Healthy yet creamy pea and ham pasta

Healthy yet creamy pea and ham pasta

Healthy yet creamy pea and ham pasta

Nutrition
1682 kj  ENERGY
10.1g     FAT TOTAL
4.9g       SATURATED FAT
6.1g       FIBRE
19.2g    PROTEIN
467mg  SODIUM
52.3g    CARBS (TOTAL)
Ingredients

  • 280g dried casarecce pasta
  • 150g (1 cup) frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 green shallots, trimmed, sliced
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) white wine
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 100g (1/2 cup) light cream cheese, chopped
  • 125g shaved 97% fat-free smoked ham, torn or shredded

Directions

  • Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water following packet directions or until al dente, adding the peas for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 125ml (1/2 cup) of the cooking liquid.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and half the shallot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until aromatic. Add the wine and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until reduced. Tear half the basil leaves.
  • Combine the cream cheese and reserved pasta water in a bowl. Whisk until smooth and combined. Season well with pepper. Add to the frying pan and immediately remove from the heat.
  • Drain the pasta mixture. Return to the pan. Add the cream cheese mixture, ham and torn basil. Use tongs to toss well to combine. Sprinkle with the remaining shallot and basil.
References
https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/quick-healthy-creamy-ham-pasta/kdyng526?r=recipes/healthydinnerrecipes&c=z8xblhdp/Healthy%20dinner%20recipes
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Healthy yet creamy pea and ham pasta

Healthy yet creamy pea and ham pasta

Nutrition 1682 kj  ENERGY 10.1g     FAT TOTAL 4.9g       SATURATED FAT 6.1g       FIBRE 19.2g    PROTEIN 467mg  SODIUM 52.3g    CARBS (TOTAL) Ingredients 280g dried casarecce pasta 150g (1 cup) frozen peas 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves, finely...

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Growth Hormone Deficiency

Growth Hormone Deficiency

The Endocrine System and Hormones

About Growth Hormone

  • 191-amino acid, single-chain polypeptide
  • Secreted by somatotropic cells located in the lateral wings of the anterior pituitary gland.
  • Increases glucose and free fatty acid levels.
  • Stimulates production of IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor)

What causes adult-onset growth hormone deficiency?

Growth hormone deficiency in adults or AGHD (adult-onset growth hormone deficiency) develops out of the reduced secretion of ones natural growth hormone.

Growth hormone is extremely important throughout our lives, and the depletion of GH is very noticeable, particularly in those reaching midlife. Low levels of growth hormone dramatically reduce one’s quality of life for it is the hormone responsible for maintenance and repair during adulthood.

For grown adults who are experiencing growth hormone deficiency, the natural repair and regenerative healing that was experienced in their youth is lost. Bones and muscle quickly lose their mass, leaving the body and its frame particularly vulnerable to injury and falls. An increased rate of injury occurs as a result of this fragility, of which most people start to see a decline in both their health and lifestyle. Each new injury comes with it, further downtime, less muscular usage and limited mobility which in turn increases the risk of future accidents and falls. Injuries that are sustained have the potential to cripple those with growth hormone deficiency, weakening their constitution till they can no longer be independent or achieve mobility.

Growth hormone deficiency typically starts to occur around the age of 30 years of age. Significant drops in growth hormone occur at this time. What follows is the onset of menopause and andropause in males. It has been theorised that most if not all of the symptoms of ageing experienced in human beings, has a direct link to this deficiency in growth hormone.

Growth hormone deficiency in adults contributes to earlier death.

The reduced GH levels causes:

Reduction in bone mass density

A decrease in muscle mass (sarcopenia)

What are the symptoms of AGHD? (Adult Onset Growth Hormone Deficiency)

If you are concerned about your declining growth hormone levels, take a look at the following questions to determine your status.

Do I have growth hormone deficiency?

  • Have I lost muscle mass in the past few years?
  • Do I have less endurance or muscular strength?
  • Do I take a longer time to recover from physical activity?
  • Do I have skin wounds or muscular strains that are taking much longer to heal than usual?
  • Have I experienced any hair loss from my body or scalp?
  • Is my skin becoming thin and wrinkled?
  • Do I have fat storage around my waist that is hard to remove?
  • Do I have fat storage around my knees that is hard to remove?
  • Do I have trouble with my memory?
  • Has my thinking speed decreased?
  • Has my sleep quality declined?
  • Do I feel less motivated to join others socially?
  • Do I feel a general sense of fatigue, despite having had a full nights rest?

These are symptoms of a disease. If you answered yes to a number of these questions, it is possible you are already experiencing growth hormone deficiency. To know for sure if this is the case, you can order a simple test which will provide information on your growth hormone status. We offer a blood test that can be taken before the use of GH releasing products. Though it is not mandatory to take this blood test, we strongly suggest you do. This is not only for your health and safety, but it will give the doctor a starting point from which to monitor your levels throughout treatment. It ensures the success of your peptide treatment program – which is what we all want to achieve.

At Peptide Clinics South Africa, you are in good hands. We have on board a highly qualified hormone doctor who is well aware of the symptoms of AGHD and has been treating growth hormone deficiency successfully for many years.

What does the doctor suggest I do if I am concerned about my GH levels?

BLOOD TEST: This will supply you with an accurate reading of your current GH levels.

REVIEW: The doctor will review your choice of peptide and evaluate its purpose alongside that of your goals for peptide use. The pathology outcome will be considered whereby the doctor can then determine the correct dosage for your peptide treatment.

FOLLOW UP BLOOD TEST: Follow up tests are necessary for those with adult-onset growth hormone deficiency, as they will highlight the level of improvement in your bloodwork.

CAUTION: One must understand that GH-releasing peptides are not the same as steroids. A “less is more” attitude will grant patients access to peak performance of growth hormone. The abuse of growth hormone and overdosing leads to unwanted side effects. For some who abuse growth hormone, this may result in the inability to naturally release growth hormone, accelerating symptoms of ageing and degeneration.

We want you to achieve your goals; thus we ask you to trust the expertise of our doctor in dosing for optimal treatment.

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Growth Hormone Deficiency

The Endocrine System and Hormones About Growth Hormone 191-amino acid, single-chain polypeptide Secreted by somatotropic cells located in the lateral wings of the anterior pituitary gland. Increases glucose and free fatty acid levels. Stimulates production of IGF-1...

read more

The Dangers of Visceral Fat

The Dangers of Visceral Fat

The Dangers of Visceral Fat

Weight Management

The fat cells that are harmful to your health.


Excess glucose consumption, coupled with inactivity, chronic stress and /or hormonal imbalance leads to an excess of fat storage. When fat storage is in excess, this means it may be found in areas that the body is not equipped to handle. In fact, excess fat stores typically find themselves within the deep layers of the abdominal cavity where our vital organs are also located. This is referred to as “visceral fat”

Visceral fat, is the damaging fat that causes increased inflammation and weakens the function of the organ tissue where it is being stored. Visceral fat is typically found surrounding the pancreas, liver, kidney, intestines and heart.  Hard and of a gel-like consistency, the obese will have more visceral fat than those of normal weight, but it is not reserved for the overweight.

An individuals susceptibility to develop visceral fat increases dramatically through ageing. Research indicates this unhealthy fat accumulates for a number of reasons. It is often the visual indicator to an individual that their lifestyle, diet and exercise routine may not be healthy as is needed. Manifesting in a manner that one must take notice, visceral fat is the type of fat storage indicative of dysfunction. If one leaves visceral fat to surmount, disease and death are the inevitable result.

Fat cells, storage and the inflammatory response.

 

Fat cells are able to increase in number (hyperplasia). They also increase in size. (hypertrophy). During the process of each, hyperplasia and hypertrophy, and due to the fact that our metabolism is linked up with our immune systems, a person will experience shifts in their overall immunity.

How this works is through the production and secretion of cytokines and adipokines. Cytokines and adipokines secrete chemical messengers otherwise known as inflammatory molecules, proteins and hormones that have the ability to communicate with the organs in the body. In doing so, the inflammatory response that is initiated interferes with the organ and its natural function.

One known adipokine, which is also considered to be a neurohormone is leptin. Leptin resistance is an underlying cause of obesity. It partakes in the vicious hormonal cycle that contributes to the storage of visceral fat.

 
 

Common causes of visceral fat (belly fat) storage:

 

  • Insulin resistance
  • Chronic emotional stress
  • Toxic overload
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Physical inactivity
  • Ageing
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Unhealthy eating and at the wrong time of day
  • Alcoholism

Potential consequences of visceral fat (belly fat)

References
  • Hamdy O, e. (2018). Metabolic obesity: the paradox between visceral and subcutaneous fat. – PubMed – NCBI . Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 15 November 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18220642
  • Matsuzawa Y, Fujioka S, Tokunaga K, Tarui S. Classification of obesity with respect to morbidity. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1992 Jun;200(2):197-201. No abstract available.
  • Visceral Fat Volume is a Better Predictor for Insulin Resistance than Abdominal Wall Fat Index in Patients with Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Ozlem Ozer Cakir1*, Mehmet Yildiz2 and Mustafa Kulaksizoglu3
  • Nam, S., Choi, I., Ryu, K., Park, B., Kim, Y., Kim, H., & Kim, J. (2015). The Effect of Abdominal Visceral Fat, Circulating Inflammatory Cytokines, and Leptin Levels on Reflux Esophagitis. Journal Of Neurogastroenterology And Motility, 21(2), 247-254. doi:10.5056/jnm14114
  • Debette, Stéphanie et al. “Visceral Fat Is Associated with Lower Brain Volume in Healthy Middle-Aged Adults.” Annals of neurology 68.2 (2010): 136–144. PMC. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.
  •  Giles, Jon T. et al. “Abdominal Adiposity in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Association with Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and Disease Characteristics.” Arthritis and rheumatism 62.11 (2010): 3173–3182. PMC. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.
  •  Visceral Adiposity, Insulin Resistance, and Type 2 Diabetes American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine May/June 2010 4: 230-243, first published on March 2, 2010
  •  Donohoe, Claire L, Suzanne L Doyle, and John V Reynolds. “Visceral Adiposity, Insulin Resistance and Cancer Risk.” Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 3 (2011): 12. PMC. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.
  • Fontana L, e. (2018). Visceral fat adipokine secretion is associated with systemic inflammation in obese humans. – PubMed – NCBI . Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 15 November 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17287468
  • BW, V. (2018). [Depressive symptoms, cortisol, visceral fat and metabolic syndrome]. – PubMed – NCBI . Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 15 November 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21898316
  • Guedes, Erika P et al. “Body Composition and Depressive/anxiety Symptoms in Overweight and Obese Individuals with Metabolic Syndrome.”Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 5 (2013): 82. PMC. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.
  • Wang, C., Jackson, G., Jones, T., Matsumoto, A., Nehra, A., & Perelman, M. et al. (2011). Low Testosterone Associated With Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome Contributes to Sexual Dysfunction and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Men With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 34(7), 1669-1675. doi:10.2337/dc10-2339
How to Burn Belly Fat During Sleep

How to Burn Belly Fat During Sleep

How to Burn Belly Fat During Sleep

Burn Belly Fat with Quality Sleep
Weight Management

Burning Belly Fat While You Sleep

 
Hormones have much more of an influence on our body composition than we realise, and a decline in the sleep hormone has been associated with increased belly fat. In this article, we discover how having low levels of this hormone contributes to the growth of your waistline and tips on how to burn belly fat during sleep through supplementation.
 
The sleep hormone is one which we all have access to on a daily basis that signals to us that it is time to rest and regenerate. Secreted by the pineal gland, it is the hormone that regulates our circadian sleep wake cycle.
 
Much like how the sun rises in the morning, so too do we humans, find ourselves waking up to a brand new day. The reverse is also true, whereby as the sun sets, our biological clock communicates that we too must set things aside, and get sleep in preparation for the day that follows.
 
Belly fat or visceral fat is the dangerous fat that gets stored within the abdominal region. Not to be confused with the pinchable subcutaneous fat, visceral fat blankets vital organs and becomes a significant saboteur to the function of the endocrine system.
 
Belly fat is not reserved for the obese. There are those of a “normal weight” who may also have excess belly fat. Regardless, there is a correlation between low levels of this sleep hormone and increased belly fat storage.

Low levels of sleep hormone can be caused by:

 

1. Stimulant Use or Use of Certain Medications

 
You may not get the deep and regenerative sleep you need if you use stimulants. Also, there are medications that have the potential to prevent deep sleep. There is a fine line, when opting to take a drug or stimulant to improve productivity. If sleep is disrupted habitually, the brain and its overall receptiveness may be damaged permanently. Balance is the key to the optimisation of health.
 

2. Chronic Stress and Anxiety

 
Increased stress influences cortisol levels to be raised, which in turn contributes to the decline in ones sleep hormone.
The sleep hormone and its levels are  known to be highest at night, as the body gets ready for relaxation and regenerative sleep. You must be conscious of the fact that in order to gain the benefit from this hormones secretion you should not do anything that will elevate the hormone cortisol.
 
The following activities release cortisol which prevents fat burning during sleep:
 

  • Exercising
  • Eating meals or skipping meals
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Undergoing emotional stress
  • Exposure to oxidative and chemical stress
  • Certain medications
  • Exposure to toxins
  • GI inflammation (leaky gut)
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Physical stress/injury

 

3. Declining levels of the sleep hormone through the ageing process

 
Sleep hormone levels are at their highest at puberty. They significantly decrease as one ages. This is the reason why the elderly find it difficult to get to sleep and to obtain a quality sleep.
 

4. Alcohol use as a sedative for sleep

 
People often unknowingly indulge in a drink at night referring to it as a “nightcap”. The objective of the late night drink is to set the stage for sleep, but more often than not, the goal of restful sleep is not met using this strategy. When more than one drink is consumed, alcohol is said to prevent the release of growth hormone. Drinking has been known to inhibit 75% of growth hormone’s release.
 

How the metabolic “Circadian Rhythm” helps you burn fat while sleeping:

 

  • Meals consumed in the morning at 8am will not be processed the same way as having the identical meal at 8pm.
  • The sleep hormone is a powerful messenger that switches our metabolic function from active to that of rest. The darkness is what triggers its secretion. Light, regardless if it is natural or artificial, has the ability to block this hormones secretion.
  • The illumination from blue light or other light at night has the ability to block the transition our bodies are supposed to take into the fasting state. Instead, the calorie acquisition and storage continues. This significantly disconnects us from natures clock and causes much of the struggle we have with weight gain.
  • The sleep hormone modulates the action of several key metabolic hormones such as ghrelin, leptin and insulin. Known to orchestrate appetite, satiety, calorie uptake and fat storage, melatonin also has been shown to increase levels of activity, core body temperature and increases one’s energy expenditure. Scientists are of the mind that this increased use of energy is due to brown fat activation.
  • In animal subjects, researchers have removed their pineal gland, which is the location of the sleep hormones production. As a result, the animals become overweight. With the timed administration of this hormone these animals were shown with a reversal of weight gain.
  • Other studies showed middle-aged animals with abdominal obesity were given sleep hormone  and observations seen include a decreased overall weight, along with a reduction in visceral fat.
References

  • Walecka-Kapica, E., Klupińska, G., Chojnacki, J., Tomaszewska-Warda, K., Błońska, A., & Chojnacki, C. (2014). The effect of melatonin supplementation on the quality of sleep and weight status in postmenopausal women. Przeglad menopauzalny = Menopause review, 13(6), 334-8.
  • Gumersindo Fernández Vázquez et al. Melatonin increases brown adipose tissue mass and function in Zücker diabetic fatty rats: implications for obesity control, Journal of Pineal Research (2018). DOI: 10.1111/jpi.12472
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Healthy yet creamy pea and ham pasta

Healthy yet creamy pea and ham pasta

Nutrition 1682 kj  ENERGY 10.1g     FAT TOTAL 4.9g       SATURATED FAT 6.1g       FIBRE 19.2g    PROTEIN 467mg  SODIUM 52.3g    CARBS (TOTAL) Ingredients 280g dried casarecce pasta 150g (1 cup) frozen peas 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves, finely...

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How the body burns fat reserves

Peptides for fat loss grant the patient the ability to benefit from weight loss benefits over a three to six month period. So long as one understands that success is heightened through an implementation of a healthy diet and increased physical activity.

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Common Causes of Belly Fat

Common Causes of Belly Fat

Common Causes of Belly Fat

Causes of Belly Fat Weight Gain
Weight Management
Wondering why you are consistently gaining weight on your belly? The causes of belly fat weight gain are often variable, but one must account for all risk factors, and be open to making changes where needed.
 

What fat on the belly is the harmful fat?

 

Subcutaneous Fat

Location: Directly under skin
The visible, pinchable, fat located just under the skin is called subcutaneous fat. When you poke at it, this fat feels soft.

Visceral Fat (The Harmful Belly Fat)

Location: Surrounds and blankets vital organs in the abdominal cavity
This fat blankets vital organs in the abdominal cavity covering and surrounding the liver, pancreas, kidney and intestines. Visceral belly fat is a significant health concern for it has been shown to disrupt the functioning of vital organs. It also negatively influences the endocrine system and its regular hormonal signalling. Visceral fat is of a gel-like consistency. It makes an individual’s belly feel firm, unlike subcutaneous fat, which is soft to the touch.
 

Causes of Belly Fat

 
Age, Gender and Hormonal Status
You may be more susceptible to gaining weight in your midsection due to genetics, your gender or age. At certain times in one’s life, particularly at midlife, hormonal deficiencies create issues for people. It is important to be aware of these times. In middle aged women, menopause is a timeframe where metabolic processes slow down significantly. In men too, their experience of menopause is similar, though not entirely the same. At the age of 30, one should be taking an active interest in balancing one’s hormone levels. Be sure to have them tested on a regular basis. The influence of the endocrine system on our propensity to store fat is so high that in most cases, weight loss peptides will be able to rectify these fat storage issues. Be sure to consider lifestyle habits that may be contributing to the disruption of the endocrine system and desensitising of hormonal receptors. 
 
Eating Habits 
Eating habits should be reviewed, alongside whether food choices are balanced and offer nutritional sustenance. One must investigate whether there is too much consumption of empty calories, foods cooked in unhealthy trans fats or processed foods with hidden sugar content, preservatives and additives. If you are seeking more information regarding Diet and Nutrition, check out our articles for insight.
 
Sleep Hygiene

Additionally, you should look at your current sleep hygiene. This includes making an analysis on just how much rest you are getting. Keep a notepad next to your bed or download an app that can keep track of the duration and quality of sleep you are having each night. It may come to surprise you that with each week in passing, where sleep is disrupted or of bad quality, your waistline increases in girth.
There is sufficient evidence to conclude that hormonal deficiencies are at work, whereby sleep loss plays a role in belly fat weight gain.


Physical Activity and Exercise

Are you getting adequate exercise? As we get older, it is really important to remember that the body will require continued physical activity. Muscle mass is lost quite rapidly, due to hormonal decline, and we need our muscle mass maintained for fat burning and to support the skeletal bones. Without muscle mass, we become fragile, and more likely to experience an injury or fall, which can result in bone fractures and lengthly recovery times. This in turn promotes further muscle loss, (sarcopenia) which like a vicious cycle repeats the incidence of injury, further down time and a higher risk of the cycle repeating over and over. 
 
Stress 
How are you coping with stress? Chronic stress and rising cortisol levels play a role in the development of belly fat. 
 

Why is belly fat so harmful as opposed to subcutaneous fat?

 
Belly fat, once it has consumed the abdominal cavity, becomes a danger to an otherwise healthy individual. It has been shown to provoke an inflammatory response, which is the first sign of impending disease.
The reason that these fat cells are so toxic to us is that they no longer allow the endocrine system to do its job of regulating hormonal signalling. Instead, they act independently, pumping out hormones and inflammatory substances called cytokines, which interfere with the regular communication between cells and organs. Additionally, cytokines interfere with hormones that regulate appetite and fat storage, as well as mood and cognition, to name a few. Cytokines can act on the very cells from which they are secreted (autocrine action) and may also act on cells that are adjacent, this is a paracrine action. An endocrine action is where cytokines act on distant cells.

The fat stored in your abdominal region (visceral fat) is linked to inflammation, and may potentially increase the risk of developing certain diseases, including:

 

References
  • “Adipokines And Adipose Tissue Angiogenesis In Obesity”. Immunoendocrinology (2015): n. pag. Web.
  • An Insulin Mimic Secreted By Visceral Fat”. Science 307.5708 (2005): 313k-313k. Web.
  • Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2016 Feb;40(236):122-8. [Adipose tissue, adipokines and aging].
  • Ibrahim, M M. “Subcutaneous And Visceral Adipose Tissue: Structural And Functional Differences”. Obes. metabol. 2 (2010): 64. Web.
  • Wisse, B. E. “The Inflammatory Syndrome: The Role Of Adipose Tissue Cytokines In Metabolic Disorders Linked To Obesity”. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 15.11 (2004): 2792-2800. Web.
  • Debette, Stéphanie et al. “Visceral Fat Is Associated With Lower Brain Volume In Healthy Middle-Aged Adults”. Annals of Neurology (2010): n/a-n/a. Web.
  • Anan, Futoshi et al. “Abdominal Visceral Fat Accumulation Is Associated With Hippocampus Volume In Non-Dementia Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus”. NeuroImage 49.1 (2010): 57-62. Web.
  • Figueroa, Amparo L. et al. “Relationship Between Measures Of Adiposity, Arterial Inflammation, And Subsequent Cardiovascular Eventsclinical PERSPECTIVE”. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging 9.4 (2016): e004043. Web.
  • Curr Diabetes Rev. 2006 Nov;2(4):367-73 Metabolic obesity: the paradox between visceral and subcutaneous fat. Hamdy O1, Porramatikul S, Al-Ozairi E.
  • Matsuzawa Y, Fujioka S, Tokunaga K, Tarui S. Classification of obesity with respect to morbidity. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1992 Jun;200(2):197-201. No abstract available.
  • Visceral Fat Volume is a Better Predictor for Insulin Resistance than Abdominal Wall Fat Index in Patients with Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Mellites Ozlem Ozer Cakir1*, Mehmet Yildiz2 and Mustafa Kulaksizoglu3
  • Su Youn Nam,1,2,* Il Ju Choi,3,* Kum Hei Ryu,1 Bum Joon Park,1 Young-Woo Kim,3 Hyun Beom Kim,4 and Jeongseon Kim5 The Effect of Abdominal Visceral Fat, Circulating Inflammatory Cytokines, and Leptin Levels on Reflux Esophagitis J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2015 Apr; 21(2): 247–254.
  • Debette, Stéphanie et al. “Visceral Fat Is Associated with Lower Brain Volume in Healthy Middle-Aged Adults.” Annals of neurology 68.2 (2010): 136–144. PMC. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.
  • Giles, Jon T. et al. “Abdominal Adiposity in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Association with Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and Disease Characteristics.” Arthritis and rheumatism 62.11 (2010): 3173–3182. PMC. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.
  • Visceral Adiposity, Insulin Resistance, and Type 2 Diabetes American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine May/June 2010 4: 230-243, first published on March 2, 2010
  • Donohoe, Claire L, Suzanne L Doyle, and John V Reynolds. “Visceral Adiposity, Insulin Resistance and Cancer Risk.” Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 3 (2011): 12. PMC. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.
  • Visceral Fat Adipokine Secretion Is Associated With Systemic Inflammation in Obese Humans Crossref DOI link: https://doi.org/10.2337/db06-1656 Published: 2007-04-01
  • Tijdschr Psychiatr. 2011;53(9):613-20. [Depressive symptoms, cortisol, visceral fat and metabolic syndrome].
  • Guedes, Erika P et al.Body Composition and Depressive/anxiety Symptoms in Overweight and Obese Individuals with Metabolic Syndrome.”Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome 5 (2013): 82. PMC. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.
  • Low Testosterone Associated With Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome Contributes to Sexual Dysfunction and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Men With Type 2 Diabetes Christina Wang, MD1⇓, Graham Jackson, MD2, T. Hugh Jones, MD3, Alvin M. Matsumoto, MD4, Ajay Nehra, MD5, Michael A. Perelman, PHD6, Ronald S. Swerdloff, MD1, Abdul Traish, PHD7, Michael Zitzmann, MD8 and Glenn Cunningham, MD9
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Healthy yet creamy pea and ham pasta

Healthy yet creamy pea and ham pasta

Nutrition 1682 kj  ENERGY 10.1g     FAT TOTAL 4.9g       SATURATED FAT 6.1g       FIBRE 19.2g    PROTEIN 467mg  SODIUM 52.3g    CARBS (TOTAL) Ingredients 280g dried casarecce pasta 150g (1 cup) frozen peas 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves, finely...

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How the body burns fat reserves

Peptides for fat loss grant the patient the ability to benefit from weight loss benefits over a three to six month period. So long as one understands that success is heightened through an implementation of a healthy diet and increased physical activity.

read more

Knee Ligaments and ACL Injury

Knee Ligaments and ACL Injury

Knee Ligaments and ACL Injury

Knee Ligament Injury Treatment

Sports Injury and Recovery

Knee Ligament Injury and Treatment


One of the more common injuries to the knee ligament occur as an ACL injury. This is when the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee gets torn or sprained during physical activity. At the time of injury, it is common to hear a popping localised in the knee, at which point rapid swelling and pain follow suite. The treatment of any knee ligament injury will require rest and rehabilitation. How long one must commit to the healing process will be determined by the severity of the injury. 

What are the ligaments of the knee?

Within the knee are three bones that serve to attach the knee joint to the thigh bone. Ligaments, which are strong band-like tissues, connect these three bones to each other, keeping the knee bone in place.
On the sides of the knee, inside and outside are the collateral ligaments. These serve to protect and control the knee as it moves sideways.

  • Inside Knee: Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • Outside Knee: Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)

Forming a criss-cross inside the knee are the cruciate ligaments, they act to protect and control the motion of the knee as it moves back and forth.

  • Front of Knee: Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
  • Back of Knee: Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)

The knee is a relatively vulnerable region of the body, which suffers from injury frequently. When there is an injury to a knee ligament, it is usually referred to as a “sprain”. Sprains are graded by the severity of the injury. When injury does occur, it is a particularly timely process if the severity of the injury is significant. To hasten the recovery time, injury repair and recovery peptides may offer support.
 

Common Causes of Knee Ligament Injury

 

  • Sudden change of motion / direction or stopping suddenly
  • Pivoting with your foot stationary
  • A bad landing from a jump
  • A collision that causes a direct hit to the knee.

 

Prevent knee injury through proper training and exercise

To reduce the liklihood of sustaining a knee ligament injury, specific exercises and training techniques can be highly effective. Exercises that focus on promoting muscular strength within the leg are key to preventing further injury. One should practice landing from jumps, ensuring correct technical placement of the knee.  Training can also be focused on how best to stop, shift direction and pivot for injury prevention. Training this way means that eventually one’s landing technique and motion will become second nature.
Preventing a knee injury from occuring again, one should also commit to the specified healing time and not resume activity. Not giving yourself adequate time to repair, sets you up for further damage and a weakened constitution.
If you are interested in learning more about injury peptides that assist in the healing and recovery process, take a moment to fill in our registry to qualify for access.

References
  • Lam, M. H., Fong, D. T., Yung, P., Ho, E. P., Chan, W. Y., & Chan, K. M. (2009). Knee stability assessment on anterior cruciate ligament injury: Clinical and biomechanical approaches. Sports medicine, arthroscopy, rehabilitation, therapy & technology : SMARTT, 1(1), 20. doi:10.1186/1758-2555-1-20 
  • Published: Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2017 Volume:47 Issue:11 Pages:824–824 DOI:10.2519/jospt.2017.0511 Knee Ligament Sprains and Tears: Clinical Practice Guidelines Ensuring Best Care
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Clinical Presentation: History, Physical, Causes. (2018). Emedicine.medscape.com. Retrieved 14 November 2018, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/89442-clinical 
  • LaBella, C., Hennrikus, W., & Hewett, T. (2014). Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention. PEDIATRICS, 133(5), e1437-e1450. doi:10.1542/peds.2014-0623 
  • Liu, Q., Jia, Z., Duan, L., Xiong, J., Wang, D., & Ding, Y. (2018). Functional peptides for cartilage repair and regeneration. American journal of translational research, 10(2), 501-510.
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Soft Tissue Injury Prevention

Soft Tissue Injury Prevention

Sports Injury and Recovery What is a soft tissue injury? Soft tissue injury happens with regularity for both athletes and bodybuilding enthusiasts. A soft tissue injury usually involves a sprain, strain or bruising of the muscle, tendon or ligament. When an individual...

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The Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Cycle

The Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Cycle

The Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Cycle

CIrcadian Rhythm and Sleep Cycle
Sleep Hygeine

What is the Circadian Rhythm?

There is a 24-hour circadian rhythm that regulates our sleep cycle. Our hormones are at play with regards to when we feel drowsy and when we experience wakefulness. Regardless if an individual considers themselves a night owl, or they are shift workers, the human body, animals and plants, are all regulated by this internal circadian clock called “The Circadian Rhythm”.
The circadian rhythm influences us both when we are asleep and when we’re awake. Otherwise known as the sleep-wake cycle, or the sleep cycle, the release of specific hormones makes this all possible. One such hormone that gets secreted and peaks, particularly when we are in the deepest stage of sleep, is growth hormone. It is through this release that our brain and body repairs and restores itself for continued health and well-being.
When there is a disruption to the circadian rhythm, there are some consequences we soon experience, such as increased fat storage, depression, diabetes and/or bipolar disorder. When a person has not had adequate sleep for an extended period, their sleep cycle informs them that they need to have rest. The result is the feeling of drowsiness.
 
Sleep Time
The timing that is set for both sleep and wakefulness can differ during a 24-hour span. At 2 – 4am, most adults will find they are very sleepy. Interesting, it turns out that we are also driven to sleep between 1 – 3 pm. Those with sleeplessness, requiring an insomnia treatment, are those that will suffer the most at these times of the day. This reality is all thanks to our natural circadian rhythm.
 

Sleep Cycles and Brain Waves

 
Gamma

  • The “Insight” brainwave
  • The fastest frequency of all brain waves
  • Linked to the high-level information processing

Beta

  • “Waking Consciousness”
  • Responsible for reasoning

Alpha

  • Present mostly in deep relaxation.
  • When we are awake, alpha may slip us into a daydream
  • Alpha brainwaves help us with light meditation.
  • Alpha brain waves help focus us through the quiet balancing of the mind
  • Alpha brain waves are present when our intuitive facilities are optimised

Theta

  • Light meditation and sleeping brainwave.
  • It includes REM dream state.

Delta

  • Deep REM sleep brainwave
  • Realm of the unconscious mind
  • Linked to repair and regeneration
  • The reason it is called delta sleep is because of the presence of high-amplitude, low-frequency delta waves. These are witnessed in a patient’s EEG.
  • It is hard to wake a person once they are in deep sleep.
  • Human growth hormone has been shown to release in pulses during deep sleep.

The Stages of Sleep within our Sleep Cycle

 
When we are about to fall asleep, our brain will enter the Alpha and Theta waves. This is when we experience dreaminess. This same dreaminess that is encountered during the day does not typically result in sleep, but at night it will. This is due to our circadian cycle. Many people who practice the art of mediation will be able to gain control over their brain waves. Alpha is a very restful/peaceful state.
Once our brains begin to enter the Theta wave, we will feel slightly awake and easily roused, but still in a light state of sleep. If we have been undisturbed in this stage, within 5-7 minutes the 2nd stage of sleep will be reached.
 
Sleep Patterns
It is crucial to understand your sleep cycle. Through the optimisation of your sleep sanctuary, you move towards the improvement of cellular regeneration and repair. Our specialist has created a list of sleeping tips that will enable you to get the rest you need every night.

References
 

  • (2018). New perspectives on the role of melatonin in human sleep, circadian rhythms and their regulation. British journal of pharmacology, 175(16), 3190–3199. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/bph.14116 
  • Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2018). Ninds.nih.gov. Retrieved 8 November 2018, from Https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep

  • Bellesi, M., Riedner, B. A., Garcia-Molina, G. N., Cirelli, C., & Tononi, G. (2014). Enhancement of sleep slow waves: underlying mechanisms and practical consequences. Frontiers in systems neuroscience, 8, 208. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2014.00208 
  • Fitsleep – BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF ALPHA WAVE SLEEP SYSTEM MEDICAL THEORY AND CLINICAL TRIAL VERIFICATION. (2018). Fitsleep.net. Retrieved 8 November 2018, from http://www.fitsleep.net/events/detail/id/3/language/en_us

  • Nedeltcheva, A. V., Kilkus, J. M., Imperial, J., Schoeller, D. A., & Penev, P. D. (2010). Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Annals of internal medicine, 153(7), 435-41.

  • Beccuti, G., & Pannain, S. (2011). Sleep and obesity. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 14(4), 402-12.

  • Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 2, Sleep Physiology.

  • Tosini, G., Ferguson, I., & Tsubota, K. (2016). Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Molecular vision, 22, 61-72.

  • Bass, J., & Takahashi, J. S. (2010). Circadian integration of metabolism and energetics. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6009), 1349-54.

  • Mahowald MW. Sleep Deprivation: Basic Science, Physiology, and Behavior Sleep Deprivation: Clinical Issues, Pharmacology, and Sleep Loss Effects. Arch Neurol. 2005;62(8):1314. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.8.1314-a

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How important is sleep for muscle growth and weight loss?

How important is sleep for muscle growth and weight loss?

How important is sleep for muscle growth and weight loss?

Sleep Hygiene

While sit-ups and crunches are great exercises for burning abdominal fat and sculpting your 6-pack, you must ensure after all the intense training, one final step is taken. This last step is the one that takes place in your sleep.

It may sound odd to some of you who are new to the world of hormones and hormonal regulation, but scientifically this makes perfect sense. The answer is attributed to the powerfully regenerative activity that occurs when growth hormone spikes during your sleep cycle. As far as lifestyle goals go, sleep should be up at the top of the list alongside burning fat or building muscle. It really does deliver that final step in goal achievement.

The muscle building benefits of having good sleep hygiene

Amanda Dinte, nutritionist BHSc, has published an article on her blog called The Kitchen Cleanse. It lists three of the top benefits of a good night’s sleep:

  • While asleep, our bodies balance themselves on a hormonal level and produce energy. This is the reason why your morning boot camp session feels more like a party than a punishing regime you signed yourself up for.
  • During sleep is when the muscles and all of the systems of the body repair themselves from the abuse of daily living. It also helps facilitate the process of muscle hypertrophy so that all of your hard work in the gym doesn’t go to waste and instead builds visible results.
  • Sleep cleans the brain. It flushes the body with the growth hormone, which is responsible for tissue repair, converting fat into muscle after training, regulating blood sugar levels and improving liver health.

It is definitely important to put in time for training, and it’s important that you consume a muscle building diet that is high in protein, but quality sleep is also crucial.

Research has been undertaken to prove this case in point. Sleeplessness has been shown to affect one’s metabolism and hormonal harmony negatively.

 

Dr Siobhan Banks, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the US and the Centre for Sleep Research at the University of South Australia, is an expert in the benefits of restorative sleep as it pertains to weight loss.

 

  • It’s long been known that cortisol is a primary culprit of weight gain due to insomnia.
  • Cortisol is the stress hormone that makes us crave food regardless of hunger, for it activates the reward centres in our brain.
  • Leptin and ghrelin are two other hormones, which play a role in the control of hunger.
  • Fatigue has been proven to drain leptin supply. As the production of ghrelin increases, less leptin is produced and our stomach feels empty.
  • The more ghrelin we have, the more our appetite increases, and consequently, we experience a slow down in our metabolism.

 

Sleep Deprivation Causes Hormonal Chaos

 

It seems that insomnia and sleeplessness — which is defined as having less than six hours of proper shut-eye on a consistent basis, creates a storm of hormonal chaos.

The best remedy is to eat light and healthy, get regular exercise and relaxation time, turn off the TV and smartphone at least an hour before hitting the hay, and make your sleep sanctuary a reality. Check out our “Sleep Well, Sleeping Tips”. 

Some people find white noise sends them to sleep way faster than a quiet bedroom. One should keep the temperature down as well – but not too cold.

There are health and lifestyle peptide supplements and nutrient compounds that we carry that may positively influence your sleep hygiene and get you the rest you need.

References
 

  • Banks, S., & Dinges, D. F. (2007). Behavioral and physiological consequences of sleep restriction. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 3(5), 519-28.
  • Dattilo M, e. (2018). Sleep and muscle recovery: endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis. – PubMed – NCBI . Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 14 November 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21550729

  • Buchmann, N., Spira, D., Norman, K., Demuth, I., Eckardt, R., & Steinhagen-Thiessen, E. (2016). Sleep, Muscle Mass and Muscle Function in Older People. Deutsches Arzteblatt international, 113(15), 253-60.
  • Killick, R., Banks, S., & Liu, P. (2012). Implications of Sleep Restriction and Recovery on Metabolic Outcomes. The Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 97(11), 3876-3890. doi:10.1210/jc.2012-1845

  • (2018). Tandfonline.com. Retrieved 14 November 2018, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07420528.2017.1335318

  • Kim, T. W., Jeong, J. H., & Hong, S. C. (2015). The impact of sleep and circadian disturbance on hormones and metabolism. International journal of endocrinology, 2015, 591729.
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5 Top Reasons for Sleep Loss and Insomnia

5 Top Reasons for Sleep Loss and Insomnia

5 Top Reasons for Sleep Loss and Insomnia

Sleep Hygiene

Why Can’t I Get to Sleep?

 
Are you finding yourself twisting and turning at night? Perhaps you keep waking up and experiencing trouble getting back to sleep or have difficulty falling into a sleep that is deep and regenerative.
Late nights where you find yourself tapping into the early hours of the morning means the work gets done, but none of the recharging or healing takes place that would ordinarily.
There could be many whys in all this, be it finance worries or worries about job performance, children, relationships, health that is rapidly declining, grief or perhaps trauma. All these concerns can affect a person and prevent them from getting sleep that is restful. They may lead to short-term symptoms of sleep loss, but they may also cause chronic insomnia.
 
Obtaining good sleep hygiene means knowing how to create your sleep sanctuary.
 
If you are tossing and turning, it may be that the temperature of your bedroom is too warm. Often working out or training too close to bedtime triggers a restless night.
Drinking coffee too late in the evening may prevent you from getting to sleep. Sure it helped you get your work done before turning in for the night, but often we suffer the consequences of taking stimulants too close to bedtime. 
This includes smoking cigarettes at night. Ever had a few cigarettes before bedtime only to find your heart racing? It’s not a nice feeling. There are also many health conditions such as anxiety, depression, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea which one may have to factor in when sleeplessness occurs.
Sleep is crucial for maintaining health and wellness. One must address issues with getting sleep immediately. Place this at the top of your priority list. Sleep is the time of day we should be enthusiastic about. It is when we are supposed to put aside our worries of the day and give way to healing and regeneration. Sleep allows us to recharge. Our brains get washed of all of the toxins and free radicals that have made their way in. Our immune system gets maintained in our sleep and this is also when our muscle-building repair takes place. Anything less than a quality 7-8 hours f=of sleep increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and stroke. Cognitively it slows down one’s performance and minimises ones ability to exhibit patience, consideration and joy.

What are some of the top 5 causes of Sleep Loss

Anxiety, Stress and Depression

The most popular reason one experiences short-term sleep loss is due to stress. Stress unfortunately by itself can create anxiety and depression. Emotions that are negative and play in your mind such as anger, worry and grief or the feeling of being overwhelmed does not deliver an individual to a calming state of mind conducive to sleep. The coinciding anxiety that results out of not getting to sleep is yet another factor which prevents rest.

Laptops, Phones and Tablets Emit Blue Light that Causes Sleep Loss

Many, if not most of us, in this digital age will check messages, text or browse the Internet. Doing this though before bedtime is a big NO NO. Our circadian rhythm is our internal clock. It expects us to sleep as the sun goes down and rise with the sun comes up. Did you know that even a quick trip to the bathroom at night or the bright lights of an LED alarm clock have the potential to prevent us from producing melatonin and reap its benefits? It is suggested one engage in relaxing activities before bed.

Drugs, Alcohol and Medication

Drugs and alcohol will affect sleep. One must also be aware of the over-the-counter and prescription medication that cause sleep loss. It is wise to check if your medicine has caffeine. This is occasionally featured in painkillers. Other drugs that cause sleep loss are decongestants, steroids, asthma medications, blood pressure medications and anti-depressants such as Prozac. If you find it hard to decipher what medicine may be causing your sleep loss, take down a journal and research each drug, or get advice from your doctor.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder. RLS causes one to react and move around restlessly whether the compulsion is due to cramping, real or imagined. Extreme sleeplessness comes with this disorder, though it depends on the severity of symptoms.

Sleep Apnea

Characterised by interruptions in ones breathing throughout the sleep cycle, sleep apnea has the potential to be very dangerous. It has been suggested that excess weight may perpetuate symptoms. This is due to its impact on the soft-tissue in the mouth and throat, which obstructs the airway.
Sleep peptides are a viable treatment option for patients suffering from sleep loss. Get your sleep and regain your health and wellness.

References
 

  • Babson, K. A., Trainor, C. D., Feldner, M. T., & Blumenthal, H. (2010). A test of the effects of acute sleep deprivation on general and specific self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms: an experimental extension. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry, 41(3), 297-303.

  • Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 2, Sleep Physiology.

  • Tosini, G., Ferguson, I., & Tsubota, K. (2016). Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Molecular vision, 22, 61-72.

  • Bass, J., & Takahashi, J. S. (2010). Circadian integration of metabolism and energetics. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6009), 1349-54.

  • Mahowald MW. Sleep Deprivation: Basic Science, Physiology, and Behavior Sleep Deprivation: Clinical Issues, Pharmacology, and Sleep Loss Effects. Arch Neurol. 2005;62(8):1314. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.8.1314-a

  • Mahfoud, Y., Talih, F., Streem, D., & Budur, K. (2009). Sleep disorders in substance abusers: how common are they?. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), 6(9), 38-42

  • Guo, S., Huang, J., Jiang, H., Han, C., Li, J., Xu, X., Zhang, G., Lin, Z., Xiong, N., … Wang, T. (2017). Restless Legs Syndrome: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Diagnosis and Management. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 9, 171. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2017.00171

  • Tuomilehto, H., Seppä, J., Uusitupa, M., Tuomilehto, J., Gylling, H., & Kuopio Sleep Apnea Group, f. (2013). Weight Reduction and Increased Physical Activity to Prevent the Progression of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A 4-Year Observational Postintervention Follow-up of a Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, 173(10), 930. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.389

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The What, Whys and Tips on How to Sleep Well

The What, Whys and Tips on How to Sleep Well

The What, Whys and Tips on How to Sleep Well

Weight Management

Understanding how to sleep well is one of the highest priorities in maintaining ones health.

Why is Sleep so Important to our Health?

  • The circadian rhythm (or sleep-wake cycle) drives” the activity within your cells, with each organ of your body being driven by this rhythm. When it is active, it is partially degenerating and when it is at rest, it is in recovery mode. There are ‘CLOCK’ genes that are present in every cell controlling the switch from activity to rest to activity and so on. Usually, the period of activity occurs during daylight, and the rest and the recovery period is at night.
  • Each organ, however, does not have eyes from which it would sense daylight and darkness. The organs rely upon the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the anterior hypothalamus, which is located in the base of the brain. This region is connected directly to the retina in the eyes and communicates to the organs when it is daylight or dark.

What are the Hormones of the Sleep – Wake Cycle?

  • Otherwise known as the central master clock, this specific region of the brain communicates the onset of daylight/rising to the peripheral organ clocks. This is done through an increase in cortisol and body temperature. It also decreases levels of melatonin in the morning. The night is communicated with low cortisol levels and body temperature, as well as high melatonin levels and growth hormone secretion.
  • Disruptions to your sleep cycle sends messages outward throughout your entire body. During sleep the input we have received gets sorted and consolidated into long term storage. Growth hormone release peaks after 2-3 hours of sleep. This leads to body repair, muscle growth, brain growth (neurogenesis) and interconnections (synapse plasticity), and the immune system strengthens.
  • The suppression of melatonin has been linked to circadian disruption and increases the risk of developing cancer. Melatonin helps to suppress harmful free radicals in your body.  When your circadian rhythm is disrupted, your body produces less melatonin, which is a hormone and an antioxidant and has less ability to fight cancer, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumours grow faster when you sleep poorly.
  • It also slows the production of oestrogen, which can activate cancer. It is highly suggested that one turn off light-emitting gadgets for at least one hour before bedtime. There is a free software program that is great for those who just have to peruse the net before bed. https://justgetflux.com automatically removes the blue light from your computer screen. Additionally, there are devices that filter out blue light can be used in the evening i.e. glasses (fit over and non-fit over), smartphone/tablet/computer/TV screen filters, night-lights, lamps, etc.
  • Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realise you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far-reaching effects on your health.

How Much Sleep do I Need? 
Sleeping for seven to eight hours a night has been linked to positive personality characteristics such as optimism and greater self-esteem, compared to those with insomnia or who slept for less than 6 hours (or longer than 9 hours) a night.
Regularly sleeping less than 6 hours per night, increases your risk of premature death by 12%. The amount of ideal sleep is six to nine hours per night (usually 7 to 8 hours in a healthy adult), but for the individual, it varies with age, activity, stress levels, health, etc.
For troubled minds: when you “sleep on it,” you are more equipped to solve difficult problems. This is the best choice if you have an important meeting or challenge to face in the morning. Rather than stay up all night thinking about what troubles or challenges you, a good night’s sleep will reward you with the solution.
 
What are the Common Causes of Sleep Loss?
Insomnia will affect your hormone levels and has been linked to an acceleration of the ageing process. It also plays a role in the development of depression, diabetes and cancer. It may tempt you to obtain a sleeping pill to help you get to sleep, but the underlying cause of insomnia does not get addressed this way.
Some of these underlying issues may cause sleep loss.
Stress: All types of negative emotions, including worry, fear, anxiety, etc., can keep you up at night.
Overactive adrenals: When ones adrenals have been hyper-aroused this corresponds with increased levels of stress hormones in your body and the onset of sleep is difficult.
Eye problems: People who have damage in their optic nerve tend to have problems getting to sleep. They also find themselves waking up at strange hours and experience daytime drowsiness and insomnia at night.
Cell phones: Using your phone before sleep could be the cause of your insomnia, as well as headaches and confusion, which may also cut your amount of deep sleep, which interferes with your body‘s ability to refresh itself.
Top 5 Reasons for Sleep Loss and Insomnia
What are the Symptoms of Insomnia

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking too early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep
  • Waking frequently during the night
  • Waking feeling unrefreshed

Major Consequences of Sleep Loss

  • Dramatically weakens your immune system
  • Accelerate tumour growth – tumours grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions
  • Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your body composition and health
  • Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep – meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours – can impact memory recall
  • Impair your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem-solving ability
  • Increased blood pressure and a heightened heart disease risk
  • Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to a decrease in new brain cell growth
  • Increased blood insulin levels, which leads to hunger, eating more than necessary and weight gain
  • Decreased growth hormone release, which leads to minimal body and brain restoration, as well as premature ageing
  • Aggravation of stomach ulcers and constipation

You don’t have to struggle to get to sleep at night. Sleeping well is entirely possible when you take the time to optimise your sleep sanctuary. Here is a list of helpful sleeping tips so that you can get to sleep fast and obtain quality, regenerative rest every night you hit the pillow.

How to Sleep Well at Night

1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible.
All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms. Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus, which controls your biological clock. Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and starts preparing your body for action.

  • Even the tiniest bit of light in the room, such as a small glow from your clock radio, can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin.
  • Sleeping in darkness will help decrease your risk of cancer.
  • Close your bedroom door, and get rid of night-lights.
  • Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom.
  • Cover up your clock radio.
  • Cover your windows, use blackout shades or drapes.

2. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 21 °C.


  • Many people keep their homes, and particularly their upstairs bedrooms, too warm.
  • Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 15.5 to 20 degrees.
  • Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep.
  • When you sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep.
  • Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.

3. EMF (Electromagnetic Fields)
Check your bedroom for electromagnetic fields as these can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects as well. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, ranging from $10 to $200 on eBay. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house. Especially avoid having the house circuit board positioned on the wall outside the bedroom.
Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed.
If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably, at least one metre.
Remove the clock from view so that it is not shining light on your eyes (and hence your pineal gland) while you sleep.
Avoid using loud alarm clocks as
 It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are getting enough sleep with regular sleep and wake times, an alarm may even be unnecessary.
Reserve your Bed for Sleeping.

If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.
4. Consider separate bedrooms.

Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores.

5. Avoid stimulants several hours before bedtime

Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely affect sleep. Often, medical conditions can be treated with non-drug options.
Avoid caffeine. In some people, caffeine is not metabolised efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. Be aware that some medications contain caffeine (i.e. diet pills).
6. Avoid Alcohol 
Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.
Growth Hormone is the body’s main repair hormone, and 70% is released in the first few hours of sleep. Alcohol can inhibit up to 75% of growth hormone release, significantly reducing daily repair, and facilitating degeneration and ageing. Alcohol can inhibit up to 90% of melatonin release for the night.
7. Make certain you are exercising regularly.
Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it. Exercising outside to increase your sunlight exposure is probably best.
8. Get bright sun exposure early in the day
This practice works to inhibit melatonin production and stimulate cortisol production, so as to adjust your body clock to daytime.
Use a blue light source if bright sunlight is not available i.e. indoors, winter. Thirty minutes per day is enough to anchor your body clock into daytime.
9. Lose excess weight.
Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea (breathing pauses during sleep), which can seriously impair your sleep and your health. Ensure you have a weight management plan in place, particularly as you age.
10. Avoid foods you may be sensitive to.
This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurised dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas, as well as other problems.
11. Get Health Check – Blood Tests, Hormone Testing
Have your adrenals checked, as insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress or fatigue.
If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked out. The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if they are not properly addressed.
12. Avoid blue light in the evening.
Use ‘f.lux on your computer to automatically remove blue light from your screen in the evening. Use red or amber lighting around the house during the evening as much as possible, or use dimmers to decrease the intensity of the white light. Wear amber glasses after sunset. Fit-over and non-fit-over styles are available.

References
 

  • (2018). New perspectives on the role of melatonin in human sleep, circadian rhythms and their regulation. British journal of pharmacology, 175(16), 3190–3199. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/bph.14116
  • Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2018). Ninds.nih.gov. Retrieved 8 November 2018, from Https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep
  • Bellesi, M., Riedner, B. A., Garcia-Molina, G. N., Cirelli, C., & Tononi, G. (2014). Enhancement of sleep slow waves: underlying mechanisms and practical consequences. Frontiers in systems neuroscience, 8, 208. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2014.00208
  • Fitsleep – BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF ALPHA WAVE SLEEP SYSTEM MEDICAL THEORY AND CLINICAL TRIAL VERIFICATION. (2018). Fitsleep.net. Retrieved 8 November 2018, from http://www.fitsleep.net/events/detail/id/3/language/en_us
  • Nedeltcheva, A. V., Kilkus, J. M., Imperial, J., Schoeller, D. A., & Penev, P. D. (2010). Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Annals of internal medicine, 153(7), 435-41.
  • Beccuti, G., & Pannain, S. (2011). Sleep and obesity. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 14(4), 402-12.
  • Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 2, Sleep Physiology.
  • Tosini, G., Ferguson, I., & Tsubota, K. (2016). Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Molecular vision, 22, 61-72.
  • Bass, J., & Takahashi, J. S. (2010). Circadian integration of metabolism and energetics. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6009), 1349-54.
  • Mahowald MW. Sleep Deprivation: Basic Science, Physiology, and Behavior Sleep Deprivation: Clinical Issues, Pharmacology, and Sleep Loss Effects. Arch Neurol. 2005;62(8):1314. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.8.1314-a

 

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Tanning Options

Tanning Options

Tanning Options

Tanning
A sun-kissed healthy tan looks attractive on most people, and many people want this look. How then, can this be accomplished with minimal sun exposure?
Everyone loves the sun, and its golden rays gift us with our daily dose of Vitamin D, which in turn improves our health and well-being.  There is a price to pay however for spending too much time out in the sun. What tanning options are available to those who want enhanced tanning?
 

Tanning Options

Sun Baking

Clinical studies have already discovered that it is not safe to stay indoors altogether, because avoiding the sun, one may develop a vitamin deficiency. Some deficiencies, such as a vitamin D deficiency, may potentially lead to skin cancer development alongside other a higher risk of developing other cancers.
 
Pros:
Most natural looking tan may result from safe exposure to the sun, but it must be acquired in extremely minimal doses and also over an extended amount of time.
The vitamin D that is acquired through minimal to moderate amount of the sun (UV) exposure has been shown to have many health benefits.
Cons: 
Overexposure to the damaging UV Rays supplied by sunlight has been linked to melanoma and makes a person subject to heightened risk of:

  • Skin damage
  • Premature ageing
  • Sunspots
  • Increased wrinkles
  • Sunburn
  • Skin cancer/melanoma

The sun and its availability to those desiring a tan may depend on seasonality and climate. In the colder months, it may be harder to achieve skin pigmentation out in the sun.

Sunless Tanning Options | Alternatives

Sun beds

Cases of melanoma (skin cancer) has been increasing in the warmer climates, and localities of Australia. Studies have already linked an increase in the instances of melanoma occurring in women in their 30’s who have regularly used sun beds in the past. Because of this, sun beds have been banned throughout Australia.
Indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanning beds have been reviewed, and scientists propose those who use them are more likely to develop skin cancer, than those who never tanned indoors. (Skincancer.org)
Pros:
All year round tanning
Cons:

  • Risk of skin damage
  • Sunburn
  • Premature ageing
  • Skin cancer/melanoma
  • Excessive sunbed tanning has been linked to an increased risk of ocular melanoma, cataracts and of developing photo conjunctivitis. It is important to remember goggles when tanning in a tanning bed.

Fake Tan

The fake tan has gotten better at “faking it” nowadays. Unlike the past formulations which typically presented tans that appeared more orange in tone, today self tanners appear in shades that are much more natural. Spray formulations have been developed to make self tanning solutions much easier to apply. When applied correctly, they have the potential to darken skin pigment temporarily during the winter months. Care must be taken to the timing and removal of fake tanning solution, so to avoid, uneven streaks as the solution wears off.
Pros:
Lack of UV rays, sprays for even coverage compared to creams if applied correctly
Cons:

  • Clothing and skin staining
  • Expensive and time consuming to maintain
  • Unsightly mistakes due to less than perfect application

Tanning Peptides

Skin Pigmentation (tanning) that requires minimal sun exposure to promote increased melanin in the skin. The tan appears to look natural and does not require an unhealthy exposure to the sunlight in order to develop a tan.   The introduction of aMSH hormone into circulation is meant to promote an increased production of melanin by the skin cells. Minimal sun is said to activate the process of melanogenesis, which reportedly increases skin pigmentation ie) tanning of the skin.
A-msh is a pituitary hormone which causes darkening of the skin pigment in amphibians and humans. (melanogenesis)
Pros:
It is suggested that utilising this tanning option, an individual may potentially acquire an enhanced tan with minimal sun exposure. For those who have in the past developed a tan through either safe daily doses of sunlight ( a process that takes a considerable amount of time and vigilence as to the external factors contributing to UV exposure)., it is understood this process could reduce the time it takes to develop a tan.
Cons:
Some products are administered via injection
Side Effects That May Occur
Increased Pigmentation
Increased Size of Moles and Freckleson of Moles and Freckles
Nausea has been reported by those individuals using tanning peptides close to mealtime.
 

References
  • Tangpricha, V., Turner, A., Spina, C., Decastro, S., Chen, T., & Holick, M. (2004). Tanning is associated with optimal vitamin D status (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration) and higher bone mineral density. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 80(6), 1645-1649. doi:10.1093/ajcn/80.6.1645
  • Rhodes LE, e. (2018). Recommended summer sunlight exposure levels can produce sufficient (> or =20 ng ml(-1)) but not the proposed optimal (> or =32 ng ml(-1)) 25(OH)D l… – PubMed – NCBI . Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 17 November 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20072137
  • Noon Best Time to Get Vitamin D From Sun for Minimal Cancer Risk –Doctors Lounge. (2018). Doctorslounge.com. Retrieved 17 November 2018, from https://www.doctorslounge.com/index.php/news/pb/59464
  • Slominski, A., & Postlethwaite, A. E. (2015). Skin under the sun: when melanin pigment meets vitamin D. Endocrinology, 156(1), 1-4.
  • Abdel-Malek Z, e. (2018). The melanocortin-1 receptor and human pigmentation. – PubMed – NCBI . Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 9 November 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10816645
  • Videira IF, e. (2018). Mechanisms regulating melanogenesis. – PubMed – NCBI . Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 9 November 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23539007
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