Monday, August 10, 2009

Toxins and Antioxidants

I recently learned something interesting in my microbiology course. Get this: when we get sick, the sickness we feel is not only caused by the bacteria or virus invading our bodies, but by the toxins they produce. So, bad bacteria produces toxins that make us physically ill. The good bacteria in our gut and bodies also produce toxins when they aid in our everyday metabolic functions; however, these toxins don’t make us sick – initially. Yet, a build-up of good toxins can make us feel just as crummy as the toxins produced by, say, the bacteria that causes strep (maybe our throat won’t hurt, but we’ll feel lousy – I think you get the picture).

Our bodies – especially the lymphatic system and liver – usually don’t have a problem eliminating the toxins produced from every day metabolic function; however, when we are overwhelmed with toxins from our environment (pollution, hair products, make up, etc) and toxins in the foods we eat (almost anything in a package, bottle, can, jar, etc has some type of chemical in it which our body views as a toxin), our body has a rough time keeping up. Toxins build up in our cells, we become sluggish, we’re tired all day yet find it difficult to sleep well, we become more prone to sickness, like colds and flues, we lose flexibility, our propensity to gain weight is increased (let’s not forget that the liver and gallbladder – especially gallbladder – aid in processing and eliminating fat out of the body; if they are overworked already, losing weight will be difficult), and we just have a general feeling of crumminess. Toxin overload is also the main cause of cellulite – toxic overload contributes to the fatty deposits under the skin contributing to the cellulite appearance.

So what do we do? Well, unless you want to “Go Hippy” and quit using hair, make-up, facial products and deodorant – and since eliminating processed foods from our diet is next to impossible for our modern, hectic lifestyles – we need to supplement with lots and lots of antioxidants

A study done on mice showed how powerful antioxidants can be in preventing toxins from causing DNA damage. Mice were fed T-2 toxin – a toxin that specifically damages the liver. One group was fed the toxin alone while the other group was “pretreated” with the antioxidants coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and α-tocopherol (vitamin E) before consuming the T-2 toxin. The mice given the antioxidants showed less liver DNA damage than the mice who did not receive the antioxidants! See test here.

Here’s a list of general antioxidants: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_antioxidants_in_food. A food/supplement’s antioxidant rating is usually referred to as ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity); however, this measures water-soluble antioxidants, not fat-soluble ones, like vitamin-E and carotenoids (beta carotene). See, it’s not just about what antioxidants you consume, but whether or not they are actually absorbed by the body.

In fact, this is something I tend to further explore in testing two antioxidant juices: Mona Vie and G3. Keep an eye out for my next post, “Mona Vie VS G3,” for a detailed comparison of the two and the importance of water-soluble and fat-soluble antioxidants.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Journey Begins

Here I am, 26 years old, feeling the worst I have ever felt in my entire life. At a time when I should be peaking with energy, I find myself struggling through the day, cup of coffee after cup of coffee, just to make it by. I have no energy, my quality of sleep is terrible, I think it's been years since I slept through the night, and the wear-and-tear of stress, poor sleep, and poor lifestyle habits shows all over my face and posture; I think I look about 10 years older than I really am. On top of that, I am clinically overweight.
Well, no more! That's it! Starting now, starting today, I am turning my life around. I am getting on a set exercise routine, I'm going to eat healthier, and I'm going to start supplementing with worthwhile vitamins (yes, that means the expensive ones since the cheap ones are more sludge than vitamin, but that's a post for another day) and antioxidants too see if I can't lose some weight and bring vitality back to my face. As the days go on, I am going to be researching different diets, vitamin and antioxidant supplements, and various exercises. I will go into detail on each subject, sharing the information I find while researching these areas pertinent to true health.
Below are my beginning stats. At the end of this journey - months down the road - I will come back and compare pictures and numbers to see if all the research and hard work has paid off.
Beginning Stats:
Height: 5'11'
Weight: 178 lbs
Chest: 39.5 in.
Waist (about 2 in. above the navel): 33.5 in
Hips (about 2 in. below the navel): 39 in
Size: 14

I couldn't get a good, focused picture of my face, so I will just describe it:
Dark circles under the eyes, lips always dry, face usually pale; no wrinkles, but I would like to improve the overall skin tone, the circles under the eyes and the dryness. I'd like to get to a size 10 again (hey, for 5'11", size 10 ain't bad) and get back to around 150/145 lbs, but the size and weight aren't as important to me as how I feel. I want vitality again; I want energy; I want life. . . and if I happen to look like a babe at the end of it, then so be it! ;-)

So here it is! The beginning, the starting block, the first step down a long road. I hope you enjoy following me on my journey! Months down the road, I will compare these pictures with new ones to see the changes. So let us begin! With these first few weeks, I am going to delve into antioxidant power and the role it plays in maintaining optimal health. Stay tuned and be true to your health!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007