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Reducing Stress for Men

Stress is unavoidable. Every year, sometimes every day there seems to be new things to be stressed about. Finances, health, loved ones, job security, politics, the future… the list goes on and on. Life has a way of throwing one curveball after another and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. This can be particularly difficult for men as there is more societal pressure for them to seem like they “have it all under control”. Gender stereotypes depict men as always being strong, not showing emotion and not talking about their feelings. Asking for help is sometimes seen as a weakness, which

What is the Importance of Free-curcumin?

Curcumin is a well-studied herb, and as such there are thousands of different products on retailer’s shelves. Moreover, there are dozens of different brands with serious marketing dollars towards differentiating their brands and, touting their effectiveness. Curcumin belongs to a group called curcuminoids comprising three slightly different molecules that are extracted from the root or rhizomes of the Curcuma plant. Curcumin comprises over 80% of this group and is the most researched molecule, and therefore, everyone refers to curcumin when they really mean the curcuminoid group. Virtually all the products on the market consist of this curcuminoid group, and not

Journey to Ironman: Part 2 of 4

I was so determined to keep the momentum going – literally. I got home, had a shower and a quick snack and within 30 minutes of walking through my door I had signed up for my first Calgary marathon – go big or go home I thought. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I had only five weeks to prepare myself, which I would later find out is not a lot of time to prepare yourself physically and mentally. I continued with my endurance program that I had made up in my head, the more the better

Living for a Healthy Cholesterol Level

Linked not only to a healthy heart, but also to better overall health in general, cholesterol is an extremely important part of our internal makeup and understanding how to manage both “good” and “bad” cholesterol levels can lead to a longer, healthier life. As we age, managing cholesterol becomes not only more important but also more difficult. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that men with less than optimal aerobic fitness are at a greater risk of developing high cholesterol in their early 30s, while men with higher aerobic fitness are likely to

Hormonal Constipation: Get Moving Again

Constipation is defined by infrequent bowel movements, hard, dry stools, straining and pain with defecation, and can lead to the development of hemorrhoids. There are many different causes of constipation, including intestinal dysbiosis, lack of dietary fiber, dehydration, food sensitivities and medication use such as opioids and antihistamines. Constipation could also occur due to structural issues of the intestines, or due to hormonal responses. The occurrence of hormonal constipation is more common in females. Women tend to have changes in stool consistency throughout the menstrual cycle as hormone levels fluctuate. It’s not uncommon for women to experience firmer stools and

Endometriosis: Inside Out

Endometriosis is a painful disorder characterized by the presence of endometrial (uterine) tissue in locations outside the uterus. This can include on or around the ovaries, on other structures within the pelvic cavity, and even in other locations around the body. Endometriomas, also described as hemorrhagic cysts, can be intrusive and adhesive to surrounding structures; and because they are made of endometrial tissue, they respond to cycling ovarian hormones.  There are many different stages and severities of endometriosis depending on infiltration of tissue, adhesion to surrounding organs and structures, the number of lesions and the symptoms experienced.  As a result,

Balancing Hormones for Fertility

Hormones are chemical signals that are always being produced, secreted, traveling, and, if their respective receptors are available, attaching to those receptors to cause an effect. To the average female, heavy menstrual bleeding or a lack of menstruation, acne, migraines and weight gain, or significant mood disturbances could all indicate a hormonal imbalance. In men, abnormal hormone levels can cause low libido, sexual dysfunction, depression, and gynecomastia (breast tissue growth in genetic males). There are so many factors that affect hormones. Although some hormone imbalances may seem benign, they could indicate a larger issue. For example, abnormally high estrogen levels

Stress and Hormone Regulation

Stress is a natural part of our lives, and although it gets a bad reputation, stress isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. Stress helps us deal with new situations and threats. It keeps us alert and on our toes. It can even be considered healthy: the ability to adapt to stress can make the body (and mind) stronger – but only if there is a proper “recovery” period afterwards. Where we get into trouble health wise is in situations of chronic stress; when there isn’t enough recovery but a maintenance or resistance to stress for so long, followed by a phase

The HPA-axis and Hormone Balance

Contextualizing the neuroendocrine system is no easy feat, as there are hundreds of signals and factors that enable each organ to communicate sending positive and negative feedback signals. Imagine if you will, each organ is centered on a teeter-totter in the middle of many scattered across a playground, with strings connecting them all. The tension in the strings is constantly changing as each organ needs to stay balanced. When lifestyle, and environmental factors push any organ in one direction, the strings help the other organs compensate releasing more or less of a hormone- while we have developed impressive resilience to

Journey to Ironman: Part 1 of 4

The journey to becoming an Ironman is more than just crossing a finish line at the end of a race, it’s a lifelong adventure of being the best you can be and improving yourself. Every person’s story is unique and everyone has a different reason for wanting to complete the challenge which is known for being one of the most mentally and physically demanding endurance races in the world. Ultimately, I chose to do it for me, follow through with the commitment to myself, and to prove that the body is much more capable than what we realize. Anything is

Mental Health in the Workplace

A shocking one in five Canadians experiences a mental health problem or mental illness each year1 and 30% of disability claims are related to mental health issues.2 Clearly,mental health in the workplace has a huge economic and social impact on the work force. Taking mental health seriously and providing resources for coping go a long way in promoting a healthy work environment. Building a mentally healthy workspace requires participation from both employers and employees. The management level of a company definitely sets the tone and there are practical steps they can take to make employees feel safe and appreciated. Top

Supplements to Reduce Anxiety

It is a normal part of life to experience occasional anxiety. Nevertheless, some people experience anxiety that is persistent, seemingly uncontrollable, and overwhelming. When this happens, it can interfere with daily activities. If this is the case for you or someone you know, it maybe due to an anxiety disorder. Anxiety comes in many different forms including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), specific phobias, Panic Disorder, and more. These disorders can affect people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Although there is not an exact answer as to why anxiety is so common, many attribute it to factors such as social

How Inflammation May Play a Role in Autism Spectrum Disorder

While researchers do not yet know why, they doknow that the rate of autism is increasing. According to the 2018 Report of the National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System, an estimated 1 in 66 children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).[i] ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder and refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech, and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.[ii] There is not one form of autism but rather many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.[iii] Currently, physicians diagnose the neurodevelopmental

How Diet Affects our Emotional Well-being

According to the World Health Organization, depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression.[i] The standard treatment for depression is antidepressants but 40 to 70% of patients are not alleviated by existing treatments.[ii] What if our diet could alleviate our moods? Most of us have noticed that certain foods make us feel better while others leave us feeling tired, or simply do not seem to agree with our system. This connection between what we eat and how

The Miracle of Muscles

Our muscles are capable of amazing, precise and coordinated force; from lifting a teacup to explosive movements such as sprinting and power lifting. Muscles allow for tremendous function so that we can explore our full physical potential. Approximately 40% of our body is composed of skeletal muscle but there are several other types of muscles including smooth and cardiac muscle (Guyton and Hall 2006). There are almost 700 individual muscles in your body and they come in all shapes and sizes (Tortora and Grabowski 2003). The smallest skeletal muscle in your body is located in your middle ear and is

Joint Health – Beyond the Basics

When it comes to joint health the conversation often centers around structural support – reinforcing, lubricating, and soothing the joint space. Healthy joints are protected and cushioned by layers of connective tissue called cartilage that allows them to move freely without any grinding or contact between the bone surfaces themselves.  A special fluid in the joint capsule, called synovial fluid, is also extremely important for joint function. It acts as a natural lubricant and cushions joint movement. In conditions such as osteoarthritis, injury, and even in aging, there is a reduction in synovial fluid and a loss of cartilage that

Thyro Support™: A Novel Approach to Improving Metabolism

We put on weight when we regularly consume more calories than we use through our normal bodily functions or expend during our daily physical activities. Over 60% of adult Canadians are overweight or obese and obesity is one of the major risk factors for a number of diseases. Unfortunately, losing weight by eating fewer calories and burning more energy is easier said than done. Many of our lifestyle habits make it difficult to shake those extra pounds. When we are stressed, it’s easy to reach for the sugary pick-me-up, or skip out on a few extra hours of much needed

Building Blocks for Bone Health

 What does “bone health” make us think of? Maybe we think of osteoporosis or the prevention thereof; trying to prevent hip fractures as we age. But most commonly, we associate bone health with the need to consume more calcium, as if this will solve all of our aging bone-related issues, and this is a huge flaw in our health education. Conventional calcium alone doesn’t prevent bone loss, nor is it the only mineral supplement that bones need. Supplements like calcium gluconate, calcium citrate, and calcium carbonate, slow but do not halt or reverse menopausal bone loss, whether taken alone or

Supporting Vegetarian Athletes for Improved Performance

Athletes have special needs when it comes to fuelling for optimized performance.  Nutrition requirements are continuously shifting depending on the desired activity as well personal goals such as weight loss or improvements to lean muscle mass. There are a growing number of vegetarian athletes at the amateur and professional levels which raises discussions on whether or not an athlete is put at a disadvantage when choosing to eliminate some or a majority of animal derived foods.  While there are several types of different vegetarian diets, including but not limited to lacto-, ovo- and macro-, we are going to discuss the

The Wonders of Watermelon

Watermelon is a plant species in the family Cucurbitaceae, a vine-like flowering plant which was originally domesticated in West Africa and grows wild in South Africa to this day. The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred roughly 5000 years ago in Egypt and is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics. A highly cultivated fruit worldwide, watermelon has more than 1000 varieties. Often thought of as the iconic summer fruit, the cold, sweet texture of a watermelon on a hot day is a fantastic way to keep cool. Since it is loaded with electrolytes and is 92% water1, it helps to keep you hydrated

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