• 5 Reasons Why Beans Are Your Best Friends To Lose Weight

    Losing weight can be hard. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of different recommendations, and they are often quite… Controversial.

    Some diets affirm you can eat ONLY proteins and fats, get into a state called “ketosis” and start using ketone bodies for energy. Other diets affirm that the human body is not accustomed to processing most of the foods available on the modern market and that we should eat exclusively what our paleo ancestors ate. Hell, there are even a couple of Asian approaches that claim you can eat sunlight (yep, sunlight) by staring at it, and gradually give up on food for good.

    Sigh. I don’t’ know about you, but I prefer to base my health and fitness aspirations on solid scientific evidence. Also, I love beans.

    The best part? Scientific studies claim they are absolutely fabulous to include in your diet if you want to lose weight. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting numbers.

    Beans suppress cravings for sugars and processed Food

    In 2010, a study researched whether a daily intake of 100 g of chickpeas could somehow affect food choice, hunger, and overall bowel health. In order to check that, they’ve gathered 42 participants and asked them to live 4 weeks on their usual diet, then 4 weeks on their usual diet PLUS 104 g of chickpeas per day, and then just their usual eating regime for 4 more weeks. During all these time, participants were asked to keep track of their hunger and cravings in a “food diary” of sorts, and the results were just amazing. During the “chickpea period”, participants reported that they:
    - Tended to eat less in general
    - Felt more satiated and energized
    - Felt like their bowel function improved
    - Experienced fewer cravings for such snacks like cereals

    Initiate burning of fat and increase calorie expenditure

    Beans are FABULOUS sources of arginine, an extremely important amino acid that’s used in the human body to build proteins. Numerous modern researchers have confirmed that arginine boosts the mitochondria of your cells (the organelles that work as “power plants”) and tweaks the body’s energy metabolism into burning previously stored fat without storing much of fresh one. Instead, arginine promotes muscle building as well. In fact, arginine is one of the reasons why the so-called HCG low-calorie protocol diet is one of the most effective weight loss plans of the last 60 years. The course is supported by HCG oral weight loss drops, a special formula that contains a good amount of arginine (along with dozens of other powerful fat-burners).

    Plant-based protein sources are much more satiating than animal ones

    A recent study published in 2016 revealed that such foods as beans and peas are much more efficient sources of protein than animal products like all kinds of meat (veal and pork in particular). Moreover, it turned out that a vegetable dish with a moderate to the low content of proteins is actually as filling and tasty as a meat-based meal. Most likely, this is due to the high amount of fibres present in virtually all plant-based foods, but anyway, the message remains the same: eat vegs to keep hunger at bay.

    Regular beans consumption decreases serum cholesterol

    A lot of animal studies have confirmed that the resistant starches present in beans can reduce the overall cholesterol level in the blood, thus minimizing cardiovascular risk, preventing heart attacks and stroke. All in all, this correlates well with the overall action of beans on body fat and confirms the multimodal benefits that this fabulous food can offer you in the long run. Also, by improving the general health of your cardiovascular system, you are much more likely to achieve great results in any kind of physical performance and make your workouts so much more effective.

    Dried beans are among the best snacks ever to avoid junk food

    You’ve heard about nuts; you’ve heard about seeds. But what about dried beans, have you ever tried them? Studies confirm that they are absolutely PACKED with micronutrients like zinc, iron, potassium, and magnesium – all of which are essential to keep the metabolism of your body working at the perfect rates to lose weight and avoid gaining it for quite a long time. Also, the fibres. And the proteins. It’s an all-win snack!

    The Bottom Line

    If you are a person who wants some sort of guarantee that their weight loss aspirations won’t be in vain, beans are pretty much the answer. Packed over the edge with fabulous nutrients and beneficial fibres, these are your best friends to slim down in a quick and healthy fashion. To recap, these are the main benefits of taking beans regularly:
    • Reduce sugar cravings and desire for processed foods
    • Promote burning of fat and increase energy expenditure
    • Plant-based protein sources are more effective (in terms of satiety) than animal-based ones
    • Regular bean consumption can help you to control blood cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health
    • Beans have a lot of micronutrients that ensure your metabolism will be well-balanced and ready to start burning previously stored fats when you stick to a low-carb diet

  • All You Need To Know About The Pros And Cons Of Privatisation

    NHS Privatisation is a constant topic of discussion and understandably so. So, what are the pros and cons of it?

    1. Eroding NHS Principles

    Many critics fear that an increase in the use of private companies for medical health will erode the core foundations on which the NHS was established, with particular focus on the principle of offering free health services at the point of delivery.

    2. Fragmentation Of Services

    Many medical practitioners have been warned of the potential damage an increase in privatisation regarding a result in the fragmentation of health services for patients.

    3. Reduced Transparency

    Accountability tends to suffer when there is privatisation in the medical service, according to Unite. The union further states that commercial confidentiality makes it impossible to scrutinise any public spending while still negotiating complex contracts - another level of bureaucracy.

    4. Prioritising Profits

    Private companies will typically place profit markets before the patients using the medical services. Critics claim that this bias by the shareholders is a recipe for overcharging of patients, over-treatment, and cutting corners regarding safety with private companies choosing the most profitable solutions. According to Abrahams' Inquiry, an inquiry led by MP Debbie Abrahams, there was evidence that privatisation in medical services impedes the quality of service offered including an increase in hospital rates and mortality levels.

    5. The Postcode Lottery

    Critics are fearful that the use of different organisations for various services will result in patients receiving alternate standards of care across the UK. According to the Abrahams' Inquiry, it was found that when competition is evident with privatisation or marketisation within the health system, the health equity is likely to worsen.

    If you want more information, then this post from Cavendish Professionals is well worth a read.

    The Different Pros Of NHS Privatisation

    1. Protection Of Free Services

    One argument promoting the privatisation of NHS services is that the increase in competition between organisations will provide clinical commissioning groups an opportunity to locate better-value contracts that will protect free services at the point of delivery. According to ministers supporting the 2012 Act, competition should only be utilized if it is in the best interest of the patient and private facilities must be not offered any advantages.

    2. Helping The NHS

    Partial privatisation of the NHS has been noted as one of the more pragmatic solutions for improving the NHS. Due to the UK's population increasing and the growing mortality rates, public spending on healthcare is likely to become strained in the future.

    3. Quality Of Service Is Not Dependent On Profit

    According to an analysis conducted by The King's Fund - an independent health charity - it was found that for-profit and non-profit healthcare providers are able to provide high quality care of an equal level in all sectors; however, they fail to do so. Regardless of whether the provider of the health service (private or public) earns a profit from trading with the NHS, this does not mean the quality of care is automatically compromised.

    4. Better Choice Of Patients

    According to Thomas Cawston, the research director for Reform, competition between private healthcare companies will place patients at the heart of the NHS by offering them more options. The patient will not be aware of the cost of a service when choosing treatment because they will not be paying for the service; therefore, the decision is truly dependent on quality and not price encouraging all companies to provide high quality care.

    5. The NHS Is Already Fragmented

    The NHS has always been comprised of thousands of different organisations with the majority of them stemming from the independent sector, as is stated by the Conservative party. According to the Health and Social Care Act, the organisations have a duty to increase integration and private sector organisations are being used in different areas including pharmacy, dentistry and social care.

  • A Guide to Proton Therapy for Cancer

    Proton therapy is a type of advanced kind of radiation therapy that has been designed for killing off cancer cells. Instead of using x-rays like in conventional radiation therapy, it uses protons, which are charged particles. This treatment, which is also referred to as proton beam therapy, allows doctor to direct energy for fighting cancer to precise areas inside of the human body.

    You can ask oncologists on JustDoc if you want to know more about this procedure.

    The following are answers to some of the more commonly asked questions that patients ask proton therapy experts.

    1. What kinds of cancers can proton therapy treat?

    At MSK, proton therapy is used the most for treating pediatric, neck and head cancers. In addition, we are increasingly using it to treat prostate cancer, brain tumors, sarcoma, breast cancer and spine tumors.

    Cancers treated by Proton Therapy

    2. How is proton therapy administered?

    Proton therapy is administered via a cyclotron, which is a device that emits a high-energy beam of protons via the skin towards the tumor. The first step here at Memorial Sloan Kettering is scanning so that the tumor is mapped in three dimensions. Our radiation oncologists, collaborating closely with medical physicists, then use computer programs for calculating how the treatment should be delivered at the precise location and dose.

    Your proton therapy is given in a special treatment room, with you positioned on top of a treatment table. We use an immobilization device to ensure you stay on the table in the necessary exact position.

    3. How long does a proton treatment take?

    According to Seattle Proton Therapy Center usually a proton therapy treatment will take around 30 minutes starting from when you enter into the treatment room up until when you leave.

    4. How is proton therapy different from other types of radiation?

    Proton therapy does kill cancer cells via a similar process used with conventional x-ray radiation - through damaging the DNA of the cells. However, since protons have unique physical properties, doctors are able to administer radiation to a precise depth within the body. By the time the proton therapy reaches the tumor site, all of energy has already been released, so beyond that point there is no more dose being given. This may help with reducing side effects.

    Typically proton therapy involves the same session times and number of treatment that conventional radiation therapy uses.

    Radiation v/s Proton Therapy

    5. What benefits do proton therapy provide?

    Since the proton beams don't penetrate past the tumor, the risk of treatment-related side effects from radiation damage to the normal tissues is reduced when proton therapy is used. Proton therapy might also allow higher radiation doses to be used on the tumor, which maximizes the chance that it will be destroyed.




  • Gardening And Your Health

    When you are able to grow and enjoy your own organic vegetables, it will help to improve your diet. However, when you have such access to unprocessed, fresh foods in your backyard, it will not be the only reason that gardening is so good for you. Studies have shown that gardening has a positive impact on your health, especially in terms of what it can do for your mind, body and soul as you are digging in the dirt. If you have yet to get started with gardening, you should look into some of the different benefits that you can enjoy, such as:

    Reduce Anxiety And Stress

    When you get out into the garden, you are able to cut out your stress levels and your mental fatigue after a busy day. Studies have shown that people who take part in a stressful activity and then follow it up by just 30 minutes of reading indoors or 30 minutes of gardening, both were able to reduce stress. However, the gardening had a much stronger impact. You can truly fight depression when you put together a good-mood garden outside of your home.

    Decrease Heart Disease And Diabetes Risks

    Also check out JustDoc Diabetes Program

    Gardening is going to help you to stay active while reducing stress levels, so this means it can help with diabetes, heart disease, obesity and a number of other lifestyle diseases associated with inactivity. Eating whole, nutritious foods that you are growing yourself will also be wonderful for your heart health. Additionally spending time organising your garden or seeing items like these planters from OutdoorArtPros.com takes time and effort and is a good way to keep active and burn calories.

    gardening

    Increases Happiness

    There is growing evidence that there can be a number of behavior and health problems that are linked with just how much time you spend outside, including depression and anxiety. In children, there can be what is known as nature-deficit disorder. Gardening can help offer an outlet for creativity, brings about a sense of pride and accomplishment in each harvest of fresh foods, and it staves off the blues.

    Keeps The Mind Sharp

    Certain activities, such as gardening, can help to decrease your risk of Alzheimer's by about 50 percent. There is also research pointing at horticulture therapy as being engaging for dementia patients, offering a positive impact on overall well being.

    Improves Sleep

    When you are able to spend time digging in the dirt and tending your garden, it can improve upon your sleep quality. The physical activity is tiring and the tending of your garden will take a way a lot of stress and anxiety. What this translates to is your ability to fall asleep faster and experience a more restful night of sleep.

  • How To Manage Workplace Stress

    The need for employees to work hard in the fast-paced business world is one of the leading factors that cause stress and depression in many people. Although some people toughen up to handle the ever increasing pressures at work, most people resolve to shut down or even become passive. This almost always leads to low productivity, business processes grinding to a halt or little to no creativity. Unless one learns how to manage stress and workplace pressures, productivity becomes an issue in most business setups. You can also seek online counselling to get help from an expert. Discussed below are a few tips to help you manage workplace stress for better productivity.

    1. Report to work early
      Just because the contract says you should report to work at 8 or 9 in the morning doesn't mean you cannot show up early. Reporting to your station at least 30 minutes before the official time you enough time to savor your morning coffee, as well as check emails that may have trickled in overnight. With the 30 minutes head start, you will be able to handle and even reply to inboxes without any distractions. You will also be surprised how peaceful and quiet the office is at that time.

    2. Have a To-Do List
      Although smartphones, tablets, and laptops may be distracting, you can take advantage of these technologically advanced gadgets to manage your time better. In addition to using the calendar, take advantage of the To Do list, alarm, timer, and scheduler on your smartphone or laptop. These should help keep you on track and even handle tasks as they should. Timing tasks and having them cleared on time will help put you in power, hence do more in record time. Maintaining a daily planner also helps have a less stressful day.

    3. Be present in meetings
      We all dread long business meetings. This is one of the reasons most people feel bored and often engage in other activities such as checking the mail, or even worse, using the social media. Although these may seem important now, whatever is said in the meeting is more valuable and could force you into chasing after in later on in the day. Trying to multitask while in meetings will only take a toll on your day, and most probably drain your brain on the long run. Consider putting your phone or tablet in vibrate or silent mode to avoid getting distracted. Here is some advice.

    4. Try not to procrastinate
      The internet, and particularly the social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) are some of the main culprits that help us procrastinate. If you have to use the internet at work, then focus on what is required but don't wade off. If you need to surf to clear your mind, then just allow yourself to surf for at least 5 minutes, or 10 minutes on the most. Some sites such as ESPN.Com and other helpful ones may come in handy when you need to pass some time. Remember not to overdo it, as this will only help you procrastinate.

    5. Set time boundaries
      Although smart gadgets may help make your work easier and even improve your productivity, they can be the main reason why you do not have some 'me' time. As much as you want to remain connected, it's advisable to disconnect and do things that you love doing. This could be to tend to your garden, watch a favorite movie, unwind, or just have some time alone. Disconnecting from these gadgets and appreciating other things 'offline' helps your brain relax and keep you motivated. The best thing with protecting your personal time is that you get to benefit psychologically.

    6. Meditation
      Meditation has all sorts of properties that can benefit you as a person and also take you down a notch or two after work or during it. There are a variety of different sorts of meditation out there and they truly can help reduce stress if done properly. With numerous techniques for meditations out there, you’re sure to find one that will work around you and your busy life.

    All of these tips should help reduce the incidence of stress at work and help you get and stay focused as well as feel a lot better.

  • 12 Ways To Boost Your Brain Power

    More brain power and more focus, means getting things done in a faster, efficient manner and comprehending things more easily. And, we’re just touching the tip of the iceberg here, there are plenty more benefits besides. So, how do you boost brain power – read on and find out.

    1. Do something challenging and new
      Fresh experiences, new hobbies, and even reading a new book can stimulate your brain. In addition to your usual routine, consider taking on something new to intrigue the mind. Changing your habits a bit or taking on something challenging can help increase your intellectual capacity.

    2. Engage in some aerobics
      Engaging your body in some physical exercise is particularly vital for your brain health. Aerobic exercises, for example, helps boost brain cell development by facilitating removal of toxic materials from the cell nucleus and promoting increased blood flow to the same. According to research, 20 minutes worth of aerobics is enough to facilitate improved cognitive and memory functions. Regular body exercise stimulates neuroplasticity, hence vital for your brain health.

    3. Memory training
      Memory training is vital particularly if you have been suffering from forgetfulness. Simple deeds such as memorizing your insurance number, credit card, ID, or telephone numbers can help boost your brain power. Make it a habit of memorizing numbers for this to happen.

    4. Be inquisitive
      Being curious creates new possibilities for the brain to solve some problems and come up with new ideas. It is out of curiosity that you get to learn new things, some of which many thought you would not.

    5. Have some positivity in life
      Taking too much focusing on negative forces can have a huge (negative) impact on your brain health. Stress and depression often burden brain cells and nerves making it almost impossible for the brain to produce new ones. Leading a positive life and having an active mind, however, paves the way for fresh brain neuron development, hence improved cognitive functions. It is never too late to lead a positive life. Kick out any negative thoughts and pessimists from your life to see something positive in life.

    6. Focus on healthy and nutritious meals
      Eating the right foods also plays a huge role in your brain power and health. The brain alone uses up up to 20% of all the nutrients and oxygen absorbed in the body. This is the reason why you need to focus on eating healthy and especially highly nutritious foods to improve your brain power. Some of the health food choices include organic proteins, vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, and pure water. Talk to one of our nutritionists for help.

    7. Nootropics
      Nootropics can be the answer to a lot of people’s concentration issues. Being able to focus, harder for longer will help you reap dividends at work and at home. Though not a limitless pill, nootropics can really help improve your focus and get more from your efforts.

    8. Sleep well
      Sleep can be best defined as a natural brain detox therapy. Brain cells not only regenerate when we sleep but also expunge toxic compounds from the same. This leaves your mind fresh and rejuvenated for the next day's events. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every day to reap these benefits. Read our 10 tips for better sleep.

    9. Ditch the geeky gadgets
      While Sat Nav and smartphones seem to have made life much easier, they have definitely made out brains lazier. Creating a dependence on these only lowers your brain capacity, which is why you need to ditch these gadgets once in a while and take an old-school router.

    10. Ditch the calculator
      Many people rely on smartphones, calculators, and laptops to handle even the simplest tasks or math problems. While these gadgets make work much easier, they make your brain less active, hence lower brain power. Learn to use your brain to do simple calculations and other math equations instead of the calculator to boost your brain power.

    11. Quit smoking
      Cigarette smoking has many adverse effects on your brain health. First, it reduces the quality and amount of oxygen supplied to the brain. Quitting smoking can help reverse this and help boost your brain power.

    12. Read something new
      Look for a good, thrilling, or informative book or piece to read. Reading not only keeps your mind occupied but also helps trigger your imagination.

  • Natural Remedies for Sinus Infection

    Many people experience sinusitis or sinus infection at a very young age. A few manage to recover from it without any prescribed medications with the help of natural remedies which has an effect that lasts longer than others. Many treatments like western medicines including antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, steroids and surgery in some cases have a very high potential to be harmful leading to side effects.

    Symptoms of Sinus infections include nasal congestion, cough, fever, sinus pressure and severe headache.

    Sinuses are hollow air-filled pockets within the bones surrounding the nose and are also present inside cheekbones and forehead that produces mucus which drains into the nose. The infection can be classified into two major categories – acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis lasts up to four weeks and is accompanied by cold.

    Chronic sinusitis lasts for months or even years with or without any symptoms such as nasal problems, allergies, and cystic fibrosis. There are several natural remedies to cure both the type of sinus infections that are not only effective but also relieve the infection, along with which come painful symptoms.

    Causes of Sinus Infections

    Sinusitis is responsible for the formation of mucus which helps the nasal passages to clear pollutants. The inflammation of the tissue also lines the cavities of the skull. In some cases of sinus infections, the inflammation blocks the sinus trapping mucus and air inside it which causes pain and pressure leading to bacterial infection.

    These infections can be caused due to bacteria, fungi or virus. If your sinus is caused due to allergies or polyps which are a deviated septum, natural remedies are considered the best cure. If you are prone to regular sinus infections, you can add some immune boosting herbs and supplements with a tweak in your diet.

    Treating the symptoms

    A sinusitis infection can make one’s nights sleepless and days miserable. The pain can also lead to depression and irritation. It is hence imperative to cure the underlying sickness and treat its symptoms. Before you begin to focus on boosting your immunity levels, it’s important to work on treating the symptoms of sinusitis.

    1. Keep yourself well hydrated

    One suffering from chronic or acute sinus must drink plenty of water, preferably without any added sugar. Juices, clear broth and hot tea are also fluids that may help to thin out the mucus from the nasal area and drain it out from irritated sinuses. By following this method, the mucus present will be thinned reducing the feeling of blockage

    2. Salt water rinse

    For optimum relief, you can use a neti pot with a sterile saline solution that helps to clear out the built up mucus in a natural way. A neti pot helps to irrigate the nasal cavity easily and is noted to be a very effective method to get rid of sinus aches

    3. Grapefruit seed extract

    A very effective and natural way to clear out the saturated mucus is to prevent any microbial contaminants from taking root in the inflamed and weakened tissues. Grapefruit extract is made from grinding dried grapefruit and pulp into a fine powder. You can use this mixture as a nasal spray which will help to breathe freely without any congestion.


    10 natural remedies for sinusitis

    4. Turmeric/ Ginger root

    Turmeric root is a helpful and fragrant spice that contains natural anti-inflammatory curcumin and is and antioxidant. When this root is combined with spicy ginger root and brewed into hot tea, the combination helps to loosen up the mucus from the nasal passages and release the sinus pressure

    5. Apple cider vinegar

    One best natural ingredient with a multitude of health benefits is apple cider vinegar. Adding two or three table spoon to a cup of hot water or tea can be consumed three times a day to give excellent results. You can also add lemon and honey or stevia to taste

    6. Garlic

    Garlic is a natural antibiotic that is beneficial to cure sinus infection, especially caused by bacteria as it consists antifungal properties. You can add it to a boiling water and inhale the steam. Consuming two to three cloves of garlic also helps to get rid of mucus

    7. Dissolve the Excess Mucus

    Eating spicy food help in dissolving mucus. Cayenne pepper or horseradish mixed with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice is another popular solution to create a mucus-dissolving elixir. This mixture releases the blockages and enables breathing easily

    8. Activating pressure points

    To relieve yourself from closed nasal passages, a quick face massage helps wonders. It takes less than two minutes to perform and helps to breathe easily. Once you know which points give you the most relief, you can perform this anywhere, anytime

    9. Inhaling steam

    Thick mucus can be broken up with adding a few drops of Eucalyptus or peppermint oils to hot water and inhaling the steam. To make this solution effective, you can cover your head with a towel while facing over the hot water. The mucus then thins relieving you from breathing problems

    10. Allergy-proof your home

    Allergies are a source of a sinus infection and can be avoided by proofing your home with the help of an air filter, using your bedding with allergen barriers and also by keeping your pets away from your bedroom. A humidifier also helps in keeping the air moist during dry months and forbids from the formation of mould allergies. These solutions help in curbing nasal allergies and helping you to stay away from dust mites, animal dander, mould spores, and pollen. These airborne irritants are reasons of sinus inflammation and congestion.

    Outdoor Airborne Allergens

    You are exposed to some of the most common outdoor irritants such as pollen, car exhaust and smog. You can avoid these irritants from entering your nasal track by wearing a mask or rolling your windows up while driving and setting your car ventilation system on circulation so that you don’t inhale them.

    Sleep - the magic medicine

    One must sleep for six to eight hours at least to boost up immunity levels. If you find it difficult to falling asleep and having an uninterrupted sleep, your doctor’s prescribed medicines can work wonders. Also, finding out ways to reduce your stress can promote a deep and peaceful sleep. Meditation also helps in sleeping well and in turn increasing your immunity. A regular exercise at a moderate rate is also a very effective way to reduce stress and overall health.

    Change your lifestyle as a cure

    Our immune systems thrive when they are provided with optimum nutrition, good amount of sleep, filtered water, moderate exercise, and some form of stress management. Hence changing your lifestyle is a positive start for a healthier immunity and is considered as one of the most natural ways to combat sinus infections.

    Natural remedies can be the safest form to cure sinusitis that gives a long lasting result. By following a few solutions, you can clear up the mucus and breathe without any congestion.

  • Caprylic Acid: Benefits and Side Effects

    You’ve probably heard of doctors recommending caprylic acid to treat a variety of health conditions, including overgrowth of yeast, Candida, Crohn’s disease, etc.

    What is caprylic acid?

    Caprylic acid is an eight-carbon saturated fatty acid, the systematic name of which is octanoic acid. An oily liquid, the acid has an unpleasant taste and smell and is minimally soluble in water. It forms a part of the class of medium-chain saturated fatty acids and is naturally found in the milk of a number of mammals, including humans and bovines. Coconut oil, too, contains caprylic acid along with two other fatty acids, namely capric acid and lauric acid. It is also found in medium-chain triglyceride oil, which is made by processing coconut and palm kernel oils and is around 75% caprylic acid.

    Just as the benefits of coconut oil are many, so are the benefits of caprylic acid.

    Caprylic acid, as well as caproic and capric acid, are named after goats and together form 15% of goat milk fat. The percentage of the same in cow milk is 7%. However, just like most medicines and treatments, it does have its list of side-effects. As only limited research has been conducted on the subject, the possible side-effects of the use of caprylic acid, in the long run, are unknown.

    Benefits of Caprylic Acid

    Caprylic acid is used as a cure for a host of medical conditions and has a number of benefits. Here are some of the ways in which caprylic acid can improve your health:

    It has antibacterial properties:

    Caprylic acid has antibacterial properties, which means that it has the ability to destroy bacteria as well as suppress their grown and hamper their ability to reproduce. It can thus be used to prevent and treat bacterial infections in humans.

    The antibacterial effects of caprylic acid have been seen in studies conducted on animals. However, research on human beings regarding the same is limited. Unlike antibiotics, which kill both the good and bad bacteria in the gut, caprylic acid maintains a balance between the different types of bacteria.

    It has antifungal properties:

    Studies have revealed that caprylic acid can be used to treat a number of candida yeast infections. These fungal yeast infections include vaginal yeast infections, jock itch in males, ringworm, oral thrush and nail fungus. Vaginal yeast infections are caused by a fungus called Candida and those suffering from this condition experience itching, swelling and irritation in their vaginal area.

    Oral thrush is also caused by the fungus Candida, and its symptoms include a white rash forming in the mouth. The method of oil pulling is used in the treatment of oral thrush, wherein a tablespoon of coconut oil is swished in the mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes.

    Candida also refers to the overgrowth of yeast in the gut, leading to irritable bowel syndrome, depression, abdominal bloating and fatigue. The medical benefits of caprylic acid for the treatment of yeast infection are a result of its ability to dissolve or break down the membrane of Candida cells and eventually kill them. If you are taking caprylic acid supplements, it is advisable to consume them with food to reduce the risk of getting a stomach upset.


    Caprylic Acid Infographic

    Skin conditions:

    The antimicrobial and antibacterial property of caprylic acid contributes to its ability to cure a variety of skin conditions. The benefits of coconut oil, which is rich in caprylic acid, have been seen in the treatment of acne, a common skin condition in which hair follicles plug with dead skin cells and oil.

    Coconut oil is also used in the treatment of Dermatophilosis, a disease caused by bacteria which results in the development of pustules on arms and hands. In addition, caprylic acid can be used to treat eczema and psoriasis. Eczema is a long-term medical condition in which the skin may crack or peel and appear red, blistered or filled with pus. Psoriasis is a condition in which dermatitis can develop in various parts of the body and results in itching.

    Cholesterol:

    In 2006, a study was conducted wherein some animals were fed structured triglyceride oils, and some were not. The results showed that the former had a lower aortic accumulation of cholesterol as well as lower blood cholesterol levels than the latter. In 2008, a study proved that caprylic acid helps to decrease the level of cholesterol. The study was based on tests conducted on rats. The reason behind this is that caprylic acid comes under the category of medium-chain fatty acids, which are known to be extremely effective in the treatment of high cholesterol.

    Digestive disorders:

    Caprylic acid, due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, is often used in the treatment of digestive disorders. Many of these disorders are caused due to inflammation and bacterial infections, both of which can be treated with caprylic acid.

    Experts believe that caprylic acid can also help to treat Crohn’s disease, which is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease which can affect the gastrointestinal tract. The acid helps to cure this condition as it inhibits or reduces the release of a protein called interleukin 8, which is responsible for the development Crohn’s disease by causing inflammation in the intestines.

    Side Effects of Caprylic Acid

    It can clearly be seen that caprylic can help combat a wide variety of medical conditions. However, before using it, one should be aware of its side effects too. Though caprylic acid is generally considered to be safe when taken in approved doses, there are a few ways in which it can adversely affect the health of a person, such as:

    Side effects due to increased fatty acid intake:

    As Caprylic acid is a fatty acid, a sudden increase in its consumption can result in a number of side effects, including indigestion, nausea, heartburn, diarrhoea, vomiting and constipation. It can also cause bloating and belching among other problems. A person may become dehydrated because of diarrhoea and vomiting. There is a possibility that the side effects are not limited to these are there hasn’t been much research conducted on the matter.

    Side effects due to excessive intake:

    Caprylic acid is considered to be quite safe when taken in the prescribed doses however excessive intake of the same can result in a number of health issues. The side effects that can occur due to excessive intake of the Caprylic acid include stomach pain, drowsiness, problems with growth, reduced levels of calcium in the blood and more.

    Other side effects:

    The side effects that can occur due to the intake of caprylic acid are more severe for people who have certain medical conditions, such as the following:

    a) People suffering from blood pressure conditions, especially those under medication, should avoid the intake of caprylic acid. This is because the acid can interact with the medication, which may include NSAIDs and warfarin, leading to harmful effects.

    In order to lower their blood pressure, a person may turn to fish oil, Andrographis, coenzyme Q10, and more. If caprylic acid interacts with any of these herbs or supplements, the results can be harmful. Those suffering from low blood pressure should also avoid the use of caprylic acid as it may further lower their blood pressure.

    In contrast to this, some experts believe that caprylic acid might actually help to treat blood pressure problems, but until further research is carried out, it’s better to avoid its usage.

    b) The intake of caprylic acid is extremely harmful to those suffering from medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency. The deficiency results in the inability of the body to break down caprylic acid and thus the level of the acid in the blood rises. This is harmful to the body and can even result in a coma.

    c) Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using caprylic acid. Although there is no study that supports the possibility that caprylic acid is harmful during pregnancy, it is advisable to avoid its intake. People who are prone to getting stomach problems should not use caprylic acid supplements as they can cause a stomach upset.

    d) People who are allergic to coconut oil should think twice before applying caprylic acid on their skin.

    e) Caprylic acid is not to be used by people suffering from liver diseases. The liver is instrumental in breaking down caprylic acid, and it is suspected that when a person has a liver disease, this breakdown is not possible. Although some argue that the breakdown of caprylic acid is possible even in such cases, it’s always better to stay on the safer side and avoid it.

    Caprylic acid, thus, can do a whole lot of good for the body but can also lead to a number of side effects. If you wish to reap the benefits of caprylic acid, it is advisable not to increase your intake overnight as you need to give your body some time to adapt to it. Caprylic acid is not suitable for everyone, and thus you should consult a specialist before making it a part of your diet.

  • Emergen-C: Does Emergen-C work?

    Love it or hate it, you can’t deny the fact that Emergen-C sure has made a lot of news over the last few years. While some rave about the medicine, others believe that it does nothing but harm the body.

    For those of you who haven’t heard about Emergen-C, it is a multi-vitamin powder which is, or at least claims to be, a source of vitamins which has the ability to strengthen its consumers’ immunity, boost their energy and make them a whole lot healthier.

    The medicine has quite a few critics who are certain that can affect its consumers’ health, especially due to the presence of synthetic ascorbic acid and GMOs. Manufactured by Alacer Corp., the powdered drink can be had with either water or juice, and fizzes when mixed. A combination of various vitamins and minerals, which can also be derived from natural sources, Emergen-C consists of antioxidants, 1000 mg of Vitamin C , electrolytes and Seven B vitamins along with 24 other nutrients.

    How to take Emergen C
    Another claim that Emergen-C made is that it can prevent or make you less likely to get the flu and a cold. However, its effectiveness has been seen only when taken at the onset of a cold, and not when the consumer already has a cold. This has got people taking the medicine as soon as they suspect that they might possibly get a cold because someone standing a mile away from them sneezed.

    What most of the die-hard fans of Emergen-C don’t know is that it isn’t really all that beneficial and can, in fact, be pretty dangerous.

    The next time you ask yourself, “Does Emergen-C work?” don’t forget to keep the following points in mind:

    1. Emergen C does not help with a cold

    Contrary to what many believe, studies have revealed that vitamin C supplements can do almost nothing to prevent the common cold or reduce the length of it. It has, however, shown results with certain groups of people, including skiers, marathon runners and soldiers in sub-arctic environments, reducing the occurrence of colds by half. Other than being beneficial to these select populations, there is no evidence of its ability to prevent the rest of the world from getting a cold. Some experts opine that the success of the multi-vitamin powder is merely a result of the placebo effect, saying that the only reason behind consumers not getting a cold is that they believe that they won’t.

    2. It has GMO Ingredients

    A GMO, which is short for a genetically modified organism, is any organism, the genetic material of which is altered with the use of genetic engineering techniques. Medicines and foods that contain GM are believed to result in resistance to antibiotics as well as cause allergies and even cancer. One of the most genetically modified foods in the world, corn, is used in the production of commercial vitamin C. In the FAQs section of the Emergen – C website, it is stated, “We have chosen to source materials that are non-GMO whenever possible. That being said, we cannot guarantee that all of our raw materials are sourced from non-GMO ingredients and do not currently have this requirement in place for our vendors.” Those taking the medicine are thus unaware of whether it contains GMO ingredients and if it does, which ones are they and in what proportion they are present.

    3. It contains ascorbic acid

    Like most other vitamin C supplements available today, Emergen-C uses ascorbic acid which is a synthetic form of the vitamin. When synthetic vitamins, such as ascorbic acid, are consumed by the body, they can adversely affect the health of the person. This is not the case when it comes to overconsumption of natural vitamin C as it is expelled from the body in the form of urine. The medical risks associated with synthetic ascorbic acid are many and range from headaches, vomiting and diarrhea to more severe issues like kidney stones and an increased risk of lung cancer. Ascorbic acid is also known to affect the mitochondrial ability of a person’s muscles which, in turn, affects his or her ability to exercise.


    4. It can prevent scurvy but can also put you at risk

    A common question asked is, “Does Emergen-C work in the prevention of scurvy?”
    Vitamin C is known to cure scurvy and Emergen-C does play its part in this regard. However, if a woman takes megadoses of vitamin C or Emergen- C while she is pregnant, there is a small risk that her child will develop scurvy. When an adult who is accustomed to taking heavy doses of vitamin C suddenly stops, he or she, too, is put at risk and can develop scurvy. Scurvy is a condition which is caused due to the lack of vitamin C in a person’s diet. It results in weakness, bleeding gums, fatigue, rashes, sore arms and legs, bruising and more. If it remains untreated, it can worsen and lead to personality changes and eventually even death due to bleeding or infection.

    5. Damage to the heart and other organs

    While vitamin C that is naturally present in food doesn’t have any oxidizing effects, vitamin C present in supplements such as Emergen-C does have. Dr. Victor Herbert, professor of medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York stated, ''The vitamin C in supplements mobilizes harmless ferric iron stored in the body and converts it to harmful ferrous iron, which induces damage to the heart and other organs.” He also said, “Unlike the vitamin C naturally present in foods like orange juice, vitamin C as a supplement is not an antioxidant. It's a redox agent -- an antioxidant in some circumstances and a pro-oxidant in others''.

    6. Other medical issues

    Supplements of vitamin C, when consumed daily by people suffering from diabetes, can increase their risk of cardiovascular diseases. High dosages of vitamin C, especially when taken every day, can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

    How much is too much?

    The Mayo Clinic stated that an adult should not intake more than 2000 mg of vitamin C in a day as it may result in vomiting, diarrhea, headache, heartburn, kidney stones and difficulty sleeping. If one consumes four or more packets of Emergen-C in a day, they exceed this upper limit. Stating that they are being more conservative with their recommendations, Alacer Corp. changed the directions on their Emergen-C multi-vitamin packaging from 2-4 packets per day to 1-2.

    Did you know about the lawsuit?

    In 2013, a complaint was filed against the manufacturer of Emergen C, Alacer Corp, stating that the claims it made in its marketing, packaging and advertising were misleading. This was based on the fact that the company, without having any scientific evidence, claimed that the medicine could reduce the risk of getting, if not prevent, the common cold. It also stated that it could provide other health benefits which, again, could not be proven. In 2014, the final approval of a $6.45 million settlement was given to this class action lawsuit, giving class members a chance to receive a refund of up to $36 if they had proof of purchase, and $18 if they didn’t. If you are searching for the receipt of the Emergen-C you bought last week, don’t bother. Only those who purchased the medicine from the 1st of June, 2006 to the 27th of Feb 2012 were eligible for the refund and the deadline to claim it ended in March 2014.

    You probably already know that Vitamin C is essential for the growth as well as the repair of the tissues in every part of your body. In addition, it lowers the risk of cancer and reduces the oxidative stress to the body. If you think that you aren’t getting enough Vitamin C, you can always try working on your diet rather than going in for supplements like Emergen-C. Other than oranges, which have a reputation for being rich in vitamin C, there a many other foods from which you can derive the vitamin.

    They include yellow bell peppers, guavas, broccoli, kiwifruit, strawberries and more.

    For those who still believe that Emergen-C works and do not wish to stop using it, remember that sources of vitamins, such as Emergen-C, are not meant to replace a healthy diet, only supplement it. Vitamin C is available a variety of forms so it is advisable to consult a specialist to find out which will work best for you.

  • 8 Simple Tips To Help You Sleep Better

    The lack of a good sleep can be attributed to various factors some of which are not within your control. Nevertheless, you can still manage to get some good sleep by adopting the following habits.

    Have A Sleep Schedule

    While it is important to go to bed the right time, it also is important to get out of bed at the right time. Make it a habit of waking up the same time every day including your off days, weekends, and holidays. Maintaining such a constancy in your sleeping and waking up routine will help you get better sleep at night. Do not force yourself to sleep if you are still awake 15 minutes after jumping into bed. Get up and get busy returning to bed when you are tired and sleepy. Avoid agonising over trying to catch some sleep.

    Watch What Eat And Drink

    Eat the right about of food; do not go to bed stuffed or hungry because the discomfort of either can rob you of your sleep. Also, take fewer liquids before going to bed to avoid visiting the toilet in the middle of the night. Alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine are substances you should refrain from taking just before bed. These substances can stimulate your mind wreaking havoc on your mind by keeping it active while the body is trying to rest. Take a look at this list of foods for sleep.

    Change your Mattress

    Mattresses matter and investing in the right one can make all the difference to the quality of sleep you get. There’s an old adage that you should ensure you have a good mattress and a good pair of shoes, because if you’re not in one you’re in the other. Makes a lot of sense, right? Nowadays, a mattress doesn’t have to cost the earth thanks to the introduction of memory foam. If you’re interested in one then their check out sites such as Sleep Ridiculously Well, their memory foam mattress guide is spot on and provides great details on what to consider.

    Create A Bedtime Ritual

    You can help your body start winding down for sleep by doing something that signals it that it’s time to sleep. For instance, a warm, relaxing soak in the bathtub, a hot shower, listening to soothing music, or reading a book are all things that relax the body setting the right mood for catching some well-earned sleep. The TV and some other electrical devices tend to interfere with sleep. Stick to things that generation a soothing feeling and you will just drift off into slumberland.

    Get Comfortable

    You should feel and be comfortable when sleeping and this should start even before you jump into bed. Set the room to create a mood for sleeping helps; you can do this by using low light or having the room dark and quiet. Earplugs can also help by canceling out all the sounds that can disrupt your sleep.

    Your bed should also be comfortable. Ensure there is enough room in your bed, thus get a big enough bed if you are sharing a bed with your partner. Also, use a good quality mattress, the right beddings, and a good pillow.


    Limit Daytime Naps

    A nap during the day is healthy, but long naps are not good. If you take a long nap during the day, then you most likely will have issues of poor sleep quality or even lack of the same. A 10 minute nap is best and do not do more than 30 minutes if you still feel you need to nap. Moreover, nap at least once during the day.

    If you have to sleep during the day and work at night, then you should focus on adjusting your internal clock to this timeframe. Block out any elements such as sunlight that tell your body it should be awake; doing so will ensure you catch enough daytime sleep.

    Engage In Physical Activities During The Day

    Exercising and engaging in daily physical activities promotes better sleep. Staying active tires your body and this makes your fall asleep faster, and this is often a deep slumber. However, avoid engaging in very physical activities just before bed because they can get you too energised robbing you of your sleep. Spread your activities throughout the day to tire your body evenly as the hours wind down to sleep time.

    Avoid And Manage Stress

    Stressing will not only eat away on your capacity to think and function but only on your sleep. It would be better if you do your level best and avoid issues or things that stress you out. If not, then find ways of managing the stress. Learn how to delegate tasks and how to take a break because your body cannot run around the clock; it needs a break. Be happy when going to bed.

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