This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
 

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Weight Loss Motivation

            Losing weight is something that is very difficult to do, and something that millions of Americans are struggling with on a day to day basis. The reason that it’s so hard to lose weight is generally because of two things uniquely quite present in the United States. The first thing is that we quite busy people. Whether it’s your child’s extra curricular activities that are now nearly mandatory for every parent to attend, or if it’s just work, which manages to squeeze itself into various parts of your life, we are quite busy people. Another factor that makes the United States much more likely to have obese people is the food we have available to us. These two are not entirely separate factors. In fact, the reason why children are becoming so much more obese is intertwined with the first. We are busy people, and we use convenience food to save us time. While using the convenience food, it’s hard to go back because of all the preservatives, extra fat, sugar, and more that is put in our food, it is designed to make us want to come back for more- nearly constantly.

            The fact that this is such a prevalent part of our lives is the main culprit for the reason why so many Americans find themselves overweight, and their children too. However, our bodies are far more important than the addictive ingredients put into our food to make corporations money. You want to understand this important point, because it’s something that is affecting your and your families health. A great way to begin your weight loss is to obtain a bit more information when it comes to what is in food, especially pre-packaged food. There are a ton of articles out there written about this, but it’s important that you find articles from websites with qualified scientific backgrounds, so that you know that you aren’t getting bunk science, which can lead to a lot of issues in the future. Learning more about your body and the food that you put in it is an excellent way to lose weight because it serves as motivator, as well as educator on the kinds of food that you should be eating.

            Another huge factor in the weight gain of Americans is our physical fitness. With the popularity of the internet rising constantly, and the more entertaining and fun things to do in front a screen instead of while out doing some amount of exercise has made the epidemic even worse. Not only are we stuck on screens for the majority of our jobs, but your children are also stuck to screens on social media, watching television, and playing video games. Evolution has not yet progressed enough for our bodies to be able to handle this change, especially when you think of the fact that processed food has gained popularity at around the same time as a sedentary lifestyle. These two things combined have pretty much made the perfect recipe for bad bodies and out of shape lifestyles. If you want to get in shape, it’s best to involve your whole family. Not only will you be much more likely to lose weight because you have other people who are on the journey with you, but you’re doing it together. GoDaddy is the perfect place to set up a website that helps you keep in touch with your family about your goals and more.

Traditional medicine for Healthcare

According to a study conducted by the All India Coordinated Research Project on Ethno-biology (AICRPE), over ten thousand wild plant species are reported to be used by tribals for meeting their primary healthcare as well as food requirements. Further, there are approximately eight thousand medicinal plant varieties utilised by over two million traditional healers for treating ailments of both humans and livestock. Traditional medicine bequeathed from generation to generation is rich in domestic recipes for common health ailments. The best known examples of traditional medicine, differing in concept and protocol, are well developed systems such as ayurvedic and herbal treatments that have been widely used to sustain human health, especially in tribal regions of India.

1. Bhokar/Shelti – cures kidney stones, diarrhoea and stomach problem

2. Karvand – A rich source of Iron, Phosphorus and Vitamin C

3. Pathari – For ichthyosis (scaling of skin), xeroderma (dry skin). The roots are crushed and the extract is used

4. Kadu kand – Well cooked bulb slices can be consumed to get relief from stomach ache whereas paste of heartwood is used to cure wounds

5. Tetu – It is administered to women to treat leucorrhoea and menorrhoea

Traditional Medicine – Links to Maternal and Child Health

Traditional medicine is critical and has contributed tremendously to the healthcare of both the mother and the child in tribal regions. Jawhar block in Palghar district, Maharashtra is a tribal block having rich biodiversity, especially rice varieties having specific characteristics and uses. The tribal farmers have cultivated diverse rice varieties for purposes such as food security, instant energy provision during peak workload and medicinal use. This wonderful diversity of rice has formed the basis of a nutritious and secure diet for the vulnerable groups of the tribal population, that is, mothers, pregnant and lactating women and young children.

Various ongoing studies conducted by the NGOs such as BAIF Development Research Foundation in different tribal belts across Maharashtra found a number of rice varieties having specific medicinal properties and uses. For instance, one rice variety called ‘Mahadi’ has multiple health benefits; one of them is to cure weakness in women post pregnancy. Other rice varieties include Rajghudya and Kali Kudai (used to increase breast milk in lactating women); Kali Khadsi (for child’s growth and nutrition); Kasbai (used for nebulisation, which gives instant relief from cough) and Dangi (used for instant energy boost), among others.

Furthermore, traditional kitchens, serve as an in-house medical supply store. Tribal regions lack proper healthcare centres. Thus, most of the child deliveries take place at home and not in a hospital. The rate of institutional deliveries is slowly increasing but there is still a long way to go for this to become a rule, rather than an exception. Since most of deliveries take place at home, the traditional birth attendants play a major role in tribal regions. One of the practices performed by the birth attendants in villages is to use materials like cow dung as a disinfectant in the house that helps keep various diseases at bay. The various homemade medications, mostly herbal, for the mother and child are also prescribed predominantly. Restoring the mother to her original physiology is a challenge that the native healers often take up.

Habitat Loss – A Threat to Traditional Medicine

An impending threat to further proliferation of traditional medicine is the rampant loss of habitat. Unregulated harvesting of wild produce coupled with ecological degradation leading to extensive resource depletion and tribal landlessness (and even those who do have land are continuously losing their land to the government or private corporations) are some of the factors posing a grave and growing threat to the conservation of indigenous foods and traditional medicinal plants.

Furthermore, there has been a gradual erosion of indigenous varieties, especially rice biodiversity. Most of the indigenous rice varieties are being replaced by high yielding varieties. These high yielding varieties have not resulted in any spectacular increase in yield in this region. The majority of farmers, especially the resource-poor tribal farmers are not able to afford high quality expensive fertilizers which are normally recommended along with these varieties.

Tribal Healers – Traditional knowledge erosion and threat to livelihood

In addition to the above, there has been a gradual loss of practical knowledge about traditional medicine and healing practices in the tribal regions, during the past couple of decades. This has resulted in poor health status of the most vulnerable sections of the tribal population. Many factors contribute to this knowledge erosion. The most pressing issues pertaining to this knowledge erosion are: a) lack of incentives and recognition. For instance, scientists and researchers collect data and publish their studies but often fail to give the due recognition to the healers. Also, the ayurvedic and allopathic drug companies extract knowledge for research and development purposes, but do not usually share profits with the tribal healers; b) lack of proper documentation of knowledge regarding traditional healing practices; and c) broken intergenerational links (impacting dissemination of age-old knowledge and traditions from older generation to the younger generation), among others.

Tribal healers are known to use their own systems of healthcare with plant and animal extracts. However, in the recent past, factors such as aversion to follow the low income traditional healing practices; gradual shift to more lucrative alternate livelihoods; greater reliance on non-traditional healing practices and high degree of inroads by modern medicine, is threatening the traditional medicinal traditions to proliferate further. The native tribal healers are precious, but, still remain a neglected lot.

Traditional medicine is critical as well as cost-effective (in relation to hospital care) and ensures self dependency on healthcare due to enhanced reliance on the local biodiversity. It must be given the much needed boost.

Chiropractic Care

What Is a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors are trained doctors who specialize in detecting and reducing misalignments of the spine called vertebral subluxation that interfere with central nervous system function. Subluxations can cause inflammation of the joint and nerve root as well as lack of motion which can cause joint degeneration.
Chiropractors work in the field of complimentary or alternative healthcare, treating patients by performing hands-on chiropractic adjustments in order to help with postural restoration, spinal alignment, nervous system function and maintenance of health. Chiropractic physicians are trained to use their hands as their “instrument,” carefully adjusting the joints of the body, especially the spine.

What are a Chiropractor’s specialties?

You might think of chiropractic adjustments as only being helpful for treating problems like back pain or a stiff neck, but that’s far from true. In many ways, Chiropractors have a “stress-centered” view of health: the underlying belief of chiropractic care surrounds the fact that the body has an innate ability to heal itself once interferences or “obstacles” (sources of stress that stand in the way of well-being) are removed.

Interferences that can negatively impact the nervous system and therefore diminisoverall health, including the following: poor posture, poor nutrition, physical and emotional stress, muscular tension and tightness, and illness caused by a number of issues, including poor digestive health.

What is a Chiropractor hoping to do when they perform adjustments on patients?

Restoring motion and alignment of the spine is the first step in helping the rest of the body to self-regulate, self-maintain and self-restore, due to the spine’s direct neurological influence on the rest of the body. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) states that ” The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues, since our body structure affects our overall function.” (

3Top Benefits of Chiropractic

Does Chiropractic work? And for what ailments?

According to Dr. Dan Sullivan — Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), speaker, author and one of the most well respected holistic health experts in the country —

One of the biggest challenges that Chiropractors face is the public’s perception of Chiropractic. Many still believe that the benefits of chiropractic adjustments are limited to back and neck pain relief. But that is just a small portion of the benefits that chiropractic care delivers. Some of the greatest evidence today shows exactly why Chiropractors have been seeing amazing results in their offices, each week, for over 120 years, with symptoms and conditions seemingly unrelated to the spine.

It all comes back to how Chiropractic positively influences the nervous system. From improved breathing and digestion, to increased immunity, better organ function, fertility and so much more, we now know from a scientific and research standpoint how adjustments can have such far-reaching benefits.

One of the reasons why Chiropractic is tied to so many benefits is because it has been shown to help reduce inflammation, the root cause of many different diseases. Another factor behind why Chiropractic can help numerous health challenges has to do with it balancing out the bodies sympathetic/parasympathetic response of the nervous system. Most people live in a sympathetic “fight or flight” response and a chiropractic adjustment in the upper cervical region and sacral region can stimulate a parasympathetic response that reduces stress and allows certain organs to function to a higher degree including the digestive and endocrine systems.

A study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine done on 40 participants found after receiving a cervical adjustment, pulse rates decreased, blood pressure balanced and there was a significantly positive parasympathetic response.

This is a prime example of why so many people choose to visit a Chiropractor on a regular basis even if they don’t have symptoms because they understand the benefits of decreasing ongoing stress and maintaining a healthy spine and nervous system.

Because chiropractic adjustments can help decrease the stress load on the nervous system, chiropractic care sets the stage for recovery and healing. Contrary to that of most medical doctors or other healthcare providers, Chiropractors do not seek to cure or remove the symptom, ailment or condition. It is important to note that Chiropractors focus on removing interference from the nervous system so that patients can heal and function the way they were intended.Chiropractors take pride in educating their patients about how the human body is designed to heal, and that the body is programmed to be constantly striving towards health. Anyone with altered spinal alignment or movement can be helped by a Chiropractor. However, because the central nervous system directs all healing in the body, many symptoms and conditions have been proven to be helped through the influence of a chiropractic adjustment.

Below are some of the greatest benefits associated with chiropractic care:

1. Back pain

Spinal adjustments and certain other chiropractic techniques have been shown in many studies to help treat neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, including low back pain. Back pain is one of the most common reasons that adults visit Chiropractors every year. Chiropractic for treatment of back pain has been so well-supported in studies that it’s no longer even considered “alternative care.”

According to the National Institute of Health,

Spinal manipulation is one of several options — including exercise, massage and physical therapy — that can provide mild-to-moderate relief from low-back pain. Spinal manipulation appears to work as well as conventional treatments such as applying heat, using a firm mattress and taking pain-relieving medications.

2. Neck pain

Neck pain is another common problem that can be caused by factors such as injuries, trauma, stress, poor sleep, arthritis, older age and degenerative disc disease. Chiropractors use techniques including adjustments, mobilization, massage or rehabilitative exercises to help relieve pressure placed on the neck. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found strong evidence that patients with chronic neck pain showed significant pain-level improvements following spinal adjustments that lasted for at least 12 weeks post-treatment.

3. Migraines and Headaches

Adjustments to the spine, neck and head can be very effective for treating recurring headaches, including tension headaches. Adjustments help restore posture of the head and relieve pressure and tension on nerves that contribute to headaches. A group trial found that 22 percent of people who had chiropractic treatment saw the number of attacks drop by 90 percent. In that same study, 49 percent said they had a significant reduction in pain intensity. Compared to most medical treatments, few interventions can initiate headache relief naturally, without the risks of taking drugs long-term, like chiropractic adjustments can.

4. Injuries of the Musculoskeletal System

Many symptoms due to injuries affecting involving the muscles, ligaments and joints can be treated with chiropractic care. Chiropractors use a variety of precise techniques like adjustments, massage therapy, stretching, exercises and weights to help relax tense muscles and improve posture. This helps to treat symptoms including muscle pain, tightness, reduced range of motion, weakness due to muscular compensations and spasms. Certain muscles that are overactive can be “turned off” while others that are under-used can be “turned on.”

5. Digestive Problems

Digestive issues can be tied to both stress and spinal misalignments, due to how both negatively affect the nervous system’s communication with the organs, glands and tissues of the digestive system. Following chiropractic treatments, the gut-brain connection can be restored in order to improve control and function of nerves and muscles in the GI tract. Chiropractic techniques aimed at evoking relaxation, improving blood flow to the digestive organs, and improving communication between the nervous system and gut are all used to treat a range of digestive problems — such as IBS, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux,

Kids Overdosing on Dietary Supplements

Why Are Kids Overdosing on Dietary Supplements?

The overwhelming majority of supplement overdoses occur at home (97.3 percent). At almost that same percentage, children overdosed specifically by swallowing supplements. Most of these cases occurred in children under the age of 6 and happened by accident.

Often, people see dietary supplements as “all natural” and “safe” because they aren’t medications. However, there can be major pitfalls in that line of thinking — for one, supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way as ‘conventional’ foods and drugs. Unlike medications, the FDA states that supplements are “considered safe until proven otherwise.”

Also, there are certain supplement ingredients that are banned, but many manufacturers aren’t audited for the quality or consistency of their ingredients.

It’s not uncommon for supplements from unregulated companies to include dangerous fillers in supplements and vitamins — things like hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, lead, mercury, PCBs and the list goes on.

Even with the safest, whole-food-sourced supplements, there are still limitations on how much of a good thing the body needs. Nutrients taken in supplement form can only be absorbed so much in the body (unlike when you eat whole foods), so it is possible to overdose on supplements.

The Most Common Culprits of Supplement Overdose by Kids

There are a few very common supplements that children tend to find and take without supervision. While they aren’t necessarily the most dangerous, it’s worth it to be cautious if you use these products.

Fat Burners — According to the July 2017 study, children often overdosed on fat burners (sometimes known as thermogenics) that adults take to lose weight — in fact, 43 percent of the total exposures were in this category. Fat burners are notorious for being laced with chemicals and dangerous additives, making them all the more problematic.

Vitamin C — What do you do when you or your child gets the flu? Do you load up on Vitamin C? It’s a great immunity booster, but it’s important to follow the dosing instructions. If your children know Vitamin C “makes them better,” they might want to grab more if they’re feeling sick. A major problem arises when this water-soluble vitamin is taken in excess, perhaps turning a remedy into a dangerous vitamin.

Botanicals — These supplements demonstrated the second largest overdose potential in this research review, accounting for about 32 percent of the total exposures. Botanicals include herbs such as lemon balm, chamomile and other plants or plant products valued for their therapeutic properties.

Hormonal Supplements — Hormonal products are used to try to balance hormones naturally. This category includes things meant to balance levels of estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol and others. These supplements make up about 15 percent of child supplement overdose incidents.

The Supplements Most Dangerous to Kids

Yohimbe — This bark-derived supplement can be especially toxic for children, according to the study. Yohimbe bark is a natural stimulant that is usually taken to increase libido and treat erectile dysfunction in adult men. Side effects can include “heart beat rhythm changes, kidney failure, seizures, heart attack and death.” Almost 30 percent of the recorded incidents resulted in moderate to severe symptoms in children. (2)

Energy Products — Most energy-boosting drinks, pills and powders are incredibly dangerous, even for adults. The researchers involved recommended better regulation and packaging to avoid unintentional consumption by children. Some of the symptoms from overdose include seizures, breathing problems and heart issues.

Ephedra (Ma Huang) — A traditional Chinese remedy for respiratory problems, ephedra was a popular energy and weight loss ingredient banned in the U.S. in 2004 because of the dangers it posed to users, particularly when consumed with caffeine. People taking ephedra have experienced heart irregularities, including stroke.

Iron — While not mentioned individually in this particular review, iron is another potentially dangerous supplement for children to take by mistake. Sufferers of iron poisoning often experience vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain at first, sometimes followed by liver failure. Do not take an iron supplement unless your physician recommends it.

Preventing Supplement Overdose

1. Treat supplements like pharmaceutical medications.

Because they can have adverse health effects when taken improperly, always treat your supplements as you would any pharmaceutical. Always securely close bottles and store them in out-of-reach places your children can’t easily access.

2. Purchase supplements from reputable, safe providers.

Due to lax regulatory standards, you should only purchase supplements from reputable sources. This way you can avoid many problematic additives and ensure that you and your family take only the purest, whole-food-based products.

3. Follow supplement guidelines.

Dosage guidelines were created for a reason. Don’t take or give your kids more than the prescribed dosage for age and/or weight, and never give children supplements that aren’t labeled for people their age.

4. Seek medical attention immediately if your child has symptoms of supplement overdose.

If you recognize symptoms of potential supplement overdose and have any reason to think your child may have been exposed to supplements, see a doctor immediately.

A Worse Killer than Obesity

What Is Loneliness Exactly?

Norman Cousins, author the best-selling book “Anatomy of an Illness,” once said, “The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness.” This is just one of many loneliness quotes that speaks to many people’s hearts. There are also lots of loneliness poems and loneliness songs out there, which is not surprising since loneliness is such a common yet unpleasant emotion for human beings of all ages.

What is the actual loneliness definition? Loneliness is the state of feeling lonely. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines lonely in a number of ways, including: being without company, cut off from others, sad from being alone, or producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation. (4)

It’s really important to note that being physically alone doesn’t just automatically equate to loneliness. As Psychology Today points out: (5)

Loneliness is a negative state, marked by a sense of isolation. One feels that something is missing. It is possible to be with people and still feel lonely—perhaps the most bitter form of loneliness.

Solitude is the state of being alone without being lonely. It is a positive and constructive state of engagement with oneself. Solitude is desirable, a state of being alone where you provide yourself wonderful and sufficient company.

So how do you know if you’re experiencing loneliness or solitude? Is there a loneliness test? There actually are some tests you can take to determine if you are struggling with loneliness. For example, you can take The Loneliness Quiz, which is said to be based upon the UCLA Loneliness Scale. (6)

Natural Remedies for Loneliness

Occasional feelings of loneliness are not problematic if you do something to relieve yourself of lonely feelings. According to psychologist John Cacioppo, Ph.D, from the University of Chicago, “Loneliness is actually an evolutionary adaptation that should spur us to get back to socializing, a state in which we are happier and safer.” (7) Now let’s look at some of the best natural ways to combat feelings of loneliness and get to a much more enjoyable state of mind and being.

1. Less Social Media and Technology 

You may enjoy social media at times, but at other times, maybe you’ve wondered or even searched the Internet for: “Do I have an obsession with Facebook”? Technology and social media can be quite addicting and time-consuming. On the positive side, you are able to keep in touch and maybe even form relationships with people all over the world. On the negative side, you may find you’re spending a lot less time connecting with people in person, getting outdoors, exercising, being creative and practicing other habits on a regular basis that help decrease feelings of loneliness.

A study published in 2017 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that heavy use of social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Instagram, was correlated with feelings of social isolation. Specifically, this study looked at 1,787 adults in the United States between the ages of 19 and 32 and found that people who spent more than two hours each day on social media had double the likelihood of feeling socially isolated and lonely. Researchers also found that the people visiting social media most often (58 visits or greater each week) were more than three times as likely to feel socially isolated compared to people who visited less than nine times each week. (8, 9)

It’s also really important to consider the effects of social media and technology use on children when it comes to loneliness. A U.K.-wide study conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health released in May 2017 revealed that imaged-focused Instagram “is considered the social media platform most likely to cause young people to feel depressed, anxious and lonely.” Snapchat came in second followed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. (10)there.

2. More Outdoor Time

When you’re looking to overcome loneliness, getting out of your house and into the stress-relieving outdoor world is a fabulous idea. You can also choose an outdoor space where interaction with other people will be possible, such as a dog park or a hiking trail. Getting into nature is also a helpful option if you don’t currently have the option to see a loved one in person but are looking to relieve any loneliness depression feelings.

Exposure to sunlight, fresh air and nature are all scientifically known for increasing serotonin levels. What is serotonin? Serotonin is a brain chemical known for improving a person’s state of mind. When serotonin levels are higher, researchers have found that people tend to be happier and “that positive emotions and agreeableness foster congenial relationships with others.” So in other words, getting outdoors and boosting those serotonin levels on a regular basis can likely help improve the sympathetic relations you have with others, which can help decrease loneliness.

Anne Frank had one of the best lonely quotes when it comes to nature’s healing effect on loneliness. She said, ” The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.” (13) You can try earthing as well, which can help reduce stress hormones.

3. Contact a Friend or Family Member (In a Non-Digital Way)

Sometimes when you feel like you’re suffering from burnout or exhaustion, you may think the best thing to do is be alone and keep to yourself, but think twice. Isolating yourself is only helpful when it promotes feelings of solitude rather than loneliness. Remember that solitude is a positive state of being alone while loneliness is a negative state. When you’re feeling really stressed out, lonely and/or depressed, it’s always important to talk to people you trust and get your feelings out. It’s also a great idea to hear their voices on the other end of the phone (rather than a text message) or, even better, see them in person. Let yourself be supported by those around you and you are less likely to feel so alone.

If you don’t have anyone you trust to reach out to and your feelings of loneliness are really getting you down, never hesitate to reach out to caring people at places like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

4. Share Your Living Space

When people feel lonely, they have a harder time handling stress well. Living alone has also been shown to increase the risk for suicide in both the young and the old. If you’re struggling with loneliness and live alone, you maybe want to consider having a roommate.

A few years back, a Dutch retirement home came up with an answer to loneliness for both the elderly and the young — it actually offered free housing to students if they agreed to spending time with the residents of the retirement home. In exchange for a rent-free living space, the students were required to spend a minimum of 30 hours each month being “good neighbors.” This intergenerational living situation is a way of encouraging both the old and the young to interact with each other in a way that can help foster feelings of connectedness rather than isolation and loneliness. (14

5. Don’t Work Too Hard

According to the a 2017 article published in the Harvard Business Review, there is a strong correlation between work exhaustion and feelings of loneliness. So the greater the level of burnout due to work, the more lonely people seem to feel. This affects a lot of people today since apparently double the amount of people today say they are always exhaustedcompared to two decades ago. (15)

It makes sense that when we are exhausted we’re less likely to feel physically and mentally well, and we’re also less likely to have energy for social engagement and positive relationship maintenance. Our jobs, and life in general, can be quite demanding, but do what you can to not overwork yourself and make natural stress relievers a part of your daily routine.

Final Thoughts on Loneliness

This loneliness epidemic is nothing to take lightly since it appears to be more threatening than other top public health concerns like obesity. Plus, feeling lonely makes so many other health problems, both big and small, more likely. It’s not surprising that feeling connected to others can help decrease feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression; boost our immune systems; and even elongate our life spans.

With the ever-increasing virtual connectedness we now have, it’s really important that we all take the time to be with each other in person and get outside on a regular basis. Our mental, physical and emotional health clearly improves from more real forms of connection and from being in nature

The Truth Behind This Weight Loss Supplement

This brand-name weight loss supplement is actually made with a fiber, glucomannan, derived from the konjac root found in parts of east Asia.

People in China, Japan and other parts of southeast Asia have used konjac root products for centuries as part of traditional Chinese medicine to detoxify the body, suppress tumors, achieve blood stasis (a tenet of many diseases, according to ancient practices, that involves the proper movement of blood through the body), eliminate phlegm, treat asthma and cough, correct skin disorders and burns, treat hernia, and reduce breast pain. (1)

Since being introduced in the 1990s to western countries, glucomannan products are used for resolving constipation, regulating cholesterol, treating insulin resistance, managing type II diabetes, weight loss, diverticular disease, treating hypoglycemia and naturally solving type I diabetes. (2)

By developing Lipozene using only this one active ingredient, Obesity Research Institute LLC claims that customers can naturally lose weight (proven by clinical studies!) without changing lifestyle habits or eating different foods. This fat burner has, according to the Lipozene website, sold over 25 million bottles. Lipozene hosts many late-night infomercials to share the “incredible” results.

The company name is a bit misleading, however, as this “research institute” is not known to conduct any actual research and functions only as a sales organization for two products: Lipozene and MetaboUP Plus.

In addition to glucomannan, Lipozene tablets contain inactive ingredients composed of gelatin, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium silicate, stearic acid, titanium dioxide and FD&C Blue No. 1. (3)

The recommended dosage of Lipozene is two capsules, 30 minutes before meals, up to three times per day. This equals 4.5 grams of glucomannan, which is slightly higher than the tolerable daily dosage of the root. (4)

How does Lipozene work? Well, glucomannan is an insoluble fiber that travels through the stomach without breaking down. More than most other fiber products, glucomannan has an astounding ability to thicken substances. When Lipozene tablets hit the stomach, they expand stomach contents and suppress appetite, resulting in a “full” feeling after a very small meal.

As the product travels through your digestive system, it activates the bowels to move more rapidly, another method by which Lipozene can result in a loss of pounds.

Because of its health-related claims, Obesity Research Institute has been the brunt of various federal warnings and class action lawsuits.

In 2005, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined the company for false advertising to the tune of $1.5 million for claims made about FiberThin and Propolene, both of which are other glucomannan-based weight loss supplements previously sold by the Obesity Research Institute. The main violations involved are known as “Red Flag” claims, which refer to unsubstantiated assertions that a product results in major weight loss without dietary or lifestyle changes. (5)

A group of customers successfully sued the makers of Lipozene in 2011 for false advertising with no real results, resulting in a $5 million payout. (6) Another lawsuit was filed in 2016 claiming Lipozene is still violating the 2005 court order by the FTC by continuing to falsely market its products to have unproven results. (7)

Two manufacturers received warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014, one due to improper labeling that would classify Lipozene as a “drug” (since glucomannan is not an FDA-approved medicinal ingredient) and the other about insufficient testing methods. (8, 9)

What the Customer Lipozene Reviews Say

Depending where you look, customers are all over the board when it comes to Lipozene. On its own website, Lipozene boasts the hundreds of four- and five-star Lipozene reviews, alongside which are a few low ratings. Customers claim everything from three-digit weight loss numbers to the ability to eliminate medications for diabetes, as well as complaints on occasion about little to no results or poor customer service. (10)

It’s a bit of a different story on Amazon, where the Lipozene review rating is only 2.5/5. The majority (49 percent) of Lipozene reviews are one-star, with 19 percent of reviews giving it five stars and a smattering of the in-between ratings.

Some of the negative Lipozene reviews call it a “waste of money” and “very disappointing,” warning customers not to order it based on bad customer service experiences and a lack of effectiveness. More than 200 positive reviews rave about losing 10 pounds in just a week, immediate results, a total loss of over 100 pounds and a lot of general praise. (11)

Two independent review sites also claim to record customer thoughts about Lipozene.

Skinny Betty writes a scathing article about her extremely poor experience while taking Lipozene and displays reported claims from over 12,000 users over a three-month period from her own website. According to Betty, 84.2 percent of people said the product did not work, 12.4 said it worked while they took the product, 1.6 percent claimed “horrible side effects,” and the remaining 1.8 percent gave unusable data. (12)

Another source, Consumer Health Digest, shows an 81 percent positive rating for Lipozene reviews. (13)

Other retailer websites have a mixture of positive and negative feedback about Lipozene, which is not uncommon for most weight loss supplements, due to how each person’s body reacts differently to substances.

What the Science Lipozene Reviews Say

OK, so the customers aren’t exactly in agreement, but there seems to be at least a good number of Lipozene review sources with positive results. But does Lipozene work, according to science?

To be honest, these results are mixed here as well. Another complication of parsing through all the studies out there is that they are specific to glucomannan, which you can purchase in supplement form for up to half the cost of brand-name Lipozene (and not all of which contain the same inactive additives).

Overall, a review of available data on glucomannan and weight loss conducted in 2015 found that there is some evidence that supplementary glucomannan might reduce body weight in “otherwise healthy overweight or obese adults,” although these results did not extend to reducing BMI. (14)

A study in Norway tested glucomannan for weight loss and found it resulted in an approximate loss of 0.8 kilograms/week (about 1.76 pounds) versus placebo. (15) In 2008, Spanish researchers also discovered a weight loss correlation, as well as a reduction in LDL cholesterol and improved satiety(the feeling of being full). (16)

However, other results conflict with these results. Rush University conducted a study including 53 participants that found glucomannan to be well-tolerated but not to result in any significant weight loss versus placebo. (17) A review of nine studies in 2014 came to the same conclusion. (18)

Does Lipozene Work?

That’s really the million-dollar question, isn’t it? (Or, based on Lipozene’s payouts to date, the $6.5 million question.)

Ultimately, there is no sufficient evidence to suggest Lipozene works any better or worse than dietary and lifestyle adjustments alone would to stimulate weight loss.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times about Lipozene claims, Vladimir Vuksan, a nutritional sciences professor at the University of Toronto, explains that through two decades of researching glucomannan and other nutritional fibers, he has found the small doses in Lipozene have shown no evidence of “significant weight loss.” (19)

According to Vuksan, it would take between 20 and 30 grams of glucomannan each day to lose substantial amounts of weight — an amount that would cause your gut to “explode,” in his words.

Is fiber an integral part of losing weight for many people? Yes.

Does one fiber have the ability to drain fat off your body? No.

The bottom line here is that Lipozene alone likely does not have the immediate results of weight loss that the makers insist. When asking, “Does Lipozene work?” remember that there truly is not one single thing that will truly aid in safe, lasting weight loss. Rather, losing weight by eating whole, life-giving foods and exercising wisely, combined, is the only really effective way to do it.

Lipozene Reviews: Pros and Cons

Potential Benefits of Lipozene

When it comes to Lipozene, there are some benefits to note, as well as possible side effects. It’s very important to remember here that the benefits listed all refer to Lipozene’s only active ingredient, glucomannan. There are no listed studies that investigate Lipozene tablets specifically, and other methods of consuming glucomannan will afford the same results (potentially without the added side effects).

1. Constipation Relief

It’s possible that glucomannan, like that found in Lipozene, might relieve constipation. A variety of studies show it has the ability to encourage bowel movements and release stubborn waste. (22, 23, 24)

This seems true for both adults and children, though I do not recommend providing Lipozene pills to children in any case — or adults for that matter. (25)

2. Lowered Heart Disease Risk

Limited evidence has found that glucomannan products have the ability to positively alter some heart disease risk factors. One study found that glucomannan supplementation lowered LDL cholesterol and high triglycerides. (26)

Another report suggests that glucomannan might improve gut health and improve metabolic syndrome factors. (27)

This might be because of the way glucomannan can potentially increase the activity of an antioxidant in the body known as glutathione peroxidase. This antioxidant protects from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and may improve heart disease, cancer and other disease risk. (28)

3. Improved Diabetes Symptoms

A well-documented feature of glucomannan is its ability to improve diabetes symptoms and risk factors. In addition to lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, glucomannan has been found to lower fasting blood sugar levels, according to research. (29)

In general, it’s acceptable to assume glucomannan might have mild to moderate benefits for those suffering from diabetes, including high-risk patients. (30)

4. Weight Loss

Some of the above studies have also found minor weight loss benefits by using glucomannan products like Lipozene. This is most likely due to two factors.

For one, Lipozene does increase satiety, the feeling you get when you’re full of food, without actually eating as much as it would normally take. (31) Like I mentioned above, this is not always a great way to lose weight because it doesn’t involve eating better food, just a smaller amount.

 Natural Treatments for Brittle Nails

What Are Brittle Nails?

Your fingernails and toenails are made up of layers of protein called keratin. Healthy nails are smooth and strong with even coloring and no spots or discoloration. Sometimes healthy nails can become brittle.

Brittle fingernails tend to be noticed much sooner than brittle toenails, but both the nails on your fingers and the nails on your toes can become brittle for various reasons. It’s estimated that brittle nails, also called onychorrhexis, are quite common. In fact, it’s estimated that it affects around 20 percent of the population. (2) Women tend to struggle with brittle nails more than men. When you have brittle nails they are in a weakened state and tend to break, split or peel easily

 Natural Treatments for Brittle Nails

Reduce Water Exposure

Cleaning and doing dishes on a regular basis is pretty unavoidable, but it’s very trying on your hands and nails. The good news is that you can always invest in a good pair of protective gloves that can help prevent and heal brittle nails. Wearing gloves while you do household chores, especially ones involving drying hot water and soap, can really go a long way to save your nails from becoming dry and brittle.

 Stay Hydrated

While you may want to avoid too much water on the outside when it comes to brittle nails, you definitely don’t want to slack on your internal water intake. Staying hydrated with water as well as water-rich healthy foods like watermelon and cucumbers is a great way to moisturize your nails, skin and hair from the inside.

Use a Natural Hand Cream

If you’re struggling with brittle nails, then it’s an excellent idea to moisturize your hands and nails after washing and drying your hands each time. To make it easy to remember, try keeping a great natural hand moisturizer near your sink so you can quickly and easily apply it every time. You can even make your own hand moisturizer with my recipe for Handmade Lotion with Frankincense, Lavender & Peppermint Oils.

Try a DIY Cuticle Cream

One thing you can count on if you’re wondering how to fix brittle nails naturally or conventionally is that treatment always includes topical moisturizers. When nails are dry and brittle, my DIY Cuticle Cream makes a perfect brittle nails treatment. The contents of this cuticle cream are extremely healing to both the cuticles at the base of your nails as well as the nails themselves. With natural and moisture replenishing ingredients like beeswax, raw shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E, you’ll definitely want to apply this cuticle cream a few times per day.

Avoid Harsh Nail Polish Remover

Most nail polish removers are loaded with chemicals and tend to dry out the finger nails and toe nails. Nail polish removers often contain highly toxic chemicals including acetone, formaldehyde, toluene and phthalates. Not only can nail polish removers negatively affect the health of your nails, research has shown they may cause reproductive harm and organ toxicity. They can also irritate the skin, eyes and lungs.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E capsules are inexpensive and can be an effective way to help the condition of your nails. The thick liquid that comes out of a vitamin Ecapsule is a perfect treatment for brittle nails. You simply need to puncture one of the capsules and put a little bit of the oil right onto each nail. It’s an easy yet highly potent and rejuvenating treatment for brittle nails.

Low-Fat Diets

 

Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet vs. Low-Fat Diet — Why High-Fat, Low-Carb Is Better

Why is it that a high-fat diet seemed to offer better protection against cardiovascular disease and mortality than a low-fat diet? Experts believe (and common sense tells us) that a major contributing factor is that low-fat diets are often higher in added sugar and refined grains, including products made with flour. When someone eats less fat they are likely to replace those calories with carbohydrates, often which are found in convenient, cheap and highly processed foods.

Replacing a percentage of calories from fat with healthy, whole-food sources of carbs, like starchy root vegetables for example, might not be unhealthy or a risk factor for disease, but this is rarely what happens in real life.

Here are some of the ways that a high-fat diet can be beneficial:

1. Fat May Fight Disease and Boost Longevity

Some studies looking at the effects of eating a low-carbohydrate diet, which usually includes higher levels of saturated fats, suggest that higher-fat diets don’t necessarily raise blood cholesterol levels and can even be beneficial for cardiovascular disease risk markers, such as triglyceride levels. High-fat diets can also be beneficial for lowering obesity risk, regulating insulin sensitivity, decreasing risk for diabetes and might even offering protection against cancer. (2)

2. Helps with Sustainable Weight Loss

Many people find that diets higher in fat are more satiating and turn off hunger signals and appetite much more so than lower-fat diets do. A high-fat diet may help regulate ghrelin levels, a hormone that controls appetite, and cut down on the desire to snack or overeat.

3. Helpful for Cognitive/Neurological Health

The brain requires a high amount of energy, including cholesterol, as a source of fuel. Certain kinds of fats, especially cholesterol, act like antioxidants and precursors to some important brain-supporting molecules and neurotransmitters. Some studies have found links between higher-fat intake and protection against conditions like dementia and depression.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry found that elderly people who added more healthy fats to their diets were better able to maintain cognitive function compared to elderly adults who ate lower-fat diets. (3)

4. Important for Hormonal Balance & Reproduction

Cholesterol and other fats play a fundamental part in building cellular membranes and producing hormones. Some studies have found that low-fat diets raise the risk of menstrual problems and difficulty getting pregnant. For example, it’s been found that high intake of low-fat dairy foods may increase the risk of anovulatory infertility (when ovulation does not occur), but higher intake of high-fat dairy foods may decrease this risk. (4)

5. Needed for Proper Absorption of Vitamins

Dietary fats provide the body with lipid molecules, which have many roles in the body and are essential for life. We all need a certain amount of fats including cholesterol for our health not to suffer, and different lipids support various bodily functions including: providing energy storage, signal transduction, building cellular structures, production of hormones and steroids, activating enzymes, supporting brain function, and absorbing other dietary lipids and fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E and K.

Is Your Diet High Enough In Healthy Fats?

The Lancet study showed that low fat diets were associated with higher risk for mortality, and you may be wondering why that is. What specific types of health problems might low-fat diets contribute to, according to other research studies?

Low-fat diets have been shown to be associated with some of following symptoms and conditions:

  • Weight gain, due to increased hunger and cravings
  • Changes in heart health markers, including blood lipid profiles, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and glucose levels
  • Low energy levels, reduced recovery from exercise and muscular weakness
  • Neurological problems, including stroke and dementia, memory loss, brain fog, and poor performance on cognitive measures including abstract reasoning, attention/concentration, word fluency and executive functioning
  • Infertility, low sex drive or hormone imbalances (including of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen)
  • Insulin resistance and diabetes
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Gut-related issues
  • Nutrient deficiencies, especially in vitamin A, E D and K

Precautions If You’re Following a Low-Carb Diet

When it comes to drastically limiting your carb intake, one thing to be aware of is that the transition to eating a low-carb, high-fat diet isn’t always so smooth; some temporary side effects are common during the first several weeks of transitioning your diet, including symptoms like fatigue, cravings, constipation or weakness. But once your body adjusts these symptoms tend to go away, leaving you feeling clear-headed, more satisfied from your meals and more energized over all.

Final Thoughts on Low-Carb, High-Fat vs. Low-Fat Diets

A recent study published The Lancet found that high carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality.

Higher consumption of fat, especially from saturated fats, was even shown to offer increased protection against stroke.

To decrease your risk for problems like weight gain due to hunger and cravings, depression, insulin resistance and dementia, experts recommend getting around 35 percent of daily calories from healthy sources of fat (like coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed beef or poultry, nuts, seeds, eggs and wild-caught fish), while limiting intake of processed foods, refined carbohydrates and added sugar.

Dietitian Training

 

What Is a Registered Dietitian?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a dietitian is “a specialist in dietetics,” which is the science or art of applying the principles of nutrition to the diet. (4) Registered dietitians are also called registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs).

What types of clients do dietitians work with? Children or adults with a wide range of health concerns might choose to visit a dietitian, whether on their own or because they were referred to one by their primary doctors. Dietitians most often tend to work with people with one or more of the following health concerns:

Obesity or overweight

Food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities

Diabetes or prediabetes

Heart problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high triglycerides

Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder

Digestive issues, including inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome

During pregnancy or for other hormone-related problems

 

Due to the type of training that most receive, below are five key underlying beliefs that many dietitians have in common — which can be problematic:

1. The USDA’s MyPlate Is an Example of a Balanced Diet

A high percentage of dietitians work in hospitals or other health care settings and are tightly regulated in terms of what type of dietary advice they should offer to clients. Most have been trained to educate their patients about eating in a way that matches the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) MyPlate guidelines (formerly known as “The Food Pyramid”). MyPlate is definitely an improvement from previous recommendations, but it still has its criticisms. These include the fact that MyPlate doesn’t emphasize how important the quality of foods are, still recommends processed low-fat dairy, limits intake of certain healthy fats, and doesn’t drive home the need to avoid processed foods and refined grains quite enough.

2. Calorie Reduction Is Most Important for Weight Loss

While this can’t be said about every dietitian, many stress the importance of focusing on calorie reduction above all else. Some still offer their clients advice about eating low-fat foods, artificially sweetened foods and other processed diet foods in order to reduce calorie intake as much as possible in hopes of causing weight loss. (10)

Rather than solely focusing on lowering calorie intake, I recommend people put their efforts towards eating unprocessed whole foods as much as possible, even those that might be more calorie-dense, such as healthy fats. Whole foods are nutrient-dense, tend to be high in volume and fiber, and are naturally filling. Eating whole foods therefore helps regulate calorie intake, usually without the need to count calories or eat “diet foods” that have been chemically altered.

3. Everything Is OK “In Moderation”

It’s not uncommon for dietitians to tell their clients that any food is OK to have as long as it’s only eaten moderately. For example, some dietitians might recommend having fast food, diet soda, pizza, etc., about once weekly in order to satisfy cravings. While it’s not likely that having something like pizza once per week will negatively impact someone’s health, this approach might not be helpful for reducing cravings for unhealthy foods in the long term or for determining healthier ways to satisfy them.

4. Saturated Fat Is Unhealthy

The USDA and many dietitians still recommend that foods with saturated fat be limited, yet some saturated fat in the diet can actually have health benefits. For example, traditional foods that provide saturated fat — such as raw full-fat dairy products, coconut oil and grass-fed beef — contain important nutrients that help the body in various ways. Some of the benefits of saturated fatty acids include building cell membranes, helping protect bones, protecting the liver from alcohol and other toxins, helping with sex hormone production, enhancing the immune system, and retaining cognitive health.

5. Salt/Sodium Is Unhealthy

Too much sodium can definitely be a problem for people with a history of conditions like high blood pressure or edema, but it’s still important to remember that sodium is an essential mineral and we need a certain level in our diets to remain in balance. If unprocessed foods are kept to a minimum — such as canned soups or veggies, processed meats and cold cuts, and bottled condiments — then adding some real sea salt to freshly prepared foods should not be thought of as a problem.

Natural Treatments to Improve Symptoms

This chronic condition affects the central nervous system, especially the brain, and causes changes in motor control. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers cerebral palsy to be the most common childhood motor disability. (1) While it’s not usually a life-threatening condition — most children who have cerebral palsy survive into adulthood — typically, managing the disorder requires a high level of care long-term due to how it makes everyday tasks like speaking, eating and writing more difficult.

There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy. But many options are available to help children with the disorder deal with physical and mental difficulties. Symptoms of cerebral palsy can sometimes affect many parts of the body, making it hard for someone to live on their own. But not every person with cerebral palsy will be very physically or intellectually challenged. Some can overcome many limitations with early intervention and have normal — or near-normal, sometimes even above-average — levels of intelligence.

Treatments for cerebral palsy vary depending on the severity of symptoms. Some common treatment approaches include:

  • special education training and resources
  • physical therapy and stretching muscles to prevent shortening and risk for deformities
  • using a walker or braces
  • in some cases, surgery to help decrease symptoms like spasms or developmental deformities

What Is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition that causes abnormal motor control and other symptoms due to changes that take place in the brain. (2) It affects about 2 to 4 of every 1,000 infants born. The disorder is much more common among prematurely born infants, especially those who are underweight, compared to full-term infants who are born at a normal weight. (3)

During early development of infants’ brains who have cerebral palsy, injuries occur that affect functions including movement, language and social skills. Symptoms associated with cerebral palsy can develop either before birth in the womb, during birth, or at some point during the first several months of life.

What is the underlying cause of cerebral palsy, and are there known risk factors? Researchers believe there are actually many causes and factors that can contribute to cerebral palsy in newborns or infants; however, sometimes no known cause can be found. When a cause is known, it can include: reduced blood flow/circulation to the brain during pregnancy, oxygen deprivation, infections affecting the brain or damage due to other illnesses, or brain injury that takes place during delivery.

Types of Cerebral Palsy:

Cerebral palsy is not one specific condition but rather refers to a group of symptoms including: poor motor and muscle control, weakness, developmental problems, spasticity and sometimes paralysis. There are four general categories of cerebral palsy, which have some overlaps but are different from one another due to the symptoms that tend to occur: (4)

  • Spastic cerebral palsy — This is the most common type, which causes convulsions and abnormal reflexes in newborns/infants. Infants with spastic cerebral palsy can experience prolonged newborn reflexes, such as having a very tight grip (the hand is held in a tight fist), and stiff, spastic limbs. In some infants a level of intellectual disability will also occur (no longer referred to as “mental retardation’”). Some only experience symptoms that affect their arms, called diplegia, but have near-normal mental capabilities and intelligence.
  • Athetoid cerebral palsy — This type affects up to 20 percent of children with cerebral palsy and is characterized by slow, uncontrolled writhing movements. Symptoms usually cause abnormal control of the hands, feet, legs and arms. Sometimes the tongue and other muscles of the face are also impaired. This can cause trouble eating, difficulty speaking, drooling or grimacing (scowling or frowning).
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy — A rarer type of cerebral palsy, characterized by trouble with balance, coordination, walking and depth-perception. Having a wide-based stance and struggling with precise movements are some of the common symptoms that occur. This can cause problems with writing, gripping objects, and other everyday activities.
  • Mixed form cerebral palsy — When a child has symptoms of one or more of the above types of cerebral palsy, they are considered to have a mixed form of the disease. The most common mixed form of cerebral palsy is spastic combined with athetoid.

Cerebral Palsy Causes & Risk Factors

It’s believed that in most cases more than one cause contributes to the types of brain injuries that cause symptoms of cerebral palsy. Causes can include one or more of the following:

Inadequate blood flow reaching tissues in the developing brain, especially during early pregnancy in the first trimester.

Injury to the brain that occurs during labor and delivery.

Infection or illnesses that occur inside or near the brain during pregnancy. This can include rubella, toxoplasmosis, or cytomegalovirus.

Bleeding in the brain during pregnancy, which can happen due to fetuses having vulnerable blood vessels and sometimes high levels of bilirubin, which contribute to brain injury.

Illnesses that cause inflammation of brain tissue during the first year of life, such as meningitis, sepsis, impact/trauma, or severe dehydration.