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Mother’s Diet and Stress Impacts Baby’s Lifetime

There has long been a debate as to whether we grow up from childhood and if nature or nurture have a greater impact on how we turn out as adults. Well there have been two powerful and somewhat disturbing studies that point to the fact that what happens to our mother’s while we are in utero (in the womb) will stick with us for the rest of our lives.

The first study showed that mom’s that were victims of domestic violence or abuse actually had children that had altered genes. In fact the gene that controls the stress response of their kids were far less active than children of mom’s with peaceful pregnancies. The gene affected is called the “Glucocorticoid receptor” and is involved in the control of the brain’s response to stress. The German researchers that victims of domestic abuse when pregnant did affect their kids, yet abuse after pregnancy did not. So, bottom line if mom is stressed while pregnant it can impact their kids for potentially the rest of their lives.

Another study showed that if mom’s ate lots of protein while pregnant, their children would have a great stress response as adults.

Between these two studies what we discover is that true fertility that yields maximally health children, requires an environment that is peaceful, supportive and is accompanied by a balanced diet rich vegetables, fruit and modest protein.

Bottomline: If you know an expectant mom, supporting her to have a truly healthy baby can result in a baby with a brighter and healthier future.

Exercise can Improve Your Longevity

We all know that exercise can do wonders for our body when it comes to supporting overall health. But where is the research, why do we believe this concept that exercise is good for us? Well, yes it is common sense, yet let’s look at some of the research. This last week the American Heart Association reported some amazing and inspiring new facts about why even a “little” exercise can offer HUGE results.

When I say a little exercise, that is exactly what I mean. A mere 10 to 15 minutes per day paid off significantly for those that currently are not exercising at all. So picture this, you get up from the sofa or your desk at work and brisk walk to go get lunch, or just take a hike around the block at a good clip a couple of times, you will be adding to your health savings account when it comes to reduce heart disease.

Yes, doing more exercise can help with maintaining healthy weight, endurance and strength, yet a mere 75 minutes a week is something virtually everyone can accomplish. Yes, 5 days a week x 15 minutes equals 75 minutes, and may just increase your chance of reaching the aging of 75. At least that is my opinion when it comes to reaching 75. I find that my patients that keep their body in motion, stay in motion and enjoy greater vitality and longevity. If you don’t already own a pedometer that measures how many steps you take each day, it is a must for anyone serious about tracking their success when it comes to staying well. My patients target a minimum of 5,000 steps per day which is pretty minimal and shoot for 10,000 steps per day whenever possible.

The summary of the recent report states that people who do 150 minutes of moderate intensity (or 75 minutes of high intensity) exercise have a 14% lower risk of heart disease compared with sedentary people.

I can tell from my clinical experience that getting up and moving is important to decrease risk of blood clots, hemorrhoids, muscle fatigue, back aches and eye strain if you sit in front of a computer. Also something as simple as a walk at the beginning of the day, mid-day or evening is a great way to also de-stress.

Bottomline: Challenge yourself, friends, co-workers and loved ones to track their steps. Every journey starts with the first step. When I was Dean and Chief Medical Officer at the oldest naturopathic medical school in the United States, I routinely would have what I called “walking meetings”. Sure occasionally, you need to sit down and write or type your ideas down during a meeting, yet lots of times creativity increases when you “take a walk and talk”. It does both the heart and mind good!

Low Testosterone – A Life Threatening Event

Mortality levels are 88% higher in men with low testosterone, compared with men who had normal testosterone. The real challenge is that testosterone levels for the average healthy man drop slowly over 10 to 15 years and the symptoms that accompany this drop are often missed. These include, decreased libido and sexual functioning, decreased muscle mass and strength, increasing fatigue, diminishing drive and zeal for life events and at times overt depression.

To make things worse, the dropping testosterone levels increase the risk of gaining weight and developing metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Most physicians do not test for testosterone levels in their obese male patients. If they did, millions of men could be protected against the scourge of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and cancer. What is important to note, is that as the aging male gains weight, what testosterone he does still create on a daily basis is more likely to convert to estrogen, which is a double jeopardy circumstance, as the testosterone is not allowed to deliver its anabolic effects and the estrogen increases “fluffy weight distribution” including belly, breast, abdomen, hips and legs. In addition the increased estrogen dramatically increases the risk of cancer.

Bottomline:

At least 25 million American men between 40 and 55 are experiencing signs and symptoms of andropause. My clinical philosophy is to, test not guess, and I routinely measure Total and Free Testosterone, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, Estradiol, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), Pregnenolone, DHEA Sulfate for all my male patients. Beyond stress control, I routinely rule out sleep apnea for any of my male patients that snore or are tired. Often correcting sleep deficits and sleep apnea can really help improve symptoms and support optimal testicular function.

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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