February is not just all about Valentine’s Day, chocolates and hearts. It’s also focuses on awareness of a butterfly-shaped hormone gland known as the thyroid. The thyroid has the difficult task of controlling your metabolism, growth, development, and body temperature. The thyroid gland is located on the throat and wraps around the windpipe. The presence of too much or too little thyroid hormone is determined by a blood test. So how will you know if you have an over or underactive thyroid and why would it happen?
There are many ways thyroid function to be affected, including the body attacking itself or cancers. Graves disease is an autoimmune disease that causes an increase in thyroid hormone. Overactive thyroid causes symptoms like more frequent bowel movements, feeling anxious, increased body temperature and sweating, loss of hair, increased heartbeat, and weight loss even with having increased appetite. It can also affect the menstrual cycle by causing lighter, shorter periods. It also possible to develop a goiter which is an enlarged thyroid gland. This condition is usually treated with medication to block the stimulation of the thyroid, removal of the thyroid, or radioactive iodine to help shutdown overactive thyroid cells. Many of these procedures end up causing patients to have an underactive thyroid that has to be treated with medication.
The concept is fascinating: message receptors in the brain tell your body you’ve eaten. Introducing Vaportrim, a new entry into the diet market. It is a plastic cylindrical device, the size of a ballpoint pen, that looks like an embellished electronic cigarette. The cylinder, or cartridge, contains a liquid solution of water and flavors (natural and artificial) in a glycerin base, along with an atomizer, a tiny heating element. When you inhale with your mouth, the liquid passes through the atomizer, turning into a vapor. The vapor is held in your mouth and exhaled, just like smoking. Vaportrim comes in 14 flavors including raspberry cheesecake, milk chocolate, vanilla cupcake, and cinnamon bun.
The manufacturer says it works because our smell receptors message our brain, which, in turn, release hormones that tell the body it’s full. Legitimate research does show that appetite and smell are closely connected and smell can trigger fullness before the stomach can, but whether Vaportrim can curb cravings is unknown. No research has been done using the actual product for appetite suppression or weight control. Le Whif is a similar diet aid, but with it, vapor is not exhaled, and the Sensa Sprinkle Diet, also relies on smell receptors, but calls for sprinkling crystals on your food.
We have pedometers to count our daily steps, maybe it’s time to have a device that measures our bites – a biteometer, maybe? That’s because a new study out of China says there is an ideal number of bites you should take in order to lose weight.
While we already knew that we shouldn’t eat our food fast, the latest research pins it down to 40 bites as the ideal number. The researchers got 16 lean and 14 obese young men to participate in the study. Before they started, the researchers believed the obese participants would chew less per bite, which proved to be true. (more…)
Most health-conscious consumers routinely avoid additive-laden foods. But are they missing hidden dangers by accepting “natural” additives at face value?
The Food and Drug Administration might say so. Earlier this week, the FDA issued a strong warning to HBB LLC, the manufacturers of “Lazy Larry” brownies, a product laced with melatonin and marketed through convenience stores and the company’s website. The FDA says it can seize the brownies if the company continues to manufacture and sell them.
Melatonin is a hormone that, while “natural,” affects the sleep-wake cycle and can make consumers sleepy. According to the FDA the addition of melatonin makes the brownies unsafe. Included on the packaging is a warning against driving or operating heavy machinery after consumption.
Although melatonin is fairly unregulated as an over-the-counter supplement, the FDA suggests that consumers, especially children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with autoimmune diseases should consult their doctor before eating melatonin-laced foods. Some medical research suggests that use of melatonin could result in reproductive, cardiovascular, ocular and neurological issues.
By Steven V. Joyal, MD, VP of Medical & Scientific Affairs at Life Extension.
The simplistic “eat less, move around more” solution for weight loss cannot explain the sharp increase in the rise of obesity over the past 30 years. The disturbing fact is that toxins in our environment are hidden causes of weight gain.
Our children represent the future. Yet their future may be irrevocably mortgaged by toxic chemicals that seep into our food supply, lying in wait to trigger damaging effects. The startling truth is that infant obesity rates have skyrocketed 73% over the past 30 years (since 1980), and an important, yet under-recognized culprit, is the presence of special types of environmental toxins in our food supply.
Certain hormone-mimicking chemical toxins in our foods act on genes during development that literally create more fat cells. These toxic endocrine disruptor chemicals change our metabolism to hoard calories as body fat. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that mimic the effects of certain types of hormones in your body to promote weight gain.