Aspirin

CAARSH6JThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

You probably have had a headache sometime in your life, and chances are you will take some kind of medicine to ease your pain. The medicine you will take will most likely be a relative of aspirin.

You may also have taken aspirin or its relatives for other problems, like inflammation or fever but did you know that about 80 billion aspirin tablets are taken per year for these problems, as well as many others? For example, millions of people take aspirin to help prevent heart attacks.

Aspirin is a member of a family of chemicals called salicylates

One of the first and most influential physicians, Hippocrates, wrote about a bitter powder extracted from willow bark that could ease aches and pains and reduce fevers as long ago as the fifth century B.C.  In the 1700s, a scientist by the name of Reverend Edmund Stone wrote about the success of the bark of the willow in the cure of fevers with aches.  With a bit of chemical detective work, scientists found out that the part of willow bark that was (1) bitter and (2) good for fever and pain is a chemical known as salicin.

It was a pharmacist known as Leroux who showed in 1829 that salicin is this active willow ingredient and your body converts this ingredient after it is eaten to another chemical, salicylic acid.

An Italian chemist by the name of Piria made salicylic acid, from salicin and for many years it was used in high doses to treat pain and swelling in diseases like arthritis and to treat fever.

A German chemist Felix Hoffmann, who worked for the chemical company Friedrich Bayer & Co. wanted to find a chemical that wouldn’t be so hard on your stomach lining; reasoning that salicylic acid may be irritating because it is an acid.  He put the compound through a couple of chemical reactions that covered up one of the acidic parts with an acetyl group, converting it to acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). He found that ASA could reduce fever and relieve pain and swelling, but also believed it was better for your stomach and worked even better than salicylic acid.

Over the next hundred years, ASA would fall in and out of favour, and at least two new families of medicines would be derived from it, and innumerable research articles would be published about aspirin.

No one completely understands how pain works.  Actually, a lot is known about pain, but the more we find out the more questions arise.

Pain is really something you feel in your brain.  Let’s say you hit your finger with a hammer.  The part of your finger that is damaged has nerve endings in it — these are little detectors in your joints and your skin that feel things like heat, vibration, touch, and, of course, big crushing shocks like being hit with a hammer.  There are different receptors for each of these types of sensations.  The damaged tissue in your finger also releases some chemicals that make those nerve endings register the crushing shock even stronger — like turning up the volume on your stereo so you can hear it better.  Some of these chemicals are prostaglandins, and working cells in the damaged tissues make these chemicals using an enzyme called cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2).

Because of the prostaglandins, the nerve endings that are involved now send a strong signal through nerves in your hand, then through your arm, up your neck and into your brain, where your mind decides this signal means, “HEY!  PAIN!”  The prostaglandins seem to contribute just a portion of the total signal that means pain, but this portion is an important one.  In addition, prostaglandins not only help you to feel the pain of the damaged finger, but they also cause the finger to swell up and to bathe the tissues in fluid from your blood that will protect it and help it to heal.  (This is a simplified version of the pain story.)  This pathway works very well as far as telling you your finger is hurt.  The pain serves a purpose here: It reminds you that your finger is damaged and that you need to be careful with it and not use it until it’s healed.  The problem is that, sometimes, things hurt without the hammer or for any other good reason.  Sometimes you get a headache possibly because your scalp and neck muscles are contracted from stress or because a blood vessel in your brain has a spasm.  Many people have arthritis, which is swelling and pain in the joints such as the knuckles or knees, and this problem can not only make people uncomfortable, it can damage the joints permanently.  And many women have pain in their abdomens during their periods, usually known as cramps, for no known useful reason.  These processes appear to involve prostaglandins as well.

Aspirin helps these problems by stopping cells from making prostaglandins. Remember the enzyme, COX-2?  It is a protein made by your body’s cells whose job it is to take chemicals floating around in your tissues and turn them into prostaglandins.

COX-2 can be found in lots of normal tissues, but much more of it is made in tissue that has been damaged in some way. Aspirin, sticks to COX-2 and won’t let it do its job.  So by taking aspirin, you don’t stop the problem that’s causing the pain, like the tight muscles in your scalp, or the cramping in your abdomen, or the hammer-damaged finger.  But it does “lower the volume” of the pain signals getting through your nerves to your brain, because Cox-2 can’t produce the prostaglandins that send the signal to your brain. Got it?

So how does aspirin know how to get to where the pain is? Well it doesn’t! When you take aspirin, it dissolves in your stomach or the next part of the digestive tract, the small intestine, and your body absorbs it there. Then it goes into your bloodstream and it goes through your entire body. Although it is everywhere, it only works where there are prostaglandins being made, which includes the area where it hurts.

As with almost all chemicals, your body has ways of getting rid of aspirin.  In this case, your liver, stomach, and other organs change aspirin to… surprise! Salicylic acid!  This chemical then slowly gets changed a bit more by the liver, which sticks other chemicals onto the salicylic acid so that your kidneys, can filter it out of your blood and send it out in your urine. This whole process takes about four to six hours, so that’s why you need to take another pill every 4 to 6 hours to keep the effect going.

The problem with the fact that aspirin goes through your entire bloodstream is that your body needs prostaglandins for some reasons.  One place they are useful is in the stomach.  It turns out another enzyme called COX-1 makes a prostaglandin that keeps your stomach lining nice and thick.  Aspirin stops COX-1 from working (it keeps most prostaglandins from being made), and your stomach lining gets thin, allowing the digestive juice inside to irritate it.  This is probably the biggest reason why aspirin and its relatives may upset your stomach.

Over the last few decades, it has been found that aspirin’s action of stopping prostaglandin production has effects on things besides pain, inflammation, and the stomach.  Some types of prostaglandins cause tiny particles in your blood (platelets) to stick together to form a blood clot.  By inhibiting prostaglandin production, aspirin slows down clot production.  Although this can be bad, such as with a bloody nose, blood clots can be damaging as well, such as in causing heart attacks

Like all medicines, aspirin has side effects on your body that you don’t want. Like, if you hit your finger with a hammer and it’s bleeding, an aspirin may help the pain and swelling, but the wound may take longer to clot and stop bleeding.  Also, it can be very upsetting to your stomach, especially at high doses.

Also Aspirin isn’t used these days in children with fevers since research has suggested that aspirin given to kids with flu, chickenpox, or other viral sicknesses may cause a potentially deadly problem called Reye syndrome.

For these reasons, chemists have found other chemicals closely related to aspirin that have some of its good effects and lack some of its bad effects.  Ibuprofen and naproxen (Motrin and Naprosyn) also treat pain, swelling and fever, but they seem to have less of an effect on platelets than aspirin does. These medicines are called the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because they decrease swelling but they aren’t steroids, which are the most potent anti-inflammatory chemicals we have.  Another family of medicines related to aspirin includes acetaminophen (Tylenol), which decreases fevers and pain, but it doesn’t affect either swelling or your stomach as much as the true NSAIDs do.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Top 10 Foods

TOP 10

The following lists of 10 are not necessarily the most nutritional choices, but they are however the most popular.

Breakfast

At Home Dining Out Side Dishes Drinks
1 Ready to eat cereals Eggs  Toast Regular Coffee
2 Toast Toast Banana Orange Juice
3 Eggs Hash Browns Bacon White Milk
4 Hot Cereal Muffins Bread Regular Tea
5 Bagels  Bacon Eggs Apple Juice
6 Bread Breakfast Sandwich Orange Flavored Coffee
7 Bacon Bagels Grapefruit Flavored Tea
8 Waffles Pancake/Waffles RTE Cereals Grapefruit Juice
9 Pancakes Sausages Apple Orange Juice
10 Muffins Donuts Yogurt Fruit Punch

Lunch

At Home Dining Out Side Dishes Drinks
1 Soup  French Fries  Bread White Milk
2 Ham Sandwich Burger  Soup Regular Tea
3 Hot Dogs  Salads Toast Regular Coffee
4 Cheese Sandwich Deli Sandwich Carrots Regular Cola
5 Luncheon Sandwich Soup Leaf Salad  Orange Juice
6 Pizza Pizza Tomatoes Apple Juice
7 Eggs   Rolls Rice Dishes Flavored Tea
8 Burgers Pasta French Fries Powdered Drink
9 Macaroni and cheese Submarine Sandwich  Cucumbers Diet Cola
10 Chicken Sandwich Chicken Sandwich Boiled Potatoes Iced Tea

Dinner

At Home Dining Out Side Dishes Drinks
1 Spaghetti French Fries Leaf Salad White Milk
2 Soup  Pizza Bread Tea
3 Pizza Salads Rice Dishes Coffee
4 Baked Chicken Burgers Carrots Regular Cola
5 Beef Steak Rolls Corn Orange Juice
6 Ground Beef Dishes Soup  French Fries Diet Cola
7 Rice Dishes Pasta Boiled Potatoes Iced Tea
8 Burgers Chicken Beans Ginger Ales
9 Pork Chops Deli Sandwiches Peas Apple Juice
10 Sausages Chicken Wings Mashed Potatoes Powdered Drinks

Snacks

At Home Away from Home Carried from Home
1 Cookies Cake Apple
2 Potato Chips Cookies Cookies
3 Apple Ice Cream Ham Sandwich
4 Popcorn Donuts Banana
5 Bananas Pies Lunchmeat Sandwich
6 Ice Cream Bread Orange
7 Orange Muffins Yogurt
8 Cake Potato Chips Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich
9 Bread French Fries Granola Bar
10 RTE Cereals Soup Carrots

Miscellaneous

RESTAURANT FOODS TAKEN HOME TO EAT INGREDIENTS USED TO COOK AT HOME
1 Pizza Vegetables
2 Chicken Spices/Seasoning
3 French Fries Cheeses
4 Bread Flour
5 Burgers Eggs
6 Chop Suey Sugar
7 Donuts Whole Milk
8 Rice Margarine
9 Cole Slaw Fruit
10 Potato Salad Ground Beef

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Nutritional Tips

fd01615_The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

You know that a balanced nutritious meal is important, however sometimes you get too busy during the day to make sure you get the proper nutritional elements that your body needs. Here are some quick and simple ideas that may help.

  1. If you make spaghetti and are using sauce for a bottle or can, you can add carbohydrate rich vegetables like squash, beans, peas or broccoli. Simply chop the vegetables, cook them quickly in the microwave and then mix them in with the bottled or canned sauce.
  2. If you don’t like vegetables in your spaghetti sauce, you can try grating two carrots, and then mixing it in with the sauce. You’ll get twice your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Beta carotene and also add 4.6 grams of Fibre.
  3. You can boost your Fibre intake by 6.4 grams by using whole wheat pasta for spaghetti instead of the low fibre white flour kind.
  4. When making Chilli you can Raise your Fibre and carbohydrate intake and lower your fat intake by simply cutting your beef intake in half and substituting with Red Kidney Beans.
  5. You can cut your cholesterol intake when making an omelette by using two egg whites with two whole eggs. You can also give your omelette a boost by adding potatoes, mushrooms or peppers.
  6. Make a leaner meat stew by using chicken instead of Beef
  7. When eating Pizza, top it off with Vitamins by using broccoli, green or red peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower or Tomatoes. You can also save about 7.6 grams of fat in just two slices by leaving off the pepperoni.
  8. When making macaroni and cheese, make sure you choose a low fat cheddar. You may also want to spread a quarter of a cup of wheat germ on top before baking. This will give you 50 percent of the RDA of folate, a B vitamin and 40 percent of your RDA of Vitamin E.
  9. Make better salad bar choices by using dark leafy vegetables like Romaine, Red Tip or Spinach. Ice berg lettuce has basically no nutritional value. You can also sprinkle raisins on top for Fibre and shredded cabbage will add not only Fibre and Vitamin C. By adding sesame seeds, nuts or mushrooms, you’ll be adding copper, an important nutrient in keeping bones, skin and tendons healthy.
  10. Popcorn is one the healthiest snacks you can eat. A handful of air popped popcorn contains just six calories and is a good source of B vitamins and Fibre.
  11. Choose fish instead of meat when having a barbecue. Fish is a good source of protein and contains magnesium, B vitamins and Potassium.
  12. If it’s a burger you crave, try a turkey burger. Buy a Turkey tenderloin, the leanest part of the Turkey and grill it on your B.B.Q.
  13. Instead of Apple Pie, try Apple Crisp. You’ll lose almost all of the fat and gain cholesterol lowering Oats.
  14. Mix two tablespoons of nonfat dairy milk into an eight-ounce glass of milk. This will double your calcium and protein intake without adding Fat.
  15. You can add Beans or crushed Tomatoes to Prepared or canned soups. You can also increase your Fibre by adding Barley to Vegetable soup.
  16. Use Fruit spreads on your toast instead of Butter. Apple Butter spread offers 38 milligrams of Potassium per tablespoon and almost no Fat.
  17. Try using frozen melon balls instead of ice cube in Fruit drinks. A half cup of honey dew melon for example will add 230 milligrams of potassium and lots of Vitamin C.
  18. If you can cook soups and stews the day before, you can cut the Fat by chilling them overnight. In the morning, simply skim the fat off the top before serving.
  19. For more Fibre, eat fruits and vegetables with their skins and peels.
  20. If you are breading chicken breasts, use bran cereal to add fibre.
  21. To increase your Beta-Carotene, add fresh parsley to stews, soups and sauces.
  22. Frozen corn can be added to almost any meal. By adding half a cup of corn into any meal you will receive 17 grams of carbohydrates and three grams of fibre.
  23. You can raise your calcium level by sprinkling skim-milk powder into mashed potatoes, gravies or sauces.
  24. Avoid Granola. The majority of granola on the market contains as much as 27 grams of fat per serving. Also a bran muffin contains four to 12 grams of fat and up to 900 kcal., depending on size. You may want to choose a Bagel which contains 1.4 grams of fat and 160 kcal.
  25. Apples are a terrific source of Vitamin C and Fibre but be careful of Fruit Juices. Apple Juice for example can sometimes be nothing more than sugar water.
  26. If you are a vegetarian, you should be careful do avoid deficiencies in iron, zinc and B12. These deficiencies can hamper your athletic performance.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Cholesterol

j0281068The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Cholesterol belongs to a family of related compounds called sterols, which basically means that the molecules are all made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

Cholesterol like fat is necessary for the body to function properly however, it becomes harmful only when the levels are elevated in the bloodstream. The two types of cholesterol are; Dietary cholesterol that is found in products of animal origin (meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, dairy products, eggs and organ meat) and blood (serum) cholesterol which 80% is produced in your body by your liver and the other 20% is influenced by your diet through excess calories, excess fat and in some cases excess dietary cholesterol. When selecting your daily food supply, it should contain less than 300 mg of cholesterol.

Cholesterol is made in your liver at a rate of about 50 septillion molecules every second. You have heard the warnings about cholesterol, so you may ask yourself why your liver would make something that is potentially very harmful to you. Well the answer is simple, you can’t live without it. In fact, chikesterol is a component in every cell of your body. Your cells are surrounded by a protective covering or cell membrane and cholesterol molecules are one of the molecules that make up this cell membrane.

Cholesterol is also important in the manufacturing of hormones. (Hormones are the chemical messengers that cells use to talk to each other) If you didn’t have cholesterol you wouldn’t have testosterone or estrogen. If you didn’t have cholesterol, you wouldn’t have Vitamin D, which is indispensable to your ability to absorb calcium from the food you eat.

Still confused about cholesterol and Fat? Are you still baffled about the terminology? Well there are basically two kinds of fats . . . Saturated and Unsaturated and two types of Cholesterol . . . Dietary and Blood.

Saturated fats in your diet are what influences your liver to produce the cholesterol in your blood. The main sources of saturated fats (which are normally solid at room temperature) are animal products (meat, poultry and dairy), Vegetable sources (coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel and cocoa butter) and a group known as Trans Fats. Trans Fats are formed through a manufacturing process called ‘hydrogenation’, which turns oils from a liquid state into a solid state, such as shortening and some margarine’s. Although these oils in these Trans Fats begin as unsaturated fat, there is evidence that once they enter your body they act as Saturated Fats.

When manufacturers Hydrogenate an oil (add hydrogen), two things Happen. First some of the unsaturated fats in the oil become saturated and will raise your cholesterol. Secondly, part of the oil becomes Trans Fatty acids. These Trans Fatty acids, are rarely produced naturally by your body and therefore your body is not properly prepared to deal with them and can cause a multitude of health problems. Foods containing even partially

Hydrogenated oils must be avoided.

While some saturated fats contain no cholesterol, simply eating them can result in increased levels of Blood Cholesterol. So you not only have to be careful of how much cholesterol a food contains, but also how much saturated fat it contains as well.

Unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) are generally better than saturated fats and include types of fats which are found in liquid oils such as Safflower, sesame, sunflower and corn as well as many nuts and seeds. Although Unsaturated fats are generally better than Saturated fats, this does not suggest you can consume large portions.

Dietary cholesterol is basically the cholesterol you get from the food you eat, and is absorbed directly by your body. The controversy arises around how much dietary cholesterol actually plays a part in raising your Blood Cholesterol levels.

Blood cholesterol occurs naturally in your body and is produced by your liver. Blood Cholesterol levels are therefore a result of both the foods you eat and the amount your liver manufacturers.

You know that Cholesterol is essential to have in your bloodstream, because it plays a key role in forming the tissue around cells and helps to manufacture some of the hormones you need for good health. Too much cholesterol in your blood stream on the other hand may lead to a narrowing of your arteries, which may slow or block the flow of Blood to your heart and brain. This could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

So how much is too much? Well hopefully you’ve had your cholesterol levels checked recently by your Family Doctor and can look at your numbers. High Cholesterol means a total Cholesterol level of greater than 6.2 mmol/L. But there is more to this number than meets the eye. Cholesterol is mixed with proteins in your blood so that it can circulate without forming fat droplets. These particles are Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High Density Lipoproteins (HDL).

LDLs are the bad guys of cholesterol and a number greater then 3.4 mmol/L is considered high (although some sources suggest a level of 4.14 is too high). LDLs also carry triglycerides and an amount greater than 2.3 is definitely abnormal. HDL is the good cholesterol, and acts like a catfish in a fish tank and cleans out the unwanted LDL deposits. Its level can be as high as the sky but a level lower than 0.9 mmol/L is not good.

The higher your HDL, means the less likely you are to have a Cardiac Problem, since HDL removes cholesterol from your body. A high Triglyceride count and a low HDL number, means you have an inability to clear, and this is not good. If you have a Low HDL, a High LDL and high triglyceride level, this suggests you are in a high risk group.

The easiest way to describe LDLs and HDLs is to compare them to trucks. The LDLs or bad cholesterol, is the truck that takes the cholesterol from your liver, where it is made, out to circulation, where cells can pick up what they need to form cell membranes or make hormones. The HDLs or good cholesterol are the trucks that take the cholesterol from your blood and return it to the liver where it is broken down. HDL and LDL molecules do this job perfectly, the problem arises when you have too much LDL or not enough HDL. If the cells can’t use all of the cholesterol that was brought to them, they begin to deposit it, in and around your arteries. Over many years, this cholesterol builds up in your arteries, contributing to a hardening of your arteries. Having a high count of HDL molecules, means you are better equipped to suck cholesterol out of the blood stream and transport it to the liver, where it can be eliminated. The bottom Line is you want a lot of HDL and not a lot of LDL.

Diet and Exercise are a cornerstone for lowering cholesterol levels and can do so by 10 to 15 percent, but this may not be enough. There are drugs on the market that can also help. This class of drug is known as Statins, and work on the liver enzyme responsible of clearing LDL. Statins where originally tested on people with heart disease, and was found to slow the progression of blockages, lower cholesterol and reduce death. When tested on healthy males, Statins were found to lower cholesterol, help blood vessels function better and therefore prevent first heart attacks.

Another popular tool in the fight against heart attacks is Aspirin. Over 80 Billion Aspirins are popped each year in North America, mostly to relieve pain, fever and inflammation but are also used as a blood thinner. Your heart, as you know is responsible for pumping blood to all parts of your body and in return, receives its own blood supply back, which is necessary for it to keep beating. Over time and through a process that is not fully understood (Atherosclerosis), your blood vessels become clogged with a substance called plaque. As more and more plaque blocks the blood vessels, less and less blood can get through. The result of this is a heart attack. Not because of the hearts inability to pump blood, but rather from a blockage in one or more of the blood vessels that supplies the heart with blood.

This blockage process, as I mentioned earlier is not fully understood, but what is known, is that Blood Platelets are involved. Blood Platelets are cells, which take part in the clotting process. These Platelets secrete a substance called Thromboxane, which is part of a family of substances known as Prostaglandins. ( Kind of like a hormone) Thromboxane, makes the platelets stick together and these form clumps. It is these clumps of sticky platelets that contribute to the formation of plaque, which eventually may lead to a heart attack.

Now Aspirin has the ability to stop the Blood Platelets from producing Thromboxane. When Thromboxane is stopped, the platelets are less likely to stick together and take part in the formation of plaque. So you can see, Aspirin doesn’t really thin your blood, it just makes your platelets less sticky.

Before you start popping Aspirin to prevent Heart Attacks, you should consult your family doctor to see if Aspirin is an appropriate course of action for you.

The research continues . . . So what does this all mean? Simply put, the key is healthy eating in moderation, incorporating all food groups into a balanced diet and you should get into the habit of choosing low fat foods . . . and most important of all… exercise.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Sweat

sweatThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Perspiration or sweat is your body’s way of cooling itself, whether that extra heat comes from hardworking muscles or from over stimulated nerves.

The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands Sweat glands are distributed over your entire body, except for your lips, nipples and external genital organs. Your sweat gland is in the layer of skin called the dermis.

The sweat gland is a long, coiled, hollow tube of cells. The coiled part in the dermis is where sweat is produced, and the long portion is a duct that connects the gland to the opening or pore on your skin’s outer surface. Nerve cells from the sympathetic nervous system connect to the sweat glands.

There are two types of sweat glands:

  • Eccrine – the most numerous type that are found all over the body, particularly on the palms of the hands, soles of your feet and forehead
  • Apocrine – mostly confined to your armpits and your anal-genital area. They typically end in hair follicles rather than pores.

These two glands differ in size, the age that they become active and the composition of the sweat that they make. Compared to apocrine glands, eccrine glands are smaller, are active from birth (Apocrine glands become active only at puberty) and produce a sweat that is free of proteins and fatty acids

We are constantly sweating, even though we may not notice it. Sweating is your body’s major way of getting rid of excess body heat, which is produced by metabolism or working muscles. The amount of sweat produced depends upon your state of emotion and physical activity. Sweat can be made in response to nerve stimulation, hot air temperature, and/or exercise.

When your sweat gland is stimulated, the cells secrete a fluid, that is similar to plasma, that is, it is mostly water and it has high concentrations of sodium and chloride and a low concentration of potassium — but without the proteins and fatty acids that are normally found in plasma. The source of this fluid is the spaces between your cells (which get the fluid from the blood vessels (capillaries) in the dermis. This fluid travels from the coiled portion and up through the straight duct.   What happens in the straight duct depends upon the rate of sweat production or flow:

Sweat is produced in apocrine sweat glands in the same way. However, the sweat from apocrine glands also contains proteins and fatty acids, which make it thicker and give it a milkier or yellowish color. This is why underarm stains in clothing appear yellowish. Sweat itself has no odour, but when bacteria on the skin and hair metabolize the proteins and fatty acids, they produce an unpleasant odour. This is why deodorants and anti-perspirants are applied to the underarms instead of the whole body.

The maximum volume of sweat that a person who is not adapted to a hot climate can produce is about one litre per hour.  If you move to a hot climate, your ability to produce sweat will increase to about two to three litres per hour within about six weeks! This appears to be the maximum amount that you can produce.

When sweat evaporates from the surface of your skin, it removes excess heat and cools you. This is actually due to a neat principle in physics, which goes like this. To convert water from a liquid to a vapour, it takes a certain amount of heat called the heat of vaporization. This heat energy increases the speed of the water molecules so that they can escape into the air. Typically, all of the sweat does not evaporate, but rather runs off your skin. In addition, not all heat energy produced by the body is lost through sweat. Some is directly radiated from the skin to the air and some is lost through respiratory surfaces of your lungs.

A major factor that influences the rate of evaporation is the relative humidity of the air around you. If the air is humid, then it already has water vapour in it, probably near saturation, and cannot take any more. Therefore, sweat does not evaporate and cool your body as efficiently as when the air is dry.

When the water in the sweat evaporates, it leaves the salts (sodium, chloride and potassium) behind on your skin, which is why your skin tastes salty. The loss of excessive amounts of salt and water from your body can quickly dehydrate you, which can lead to circulatory problems, kidney failure and heat stroke. So, it is important to drink plenty of fluids when you exercise or are outside in high temperatures. Sports drinks contain some salts to replace those lost in the sweat.

Also sweating responds to your emotional state. So when you are nervous, anxious or afraid, there is an increase in sympathetic nerve activity in your body as well as an increase in epinephrine secretion from your adrenal gland. These substances act on your sweat glands, particularly those on your palms of your hand and your armpits, to make sweat. Thus, you feel a “cold” sweat.

The increased sympathetic nerve activity in your skin also changes its electrical resistance, which is the basis of the galvanic skin response used in lie detector tests.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Exercise

exrciseThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

When you exercise, you breath heavier and faster, your heart beats faster, your muscles hurt and you sweat. These are all normal responses to exercise and your body has an incredibly complex set of processes to meet the demands of working muscles. Every system in your body is involved.

Any type of exercise uses different muscle groups to generate motion. In running and swimming, your muscles are working to accelerate your body and keep it moving. In weightlifting, your muscles are working to move a weight. Exercise means muscle activity!

In strenuous exercise, just about every system in your body either focuses its efforts on helping your muscles do their work, or it shuts down. Your heart beats faster during strenuous exercise so that it can pump more blood to your muscles, and your stomach shuts down during strenuous exercise so that it does not waste energy your muscles can use.

When you exercise, your muscles act something like electric motors. Your muscles take in a source of energy and they use it to generate force. An electric motor uses electricity to supply its energy. Your muscles are biochemical motors, and they use a chemical called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for their energy source. During the process of “burning” ATP, your muscles need three things:

  • They need oxygen, because chemical reactions require ATP and oxygen is consumed to produce ATP.
  • They need to eliminate metabolic wastes (carbon dioxide, lactic acid) that the chemical reactions generate.
  • They need to get rid of heat.

In order to continue exercising, your muscles must continuously make ATP. To make this happen, your body must supply oxygen to the muscles and eliminate the waste products and heat. If these needs are not met, then you become exhausted and you won’t be able to keep going.

ATP is required for the biochemical reactions involved in any muscle contraction. As the work of the muscle increases, more and more ATP gets consumed and must be replaced in order for the muscle to keep moving.

Because ATP is so important, the body has several different systems to create ATP. These systems work together in phases. The interesting thing is that different forms of exercise use different systems, so a sprinter is getting ATP in a completely different way from a marathon runner!

ATP comes from three different biochemical systems in the muscle, in this order:

  • Phosphagen system
  • Glycogen-lactic acid system
  • Aerobic respiration

A muscle cell has some amount of ATP floating around that it can use immediately, but not very much, only enough to last for about three to 10 seconds. To replenish the ATP levels quickly, muscle cells contain a high-energy phosphate compound called creatine phosphate. The phosphate group is removed from creatine phosphate by an enzyme called creatine kinase, and is transferred to ADP to form ATP. The cell turns ATP into ADP, and the phosphagen rapidly turns the ADP back into ATP. As the muscle continues to work, the creatine phosphate levels begin to decrease. Together, the ATP levels and creatine phosphate levels are called the phosphagen system. The phosphagen system can supply the energy needs of working muscle at a high rate, but for no more then10 seconds.

Muscles also have big reserves of a complex carbohydrate called glycogen. Glycogen is a chain of glucose molecules. A cell splits glycogen into glucose. Then the cell uses anaerobic metabolism (anaerobic means “without oxygen”) to make ATP and a by product called lactic acid from the glucose.  About 12 chemical reactions take place to make ATP under this process, so it supplies ATP at a slower rate than the phosphagen system. The system can still act rapidly and produce enough ATP to last about 90 seconds. This system does not need oxygen, which is handy because it takes the heart and lungs some time to get their act together. There is a definite limit to anerobic respiration because of the lactic acid. The acid is what makes your muscles hurt. Lactic acid builds up in the muscle tissue and causes the fatigue and soreness you feel in your exercising muscles.

By two-three minutes of exercise your body responds to supply working muscles with oxygen. When oxygen is present, glucose can be completely broken down into carbon dioxide and water in a process called aerobic respiration. Aerobic respiration can also use fatty acids from fat reserves in muscle and your body to produce ATP. In extreme cases (like starvation), proteins can also be broken down into amino acids and used to make ATP. Aerobic respiration would use carbohydrates first, then fats and finally proteins. Aerobic respiration takes even more chemical reactions to produce ATP than either of the above systems. Aerobic respiration produces ATP at the slowest rate of the three systems, but it can continue to supply ATP for several hours or longer, so long as the fuel supply lasts.

When you start to look closely at how your body works, it is truly an amazing machine! (Training smart)

If you are going to be exercising for more than a couple of minutes, your body needs to get oxygen to the muscles or your muscles will stop working. Just how much oxygen your muscles will use depends on two processes: getting blood to the muscles and extracting oxygen from the blood into the muscle tissue. Your working muscles can take oxygen out of your blood three times better then when your muscles are resting. Your body can increase the flow of oxygen-rich blood to working muscle by;

  • Increasing the local blood flow to the working muscle
  • By diverting the blood flow from nonessential organs to your working muscles
  • By increasing the flow of blood from your heart
  • By increasing the rate and depth of your breathing

These mechanisms can increase the blood flow to your working muscle by almost five times. That means that the amount of oxygen available to the working muscle can be increased by almost 15 times!

When you exercise, your blood vessels in your muscles dilate and the blood flow is greater. Your body has an interesting way of making those vessels expand. As ATP gets used up in working muscle, the muscle produces several metabolic by products (such as adenosine, hydrogen ions and carbon dioxide). These by products leave your muscle cells and cause your capillaries (small, thin-walled blood vessels) within the muscle to expand or dilate. The increased blood flow delivers more oxygenated blood to the working muscle.

When you begin to exercise, a remarkable diversion happens. Blood that would have gone to your stomach or kidneys goes instead to your muscles. This helps increase the delivery of oxygenated blood to your working muscles.

Your heart, which is also a muscle, gets a workout during exercise, and its job is to get more blood out to your body’s hard-working muscles. Your heart’s blood flow increases by about four or five times from that of its resting state. Your body does this by increasing the rate of your heartbeat and the amount of blood that comes through the heart and goes out to the rest of your body. The rate of blood pumped by the heart (cardiac output) is a product of the rate at which your heart beats (heart rate) and the volume of blood that the heart ejects with each beat (stroke volume). In a resting heart, the cardiac output is about 5 litres a minute (0.07 L x 70 beats/min = 4.9 L/min). As you begin to exercise and your heart is pumping at full force, the cardiac output is about 20-25 litres per minute.

As your heart gets more blood to your working muscles your lungs and the rest of your respiratory system need to provide more oxygen for the blood.  As your lungs absorb more oxygen and the blood flow to the muscles increases, your muscles have more oxygen.

Now that you have increased the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your muscles, your muscles need to get the oxygen out of the blood. An exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is the key to this. A protein called hemoglobin, which is found in red blood cells, carries most of the oxygen in the blood. Hemoglobin can bind oxygen and/or carbon dioxide; the amount of oxygen bound to hemoglobin is determined by the oxygen concentration, carbon dioxide concentration and pH. Normally, hemoglobin works like this:

  • Hemoglobin in red blood cells entering the lungs has carbon dioxide bound to it.
  • In the lungs, oxygen concentration is high and carbon dioxide concentration is low due to breathing.
  • Hemoglobin binds oxygen and releases carbon dioxide.
  • Hemoglobin gets transported through the heart and blood vessels to the muscle.
  • In muscle, the carbon dioxide concentration is high and the oxygen concentration is low due to metabolism.
  • Hemoglobin releases oxygen and binds carbon dioxide.
  • Hemoglobin gets transported back to the lungs and the cycle repeats.

As you exercise your metabolic activity is high, more acids (hydrogen ions, lactic acid) are produced and the local pH is lower than normal. The low pH reduces the attraction between oxygen and hemoglobin and causes the hemoglobin to release more oxygen than usual. This increases the oxygen delivered to your muscles.

While you exercise your body is using energy and producing waste, such as lactic acid, carbon dioxide, adenosine and hydrogen ions. Your muscles need to get rid of these wastes in order to continue to exercise. The extra blood that is flowing to your muscles and bringing more oxygen can also take this waste away.

Your body heats up when you exercise, and you sweat. The sweat evaporates from your skin, removing heat and cooling your body. Evaporation of sweat removes fluid from the body, so it is important to maintain fluids for blood flow and sweat production by drinking water and/or sport drinks. Sports drinks also replace ions (sodium, potassium) that are lost in the sweat, and provide additional glucose to fuel anaerobic and aerobic respiration.

Evaporation of sweat is an important cooling system that can efficiently remove heat. However, if exercise is done in a hot, humid environment, then sweat does not evaporate. This reduces the efficiency of this system and you may be subject to heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition. (Your core body temperature rises to 40 degrees C or 104 degrees F)  You can avoid getting heat stroke by wearing shorts and other loose clothing, drinking plenty of water and exercising in cool weather (below 82 degrees F or 28 degrees C).

If you exercise regularly or if you are an athlete in training, you are trying to make your muscles work better. Three major factors in muscle performance are strength, power and endurance.

Muscle strength is the maximal force that your muscle can develop. Strength is directly related to the size of the muscle. Muscle fibres are capable of developing a maximal force of 3 to 4 kg/cm2 (average = 3.5 kg/cm2) of muscle area. So, let’s say that you have increased your muscle size from 100 to 150 cm2, then the maximal resistance that you could lift could be increased from 350 kg (770 lb) to 525 kg (1,155 lb).

The power of muscle contraction is how fast the muscle can develop its maximum strength. Muscle power depends on strength and speed [power = (force x distance)/time]. A person can have extreme power from muscles (7,000 kg-m/min) for a short period of time (about 10 seconds) and then power reduces by 75 percent within 30 minutes; this aspect is important for sprinters because it gives them great acceleration.

Muscle endurance is the capacity to generate or sustain maximal force repeatedly.

Strength, power and endurance may be due in part to the distribution of two basic types of fibers, fast twitch and slow twitch. Fast-twitch fibers are capable of developing greater forces and contracting faster and have greater anaerobic capacity. In contrast, slow-twitch fibers develop force slowly, can maintain contractions longer and have higher aerobic capacity. Your genes largely determine whether you have more of one kind of muscle fiber or another. Sprinters tend to have more fast twitch fibers. Marathon runners tend to have more slow twitch fibers.

You can help your body to exercise better by eating the right foods. If you want to do well, you should try to increase the stores of glycogen in your liver and your muscles. Athletes eat solid, high-carbohydrate diets (breads, pasta) the night before competition, and liquid, high-glucose diets in the morning before competition. Sports drinks containing glucose are good to drink during competition to replace fluid and help to maintain your blood glucose levels.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit myONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Alcohol

booze.1The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

If you have ever seen a person who has had too much to drink, you know that alcohol is a drug that can have widespread effects on your body. In 1997, Americans drank an average of 2 gallons (7.57 liters) of alcohol per person per week and if you consider that about 35 percent of adults don’t drink, this number is actually higher for those who do.

In order to understand alcohol’s effects on your body, it is helpful to understand what alcohol is.
Alcohol is a clear liquid at room temperature.
Alcohol is less dense and evaporates at a lower temperature than water (this property allows it to be distilled — by heating a water and alcohol mixture, the alcohol evaporates first).
Alcohol dissolves easily in water.
Alcohol is flammable (so flammable that it can be used as a fuel).

You will not find pure alcohol in most drinks; drinking pure alcohol can be deadly because it only takes a few ounces of pure alcohol to quickly raise the blood alcohol level into the danger zone. Alcohol is a TOXIN.  When you drink alcohol, about 20 percent of the alcohol is absorbed in the stomach and the other 80 percent is absorbed in the small intestine. How fast the alcohol is absorbed depends upon several things:

The concentration of alcohol in the beverage – The greater the concentration, the faster the absorption.

The type of drink – Carbonated beverages tend to speed up the absorption of alcohol.  Whether the stomach is full or empty – Food slows down alcohol absorption.

After being absorbed, the alcohol enters your bloodstream and dissolves in the water of your blood. Your blood then carries the alcohol throughout your body. The alcohol from the blood then enters and dissolves in the water inside each tissue of your body, except fat tissue because alcohol cannot dissolve in fat. Once inside your tissues, alcohol exerts its effects on you and your body.
The alcohol will then leave your body in three ways:
Your kidney eliminates 5 percent of alcohol in the urine.
Your lungs exhale 5 percent of alcohol, which can be detected by breathalyser devices. You liver chemically breaks down the remaining alcohol into acetic acid.

As a rule of thumb, an average person can eliminate 0.5 oz (15 ml) of alcohol per hour. So, it would take you approximately one hour to eliminate the alcohol from a 12 oz (355 ml) can of beer.
When you compare men and women of the same height, weight and build, men tend to have more muscle and less fat than women. Since muscle tissue has more water than fat tissue, the alcohol will be diluted more in a man than in a woman. Therefore, the blood alcohol concentration resulting from a drink will be higher in a woman than in a man. The result is that a woman will feel the effects of that drink sooner than the man will.

Now since your body can only eliminate about one drink per hour, drinking several drinks in an hour will increase your Blood Alcohol content or BAC. If you have seen someone who has had too much to drink, you’ve probably noticed a definite change in that person’s performance and behavior. Your body responds to alcohol in stages, and these stages are directly linked to the BAC of your body.

Euphoria (BAC = 0.03 to 0.12 percent)
you become more self-confident or daring
your attention span shortens
you may look flushed
your judgment is not as good – and you may say the first thought that comes to mind, rather than an appropriate comment for the given situation.
You will have trouble with fine movements, such as writing or signing your name.
Excitement (BAC = 0.09 to 0.25)
you will become sleepy
you will have trouble understanding or remembering things (even recent events)
you do not react to situations as quickly (if you spill a drink you may just stare at it.
your body movements are uncoordinated
you begin to lose your balance easily
your vision becomes blurry
you may have trouble sensing things (hearing, tasting, feeling, etc..)
Confusion (BAC = 0.18 to 0.30)
you get confused – might not know where you are or what you are doing
you get dizzy and may stagger
you may become highly emotional – aggressive, withdrawn or overly affectionate.
you cannot see clearly
you become sleepy
your speech becomes slurred
you have uncoordinated movements (trouble catching an object)
You may not feel pain as readily as a sober person
Stupor (BAC = 0.25 to 0.4)
you can barely move
you cannot respond to stimuli
you cannot stand or walk
you may vomit
you may lapse in and out of consciousness)
Coma (BAC = 0.35 to 0.50)
you are unconscious
your reflexes are depressed and your pupils do not respond appropriately to  changes in light
you feel cool
your breathing is slower and more shallow
your heart rate may slow
you may die
Death (BAC more than 0.50)
you will usually stop breathing and die

All of alcohol’s effects will continue until your body eliminates all of the alcohol.

Approximately 8 percent of people aged 18 and older suffer from alcohol abuse and/or dependence. This abuse or dependence costs upwards of $1.7 billion in medical treatment, lost earnings, casualty damages and criminal/legal costs per year.

Your body can also increase its tolerance it has to alcohol by increasing the level of your liver’s enzymes that are used to break down alcohol and increase the activity of brain and nervous system neurons. This means that your body becomes more efficient in eliminating the high levels of alcohol in your blood, and with the increased nerve activity, this helps some to function normally with higher then normal BAC levels. This also makes you irritable when you are not drinking. The increased nerve activity may also make you crave alcohol. It also means that you must drink more alcohol to experience the same effects as before, which leads to more drinking and contributes to addiction. These bodily adaptations change a person’s behavior. The increased nerve activity also contributes to hallucinations and convulsions when alcohol is withdrawn, and makes it difficult to overcome alcohol abuse and dependence.

There are also many other adverse physical effects that result from long-term exposure to alcohol: The increased activity in your liver causes cell death and hardening of the tissue (cirrhosis of the liver).
Your brain cells in various centers die, thereby reducing your total brain mass.

Stomach and intestinal ulcers can form because the constant alcohol use irritates and degrades the linings of these organs.
Blood pressure increases as your heart compensates for the initially reduced blood pressure caused by alcohol.
Sperm production decreases because of decreased sex-hormone secretion from the hypothalamus/pituitary and, possibly, direct effects of alcohol on the testes.

Poor nutritionVitamin B leading to anemia.

Alcoholics also lose their balance and fall more often suffering bruises and broken bones, especially as they get older.
Alcohol abuse and dependence can cause emotional and social problems. The emotional and physical effects of alcohol can contribute to marital and family problems, including domestic violence, as well as work-related problems, such as excessive absences and poor performance.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Sodium

j0226430The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Better known as salt, it’s an alkaline mineral whose chemical short form is Na. It’s an essential element in the human body, needed for maintaining the correct balance of acidity and alkalinity and for regulating the volume of fluids.

Salt can effect blood pressure, particularly in salt sensitive people, here is how. Since salt cannot be stored in the body without the right amount of water, it retains water to accommodate sodium levels. Unless the over supply is excreted, the fluid volume in the blood vessels will rise with the sodium levels. The result may be high blood pressure. One in five people have high blood pressure and half these people are salt sensitive. Check with your doctor for high blood pressure and to see if you are salt sensitive.

Nutrition experts cannot really agree on the ideal amount of salt to be taken daily, however their range goes from 500 to 5,000 mg. per day. To put this in perspective, the average adult male consumes about 10,000 mg. daily, while some women consume about 9,000 mg. daily. The most agreed upon amount is about 2,000 mg. daily. Anything over that and you will begin to retain water and sodium can hold up to 50 times its weight in water.

In general, fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of sodium while meats, fish and shellfish contain higher amounts. The more processed, preserved, pickled or carbonated an item is, the more sodium it’s bound to contain.

In certain people excessive amounts of sodium has been linked to water retention, swelling, weight gain, high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease. This does not mean to eliminate salt in your diet, because that could lead to severe health problems such as; cramping, decrease resistance to infection, eye disturbances, fatigue, loss of taste, poor memory and circulation, prolonged wound healing, splitting hairs and white spots on nails.

Do not try to change your sodium habits overnight. Keep track of your daily intake and gradually reduce to the recommended amounts.

Here are some tips to help you reduce sodium;

  • be a sodium sleuth and read the food labels (Na or NaCl)
  • do not add salt without tasting and then add    sparingly
  • use lemons, garlic, pepper, caraway, anything low in sodium for a flavour substitute
  • reduce your use of prepared condiments like ketchup, soy sauce, olives and  pickles
  • cut back on cured meats (ham, bacon, salami, bologna, wieners )
  • stay clear of salty fish (lox, herring, dried cod, sardines)
  • cut back on baked goods containing baking powder
  • watch the amount of pop and club soda you drink
  • avoid salted crackers, tinned nuts, pretzels and potato chips
  • avoid the saltier cheeses like Roquefort and Gorgonzola and highly processed cheese spreads, dips and whipped dessert toppings.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Sugar Metabolism

blood sugarI hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape ofyour life.

Achieving and maintaining proper blood sugar metabolism is essential for a lifetime of excellent health. Prolonged unhealthy blood sugar metabolism can significantly affect the health of your nerve, eyes, blood vessels, kidneys and pancreas. It can impact your weight, body shape, energy levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, overall cardiovascular health and more. Over 60 million Americans have “insulin resistance”, a form of unhealthy blood sugar metabolism that frequently goes unrecognized, but can often progress to the point where signs of significant health deterioration appear.

Don’t let this happen to you! It is never too early or too late to learn how you can achieve and maintain healthy blood sugar metabolism and experience the benefits of sustained good health.. By understanding how blood sugar metabolism works, and with the guidance of your healthcare provider, you can take the necessary steps to achieve and enjoy the long-lasting benefits of healthy blood sugar metabolism.
Diet, Lifestyle and Healthy Blood Sugar Metabolism
It is import to eat a healthy, nutrient rich diet containing unrefined carbohydrates from whole foods. Through normal, healthy digestion, the unrefined carbohydrates in your diet are progressively broken down to smaller sugars, which are then absorbed through your intestine into your blood. This sugar absorption stimulates your pancreas to secrete an appropriate quantity of insulin into your blood, which facilitates the delivery of sugar into cells throughout your body.

When insulin binds to insulin receptors embedded in the cell membranes, a signal is sent to sugar transport channel vesicles inside the cell. These vesicles respond to the insulin signal by carrying sugar transport channels (“sugar entryways”) to the surface membrane of your cell. The vesicles then fuse with the cell membrane, flatten out and position their sugar transport channels to facilitate effective sugar delivery from your blood into the cell. The sugar then enters the cell and is used for energy production by the mitochondria (the energy factories of the cell), or is stored for future use. The response of the cell to insulin binding, and the resultant insulin signal, is critical to healthy blood sugar metabolism.

Factors That Lead to Unhealthy Blood Sugar Metabolism

Obesity, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet are considered major contributors to developing poor blood sugar metabolism. When you consume excess sweets and refined or processed foods, the simple sugars they contain are absorbed very quickly and can cause a rapid and dramatic increase in your blood sugar levels. With a high concentration of sugar in your blood, the pancreas responds by producing a proportionally high surge of insulin in an effort to help the sugar gain entrance to the cell. In unhealthy blood sugar metabolism, the cell may be unresponsive or “insulin resistant” and sugar delivery into your cell can be reduced. The pancreas then tries to compensate by producing even more insulin. Over time, these high levels of insulin can lead to a host of problems, including increased triglyceride levels, decreased HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, other cardiovascular manifestations and hormone disruption.

This “insulin resistance” may occur because, along with excess sweets and refined carbohydrates, an unhealthy diet is also frequently deficient in the nutrients necessary to support healthy cell membranes, insulin receptors and a strong insulin signal. Unhealthy insulin receptors can result in poor binding of insulin and, in concert with other factors, a diminished insulin signal, thereby reducing sugar delivery into your cell. These other factors include the negative effects of specific enzymes and cytokines, such as phosphotyrosine phosphatases, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappB) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha).

An unhealthy diet may even alter the way the genetic information within your cells influences blood sugar metabolism. Scientists now know that a poor diet, along with other contributors, can alter your genetic potential or gene expression. Appropriate gene expression is important for healthy blood sugar metabolism because it stimulates sugar utilization by the mitochondria of your cells, producing energy and – in effect – clearing sugar from your blood.

Taken as a whole, excess weight, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet can reduce the “sensitivity” of your cells to insulin and even impact their genetic expression. Without effective insulin binding and signaling, the sugar transport channel vesicles remain static and unable to travel to and fuse with the cell membrane. As a result, the number of sugar transport channels is reduced, leading to poor cellular sugar absorption and utilization, excess blood sugar and insulin, low energy and a host of other possible manifestations of deteriorating health.

SUGGESTIONS TO HELP ACHIEVE HEALTHY BLOOD SUGAR METABOLISM

Incorporating lifestyle changes that focus on effective weight control, a program of regular exercise and specific dietary guidelines are very important to promoting healthy blood sugar metabolism.

The dietary guidelines should focus on two primary goals: 1) choosing foods that have a moderate effect on raising blood sugar, referred to as “low-glycemic-index” foods, and 2) choosing foods that improve your body’s ability to support the effect of insulin, functionally reducing “insulin resistance”. With the guidance of your healthcare provider, this can be an easy process that results in a healthy and delicious dietary plan.

Nutritional supplementation may also offer great benefit. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you supplement your diet with a combination of macronutrients that include soy protein, special fibers and a low-glycemic-index starch known as high-amylose starch. These help support healthy carbohydrate absorption and blood sugar metabolism.

Supplementing your diet with various fatty acids and micronutrients may also be helpful. These include the essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to support healthy cell membranes; conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to promote the insulin signal and gene expression for improved utilization of sugar by the mitochondrion; lipoic acid to further support the insulin signal and sugar utilization by the mitochondrion; vitamin E, inositol and the minerals vanadium, chromium and magnesium to provide additional support to the insulin signal; and biotin to promote sugar utilization by the mitochondria. Other herbs and accessory nutrients may also be helpful.

Take the first step to achieving healthy blood sugar metabolism and sustained good health right now! And begin by reading ‘get fit stay fit’ ‘The best you can be’ and listening to my audio cd’s which are comprehensive, yet tailored to meet your individual needs. You have the power to shape your body for better health.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !

Nicotine

nicotineThe following article is a small excerpt from one of my books.  I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Tobacco was first found and cultivated, perhaps as early as 6000 B.C. and for thousands of years, people have smoked or chewed the leaves of the tobacco plant.  Following the discovery and colonization of North and South America, the tobacco plant was exported widely, to continental Europe and the rest of the world.

Smoking or chewing tobacco makes you feel good, even mildly euphoric. While there are thousands of chemicals in the tobacco plant (not to mention those added by cigarette manufacturers), one, nicotine, produces all the good feelings that draws you back for another cigarette.

Nicotine is a naturally occurring liquid alkaloid. Alkaloids are an organic compound made out of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sometimes oxygen. These chemicals have potent effects on your body. Another alkaloid is caffeine.  A toxin to your body.

Nicotine normally makes up about 5 percent of a tobacco plant, by weight. Cigarettes contain 8 to 20 milligrams (mg) of nicotine (depending on the brand), but only approximately 1 mg is actually absorbed by your body when you smoke a cigarette

As with most addictive substances, you have devised a number of ways of delivering nicotine to your bodies. Nicotine readily diffuses through, your skin, Lungs and Mucous membranes (such as the lining of your nose or your gums)

Nicotine moves right into the small blood vessels that line the tissues listed above. From there, nicotine travels through your bloodstream to your brain, and then is delivered to the rest of your body. The most common and quickest way to get nicotine and other drugs into your bloodstream is by smoking it. Your lungs are lined by millions of alveoli, the tiny air sacs where gas exchange occurs. These alveoli provide an enormous surface area — 90 times greater than that of your skin — and thus provide ample access for nicotine and other compounds. Once in your bloodstream, nicotine flows almost immediately to your brain. Although nicotine takes a lot of different actions throughout your body, what it does in the brain is responsible for both the good feelings you get from smoking, as well as the irritability you feel if you try to quit. Within 10 to 15 seconds of inhaling, most smokers are in the throes of nicotine’s effects.

Nicotine doesn’t stick around your body for too long. It has a half-life of about 60 minutes, meaning that six hours after a cigarette, only about 0.031 mg of the 1 mg of nicotine you inhaled remains in your body.

Your body get rid of nicotine by,

  • About 80 percent of nicotine is broken down to cotinine by enzymes in your liver.
  • Nicotine is also metabolized in your lungs to cotinine and nicotine oxide.
  • Cotinine and other metabolites are excreted in your urine. Cotinine has a 24-hour half-life, so you can test whether or not someone has been smoking in the past day or two by screening their urine for cotinine.
  • The remaining nicotine is filtered from the blood by your kidneys and excreted in the urine.

Nicotine changes how your brain and body functions. The net results are somewhat of a paradox: Nicotine can both invigorate and relax you, depending on how much and how often you smoke.

Nicotine initially causes a rapid release of adrenaline, the fight-or-flight hormone. You may be familiar with adrenaline’s effects, rapid heartbeat, Increased blood pressure and rapid shallow breathing.

Adrenaline also tells your body to dump some of its glucose stores into your blood. This makes sense if you remind yourself that the fight-or-flight response is meant to help you either defend yourself from a hungry predator or run away from a dangerous situation — running or fighting both require plenty of energy to fuel your muscles.

Nicotine itself may also block the release of the hormone insulin. Insulin tells your cells to take up excess glucose from your blood. This means that nicotine makes people somewhat hyperglycaemic, having more sugar than usual in their blood. Some people think that nicotine also curbs their appetite so that they eat less. This hyperglycaemia could be one explanation why: Your bodies and brain may see the excess sugar and down-regulate the hormones and other signals that are perceived as hunger.

Nicotine may also increase your basal metabolic rate. This means that you burn more calories than you usually would when you are just sitting around. However, losing weight by smoking doesn’t give you any of the health benefits that you’d get if you were losing weight by exercising.   It actually does the opposite! Over the long haul, nicotine can increase the level of your bad cholesterol, LDL that damages your arteries. This makes it more likely that you could have a heart attack or a stroke.

Nicotine’s effects are short-lived, lasting only 40 minutes to a couple of hours. This leads people to smoke throughout the day.  Add to this the fact that you can become tolerant to nicotine’s effects and need to use more and more nicotine to reach the same degree of stimulation or relaxation, and you can see how you can go from smoking one cigarette a day to a pack a day habit.

Like any addiction stopping is not always easy.  While you’re using nicotine, your body adapts the way it works to compensate for the effects of the nicotine. For example, neurons in your brain might increase or decrease the number of receptors or the amount of different neurotransmitters affected by the presence of nicotine. When you no longer have nicotine in your body, these physiological adaptations for nicotine remain. The net result is that your body can’t function the same way in the absence of the drug as it did before, at least in the short term. People trying to quit nicotine experience this as, Irritability, Anxiety, Depression and have a craving for nicotine

Over a period of about a month, these symptoms and the physiological changes subside. But for many smokers, even a day without nicotine is excruciating. Every year, millions of people try to break the nicotine habit; only 10 percent of them succeed. Most will throw in the towel after less than a week of trying, because the way that nicotine rewires the reward system of your brain making nicotine’s pull irresistible.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !