Everyone is familiar with addiction to some degree, whether it’s that daily dose of chocolate you can’t give up or watching a loved one succumb to drug abuse. Many factors play a role in addiction, but some research suggests loneliness plays a pivotal role in encouraging addiction, and that taking measures to remedy loneliness can be powerful therapy.
Addiction can apply to any substance or activity (alcohol, drugs, shopping, sex, food, gambling, Facebook, etc.) that delivers pleasure but becomes compulsive and interferes with daily life and health. The addict is often not aware his or her behavior is out of control. Addiction is recognized as being a reaction to emotional stress; loneliness is so stressful it carries the same… Continue reading
If you regularly drink diet soda and use artificial sweeteners because you think it will help you lose weight, you’re unwittingly sabotaging your efforts. Sure, artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharine, and aspartame save on calories, but a recent Israeli study shows they can skew the composition of gut bacteria, or our microbiome in a way that promotes obesity and diabetes.
We’re increasingly learning about the trillions of bacteria that live in the gut, weighing in at 3 to 4 pounds, and the profound influence they have on human health and behavior. In addition to providing nutrients and aiding in the digestive process, gut bacteria also influence moods, behavior and mental health; immune function; energy levels; and how well… Continue reading
If you’re like most people you are hoping to start the New Year by losing a few pounds. However, did you ever stop to wonder just where those pounds go when you lose them? Turns out most experts don’t know either, and the answer may surprise you.
Most people think that when we burn fat it creates heat and energy, but that’s not true. Instead, the majority of the fat we burn leaves through our lungs when we breathe – the more you breathe the more fat you can burn (providing of course you’re eating consciously). And what’s the best way to increase respiration? That’s right, exercise! So although exercise promotes weight loss by boosting metabolism and building muscle,… Continue reading
Do you like to play a little Candy Crush or surf Facebook before bed? Or maybe you’re vegging out in front of your giant LED television or reading a novel on your iPad. Then when you turn the lights off you toss and turn frustratingly into the wee hours of the morning, glancing constantly at the bright blue numbers on your alarm clock just inches from your face. You’re not alone – Americans are alarmingly insomniatic and sleep-deprived these days. The CDC says insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic and research has established that the constant exposure to blue light from electronic devices is a major culprit.
How smart phones, computers, tablets, and TVs cause insomnia and wreck… Continue reading
Most of us are starting the New Year with resolutions to improve, but few changes will improve your life more than regular exercise. However, starting an exercise habit can seem insurmountable to the chronically sedentary. This article offers tips to get you motivated to begin and stick with regular exercise.
First off, there’s more to exercise than just weight loss. Have you seen the significant difference between elderly people who exercise versus those who don’t? That’s because the organ that benefits most from exercise is your brain, and regular exercise will help keep you sharp and nimble well into your golden years.
Exercise also is the key to lowering your risk of heart disease, bone loss, dementia, high blood… Continue reading
America is on a never-ending quest to satisfy its sweet tooth without the health risks of sugar and other sweeteners. Anyone with a natural bent knows to avoid toxic artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose, but what about the more “natural” ones, such as xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol? Although they’re found on the shelves of health food stores, it’s worth knowing a few things about these “natural” sweeteners.
The good news about xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol
Xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol are sugar alcohols that are either poorly digested or poorly absorbed, which means they impart fewer calories and are less likely to raise blood sugar. Although they haven’t been studied much compared to artificial sweeteners, research of xylitol… Continue reading
Do you often wake up at 3 a.m., your mind racing with thoughts, and you can’t fall back asleep? Try this crazy sounding but highly effective tip: Eat something! Make sure it’s not something sweet but instead something with protein and fat, such as nut butter, a bit of hard boiled egg, or some meat. Make sure to keep some food next to your bed with a glass of water so you don’t wake yourself up too much by going to the kitchen. You won’t feel hungry and most likely won’t feel like eating, but do it anyway as an experiment. Chances are you will fall right back to sleep. Why?
If things go according to plan you don’t… Continue reading
A candida infection is an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans. It can affect the skin, mouth, throat, genitals, or blood. Common expressions of a candida infection include oral thrush, a vaginal yeast infection, jock itch, athlete’s foot, and even brain fog and fatigue. If the infection enters the bloodstream, it is called invasive candidiasis and causes myriad, non-specific symptoms. This is because candida produces toxins that infiltrate organs and tissues.
What causes candida
Sugar. Candida can be caused by a variety of factors. The fungus thrives on sugar so diets high in sugars, processed carbohydrates, and alcohol feed allow a candida infection to take root and thrive. This also causes sugar cravings to increase to sustain its… Continue reading
Eating disorders affect an estimated 5 to 10 percent of the population and are generally thought to be a psychological disorder. However, new research from France shows gut bacteria can also play a role in causing eating disorders. The study showed eating disorders developed in mice who had an immune reaction to a protein made by gut bacteria. Basically they reacted to these proteins as if they had an allergy or sensitivity to them. The protein made by the gut bacteria is very similar in structure to a satiety hormone called alpha-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (a-MSH). When the immune system reacts to the protein it reacts to the a-MSH too because they are so similar. This reaction causes the immune system… Continue reading
Teens burn through life because, well, they can, and research shows two out of three teens are severely sleep deprived. But what teens and the adults in their lives don’t realize is that sleep deprivation raises the risk of car accidents and driving fatalities (driving sleepy is as bad as driving drunk), obesity, diabetes, depression, risk-taking behavior, and suicidal ideation. It also raises the risk of the very adult diseases of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Studies show sleep deprivation also impairs judgment, impulse control, and good decision making, areas where teens are already compromised due to incomplete brain development. Lack of sleep hinders proper development of these skills.
Teenagers need at least 8.5 to 9.5 hours of … Continue reading