Friday, June 29, 2012

Health News: Medical Breakthroughs

Over the years, medical scientists have worked so hard to shed light to the most puzzling areas of health and medicine. These people spend most of their time doing research for the benefit of the humanity. If you are reading health news on a regular basis, you would understand how diligent these people are. Here are some of the breakthroughs in medical and health science that have a significant impact on our lives.
Disarming HIV
One of the most talked about breakthroughs today is the discovery of the Achilles Heel of the HIV. American and European scientists have found a way to disarm the virus and keep it from wreaking havoc in the immune system. The method involves extracting the cholesterol from the virus, a method that extinguishes its defenses. Without this cholesterol, the virus loses its weaponry and becomes open for the human immune system to destroy. HIV is known for disabling the adaptive response of the immune system. Since the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus, scientists have been finding a means to fight it. None so far has been so successful. Vaccines in the past were useless. But things might have changed now that a new way to weaken the virus has been discovered.
Aspirin for Cancer Prevention
It has been found out that taking small amounts of aspirin on a daily basis can curb risk of stroke and heart disease. We already know that. But recent studies indicate it can also decrease risk of cancer. Studies done in United Kingdom have been conducted to monitor subjects taking about 75-300 mg of aspirin a day. After three years, those taking aspirin had cancer risk reduced by approximately 25%. Then after 5 years, risk of cancer was reduced to 37%.
Studies indicate that daily intake of aspirin cuts down cancer risk by preventing metastasis. Nonetheless, there is another problem with aspirin intake. Doctors warn that regular intake of aspirin may cause stomach bleeding. Moreover, people who take aspirin daily are, ironically, at risk of hemorrhagic strokes.
Placebos as Drugs
Placebos are "empty" agents used in research to determine the true effects of drugs. This time they are used as treatment agents on their own. The power of placebos comes from suggestion-not from the placebos themselves. For instance, studies show that when people are told they are getting good exercise, they tend to lose more weight than those who are not told the same thing. There are already many studies that test the ability of placebo to treat disorders. Placebos do not contain active ingredients to target the illness. They work by changing the person's reaction to their illness.
Exercise to Defy Aging
People already know the benefits of exercise. Health news articles have discussed too much about exercise. Anyone can now say exercise relieves stress, improves cardiovascular health, enhances immunity, and so on. What we might have missed to note is that exercise promises to reverse aging. This assumption was made by scientists who studies laboratory mice subjected to exercise program. These mice had better muscles, hearts, kidneys, and brains than those that did not go through exercise program. Their hair was also shinier and thicker.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sports Physical Appointments at a Walk In Clinic

Today's athletic physicals can be set up at a walk in clinic instead of a primary care physician's office. Kids tend to keep parents on their toes and everyone has a busy schedule. Who wants to hassle with trying to find a date and time that work for the doctor and your family? In some cases, there is no need to make an appointment when you can just drop in for the physical instead.
Reasons for a Sports Physical
You may see your child as physically fit and ready for soccer, basketball, or football. They eat well, maintain a healthy weight and have plenty of energy for their activities. In spite of your observations, a doctor still needs to examine your child and make sure that he or she is ready to participate in sports at school. They work much like a regular physical but the doctor may discuss the sport with the child and ask specific questions about it. For example, the doctor may want to stress the importance of a helmet and proper equipment to a child going out for football.
If there are any issues that could cause sports to be a problem, the doctor can identify them and work on a treatment. If there are any past medical concerns, the doctor can revisit those issues and check to see if any progress has been made. For most parents, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Seeing a doctor at the walk in clinic can give you peace of mind when you send your child out onto the field or court.
In some cases, a walk in clinic will not require an appointment for a sports physical. A parent and child can drop by any time and wait to see a practitioner. The wait is usually not more than 20 minutes, so those with a difficult-to-accommodate schedule also find this to be the best option. If a parent has the ability to make an appointment, call the walk in clinic to see how that would work.
At the time of arrival, a medical history will be requested as well as any health insurance information. Be sure to have anything necessary to fill this form out readily available. For most people, this will not take much time and the parent takes the form back when meeting with the doctor.
If the school has provided a release form, be sure to bring this along as well. The doctor can sign off on the paper when the exam is complete, releasing the child to participate in sports at school. Often a walk in clinic will have a form that will suffice when it comes time to turn in the paperwork to the school. It outlines the child's health and allows them to join in on the activities.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Assisted Reproductive Technology With Infertility Remedies

Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after a year of trying to do so. Although, a woman may be able to get pregnant for several times but cannot sustain it until the 9th month, she may also be suffering from some infertility problems.
Infertility cannot be at all times blamed on the woman. It can happen in both gender due to a variety of factors, such as age, genetics, and pre-existing medical condition. For men, infertility can happen due to varicocele or damage in the reproductive system.
According to survey, the number of couples who are suffering from infertility has increased these past few years. One factor that also contributes to infertility is the kind of food that people are eating nowadays. Depending on the severity, infertility can still be treated through a healthy lifestyle. However, some couples, whose infertility is caused by medical complications (i.e. endometriosis, tubal blockage, impotence, and PCOS), usually opt to undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART).
In-Vitro Fertilization
Also known as IVF, this is the most common form of ART used for women whose infertility is caused by a damaged fallopian tube and other severe factors. In the process, the patient should undergo an egg stimulation, wherein the doctor prescribes drugs (i.e. Clomid) to stimulate the production of eggs per month. After a few months of closed monitoring, the eggs are removed from the woman's ovaries to be fertilized in the laboratory together with the partner's semen. The gametes are placed in an incubator to allow fertilization to occur. After 3 to 5 days, the healthy embryos are then injected back to the woman's uterus.
Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
This process is also known as Tubal Embryo Transfer, wherein the egg and sperm are fertilized in the laboratory. However, in ZIFT the zygote is injected back to the fallopian tube instead of the uterus so that it can naturally travel and implant itself in the uterus.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
This process is often used to treat male infertility and is also the best options for older couples who have failed IVF attempt. This process is done through a test tube wherein one sperm is directly injected into an egg to achieve fertilization. Once the zygote has matured, it is injected back to the woman's uterus or fallopian tube. Other infertility problems where ICSI can be used are as follows:
- Very low or zero sperm count
- High percentage of abnormally shaped sperms due to poor motility
- Erectile dysfunction and problems with ejaculation due to spinal cord injuries or diabetes

Friday, June 8, 2012

Health, Training and Supplement FAQs

Q: I want to lose weight and have never used supplements before. What should I use?
A: Adjusting what you eat plays a big role in weight management. Minimise carbohydrate intake and replace it with protein and good fats (nuts, fish oil, C.L.A., avocado, etc). You can incorporate basic supplements that can assist in speeding-up the fat loss process and makes it easier to achieve your results. Supplements can include:
  • Low Carbohydrate Protein Powder: Assists in fat loss as you can use it as a low calorie snack during the day (or at breakfast time). It's also recommended to be used after training to help with recovery.
  • C.L.A: This is an Omega 6, known as a "good fat". Research shows omega 6 assists in fat loss and with energy.
  • Green Tea: Green Tea is an excellent anti-oxidant and is also known for its fat-loss properties. Each cap equates to up to 5 cups of tea.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is the vitamin from the sun. Many people are deficient. Benefits of Vitamin D include improved health in mood (feel happier), immune system (minimise flu), hormone balance, bone, fat loss & more.
Q: I was told to use protein, but I don't want to get big. What can I use?
A: Protein powder is perfect for women looking to get leaner, lose weight and tone-up. You can use it as a snack, for breakfast and it's great for after training to help you recover. The trick is you must get a low carb/low sugar protein shake. They are low in calories and will not make you big. There are also lactose free, gluten free and vegan protein available, to suit all nutritional requirements and preferences.
Q: How should I use protein powder and should I use it on days I don't train?
A: We generally recommend protein powder is used immediately after training, plus you can use it as a snack between breakfast and lunch, or during lunch and dinner. And yes, you can use your protein powder even on days you don't train, in the same way advised above. Generally stick to a max of 3 serves a day. Eating whole foods is very important.
Q: I want to tone-up. I do spin/aerobic classes and use the cardio machines, but it doesn't feel like it is working. What should I do?
A: Try incorporate some resistance training i.e. weight training. Generally start with light weights, with high repetitions. Focus on full body workouts and focus on larger muscle groups like legs, chest and back. Smaller muscles such as biceps and triceps will, by default, get a good workout. Start with 2 x 40 minutes sessions a week and change up your exercises at least every 6 weeks.
If you are not sure how to use machines, get a couple sessions with a trainer to get you started.
Q: I don't sleep well at night. Any suggestions?
A: Generally we have found many of our clients train hard and sometimes feel a little wired. We generally recommend a magnesium supplement that will help relax you before bed. It's also great to assist in minimising stress and cramps during "that time of the month". In addition, minimise caffeine intake, especially later in the day.
Q: I have cravings for carbs/sweets/chocolate. Is there anything I can use to help?
A: Craving of carbohydrates or sugar is usually an indicator that your sugar levels are fluctuating. You can minimise cravings by:
  • Include protein in your breakfast, and lower you carbohydrates.
  • Eating regular high protein small meals. Every 3 hours is a good time.
  • Taking a small dose of fish oil with every main meal (this will balance sugar levels)
  • Try getting good sleep. Poor sleeping patterns release hormones that make your crave junk food
Q: Can I replace meals with protein shakes?
A: Although whole foods are recommended for main meals, a protein shake can be used as a replacement, especially when your alternative options are not very good, if you have no other food, or if you simply don't have time to eat (perfect for breakfast on the run).
Q: I eat a bowl of healthy cereal in the morning, a healthy sandwich at lunch but I'm still not losing weight. What am I doing wrong?
A: Unfortunately, the "healthy cereal" and "healthy sandwich", is probably not as healthy as you think. Cereals and breads are a big hit of carbohydrates (and a whole lot of energy), which is impossible to burn when sitting behind a desk all day, even if you do manage to fit in 1 hour at the gym. Basically, switch your meals to a high protein alternative such as eggs or a shake for breakfast, and a salad with chicken, beef or seafood for lunch - no bread. You will see some changes fairly quickly.
Q: I want to get leaner and want to put on muscle. What should I use?
A: Making amendments to your eating (what you eat and when) will help greatly. Make sure you eat every 3-4 hours, and all meals should include some protein and good fats. Minimise carbohydrate intake during the day and simply use it during training. Supplements that can assist in achieving this include:
  • Low Carb Protein: Can be used as a snack during the day and after training for recovery.
  • Genr8 Vitargo-Pure Carbs: WE LOVE THIS PRODUCT. Mix this with the BCAAs and drink during training for improved strength and excellent recovery.
  • Kre-alkalyn: A form of creatine that assists with strength without water retention.
  • BCAAs (Xtend): Protect & grow muscle while improving recovery time.
Q: I don't sleep well at night. Can this be a problem?
A: Sleep-time is men's most important time for testosterone production, growth hormone release and recovery. If you aren't sleeping well, this can become a serious issue for not only your training but for your general health and mood. We recommend a good hit of magnesium before bed or a dedicated evening-recovery formula which would normally include a blend of magnesium and zinc. We can assess your situation further and recommend the right product.
Q: If my protein has amino acids in it already, do I still need to use BCAAs (branched chain amino acids)?
A: Yes. BCAAs is a blend of 3 amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine) which are recommended to be used during training so that your body minimises muscle breakdown. Protein powder is used after training to replenish the body with a full spectrum of amino acids to speed-up recover. The both offer the body varied amino acids, therefore it is recommended you use both BCAAs during and Protein Powder after training.
Q: I heard creatine is dangerous to use. Is this true?
A: No, unless of course, like anything else in life, you take a ridiculous amount of it. Always read the labels of all products you use and follow instructions accordingly.
Q: I want to put on weight. What should I use?
A: We would recommend using a high calorie protein and carbohydrate mix combined with creatine. You can also use BCAAs during training. Finally, make eating your hobby. You must eat, eat, eat.
Q: I'm trying to put on weight but I'm really struggling. I do weights and I also run a few times a week. What should I do?
A: Generally, we would recommend minimising too many cardio sessions and focus more on weight sessions and recovery. 3-4 heavy, low repetition weight session with the rest of the time focused on relaxing, sleeping, recovery and eating.
Q: Do you recommend me using testosterone boosters?
A: If you are over 25, then yes, testosterone boosters may assist you in progressing in your training. You may notice testosterone levels are low if you are feeling not as happy as normal, you notice more body fat storage, minimised sex drive and/or your body isn't feeling as hard as usual.
Q: I'm experiencing cramping and/or muscle spasms when I train. What should I use?
A: This is often an indication of very low levels of magnesium. We recommend using a combination of magnesium, electrolyte and carbohydrate formula such as Endura Rehydration formula. It can be used pre, during and/or post race.
Q: I'm training a lot and I'm feeling tired and sore. Should I use something for recovery?
A: Definitely. Using a good quality protein pre and post race will help your body recovery as it will feed your body a complete spectrum of amino acids. You can combine your Endura Rehydration formula into your protein to make a single recovery shake.
Q: I need some energy during my races, any recommendations on what I can use?
A: You can use a number of things including energy gels, chewable energy gummies, bars and drinks. There is a huge range of options, just try a variety and see which ones work best for you.
We recommend testing all products during training sessions leading-up to your race. Do not use for the first time on race day.
Whenever using any supplements or medication, always read the labels and use as directed. Use this as a guide only. See your doctor if any symptoms persist.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bodybuilding Supplements: Should You Take Them To Build Muscle Mass?

Before taking bodybuilding supplements, it is important to realise that they are not suddenly going to make you huge. That would just be wishful thinking.
Bodybuilding supplements will only help you if you are training and dieting correctly -- if you don't, you will just end up with expensive urine. To get the maximum benefit from body building or sports nutrition supplements, you need to use them as part of a well thought out programme.
When used correctly as part of a programme, they can enhance it by:
1. Adding an element of convenience: Using food supplements like Meal Replacement Powders and whey protein provide you with an efficient and fast way to get your necessary daily nutrients.
2. Increasing strength and decreasing recovery time: Using vitamin and amino acid supplements help to minimize the negative side effects of weight training and speed your recovery.
The Benefit of Convenience
Many people think that there is no need for anyone to take bodybuilding supplements. They are absolutely correct. There isn't. Before these came onto the market, bodybuilders were capable of building amazing physiques without the use of meal replacements, prohormones or creatine.
Many years ago there were no exercise machines. Physiques were developed using compound free weight exercises. These did a great job of increasing muscular size and developing strength, so not only can it be done, it can be done extremely well. However, there are factors to consider when deciding whether or not to include supplements in your regime, and one of these it time.
In our modern day lives, time is often at a premium. Many people today just do not have the time to to be constantly shopping and cooking. In fact many people find it difficult to cook on a regular basis at all. While it is quite true that a balanced diet will give you all the nutrition you should need, it is questionable as to how many people actually eat a properly balanced diet, let alone a diet that is optimised for body building.
For anyone who struggles to find the time to eat the required amount of regular whole food meals a day, supplements such as whey protein and meal replacement powders can fill the gap.
It is far easier to eat three real meals a day and back these up with three protein supplement meals. You then know you will be getting a quantifiable amount of essential protein making it easy to track your nutritional intake. For success it is pretty crucial to get the required amount of six daily meals and essential nutrients, and this is an easy way of doing it.
Mass diets typically require a very high daily protein intake, of over 300g per day. Just to give you example of how much that is, here are some examples of what 300g of protein is equal to:
Tuna -- 50 oz of canned tuna (the average can is 6-8oz.), which is 1,750 calories and 25g of fat
Chicken -- 38 oz of chicken breast (equals about seven 6oz breasts), which is 1,313 calories and 38g of saturated fat
Beef -- 43 oz of lean ground beef (about 2.7 pounds of meat), which is 3,214 calories and 215g of saturated fat
Eggs -- 50 large whole eggs, equals 3,750 calories and 250g of saturated fat
Egg whites -- 100 egg whites, equals 1,600 calories and almost no fat
Pure whey protein -- 15 scoops of EAS Precision Protein, equals 1,500 calories 7.5g of saturated fat
Of course it is possible do get this from just eating whole foods, but you would need to be careful about consuming excess amounts of saturated fats. The essential fats that you need are unsaturated fats. These are the fats that are liquid when at room temperature, such as sunflower oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil and safflower oil, not the fats that are animal based. Taking whey protein supplements will give you the necessary protein minus the fat.
Increased Strength and Decreased Recovery
It is recommended that as well as a whey protein supplement, a multi-vitamin as well as vitamin C, should betaken as well as glutamine. Anyone over the age of 18 can also take creatine.
The need for Multi-Vitamins
With weight training, the body needs an increased amount of minerals such as magnesium and selenium. A deficiency can cause muscle weakness and suppression of the immune system, muscle cramping and fatigue. Taking a multi-vitamin supplement is an easy way to ensure that you won't become deficient in these.
As the body is unable to eliminate excess iron, it is a good idea to take a multi-vitamin that does not include iron, unless you have been diagnosed with having an iron deficiency.Iron is also an oxidizing agent that can cause damage to the heart and arteries, and is a major risk factor in arteriosclerosis.
It is pretty easy to take in enough iron through diet alone. Foods rich in iron include, meat, fish and poultry and green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
Vitamin C
Vitamin C, is essential to prevent free radical damage, which is accelerated after the heavy trauma of weight training. It is also helps to repair connective tissue, in turn decreasing the amount of time you are sore.
Glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by our bodies, however much of the time when bodybuilding, our bodies require so much, that it can't create enough. Supplementing your diet with glutamine will increase your levels of glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant, which helps to combat the stresses of exercise trauma, and prevent muscle protein breakdown.
Many people believe that it helps prevent the body from breaking down new muscle during sleep.
Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine's purpose is to supply our muscle with energy. It is also found in red meat, but you would have to eat an enormous amount of meat to get the same benefits as taking pure creatine powder. The benefits of creatine are well known, so I won't go into it here, other than to say that the major benefit from taking creatine is that it will increase your strength.
This will enable you to lift heavier weights, which will stimulate more muscle growth. If you take creatine and then stop, you will lose that extra fluid that creatine brings into your cells, but you will not lose the extra muscle creatine helped you to gain.
While bodybuilding supplements alone will not give you the body you desire, but they do provide convenience and enhancements that you wouldn't otherwise get. You need to make a decision as to whether you wish to include these in your programme, so don't fall for hype, understand what they won't do for you and what they will do for you.