Calcium and Milk: What’s Best for Your Bones and Health? | Health Club

Introduction
Those advertisements pushing milk as the answer to strong bones are almost inescapable. But does “got milk?” really translate into “got strong bones?”
The pro-milk faction believes that increased calcium intake—particularly in the form of the currently recommended three glasses of milk per day—will help prevent osteoporosis, the weakening of bones. Each year, osteoporosis leads to more than 1.5 million fractures, including 300,000 broken hips.

On the other side are those who believe that consuming a lot of milk and other dairy products will have little effect on the rate of fractures but may contribute to problems such as heart disease or prostate cancer.
Which view is right? The final answers aren’t in. But here is a summary of what’s currently known about calcium and its effects on the body.What Is Calcium, and Where Do We Get It?
Calcium is a mineral that the body needs for numerous functions, including building and maintaining bones and teeth, blood clotting, the transmission of nerve impulses, and the regulation of the heart’s rhythm. Ninety-nine percent of the calcium in the human body is stored in the bones and teeth. The remaining 1 percent is found in the blood and other tissues.
The body gets the calcium it needs in two ways. One is by eating foods or supplements that contain calcium. Good sources include dairy products, which have the highest concentration per serving of highly absorbable calcium, and dark leafy greens or dried beans, which have varying amounts of absorbable calcium. Calcium supplements often contain vitamin D; taking calcium paired with vitamin D seems to be more beneficial for bone health than taking calcium alone. (Read more about calcium and osteoporosis.)
The other way the body gets calcium is by pulling it from bones. This happens when blood levels of calcium drop too low, usually when it’s been awhile since having eaten a meal containing calcium. Ideally, the calcium that is “borrowed” from the bones will be replaced at a later point. But, this doesn’t always happen. Most important, this payback can’t be accomplished simply by eating more calcium.Growing Healthy Bones
Bone is living tissue that is always in flux. Throughout the lifespan, bones are constantly being broken down and built up in a process known as remodeling. Bone cells called osteoblasts build bone, while other bone cells called osteoclasts break down bone.
In healthy individuals who get enough calcium and physical activity, bone production exceeds bone destruction up to about age 30. After that, destruction typically exceeds production.What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis, or “porous bones,” is the weakening of bones caused by an imbalance between bone building and bone destruction. People typically lose bone as they age, despite consuming the recommended intake of calcium necessary to maintain optimal bone health. An estimated 10 million Americans—8 million women and 2 million men—have osteoporosis. Another 34 million have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. (1)
Achieving adequate calcium intake and maximizing bone stores during the time when bone is rapidly deposited (up to age 30) provides an important foundation for the future. But it will not prevent bone loss later in life. The loss of bone with aging is the result of several factors, including genetic factors, physical inactivity, and lower levels of circulating hormones (estrogen in women and testosterone in men).
Postmenopausal women account for 80 percent of all cases of osteoporosis because estrogen production declines rapidly at menopause. Of course, men are also at risk of developing osteoporosis, but they tend to do so 5 to 10 years later than women, since testosterone levels do not fall abruptly the way estrogen does in women. It is estimated that osteoporosis will cause half of all women over age 50 to suffer a fracture of the hip, wrist, or vertebra.How Can Osteoporosis Be Slowed Down?
Preventing osteoporosis depends on two things: making the strongest, densest bones possible during the first 30 years of life and limiting the amount of bone loss in adulthood.
There are a number of lifestyle factors that can help with the latter:Getting regular exercise, especially weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercise.Getting adequate vitamin D, whether through diet, exposure to sunshine, or supplements.Consuming enough calcium to reduce the amount the body has to borrow from bone.Consuming adequate vitamin K, found in green, leafy vegetables.Not getting too much preformed vitamin A.Preventing Bone Loss in Adulthood
Several complementary strategies can help prevent or minimize bone loss during adulthood and old age. These include:Getting Regular Exercise
Physical activity that puts some strain or stress on bones causes the bones to retain and possibly even gain density throughout life. Cells within the bone sense this stress and respond by making the bone stronger and denser. Such “weight-bearing” exercises include walking, dancing, jogging, weightlifting, stair-climbing, racquet sports, and hiking.5 Quick Tips for Getting More Physical Activity:
Ideas on how to fit exercise into your lifestyle 
Staying Active: Every Body’s Path to Better Health: A closer look at the benefits of physical activity
Swimming is a useful form of exercise for the heart and cardiovascular system. But because water supports the bones, rather than putting stress on them, it’s not considered a good “weight-bearing” exercise for bone strength. In addition, physical activity doesn’t strengthen all bones, just those that are stressed, so you need a variety of exercises or activities to keep all your bones healthy.
Another function of physical activity, probably at least as important as its direct effect on bone mass, is its role in increasing muscle strength and coordination. With greater muscle strength, one can often avoid falls and situations that cause fractures. Making physical activity a habit can help maintain balance and avoid falls.Getting Enough Calcium
Despite the debates surrounding milk and calcium, one thing is clear: adequate calcium—both for bone development and for non-bone functions—is key to reducing the risk of osteoporosis. However, the healthiest or safest amount of dietary calcium hasn’t yet been established. Different scientific approaches have yielded different estimates, so it’s important to consider all the evidence.
Maximum-calcium-retention studies, which examine the maximum amount of calcium that can be forced into bones, suggest a fairly high requirement.To ensure that 95 percent of the population gets this much calcium, the National Academy of Sciences established the following recommended intake levels:1,000 milligrams/day for those age 19 to 501,200 milligrams/day for those age 50 or over1,000 milligrams/day for pregnant or lactating adult women
But the maximum-calcium-retention studies are short term and therefore have important limitations. To detect how the body adapts to different calcium intakes over a long period of time—and to get the big picture of overall bone strength—requires studies of longer duration.
The results from such long-term studies may be surprising to some. While they do not question the importance of calcium in maximizing bone strength, they cast doubt on the value of consuming the large amounts currently recommended for adults.
In particular, these studies suggest that high calcium intake doesn’t actually appear to lower a person’s risk for osteoporosis. For example, in the large Harvard studies of male health professionals and female nurses, individuals who drank one glass of milk (or less) per week were at no greater risk of breaking a hip or forearm than were those who drank two or more glasses per week. (2, 3) When researchers combined the data from the Harvard studies with other large prospective studies, they still found no association between calcium intake and fracture risk. (4) Also, the combined results of randomized trials that compared calcium supplements with a placebo showed that calcium supplements did not protect against fractures of the hip or other bones. Moreover, there was some suggestion that calcium supplements taken without vitamin D might even increase the risk of hip fractures.
Additional evidence further supports the idea that American adults may not need as much calcium as is currently recommended. For example, in countries such as India, Japan, and Peru where average daily calcium intake is as low as 300 milligrams per day (less than a third of the U.S. recommendation for adults, ages 19 to 50), the incidence of bone fractures is quite low. Of course, these countries differ in other important bone-health factors as well—such as level of physical activity and amount of sunlight—which could account for their low fracture rates.
Ideally, these issues might be resolved by randomizing a large group of adults to get different amounts of calcium and following them to see how many would eventually break a bone. In fact, a few such studies have been conducted, and they have not provided evidence of benefit, as noted above. However, most of these studies were small or of short duration, so they could not rule out the possibility of a small benefit from supplementation. Other randomized trials have combined calcium in combination with vitamin D, which could obscure the true effects of calcium.
To illustrate the different conclusions drawn from examining the same body of data, a British committee that is comparable to the U.S. group that established calcium requirements here concluded that 700 milligrams per day was enough for individuals age 19 and older.Getting Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a critical role in maintaining bone health. When blood levels of calcium begin to drop, the body responds in several ways. It promotes the conversion of vitamin D into its active form, which then travels to the intestines (to encourage greater calcium absorption into the blood) and to the kidneys (to minimize calcium loss in the urine).
For bone health, an adequate intake of vitamin D is no less important than calcium. Vitamin D is found in milk and vitamin supplements, and it can be made by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight in the summertime. But not all sunlight is created equal. Above 40 degrees latitude (north of San Francisco, Denver, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia), the winter sunlight isn’t strong enough to promote vitamin D formation. Sunscreens also prevent the formation of vitamin D, although they are still recommended to reduce risk of sun-induced skin cancer and skin damage.Vitamin D Overview
: How much vitamin D you need each day, and what’s the best way to get enough 
Ask the Expert—Vitamin D: An interview with Prof. Edward Giovannucci about vitamin D’s role in disease prevention
An examination of clinical trials of vitamin D for the prevention of osteoporosis found that getting 700 to 800 IUs of vitamin D per day decreases the risk of hip and non-vertebral fractures; (5) vitamin D may be even more effective when taken in conjunction with calcium. (6) A similar analysis of the effect of vitamin D on falls indicated that supplementation with vitamin D reduces the risk of falls among older individuals by more than 20 percent. (7)
Look for a multivitamin that supplies 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day. If your multi only has 400 IU of vitamin D, consider taking an extra supplement to get you up to 1,000 IU or 2,000 IU per day. Some people may need 3,000 or 4,000 IU per day for adequate blood levels, particularly if they have darker skin, spend winters in the northern U.S., or have little exposure to direct sunlight. If you fall into these groups, ask your physician to order a blood test for vitamin D.Getting Enough Vitamin K
Vitamin K, which is found mainly in green, leafy vegetables, likely plays one or more important roles in calcium regulation and bone formation. Low levels of circulating vitamin K have been linked with low bone density, and supplementation with vitamin K shows improvements in biochemical measures of bone health. (8) A report from the Nurses’ Health Study suggests that women who get at least 110 micrograms of vitamin K a day are 30 percent less likely to break a hip than women who get less than that. (9) Among the nurses, eating a serving of lettuce or other green, leafy vegetable a day cut the risk of hip fracture in half when compared with eating one serving a week. Data from the Framingham Heart Study also shows an association between high vitamin K intake and reduced risk of hip fracture in men and women, and increased bone mineral density in women. (10, 11) Getting one or more servings per day of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, dark green lettuce, collard greens, or kale should be enough to meet the daily recommended target of 120 micrograms per day for men and 90 micrograms per day for women.
Some other factors may also help lower the risk of osteoporosis:Take care with caffeine and cola. Although the votes aren’t all in, there is some evidence that drinking a lot of coffee—about four or more cups per day—can increase the risk of fracture. Caffeine tends to promote calcium excretion in urine. Meanwhile, the Framingham Osteoporosis Study has found that older women who drink cola every day have lower bone mineral density than those who drink it less than once a month. (12) This may be due to cola’s high levels of phosphorous, which may alter the dietary balance between calcium and phosphorous and thereby weaken bones.Get enough protein, but not too much. The body needs protein to build healthy bones. But as your body digests protein, it releases acids into the bloodstream, which the body neutralizes by drawing calcium from the bones. Following a high-protein diet for a few weeks probably won’t have much effect on bone strength. Doing it for a long time, though, could weaken bone. In the Nurses’ Health Study, for example, women who ate more than 95 grams of protein a day were 20 percent more likely to have broken a wrist over a 12-year period when compared to those who ate an average amount of protein (less than 68 grams a day). (13) But this area of research is still controversial, and findings have not been consistent. Some studies suggest increasing protein increases risk of fractures; others associate high-protein diets with increased bone mineral density. It is still unclear what level of protein intake provides the best protection against osteoporosis, and more research is needed.Get enough vitamin A, but not too much. Long associated with good vision, vitamin A has also been found to direct the process of borrowing and redepositing calcium in bone. However, too much preformed vitamin A (also known as retinol) can promote fractures. Choose a multivitamin supplement that has all or the majority of its vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor, since beta-carotene does not increase one’s fracture risk. Many multivitamin manufacturers have already reduced the amount of preformed vitamin A in their products.
Postmenopausal women may also want to talk to a health care provider about taking a medication that can strengthen bones. The estrogen in postmenopausal hormones can compensate for the drop in estrogen levels after menopause, helping to prevent—and perhaps even partially reverse—bone loss. However, hormone replacement therapy has fallen from grace as the mainstay for preventing osteoporosis after results from several studies showed that it increased the risk of breast cancer, stroke, and blood clots. (14) Other medications such as alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel), calcitonin (Miacalcin), raloxifene (Evista), and parathyroid hormone (Fort?o) have been approved for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis.Should You Get Calcium from Milk?
When most people in the United States think of calcium, they immediately think of milk. But should this be so? Milk is actually only one of many sources of calcium—dark leafy green vegetables and some types of legumes are among the other sources—and there are some important reasons why milk may not be the best source for everyone.
These reasons include the following:Lactose Intolerance
Many people have some degree of lactose intolerance. For them, eating or drinking dairy products causes problems like cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. Certain groups are much more likely to have lactose intolerance. For example, 90 percent of Asians, 70 percent of blacks and Native Americans, and 50 percent of Hispanics are lactose intolerant, compared to only about 15 percent of people of Northern European descent.
One alternative for those who are lactose intolerant but who still enjoy consuming dairy products is to take a pill containing enzymes that digest milk sugar along with the dairy product, or to consume milk that has the lactase enzyme added to it.High Saturated Fat Content
Many dairy products are high in saturated fats, and a high saturated fat intake is a risk factor for heart disease. And while it’s true that most dairy products are now available in fat-reduced or nonfat options, the saturated fat that’s removed from dairy products is inevitably consumed by someone, often in the form of premium ice cream, butter, or baked goods.
Strangely, it’s often the same people who purchase these higher fat products who also purchase the low-fat dairy products, so it’s not clear that they’re making great strides in cutting back on their saturated fat consumption. (For more information on dietary fats, read the Nutrition Source article Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good.)Possible Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer
High levels of galactose, a sugar released by the digestion of lactose in milk, have been studied as possibly damaging to the ovaries and leading to ovarian cancer. Although such associations have not been reported in all studies, there may be potential harm in consuming high amounts of lactose. A recent pooled analysis of 12 prospective cohort studies, which included more than 500,000 women, found that women with high intakes of lactose—equivalent to that found in 3 cups of milk per day—had a modestly higher risk of ovarian cancer, compared to women with the lowest lactose intakes. (15) The study did not find any association between overall milk or dairy product intake and ovarian cancer. Some researchers have hypothesized, however, that modern industrial milk production practices have changed milk’s hormone composition in ways that could increase the risk of ovarian and other hormone-related cancers. (16) More research is needed.Probable Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer
A diet high in calcium has been implicated as a probable risk factor for prostate cancer. (17) In a Harvard study of male health professionals, men who drank two or more glasses of milk a day were almost twice as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer as those who didn’t drink milk at all. (18) The association appears to be with calcium itself, rather than with dairy products in general: A more recent analysis of the Harvard study participants found that men with the highest calcium intake—at least 2,000 milligrams a day—had nearly double the risk of developing fatal prostate cancer as those who had the lowest intake (less than 500 milligrams per day). (19)
Clearly, although more research is needed, we cannot be confident that high milk or calcium intake is safe.The Bottom Line: Recommendations for Calcium Intake and Bone Health
Adequate, lifelong dietary calcium intake is necessary to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Consuming adequate calcium and vitamin D and performing regular, weight-bearing exercise are also important to build maximum bone density and strength. After age 30, these factors help slow bone loss, although they cannot completely prevent bone loss due to aging.
Milk and dairy products are a convenient source of calcium for many people. They are also a good source of protein and are fortified with vitamins D and A. At this time, however, the optimal intake of calcium is not clear, nor is the optimal source or sources of calcium. As noted earlier, the National Academy of Sciences currently recommends that people ages 19 to 50 consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day, and that those age 50 or over get 1,200 milligrams per day. Reaching 1,200 milligrams per day would usually require drinking two to three glasses of milk per day—or taking calcium supplements—over and above an overall healthy diet.
However, these recommendations are based on very short-term studies, and are likely to be higher than what people really need. Currently, there’s no good evidence that consuming more than one serving of milk per day in addition to a reasonable diet (which typically provides about 300 milligrams of calcium per day from nondairy sources) will reduce fracture risk. Because of unresolved concerns about the risk of ovarian and prostate cancer, it may be prudent to avoid higher intakes of dairy products.
At moderate levels, though, consumption of calcium and dairy products has benefits beyond bone health, including possibly lowering the risk of high blood pressure and colon cancer. (20–25) While the blood pressure benefits appear fairly small, the protection against colon cancer seems somewhat larger, and most of the latter benefit comes from having just one or maybe two glasses of milk per day in addition to what we get from other foods in our diet. Getting more than this doesn’t seem to lower risk further.
For individuals who are unable to digest—or who dislike—dairy products and for those who simply prefer not to consume large amounts of such foods, other options are available. Calcium can also be found in dark green, leafy vegetables, such as kale and collard greens, as well as in dried beans and legumes.
Calcium is also found in spinach and chard, but these vegetables contain oxalic acid, which combines with the calcium to form calcium oxalate, a chemical salt that makes the calcium less available to the body. A variety of calcium-fortified foods, such as orange juice and soy milk, are now on the market.
Calcium can also be ingested as a supplement, and if you do go the supplement route, it’s best to choose one that includes some vitamin D. Research suggests that calcium-only supplements do not protect against fractures, and may in fact increase risk of fractures. (4) There’s also some emerging evidence that taking calcium-only supplements may possibly increase the risk of heart attacks—another reason to avoid calcium-only supplements. (26) Men may want to avoid calcium supplements because of questions about possible risks of prostate cancer; if men do take a calcium supplement, limiting supplement intake to 500 milligrams of calcium per day seems prudent.
Antacids contain calcium, but do not contain vitamin D. So if you choose antacids as a calcium source, you may want to consider taking a separate vitamin D supplement. Discuss your options with a health care provider. (Read more about vitamin D and health.)

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!

The Importance of Vitamin D and bone health | Health Club

By Dr Sebastian Renz MRCGP
Vitamin D plays an important part in keeping our bodies healthy. Its job is to help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body which are critical in helping keep our bones and teeth healthy. Our main source of Vitamin D is sunlight, which in the UK is often something we lack. It can also come from foods we eat, oily fish such as salmon and sardines contain a high concentration of vitamin D, as well as dairy products such as milk and cheese.

Recent  studies have shown that up to 50% of the UK population is Vitamin D deficient at the end of the winter period, and with this has shown an increase in Rickets disease. Vitamin D deficiency can also result in Osteomalacia in both adults and children. This is where bones soften and become vulnerable to fractures, deformities and bone pain.
People most at risk:
Pregnant women who are breastfeeding, particularly teenagers and young women
People age 65+
People who have low exposure to sunlight
People who have darker skin (as their bodies are not able to make as much Vitamin D)
Preventing Vitamin D deficiency, especially in those winter months is as simple as taking vitamin D supplements. 10mcg of D3 supplements (400 IU) can be taken daily to prevent a deficiency within your body and promote healthy bone renewal.
Consult your doctor if you have any concerns or if you want to learn more about Vitamin D and bone health. Dr Sebastian Renz is a private GP at Richmond Practice, providing a wide range of GP services. To book an appointment visit us at: www.richmondpractice.co.uk or call us on 07807581459.The Importance of Vitamin D and bone health

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!

Reading Food Nutrition Labels | Health Club

Whenever you buy food, the packets have certain nutrition facts that are displayed on them. Most people do not think that it is necessary to go through these but they are indeed very helpful. You must be aware of the nutritional value of the food that you are eating. It is also a key step towards healthy eating. Knowing the amount of nutrients that go in your body with any particular food is very necessary.
The first thing that you need to know is the serving size. The amount of people that it serves is mentioned on the packet. Each packet has a different serving amount and it may be different than the proportion of the food that is eaten by you normally. Therefore before consuming it, read the servings per packet carefully.
Calculating the calories and the calories from fat is also necessary. This section gives you information about the total number of calories that are present in the food along with the amount of calories that have been derived from the fat. Reading this is essential because it tells you about the amount of energy that you have derived from the food. This is particularly helpful if you are trying to maintain your weight.
Read the facts and add up the total amount of fats present in the food. Total fats include the amount of good fats that are present in the food along with the fats which are not very healthy for you. You will also know the right amount to consume of food so that you do not intake a lot of harmful fats.
Knowing the sodium content of your food is also necessary. In most foods which are canned, processed, the amount of sodium which is also known as table salt is hidden. Even in products like canned soups or vegetables such as tomatoes, it is necessary that you see the nutrition label so that you know about them.
Cholesterol is another very important thing that you will have to find on the nutrition labels. Many people might suffer from the problem of high cholesterol and especially for them it is necessary to know the level of cholesterol that is present in the food. There are two types of cholesterols which exist in the food which are the good and bad cholesterol. It is necessary to calculate both of these.
The total carbohydrates are also mentioned on the food labels. It is necessary that you read that too. There are different amounts of carbohydrates in each food package depending upon the kind that you are eating.
After carbohydrates working out the fibre content in the food is also essential. Fibre is very rich for the body and has a lot of advantages and its intake is therefore very necessary.  Reading the fibre content in your food can thus be very essential.
Reading the nutrition label on food packets is therefore essential to know the amount of benefits that you are going to get form eating that food.

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!

The Best Information About High Protein Diet Plans | Health Club

Information About High Protein Diet Plan
Protein is the building block of the body. Every year the body generates 98% new cells. The body is able to make new cells because of the meals we eat, especially protein-rich foods. Like bricks in a building, protein is the real raw construction material of the body. The entire body structure is made from protein consisting of skin, hair, nails, bones, connective tissue and, muscle.
In a high protein diet your meals will mainly consist of proteins. Carbohydrates and fats are secondary. Protein is often found in vegetables, beans, legumes, and grains on the other hand, the protein in these meals will not be considered “complete” mainly because it lacks one or more critical amino acids. High protein diet plans are generally not sustainable and focusing on just one food group in your diet is definitely not healthy. But if you want to lose weight quickly, going on a short-term high-protein diet would definitely help you accomplish your weight loss goals. You could follow this up by a low-carb diet to sustain the weight loss.
High protein meal plans consist of a fairly low consumption of carbohydrates and therefore you may experience low energy levels. A high protein diet will help you build muscle and enhance fat burning. That’s because protein food items increase the rate of metabolism because protein is more difficult to digest than fats or carbohydrates. Your body, therefore, has to work harder digesting protein and as a result spends more calories. This protein influence explains why a higher protein diet is more powerful for fat loss than the usual high body fat diet or maybe a high carbohydrate diet. Most foods contain fats and carbohydrates which, if not utilized, are stored as body fat. But protein is less likely to be converted to fat as it is used for building muscle mass.
When using high protein diet plans you need to drink more water than usual. Metabolizing protein demands a lot more water than fats or carbohydrates, so it can be extremely important to increase your water intake when you are on a high-protein diet. Diet systems really should be cyclical. So after a month or two on a high protein diet you should switch to a more well balanced diet which has all kinds of foods, with a lot less protein, and plenty of fruits, greens, complex carbohydrates and whole grains.

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!

How to Support Your Immune System in Winter with a Good Vitamin Supplement | Health Club

Good Vitamin Supplement
A healthy immunity system plays a major role in defending and preventingdisease, illness, and stress, especially during the winter season. Winter is the main season that actually tests your immune system’s strength, though it is important that you keep your immunity levels strong throughout the year.
Reasons for Natural Weakness in Immune System during thewinter
As the winter season approaches, the natural defense system can be boosted, thereby assisting to keep off common winter diseases like flu, cold, and infections. This can be done by increasing the vitamins and antioxidants intake, thus strengthening the immunity system and assisting the body to fight against the bad viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. Here’s some advice as to how you can support your immune system in winter with a good vitamin supplement. So, let’s start by taking a look at the vitamins that you should be consuming in the run up to winter.
It’s not that a single vitamin is essential for boosting the immune system of the body. A wide variety of vitamins as well as nutrients work together to fight the infections, though, these vitamins have a major role.Benefits of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is the immune system’s defensive line and it keeps germs and infections from entering the bodies. It is responsible for keeping the mucous membranes lining the nose, mouth, and throat moist and soft so that they can trap the germs, ceasing their infiltration. Moreover, this vitamin helps in generating enzymes that look out for germs that manage to enter the body and kill them. People deficient in this vitamin can consume vitamin A rich food sources like carrot, sweet potatoes, liver, dried herbs, lettuce, dried apricots, and cantaloupe.Vitamin B Boosts Up Your Energy Level
Vitamin B usually boosts the energy levels, thereby boosting the immunity system. These vitamins are available in the form of vitamin supplements, including B6, B12, and foliate. Studies have revealed that vitamin B6 can also strengthen the immunity system to a great extent.Vitamin C Generates Antibodies and WBC
Vitamin C is equally important for enhancing the immunity system of the body. It assists the body to generate the white blood cells, antibodies, and anti-stress hormones, which are all needed for fighting the infections. This class of vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that kills fungi, bacteria, parasites, and viruses; it neutralizes the harmful bacteria and environmental toxins, while removing the toxic metals. To increase the vitamin C level in your body, you can consume food sources rich in this particular vitamin like guavas, dark leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, papayas, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, melons, tomatoes, and citrus fruits.Role of Vitamin D
One of the most essential vitamins for immune functioning is vitamin D. Our bodies are made naturally in a way that they can increase the vitamin D reserves during the summer season so that it can be released slowly during the winter. We are moving near to deficiency levels in western communities and our immunity systems are not receiving the needed support as such. Thus, for several people, by improving their vitamin D levels before it gets very cold, we can make our bodies ready to prevent the illnesses and viruses that are common during the colder months. Few of the food sources rich in vitamin D include eggs, cod-liver oil, salmon, oysters, fish, soymilk, orange juice, and cereals. Vitamin D can also be obtained from safe exposure to sun.How Does Vitamin E Help You?
Vitamin E also enhances the immunity system by generating an immune protein- interleukin-2 that kills viruses, bacteria, and even cancer cells. This particular protein is generated in the body when the body thinks that it has been invaded by infection-causing germs and it assists the white blood cells to increase and fight the diseases.
Few sources of food items rich in vitamin E include paprika, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and cooked spinach.
Zinc is another nutrient, which several people may find to be deficient in, particularly in the poorer and developing nations. Food sources for zinc include milk products, whole grains, oysters, red meat, and poultry. But, if your diet lacks zinc food sources, you may have to replace them with vitamins.
In a Nutshell
Now that you’ve understood all vitamins have one or the other role in boosting the immunity system, equal intake of all these vitamins is essential to lead a healthy life. By consuming natural food rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients needed for a strong immunity system, you can get your body ready to fight off the infections during the winter. There are also vitamin supplements available in the health stores.
Joshua Jacksonis a strong supporter of green living, and staying healthy with natural supplements. He strongly recommends consumption of natural Vitamin Supplements during the winter season and avoiding the common diseases due to natural weakness caused in the immunity levels.How to Support Your Immune System in Winter with a Good Vitamin Supplement

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!

Protein Structure and Metabolism | Health Club

Proteins are necessary for building the structural components of the human body, such as muscles and organs. You also need proteins to keep your immune system healthy, synthesize neurotransmitters, create and signal hormones, and much more. A balanced diet supplies you will all of the protein you need. Meats, eggs, and dairy products are significant sources of protein, but you can also get protein from a variety of grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.Just a Tiny Bit of Protein Chemistry
Proteins tend to be large molecules made up of several building blocks called amino acids. The general structure of any amino acid molecule includes a carboxyl group of atoms, an amine group and a side chain. The carboxyl group contains one carbon, two oxygen, and one hydrogen atom. The amine group contains one nitrogen atom with two hydrogen atoms attached to it.All 20 amino acids have different side chains, which vary in shape including straight chains of atoms, branched chains of atoms and rings of atoms. The side chains may include carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, nitrogen and oxygen atoms. The configuration and molecules found in the side chain is what differentiates one amino acid from another. The branched-chain amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, and valine. These amino acids are necessary for muscle structure. Tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan are called aromatic amino acids. Each one contains a side chain with a ring-shaped formation. These three amino acids are needed for neurotransmitter production.
There are 20 different amino acids. Amino acids are linked together to form peptides, which are small chains of amino acids. The peptides are then linked together to form larger proteins.
There are thousands of different proteins that carry out a large number of jobs in the human body. Even though so many different proteins are at work in your body, you don’t have to worry about consuming each individual protein from the foods you eat. Your body will make those proteins. All you need to do is to make sure your body has a healthy supply of all 20 of the different amino acid “building blocks.” Having enough of those amino acids is easy because your body can make 11 of them from other compounds already in your body. That leaves eight amino acids that you must get from your diet. Those eight amino acids are called “essential amino acids.”Non Essential and Essential Amino Acids
The 11 non-essential amino acids are not called “non-essential” because they are not important. They are important and your body requires them to perform several functions. These amino acids are called “non-essential” because you don’t need to get them from your diet. Your body can build those 11 amino acids from chemicals already present in your body. The non-essential amino acids include: AlanineArginineAsparagineAspartic AcidCysteineGlutamic AcidGlutamineGlycineProlineSerineTyrosine
The amino acids arginine, cysteine, glycine, and tyrosine are sometimes also considered to be “conditionally essential.” That means most people manufacture them on their own, but some with certain illness or genetic abnormalities don’t and need to get them through their diets.The nine essential amino acids are called “essential” because you can’t manufacture them, you have to eat proteins that contain those amino acids. Those essential amino acids include: HistidineIsoleucineLeucineLysineMethioninePhenylalanineThreonineTryptophanValine
Do you really need to worry about essential amino acids when you plan your daily meals?
Not really. Animal sources of protein such as meat, eggs, and dairy products are “complete proteins.” That means that each protein found in an animal product contains each of the nine essential amino acids. Vegetarians and vegans may need to pay a little more attention to the dietary proteins. Plant proteins are called “incomplete proteins.” Each plant protein is missing at least one of the nine essential amino acids. However, every amino acid is found in some type of plant, so you can combine different plant proteins to get all of the amino acids you need. We will get back to this later in the lesson.Protein Functions in the Body
There are many different proteins in your body, and they perform different functions. Proteins functions include:Contributing to enzyme activity that promotes chemical reactions in the bodySignaling cells what to do and when to do itTransporting substances around the bodyKeeping fluids and pH balanced in the bodyServing as building blocks for hormone productionHelping blood clotPromoting antibody activity that controls immune and allergy functionsServing as structural components that give our body parts their shapesProtein Digestion and Metabolism
The digestion of protein begins in the mouth with chewing. Chewing not only makes food easier to swallow, it also helps with digestion by chopping food up into smaller bits. Remember that it really is important to chew your food thoroughly; don’t gulp your food down in huge bites.Protein digestion continues in the stomach with the release of hydrochloric acid and pepsinogen. Hydrochloric acid converts pepsinogen into pepsin, which begins to break down the bonds between the amino acids. This process takes place while the muscles surrounding the stomach squeeze and squish the foods and stomach fluids together.
The next step occurs in the small intestine where the hydrochloric acid is neutralized with bicarbonates released from the pancreas. The pancreas also releases an enzyme called trypsin. Trypsin continues to break apart the amino acids, which are then absorbed into the blood stream. Once in the bloodstream, the amino acids are carried to the cells in various parts of your body. Your body uses the individual amino acids that were broken down during digestion to build the proteins needed for the various functions.
You may not think of protein as an energy source, but proteins do contribute calories to you diet. Those calories need to be acknowledged if you are watching your weight. Each gram of protein you eat has four calories. As this sample menu shows, the USDA suggests that you get about 15% to 20% of your calories from protein. For someone who needs 2000 calories per day, that would equal 75 to 100 grams of protein.
It isn’t difficult to get enough protein in your diet. One chicken leg alone will provide you with about 30 grams of protein. One salmon fillet has about 40 grams of protein, a cup of oatmeal has six grams of protein, and a cup of asparagus even has two grams of protein. Since most people get enough protein from their diet, protein deficiency is rare in developed countries. In underdeveloped countries, protein deficiency is more common. Severe protein deficiency is called kwashiorkor. Children with kwashiorkor tend to have very thin arms and legs and large, distended bellies. Lack of protein can cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, a depressed immune system, lung problems, heart problems, and death.This Week’s Assignment
This week I want you to pay attention to the types of protein you eat every day. You will learn about choosing healthy protein sources next week, so right now I want you to keep track of the types of meat, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, dairy, cheeses, fish and seafood you eat. Make note of how they are prepared and how much you eat every day.This Week’s Quiz
You can test your knowledge of proteins with this quiz: Quiz Three – Proteins, Amino Acids and MetabolismThis is lesson three of the basic nutrition – macronutrients e-course. Up next, lesson four is about choosing healthy proteins. You may sign up for the whole e-course at Basic Nutrition – Macronutrients
Sources:
“Protein.” Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health. March 20, 2007.

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!

5 Commandments Of Smart Dieting

To see the best results from any diet plan, you’ve got to know the “Diet Commandments”. These guidelines are essential for superior results. They will take you to the Promised Land, flowing with good health and energy.
Sadly, many dieters miss out on one or more of these rules, and it costs them their success.
1.Thou Shall Eat More Protein
Of all the foods you might eat while on a fat loss diet, protein is probably the most important. Protein combats hunger, stabilizes blood glucose levels, and prevents lean muscle loss. The result is raised metabolism and accelerated fat loss.
Don’t let your protein intake fall short. Aim to consume some in every meal and snack. For some unexpected sources of protein, consider quinoa, bulgur, avocado, and whole wheat bagels.
2. Thou Shall Eat Regularly
You may have heard that metabolism increases the more often you eat. That’s somewhat misleading. Actually, the boost you get from a meal is directly related to meal size — eating regularly does help keep hunger at bay.
Feed your body frequently throughout the day to avoid food cravings and energy lows. Those who follow this guideline are more likely to stick to their diet or weight loss program.
3. Thou Shall Prioritize Fresh Foods
When selecting your foods, remember processed foods are a sin. Eating fresh is a must. In our world, processed foods are around every corner, waiting to cause weight gain and thwart our efforts for a healthy life.

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Eliminate processed food and give your diet a major boost. Focus on natural foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and oils, and lean proteins. This isn’t the Garden of Eden—reaching for the apple is the right choice.
You could call this commandment the Golden Rule of dieting. If you make only one change to your diet plan, make this one.
4. Thou Shall Set Short Term Goals
One diet rule that you should abide by is to continually set short term goals. Think about your strategy in the here and now, not months ahead. If your goals can only be achieved far down the road, it becomes too easy to lose sight of them.
You should also ensure that you put your goals in writing and tell a friend or family member about your intentions. The accountability will redouble your commitment.
Try thinking in two-week segments. Two weeks is generally the period necessary to form good habits, so it’s the perfect amount of time to build behaviors that stand the test of time.
This is precisely why The 2 Week Diet was created. It will help you stay motivated and consistent until good decisions become automatic.
5. Thou Shall Avoid Fruitless Comparisons
Finally, stop comparing yourself to others. Realize this is your journey. Your body is unique and you won’t see the same results as everyone else, so don’t expect to.
Instead, start comparing yourself today to yourself from yesterday. That will give you everything you need to know. If you improve every day, or hold fast to your diet program, then you are already a success.
Keep these diet commandments in mind. Focus on them and be confident you are building a truly righteous body.

What You Need To Know About Your Herbal Detox | Health Club

In present days there are extensive research going on in this topic and it is found that they don’ t have any side effects on the users. Finally, there is the South East Asian herb called Garcina Cambogia, which works by making the dieter feel fuller while eating and suppressing the appetite between meals.

There is an enormous range of herbal supplements for weight loss available to the person invested in losing weight in a healthy way and then keeping herbal detox that weight off. Another reason for its popularity is its purity. The Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine reports that kava may promote the release of calming neurotransmitters and help reduce muscle tension because of the presence of active phytochemicals called kavalactones. The Emotional Health subindex is the measure that assesses the emotional status of people by weighing negative factors such as depression, anxiety, stress and worry against positive feelings.

With anxiety levels reaching pandemic proportions, it’ s no wonder more consumers are seeking help on their own. They contain the right dosage of multiple herbs. Before buying herbal supplement nutritional supplements for Vitiligo herbal detox make sure that the product has the following ingredients: Coconut Oil, Black Cumin, PsoraleaCorylifolia and Barberry Root If a product has all these ingredients then the product will actually do the healing and will eventually turn out to be herbalife reviews a perfect treatment option to cure Vitiligo. These supplements should always be taken under proper guidance. They also have a positive impact on sperm motility, so the overall quality of your semen is increased. Suggesting that the plant extract may be used to guard against liver cancer.

Using herbal supplement like Butea Superba Capsule to end premature ejaculation is the best, easiest and safest way. There are many natural ways of alleviating the condition of PE and they are effective in their own rights but using gnc Butea Superba Capsule with these or even Butea Superba Capsule alone will ensure that every possible cause of this condition is addressed well to give a complete cure and to end premature ejaculation permanently by using herbal supplement. Read more on Premature Ejaculation Pills.

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!

Stretching to Relieve Back Pain

Health-Fitness Solutions
:: ArticlesStretching to Relieve Back Pain
Stretching is very important in relieving back pain for several reasons: 1) it improves your flexibility, which in turn allows your back to move through its natural range of motion painlessly, 2) it sends necessary nutrients to the tissue along the spine that keep your muscles from getting stiff and weak, and 3) it helps to prevent further injury to the back. Some of the above yoga and pilates exercises involve stretching, and listed below are a few more stretches that will benefit the back. There are a couple of things you should remember about stretching. First, you should not feel pain when you stretch. If you do, you have gone too far so ease up a little. Stretch only as far as you comfortably can, hold it for about ten seconds, and then slowly release the stretch. And second, don’t bounce. Move smoothly and slowly. If you jerk or bounce your body, you’re likely to injure it.
HAMSTRING STRETCH:
It might seem strange to stretch your leg to relieve back pain, but actually, the upper leg is important to the support of your lower back. Increase the flexibility of your upper leg and you’ll be helping your lower back. Some hamstring stretches put a lot of strain on the lower back so try this one: Lie on your back and bring your right knee towards your chest. Put a towel around your right foot, hold the two ends in each hand, and try to straighten the foot as far as you can. Repeat with the left leg. When you an easily accomplish this, try some harder hamstring stretches: 1) Sit in a chair and place legs straight out in front of you resting on another chair. Try and touch toes. 2) Lie on the floor with the buttocks against the wall. Place the foot up against the wall and then try to push the knee straight one leg at a time, and 3) Bend over at the waist, with legs straight, and try to touch your toes. Hold this stretch.
LOWER BACK STRETCH:
Lie face down on the floor with hands on each side of your head, elbows on the ground, and feet shoulder width apart. Slowly lift your body off the floor so that only your forearms and toes are supporting you. Contract your buttocks and extend your right arm straight out in front of you. Hold this position for ten seconds, and then switch arms. Do the same with your legs; return your forearms to the floor and extend first your right and then your left legs straight out behind you. Work up to extending your right arm and left leg at the same time, holding for ten seconds, and then switching sides.
MIDDLE BACK STRETCH:
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms extended out to your sides parallel to the floor, and knees slightly bent. Slowly twist to the right side until you feel the stretch in your back. Do not twist quickly or so far that you feel any pain in your back. Hold for ten seconds and then twist to the left side.
UPPER BACK STRETCH:
Stand in the same position as with the middle back stretch. Interlock your fingers and extend your arms as far out in front of you as you can, palms turned away from your body. Keep your upper back relaxed and you will feel this stretch in your shoulder blade area.
Exercise Balls
One way to get a good stretch is with an exercise ball. Many people like these because you can stretch your back without straining it and other muscles. And like with pilates, exercise ball stretching helps strengthen your core muscles, including your back. If you are new to the exercise ball, chose one that is soft and not 100% inflated. These are just a little bit easier to work on than hard balls. As with other stretches, do these exercise ball stretches slowly and smoothly, hold for about ten seconds (longer if you can), and repeat ten times.
BACK ARCH:
Sit on the ball as if it is a chair. Walk your feet forward so that the ball rolls under your back until your rear end is on the ground. Place your hands behind your head and slowly push yourself back up so that you roll backwards over the ball.
BACK FLOOR PRESS:
Lie on the floor with the ball under your knees and legs over it. Arms should be resting at your sides. Pull your belly button towards your spine and hold. Remember to keep the rest of your muscles relaxed. As you get more comfortable with this exercise, you can do it while lifting your arms a few inches off the floor, as in the pilates Hundred.
BALL SQUATS:
Stand with ball between your back and a wall, with feet hip width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend knees until they at ninety degrees and thighs are parallel to the floor. The exercise ball will roll up your back. Hold and return to starting position.
Strengthening Exercises
Strengthening exercises are great for relieving back pain, as well as preventing future injury. Many of the above exercises will strengthen the back muscles, and here are a few more to incorporate into your exercise routine.
FRONT LYING CHEST LIFT:
Lie on your stomach on the floor, interlace your fingers, and place your palms against the back of your head. If that causes pain, simply place your palms on the floor on either side of your head. Now raise your chest up of the floor just a few inches and hold for five seconds. Work up to three sets of eight repetitions.
DOUBLE KNEES TO CHEST:
Lie on your back, arms to your side and legs extended. Bring both knees in to your chest, grasping your legs behind the knees. Hold and repeat.
PELVIC TILT:
Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor with knees bent. Press down with your feet and push your pelvis upward. Hold and repeat.
STOMACH LEG LIFTS
: Lie on your stomach, palms on the floor supporting your chin. Press your pelvis to the floor and lift both legs off the ground a few inches. Hold and repeat.
CURL UPS:
Lie on your back, hands behind your head, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Curl up, lifting your face toward the ceiling, until your shoulders are a few inches above the ground. Hold and repeat.
OBLIQUE CURL UPS:
Start out the same was as curl ups, but roll your knees to the right side and then curl up. Repeat on left side.
Aerobic Exercise
If you go to a physical therapist for back pain, chances are you will have to do some kind of aerobic exercise as part of your treatment. Even if you don’t seek therapy for your back, it’s still a good idea to incorporate aerobic exercise into your back pain treatment plan. For those who suffer from back pain, the best aerobic exercises are low impact. These include swimming, walking, water aerobics, and bicycling. Running and aerobic dance should be avoided as these jar the body and are too hard on already-injured muscles and joints. There are even videos featuring non impact aerobics, which can be great for those suffering from debilitating back pain. Not only does aerobic exercise benefit your body, but it also benefits your mind: aerobic exercise has been shown to improve moods, decrease depression, and increase the tolerance for pain.

If you haven’t exercised regularly in the past, you should start out slowly. Just walk two or three blocks or swim one lap, and gradually increase your pace and distance. Any exercise at all is much better than none. You should eventually work up to a regular schedule of twenty to forty minutes of exercise three to five times per week. An added bonus is the release of endorphins that occurs with thirty minutes or more of aerobic exercise. Posture is very important in easing the strain on your back. If you chose to walk, stand up straight without slouching. Keep your back arched slightly and abdominal muscles pulled in. If you bicycle, adjust the peddles and handle bars so that you an sit up straight.

This article is part of Health and Fitness Solutions section on Back Pain Relief
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3 Most Common Dieting Mistakes of Women

A woman on a diet has many suitors. The weight loss world is full of companies and self-appointed experts competing for her attention, often spreading misinformation and making  impossible promises.
It’s so predictable. They just want to get into her….pocketbook.
If you’re a woman struggling with weight loss, there’s a good chance you have heard some unreliable information, causing you to make a mistake or two. Just a bit of misinformation can make weight loss seem like a code to crack.
It doesn’t need to be as complicated as it seems. By learning these mistakes, you can quickly unlock your potential and get back to getting results.
Let’s look at 3 need-to-know weight loss mistakes.
Starvation Diets

If 1400 calories is good, 1000 must be better, right? Wrong. Your body needs fuel to burn fat properly. As strange as it may sound, if you cut your calories back too far, your body will actually begin conserving its store of fat.
Think about wild animals in winter. When they eat less and less each day, the body gets “worried” and prepares itself for continued scarcity of food. Your body is the same. Too little food, and it will preserve its energy stores (i.e. fat) as long as possible. You may experience initial success, but it will quickly plateau.
You want to use a moderate calorie deficit, like the one detailed in the 2 Week Diet plan. This plan ensures your metabolism stays highly active for optimized fat loss.
Overdoing Cardio Training
If there’s one mistake that most women make in common, it’s hours spent on cardio machines. While some smart cardio training (such as sprint training) can be beneficial for fat loss, there’s no need to chain yourself to the treadmill, bike, or elliptical. In fact, doing so can do more harm than good.

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Alternatively, what you need is an easy-to-follow weight training program that focuses on key lifts that make you stronger.
Check out The 2 Week Diet workout program if you need assistance in this area. This program will streamline the top calorie burning exercises that firm and tone your body while helping you drop fat quickly.
Overcomplicating The Process

Finally, the last big mistake that many women fall prey to is overcomplicated programs. Diet plans with a million rules and regulations only lead to confusion, demotivation, and eventually giving up.
Simplicity is best. A few smart, easy-to-follow guidelines are most effective for superior results.
Fat loss isn’t rocket science. It boils down to fueling your body with the right food choices and amount of energy. That encourages the body to burn fat cells for energy.
For a complete break down, consider using The 2 Week Diet plan, which has produced amazing results for thousands without making you feel like you need a Ph.D. in nutrition to succeed.
If you see yourself making any of these mistakes, then forgive yourself, make a change, and get on track to a healthier, more energetic future.