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].”


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.


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.


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.,, Sign up for your free monthly newsletter.


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., 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.” News & Issues., 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.

Bacterial Gut Disease Connected to Engineered Crop Foods

24 03 2016

Last Update:  25 May 2016


As one day sets a new one begins. How will you begin a healthy lifestyle plan?

Did you know that your digestive system is at risk of illness, disease and autoimmune disorders when your bacterial colonies are out of balance?

When the good bacteria are overridden by the bad ones, they override the good and begin to produce toxins and destroy tissue by feeding on it. The good bacteria is also known as probiotics. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in the gut and intestines and act to crowd out unfavorable pathogens, such as yeasts and toxic bacteria that may otherwise cause ill-health. Probiotics are naturally found in the body. You can also find them in foods and supplements.


Good eats are okay for infrequent indulgences. But to do so daily will reap havoc on the intestinal gut system.

“Our lower intestine requires at least 85% of friendly bacterial colonies to fight off micro-organisms like E. coli and salmonella.” “Poor eating habits, chlorinated drinking water, stress, use of antibiotics, medical treatments can destroy the gastrointestinal micro flora and allow harmful bacteria to multiply. Thus, make the body susceptible to yeast and bacterial infection and other disorders including gas, cramping, or diarrhea (Gupta 2009).” Our colon can maintain health with a 15% balance of bad bacteria. However most people have these percentages reversed.

Within developing countries resistive bacteria to anti-biotics appears to be evolving through engineered foods. Big agriculture now produces most of our food crops and livestock feed from GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seed. And those seeds are DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) engineered to produce crops that kill pests and thrive through a deluge of chemical spray that otherwise kill everything else around it.

IMG_20111229_163438Today most commercial crop seeds are genetically engineered and farmed in a lab. Whereas the DNA has been modified to produce perfect fruit and vegetables with little sign of imperfection. And at some molecular and insidious level appear to be incompatible with our DNA and gut bacterial balance. The focus here is to examine how GMO foods may have an overall negative effect on bacterial gut and intestinal health. And how our bodies are less resistive to bad bacteria causing ill-health problems.

It is important to understand how GMO food and anti-biotic treatment relates to gut and intestinal health.

When our immune systems become weak, or ravaged with infection often patients use, or request anti-biotics for the wrong pathogenic problem. Or patients save them from a previous prescription to self-treat without doctor approval. In these cases the patient doesn’t understand how improper use of antibiotics may harm them.

For example, if you have a virus i.e., cold, flu, sore throat, bronchitis, and other sinus and ear infection, we often request anti-biotic medicine from a doctor. But treating a virus with an anti-biotic may cause more harm than good.  Overuse of the drug is known to cause a resistance to them; thereby rendering an ineffective fight against infection.

Talk to your doctor about the differences between virus vs. bacterial illness and disease and proper drug treatment options. The point here, don’t take anti-biotics unless you need them.

Some of the foods you consume have modified DNA resistant bacterial organisms that appear to cause resistance to anti-biotic drugs. And when taking antibiotics unnecessarily increases bacterial bug resistance to the medication. And if you ever need a lifesaving anti-biotic, that super bug may be immune to it.

Epidemiological medical evidence shows increasing evidence of resistance to antibiotic treatment in developed countries. The common cause denominator? Big-Ag within developed countries use GMO crop seeds sprayed with thousands of tons of insecticides and herbicides annually which are absorbed into the crops.  Then sold within the marketplace. “Virtually every processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the 100% USDA “Certified Organic” label is likely to contain at least one GE [Genetically Engineered] component. If it does not say “100% USDA Organic” on the label, for example, if it says just “organic” or “made with Organic,” it is highly likely it contains GMO product (Haug 2011).  IMG_20130405_175235

GMO seeds produce large crop yields, including crops not fit for human consumption but used to feed livestock and 3rd world countries. The livestock grass, corn and grain feed are also chemically treated and absorbed into livestock through consumption and passed into humans that consume them. These GE foods appear to have an accumulative ill-health effect on the gut and intestinal health, aside from causing immune systems to become resistant to anti-biotics.

Also there is another potential risk associated with GMO crops. Whereas national crop seed shortages could occur if they fail to kill a highly resistive super bug or weed regardless of chemical application used. Nature has a funny way of surviving against all odds. This in genetics is known as survival of the fittest. And super bugs appear to be winning over man’s attempt to keep them at bay.

There are already signs this is occurring. There’s a lot of data that illustrates how it takes significantly more chemicals to kill the super weeds and bugs today because of crop seed DNA genetic manipulation where chemical application is used to boost seed resistance against evolving super bugs and weeds.

If something doesn’t change within our farming practices we may become dependent on other countries to feed us.  Although this may sound far-fetched, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.  How would this be possible? Let’s break down the GMO and anti-biotic resistive gene concept to better understand how a failure of crop yield could cause a disastrous global food bank shortage and health pandemic.


A super weed is no match for a North Western nutria.

Aside from super bugs and weeds that become resistive to chemical sprays and genetically engineered seeds that fail to be chemically resistant; there is concern over global, or transatlantic plant manipulation and the antibiotic resistive cause and effect on human health. “Antibiotic resistance genes are frequently used at several stages in the creation of genetically engineered plants… ‘Concern has been raised about the possibility that antibiotic resistance genes used to make transgenic plants [or Genetically Modified Plants] could be transferred to microorganisms that inhabit the digestive tracts of humans or other animals that eat them, and therefore might contribute to the already serious problem of antibiotic resistant pathogens (CASA 2016).” Most specifically on a national and/or global scale.

What is the relationship between GMO foods, bacterial balance in the body and illness and disease? “Antibiotic resistance genes from GM foods are taken up by bacteria in the gut during digestion. If bacteria carrying antibiotic resistance genes were ever to cause infection, it would be very difficult for doctors to treat. Until now, however, there is no real proof that the antibiotic resistance genes in GM plants pose a threat. Regardless, as a precautionary measure, some experts say that antibiotic resistance genes should not be used (GMO-Compass 2006).”


There are reasons why organic farming plots are increasing within city urban and suburban areas.

Recall GMO seeds DNA has been changed to kill insects and survive a deluge of chemical sprays designed to kill weeds, molds and other bad microorganisms detrimental to healthy crop yields. Therefor it makes sense a GM-seed-to-crop food makes it possible for us to become host to a super bug, then untreatable disease becomes more likely. Whereas a medical condition may not be any match against a flesh eating bacteria.

Many believe this has already occurred in the form of any number of bacterial organisms resistive to antibiotic treatment with the potential to cause life-threatening bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections. MRSA appears to be such a bacteria. “During the past four decades, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA, has evolved from a controllable nuisance into a serious public health concern. MRSA is largely a hospital-acquired infection, in fact, one of the most common. Recently, however, new strains have emerged in the community that are capable of causing severe infections in otherwise healthy people (NIH 2016).”

If you want to know more information on topic simply type into any search engine MRSA, GMO and intestinal bacteria and disease.

To improve bacterial balance within the body the best bacteria to consume is high in flora from raw vegetables and fruits and now in supplementalIMG_20130405_175303 probiotic formulation. “Some probiotic foods date back to ancient times, such as fermented foods and cultured milk products. Interest in probiotics in general has been growing; Americans’ spending on probiotic supplements, for example, nearly tripled from 1994 to 2003 ( 2016).”

Research continues to explore and find encouraging evidence from specific probiotic formulations that suppress unfriendly bacterial bugs and build healthy gut bug balance. For instance, “In November 2005, a conference that was co-funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and convened by the American Society for Microbiology explored this topic.

According to the conference report, some uses of probiotics for which there is encouraging evidence from studies show how specialized probiotic formulation alleviates the following symptoms: To treat diarrhea (this is the strongest area of evidence, especially for diarrhea from rotavirus). To prevent and treat infections of the urinary tract or female genital tract. To reduce recurrence of bladder cancer. To shorten how long an intestinal infection lasts that is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium difficile. Prevent and manage atopic dermatitis (eczema) in children, etc. ( 2016).”

Other symptoms supplemental probiotics may help relieve: constipation, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS), bloat, gas, stomach ulcers, tooth decay, periodontal disease, vaginal infections, skin and respiratory infections that children acquire in daycare, diverticulitis & colitis, etc.  They can also ease chronic yeast infections and enhance immunity through improved digestive absorption function and thereby provide essential nutrients to the body.  Improve lactose intolerance, alleviate flatulence, rejuvenate healthy radiant skin, nails and hair, etc.


Organic flora provides everything needed to keep us healthy.

When a healthy balance of intestinal micro flora, or probiotics is maintained within the body the bad bacteria (or pathogens) are in proper balance and typically improve overall body health. Talk to your naturopath or doctor about the right probiotic formulation to alleviate ill-health symptoms.

Probiotics are also widely used to alleviate Candida [a yeast species] symptoms where formulations vary for a specific application. “Candida syndrome occurs when the normal population of intestinal yeast suddenly explodes. Overgrowth of one species of yeast called Candida Albicans supposedly causes candida syndrome, which is characterized by chronic fatigue, weight gain, a white coating on the tongue and joint pain.

Taking probiotics such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei GG and bifidobacteria creates a hostile environment for candida yeast, returning your gut yeast population to normal levels (Adams 2013).

Research and medical data shows a complex and complicated connection relative to gut-intestinal health, anti-biotic resistance and pre-probiotic treatment [discussed below], engineered food crops and illness and disease.  But there is no doubt there is a connection.

The following recommendations should help to provide a healthy bacterial balance within the gut and intestines as a preventative health strategy to alleviate what ails you. It is recommended you consult with your physician prior to applying any of the “How to-s…” listed below.

How to Improve Good Bacterial Gut and Intestine Health


No doubt about it “Pickles” is going to get some good organic eats.

1. Increase flori balance through probiotic supplementation to include a daily vitamin and mineral (V/M).  Especially if diet alone can’t be radically changed to a healthier one.  In this way you’ll ensure anti-oxidant benefits while maintaining a healthy balance of probiotics to decrease and manage bad bacteria colonies. The best anti-biotic flori products seem to be in capsules, tablets, or powders.

These three supplements: V/M’s, antioxidants and probiotics work in harmony to provide improved nutrient absorption, immune system function and intestinal gut health. You’ll then begin to look and feel better immediately once started. Of course ask your physician which products they’d recommend is right for you.

2. Ask your doctor about a prebiotic which is different than a probiotic. Choosing or guessing which probiotic may be right may not be the 100% solution to alleviate what ails you. That is “the prebiotic is a specialized plant fiber that beneficially nourishes the good bacteria already in the large bowel or colon. While probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gut, prebiotics act as a fertilizer for the good bacteria that’s already there. They help your good bacteria grow, improving the good-to-bad bacteria ratio. This ratio has been shown to have a direct correlation to your health and overall wellbeing, from your stomach to your brain (Prebiotin 2016).”

3. If your drinking water is heavily chlorinated, filter it or buy bottled water. Chlorine kills good bacteria.

4. Improve your eating habits to receive optimum nutrients and consume less processed foods.  Avoid “overconsumption of yeast-feeding foods such as simple carbohydrates, sugars, peanuts, and alcohol and milk products can encourage Candida growth (Adams 2009).


Walk and talk with company you enjoy.

5. Reduce daily stress through yoga, meditation and low aerobics exercise [walk, bike, low intensity aerobics dance, etc.].

6. Avoid, or lesson dependency of antibiotics as medical treatment when possible or not needed when you have a virus. Antibiotics not only kill the bad bugs, they also take a heavy toll on the good ones. Ask your doctor for natural alternative pre-probiotic supplements and applicable medications.

7. Purchase 100% USDA organic foods when possible. Read labels and don’t purchase foods you suspect contain GMO products.

8. Consume more yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, soy beverages, and garlic.


Adams, Lawrence. “Best Probiotics for Treating Candida.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 29 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Adams, Mike. “Using Probiotics to Prevent or Eliminate Candida.” Natural News. The Natural News Network, 28 Oct. 2009. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

CASA (Center for Advising Student Achievement. “Transgenic Crops: An Introduction and Resource Guide.” Transgenic Crops: An Introduction and Resource Guide. Health Professions Advising Colorado State University, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

GMO Compass. “Antibiotic Resistance Genes: A Threat?” Antibiotic Resistance Genes: A Threat? GMO Compass, 12 Dec. 2006. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Gupta, Rupali. “Probiotics-small Bacteria Huge Health Benefits.” Healthy Living. Healthy Living, 30 July 2009. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Haug, Catherine. “How GMOs Destroy Life, Soil and Your Gut Probiotics.” Essential Stuff Blog. The Essential List, 11 Dec. 2011. Web. 23 Mar. 2016. “Probiotics.” MedicineNet. MedicineNet, Inc., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

NIH. “Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. NIH, 22 June 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Prebiotin. “What Is a Prebiotic vs Probiotic | Prebiotics and Probiotics.” Prebiotin. Jackson GI Medical, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

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


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 @:, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.



How to Exercise Safely and Increase Fitness Levels

20 02 2014


IMG_20140126_134514Article last modified:  19 Feb 2014 by Marc Woodard

There are so many exercise programs one could engage in to increase fitness levels.  How does one know which is right for them?

This question is important why?  Increased fitness levels contribute to healthy heart, lungs, metabolism, lean body, body strength, reduced body fat, weight loss, sustainment of body weight and better physical endurance and energy levels.  Not to mention, excellent  pain alleviation benefits for weight bearing arthritic joints.

So what you really want to know is what exercise activity will give you the best bang for the buck?

I highly recommended if you are getting back into an exercise fitness program or activity, you condition your way back through a 3-5 day/workout program.  This may take you 2-6 weeks or longer to get back into good physical condition before you ramp up your efforts.  Especially if you’ve just recovered from some type of physical adversity.

Five day exercise program – Consider making two of your exercise days on Saturday and Sunday to include family fun activities as substitutes for exercise activity.  Work in the other 3 exercise activity days with exercise you enjoy and can stick too.

This type of programming will provide more flexibility at first to develop healthy fitness activity around your busy schedule while reducing stress.  After the fitness habit is maintained for 2 week period, begin to incorporate more activity choice into the plan to keep it interesting.   I’ve always found it important to take two days off in the week for needed rest [Typically Mon & Fri for me].  I don’t recommend a 6-7day workout routine unless you are training is too meet some particular fitness goal as are conditioned to do so.

Recommendations, Tips, How to safely increase fitness levels and activity,

You must develop a plan that lists your daily fitness objectives to meet your fitness goal.  Is your goal to lose weight, increase fitness level, build muscle, better health, sustain weight, increase muscular endurance, higher level of competitive sport, improve task specific activity (ski, golf, walk, biking, running, etc.).  So now you know before you spend money on an exclusive fitness membership, be sure to have a plan to achieve the fitness goal you have in mind.

Second, you must be realistic about your daily schedule. If you’re a working adult with children, there are considerations that must be thought out.  Like working around busy work and family schedules.  However, it is not impossible to squeeze in exercise activity even with a busy schedule.  It’s a matter of priorities.

For example, if you want something bad enough like a new car, getting the furnace fixed, or watching a game, or taking the spouse out to a movie you manage to find the time and resources don’t you?  Yet you have a tough time making time for any type of exercise activity.  Your fitness levels and health must be as valuable to you as any other tangible thing like a home or car you insure.

Only through daily continuous daily movement activity can one “insure” an additional layer of protection from life stresses on the mind-body.  Sustained exercise activity daily is also a proven centurion attribute, or better known to others as a fountain of youth fitness principle.

If you have time before work or after the children are in bed a daily exercise program can become a habit you will become addicted too once the commitment is made.  You simple must want increased fitness health as bad as you want to create a better lifestyle for your family.

For me, working out provides great stress relief and fitness benefits.  And for many years I’d get up at 5:30am go to the gym, or jog where the adrenalin and metabolism was at full throttle just before hitting my full time job at 7:00am.  This habit served me and my professional careers well and ensured I was always at the top of my game, I didn’t need energy drinks to start my day.  Now in my mid-50’s, my age appropriate exercise activities is walking 7 days a week and 2-3 days strength conditioning in the gym.  I’m just as competitive at these exercise activities as I was when I played football during by high school years.  I attribute much of my career success, energy levels and clarity of thought to age appropriate continuous exercise habits.

Like anything else it takes dedication to be successful at anything you do.  It’s more a matter of finding an activity that you really enjoy, get excited about and can become addicted to it.  I tended to become addictive to new exercise conditioning if I could get through the first 5 days.  If I didn’t make the 5 days, I’d reduce intensity until ready for more intense training.  I didn’t quit the training; I took it down a notch until I could physically and mentally accept the fitness conditioning plan.  To push when your not ready for it is defeating and causes too many beginners to give up when they’ve not planned accordingly.

Third, your never too old to begin a daily fitness conditioning program.   All too often I hear people give up on their fitness and activity aspirations because they “self proclaim” their too old to exercise.  And then begin to look for unsafe – fountain of youth short cut gimmicks to lose weight, increase sexual performance, anabolic steroids for max muscle increases, etc.  This line of reasoning is absolute nonsense; when did 40 become the 80 plus crowd?  Exercise activity is a metabolic optimizer that increases hormone production and immune system to keep us healthy and stimulate all things that keep our bodies, mind and spirit engaged in a satisfied lifestyle.  “Without the need of dangerous manmade chemicals that temporarily mask the real reasons were not happy with our bodies energy levels, how we feel and physical performance.

Forth, if you are infrequent about your exercise, or activity routine, it is very important you learn to pace yourself each time you exercise until your body is ready for a 3-5 day exercise activity routine. Ease into your workouts, forget about competing with what others are doing.  Set your mind to see yourself as the healthiest 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 year old possible in your neck of the woods.  If you think exercise-activity appropriate per decade, you’ll stick with a healthy exercise program for your age while physically appearing and feeling 20-30 years younger.  Why don’t I talk much about 80+ years old and fitness training programs?  Actually, 80 years and above should walk-swim, push light weights, participate in flexibility exercise, eat balanced nutritious foods, socialize and travel as much as possible for quality lifestyle experiences.  At this age, I thoroughly believe, each day is a blessing and one should enjoy life to the fullest while reducing life stresses.  And these life stresses and health are adequately sustained through social activity and low-stress walking, swimming and dance exercise.

Fifth, if you over consume too many calories per day, especially after 7:30 pm, or binge over the weekends it will be harder to lose weight.  Body metabolism slows down tremendously during evening hours and excess calories will be stored as fat for every hour you take in calories after 8pm.

Weekends will be your worst enemy with regard to calorie consumption if you don’t have an activities plan to offset food intake with caloric expenditure.  This is why in the next paragraph I recommend plan fun movement activities on the weekends.   This will help increase metabolism and will help burn off extra calories that may be put back on over the weekend.  Then over the weekdays if your mindful to balance calorie intake and expenditure relative to days of the week, you can actually continue to lose weight.

Sixth, find a workout routine you can stick with and enjoy. Various examples:  Try biking, stationary treadmill, stationary rowing, dance, ball room dancing with spouse, tennis, walking, golf, jogging aerobics sessions, swimming, etc., 3 days a week (mix it up with gym activity).  Make sure you get in 2 days a week exercise activity and 3 days aerobics (walking, biking, treadmill, elliptical walker, swim, hike etc.) minimally.   On the weekends substitute an aerobics week day activity with a planned family outdoor activity, backpack, dance, walk and shop for your meals, camping, beach walking, fishing, etc.

I recommend 5 days a week exercise activities to sustain fitness levels and good health.  I use combinations of all these activities listed above to sustain my age appropriate fitness levels and overall health.

Changing up fitness activities will help with motivation and will power to stick with exercise activities daily.  Mixing up activities also becomes very addicting when you  break the initial 2 week conditioning barrier.  It takes about this long for brain chemical stimulation and muscle toning to optimally provide the motivation and will power to sustain this lifestyle change.  Brain chemical release (adrenalin, epinephrine, dopamine, serotonin) through exercise activities is as addicting as nicotine is to a smoker; and is chocolate  to a chocoholic.

Now that I’ve provided you “How to Exercise and Increase Fitness Levels,” get out there and get it done!  Try various combinations of exercise activity.  At a minimum, if you can walk you can improve your fitness levels and experience greater lifestyle experiences.

The cost to to walk is nothing, other than your time, effort and commitment to sustain it.  Through daily walking fitness levels will increase.  This will also positively impact mood as well as how your body feels.  Sustained walking activity is good for you heart, lungs, metabolism and overall fitness goals.

Take one step at a time, one block at a time, and one mile at a time.  Do what you can daily if your exercise activity is walking.  Put no time lines, intensity of pace, or distance limitations on yourself.  The mind-body will tell you each day what it’s capable of doing.  If you have the ability to walk you’re much further ahead in becoming more fit and healthy.  The key is to move more daily, work to reach 10-15min/day exercise activity at a minimum before increasing distances and intensity of pace.  Be consistent at daily walking activity to sustain greatest fitness and health benefits.

Other tips:  Consider “not taking” your car to the store for daily staples once you can walk half a mile total distances.   Make a goal to walk and shop for your evening meals, or drive to and walk the mall.  Get a small backpack “once able to walk small distances;” carry healthy produce, products to the car, home etc.

Never carry more in weight than you can do so comfortably.  For example, I personally never carry more than 5lbs in bags, one for each arm, greater than 1 mile.  That’s .5 mile one way.   In other words when starting a shop & walk activity program, you don’t haul extra weight until you lose weight, or alleviate weight bearing joint pain [if this is a problem for you].  To do so when the mind-body is not ready may risk secondary weight bearing injuries to body compromising overall increased fitness success.

The information presented within this article and on our website, is in no way intended as a substitute for medical consulting or treatment.  Always consult a physician before starting any course of fitness programming, particularly if you are pregnant or currently under medical care.

Also Read:  Relative Fitness Programming Sustains Active Lifestyles

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

L-Tryptophan, The Obesity, Depression & ADD Silver Bullet Solution?

22 06 2010

    What is dietary Tryptophan?  It is one of the 8 essential amino acids our bodies require to function correctly.  It is found naturally in varying degrees within food we eat, such as red meat, milk, eggs, turkey, bananas and chocolate.  How does Tryptophan work to produce benefits for our bodies that could promote natural weight loss, reduce anxiety, increase happiness, remove depression, and promote good sleep?  Could it be possible this essential amino acid supplemented within a diet and known as “L-Tryptophan” could replace ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), weight loss, anti-depression, anxiety, and insomnia, also obesity prescriptions for you and your children?  The answer will surprise, anger and shock many of you about the health benefits our pharmaceutical industries don’t want you to know about.  This is because the prescription industry is a billion (s) dollar industries that do not want to give up its mind altering and weight loss prescription turf!

     First a little bit of history.  Back in 1991 the US government banned the dietary supplement L-Tryptophan because it was linked to a large outbreak of a deadly disease that killed 38 people in a 1989 study.  After 10 years had passed without incident of use in Europe, the US loosened its marketing restriction on the substance in 2001.  Like anything else, if misused any product may cause ill-health conditions.  Like many competitive industries, and most specifically our pharmaceutical industries back in 1989, they took full advantage of this disaster and profited in the market place by denouncing L-Tryptophan supplementation and created a whole slew of potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals to mimic the benefits of this essential amino acid.  As you will read below, there are still risks of using L-Tryptophan if not used correctly.  But I believe the pharmaceutical cocktail mixes our doctors now prescribe to you and your children have greater risk to our health than this natural occurring supplement.  So instead of our pharmaceutical industries developing a safe use form of this supplementation during its heyday, it was more profitable to create a whole lot of man-made chemicals appearing to do the same thing at greater expense and secondary health risks to the outpatient.

         How does this amino acid work in our bodies to promote health benefits?  Our bodies need serotonin and melatonin neurotransmitters which are bio-brain chemicals that allow proper function of our physiology.  Our bodies do not manufacture these neurotransmitters without this amino acid in the diet.  That’s what “essential” means, our body can’t produce this amino acid on its own, and it has to be obtained through the diet.  This is important why?  Because without enough of this essential amino acid in our diet any one of us stand a good chance of suffering from one, a combination, or all ill-health effects in varying degree:  Such as, migraines, low energy, sleepless nights, improper weight regulation, obesity, depression, anxiety and hyperactivity.  And if you are dieting and your diet is a low protein-high carbohydrate diet, you are at greater risk of these ill-health effects.  And there is no one at greater risk than our children because many of our families subscribe to this nutrition imbalance unknowingly.  Primarily by providing, or unknowingly allowing a high sugar-fat and low protein daily diet habit (fast foods, energy drinks, sodas, baked goods, processed foods, etc.).

     Remember, natural occurring products that can be derived from diet will not make these industries wealthy because there is no money in it.  However, today, more consumers are educated about proper use and benefits of L-Tryptophan.  It is making a big comeback in the mainstream weight loss, anti-anxiety/depression and ADD marketplace.  Of course, you can imagine there is big opposition to this movement from the pharmaceutical industry because there is much money to be lost once consumers wean off the man-made “addictive pharmaceuticals.”  I’m not saying all man-made products are without need and merit.  I am saying that there is a point where prescription use should be assessed and a more natural means applied if risk of pharmaceuticals now poses a health risk, and/or the risk could be avoided through use of a natural supplemental program to alleviate the ill-health symptoms to accomplish the same results.  All too often, our physicians and psychiatrists are too quick to prescribe pharmaceuticals when the answer to the problem could be very simple:  A bad diet that may simply require an essential amino acid boost to stimulate manufacturing of the necessary neurotransmitters!

     Can supplementing the diet with L-Tryptophan help us regulate and reduce weight?   Science shows us that this supplement can greatly reduce our cravings for sweets and carbohydrates.  When dieting for example, our serotonin levels appear to decrease which creates a carbohydrate binging and cravings effect.  When our serotonin levels remain low there is a direct correlation with weight gain and obesity.  We know this binging and craving effect as the “Yo-Yo effect.” 

     There “are known side effects” of taking L-Tryptophan if proper dosages and impure quality grade are not followed and considered:  Unlike Tryptophan extracted from the foods in our diet, there appears to be no health risk.   But like anything else we put in our bodies, if you consume too much with frequency and of low nutrition value, a negative to no benefit effect can result making the body ill. 

     Here is a list of possible side effects when misusing, or using L-Tryptophan:  Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome (EMS), or serotonin syndrome.  Symptoms include severe muscle pain, fatigue, and nerve pain, hair loss, rash, dry thickened skin, or skin changes. High eosinophil levels are found in the blood when supplementation has gone wrong.  Also when recommended dosages are disregarded, excess product toxic waste in the body can impact the brain bringing on psychotic symptoms.  This may include confusion, seeing, or hearing things, fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, diarrhea, difficulty walking.  Allergic reactions may include: Rash, hives, itching, swelling of mouth/throat, wheezing, or breathing difficulty.  Science still cannot tell us if EMS is the result of impure or specific brand L-tryptophan that had contaminants.  But for best results, it’s best to ensure a quality pharmaceutical grade is considered for use.

     If L-Tryptophan is supplemented within the right dosages, the scientific data shows the brain will manufacture balanced serotonin and melatonin neurotransmitters promoting a cheerful mood, assist in weight reduction, relieve anxiety, reduce migraine, reduce hyperactivity, reduce depression and promote healthy sleep patterns.  Sounds like the same benefits you’d receive from a doctor’s prescription of man-made pharmaceutical chemicals, does it not?  And for any one individual there could be any combination of literally dozens of dangerous cocktail mixes one could be prescribed at a greater cost to the consumer as opposed to supplementation.  Because this supplement also has many potential risks like prescriptions; it would be prudent to work with your primary physician if interested in supplementing the diet with L-Tryptophan.

     This essential acid is also responsible for manufacturing the neurotransmitter Melatonin (promotes healthy sleep patterns).  Melatonin is also found in an individual supplement tablet that can be purchased over-the-counter.  I’ve used melatonin after working grave yard shifts and I have to tell you this supplement works very well to induce sleep.  But if you’re getting enough dietary tryptophan sleepless nights become less frequent and melatonin supplementation becomes unnecessary.  Think of how you feel after consuming a big turkey meal, very satisfied and sleepy.  This is because turkey has of high concentration per serving of this amino acid in the meat.  Of course, we are all different in our ability to process Tryptophan and manufacture serotonin and melatonin, so these positive statements regarding healthy benefits will vary with each individual.  Also if you’d been advised to reduce the cholesterol in your diet, this will likely mean less animal product consumption, which may likely equate to a reduction of this essential amino acid.  I have not supplemented my diet with L-Tryptophan, but now I’m taking a closer look at it as I age and need to modify diet to better control my cholesterol count. 


     If you are a parent that is concerned about your child’s ADD, obesity, anxiety, depression signs and symptoms, consider a high quality L-Trpytophan natural supplementation program monitored by your primary physician for an alternative solution outside of pharmaceutical prescriptions.  Or visit our home site and see our health store for other quality pharmaceutical grade affiliate products.  Also consider seeing your doctor and inquire about supplementing your diet and implementing a parallel prescription plan.  This means, you, or your child don’t stop your prescribed medications, but instead, include L-Tryptophan to supplement the diet, diet modification and slowly work your way off the pharmaceuticals while being monitored by your physician.  If your physician does not want to do this, I’d highly recommend getting a second opinion.

     Many times it appears big pharmaceutical industries skew the natural solutions results because of investor result expectations to achieve profits.  Also, ensure you do your own DD (Due Diligence).  I will provide a couple of links on this topic below for you to get started in further research.  Understand there are literally thousands of Internet links and library resources on this topic.  There is much to be interpreted and derived from the data I found outside of the two links listed below.  I see the positive light behind this form of supplementation.  The pharmaceutical and psychiatric community does not share mine or others enthusiasm over the benefits outweighing the risks in comparison to pharmaceuticals.  Research the Internet and read up on diet Tryptophan versus supplement “L-Tryptophan” and how it may be your silver bullet to weaning off of pharmaceuticals and promoting a good health solution for you and your family.  Good health to you and your family!

 Research Links:;

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

How to Exercise Safely and Increase Fitness Levels

24 02 2010

Bicep Exercise tones and strengthens grip, wrists, forearms, bicepts

MAE Video Safely Build Fitness Exercise Activity.  There are so many exercise programs one could engage in to increase fitness levels.  How does one know which is right for them?  This is pretty much a two part question because you also want to know, “even though you may not have completely thought it out, which exercise activity will increase your fitness levels significantly?  This is important why?  Increased fitness levels contribute to healthy heart, lungs, metabolism, lean body, body strength, reduced body fat, weight control, weight loss, better physical endurance, excellent circulatory properties, pain alleviation and ill-health prevention, etc.  So what you really want to know, how you can get the best bang for the buck with busy lives?

I highly recommended if you are getting back into an exercise fitness program or activity, you participate by working your way back to a 5 day/wk program.  This may take you 2-6 weeks or longer to get back into gear.  For example, after one of my surgeries, it took me one and half years to work my way back to walking significant miles in a day.  Persistence paid off big health and fitness dividends for me.  Having an Exercise Science undergraduate degree provided a knowledge base in my rehabilitation fitness process.   I understood without applying fitness, alternative health and pain management methods I would experience a disabling life outcome of limited activity, mobility, more pain and increased secondary health risks.  I know many of you reading this won’t have to rehabilitate yourself from injury, depression, disease or surgery.  However, it is important to understand, if you find yourself in a disabled and rehabilitative state you can enjoy fitness conditioning activities that provide quality living experiences while you nurse yourself back to good health.  The point is, depending on your fitness and health condition(s), there is a way to slowly work back into a 3-5 day exercise-activity program.  Those that work too fast to achieve an exercise-activity program will likely drop out of fitness conditioning; while possibly looking for high risk shortcuts to achieve physical results.  This is a bad plan!

One would be wise to follow a physical fitness conditioning program for the first 6-8 weeks while easing back into a fitness routine if you’ve been out of it for a while.  Your goal is to achieve a 3-5day consistent exercise activity program after significant fitness conditioning occurs.  Fitness conditioning prior to the 3-5 day exercise activity program may require rehabilitative services to reach the 3-5 day exercise activity goal.  And if you need to, consult with your medical providers before you exercise to ensure applicable health risk considerations are taken into account before you begin a 3-5 day exercise program.

Five day exercise program – Consider making two of your exercise days on Saturday and Sunday to include family fun activities as substitutes for exercise activity.  Work in the other 3 exercise activity days convenient with your work schedule, etc.  This will provide more flexibility at first to develop healthy fitness activity around your busy schedule, reduce stress, and more time to focus on exercise-activity technique, etc.  After the fitness habit is maintained for 2-6 week period, begin to modify the plan much like you’d schedule anything else “balance!”  I’ve always found it important to take two days off in the week for needed rest (Mon & Fri).  I don’t recommend a 6-7day workout routine unless you are training at an elite level for competitive sport.

 Recommendations, Tips, How to safely increase fitness levels and activity,

 First of all you must develop a plan around busy lives.  And before you develop the plan, you must have an ideal of what are your fitness goals.  Is your goal to lose weight, rehabilitation, build muscle, better health, sustain weight, increase endurance, competitive sport, improve task specific activity (ski, golf, walk, biking, running, etc.).  So now you know before you spend money on an exclusive fitness membership, be sure to have a plan to achieve the fitness goal in mind. 

 Second, you must be realistic about your daily schedule.  If you’re a working adult with children, there are considerations that must be thought through, like working around schedules, appointments, etc.  However, it is not impossible to squeeze in exercise activity even with a busy schedule.  It’s a matter of behavioral habit change.  For example, if you want something bad enough like taking a family vacation, new car, boat, weekend outing, social networking during time off, watch evening football, baseball, basketball game, spending more time with your significant other; you manage to find the time and resources don’t you?  Yet you have a tough time committing to a healthy activity because you simply don’t have the time or see the point.  Your fitness requirements must simply become as valuable to you as personal time, or personal possessions that you protect through health, home or car insurance.  You pay for these things for prevention against catastrophe.  Your fitness health requirements are no different.  You simply must value your health as much as you value your personal time and possessions.  Also keep in mind, just because you pay for health insurance there is no guarantee after years of physical and mental abuse medical services will provide a cure-all solution.  You must also do your preventative health part.  Only through daily preventative activity exercise can one add an additional layer of protection from all that will assault the mind-body as we age.  Activity exercise is the best pain and ill-health alleviation strategy.  Physical activity for life is a key centurion attribute.

 Many employers have fitness centers at the job and/or promote life fitness schedules that allow time for workouts.  Be sure to check with your employer, if you haven’t’ already done so to see if they have corporate fitness center discounts in the local area.  If you have time before work or after the children are in bed a daily exercise program can become a daily habit that you will become addicted too.  You simple must want increased fitness benefits as bad as working more overtime for more discretionary income.  Or value fitness goals as much as indulgences.  For me, working out after work and before dinner had a great stress relief benefit.  And for many years I’d get up at 5:30am go to the gym, or jog where the adrenalin and metabolism was at full throttle as I hit the job at 7:00am.  This habit served me and my professional careers well as I was always at the top of my game, I didn’t need energy drinks to start my day.  Now in my 50’s one of my age appropriate exercise activities is walking which I’m as competitive as when I played football as a youth.  I attribute much of my life and career success to my age appropriate fitness habits.

Like anything else it takes dedication to be successful at anything you do.  It’s more a matter of finding an activity that you really enjoy, get excited about and can become addicted to.  I tended to become addictive to my exercise program if I could get through the first 5 days.  If I didn’t make 5 days at the planned fitness level goal, I would reduce intensity until ready for more intense training.  I didn’t quit the training; I took it down a notch until ready for the stress load on mind-body.  Activity exercise must vary daily dependent on how the mind-body feels.  To push when not ready is defeating and causes many to give up when they don’t have flexibility built into the exercise activity.

Third, you must plan and program around age appropriate exercise if you want to find a workout plan, or activity that you’ll stick with.  All too often I hear people give up their fitness goals and activity dreams because they “self proclaim” their too old at forty to exercise.  And simultaneously they begin to look for fountain of youth quick results gimmicks (weight loss, muscle max goals, chemical stimulus, etc.).  This is absolute nonsense; when did 40 become the new 80 plus crowd?  On the flip side, there is absolutely no reason, 50 can’t be the new 30 plus crowd.  Also, you are not 20 if your biological age is 40.  Age appropriate exercise does not mean training to become a marathon runner at 40 years of age!  My point is, if you want to look and feel better regardless of age, you must find age appropriate activity and exercise programs, or you’ll not experience true quality living experiences.

I’m not saying this isn’t possible, as a matter of fact there are some very conditioned athlete’s well into their 50’s.  But for most of us, you can’t go from lethargic couch potato and train the way you did before you became a potato.  One thing you’ll find out about elite athlete’s (50+) they have not lost step with their competitive physical-mental edge, they’ve sustained a competitive habit without fail throughout the years.  Is there a health risk for this competitive demographic?  Certainly there is, they are pushing the biological-physical plane envelop.   This activity training intensity is not meant for most entering their 40’s.  Unnecessary stress on mind-body relative to age is something that needs to be considered if you want to increase fitness health goals safely.

Forth, if you are infrequent about your exercise, or activity routine, it is very important you learn to pace yourself each time you exercise until your body is ready for a 3-5 day exercise activity routine.  Ease into your workouts, forget about competing with what you see others doing.  Set your mind to see yourself as the healthiest 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 year old possible in your neck of the woods.  If you think exercise-activity appropriate per decade, you’ll stick with a healthy exercise program for your age while physically appearing and feeling 20-30 years younger for your age.  Why don’t I go beyond 80 years of age?  Actually, 80 years and above should walk-swim, light weight, flexibility training, eat right for good health and socialize, travel as much as possible.  At this age, I thoroughly believe, each day is a blessing and one should enjoy life to the fullest while reducing life stresses.

All too often those 40 and above seek the Hollywood conventional wisdom to find their fountain of youth quick result gimmick(s) after they fail to change behavioral fitness activity habits.  They become mesmerized by the tabloids and their favorite star’s physical appearances.  They focus in on young, vibrant and wrinkle/fat free models and starlets.  They are not focused on age appropriate activity.  Instead desperately want to turn back the hands of time and will stop at nothing to achieve this goal.  This is not God’s law. You have a purpose for every decade of life.  It is your job now to be wise and healthy for your children’s sake and grandchildren.

Those that follow Hollywood conventional wisdom must have blinders on.  Because if they follow the nip-tuck; take 30lbs off in 30 days; blast your abs, thighs and buttocks; fountain of youth gimmicks then they also know the following is true.  What does Hollywood do with its actors and actresses once their physical flaws become too apparent?  They throw them out like old dish rags don’t they?  The paparazzi relentlessly pursue them and exploit their aging, overweight, illness flaws, relationships gone bad through the tabloids for a buck.  Many of these star icons you worshiped can’t keep up with the immortal Hollywood youth expectations and self destruct.  You see this, but deny the reality of the situation and search for a younger icon to follow ageless beauty advice, etc.  Why would you ever follow a celebrity’s advice as a fitness health expert in your 50’s?  Especially if they have no specialized training in age appropriate fitness techniques?  Hollywood and your iconic stars don’t cater “how to achieve” quality living experiences for the 50plus crowd.  Instead, they offer quick result diet and fitness solutions to turn back the hands of time to make a quick buck.  All the while, they use perfect model specimen’s, made up to look as if the results are mostly due to their products secret ingredients. 

There is nothing mentioned about life long health habits and healthy behavioral change in order to achieve and maintain these quick result appearance benefits.  And this always leads me to wonder, really how healthy and how well do these diet and fitness products improve fitness levels?  And what health risk are these customers subjected to in the long run for a quick result promise?  I know this to be true because I have a vice.  I love to read smut magazines about the stars.  And they do slam aging stars without mercy.  I read these for pure entertainment, a habit I can’t seem to break since my childhood.   There is one fitness celebrity that sticks out in my mind as one of the greats, Jack Lalanne.  For years, he has been known as a world renowned fitness expert through the 60’s at his peak celebrity status through our TV’s.  He now is known for his Power Juicer products.  To this day his life-long fitness story is amazing.  Research him on the Internet if you get the chance and learn more about someone’s applied exercise fitness principles that have served his followers well through a lifelong fitness career discipline. 

Fifth, the other factor to staying with an exercise age appropriate fitness program is food intake.  If you over consume, especially after 7:30 pm, or on the weekends it will be hard for you to notice weight loss and body toning (reduced body fat).  Body metabolism slows down tremendously after this evening time storing excess calories as fat.  Weekends will be your worst enemy (over consumption typically occurs during this time).  This is why in the next paragraph I recommend if you are just getting started into a workout, fitness activity routine; plan two of your five days on the weekends during the first 2-6 weeks.  Try consuming mostly a Mediterranean diet and/or 50%protein, 20%fat, 30% carbohydrate diet.  What this means in real general terms.  Stay away from the following main dishes/snacks:  Pizza, pasta, breads (whole grain ok) baked goods, ice cream, deserts, casseroles, pancakes, waffles, restaurant chains (fast foods), too much salt, chocolates, muffins, donuts, lard, candy, gum, chips, fried foods, milkshakes, alcohol, beer, diet sodas, popcorn, artificial sweeteners (aspartame), energy drinks, coffee additives (cream, sugar, artificial flavored, etc.).  These are the main addictive foods and food consumption habits that are causing much obesity in this country. 

After exercise and fitness goals are achieved, balanced eating behaviors become much easier.  You will naturally crave healthier food as the chemical food toxins are removed from the body.  This is not to say you can never have pizza, deserts, etc., or have a few drinks.   “That would be ridiculous.”  Balance my friends; we simply must get to a level of fitness for your age that you desire and will stick.  Thereafter, the fitness habit will become addictive which will lead to lifelong healthy habits including balanced consumption of food choices.

Sixth, find a workout routine you can stick with and enjoy.  Various examples:  Try biking, stationary treadmill, stationary rowing, dance, ball room dancing with spouse, tennis, walking, golf, jogging aerobics sessions, swimming, etc., 3 days a week (mix it up with gym activity).  Make sure you get in 2 days a week exercise gym activity and 3 days aerobics (walking, biking, treadmill, elliptical walker, swim, hike etc.).   On the weekends substitute an aerobics week day activity with a planned family outdoor activity, backpack, dance, healthy cooking recipes (walk and shop for your meals), camping, beach walking, fishing, etc.   I recommend 5 days a week exercise activities to sustain fitness levels and good health.  I use combinations of all these activities throughout the week to sustain my age appropriate activities.

I use combinations of daily walking, swimming, gym exercises (stationary equipment use for muscle building and toning, light weights, 12-15 reps per exercise per body part), to include aerobic cross trainers (elliptical), bikes, etc.  I also like to bike, boat, walk, hike, travel, camp, and fish on the weekends as activity substitutes, etc.  Changing up fitness activities will help with motivation, will power to stick with a program and breakup gym exercise routines nicely.  These are activity mix habits that become very addicting if you can break the 4-8wk exercise habit barrier, because it takes this long for brain chemical stimulation, muscle toning and toxins to be adequately removed from the body.  Natural brain chemicals will stimulate activity motivation and will power if given the chance.  Efficient Brain chemical release (adrenalin, epinephrine, dopamine, serotonin) through exercise is as addicting as nicotine is to a smoker; chocolate is to a chocoholic.

Now that I’ve provided you “How to Exercise and Increase Fitness Levels,” get out there and get it done!  Try various combinations of exercise activity, break up the fitness conditioning patterns and don’t go into any activity program at full intensity until conditioned to do so.  “Good things in life come to those that take the time to do it right!”

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Pancreatic Cancer Statistics and Recommendations

24 11 2009
Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast

The pancreas is a long flat gland behind the abdomen and stomach.  Its function is to aid in digestion and blood sugar (glucose) regulation through enzyme and hormone production.   Once your body is diagnosed, or riddled with pancreatic cancer, the 5-Year survival life expectancy is dismal.  But hope in response to cancer treatment can give a possibility of a longer life.  This hope is greatly dependent on if the tumor can be reduced enough after chemo to surgically remove it.  I recently wrote an article comparing the pancreatic cancer deaths between Patrick Swayze and Michael Landon.  The one commonality between the two was that they both drank and smoked excessively for long periods of time.  Pancreatic cancer rates are 2 times higher for smokers than nonsmokers.  There is also a higher rate of pancreatic cancer cases in countries with high fat diets.  Cancer as a whole regardless of cancer type appears to be on the rise in the US.  The statistics below show all cancer diagnosis from 2000 to 2008 dominating in 4 states.  Pancreatic Cancer estimates in 2009 prove to be the 4th deadliest cancer in the US.  For the full Pancreatic Statistics & Recommendations including all other forms of cancer, click on link below for Free American Cancer Society reports.”

  • States with highest cancer diagnosis during year 2000 – Geographically (California 113,200), Florida (88,100), Texas (76,100), NY (81,500), US diagnosed “All” Cancer Totals – 1,220,100
  • States with highest cancer diagnosis during year 2008 – Geography (California 156,530), Florida (101,920), Texas (96,320), NY (97,130), US diagnosed “All” Cancer Totals – 1,437,180.
  • Pancreatic Cancer estimates in 2009 ~42,700 people will be diagnosed resulting in ~35,420 deaths will result making it the fourth deadliest cancer (American Cancer Society).

Jennifer Landon “There are many studies that show low-fat, plant-based diets have low cancer rates.  Large studies in Europe shows 40% of vegetarians… Less likely to develop cancer over meat eaters” (Cancer Project is an affiliate of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine). 

Preventative Measures:  Those that add sugar to coffee, tea; drink diet sodas and eat deserts daily increase pancreatic risk up to 50-90%.  Risk factors:  Tobacco, alcohol, poor diet, obesity, diabetes; 10-15% diagnosed – poor genetics.  Recommendation: There is no screening test or symptoms prior to the spread of pancreatic cancer.  If you experience abdomen pain, darkening of urine, or if cancer runs in your family see a doctor. Request a CT scan.  Have blood drawn to see if cancer antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) results in increased levels indicative of pancreas cancer. Reduction of tumor size to surgically remove it is the patient’s 5-year or better survival hope before it spreads to lymph, or liver.

References:  World Wide Web,

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2009 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.