation is gas.

Healthy people would consider FODMAPs as an advantage since they normally aid in fuel production that is used by digestive bacteria and as such, there is no negative effect expected.

Nonetheless, people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome would be negatively affected as another form of gas is produced during the fermenting process.

This is how bloating effect comes up. Other possible effects likely to be felt are flatulence, diarrhoea, and cramping. The FODMAPs can be effectively prevented by initially soaking beans before preparing them.

What should you eat instead?

There are certain beans that have minimal negative effects. For example, white kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans are types of beans that are easily digested after they have been soaked. Alternatively, you can avoid beans altogether by relying on quinoa, meat and grains.

2. Lentils

Just like beans, lentils are also a type of legumes. They are equally rich in fiber and protein and they also offer healthy carbs to those that consume them. Lentils have essential minerals including copper, manganese and iron.

The mere fact that lentils are rich in fiber implies that they could lead to bloating more so in individuals that are sensitive. People that do not consume a lot fiber would be greatly affected.

FODMAPs are also present in lentils hence they could lead to bloating considering the fact that they lead to unnecessary gas production. The effect of bloating can considerably be prevented by soaking lentils or spouting them.

What should you eat instead?

To prevent bloating and other effects, it is recommended to opt for lentils that are light coloured as compared to those that are dark in colour.

3. Carbonated Drinks

Drinks with high gas content e.g. carbon dioxide would also lead to bloating. Drinking such liquids will end up leaving an individual with high amounts of gas within their bellies.

When this gas is trapped within the digestive system, the effect is that one feels bloated and cramping could be another effect.

What should you drink instead?

It is advisable to drink plain water. Other alternatives that one can turn to include tea, coffee or fruit flavoured water.

4. Wheat

Over the years, there have been numerous controversies regarding wheat. This is because they have gluten and high protein content in them. In spite of the controversies behind wheat, a good number of people still consume it.

Wheat is an important ingredient in pastas, bread, pizzas and tortillas. Waffles, biscuits, pancakes and other forms of cakes also depend on wheat for their effective preparation.

Individuals suffering from celiac disease would largely be affected after consuming wheat. Some of the digestive problems that they would be going through include bloating, stomach pains and even diarrhoea.

Just like beans and lentils, wheat also produces FODMAPs hence could lead to digestive complications in those that consume it.

What should you eat instead?

Gluten free foods would be ideal substitutes for wheat. Examples include; quinoa, pure oats, coconut flour and almond flour.

5. Cruciferous Vegetables and Broccoli

The family of cruciferous veggies include cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts etc. These type of veggies are considered to be very healthy considering the fact that they have essential nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, potassium and vitamin K.

Regardless of the benefits mentioned the veggies also have FODMAPs hence could cause bloating among its consumers. To prevent the effects of bloating the cruciferous veggies should be cooked.

What should you eat instead?

The good news is that there are several alternatives to the above mentioned foods. For example, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, zucchini and sweet potatoes are some of its alternatives.

6. Onions

Onions are a type of vegetables that have powerful and outstanding taste. In most cases, people do not consume the onions as they are but they opt to use them in preparing meals, salads and other forms of side dishes.

Onions are considered as sources of fructans. The frutcans have the effect of causing bloating since they are soluble fibers. In addition to this, there are some individuals that are intolerant to compounds found in onions.

The digestive effects can be minimized when the onions are consumed after they have been cooked.

What should you eat instead?

A good alternative that can be consumed include spices and herbs.

7. Barley

A number of people are conversant with barley since it is a common cereal. In addition to the mere fact that it is nutritious, it is also a fiber rich grain that offers several vitamins including manganese, selenium and molybdenum.

The high fiber content is what could lead to bloating. Individuals mostly affected are those that do not consume a lot of fiber. Similarly, barley is known to contain gluten. Gluten intolerant individuals would therefore be affected after consuming this.

What should you eat instead?

Refined barley is a recommended option in this case. Options to consider include scotch barley and pearl. Other grains could also be an excellent option to replace barley. They include brown rice, buckwheat, guinoa and oats.

8. Rye

Just like wheat, this is also a cereal grain. Rye is a good source of manganese, fiber, copper, B-vitamins and phosphorous. The presence of gluten in rye also makes it one of the main causes of bloating among those individuals that consume it.

What should you eat instead?

Brown rice, quinoa, and oats are some of the grains that are recommended to be consumed instead.

9. Dairy Products

We all know the nutritious aspect of dairy products. They are also a good source of calcium and protein. Some of the dairy products that are consumed regularly include cheese, butter, yogurt, milk and cream cheese.

75% of global population suffer from lactose intolerance. This is because they are not in a position to effectively break down present lactose in milk. Lactose intolerant people would therefore be faced with digestive problems. Common symptoms entail: cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhoea etc.

What should you eat instead?

Butter and cream are good alternatives to dairy products. Yogurt, coconut, soy, rice milk and almond can also be used instead.

10. Apples

Apples stand among the best fruits on the entire globe. Apples are rich in vitamin C and fiber hence they are considered to offer health benefits to those consuming them.

To some people, apples are closely linked with bloating problems. The effects are as a result of fructose and fiber content present in the apples. To minimize the effects of bloating and gas, apples ought to be cooked.

What should you eat instead?

Optional fruits to digest include blueberries, bananas, mandarins, grapefruit, strawberries and oranges.

11. Garlic

Garlic is commonly used for adding flavour to foods and is also regarded as an excellent health remedy. Just like onions, they are known to contain FODMAPs due to the presence of fractans in them.

This means that they can also cause bloating. The effects resulting from consuming garlic could be reduced by cooking garlic.

What should you eat instead?

Spices and herbs are recommended as alternatives to garlic. Examples here include: basil, parsley, thyme and chives.

12. Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols are normally used as a replacement for sugar that is present in chewing gums and sugar-free meals. Some of these include: mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol.

Just like other foods mentioned above, sugar alcohols are part of FODMAPs. Digestive problems are caused by these sugar alcohols since they normally get to the intestines as they are (unchanged).

Issues related to over-consuming sugar alcohols include gas, diarrhoea and bloating.

What should you eat instead?

Something that you should consume in this case is an alternative that is easily digested e.g. erythritol and stevia.

13. Beer

Beer is a leading cause of bloating. The main reason for this is that beer is normally carbonated and that is made from fermented carbohydrates e.g. maize, rice, wheat and barley.

This therefore means that beer has got gas content in it. The fermented carbs are also knonw to cause bloating.

What should you drink instead?

The best beverage that should be used instead is just water. For those looking for alcoholic beverages they ought to stick to white wine, red wine and some spirits since they have minimal bloating effects.

Proven ways that would help in reducing/ eliminating bloating

1. Avoid eating too much at once

Eating a lot of food at once can have the same effect as bloating. This is for reasons that your belly would feel full. If you have been feeling uncomfortable after eating then it is important to reduce the portions you take at a go.

In addition to reducing your portion intake, it is also recommended to chew food properly. This offers the benefit of reducing the air you might have to swallow while eating.

It is also recommended to drink apple cider vinegar after consuming heavy meal of dairy products to help your stomach digest properly, but make sure to dilute apple cider vinegar with water because it is acidic.

Bottom line: individuals that face bloating problems normally are considered to be sensitive to certain foods in the stomach. As such, eating meals in smaller portions is helpful.

2. Intolerances and food allergies

It is a common thing to be faced with intolerances and other food allergies. Consuming foods that one is intolerant to would certainly lead to bloating, gas production and other related effects.

Common ingredients that will have such effects include: lactose, fructose, eggs and foods high in gluten. Avoiding these ingredients might help prevent bloating.

Bottom line: intolerances and food allergies are considered as common bloating causes. The ingredients to avoid include: lactose, fructose, eggs and wheat.

3. Swallowing gases and air should be avoided

Gas sources within the digestive system include that which is produced by gut bacteria and one that is obtained from eating or drinking. Carbonated drinks are considered to be the leading causes of gas within the digestive system.

Other causes that will lead to air being dumped in the stomach include gum chewing, eating hurriedly and drinking using straws.

Bottom Line: Swallowing a lot of air would lead to bloating. Carbonated beverages are a leading cause of bloating since it dumps a lot of air in the stomach.

4. Avoid foods that have gas

There are those foods that are rich in fiber. Such foods will only lead to gas production within the digestive system. Examples of such foods include: lentils, beans and other forms of whole grains.

It is imperative to have a diary where you note down foods that are considered to cause bloating and those that are good to consume.

To prevent bloating, it is recommended that you should avoid legumes such as lentils and beans. Keeping off fatty foods would also help.

Bottom line: if there are foods that cause bloating in your stomach, you should simply avoid them. Reducing their intake is another recommended action to take.

5. Caution should be taken with sugar alcohols

Sources of sugar alcohols that one should be careful with include sugar present in chewing gums as well as sugar-free foods. Sugar alcohols are known to pose digestive problems such as bloating.

Intestinal bacteria act on them and the by-product would be production of gas. The sugar substances are basically FODMAPs at the same time.

Sugar alcohols that ought to be avoided include sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol etc. Nonetheless, if need be erythritol is a recommended sugar alcohol that you should consume.

Bottom line: digestive problems are associated with consuming sugar alcohols. The sources of sugar alcohols such as chewing gums have to be avoided.

6. Digestive enzyme supplements

Over the counter drugs can be helpful at times. In this case, the products to be taken would be those that would help in breaking down carbs that are indigestible. Examples of such supplements include: lactase and beano.

Bottom line: supplements can be a good solution to help in fighting bloating and related digestion problems. The supplements to be bought are those that aid in the breaking down of food components.

7. Avoiding constipation

This is a digestion problem that most people are used to. Preventing constipation would be an excellent way of ensuring that bloating does not affect you.

This can conveniently be obtained by digesting soluble fiber. Constipation can also be prevented by consuming magnesium supplements and trying to engage in physical activities.

Bottom line: the effects of bloating can be worsened by constipation. Therefore it is important to avoid such constipation from occurring.

To achieve this, taking in magnesium supplements is recommended. Engaging in physical activities might also help.

8. Taking Probiotics

A leading contributor of bloating is normally the bacteria present in the intestine. The type of bacteria present in the intestine might vary from one individual to the other.

Studies have gone forth to prove that probiotic supplements are effective in reducing the gas production by bacteria present in the intestine.

Therefore it also helps in preventing bloating more so in individuals that face digestive problems.

Bottom line: Probiotic supplements aid in preventing bloating as it works on the gut bacteria that would have led to gas production.

9. Taking peppermint oil

In some cases, bloating could be a resultant effect of muscles being altered within the digestive tract. There are recommended drugs termed as antispasmodics.

They aid in reducing muscle spasms. The effect of taking peppermint is similar to taking such drugs. Recent studies have proven that a regular intake of peppermint would aid in preventing bloating in patients.

Bottom line: bloating can effectively be prevented by taking in peppermint oil. Other digestive problems could also be prevented.

10. Always consult with a medical expert to disqualify a serious condition or a chronic disease

Lastly, if the bloating problem persists, it is advisable to consult with a medical expert. This is imperative as they would confirm to you whether you are suffering from a chronic or any other form of serious digestive diseases.

Nonetheless, in most cases, bloating is a common problem that can be effectively reduced or prevented by simply changing your diet.

Over to you

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The DASH Diet Lowers Blood Pressure, Improves Heart’s Health

The DASH diet is designed to reduce blood pressure and improve blood lipids.

It’s typically low in fat and relatively high in carbs, but it’s not clear what role these macronutrients play in the diet’s effectiveness.

For this reason, a group of researchers compared the effects of a higher-fat, lower-carb DASH diet to the conventional DASH diet.

Their results were recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

THE DASH DIET LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE, EVEN WITH MORE FAT

BACKGROUND

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

It is currently the world’s most popular diet aimed at lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease.

The original DASH diet has the following characteristics:

  • High in fruits and vegetables.
  • High in whole grains and fiber.
  • Includes nuts, seeds and legumes several times weekly.
  • High in low-fat dairy products.
  • Relatively low in red meat, poultry and fish.
  • Low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.
  • Relatively high in potassium, magnesium and calcium.
  • Relatively low in refined sugar.

A large, observational study, called the Nurses’ Health Study, found a DASH-type diet to be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.

Some researchers believe that the DASH diet may reduce heart disease risk because of its low saturated fat content.

However, this idea has not been put to the test.

ARTICLE REVIEWED

A team of scientists from the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, in California, compared the effects of the standard DASH diet and a higher-fat, lower-carb DASH diet on blood pressure and blood lipids.

Comparison of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and a higher-fat DASH diet on blood pressure and lipids and lipoproteins: a randomized controlled trial.

BASIC STUDY DESIGN

This randomized, controlled trial examined the effects of a modified DASH diet and the standard DASH diet on blood pressure and blood lipids. The modified diet included more dairy fat and fewer carbs.

The participants were healthy men and women with systolic blood pressure less than 160 mm Hg, and diastolic blood pressure between 80 and 95 mm Hg.

The participants were assigned to three groups in random order:

  • Standard DASH diet: Participants followed the conventional DASH diet.
  • Higher-fat DASH diet: This diet included more dairy fat and less carbs, but was otherwise identical to the standard DASH diet.
  • Control diet: The control diet was designed to represent a normal Western diet.

In the higher-fat DASH diet, the saturated fat content was increased from 8% to 14% of daily calories. To keep the calorie content the same, the carb content was also reduced by 12% of daily calories.

Each of these diets lasted for 3 weeks. The study had a crossover design, meaning that all of the participants followed all three diets during different study periods, separated by a 2-week washout period.

At the beginning and end of each of the three diets, the researchers measured blood pressure, blood lipids, body weight and body fat.

A total of 36 participants completed the study.

Bottom Line: This randomized, crossover trial examined the effects of a higher-fat, lower-carb DASH diet on blood pressure and blood lipids.

FINDING 1: DAIRY FAT DID NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT BLOOD PRESSURE

Both the standard DASH diet and the higher-fat DASH diet reduced blood pressure to a similar extent, compared to the control diet, as shown in the chart below.

However, blood pressure was significantly lower two weeks after the participants had finished the higher-fat DASH diet, suggesting delayed effects.

This means that eating more saturated dairy fat on the DASH diet does not adversely affect blood pressure.

Other studies have found that modifying the standard DASH diet by replacing carbs with unsaturated fat or protein yields similar or greater improvements in blood pressure.

Bottom Line: The standard DASH diet and the higher-fat DASH diet reduced blood pressure to a similar extent, compared to the control diet.

FINDING 2: HIGHER-FAT DASH DIET REDUCED TRIGLYCERIDES

The DASH diet and the higher-fat DASH diet had different effects on the blood lipid profile. The higher-fat DASH diet reduced the levels of triglycerides, as shown in the chart below.

This modest reduction in triglycerides may be explained by the lower amounts of carbs in the higher-fat DASH diet, compared to the standard DASH diet.

Bottom Line: The higher-fat DASH diet reduced triglycerides, compared to the standard DASH diet, due to the lower carb content of the higher-fat diet.

FINDING 3: EFFECTS ON LDL PEAK DIAMETER

High levels of small, low-density lipoproteins (LDL) have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

In the present study, the conventional DASH diet reduced the peak diameter of the LDL particles, but the higher-fat DASH diet increased the peak diameter, compared to the control diet.

This means that the higher-fat DASH diet may have caused a modest increase in LDL particle size.

In fact, there was a trend for higher levels of large LDL particles with the higher-fat DASH diet, but the findings were not significant.

Previous studies have shown that reduced carb and sugar intake may cause a shift from smaller to larger LDL particles, explaining the present findings.

Bottom Line: The higher-fat DASH diet increased LDL peak diameter, whereas the standard DASH reduced the LDL peak diameter. Large LDL size has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

FINDING 4: NO INCREASE IN LDL-CHOLESTEROL

The higher-fat DASH diet did not increase levels of LDL-cholesterol, compared to the standard DASH diet.

This is inconsistent with studies showing that replacing carbs or unsaturated fats with saturated fats increases LDL-cholesterol.

The authors speculate that the DASH diet may have characteristics that prevent the rise in LDL-cholesterol typically associated with a higher intake of saturated fats.

Bottom Line: The higher-fat DASH diet did not increase LDL-cholesterol, compared to the standard DASH.

LIMITATIONS

This study appears to have been designed and implemented well.

It was a crossover trial, meaning that all participants were on all three diets during different study periods, separated by a 2-week washout period.

The purpose of the washout period was to prevent the previous diet from affecting the results of the next diet.

This washout, however, doesn’t appear to have worked in all cases, since there were some prolonged effects of the higher-fat DASH diet on blood pressure. The reason for this is unexplained.

Other limitations include a small number of participants and a relatively short study period.

Bottom Line: This study did not have any serious limitations. However, the 2-week washout period between diets may not have been long enough with respect to blood pressure.

SUMMARY AND REAL-LIFE APPLICATION

In short, this study shows that eating slightly more saturated dairy fat while on the DASH diet does not affect its beneficial effects on blood pressure.

Also, it did not have any adverse effects on the blood lipid profile.

A lower-carb, higher-fat DASH diet is a healthy, equally effective option, which may be easier to follow than the standard DASH diet.

Probiotics And Blood Sugar Control in Diabetics

Imbalanced gut microbiota may be one of the underlying causes of type 2 diabetes, and changing this environment may help improve symptoms.

Recently, a team of scientists examined the effects of beneficial, probiotic bacteria on blood sugar control in type 2 diabetics.

Here is a detailed summary of their findings, published in Clinical Nutrition.

BACKGROUND

Type 2 diabetes has been associated with dysbiosis — an imbalance in the bacterial community in the gut.

Two studies even suggest that high numbers of undesirable gut bacteria may play a direct role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Supplementing regularly with probiotics may help change the gut environment. In diabeticsLactobacillus probiotics may have beneficial effects on blood sugar control and blood lipids.

STUDY REVIEWED

A group of scientists from Brazil looked at the effects of probiotic supplementation on several markers of diabetes.

Clinical application of probiotics in type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

BASIC STUDY DESIGN

This was a 6-week, randomized controlled trial examining the effects of probiotics on blood sugar control, blood lipids and inflammatory markers.

A total of 45 men and women with type 2 diabetes participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to one of two groups:

  • Probiotic group: Participants in this group consumed 120 grams of fermented goat’s milk every day for 6 weeks. The milk contained two kinds of probiotics,Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis.
  • Control group: Participants in this group consumed 120 grams of conventional, fermented goat’s milk per day. It contained the probiotic Streptococcus thermophilus.

At the beginning and the end of the study, the researchers measured blood sugar markers, insulin, blood lipids and inflammatory markers.

Bottom Line: This was a 6-week, randomized controlled trial examining the effects of probiotics on blood sugar control, blood lipids, inflammation and other health factors in people with type 2 diabetes.

FINDING 1: PROBIOTICS IMPROVED BLOOD SUGAR

HbA1c is short for glycated hemoglobin. It forms when hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body, joins with sugar (glucose).

Your HbA1c levels indicate how high your blood sugar levels have been in the past weeks or months, on average.

Like HbA1c, fructosamine is a glycated protein that reflects blood sugar levels in the previous 2 or 3 weeks.

In the present study, HbA1c and fructosamine both decreased significantly in the group that received probiotics. The graph below shows the results for fructosamine:

Conversely, fasting levels of blood sugar, insulin or insulin resistance did not change in either group. Taken together, these findings suggest that probiotics may improve blood sugar control in type 2 diabetics.

This is supported by previous studies showing that eating yogurt containingLactobacillus acidophilus for 6–8 weeks may reduce blood sugar and HbA1c in diabetic individuals.

Bottom Line: Drinking goat’s milk containing Lactobacillus acidophilusandBifidobacterium animalis appeared to improve fructosamine and HbA1c levels, compared to goat’s milk containing Streptococcus thermophilus.

FINDING 2: PROBIOTICS IMPROVED BLOOD LIPIDS

There was a significant difference in the changes in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol between groups, as seen in the chart below.

Levels of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol increased significantly in the control group, but went down slightly in the probiotics group.

HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides did not change in either group.

Previous studies have also shown that Lactobacillus acidophilus may reduce total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol in type 2 diabetics.

Bottom Line: Drinking milk containing Lactobacillus acidophilus andBifidobacterium animalis promoted a better blood lipid profile, compared to milk that contained Streptococcus thermophilus.

FINDING 3: GOAT’S MILK MAY REDUCE INFLAMMATION

Systemic inflammation may be an underlying factor in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Therefore, the researchers measured levels of several inflammatory markers, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and resistin.

TNF-α and resistin decreased significantly in both groups over the course of the study. For this reason, the researchers concluded that drinking fermented goat’s milk may improve inflammation.

Bottom Line: Drinking fermented goat’s milk that contained probiotics appeared to reduce inflammation. This happened in both groups.

LIMITATIONS

This study had several shortfalls.

First, levels of HbA1c were significantly higher in the probiotic group at the beginning of the study. This might have affected the decrease in HbA1c in the probiotic group.

Second, the control group got fermented milk that contained the probiotic bacteriaStreptococcus thermophilus, which may have health benefits different from those ofLactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis.

In a controlled trial, the experimental and control groups must not differ from each other except through the variables that are to be tested, which in this case are the probiotic effects of L. acidophilus and B. animalis.

For this reason, the study may not have had a true control group.

Bottom Line: The study’s design is questionable and it had a few limitations that make its results difficult to interpret.

SUMMARY AND REAL-LIFE APPLICATION

In short, the study suggests that the probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilusandBifidobacterium animalis may have health benefits in people with type 2 diabetes, compared to Streptococcus thermophilus.

They improved the blood lipid profile and appeared to have beneficial effects on blood sugar control.

This study adds to the growing evidence that probiotic bacteria can have wide-ranging health benefits.

Fat Burning Workouts for Women – Best Ways To Get That Flat Tummy

In this article, we have compiled a list of fat burning workouts for women which are known for the quick results and ease of practice. But these workouts, for sure, ask for consistency. Make a habit of following these workouts at least 5 times a week and you would start noticing the results yourself. We know how desperate you are to know how to lose belly fat for womenwhich is why we have compiled a list of fat burning workouts for women that help to burn belly fat and to get you in shape both at home and at a gym.

Staying in shape and looking smart go hand in hand with hard work. Especially when you have a body that loves to give home to those sticky fats. It takes a few munches out of the line to gain weight but losing those few pounds could stretch over the months. The tedious task of burning that stubborn fat is best done by setting a workout routine. But the thing to keep in mind in here is to stay consistent with the workout; either you spare five minutes for it or an hour, keep it on daily basis. Be it a morning walk or a night stroll, biking or swimming, gym workout or a few crunches in your living room, consistency is the key.

When we talk about weight gain and fats, we come across the fact that women all around the world have a higher tendency to gain weight compared to men, owing to the factors of childbirth and excessive hormonal changes in their bodies. Once the fat accumulates, it becomes hard to lose and the worry starts.

The first thing a woman should know is to love her body no matter how fat she is, hating yourself is not the solution. Obesity and excessive weight invite a number of diseases and malfunctions in the body, as it affects the efficiency of the organs; diabetes and hypertension are top of them. A healthy body is much more important than a beautiful body and luckily it is no more a dream now.

Fat burning workouts for women at home

Mentioned below are five simple, yet promising fat burning exercises for women that would give your metabolism a boost, are easy to practice and could be done at home without any instructor. If you keep following these five basic exercises with consistency and diet control, you can lose weight fast and get fit in even lesser time. All these cardio workouts could be done at home easily as they do not require any equipment. You could practice them during cooking or laundry washing as well. All you need is the motivation to stay in shape.

  • Skip off that stubborn fat with rope: Rope skipping is known to be one of the oldest forms of cardio that boosts metabolism and increases blood flow, helping you burn calories and lose pounds. Make sure to stay light on your feet and stretch your arms, working through your wrists while jumping and inhaling. Exhale on the way down to the ground and repeat the whole thing again and keep increasing the count every day a little.

 

  • Crunch away the saggy belly: Women with heavy fat on their tummies feel the crunches to be the easiest workout, probably because you get to lay down in this workout, who knows. Lie down on your back, stretch your legs to their full, tuck your tummy in as much as you can, put your both hands under your head, head facing the sky. Now lift your neck and put full pressure on the tummy while you do so. This will help squeeze your upper tummy. Make several repetitions.

 

  • Pedal off the abdominal fat: Cycling does not only help get your tummy tucked, it affects your whole body and helps build up the muscle, increases your stamina and strengthens your heart. If cycling in outdoor is not a feasible option for you, then that living room rug of yours could help you a lot. Just lie down on your back, lift your legs bent at the knee, both hands behind your head, lift your head and start pedalling your feet in the air. You will feel the involvement of the whole lower body in this workout which is promising for weight loss.

 

  • Jump to pump the heart: Turn the beat high on the stereo and start jumping on your feet, let the energy in your arms swing out, jump, kick, punch the air and make your heart beat faster. This is the most enjoyable workout. Open your legs in the air, twist the feet, enjoy the beat and bring on the heat.

 

  • Jogging off those muffin cups: Jogging too is known to be the simplest yet one of the best ways to lose belly fat. All you need to do is to find a place in the house where you could make a little run job easily. Now inhale and start jogging forwards, taking little steps while moving your arms in a cycling motion. Once you get in a flow, start leaping a bit faster.

Trouble-free fat burning exercises for women in gym

The women who get to the gym for a workout, have one major advantage over the women who workout at home, which is a company. Being alone at home for the workout does not give you the motivation that you get at the gym. If you want to know how to lose stomach fat at gym faster, just get a friend along to gym and you both will keep each other motivated for weight loss. The effective weight burning workouts at the gym also depend majorly on the availability of required equipment.

If you wish to build up some muscle along with losing weight, start lifting weights. Pick little weights at the beginning and then increase with time. Set a routine for the gym and give yourself some rest days too. This will help you not to get bored of the same routine each day.

Elliptical Trainer: it is a stationary machine which imitates the staircase movement. It could be used for running, jogging and brisk walk. As it does not exert extensive pressure as that of a treadmill, starting with this basic machine would be enjoyable too.

Treadmill: Treadmill is a gym trainer that is designed mainly for running and jogging. Having a heavy belt at the foot that you have to push backwards with extensive force, the mill helps your muscle get build up in the legs and helps reduce the body fat.

Benches: once inside the gym, you will find a number of benches along the weights. Each bench is designed to facilitate fat burning. For every specific bench, you gym trainer will instruct you differently. Get the tummy tucker and burn fat on belly.

Ball: Those colorful huge balls in the gym are great for losing tummy fat. Lying down on them or using them in aerobics will boost up your weight loss process.

Fat burning foods for women – Food that helps to lose your pounds!

If you love to eat and run away from any weight loss programs just because you can’t starve yourself, here is the good news for you. You can eat as much as you like even for the weight loss. But change the choice of foods towards healthy and nutritious ones. You would be amazed to know that there are several foods that target your belly fat directly and help tighten the tummy. Here at MassGainSource we have compiled a list of 7 fat burning foods for women that are not only nutritious but also aid remarkably in tummy tucking.

  • Grape Fruit: Top on our list here is the grapefruit-undoubtedly a magical fruit. It helps lower the insulin levels in the body which in turn promotes weight loss and a fast metabolism.
  • Lemon: Not only would lemon help you look slimmer, it would help you look prettier too as it helps increase the metabolism of the body and brings a natural glow to the skin making you look younger.
  • Watermelon: The role of the watermelon in weight loss is even prettier than its looks. The excess amount of water in watermelon promotes digestion and helps you feel lighter. From now on, try snacking on watermelon in place of pizza.
  • Almonds: Almonds are rich in protein, they kick-start your metabolism and keep your tummy feel full.
  • Green Tea: This natural tea has known for its wonders in the field of weight loss. Helping one’s body get rid of toxins and keep you energised for the whole day, replacing your soft drinks with green tea could be marvellous.
  • Pineapple: Like watermelon, pineapple is rich in its water content and low in calories. Take it in the form of plain juice or add other fruits to make a punch, this fruit would help tighten that saggy tummy a lot.
  • Cucumber: Cucumber is the best kind of salad too and helps burn fat since its 80% water. Water increases the metabolic activity of the body and helps you lose fast.

Plain water…not so plain!

Drinking plenty of water helps a lot in weight loss; it keeps the body hydrated and helps a lot to digest food. The more water you take in, the higher will be the metabolism in your body. Drinking water on an empty stomach is known for its remarkable weight loss effects. Drinking a glass of water right before you start meal helps you feel full earlier and keeps your hand off the plate. Wherever you go, keep a small bottle of water along with you. Drink, refill and lose.

A Little change in the habits

Say goodbye to those bad habits and get in shape. Next time when you go for your 12 am fridge checking, try drinking water and move away from the fridge. When you have the option to choose between a fruit and a candy bar, go for natural one. You could spice up your diet with the flavors you love, make smoothies from fruits and vegetables, enjoy colorful salad bowls, squeeze delicious juices from seasonal fruits, mixes those juices up and enjoy the cocktails, make sweet and salty combinations out of nuts…in short you could do a lot that you like and enjoy. To make your diet extra effective to help you loss weight you can mix it up with supplements like garcinia cambogia, glucomannan, or cumin.

Partner up with a member of a family to keep you motivated at home and a friend outside home. With the change in these habits, add the fat burning workouts for women to your routine too and in no time you would see wonders.

Be sporty…get in shape!

When we face the question how to lose belly fat for women being sporty can help you a lot and it will keep you happy too. If you get bored of those evening workouts, try going out to some outdoor sports club. Join a team and start playing. Sports are the healthiest of habits as they keep both your mind and body healthy and active.

The best sport for women is basketball in my opinion. It keeps you active throughout the game and burns a lot of calories too. Or you could go swimming with a friend and race. Swimming helps build up your muscle and stamina both. If you like to cycle, go to some nearby park and pedal away the fats and worries together. If you have a knack of walking, go for an evening stroll. The indoor games also help you lose weight. Table tennis, for instance, is an easy to play game while it helps you burn the fats a lot.

In short, there are many ways to aid you in your fat burning process. Just go picking the one that suits you and get in shape in no time. Just remember that consistency is the key for everything to show some result. Good luck!

Losing 5-8 Kg Weight In a Week – Formula Developed by General Motors

The GM Diet also known as the General Motors diet is simply a weight loss management plan. As the name suggests, the plan was developed by General Motors Corporation (GM). GM developed the plan back in 1985 to help their employees stay in shape. The weight loss management plan or diet involves consumption of certain foods per day which is in contrast to diets such as the South Beach and Atkins diet which utilize weekly schedules.

The General Motors diet began as an in-house program solely for General Motors employees. The program is now very popular worldwide among individuals looking for effective weight loss management plans. The General Motors diet can help a person shed 10 to 17 lbs in just 7 days.

Although weight loss is the ultimate goal of the General Motors diet, the diet offers other weight loss related health benefits such as boosting confidence/self-esteem. Losing weight makes someone look and feel good. The diet also cleanses/detoxifies the body which comes with many other health benefits such as; increased energy, better weight loss management, and a stronger immune system just to mention a few key benefits.

DOES THE GM DIET REALLY WORK?

Although the GM diet has been popular for years, there have been some questions about the diet’s effectiveness. Recent studies, however, confirm that the diet is needed effective in triggering fast weight loss. While typical weight loss diets can only help a person shed at most 1 pound a week, the General Motors diet can help you shed many times more weight in a week (up to 17 lbs).

It is, however, important to recognize the fact that the General Motors diet can be a bit overwhelming especially to first-time users since the diet requires a radical change in someone’s diet i.e. reduced meat servings and a drastic increase in the amount of raw fruits and vegetables eaten. It is also important to note that the GM diet works best when it is supplemented with regular exercise.

According to nutritional experts, GM dieters should maintain a regular exercise routine to boost their energy levels and get the best weight loss results because the diet can leave a person feeling tired and weak when followed on it’s own. To boost effectiveness, the GM diet should be supplemented by routine exercise lasting 10 minutes a day to speed up the body’s metabolism as well as help the body cope with the diet requirement.

PREPARING FOR THE GENERAL MOTORS DIET

Individuals who are planning on following the General Motors diet should be able to withstand; occasional feelings of hunger, excessive sweating and momentary weakness as these are the most popular GM diet side effects experienced during the first few days on the diet routine.

One of the best ways of reducing the effects of those side effects is staying hydrated. Dieters are advised to take enough water per day; 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Staying hydrated is important since the body requires a lot of water for metabolism and energy production as it welcomes the effects of the General Motors diet.

It is also important to note that individuals who follow the GM diet regularly tend to suffer from, increased body heat, as well as incessant muscle weakness and pain and the best way of dealing with these effects, is to stay hydrated.

GM dieters are also required to avoid alcohol when preparing for the diet since alcohol compromises the effects of the diet. Alcohol should also be avoided because it causes water retention which prevents dieters from eliminating excess fluids in their systems.

GM DIET STEPS: HOW TO FOLLOW THE GM DIET

Step 1: Eat fruits only on the first day. You can eat any kind of fruits you want or like except bananas. It is, however recommendable to consume more watermelon and cantaloupe.

Step 2: Eat Vegetables only on the second day. Eat plenty of fresh and raw or slightly cooked vegetables of your choice on the second day. You should eat until you are full. There are no limits on the type and amount of vegetables you should eat, however, it is important to consume a variety of vegetables as apposed to a few types. You should also avoid using oil or coconut when cooking vegetables. Also, have one large boiled potato for breakfast.

Step 3: Eat to mixture of fruits and vegetables on the third day. Eat any mixture of both fruits and vegetables in any quantity i.e. as much as you want. Don’t eat bananas and potatoes in the third day.

Step 4: Eat bananas and milk only on the fourth day. On day 4, you can eat as many bananas as you want. ideally, consume 8 bananas and 3 glasses of milk. You can take 1 bowl of vegetables soup if you feel the need to do so.

Step 5: Have a feast on the fifth day. Eat 1 cup of rice and 6 whole tomatoes. Drink 12 glasses of water to get rid of the excess uric acid your body is producing at this stage.

Step 6: Eat vegetables and rice only on the sixth day. Eat 1 of rice as well as all the vegetables you want whether cooked and uncooked.

Step 7: Consume more vegetables on the seventh day. Eat 1 cup of rice, drink fruit juice and consume all the vegetables you want.

Step 8: Weight yourself. On the eighth day, weight yourself. You should be 5-8 kilograms lighter than 1 week ago. In case you want to lose more weight, repeat the program as much as you want. You should, however, rest for 3 days before any repetition to eliminate side effects and boost effectiveness.

GENERAL MOTORS DIET TIPS

It is important to consume plenty of water for the diet to work effectively. Also, if you feel hungry all the time during the diet, there is a high possibility you aren’t following the diet correctly.

The above information summarises everything you need to know about the GM diet from the definition to whether the diet works, how to prepare the diet as well as diet steps.

After going through the above information, you shouldn’t have a problem understanding everything there is to know about the diet.

Numerous studies have proven that the diet is effective in triggering fast weight loss. Although the diet has some side effects, they can be managed by following the diet steps to the letter as well as staying hydrated and resting as recommended. It is also important to complement the diet with exercise for you to enjoy the best results.

Although it wasn’t in GM’s diet plan but supplementing your diet with Apple Cider Vinegar, garcinia cambogia, and glucomannan can make the process go even faster.

Protein Intake And Weight Loss

From being a fervid gourmet to letting the evenings go by at the mercy of a salad, all it takes are few extra pounds and nearly the whole world suggests you to give up on every sumptuous thing one could ever think of.

I completely agree with the fact that shedding weight requires putting away many scrumptious delicacies and bonnes bouches, but does that mean all you got now to survive is some lettuce and raw veggies?

Nay! Swap your low calorie or high-carb diet with rich protein intake and lose those extra inches from your body by eating the food that’s delicious and satisfying.

Want To Know How?

Let’s take a deeper dig into what protein does to your body, and how it affects weight loss?

Proteins and Satiety

This might come out as a breaker, but opting for a high protein diet could help you in dropping your calorie intake by 400 calories per day or even more than that.

Higher intake of proteins in your diet results in the secretion of more ‘appetite-reducing’ hormones like ‘cholecystokinin, GLP-1, peptide YY’ and reduce the level of hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’; this makes you feel full for a longer period of time, and consume fewer calories naturally.

Protein and Metabolism

Even digesting proteins burn a higher amount of calories compared to carbs and fats!

Yes, the high thermic effect of proteins makes your body burn 80-100 calories extra per day in its digestion. The thermic effect of proteins is 30% compared to the 10% of carbs, and 3% of fats.  If we go by the listed thermic effect of the proteins, 30 out of every 100 calories you consume in a day are burned in digesting and metabolizing the food.

Protein and Muscle Loss

One of the major drawbacks of going on a low protein diet is the associated muscle loss and metabolic slowdown while losing weight.

In order to look fit and lean, cutting down calories isn’t enough; an effective weight loss goal could only be achieved with sufficient protein intake and strength training.

Eating plenty of protein would not only prevent the muscle loss from your body but also increase the metabolism rate of your body, leading to healthy weight loss.

Protein Suppresses Cravings

As I mentioned before, a high protein intake reduces the level of hunger hormones and keeps your appetite satisfied for a longer period of time. This also leads to a decrease in cravings and the desire to munch at unsuitable timings.

It makes really easy for a person to stick to a healthy diet and not include additional calories into his/her daily eating regime by extra munching. You make your fat burning process go faster by drinking small amounts of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in water and taking cumin or berberine regularly along with your diet.

Protein Foods

From the hair on the top of your head to the nail of your toe, proteins are vital for the overall strength of the body, which makes it a prime nutrient one shouldn’t discount on.

Consuming a protein-rich diet provides essential amino acids (AKA the building blocks of proteins) that the body cannot produce itself. Out of the total 22 amino acids, 9 are the ones that are essential for an optimum effect on weight.

How Healthy Are They?

Being a cheaper option compared to the supplements, protein foods help you learn how to indulge into healthy food choices to sustain your body strength throughout your life. Where meat items like steak, pork, eggs, chicken, and tuna are a complete source of all the amino acids that your body can’t make, the vegetarian sources lack one or more amino acid, but could be combined together for a wholesome protein dosage.

Protein Supplements

Protein supplements are the first option that many people pick when they decide to go for strength training, weight loss or try to improve their body’s strength capacity in any way.

Contrary to the foods like chicken, fish, and beef that may require more extensive planning in preparation, protein supplements like powder and shakes are a quick and convenient version of such protein filled foods. All you have to do is mix the powder with water or milk and there you have a high protein meal ready in just a few seconds.

How Healthy Are They?

Just like any other protein source, the powders or shakes provide your body a quick protein boost and ensure that your body gets an ideal amount of protein required for building muscle while losing fat.

The supplements are as healthy as chicken or egg whites till the time you consume them as per the requirement of your body.

Whey Vs Casein

In terms of popularity, the two protein powders that are widely used are Whey and Casein. Often referred as the “fast” protein, whey is recommended as a part of the meal that surrounds your workout sessions; reason being it is absorbed and digested by the body as quickly as possible.

On the other hand, Casein protein is slowly digested and usually recommended when an individual needs a non-workout related protein supplement. Casein is suggested as an ideal source of protein for the last meal of the day as the body requires a little amount of protein while sleeping too for recovering/repairing.

How Much Is Adequate?

The Dietary Reference Intake to avoid protein deficiency in the body ranges from 46 grams for an average female to 56 grams for an average male. However, in order to lose weight, adding proteins at 30% of the calories, which is about 150 grams on a 2000 calorie diet has been found optimal.

Also you must calculate how many carbs you need per day to reach your weight loss goals.

Some of the high-protein foods are rich in saturated fats and their excessive consumption raise the risks of inviting cardiovascular diseases, along with high cholesterol levels, and strain on kidneys. That’s why, before diving headfirst into a protein-rich diet, consult a dietician who’s through with how the protein works and keep a keen check on the quality of proteins you are adding in your diet regime.

Keep track on your nutrition in the beginning to get expected results. With the right amount proteins and sufficient strength training, losing weight won’t be a distant goal.

Sagging Skin After Weight Loss? Here Are 7 Tips To Tighten it

Shedding the extra pounds is a great achievement that requires plenty of rewards, but the challenge of a loose skin can be frustrating. Some people feel that it gives them a sense of winning a battle in one field and losing in the other. The good news is that there are several means through which you can give a boost to your skin’s elasticity and make it tighter after a few weeks or months. The outcome will mostly depend on how much weight you have lost and the time your skin has been overstretched, plus your age.

Here are seven tips to tighten your skin after weight loss:

  1. Keep Your Skin Moisturized

Your skin can never get better if you skip using a regular moisturizer. Applying a moisturizer containing vitamin E will help keep your skin moist while giving room for the growth of new healthier cells. Also, a regular moisturizer will diminish photoaging of the skin which is commonly characterized by fine lines and wrinkles. You can use natural ingredients to moisturize your skin, such as coconut oil or olive oil. These two are common ingredients in many body lotions present in the market today.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water every day is not only good for your overall wellbeing but also helps hydrate and tighten your skin after weight loss. Besides, it makes your skin smoother and radiant. Have it in mind that water plays important roles in nearly all body functions, and if many are compromised, the impact might reflect on your skin. Aim to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water on a daily basis. Staying well-hydrated help improves the elasticity of your skin.

  1. Engage in Weight Resistance Exercises

About Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise, weight resistance workouts make your muscles strong by creating a layer of muscle beneath your skin. This makes your skin tighter while diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

To tighten your skin and strengthen your muscles, experts recommend strength training exercises at least thrice every week. Strength training is also very important particularly if you have significantly dropped your caloric intake. This is because when you lose fat, there is a likelihood of losing muscles as well. By rebuilding your muscles, it will also help make your skin tighter.

  1. Get Body Massages

Everybody loves a good massage because it keeps the body refreshed. But it can also help avert premature aging signs and make your skin tighter. Massages help increase the flow of blood which plays a vital role in the health of your skin. Consider getting a nice massage every week from a therapist or your partner. You can also do it to yourself. Try massage oils that contain essential nutrients and relaxing scents to keep you calm.

  1. Avoid Extended Exposure to Sunlight

Extended exposure to sunlight has been linked with many skin problems including sunburns, age spots, blemishes, and cancer. It can also diminish the elasticity of your skin and thus should be avoided. For the good of your skin, limit the time you spend sunbathing out there in sand beaches. This also applies to a tanning bed because such rays can cause damages to your skin cells.

In addition, keep off from swimming pools containing chlorinated water as chlorine is another culprit that ruins your skin cells. If you must sunbathe or swim, always remember to limit your time and shower afterward. Don’t forget to use a natural moisturizer rich in vitamins and other nutritious ingredients for your skin, such as Aloe Vera.

  1. Make Dietary Changes

Whatever you eat can have a positive and negative impact on the health and appearance of your skin. It is evident that you are on a healthy diet plan because you have managed to lose weight through noninvasive means. But there is much you can do to tighten your loose skin. One study found that consumption of dietary gelatin improves skin’s elasticity.

Gelatin can be obtained from bone broth, oxtail, poultry feet or short ribs or gelatin supplement in the form of powder. Other foods that have been shown to increase the elasticity of the skin include oysters, seafood, fruits, and vegetables. Go for foods containing selenium, zinc, vitamin C and carotenoids that are effective in boosting skin’s elasticity.

  1. Be Patient

It must have taken you time before achieving your new weight, and it might take you longer before you can tighten your skin. Rapid weight loss makes your skin lose its elasticity and can take a while before your body shrinks to your new size. You should go for weight loss strategies that are gradual if you don’t want to get a sagging skin, for a gradual process you can supplement your diet with berberine or probiotic and you must calculate how many carbs you need per day and maintain that carbs quantity in your daily diet. If your skin is already sagging, give it adequate time and work towards improving its elasticity.

Conclusion

When you lose weight fast it leads to the loose skin. You can tighten your skin through these tips though it may take some time. To avoid loose skin, always opt for mild weight loss techniques that enable your body to fit the new size of your skin. In other words, weight loss and skin tightening should go hand in hand to avoid a loose skin.

 

Oranges: A Good Source of Vitamin C but What Else You Get?

 

What’s tangy, sweet, healthy, and a favorite for both kids and adults to snack on? Oranges! There are plenty of reasons why we are encouraged to consume at least one orange a day. People prefer snacking on oranges or adding them to smoothies as they’re relatively easy to eat. Just peel and immediately enjoy!

Researchers believe that oranges originated in Southeast Asia around 4000 BC. From there they spread to India, where European traders were then exposed to the fruit. These sweet oranges were then introduced to Europe in the fifteenth century. Afterward, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon brought oranges to Florida in the sixteenth century. Finally, Spanish missionaries were responsible for the introduction of oranges to California in the eighteenth century.

Nutrition Content of Oranges

A single orange contains over 170 various phytochemicals and more than 60 flavonoids.

Specifically, this citrus fruit provides the human body with energy, dietary fiber, healthy carbs, as well as protein. In addition, it’s low in calories and has zero saturated fats, cholesterol, or sodium.

For the vitamins, it has a very high vitamin C content. It also possesses folates, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin A. And for the minerals, it boasts of potassium, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and zinc.

Benefits of Oranges

Since this fruit is packed with lots of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, it’s no surprise that it can provide your body with a number of benefits. Check out a few of them below.

Helps with the Heart

The fiber content in oranges lowers cholesterol levels. What it does is it carries excess cholesterol compounds in the gut, and then pushes them out during the elimination process.

Other compounds contribute to heart health too, like potassium. It allows electricity to flow through your body, which ensures that your heart keeps on beating. If you have low levels of potassium, you could develop an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).

Oranges are also high in folate, which lowers homocysteine levels (a cardiovascular risk factor). And finally, these fruits also have flavonoids that regulate high blood pressure.

Combats Cancer

The vitamin C content in oranges helps in lowering the risk of colon cancer. What it does is it prevents DNA mutations from taking place. High fiber intake also shows a connection to a lesser likelihood of developing colorectal cancer.

Also, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that regularly taking in bananas, oranges, and orange juice in the first 2 years of life reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

In fact, this simple fruit is abundant in citrus limonoids, which are proven to help fight against a number of cancers. These include breast, lung, stomach, colon, liver, and skin.

Aids in Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, oranges are one of the top superfoods for people with diabetes. Their high fiber content lowers blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes. Fiber also improves blood sugar, insulin, and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Encourages a Healthy Digestion

The fiber in this citrus fruit aids in digestion by stimulating digestive juices and making sure you have regular bowel movements. The fiber adds bulk to the digested food and reduces the transit time of the waste. This prevents digestive issues, like constipation, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Prevents Ulcers

Stomach ulcers are painful, excruciating sores that from inside your stomach and mess up your digestive system. That’s where the high vitamin C content comes in. According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people with high vitamin C diets were less likely to develop these stomach ulcers.

Toughens Up Immunity

Due to its high vitamin C content, oranges are a great addition do the daily diet when you get sick. Vitamin C protects the body’s cells by scavenging and neutralizing harmful free radicals. It also boosts a person’s immune system when dealing with everyday viruses and infections.

Boosts Brain Development

The folate and folic acid content in oranges promote proper brain development and ensures that it stays in tip-top condition. For pregnant women, eating this fruit is helpful as it has compounds that prevents the baby from having neurological issues later.

In addition, this fruit contains polyphenols, which are vital in the development of learning and memory functions of the brain.

Improves Eye Health

The American Optometric Association states that vitamin C reduces the risk of cataracts and also slows down the progression of macular degeneration. Oranges also have carotenoid compounds, which prevent age-related macular degeneration. This is an incurable eye condition that blurs central vision and could lead to blindness. And lastly, vitamin A helps your eyes absorb light. How? It keeps the membranes surrounding your eyes healthy. This  improves night vision as well.

Promotes Healthier Skin

Vitamin C protects the skin by fighting against skin damage due to pollution and too much sun exposure. This vitamin is very necessary in collagen production, and it also reduces wrinkles and can improve the skin’s overall texture and appearance, making you look younger than you actually are.

Word of Caution

Like with a lot of things, make sure to take oranges in moderation. If you eat too much, there will be some upsetting side effects. For example, having too much of the fiber content will affect digestion. This causes abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Also, eating several fruits in just one day may lead to weight gain. And yes, there’s a such a thing as having too much vitamin C. If you take in more than 2,000mg of the vitamin in a day, it will cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, insomnia, or even kidney stones.

Random Facts

Here are some random facts about oranges that you probably didn’t know. Go ahead and amaze your friends and family with these tidbits.

  • The orange is a hybrid of the pomelo and the tangerine.
  • Oranges are actually modified berries.
  • The actual fruit came before the color. The word orange comes from the Arabic naranj. It was in 1542 that the word orange was first used as the name of a color.
  • A typical orange has 10 segments.
  • Around 85 percent of all oranges produced are for orange juice.

Further Readings: Some newly found facts and figures about Apple Cider Vinegar and garcinia cambogia and an in-depth article about weight loss probiotic