Chronic Disease Caused by Consumer Demand

23 05 2016
Traveling and enjoying good company keeps a mind and body fit healthy. Astoria OR, column.

Traveling and enjoying good company keeps a mind and body healthy.  Marc at the Column, Astoria OR.

One of the first articles I wrote in November 2007 was inspired by a network news and publications article titled “Is Cancer in Your Tub?”  What caught my attention were two glycol ether solvents used in everyday household, food and hygiene products.  Also a key ingredient used in anti-freeze.  Well I knew I didn’t want to drink or eat anti-freeze, so this caught my eye.

The thing I didn’t put into perspective back then was how the consumer created a convenience demand in the marketplace.  A choice that continues to make the populous sick and cause disease.  And the best way to bring “you” the reader up to speed is to start from the beginning… 8 years ago.

What exactly are these two solvents and why would an anti-freeze ingredient be in our home cleaners, hygiene and food products?  “Glycol ethers are a group of solvents based on alkyl ethers of ethylene glycol or Propylene Glycol (PG) commonly used in paints and cleaners.  These solvents typically have a higher boiling point, together with the favorable solvent properties of lower-molecular weight ethers and alcohols [Wikipedia 2016].”

AntiFreeze

Note the main Ingredient: ethylene glycol and Warning Label.

Note the main Ingredient: ethylene glycol and Warning Label.

“Ethylene glycol are still used in anti-freeze preparation, household, automotive cleaners, laundry cleaners, etc.  Propylene glycol is also used in many of the same consumer products, such as home cleaners, hair, cosmetics, creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, pet foods, deodorants, etc. (GoodGuide 2011).”  The list of products containing both glycol ethers is long.

Propylene glycol is also used as a food stabilizer in many processed foods as I’m now more familiar.  And the FDA stands by their PG approval-to-market SAFE for human consumption like tens of thousands of other consumer chemicals.  “The Food and Drug Administration has classified Propylene Glycol as “generally recognized as safe,” which means that it is acceptable for use in flavorings, drugs, and cosmetics, and as a direct food additive. According to the World Health Organization, the acceptable dietary intake of propylene glycol is 25 mg of propylene glycol for every kilogram (kg) of body weight (ATSDR 2015).”

The unique qualities of PG is it “provides unique inherent properties with regard to holding/attracting both water- and oil-based substances.  In food, it is used to retain food color pigments and provide for homogeneous distribution within the mixture.”

    IMG_20130405_175029It is also used as a “Solvent and carrier for flavor and color in food and beverage manufacturing processes, for drinks, biscuits, cakes, sweets.  ‘Thickener, clarifier and stabilizer in food and beverage such as beer, salad dressings or baking mixtures (PO/PG 2016).”

PG is also used as the main liquid component of e-cigarettes.  For example, “PG exposure per puff of the Ruyan® e-cigarette.  The cartridge of the Ruyan® e-cigarette contains approximately 1g [or 1000mg’s] of PG, of which 0.9 g is extractable from the pad. The concentration of PG in the mouth from one drag of the Ruyan® e-cigarette (900 mg per cartridge, 300 puffs = 3mg) is 3 mg per mouthful.”

It should also be noted within the report there is an “Inhalational Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs)” citation.   “No MRLs for acute- or chronic-duration inhalation exposure to propylene glycol were derived because data are insufficient.”  And this report also highlights “Carcinogenicity.  Stating ‘There is no evidence that PG is a carcinogen.”

But a “SAFE use” contradiction is also apparent within the same report.  “MRLs of acute- or chronic duration inhalation… data are insufficient (Laugesen 2008).”  Or to better clarify and understand the meaning of this statement, ‘absent of long-term risk data on health’ OR ‘No Evidence for lack of long term data.’

To better relate to the FDA approval process, think about it this way.

NW Nutria

NW Nutria is not used in lab studies and is much more interesting to gander upon than a field mouse.

Most FDA approvals are based on animal studies of relatively short duration.  Whereas the data is extrapolated to make relative to human metabolism, weight, environment, habits, dosage, frequency etc.  One last point to make, we are humans, not rodents.  So one must ask… how relevant are these studies to human DNA and disease?  And how much pressure is there to release and approve a new product to market?   And once released don’t industries have something to loose should an approved SAFE chemical be recalled from the marketplace?  The answers to these questions are economically and politically by design and connected.  The short of it is, It’s all about special interest power, control and money!

To date, I was curious to see if GP was removed, banned or listed as a health risk on any consumer product.  Of course I wasn’t surprised to find anything of the kind.  However glycol ethers may be the least of consumer product toxin worries.

Prior to reading that November 2007 publication, consumer safety advocates warned the world years earlier of carcinogenic household items.      For instance,  On February 23 a “1998 CBS’s morning talk show, ‘This Morning’ reported the findings of a study from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Toxicology Program that sent shock waves throughout the cosmetics and personal care products industries.”

Personal hygiene should be replaced with green products to reduce health risk associated accumulative daily toxin uptake.

Personal hygiene and home cleaners can be replaced with green products to reduce health risk associated with daily toxin uptake.

Fast forward… the moment of truth, our everyday household items have carcinogenic toxins as exposed by various laboratory controlled studies.  They “confirm serious health issues with long term use of our FDA Qualified “SAFE” products! (Young 2011).”  [Shocker?  Not at all.  Simply look at the billions of dollars industries spend and profits made.  Changing profitable industry culture course is an act of God.]

During 2007 I also procured brochures from author Debra Lynn Dadd, “Please Protect Yourself from Household Toxics.”  I handed them out to clients for consumer safety information and audit of household products.

Clients audited bathroom and laundry cabinets. They replace all cleaning and hygiene products with natural/organic products.

Clients audited bathroom hygiene and laundry cabinets. They replaced toxic products with natural/organic ones.

I recommended they audit and remove the toxic products and go green.  And advised them to keep diaries of certain medical symptoms which had abated after removal of certain toxic products after reading Dadd‘s article.

She stated, “While certain people may be more sensitive than others, and some chemical(s) may bring on reactions only after many years of repeated exposure, I discovered household cleaning and bathing chemicals may bring on reactions only after many years of repeated exposure.”

Many of the home use product(s) that increased certain health risks listed in the brochure were cancer, birth defects, genetic changes, heart disease.  Literally any symptom imaginable both physical and psychological could be linked to a common household product.

“Scientist admit these toxic chemicals can lodge in our endocrine system contributing to thyroid problems, diabetes, weight gain, and infertility.  At greatest risk are fetuses, children, the elderly, and those who are already ill, but these chemicals are threatening the health of everyone, every day (Barry 2013).”

I also cited an AARP Bulletin from May 2008, Vol.49 No. 4, titled “Hazards at Home,” within that original 2007 article by Reed Karaim.  Making similar statements as Debra Lynn Dadd.  Karaim followed in suit, “older people are more likely to have conditions – such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes.”  Adding to the collective demographic concern “Older people are more like infants and children in their ability to fend off toxic assaults says Sandra Steingraber, the author of Living Downstream:  An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment.”

What's in your Laundry Room?

What’s in your Laundry Room?

Within the same Bulletin a statement of stern warning is made over the use of home “Cleaners – Chemicals to avoid in cleaners, says McRandle (Paul McRandle, Deputy Editor at the National Geographic Green Guide), run from ammonia, which is known to trigger asthma, elements in chlorine bleach, which is a lung irritant and will kill you if you swallow it, to things like glycol ethers, which are used to dissolve grime and dirt, and can cause nerve damage (Karaim 2008).”

PG is still listed safe by the FDA.  However, I’ve no doubt science will prove the long-term PG health risk effects through e-cig smoker data.  By studying habits of consumption, dose, toxicity and patients presenting similar “cause and effect” symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and disease connections, and discovery commonalities will occur over time.

Convenience does not come without a health risk price.

Convenience does not come without a health risk price.

The most disheartening and overwhelming reality is there are more chemicals used in foods and household products than ever before.  Including expanded use of glycol ethers in foods.  Also “Of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in the United States, most haven’t been adequately tested for their effects on human health (NRDC 2016).”

It appears most likely disease is linked to a cocktail of multiple consumer products, not just one.  “Chemicals found in household products may be causing significant increases in cancers, diabetes, obesity and falling fertility, the European Environment Agency has warned. ‘In recent decades, there has been a significant growth in many human diseases and disorders including breast and prostate cancer, male infertility and diabetes. ‘Many scientists think that this growth is connected to the ‘rising levels of exposure’ to mixtures of some chemicals in widespread use (Smith 2012).”

“Some of the most pervasive chemicals are used in plastic products, and are known as “endocrine disruptors.” Convenience food products are bagged, bottled and plastic lined canned containers.

Almost all food and drink containers have varying levels of toxins that leach into consumables.

Almost all food and drink containers have varying levels of toxins that leach into consumables.

“On February 19, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a report co-produced with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), titled: State of the Science of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals.” Concern over the increase of chemical use in convenience foods, household and personal use products.

My takeaway and interpretation of past and current trends, scientific studies and consumer health risk and industrial data; these chemicals are destroying or mutating DNA within cellular structures of endocrine [hormone] and neurological function leading to serious and chronic disease.

“The report suggests a ban of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may be needed to protect the health of future generations. ‘Health risks include: Non-descended testes in young males, breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, developmental effects on the nervous system in children, attention-deficit hyperactivity in children, thyroid cancer (Mercola 2013).”

Marc clearing his Northern CA backwoods property. Wilderness living has its perks.

Marc clearing his Northern CA backwoods property.  Wilderness lifestyle has its perks.  And is as close as I can get to the way the pioneers lived.

“In some ways, our ancestors had it easy. Because they didn’t have chemically treated food and chemically enhanced kitchenware, their diets and cooking practices exposed them to fewer toxic hazards (Breast Cancer Fund 2016).”

Unfortunately Big-Ag, food processors and manufactures see a huge demand for convenience products with chemicals that make our foods smell, and taste and look more appetizing with long storage life.   Including cheap and toxic convenient household and hygiene products.  We’re addicted to all of them.   As long as consumer convenience demand and profits are high and long term health risk is not connected to an FDA approved SAFE chemical… the toxic environmental uptake and increase of insidious disease won’t be in decline anytime soon.

Nothing has changed much after years of health risk warnings from consumer safety advocates, epidemiologists and independent lab studies, etc.   Chemicals used in products are on the rise and so is disease.

Big Ag-Corps may appear green. Health conscious consumers should qualify... was the product produced by a certified organic farm?

Big Ag-Corps may appear green.  Health conscious consumers should seek to qualify the quality of product on labels… I.e., was the product produced by a certified organic farm?

The big winners are Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Big-Ag and Health Care industries.  To include a plethora of consumer product and processor manufactures.  Why do I list Health care services and Big-Pharm industries?

Treating acute and chronic disease is big business.  Cures are not.

“If it’s not about the money, what is it?”  I’d say it’s 2-fold.  Customers need and want lower cost and convenience products.  And industries are more than happy to continue providing profitable and cheap product that meet demand.

Until consumer demand changes to provide healthier products for you and your family, there are things you can do to reduce household and environmental toxins.

Recommendations,

What can you do to protect your family?

What can I say. I like sponge Bob. But this ones not made out of plastic toxins.

What can I say. I like sponge Bob. Although not made out of plastic toxins… it is likely made of a percentage of synthetic materials with toxins.

1   Don’t give plastic toys to small children unless marked BPA or Phthalates free.  “On October 15, 2007, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 1108 (also known as the California Toxic Toys Bill), making California the first state in the country to ban the use of phthalates from children’s products (West 2016).”

2   Eat less processed and convenience foods and consume more whole foods.

3   Purchase organic ‘green’ home cleaners, cosmetics and personal hygiene products.

4   Wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) e.g. gloves, mask, boots, hoodie, pants, long sleeve shirts, apron when using non-green cleaning products.

5   Read food, home cleaning products and hygiene labels – if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, it’s most likely a chemical preservative, additive, stabilizer, dye, solvent, etc., of varying toxic quality.  Go Green and Organic as often as possible and available.

Purchase green-organic when possible..

Purchase natural/organic when possible..

6   Don’t consume the same drinks and foods every day, especially convenience and fast foods.

7   Consume plenty of fruits, vegetable and water.

8.  Infrequently purchase water, juice, sodas and foods stored in plastics and cans.  Glass is the best container to store foods and drinks.

9   Check dates of frozen foods and use within a 30 day window.

10  Vent and circulate fresh outdoor air throughout the home by leaving windows cracked ¼” open.  Clean HVAC systems and ductwork per manufacturer recommendation.

11  Become a conscientious consumer safety advocate and practitioner and family educator of green/natural products.

12  Become a voice and vote.  Use your 1st Amendment rights to petition government and special interests to win voter-consumer choice.  Be an advocate, or support to ban or remove certain toxic ingredients from consumer goods and services.  Or call for label laws that inform shoppers ingredients known to cause cancer and other chronic disease.

Conclusion,

If consumers don’t demand the marketplace change; then realize cost and convenience has greater value to a majority populace than long term health risk.   With this reality and without consumer and health risk prevention education in our K-12 schools, it should be no surprise new generations don’t value healthy lifestyle.  While disease and health care costs continue to rise.

We have no one to blame but ourselves.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2016 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly newsletter.

References,

ATSDR. “Public Health Statement for Propylene Glycol.” ATSDR. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 21 Jan. 2015. Web. 20 May 2016.

Barry, R. M. “Please…Protect Yourself from Household Toxics Pamphlet by Debra Lynn Dadd.” Melaleuca Cleaning Products. RM Barry Publications, 2005-13. Web. 20 May 2016.

Breast Cancer Fund. “Chemicals in Food.” Breast Cancer Fund. Breast Cancer Fund, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

GoodGuide. “What Kinds of Consumer Products May Contain This Chemical?” ETHYLENE GLYCOL — Consumer Products. GoodGuide, 2011. Web. 20 May 2016.

Karaim, Reed. “Hazards at Home.” AARP Bulletin Today. AARP, May 2008. Web. 20 May 2016.

Laugesen, Murray. Safety Report on the Ruyan® E-cigarette Cartridge and Inhaled Aerosol. Rep. Christchurch, New Zealand: Health New Zealand, 2008. Print.

Mercola, Dr. Joseph. “Common Household Chemicals Linked to Human Disease.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 8 July 2013. Web. 20 May 2016.

NRDC. “Health, Toxic Chemicals.” NRDC. Natural Resources Defense Council, 2016. Web. 20 May 2016.

PO/PG. “Food, Taste, Fun and Convenience.” – Propylene Glycol. PO/PG Sector Group of Cefic, Brussels, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

Smith, Graham. “Chemicals in Household Items Are ‘causing Huge Increase in Cancer, Obesity and Falling Fertility'” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 11 May 2012. Web. 20 May 2016.

West, Larry. “Toxic Toys: Chemicals in Toys Endanger Children.” About.com News & Issues. About.com, n.d. Web. 20 May 2016.

Young, Dr. “Is Cancer in Your Tub.” Is Cancer in Your Tub. Dr. Young, 19 Jan. 2011. Web. 20 May 2016.

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Consumer Plastics and Child-Adult Health Risk

24 02 2016
IMG_1391

Wear protective masks and circulate fresh air into construction work space.

Last Updated:  24 Feb 2016

I know just about everyone has experienced a funky taste when drinking out of a plastic bottle and familiar with odors produced by a new car smell.   Not only should consumers be aware of health risk associated with the plastics we store foods in, but also the off-gases polymer plastics emit from home furnishings, remodeled homes and during construction.

If you’re not aware, virtually all plastics and polymer products have an absorption effect on the body when consumed or when concentrated in the air we breathe.  The two key chemicals from these plastics that leach into stored food, drink containers, or off-gas into our air environment are “Phthalates” (pronounced “thalates”) and “bisphenol A” (BPA).

IMG_0055[1]

Many are unaware new furniture and carpet are made of polymer fibers that off-gas.

Off-gassing of products occur from many types of plastics and rubber compounds and products our comforts have become dependent upon.  A study in 2004 by Silent Spring Institute, Newton, Mass., and Harvard University’s School of Public Health found phthalates in the dust and air of every 120 homes they tested.  This is not so hard to believe since homes are furnished, remodeled and built using a large variety of polymer plastics, synthetic fabrics and solvent compounds of organic and bonded polymer resin blends.   

As of 2010 the market was still dominated by high-phthalate materials used in everyday consumer products including but not limited to: medical equipment, pharmaceutical pills, computer technology, food containers, cosmetics, vinyl upholstery, floor tiles and carpet, furniture, drapery, children’s toys, drink bottles, feeding containers, cleaning materials and adhesive compounds etc.

The good news is consumer awareness advocates, medical and health groups, including Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention continue to provide multiple epidemiological data points on phthalates absorption including respiratory concerns which has forced many producers to use non-phthalate plasticizers.  What is a plasticizer?  “Plasticizer is an additive used to make plastic more flexible.  Additives are chemical substances which when incorporated into polymer changes physical and bulk properties (Answers 2016).”  This is necessary because plastics require softening of the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) molecular chain to apply a desirable structural characteristic for a particular application.  This moldable or desired effect is also known as Polymerization of plastic.  This metamorphosis of rubber and plastic is possible by adding identical monomer resins that bond and strengthen a material from its organic petroleum or synthetic materials state (Plastics 2014).  The most widely used polyethylene plastics are within the packaging and plastic bags industries.

IMG_0045[1]

Some plastic containers are high in BPA and Phthalate. See Recommendations at end of article to determine the good from bad.

However the bad news show us how these chemicals can absorb and store themselves within adipose (fat) tissue.  And at some point “can” act as an endocrine disrupter.  “Because phthalate plasticizers are not chemically bound to PVC, they can easily leach and evaporate into food or the atmosphere.”  Stored products within plastic containers high in BPA and Phthalate concentrate are susceptible to this chemical leaching effect.  Especially “fatty foods such as milk, butter, and meats are a major source (Wikipedia 2016).”  As stated, these chemicals can have a negative impact on the endocrine (hormone) systems which are critical to (1) Total body metabolism (2) Growth, and (3) Reproduction.  These substances also appear to have a connection to obesity and diabetes, including any other number of ill-health effects.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have studied plastics leaching effects on the brains of fetuses, babies and children and determine there is some risk.  Whereas the chemical industry claims BPA poses “no threat” to humans.  However keep in mind both groups have their own interests at stake.  One way to put these opposing views into perspective, consumers simply need to recall a few consumer safety and commission reports on-topic not so long ago.

IMG_0051[1]

Yes their cute and cuddly but not necessarily safe for infants and toddlers.

For instance, “in response to a 1998 Consumer Product Safety Commission request, retailers including Kmart, Sears, Target, Toys “R” Us, and Wal-Mart stopped selling heavily mouthed baby products with phthalates and 7 manufacturers removed the harmful plastic compounds from production.  Recall phthalates found in toys are used as a plastic softener in polyvinyl chloride also known as PVC or vinyl to achieve the desired toy attributes.

Some PVC toys may be labeled with a V or #3 inside the chasing arrows triangle usually located on the bottom of a product.  Most won’t be labeled at all.  Generally, if a toy is a squishy plastic—like rubber duckies and baby dolls—or if it has highly flexible plastic as a component—like the clear pages in child “photo albums,” the clear plastic purses that some girl’s toys are sold in, or the plastic-like “fabric” used on some dolls—you should avoid it or call the manufacturer to ask if the product is made with PVC or phthalates (PBS 2008).

Also the rate of leaching effect of BPA into infant formulae from plastic baby bottles is of concern after heating it.  “We found that drinking cold liquids from polycarbonate bottles for just one week increased urinary BPA levels by more than two-thirds.  If you heat those bottles, as is the case with baby bottles, we would expect the levels to be considerably higher. This would be of concern since infants may be particularly susceptible to BPA’s endocrine-disrupting potential,” said Karin B. Michel’s, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH and Harvard Medical School and senior author of the study (Harvard T.H. Chan 2009).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “show BPA is present in humans at levels found harmful in laboratory studies!”  Since BPA and Phthalates absorption and respiratory contact appear to be unavoidable in developed countries there are some preventative measures consumers can take to reduce exposure.

To mitigate health risk of plastics, rubber and sealant polymer materials made with “Phthalates” and “bisphenol A” (BPA) chemicals, the following preventative and proactive measures will help.

Recommendations:

-Baby bottles – Select bottles made from glass or a safe non-polycarbonate plastic.

-Avoid washing plastic dishware with harsh dish soap and hot water.

-Find “PVC-free” on the labels of soft plastic toys and tethers.  Choose wooden toys as another option.

IMG_0054[1]

Almost all plastic drinking containers are marked to show a plastics grade quality.

-Do not purchase plastic containers with “PC” stamp. Or plastics numbered, #3, #7.

-Choose plastics, #1, 2, or #5 in the recycle triangle.  Do not heat beverages in plastic containers.

-BPA can leach from metal cans lined with polymers.  Buy all baby food products in glass containers.  Use canned and bottled plastics food and drinks well before expiration date.

-Choose metal utensils, enamel, or ceramic plates for feeding that are also microwave safe.

-Avoid foods wrapped in plastics, such as meats and cheeses.  Buy deli products wrapped in paper.  Use stainless steel and glass drinking containers.

Plastic food wraps are used extensively to sell all kinds of fresh food products.

-Ensure home ventilation systems are clean and 10% outdoor air intake is circulated into the home or business environment.  For example, I have two windows in my house I leave open approximately 2 inches 24×7.  One on the lower and upper floor.  This reduces off-gas concentrations of home polymer plastic chemicals off-gassing within home environment.

-Consider buying used as opposed to new car.  Or keep windows down a quarter inch to remove new car smell when parked or driving.

IMG_0042[1]

Solvent and glue petroleum based products are essential to the home remodel and construction industries and off-gas chemicals.

-When using caulking, glues or installing new carpet, floor tile, siding or concrete pad ensure outdoor air circulation is abundant.  Then aerate space adequately during cure times.  Then get into the practice of the open window concept previously mentioned.

References,

“What Are Polymer Additives?” Answers. Answers Corporation, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

Harvard T.H. Chan. “BPA, Chemical Used to Make Plastics, Found to Leach from Polycarbonate Drinking Bottles Into Humans.” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 21 May 2009. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

PBS. “Finding Non-Toxic Toys.” PBS. JumpStart Productions, 21 Mar. 2008. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

“Plastics” Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 21 Feb 2016.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2016 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Net Weight Loss and Zero Gain Plan

24 06 2015
Low intensity aerobic exercise burns body fat calories

Low intensity aerobic exercise burns body fat calories

Updated: June 25, 2015

A weight management program often includes counting calories which helps record, or target a net zero weight gain or weight loss approach. Food nutrition data and calorie handbooks are easily found on the Internet and within bookstores and libraries.

Understanding how total calories increase, decrease or sustain healthy body weight can also lead to achieving other fitness goals. Such as increased cardio-muscular endurance capacity, flexibility, and strength and reduced body fat. Once you see the example I lay out below you’ll understand why so many depend on the use of calorie counting to achieve weight loss goals. And how marketers apply this knowledge to sell fast weight loss services and products that work short term, but cause weight gain in the long run.

To make my point I’m going to kill 3 birds with one stone. 1) Show how to count calories of a favorite food. 2) Why balanced food macro and micronutrients are important. 3) How improper use of this knowledge can break metabolism and cause illness and disease.

Now for our imbalanced diet plan approach. If a weight loss plan is composed mostly of protein and lacks essential fats and carbohydrates the metabolism will be starved one way or the other of macronutrients and the person will revert back to old dietary habits at some point in time. If this pattern continues, then obsessive diet practices become cyclical and so does body weight. This yo-yo effect on the metabolism after a period of time has proven to cause illness and disease [cardiovascular, diabetes, mental and immune disorders, etc.].

Next I illustrate the worst way you could plan weight loss using calorie count by creating, or buying into a restrictive or favorite food plan to lose weight in 30 days. And why this practice is bad for health.

Since I love cheese burgers, I’m creating a favorite cheese burger diet and calculating the calories to see how many burgers I can eat in a day and still lose weight. Whereas the beverage of choice is water and plan is set for a 30 day window. Now let’s calculate calories and effect on body weight.

Oaked Fired Burgers are a Family Favorite

Oaked Fired Burgers are a Family Favorite

For those that don’t recall 3500 calories equal approximately 1 pound.

The total calories in a Quarter Pounder with cheese…“I know you hate the math, but here it is…”

[30g fat (9cals/gram) =270cal, 28g Carbohydrate (4cals/g) =152cal, and 27g Protein (4 cals/g) =108cal]  = ~530cals/ Total Quarter Pounder Calories

If a weight loss plan is designed around any dietary food strategy then you also need to know how many calories a day the average man and woman require to sustain life and get work done. For the sake of argument and more calculations, I’ve already averaged out the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) + RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) x EER (Estimated Energy Requirement) factor = TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and spared the tedious calculations.

I calculate the daily calorie requirement for men and women of aver BMR, weight, age, rest, work and exercise:  Women require ~1700 cal/day and men require ~2500 cal/day.

If these caloric estimates were accurate and you ate 3 or 4 quarter pounders with cheese at 530cal each, this would limit the average woman and man’s daily burger intake to ~3 and 4 cheeseburgers/day. However, the reality of caloric intake and caloric burn metabolism is not that simple as there’s other metabolic variables at play. As noted there are varying metabolic requirements to sustain life and get work done, i.e., BMR (EER) +RMR = TDEE. There are also differences in individual daily exercise activities [intensity of effort, duration and frequency of tasks], sleep cycle,

8 hours of sleep is a habit that revitalizes, recharges and keeps us healthy

8 hours of sleep is a habit that revitalizes, recharges and keeps us healthy.

daily rest cycles, genetics, environment, medical history, etc. I’ve simply made the math easy to make multiple dietary teaching points. Mostly to show how a favorite or restrictive food strategy to lose weight serves as a disadvantage to health long term.

Now back to the favorite food plan. The total calories found in our favorite food less the Total Daily Energy Expenditure if followed for 30 days will cause a daily net caloric loss and decreased body weight.

Whereas: 530calories per cheese burger x 4 = 2120 total calories. 2120 burger calories/day – 2500 caloric daily requirement (male) presents less then net zero sustained body weight by (380) calories/day. This represents (11,400) calorie loss in 30 days, or 3.25lbs solid weight loss in 1 month. Although this may not see like a lot, it’s a working weight loss concept that can provide 5 to 10 times that loss dependent on individual multiple factor differences.

Sounds great eh!  You could lose weight this way right!  Actually you could. But the thing you first notice is the lack of macronutrient food group variety and balanced micronutrients. This nutrient imbalance wouldn’t keep the brain, body and spirit satisfied for long. When calorie nutrient imbalances limit or restrict metabolic energy exchange needed to get work done; and cellular health maintenance, then the body and mind begin to feel sick and depressed.

Although the combined protein intake looks okay at 20% [~15% protein is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Macronutrient recommended daily average]; the other two macronutrients don’t fare so well.

Macronutrient Protein develops and repairs muscle.

Macronutrient Protein develops and repairs muscle.

Dietary fats in this favorite foods plan is around 51% [~30% fats is the USDA Macronutrient recommended daily average with a mix of saturated and mono/poly unsaturated fats].

Carbohydrate percentage in this favorite food plan is approximately 29% [~55% carbohydrates is the USDA Macronutrient recommended daily average]. At face value, you see there’s little macronutrient and also micronutrient balance in vitamin, mineral and fiber [not calculated in this example].

“I know some of you are thinking perfect,” I’ll just eat 2-4 burgers, pizza, cake, hotdogs, etc., a day to lose weight because Marc showed me how to eat my favorite foods to lose weight. Although the information presented may help you lose weight in the short term I didn’t say it would be healthy, sustainable or advisable. I merely painted one example out of many marketers and individuals have used to sell and create weight loss plans that ultimately put consumers in a hurt locker. It doesn’t matter how you limit or restrict calories to lose weight. When it’s not a natural and balanced approach the diet plan fails at the expense of short term weight loss and almost always causes long term weight gain.

Every diet plan offered in the marketplace no matter how good it looks or appears to work for others, if it doesn’t involve changing habits and behaviors then the weight will come back. This favorite food strategy is no different than eating fresh sandwiches at every meal, every day. Even this seemingly healthy diet strategy fails in the long run on multiple cultural, social, environment and nutrient fronts. Again, if you’ve not learned to change habits and behaviors that incorporate a variety of balanced eating and daily exercise habits then the body’s rejection of these imbalances let you know one way or the other. And when applied long term has insidious effect on metabolism, other bodily and cellular function and brain health.

There is nothing manmade including weight loss plans and services that improve upon God’s natural worldly order.

Balance in perfect harmony cannot be improved upon by man.

Balance in perfect harmony cannot be improved upon by man.

Where our holistic being is dependent upon balanced organic diet, exercise activity, and work in stress free environment. These balances per God’s design when applied as intended supports healthy body weight, fitness levels and living life to the fullest while mitigating illness and disease.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2007-15 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.





New Year Resolution Guarantees Weight Loss Success

20 12 2014
Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance

Is this the secret to safe weight loss?  The answers may surprise you.

After all the Holiday festivities, one has to wonder what fitness and/or health resolution will be made this year and stuck too?

It seems as we age and for many of us, increased body is added each year.  And with that being said, we continually resolve to improve our eating and exercise habits and quit unhealthy vices.

We tell ourselves we’re going to get serious this time and get fit while losing weight.  I realize we all have good resolution intentions.  However, for most this is easier said than done.

If you lack will power to change bad habits long term, the results on the organic brain/body will experience more pain and suffering than necessary in the long run.  If one is not concerned about such things then risk of disease and shorten life span may ensue if positive change does not occur.

If your serious about healthy change and willing to follow a fitness plan that’s right for you, “you can” improve quality of life experiences in a more fit body.  But you must keep the following perspective in mind.  It took years to become unfit and unhealthy.  It may take some time to turn around an unfit condition.  The good news is this change can be done in a reasonable time with little effort, once the body chemical activation secret is understood.

Yah I know, easier said than done for some of you.  Because some believe “I can’t change, or I’m too old, or I’m going to die eventually, so what the hell.”  You say these things not because you don’t believe change is possible.  But it’s easier to talk yourself out of change for lack of knowing what dietary and exercise actions may actually work for you

What would you say if I could provide you valuable insight on how to improve health, lose weight safely, increase fitness levels and increase longevity odds at no cost and modest will power?

And this knowledge simply involved understanding how to activate addictive body chemicals produced by your own body. Thereby increasing will power to continue a fitness plan and achieve your desired fitness result?  Would you be interested in this insight?  Most would say yes, what’s the catch?

No Catch.

What, you thought I was talking about a magic pill or have some other hidden agenda?

Nope.

No need for pills or gimmicks, your body produces these powerful chemicals once you know how to activate them daily.  And I’m going to give you this known scientific information at no cost.  And believe me the marketers don’t want you to have this information, why?  Because they lose fitness and nutrition sales revenues.

If your looking to select a fitness or diet plan, don’t get duked into one that guarantees quick results!   Man-made products produced from unnatural chemical additives compromise the mind and body at the cellular level.  Also fad and fitness diet-exercise plans not relative to your lifestyle will only work short term, or not at all.

These “quick fix” fast weight loss and fitness fad concoctions are wrong for most of us long term.  Especially if one becomes dependent on them.  Thereafter has potential, if nothing else changes to cause more harm than good in the long run.

Now click on the following link and learn how to activate those powerful body chemicals naturally, lose weight safely and improve health and fitness levels long term.

Click: on Link:  “Get Skinny by Activating Addictive Body Chemicals.”

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ANG MSC CPT Ret. 2014 MirrorAthlete® Copyright, All rights reserved. Visit MirrorAthlete® home site and sign up for free monthly newsletter.





Scientific Studies Show Exercise Causes Weight Gain

20 08 2014

 

Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance

Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance

Original Publication:  Oct 24 2009.  Revised 20 Aug 2014

Although your favorite fitness guru or celebrity may be the picture of health and you want to look just like them…  Keep this in mind, they make a lot of money selling fitness products and services that may actually cause you to gain weight rather than lose it.  Which may be just the opposite of the fitness results you hope to achieve.

Regardless of exercise equipment and dietary products that guarantees weight loss… The odds are not in your favor for long term weight loss success and you may actually gain weight.  Unless you have a customized fitness program developed specifically for you, or you use a program designed for someone else, weight gain may be the result as opposed to loss.

Relative and customized fitness program development should include and address individual lifestyle and environmental factors:  e.g., culture, behaviors and habits, medical condition(s), genetics, motivation, energy levels, body type and fitness goals.  For example, body fat, lean muscle mass, strength, cardio and muscular endurance and flexibility.

If your not sure how to custom design a fitness program might I suggest securing a professional fitness trainer or consultant for 1:1 fitness sessions that include assessments and development of a relative exercise program to get you on track.  The encompassing being requires task specific exercise and diet relative to individual mind, body and spirit needs and wants.   In the long run this strategy will pay off because you can optimize your efforts and results.

Now science supports the fact that exercise can add on the pounds if other considerations are not modified within lifestyle and environment as we age. Let’s look at a significant study that specifically addresses the compensation effect on body after exercise and what this really means for your weight management program.

“45 million Americans now belong to health clubs, up from 23 million in 1993. We spend some $19 billion a year on gym memberships. One major study illustrates – The Minnesota Heart Survey found more of us say we exercise. From 1980 to 2000, 47% of respondents exercised regularly and then these figures increased to 57%, ending the 20 year survey. Even with 45 million people today using fitness centers obesity figures increased during this period. The Federal government’s definition of obesity classifies 1/3 of all Americans as obese. Those that participated in the survey admitted after they exercise, their hungrier and eat more. This is not to discount the notion that those who may not participate in gym activities may weigh more otherwise.”

“In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless,” says Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University, a prominent exercise researcher. Although exercise does burn calories, it also makes us hungrier. “Exercise, in other words, isn’t necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder.” “The compensation Problem – The PLoS (Public Library of Science) published a remarkable study supervised by a colleague of Ravussin’s Dr. Timothy Church. Four groups totaling 464 overweight women who didn’t regularly exercise were selected for this study. Women in 3 of the groups worked with a personal trainer for 6 months; Group 1 exercised – 72 minutes/wk, Group 2 exercised- 136 minutes/wk and Group 3 exercised – 194 minutes/week. Although the study did not specify the exercise routines, one gets the notion exercises were balanced between aerobic and anaerobic activity with a personal assigned trainer.”

“The women in the 4th cluster did not change their lifestyle activities, but did fill out a monthly health questionnaire. The results were surprising. All groups of women lost weight, even the control group. It is most likely the control group through the use of monthly questionnaires learned more about their health and thereby modified their diets by eating fewer donuts, muffins, Starbucks coffee, for example. Some of the women in each group actually gained weight, some up to 10 pounds. Church calls this the compensation effect. Whether exercise made them hungry, or they wanted to reward themselves… Most of the women who exercised ate more than they did before they started the experiment!”

“This is an important study because our government’s medical organizations since the 60’s tell us to exercise if we want weight loss. Including in 2007, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association issued new guidelines stating that “to lose weight…60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. That recommendation covers most days of the week.”

“It’s true that within the study most participants were able to trim their waistline by only about an inch. The other interesting aspect, even so, they lost no more overall body fat than the control group. Church asks the control group other questions to further understand this phenomenon. He finds within each group the women are rewarding themselves with Starbucks coffee and muffins for example. Well, after you add these calories to calories burnt, you get a wash in weight loss benefits.” Another good example, a bottle of Gatorade electrolyte drink, 20oz bottle has 130 calories. You can drink this in a matter of seconds if you’re really thirsty. If your aerobics activity is treadmill walking for 15 minutes this is probably a wash from net calorie expenditure.”

“Steven Gortmaker, heads Harvard’s Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity, he studies child obesity. Since its proven exercise makes you hungry, one must ask a question regarding our kids and fast food places. He is suspicious of playgrounds at fast-food restaurants. The contention is, if a kid plays 30 minutes, it may be enough to stimulate hunger where the child instead of consuming 500 calories, instead consumes 1000.”  ‘In 30 minutes of play, for example, the child may have only expended 200 calories to play, creating a net 800 calorie gain!”

“Church states, we all need to move toward proper weight control, but stressing and depleting the body’s muscles in short bursts using stressful exercise is not necessarily the best way to loss body weight. Also the brain may feel greater entitlement to eat fast foods after we’ve exerted most of our high intensity energy at the gym. Instead, energy would have been better served by increasing daily activities like walking, healthy food shopping, preparing wholesome meals, gardening, a balanced mix using gym activities, walking, biking, etc.”

[Quote excerpts posted above, Published by Time Magazine, August 17, 2009, “Why Exercise Won’t Make you Thin,” by John Cloud. Posts have been modified by the author within quotes to quickly make points in support of this article.]

Science tells us anaerobic activity typical during strenuous weight lifting activities increases muscle mass which is heavier by volume than fat. Muscle mass increases will tip the scales heavier when muscle bulking and anaerobic out pace aerobic exercise and you’ll burn less body fat.

Optimizing weight loss and toning the body requires a customized fitness training program with a focus on aerobic activity.  Where low-medium intensity aerobic activities such as walking, jogging, biking and hiking burn more body fat as the preferred fuel.

Regardless of the exercise program,

Any muscle groups worked daily at any intensity of effort will tell the mind the body is hungry. The will power to ignore the brains signal to over nourish the working muscles after glucose and muscle glycogen are used, or depleted is a great mind over matter challenge at any age before and during meal times.  Having a preplanned and balanced diet in place prior to starting an exercise program is important when looking to increase muscle mass and/or decreasing body fat.  Otherwise food rewards and convenience snake foods may become your weight gain nemesis.

One thing I can assure you… To not remain active with some form of activity exercise as you age, opposed to becoming a couch potato is a grave mistake!  Regardless of how many calories you burn/don’t burn or weight you gain/lose during exercise… to not move the body enough throughout the day can only cause the body circulatory problems, weight bearing injuries and pain and additional unhealthy body weight and other illness and disease.

If you’d like to dial in on the weight loss or muscle development potential contact a certified fitness trainer to help you optimize your results and meet expectations.  Especially if your not satisfied with your current fitness program and results.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2014 Copyright, All rights reserved.  MirrorAthlete Corp. Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.

 

 





Are Honey and Cinnamon a Cure All?

12 05 2013

Bees are attracted to all types of flowers

I was asked by a co-worker if honey and cinnamon is a cure all for every ailment known to man.  I certainly didn’t know the answer to this question, so I did a little research on topic.

It appears there are a lot of nutritional and research information at our finger tips that supports honey and cinnamon as very good for us.  I’m not sure that when combined they are a cure all for all that ails us.  But the health benefit data is pretty impressive, especially when combining honey and cinnamon in the daily diet.

What most of us do know is that honey comes from a bee’s nectar and is known as a healthy food sweetener.  And Cinnamon is a spice harvested from a dried plant tree bark grown in a tropical climate.  Now we can build our knowledge base from here to see how this delicious tasting sweetener and spice can be so healthy for us.

Cinnamon History and Facts,

“Although cinnamon is grown within many countries such as Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Maurtius, Reunion and Guyana, it is also grown in South American, West Indies and other tropical climates.  The best and “one true cinnamon” are native to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and are known to date back to Chinese writings in 2800 B.C.”  (Filippone, 2013)

Ceylon and Cassia are the two most common cinnamon species that can be purchased within the marketplace and known to have the most potent healthy properties.   Both are great antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, etc.  However, it is the ancient Ceylon cinnamon that is considered by some to be denser in curing nutrients.  Many studies have identified Ceylon as the best diabetes preventative and combatant medicine, where other studies show cassia regulates blood glucose just as well.  Both cinnamon spices show blood thinning agent coumarin in them.  (Health Diaries.com, 2013)

Taking a closer look at the Cassia species, commonly known as Chinese cinnamon, or from Saigon Cinnamon is believed to cause liver damage when taken in high quantities because of its high concentration of anticoagulant properties, but considered safe when taken in moderation.  However, the blood thinning agent found in Ceylon’s true cinnamon is considered of little to no risk due to low density of naturally occurring coumarin.  Note:  During times of injury, it is necessary for our blood to maintain its ability to coagulate.  But taking excessive intake of plant coumarin content can pose a health risk.  (WHfoods.com, 2013)

The 10 most common cinnamon health benefits,

  •  Blood sugar regulation – Several studies show cinnamon to be beneficial for type 2 diabetics, and is likely due to regulatory effect on blood sugar.
  • Lowers blood cholesterol – Half a tsp of cinnamon per day can lower the bad cholesterol (LDL).
  • Cancer prevention – The U.S. Depart of Agriculture in Maryland showed cinnamon reduced lymphoma and leukemia cancer cell proliferation.
  • Anti-clotting – Cinnamon has an anti-clotting (blood thinning) affect on blood.
  • Helps with yeast infection – Studies show cinnamon to have the ability to stop medication resistant yeast infections.
  • Anti-bacterial – If added to food it stops food spoilage and bacterial growth.  It is nature’s natural food preservative.
  • Brain health – A study showed cinnamon to boost cognitive brain function and memory.
  • Arthritis relief – Taking a half a tsp of cinnamon powder and combined with a tsp of honey before breakfast daily; a Copenhagen University study showed significant relief of arthritis pain after a week.  And in one month patients participating in the study could walk without pain.
  • High in nutrients – Calcium, iron, fiber and manganese.
  • E. Coli fighter – A Kansas State researcher found cinnamon to fight E. Coli bacteria found in unpasteurized juices. (Health Diaries.com, 2006)

Chinese medicine practitioners say that if Cinnamon is organic, it is warming and nourishing for our kidneys.  Both Chinese and folk medicine practitioners have used honey and cinnamon in combinations for years to cure, or heal what ails them.  Both offer powerful “antibiotic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory remedies, not only for humans but also for Animals.”  Common conditions this organic sweetener and spice provide when used are claimed to remedy and/or cure:  Upset Stomach, immune system, colds, cholesterol, bladder infection, indigestion, longevity, gas, toothache, influenza, skin infections, weight loss, cancer, fatigue, bad breath, general infection, etc.  (Halcyon, February 27, 2013)

Honey History and Facts,

Honey has long been used as a nutritional and medicinal powerful antioxidant with antiseptic and antibacterial properties for the past 2,500 years which includes the days of Aristotle (384-322BC) and its use is well documented within Greek, Roman, Christian, Islamic and other historical text.  Today, honey is still considered part of an alternative medicine.  Holistic practitioners consider honey one of nature’s best all-around remedies.  In its raw form, honey contains about 69% glucose and fructose enabling it to be used as the sweetener we know and love to eat.

Raw honey like fine wines has its own aroma, taste and color depending on the location that it was farmed.   ‘This is a surprise to many people because most honey purchased in supermarkets in the United States is made from unidentified blends of honey with a similar taste and appearance between brands.  Unblended honey from various geographic locations tastes different when produced of nectar from flowers and then sweet excretions of insects (honeydew) is not mixed, or chemically treated.  Just like all flowers, grapes have different colors and aromas, and so does honey.

“Depending on the proportions of flowers in the area where bees collect nectar and the timing of the collection of honey from the hives, honey may be either:

  • Multifloral honey: Created from the nectar of many types of flowers around the hive, or
  • Single flower or monofloral honey: Created mainly from one type of flower or honeydew

Once you have tried unblended honey from a single flower source or location, you’ll likely not seek blended brands because you’ll enjoy the unique flavors that each one offers.  (Honey Traveler.com, 2013)

It is also interesting to note that honey is the only sweetener that will not spoil.  Instead, when it sits for periods of time, it will turn to a form of sugary base, but will not spoil.  It should never be micro waved or heated, because this destroys the enzymes and natural curing properties of it.  (New Realities.com, 2013)

There appears to be one health concern for a specific demographic,

The USDA National honey board and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state “Do not let babies eat honey.”  This is because the spores of the botulism bacteria are found in dust and soil that find their way into the honeydew.  The immune systems of infants is not developed enough to defend against this type of potential “paralytic disorder’ in which an infant is given anti-toxins and placed in infant care on a respirator.  ‘Dr. Jatinder Bhatia a Georgia neonatologist who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition.  “She has never seen a case of infant botulism.   She also mentions, honey in cereals is fine because it’s a cooked product.  It’s the bottled honey that presents a health risk to infants.” (Edgar, 2013)

The 10 most common honey health benefits,

  • Helps with skin ailments – Honey dressings have been used to treat burns, scrapes, irritations from post surgical process and ulcers caused from radiation.  Bees produce the enzyme hydrogen peroxide, “sound familiar” which is found in honey and eases skin ailments.
  • Relief from mosquito bite – Since honey has anti-inflammatory properties it’s a good option to help reduce the itch and irritation.
  • Honey is an immune booster – Since honey is full of polyphenols found in plant life, it is a known antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage.  It is also promoted as a heart healthy nutrient and cancer preventer.
  • Digestive health –  A study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2006 found that honey used in place of sugar reduced gut microflora of male mice.
  • Acne treatment – Honey can effectively treat acne vulgaris, a skin condition caused by infection and inflammation on the face, chest and back.  (Shape.com, 2013)
  • Energy source – Honey can be easily converted into glucose energy for working muscles and accepted by the most sensitive stomachs.  It is very easy to digest.
  • Weight loss – When honey is consumed with warm water it helps to digest fat stored in the body.  Similarly, a combination of lemon juice, honey and cinnamon help reduce weight as well.

  “Normally, to digest sugar, the vitamins and minerals stored in body are utilized, rendering the body devoid of these nutrients. These nutrients are essential to dissolve fats and cholesterol.  Thus when you eat too much sugar you tend to increase weight not just because of the calories but due to lack of vitamins and minerals. On the contrary, honey being a good source of nutrients helps you in reducing weight.”  (Organic Facts.net, 2013) 

Improving athletic performance – Honey maintains blood glucose levels and muscle glycogen restoration after the workout.  Blood glucose and muscle glycogen is the preferred fuel food when intense exercise activity is required.

A valued source of Vitamins and Minerals – Depending on the flowers used in apiculture (beekeeping), honey commonly contains Vitamin C, Calcium and iron.  Concentrates of vitamins and mineral contents vary.

Antibacterial and antifungal – It can be used as a natural spread on antiseptic.  (Organic Facts.net, 2013)

Folk remedies have been around for generations and there is a reason why they stand the test of time.  For instance, to knock out a common cold in one or two days make a warm tea, add 1 teaspoon of honey and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.  It is best to buy the powdered or grind the cinnamon sticks from the plant species previously mentioned.  There are many remedies that include honey and cinnamon to cure what ails you.  If you want to know more recipes, simply research on folk remedy medicines that include this natural sweetener and spice.

 My favorite breakfast is a big bowl of raisin brand, or oat flakes, 2 tsp of honey, 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon and 1% low fat milk.

For daily antioxidant, immune, weight loss, common cold, organ health and so much more, science supports adding raw honey and cinnamon to Cereals and hot drinks a couple times a day to promote good health.  There are lots of ways you can incorporate these two food nutrients into your diet if you’d like to take advantage of their healthy properties.

Works Cited

“10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon.” 10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon. Health Diaries.com, 23 Mar. 2006. Web. 10 May 2013.

“5 Health Benefits of Honey.” Shape Magazine. Shape.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“Benefits of Honey in Weight Loss | Animal Product | Health Benefits.” Benefits of Honey in Weight Loss | Animal Product | Health Benefits. Organic Facts.net, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“Ceylon Cinnamon Vs. Cassia Cinnamon.” Ceylon Cinnamon Vs. Cassia Cinnamon. Health Diaries.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

Feature, Julie EdgarWebMD. “Medicinal Uses of Honey: What the Research Shows.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

Filippone, Peggy T. “Cinnamon History.” About.com Home Cooking. About.com Guide, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“Halcyon Days.” : Cinnamon and Honey: Cure-All or Hoax? Sandra Halcyonday, 27 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 May 2013. <http://sanda-halcyondays.blogspot.com/2013/01/cinnamon-and-honey-cure-all-or-hoax.html&gt;.

“The Healing Benefits of Cinnamon and Honey.” New Realities. New Realities.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“Health Benefits of Honey | Organic Honey | Organic Animal Products.” Health Benefits of Honey | Organic Honey | Organic Animal Products. Organic Information Services, Pvt, Ltd., n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“Honey Buyers Guide.” Honey Traveler Everything in the World About Honey. Honey Traveler.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

“What Is the Difference Between Cinnamon and Cassia?” The Worlds Healthiest Foods. WHfoods.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013.

Woodard, Marc T. “Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets!” Mirror Athletes Fitness Secrets. Mirror Athlete Inc., 7 Apr. 2013. Web. 10 May 2013. <http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2013/04/07/foods-and-drugs-that-dont-mix-well/&gt;.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, CPT, MSC ARNG Retired.  2013 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





The Thyroid is a Powerful Weight Regulating Gland

21 05 2012
Most are not aware, additives in food’s do impact our metabolisms.

The thyroid is a small gland in the neck no bigger than a buckeye butterfly.  But this glands hormone also influences other hormone producing glands which have much to do with our weight and other important metabolic interactions and bodily functions.  Just because these glands are small, does not mean they are insignificant.

     It is seen through patient and animal research that hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) can cause many types of problems:  weight gain, depression, sluggishness, fatigue, bad mood, unhealthy appearance, impotence, water retention that adds to excess weight and cellulite, pear-shaped figure, infertility, PMS, hardening of the arteries, cystic breasts/ovaries (including breast/ovary cancer), irritability, bad complexion, puffiness under the chin, forgetfulness, irritability, apathy, dry skin, intolerance to cold, enlargement of the thyroid and unhealthy hair, nails and teeth.

     If you have hypothyroidism to the degree where one quarter of the thyroid hormone thyroxin is produced, you may also suffer from chronic fatigue.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, hyperthyroidism causes an overactive thyroid gland condition that has the opposite effect on the body’s metabolism.  The “hyper” condition speeds up the metabolic process, causing underweight and hyperactive tendencies.

     A more serious disorder from an underactive thyroid is a goiter (swelling in the neck area).  This occurs because the thyroids enlarge to compensate for lack of iodine in the diet.  However, a goiter can occur, even if you’re not iodine deficient.  This swelling or enlargement of the thyroid glands is also known as Graves Disease.  Regardless of whether you have a hypo/hyper thyroid condition, both conditions untreated can become a life threatening situation.

     Before I get more into the meat of the matter let’s first understand what trace mineral stimulates the thyroids hormone “thyroxin” secretion.   A very important mineral is iodine.  There is also another one needed that works with iodine to manufacture the thyroxin hormone.  And that mineral is Tyrosine, an amino acid.  Luckily Tyrosine can be consumed through many types of high-protein foods such as chicken, milk, cheese, beans, bananas, soy products, peanuts, almonds, fish, turkey, etc.  Iodine, along with tyrosine is required to produce a normalized balance of the thyroxin hormone to stabilize our caloric burning furnace.

     There is a TSH (Thyroid-Stimulation Hormone) test that tells a treating physician if your thyroid is producing proper amounts of thyroxin hormone to keep your metabolic system balanced.  The test determines if your thyroid is working correctly through reading TSH levels in the blood.   This stimulator hormone is produced by the pituitary gland.  So as the pituitary gland slows down within the metabolic system it releases more TSH to signal “speeding” up the thyroids production of thyroxin.  This test can determine proper levels of TSH hormone in the blood.  The TSH hormone release is directly related to many interconnecting metabolic processes.  If all other metabolic processes are working correctly, the thyroid hormone release stimulated by TSH should normalize all metabolic functions which impact weight loss/gain and mitigate other disorders.  But if too little, or too much TSH is produced than the test will show ranges from under/over active and normal thyroid gland.

     Normal TSH test scores will be between 0.4 and 2.5.  A low score of 0-0.4 is hyperthyroidism.  And if the score is between 2.5 and 4, this means there is risk for hypothyroidism.  Anything higher can lead to a major health concern.  Many doctors will resist treating patients until they hit a 10.  This is basically due to the delicate balance and interactions these hormones and chemical exchange relationships have on the entire metabolic system.  Nevertheless, if your measurement is at 4 or above, or below 2.5, you should discuss a treatment course with your medical specialist. 

     Although your thyroid only requires a hundred thousandth of a percentage of your body weight in iodine (150 micrograms daily – the best sources of iodine comes from seaweed, onions, seafood and salt); without it the thyroid cannot function.  If you don’t have enough of this mineral, you gain weight.  But if you get enough of it in your diet, adding more through supplementation will do absolutely no good because the glands function is balanced, or better known as “normalized effect”   That is, if your thyroid is functioning normal, iodine will not help because the thyroid is already normalized and functioning correctly.

     If you must take an iodine supplement for an underactive thyroid, kelp is the best organic source.  It appears to have “the best “normalizing effect on the thyroid gland.  However, if your iodine dose is incorrect, it is possible to supplement with too much, or too little.  Some of the symptoms of iodine over supplementation include:  Severe acme, become underweight, emotional imbalances, hyper-activity, mental and emotional instability, negative effects on thyroid glands, skin irregularities (welts on arms/face, rough skin) and problems with focus, or spaced out feelings.

     Getting enough iodine in the diet should not be a problem since we get it in our everyday table salt, processed and fast foods and through its presence in crop fertilizers.  However, the key issue with our iodine in our everyday diet is, most of us do not get organic iodine (e.g., seaweed, “kelp”).  Homeopathic doctors have prescribed kelp, vinegar, B6 and a lecithin diet for treatment of obesity and other types of preventative disorders for years.  The diet is also beneficial to brain tissue, sensory nerves and spinal cord. 

     However the normalizing effect of iodine benefits for an overweight problem gets lost in translation within the market place for those desperate to lose weight.  That is, consumers are lead to believe if iodine is good for the thyroid, than more is better whether you need it or not.  But there could be nothing further from the truth.   There is another way to look at this statistically.  Eighty percent of all thyroid cases are diagnosed as the hypo-type.  But this percentage does not equate to eighty percent of those that are obese have a thyroid problem.

     Let’s also not forget those that choose “not to exercise, or eat healthy diets,” but have healthy thyroids with plenty of iodine in the diet.  They will not lose more weight by increasing iodine intake.  Also, 8 times out of 10 thyroid disorder diagnosis are more prominent in women than men.  And as a natural progression of aging, increased risk of thyroid disease occurs naturally.  And if you have an autoimmune disorder, type 1 diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis your at higher risk for thyroid disease.  These diseases and other factors are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to diagnosing whether or not your thyroid needs stimulation to help you manage your weight.

     If you do supplement your diet with iodine, it is important to understand it is also important to get enough vitamin A in the diet as well.  Why is this?  Vitamin A allows the thyroid gland to absorb the iodine.  If absorption of iodine through the gland does not occur optimally, then the production of thyroxin will occur relative to the glands absorption rate.  Recall, with reduced thyroxin hormone production, you have a lower BMR that does not help your weight loss and overall health goals.

     One last point I’d like to touch on regarding a hyper-thyroid condition.  There are many cases documented where speeding up the thyroids function will cause weight loss.  But there are also cases where speeding up the thyroid function causes weight gain.  You ask how this is possible.  Because, by increasing the metabolic function, you also increase appetite.  Here is another truth, for those that lost weight during hormone treatment, once the hyper-active treatment stopped the weight came back. 

     Therefore, it appears that thyroid treatment to treat obesity does not appear to be real useful in many of the obesity cases.  And this is why I recommend you visit your treating physician to get some help identifying the cause of your weight problem.  If you are diagnosed with thyroid disease, then you’ll likely be prescribed a synthetic thyroxin which will do a great job at replacing the hormone your thyroid can no longer produce.

     By working with your doctor to adjust to the necessary doses, you’ll begin to look and feel better.  In other cases some of you may need a combination of treatments to regulate, or lose body weight that include thyroxin prescription, diet and exercise.  And in other weight loss situations relative to disease and disorder(s) diagnosis, varying fit-healthy medical strategies as opposed to thyroid treatment will apply.

 References,

 American Thyroid Association.  Thyroid and Weight.  2005. http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/Thyroid_and_Weight.pdf

 Hastings, John.  The Truth about the Thyroid.  The Oprah Magazine. Jan 2009. http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Truth-About-the-Thyroid-and-Weight-Gain

 Veracity Dani.  How Iodine Accelerates Weight Loss by Supporting the Thyroid Gland.  Natural News.com, June 25, 2005.  http://www.naturalnews.com/008902.html

 Woodard, Marc T.  GH-Hormone Stimulator the Fountain of Youth Elixir?  Mirror Athlete’s Fitness Secrets!  23 February 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2012/02/23/exercise-is-the-anti-aging-hormonal-fix/

Woodard, Marc.  Low Testosterone, another Man-Made Risky Fix?  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets. January 22, 2012.  http://mirrorathlete.com/blog/2012/01/22/low-testosterone-another-man-made-risky-fix/

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2012 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.