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Food Sensitivity: The Surprising Reason You’re Gaining Weight

By Steven V. Joyal, MD, VP of Medical & Scientific Affairs at Life Extension. Life Extension has been a pioneer in funding and reporting the latest anti-aging research and integrative health therapies while offering superior-quality dietary supplements to consumers.

Feeling bloated? Gaining weight but don’t know why? Food sensitivity might be the cause. Chronic, low-level inflammation due to food sensitivity is a little-appreciated contributing factor for unwanted weight gain, along with other health conditions like fatigue, fluid retention, headache, and skin conditions.

Before we review how sensitivity to certain foods can make weight loss difficult, we need to understand the difference between food sensitivity and food allergy.

Classic food allergy occurs when certain foods trigger the immune system to release large amounts of the chemical histamine. When large amounts of histamine flood the body, a potentially life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis can occur. This potentially fatal condition causes the throat to swell, potentially cutting off the air supply to the lungs.


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Healthy Sources of Disease Fighting Lycopene

Lookin’ for lycopene? Do you even know what it is? If not, lycopene is what gives certain fruits and vegetables their vibrant red color. However, it does more than make your food look pretty. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant in your body, which means it protects your cells against damage from free radicals.

What all this means in everyday language is that lycopene has been connected with the reduced risk for certain diseases, including cancer and heart disease, and may even help stave off age-related macular degeneration.

While more research definitely needs to be done on the health benefits of lycopene, in the meantime you can’t go wrong with the food sources that provide the highest doses:
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Antioxidant Packed Fruits to Add to Your Diet

The human body is made up of over 100 trillion cells, and every hour at least one billion need to be replaced. Most cells are replaced because they are damaged by free radicals, which are atoms that have lost an electron due to metabolism, the immune system, which neutralizes viruses or bacteria, and environmental factors, such as: polution, radiation, smoke, or herbicides.

These free radicals attack normal cells just like the game “Pacman”. Free radicals search out an extra electron, thus damaging the perfectly healthy cells. This where antioxidants come into play. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating an electron, which ends the electron “stealing” reaction. They act as scavengers by helping prevent cell and tissue damage that could lead to possible disease.  Antioxidants are stable in either form (with or without electron), so they do not transform into free radicals. They are like your own little cell protectors.
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