Archive for the ‘Brain Health’ Category

CBD Oil Can Benefit Your Overall Well Being

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CBD oil is getting a lot of attention but more research is needed. 

CBD imageCBD oils have become all the rage lately, however are there any real health benefits that can be obtained from it? CBD, or Cannabidiol, oil is extracted from cannabis that contains chemicals that are found in marijuana plants. This doesn’t mean that it gives you the “high” effect because CBD oil does not contain THC, the chemical responsible for getting people high. Even though CBD does not cause any intoxication, there is still a lot of controversy around it. Nevertheless, many are becoming more aware of the possible benefits it could have on overall wellbeing. The following are potential health benefits of CBD oil:

  • Anxiety management. Research has found that it can change the way your brain reacts to serotonin. A study found that a dose of 600 mg CBD oil helped people with social anxiety before having to give a speech
  • Pain relief. Studies have found that  CBD oil can be used to manage pain. It can provide benefits when taken after chemotherapy services. However, scientists believe that the anti inflammatory properties are the main contributors, and not necessarily that it helps with pain
  • Reduces acne. As mentioned previously, CBD has anti inflammatory properties that are very beneficial when it comes to acne. It was found that it helps prevent activity in the sebaceous gland that is responsible for sebum production. Too much sebum production is what causes acne.

There are many ways you can incorporate CBD into your lifestyle such as oil, capsules, sprays, and creams. The form of CBD really depends on what it is being used for. CBD is not approved by the FDA and you should consult your physician before incorporating it into your lifestyle. CBD oil is not legal in all states, so be sure to check your state law’s.


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lutein graphic

Lutein is a plant pigment, or phytochemical that belongs to the carotenoid family. They are responsible for giving plants their bright orange, red, and yellow colors, and contain many health encouraging properties like antioxidants. Lutein differs from other carotenoids because is taken up directly to the brain and eyes. Although lutein is not classified as an essential nutrient, it does provide some health benefits. Due to the fact that Americans are living longer, more are experiencing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration(AMD); both are vision issues. Research has found lutein’s antioxidant effects help prevent damage to the retina from the sun. It was also found that consuming foods that are high in carotenoid reduces the risk for AMD and cataracts.

Since the retina is an extension of the brain, the lutein gets to the eye through the barrier between the blood and brain. The tissue that makes up the retina and brain are similar in the amount of lutein they contain, and there is a positive correlation linking it with cognitive function. Studies show that lutein supplements in women have increased verbal fluency and cognitive function significantly. A similar study also provided subjects the experimental group lutein through avocados and the control group with the same amount of calories through chickpeas or potatoes daily for six months. Those that ate the lutein-high avocados scored higher in problem solving than the control group. These benefits are not seen at the levels of lutein which the majority of Americans consume. You can increase your lutein consumption by incorporating more eggs, yellow/red vegetables, avocados, and leafy greens. It is also important to note that lutein is a fat soluble, so the body can’t absorb it without a healthy fats, like olive oil or salmon, present.


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Can Diet Optimize Human Memory

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Improve Your Diet optimize Memory with Brain Foods and Exercise

Memories influence and shape your personality. It’s your thoughts, connections, and all other recollections that make you who you are, and memory loss is essentially a loss of a part of you. However, there might be more you can do to boost your memory. Studies show that healthier diets help improve memory in the long run. Diets high in cholesterol and fat could increase the rate at which beta-amyloid plaques in the brain are created. Amyloid-beta is a protein involved with Alzheimer’s disease; it is the main component found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.  Also affected are the blood vessels in the brain which can be damaged thus preventing brain cells from receiving the oxygen-rich blood they need to function normally.

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The end result may be a degradation in thinking and memory. Although there is still not much information available about a brain-healthy diet, a heart-healthy diet that is low in saturated fat reduces the risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity and may also help prevent memory loss. A heart-healthy diet is very similar to a Mediterranean diet which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, olive oil, and limited red meat. There are limited studies that dietary supplements such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids may stall memory loss, but may be considered for some.

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Adrenal fatigue symptoms causes and treatment

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 What is Adrenal Fatigue?

The term “adrenal fatigue” was invented in 1998 by James Wilson, Ph.D., a naturopath, and expert in Possibility of medicine. The adrenal glands are small glands Placed on top of each kidney. They produce hormones that you can’t live without, contain sex hormones and cortisol.

adrenal fatigue symptoms causes

Adrenal fatigue symptoms have become a popular theory for why many people experience fatigue, however how true is this? Fatigue is one of the most common reasons why people pay a visit to their doctors, and it can be frustrating when there is no explanation for it.  Some believe their tiredness is due to adrenal exhaustion. The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing cortisol into the bloodstream when you are under stress. The belief of adrenal fatigue is that chronic stress could cause overexertion of cortisol, thus causing fatigue, brain fog, and mood swings. However popular the adrenal fatigue theory is, it is not recognized by medical professionals because of a lack of scientific evidence. Studies have found that cortisol levels that were checked 4 times a day in a 24 hour period are no differences between healthy and fatigued patients about 61% of the time. If you experience any of the symptoms that describe adrenal fatigue, you should consult your primary care physician as it could be due to a number of things such as sleep apnea, anemia, infection, and hormonal impairments. You should also consider asking yourself why you believe your adrenals are fatigued treatment. Simple lifestyle changes like meditation and a balanced diet could alleviate some of your symptoms. So, before you spend your money on protocols that promise to cure your adrenal fatigue, which is something that is not scientifically proven, speak to your doctor and make lifestyle modifications.

 Adrenal fatigue symptoms causes

First, let’s talk about what proper adrenal Fatigue symptoms cause look like so you can better spot disfunction

Here are some of the common indications of adrenal fatigue symptoms

  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia
  • Cravings for salty and sweet foods
  • Difficulty concentrating or brain fog
  • Poor digestion
  • Weight gain (especially abdominal)
  • Muscle and joint pain

 Adrenal fatigue treatment

Many alternative practitioners will start “treating” adrenal fatigue treatment by recommending that an individual quit alcohol, drugs, caffeine, and cigarettes. They will also recommend eating healthily, exercising more, and sleeping better. All these changes will, of course, make anyone feel better.

There is a range of products available to relieve its “symptoms,” despite a lack of scientific basis. These products often take the form of vitamins and supplements

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What Are Adaptogens?

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What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are substances that are becoming more and more popular because of their promise to help your body adapt to different stressors. These herbs are unregulated by the FDA and are believed to reduce stress/anxiety, promoting homeostasis, and supporting the adrenal glands. Some examples of these herbs include ashwagandha, Rhodiola, ginseng, reishi, and Chaga. As of right now, there is more data on adaptogens for animals than humans. Studies have found that after 12 weeks, symptoms of depression were no different in those who took placebos than those who took 340 mg of Rhodiola every day.

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Some small studies show that ashwagandha can lower the stress response hormone, cortisol, in the morning. However, cortisol levels vary throughout the day, so a single measurement in the morning doesn’t provide much information. The idea that supplements like adaptogens can balance hormones is not backed up by science, and your body already has natural mechanisms to balance hormones. The lack of scientific data also means that there is not much information on the effects they could have. If you are concerned by fatigue or hormone imbalance, speak to primary care physician to find the best course of action for you.  You may also want to consider ordering your own online discount blood tests at https://www.healthonelabs.com/tests_offer/index/24


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What you should know about CRP

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What you should know about CRP

CRP is C-reactive protein, a protein found in the body that reacts to the inflammatory response. Called a complement protein, CRP and other proteins like it respond to tissue damage. These proteins and other aggregates of the inflammatory, cause a reaction to help repair when there is an injury anywhere in the body. This quick reaction to tissue damage and inflammation is part of our immune response.

Reactions to Inflammation

Due to this reaction, CRP levels are understandably elevated after surgery or accidental physical trauma. CRP levels are also affected when the body undergoes vascular events that leave tissue without oxygen, such as heart attacks or strokes. CRP levels are often watched after myocardial infarction or heart attack, along with other blood tests to prevent another episode.

CRP & Infection

When someone is actively fighting infections, like appendicitis, influenza, or pneumonia, CRP levels will also be elevated. CRP levels, along with white blood cell counts, are a big determinant when physicians decide if a treatment is effective at eliminating the infection.

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Autoimmunity and CRP

When the body’s immune system starts to target its own cells, it is called Autoimmune disorder.  Some examples of autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, lupus, and hypothyroidism in some cases. In addition to physical symptoms of pain and fever, autoimmune diseases will increase the inflammatory response. C-reactive protein levels are often evaluated by doctors, again, with other tests, to help determine the severity or progression of the disease or episode.

CRP & Heart

Because CRP is elevated after a heart attack, most doctors will follow its levels in patients after coronary events. If initial levels of CRP are over 2.4 mg/dL, they are considered at risk for coronary events.  It is desirable to have CRP levels less than 1.0 mg/dL. Statin drugs treated for hyperlipidemia reduce CRP levels, another reason to keep at-risk patients on these drugs. It is evident that patients who have consistently higher CRP levels are more likely to have hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

Some cancers may elevate CRP levels and is often very high during acute or chronic kidney failure. A CRP blood test alone will not diagnose a single disease but can be significant in the presence of other symptoms.

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Why is a Complete Blood Count blood test important?

A complete blood count (CBC) is the go-to test to analyze the three main types of cells within the blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells contain a molecule called hemoglobin that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. A CBC shows the number of red blood cells, their size and shape, and the concentration of hemoglobin within each cell. Red blood cells can be low if a person has been losing blood or if they have anemia (low hemoglobin levels). If you are diagnosed with anemia, your doctor will then order more specific tests to determine if your anemia is the result of recent blood loss, low iron levels, or a vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency.

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The white blood cells are a key player in the body’s immune system, defending you against potentially harmful organisms. A CBC gives a total white cell count and the percentages of the different types of white cells, which can help your doctor determine what sort of infection your body is fighting (bacterial, parasitic, etc.). Additionally, leukemia, which is a cancer of the bone marrow, can be diagnosed if abnormal white cells are present in the blood.

A blood platelet count in the normal range is necessary to ensure the blood clots as it should, preventing excessive blood loss from injuries or surgery

 


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What is the best nut butter?

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What is the best nut butter?

Peanut butter is the most popular nut butter, but it may have some competition. To name a few there is almond butter, sunflower butter, and cashew butter. Most of these provide protein, magnesium, vitamin E, zinc, and copper. It is becoming increasingly popular to add things like collagen, omega-3s, and coconut to nut and seed butters for added health benefits, but are all of these additives necessary? The answer is, it depends. The most important thing when determining if a nut butter is healthy is reading the label. Look for nut butters that have no more than 3 grams of added sugars, less than 3 grams of saturated fat, 6-8 grams of protein, less than 150 mg of sodium.

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A good rule of thumb when reading food labels is if you can pronounce the ingredients, then there is a good chance that it’s a good option. There are also options that are similar to nut butters for those that are allergic to nuts such as sunflower butter, soy and pea butter, and tahini. When looking for the healthiest versions of these nut-free butters look for options with minimal ingredients. Lastly, you should beware of spreads that resemble nut butters, but are actually spreads with more sugar than nuts. A few examples include cookie butter, chocolate spread, and granola butter. Overall, nut butters are a great snack option full of vitamins and nutrients, but it is important to select options made with clean and minimal ingredients.


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Does daily physical activity boost your mood?

It is widely known that regular exercise is key for overall good physical health, however, it is possible that it could prevent depression. A study done by JAMA Psychiatry found that there was a 26% decrease in chances for individuals to become depressed for each major increase in physical activity. It was even something as simple as replacing 15 minutes you would usually spend sitting with a 15-minute run. Before this study, it was unsure whether exercising improves mental health or if moving less is an effect of being depressed.

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The study found that exercise independently reduced the risk of depression. It was also found that everyday tasks and activities like walking to get coffee or taking the stairs to count towards your daily physical activity. This is great because it means you don’t necessarily have to exercise the conventional way every single day on a treadmill or Stairmaster, but simply making small changes like walking instead of driving makes a big difference. This also increases your chances of staying active daily because exercise doesn’t have to be daunting, but should be time to unplug and de-stress.To live a healthy active lifestyle you have to find what works for you, whether it’d be going to a group exercise class or going on a walk. Ensuring you exercise daily will help improve your mental well being, so go out there and find physical activities that are enjoyable to you.


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Why Low-Fat Diets Fail?

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Why Low-Fat Diets Fail?

One of the most common misconceptions people have when trying to lose weight is that they need to cut out fat or eat foods that are labeled low-fat in order to achieve their goal or live a healthy lifestyle, however by doing this you could actually be doing more harm than good. Reducing fat often leads to a higher intake of refined carbs, and cuts out healthy fats that your body needs. Research has found diets with high amounts of saturated fats are associated with a higher risk of heart attacks and high blood cholesterol levels.

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So, instead of taking an approach that completely eliminates or significantly reduces fat, you should opt to include healthy unsaturated fats in your diet. Healthy fats are actually an essential macronutrient because they help your body absorb nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K, and antioxidants. Omega-3 fats optimize heart, nerve, and brain function. You should include healthy fats into your diet like avocados, olive oil, nuts, and fish, and try to limit your consumption of “reduced-fat” fat foods that are high in refined carbs and added sugars. A healthy diet includes healthy fats, primarily unrefined carbohydrates, and protein.


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