Functional Health

Cannabinoid receptors: How to activate them without cannabis

If medical marijuana has done anything, it has been to educate us about our own endocannibinoid system (ECS) — a system of receptors on cells that play a role in inflammation, appetite, pain, mood, memory, and even cancer prevention. These receptors have come to light because they respond to compounds in cannabis, or marijuana. A functioning ECS, which is vital to good health, produces its own cannibinoids and doesn’t need them from cannabis. For instance, the cannabinoid anandamide is so powerful researchers ... Read more

Counting carbs? Carbohydrate density matters most

If you are counting carbs to stabilize your blood sugar, lower inflammation, balance hormones, or lose weight, experts say looking at carbohydrate density is a more important strategy. Carbohydrate density measures how many carbohydrates are present per 100 grams of food. Low carb density foods don’t raise your risk of chronic disease. Research shows eliminating dense carbohydrates from your diet improves health, prevents disease, and can even improve periodontal disease. While many diets focus on how many calories or how many grams of ... Read more

Antacids raise stomach cancer risk; address the root cause

A recent study found regular use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for acid reflux raises the risk of stomach cancer. PPI users (Prilosec, Prevacid) in the study had twice the risk for stomach cancer compared to those who used H2-receptor acid reducing drugs (Tagamet, Pepcid). About 20 percent of Americans suffer with acid reflux and heartburn. Most people attribute acid reflux to excess stomach acid. However, the problem is too little stomach acid. How does low stomach acid cause acid reflux? The stomach ... Read more

Anemia is a deal breaker to managing autoimmune disease

When people are working to manage an autoimmune or chronic condition, they typically focus on an anti-inflammatory diet and protocol. However, one often overlooked dealbreaker to getting better is anemia. Anemia as is a deal breaker to recovery because it means your cells are not getting enough oxygen. Without oxygen, recovery and repair can’t happen. Anemia typically causes fatigue, weakness, brain fog, depression, lightheadedness, dizziness, irregular heart beat, cold hands and feet, chest pain, headache, and pale skin. There are several different causes ... Read more

Are you a sedentary athlete? Small movements all day add up

A weekly workout routine including high intensity intervals, spin classes, running, weight training and other sports offers us many health benefits. However, recent studiesshow that even if you get a solid hour or two of exercise daily, it may not be enough to counteract the effects of sitting for hours at a time. The good news is you can do something about it — right now — by simply standing up and moving. Exercise doesn’t compensate for too much sitting With our convenience-centered, computer-based lifestyle, today’s ... Read more

Why a “biological clock” discovery is worth a Nobel Prize

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to researchers for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms that control circadian rhythm, our biological “clock.” This sleep-wake cycle helps us move between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals, and regulates important functions such as: Behavior Sleep  Mood Immunity  Brain function  Hormone levels  Metabolism Although we’ve long known the circadian rhythm exists, the Nobel laureates isolated the gene that controls it and identified the proteins that govern its cyclical function. The importance of healthy circadian rhythm Humans are similar to other ... Read more

Mystery symptoms autoimmune? How to find out

Do you have mysterious health symptoms — such as fatigue, pain, brain fog, unexplained weight gain — that rob you of your quality of life, but lab tests and doctors keep saying nothing is wrong? Or maybe doctors tell you your chronic symptoms are depression and you need an antidepressant. Maybe you’ve even been accused of complaining too much. Most people know when something is wrong with them, even if lab tests come back normal and doctors say you’re fine. This is ... Read more

Stress can cause PMS, menopause problems, and more

It’s not easy being female — the hormonal ups and downs each month through puberty and then menopause can range from mildly irritating to downright debilitating. Although many, if not most, women suffer from some degree of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), the extreme health and mood imbalances associated with PMS and menopause are a sign your system is out of whack, most likely because of stress. Hormone balance is very sensitive to stress, inflammation, toxins, poor diet, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, too ... Read more

Eating yourself sick: Insulin resistance and disease

The road to chronic disease — from arthritis to heart disease — is paved with sugar and refined carbohydrates. It’s a freeway that leads straight to insulin resistance syndrome, given the right conditions, most notably being overweight and inactive. The devastating chain of events that leads to chronic disease goes like this: Carbs and sugar break down in the digestive tract to glucose that the body uses for energy. Beta cells in the pancreas make and secrete insulin into the blood to ferry any ... Read more

What your gut bacteria need to eat to survive and thrive

You can eat fermented foods every day and take all the probiotic supplements you want, but if you aren’t also feeding those intestinal bacteria what they want, you could be throwing your money away. That’s because to thrive and multiply, healthy gut bacteria need to eat. And what your gut bacteria like best is fiber. Recently published research done at the University of Oveido in Spain found that obese people with low levels of a group of intestinal bacteria — Bacteroides, Prevotella, ... Read more
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