The seven-day GM diet is back – but is it actually good for you?

Bananas are your GM friend

Bananas are your GM friend CREDIT: BLOOMBERG NEWS

Shoulder pads, sequins, and a seven-day diet plan that asks you to eat eight bananas in one day – the 80s certainly gifted us with some weird and wonderful trends. And now (along with the shoulder pads and sequins), that diet plan is making a comeback.

Supposedly the brainchild of General Motors (GM), the GM diet plan was developed to help their employees lose weight – although the automotive company has never actually confirmed the connection. A quick Google search reveals pages of fans of the diet, who rave about their 11lb weight loss after just seven days.

So what’s behind this ‘miracle’ diet plan – and is it actually good for you?

In short, the GM diet is an extremely strict seven-day plan that suggests you drink 12-15 glasses of water a day while cutting out alcohol, tea and coffee; and restrict your calorific intake from food.

Wondering what to eat on 8th day after GM diet? Many of the readers have asked this question in the comments and a few through email. So, I thought of explaining this topic as a separate post rather than replying to them so that it can help everyone who’re in a confused state about what to eat after completing GM diet program for a week.

  • Overweight or Obesity, is undoubtedly, one of the biggest problems faced by most of the people these days. The scientific solution to lose weight is to increase the expenditure and decrease the consumption of calories. Generally, our body burns a certain number of calories even while we’re completely at rest.

    That is called the Basal Metabolic Rate aka BMR. This BMR varies from one individual to another, based on several factors such as height, weight, age and lifestyle. So, if a person’s BMR is 1500 calories per day, then his body will burn those 1500 cal even if he does nothing. However, if the same person consumes around 2000 calories or more, then his/her body will store the remaining 500 calories in the form of FAT cells, resulting in weight gain. So, according to this principle, losing weight is purely calculation. Spend more than you consume and you’ll obviously shed weight.

    Now, let us come to our topic. Most of the people who follow the 7 day diet plan will lose around 4 to 7 kgs, depending on how they followed it. Unfortunately, there are several other factors that interfere with weight loss, due to which a few people might not get such fantastic results.

    Let us assume you’ve followed the diet properly and lost around 5 Kgs of weight in the span of 1 week. You’ll definitely gain weight after the 7 day diet, if you get back to your old lifestyle (eating habits). There is actually no guarantee that the weight you’ve lost is permanent. To be frank, there is no diet plan in this world that promises such guarantee. It is because, our body weight depends on how we manage it and it is a continuous process. If you wanted to stay fit and healthy, then you should always see what you’re eating. Consuming unhealthy or fast foods may lead to obesity and it is an open secret.

    What to Eat on GM Diet 8th Day?

    So What Should You Eat After Completing GM Diet?

    If you want to avoid those lost pounds from coming back, then you should definitely change your diet routine. It is advised to consume low carb high protein diet in order to maintain your weight permanently or until your next GM diet session. Failing in doing so will obviously ruin your efforts that were put into following the General Motors diet program.

    Simple Weight Loss Logic:

    1 pound of FAT = 3500 calories; 1 KG = 2.2 Pounds; In order to lose 10 Kg of weight, you should spend/burn around 10 x 2.2 x 3500 = 77000 calories. Since, reducing such a huge number of calories won’t happen even in the dreams, it is recommended to reduce a minimum of 500 to 800 maximum per day. So, if you cut down 800 calories per day, then it would take 77000/800 = 96 days to lose 22 pounds/10 Kgs of weight naturally without following any crash diet plans.

    What to Eat After Finishing GM Diet?

    First, calculate how many calories you need per day and based on the BMR value, you should plan your meal plan accordingly. Below, you can find sample meal plans for both vegetarians and non-vegetarian eaters.

    If your BMR is under 2000 calories, then you can consume either the 1200 calorie meal plan or the 1500 calorie meal plan. No matter, what your BMR is, you should never go below the 1200 calorie limit as it would impact your health in a negative manner.

    Along with the above diet routines, below are a few tips which if followed will result in much quicker weight loss.

    • Avoid high calorie foods like noodles, samosas, pasta and all kinds of foods that are high in carbs or starch.
    • Replace the white foods (white rice) with brown colored foods (whole-wheat). Brown rice is always better than the White rice.
    • Try to stop your coffee or tea drinking habit and consume Green tea for weight loss. It is both healthy and boosts your metabolism.
    • Drink enough water per day (min of 3 to 4 liters)
    • Soups are very beneficial for losing weight as they aid in better digestion. Include this Cabbage soup or Tomato soup in your daily routine.
    • Try to allot at least 30 minutes every day to perform exercises like cardio workouts or Yoga poses. If time is your biggest problem, then at least try to perform this 7 minute HIIT workout instead.

    If you follow these tips, you’ll definitely lose weight and also keep it OFF after finishing the GM diet.

 

[“Source-7daygmdiet”]

Your Purse May Be The Reason Your Hair Is Thinning

If you saw our stash of hair masks and heat serums, you’d know how protective we are over our hair’s health. But when a recent article surfaced warning about the potential damage our purses—yes, you read that right—could be doing to our locks, time about stopped. Here’s the breakdown.

When Lisa DeSantis sat down in her salon chair and listened to her first-time hairstylist, Francis Catanese, a stylist at Art and Autonomy in New York City, immediately ask her if she wore her purse on the left side, she thought her lopsided posture was a surefire giveaway. But when Catanese replied with, “I can tell because your hair is thinner on that side,” adding that he’s seen it worse, but that there was definitely a difference present, DeSantis was in for a crash course (and so were we).

Catanese went on to explain that the strap of your handbag can often pull at your hairs, weaken the follicles and cause breakage you didn’t even know about. Even worse, it can be plucking the strands right out. But take this for what it’s worth: After reaching out to various doctors for their input, none had heard of the case affecting the health of our hair.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to help save your strands either way. First off, be aware of where your hair sits each time you throw a bag on your shoulder—either move them to the side or clip them up to be sure—because you never know if any hair is lagging behind that can get damaged, or even worse plucked out, because of your handbag. The same goes for backpacks. If you’re not careful, you could potentially thin your hair out on both sides, an even bigger tragedy.

 

 

[“source-newbeauty”]

Is this the key to stopping cancer from spreading?

Cancer cells dividing

Divide and conquer – can metastasis be controlled?
When a tumor migrates to another part of the body, it makes cancer much more difficult to beat. A recently published study, investigating a metabolite called 20-HETE, gives new insight into this process and how it might be stopped.

Cancer’s ability to metastasize – move through the body and take root in a distant location – is a thorn in the side of cancer treatments.

A localized tumor is much easier to treat, and chances of survival are greater. Once the tumor has moved on, it can be harder to control. Around 30 percent of people with breast cancer experience metastasis, commonly affecting the lymph nodes, bones, brain, lungs, and liver.

Understanding how a tumor sets up shop in distant parts of the body is an important area of study. The trouble is, cancer is incredibly adept at finding a new location; in fact, tumors constantly send out cells into the bloodstream to see if they take hold and flourish. They are also experts at recruiting cellular assistance and making their new home perfect for supporting their continued growth.

New research, looking at a metabolite called 20-HETE, hopes to learn how we can disrupt cancer’s ability to succeed in distant tissues.

What is 20-HETE?

20-HETE (20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid) is a breakdown product of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid used widely throughout the body. 20-HETE carries out a number of useful roles, including the regulation of vascular tone, blood flow to organs, and sodium and fluid transport in the kidney. The metabolite also plays a role in inflammation, helping the body fight off infections and other diseases.

Aside from its natural and positive effects, 20-HETE appears to have a darker, more sinister side; these murky depths are currently being plumbed by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Thaiz F. Borin and his team at Augusta University, GA. His latest findings are published this week in PLOS ONE.

Co-author Dr. B.R. Achyut, assistant professor in the MCG Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, explains 20-HETE’s Jekyll and Hyde personality:

“There is normal function, and there is tumor-associated function. Tumors highjack our system and use that molecule against us.”

According to recent studies, 20-HETE provides the cancer with virtually everything that it needs; it forms part of the “seed and soil” hypothesis. For a cancer cell to up sticks and move, it needs all of its ducks in a row. It must detach from its position and become aggressive enough to survive the journey; then, once it has found a new site, it needs to recruit supporting tissue and blood vessels.

According to Dr. Ali S. Arbab, leader of the Tumor Angiogenesis Initiative at the Georgia Cancer Center, recent studies show that 20-HETE prepares the new site in a number of ways. The metabolite activates helpful protein kinases and growth factors that encourage cells to grow in size, proliferate, and differentiate.

To flourish, tumors are also dependent on the creation of new blood vessels, and 20-HETE can help in this regard. Additionally, 20-HETE turns up inflammation, a hallmark of many diseases, including cancer. It manages this

Disrupting the tumor microenvironment

In Dr. Arbab’s studies on metastasis and the processes behind it, he and his team are focused on “going after that tumor microenvironment.” In the most recent study, they used a molecule called HET0016, which inhibits the actions of 20-HETE.

To test HET0016’s ability to scupper 20-HETE’s homemaking powers, they inserted cancer cells in the mammary fat pad of mice. Once the cancer had set down roots and begun to spread, they injected the mice with HET0016. The drug was given for 5 days a week for 3 weeks.

After just 48 hours, cancer cells were less able to move freely around their test tube.

The drugs also reduced levels of metalloproteinases in the lungs; these enzymes destroy protein structures, allowing cancer cells to penetrate and new blood vessels to grow.

Similarly, other molecules useful to cancer cells, such as growth factors and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, were reduced. As Arbab says, “It gets rid of one of the natural protections tumors use, and tumor growth in the lung goes down.”

Although HET0016 is not ready for use in humans, the study demonstrates that 20-HETE could be a useful target for preventing cancer’s spread. Arbab notes that there are already certain drugs on the market – including some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs – that might also inhibit this hijacked molecular pathway.

The team plans to continue looking for ways to prevent cancer from coercing 20-HETE into playing the bad guy. Preventing breast cancer from metastasizing would be a huge step forward because, as the authors write, “Distant metastasis is the primary cause of death in the majority of breast cancer types.”

[“Source-medicalnewstoday”]

This Fat Fueled Diet Is Being Called Atkins 2.0

For years, we’ve been told to limit our fat intake. But this trendy diet instructs you to just the opposite, causing you to drop serious pounds—all while eating fats. Yes, you read that right.

You may have heard about the ketogenic diet, which consists of healthy fats, lean protein and a small amount of vegetable-based carbs to turn the body into a fat-burning furnace. Nutritionist David Morin says that if you follow the diet, your energy levels will be through the roof and you’ll experience more mental clarity, less bloating and fewer headaches and cravings. “You can lose five to seven pounds in the first four to six days and then about a pound per week,” he adds. “The ketogenic pathway is a way of using stored fat to produce energy because the body functions well on ketones.”

By manipulating fat, carbohydrates and protein, the body is forced to produce ketones, a source of energy, instead of glucose. “As long as 60–70 percent of your calories come from fats like cheese, uncured bacon, raw oils, avocado and nuts; 20–30 percent of your protein from fatty sources like wild-caught seafood or grass-fed protein (eating more protein than this amount can cause the protein to turn into glucose); and 10 percent from raw, green vegetables, you’ll be satiated.” An example meal would be a salad with lots of olive oil, sliced almonds, olives, cheese, bacon, avocado and a few pieces of shrimp, chicken or a piece of small steak.

He goes on to say that because the ketogenic diet gets the body into a state of ketosis, as long as you eat the right foods it will stay in that ketotic cycle, becoming more of a lifestyle where you can achieve optimal body composition. “There are some people that have stayed ketogenic for years. If done correctly, it’s healthy.”

The fastest way to get your body into a state of ketogenesis is with a fast, like the Master Cleanse. “Someone with an average amount of body fat can get into ketosis in just four days when you start the diet with the Master Cleanse. You also way to test your urine regularly to make sure that your body has entered that state of ketosis in the beginning—you can purchase ketogenic strips to gauge where you are in ketone production, which is important,” adds Morin. “Once you become ketone adapted, then you can start the transition into a truly ketogenic diet.” He also encourages cardio and/or circuit training, too, because it kicks up ketone production.

If it sounds a lot like the Atkins diet, Morin points out that there are similarities. “But, Atkins didn’t do his homework on the types of fats you can eat. The sources of fat in theory were good, but in practical terms they are bad for you because of the chemicals that they contain. In order to really lose weight and get in the best shape possible, everything you eat needs to be totally organic and raw.”

 

 

 

[“source-newbeauty”]

Price Transparency Is Critical to Drug Pricing Solutions

Prescription drug costs are a hot political issue, not as much because of the share of the U.S. health care dollar they consume but because consumers pay a larger share of their drug costs out of pocket than they do for other health care.

The lack of price transparency for prescription drugs is a large part of the problem, and making pricing more transparent throughout the process could help in finding viable solutions.

About 10% of overall health spending in the U.S. goes to prescription drugs, dwarfed by the 32% spent on hospitals and 26% on physician, dental, and other clinical services, according to National Health Expenditure data.

But more of the costs for prescription drugs are shifted to consumers than for other health costs.

Under a typical plan, consumers pay a $20-$30 copayment for physician visits and $250 for a hospital stay.  But the complex charges for prescription drugs often range from co-payments of $15 – $100 for “preferred” drugs to 45% or more of the cost of specialty or non-preferred drugs.

Consumers therefore experience more out-of-pocket costs for medicines while a greater share of other, likely more-expensive, medical expenditures is run through insurance.

A huge system of drug rebates and discountshappens behind the scenes in the pharmaceutical supply chain, further distorting the market and confusing consumers about the actual price of a drug. Only a trickle of these discounts and rebates actually reaches the consumer.

Even though rebates paid by biopharmaceutical companies can substantially reduce the prices insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) pay for brand medicines, insurers use list prices—rather than discounted prices—to determine how much to charge patients when they pay their share, further increasing what consumers pay.

A survey by the National Community Pharmacists Association taken in early June looked at these behind-the-scenes pricing deals.  “One pharmacist told surveyors that a major PBM required the pharmacy to collect a $35 copay for a generic allergy spray [from the consumer], then took $30 back from the pharmacy. Another said a PBM charged a $15 copay for insomnia drug Zolpidem, then took back $13.05.”

In another example, the pharmacy received only a few dollars in net payments “while patients were charged $30 above the cash price for a generic cholesterol medication,” according to a report on CNN.

In many cases, a consumer pays more to fill a prescription than the PBM paid to purchase the drug, even though consumers “assume what they are paying is the cost of the drug,” said Susan Pilch, vice president for policy and regulatory affairs with the pharmacists’ group.

The percentage of people paying more than $1,000 out-of-pocket a year for medicines also is on the rise: From 2004 to 2014, the portion of people spending more than $1,000 outside of their insurance coverage nearly tripled, from 1% to 2.8%, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.  Kaiser also reported that 8% of adults report foregoing prescriptions because they can’t afford them.

There also is a built-in incentive in the health care industry, including the pharmaceutical sector, to set their prices artificially high.   Private insurers, PBMs, and others demand the discounts in exchange for their business.  Government entities also demand kickbacks from drug companies: States require them to pay “rebates”—basically a tax for the privilege of participating in Medicaid.

Because of these discounts and rebates to volume purchasers of their products, manufacturers of innovator drugs realized 39% of gross drug expenditures in 2015, according to a study by the Berkeley Research Group. Other players received 42% of total drug spending, with the largest share going to the various rebates, discounts, and fees that manufacturers pay to PBMs, health plans, government entities, and patients.  The total value of pharmaceutical manufacturers’ price concessions was $127 billion in 2016, according to a separate report by the Quintiles IMS Institute.

Consumers, therefore, are impacted in at least two ways.  Few of these discounts actually reach them directly, and many are required to pay their share of their prescription drug bills based upon the retail price of the drug.

Insurance companies generally create complex “drug formularies” in which their insured patients pay less for “preferred” drugs, especially generics, but can pay much more for expensive brand and specialty drugs.  Consumers may be required to pay a percentage of the cost—called co-insurance. Others may pay a flat co-payment.

The sickest patients needing newer and more expensive drugs to treat their illness may face hundreds or even thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs to get their medicines, especially

if the drug they need is not on their insurers “preferred” formulary list.

Patients who need generics—older drugs which are generally much less expensive—may face lower drug costs.  But if patients need a newer, brand-name drug, they could face much steeper prices.  Many patients are being asked to pay a greater share of prescription costs for more-expensive specialty drugs because of high coinsurance amounts.

More than half of out-of-pocket spending for brand-name innovator medicines by commercially insured patients is based on the full list price of the drug, according to an analysis by Amundsen Consulting.

Adding another layer of cost-exposure, a growing number of consumers face hefty annual deductibles with their health insurance policies.  In 2016, 83% of people who get health insurance at work faced a deductible for single coverage averaging $1,478.   That means a worker must spend the first $1,478 out of pocket before health insurance kicks in.  And if he or she needs medicine, the full retail price must be paid up front at the pharmacy.  Consumers who have coverage through the ObamaCare exchanges face annual deductibles ranging from $6,000 for an individual to more than $12,000 for a family.

Consumers benefit little if at all from the huge system of discounts and rebates in the pharmaceutical pricing chain.

PBMs and health plans argue that the savings they receive from the discounts and rebates the drug companies provide help reduce the overall cost of premiums.  Some portion may be shared directly with consumers through lower premiums and by helping to lower the cost of physician or hospital care. But the higher visible costs of prescription drugs are a key reason consumers are angry about drug costs.  That strategy isn’t helping them.

Some companies are trying to address the problem in other ways.

  • Express Scripts has created Inside Rx, a new subsidiary to pass discounts to patients who are uninsured or who face unaffordable out-of-pocket costs for diabetes, asthma, and other prescription drugs. Inside Rx says it delivers average savings of 34% off a drug’s typical cash price.  Patients can apply for a discount card that can be used at any of 40,000 pharmacies across the country.
  • UPMC Health Plan is working to change the way it pays for drugs, creating a new Center for Value-Based Purchasing of Pharmaceuticals, saying it wants to “fundamentally change the way medications are paid for in the U.S.” It plans to test various payment models, including payment for outcomes. This is a system that the pharmaceutical industry is also advocating.
  • CVS Health, a PBM run by the drug chain, also has developed a program to help reduce the costs of drugs at the point of sale. While nearly 9 out of 10 drugs dispensed in the U.S. today are generics, patients needing newer, often more-expensive innovator drugs may face significant out-of-pocket costs for the reasons explained above. CVS Health reports it has “developed the capability to reduce members’ [out-of-pocket] spending by applying rebates at the point of sale.”  The plan is being implemented for CVS employees and by some CVS Health clients.
  • Prescription drug companies also provide billions of dollars in donations to help those in need with the cost of their medicines.  Pharmaceutical manufacturers contributed $6.5 billion in 2014 to charities that offset the costs of medicines for patients who need assistance.  These patient assistance programs actually account for 10 of the largest 15 charities in the U.S., according to an analysis by Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.Critics say that the drug companies do this to pay a patient’s cost so they can take advantage of the added costs the insurers will pay. But doctors say the assistance is vital to their patients needing the drugs.

The Amundsen Consulting study found that prescriptions subject to a deductible or facing undiscounted prices were more than twice as likely to be abandoned at the pharmacy than those whose costs were manageable, leading to avoidable hospitalizations and poorer health outcomes.

“While biopharmaceutical companies set the list prices for their medicines, it is the health plan that ultimately determines how much a patient pays out-of-pocket,” said Stephen J. Ubl, president and chief executive officer of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, which commissioned the analysis.

There are a number of other price distortions in the health sector, including 340B discounts that many hospitals and clinics receive. The program began in 1992 to provide safety-net hospitals, clinics, and other providers the same kind of relief from high drug costs that Congress provided to the Medicaid program with the Medicaid rebate law.

While originally designed to help entities that serve the nation’s most vulnerable patient populations to stretch dollars further, the number of 340B entities has soared and now includes most major hospitals and many specialty medical practices, such as oncology clinics.  While 340B discounts affected 3% of purchased drugs in 2004, the discounts impacted more than a quarter of prescription drugs in 2013.

Too often, the steep discounts that these 340B entities receive are not passed along to consumers, keeping their prices high while the hospital or other facility reaps the benefits of the lowest-price the drug companies are required to accept. Some 340B providers may sell 340B drugs to non-qualified patients (usually those covered by an insurance plan) and pocket the difference, according to a study by the American Action Forum.

The Medicare prescription drug benefit program can be a model for a more transparent insurance system.  Under Medicare Part D, insurers compete fiercely for senior’s business, with plans offering transparency on the price of drugs and the drugs listed on their formularies.  And the plans have an incentive to pass the savings on to consumers to encourage them to enroll in their plans.

Pacific Research Institute economist Wayne Winegarden explains that “the current pricing model for pharmaceuticals is overly-complicated and diminishes the beneficial role that prices typically play in a market economy.”  He explains that “most rebates are not passed on to patients, and since co-pays are based on the list price, individuals’ co-pays are higher than they should be.”

Pricing reforms that establish a simpler, more transparent pricing structure are needed. The Institute for Policy Innovation published a paper on “Selective Transparency: Transparency Efforts Obscure Real Health Care Pricing Issues” by Merrill Matthews and Peter Pitts.  They detail five ways to lower prices and increase transparency.

  • Fire the MiddlemenBloomberg News, for example, reports that Caterpillar moved away from its PBM, suspecting that a quarter of the manufacturer’s $150 million annual drug bill was being wasted. The company began negotiating its own drug discounts and deals with pharmacies.
  • Promote Transparent PBMs. Bloomberg also reports that some companies are switching to “transparent PBMs” that charge flat fees for negotiating drug discounts. And some states are embracing a “fiduciary standard,” requiring PBMs to put their clients’ interests ahead of the company’s interests.
  • Reduce Regulatory Burdens. President Trump has made it a key part of his presidency to reduce onerous regulations. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is well aware of the agency’s regulatory roadblocks and is working aggressively to modernize the drug and device approval system.
  • Allow New Payment Models. Several experts have proposed new payment models that should be considered. For example, the pharmaceutical manufacturers are developing value-based payment approaches for some of their most expensive branded drugs, where the price of the drug depends on how successful it is.
  • Critical Care Life Insurance. This is traditional term life insurance, but it allows policyholders facing high medical costs the ability to draw on part or all of the value of the policy to pay for medical expenses. It’s not a loan; the face value of the policy is reduced accordingly. But it is a way to have both life insurance and a safety net in case the policyholder has a major medical incident. Both approaches mean fewer laws and regulations that bottleneck the health care system and make transparency so difficult. And they try to increase competition and put the consumer in charge once again.

Prescription drug pricing is teed up to be the next major health reform debate once Congress completes work on legislation to stabilize health insurance markets.

Sorting through this maze of pricing distortions in the pharmaceutical sector is important to achieve viable policy solutions rather than easy talking-point “wins” that are unlikely to succeed.

The basic truth is that billions of dollars are sloshing around in the prescription drug purchasing chain, but too few of the discounts trickle down to consumers paying out of pocket for their prescription medicines.  List prices also are artificially inflated by the bizarre pricing system for pharmaceuticals. A patient needing a drug costing $800 may have to pay half or more of the cost, but a patient needing a prescription for a generic drug may pay only a small copayment. And a patient without insurance pays the full, sometimes inflated retail price at the pharmacy.

Fueling the problem, prices for brand-name pharmaceuticals have increased as new specialty drugs have been introduced at high costs, often due to years of investment in research, the costs of manufacturing more complex medicines, and regulatory delays in getting new drugs to market.

Greater price transparency is will be a crucial element in a long-term solution to engage millions of consumers in getting the best value for their health care dollar.

– Grace-Marie Turner is the president of the Galen Institute, a non-profit research organization focusing on patient-centered health reform.

[“Source-forbes”]

What Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?

Image result for What Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?Exercise is just as good for the brain as it is for the body, a growing body of research is showing. And one kind in particular—aerobic exercise—appears to be king.

“Back in the day, the majority of exercise studies focused on the parts of the body from the neck down, like the heart and lungs,” says Ozioma Okonkwo, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “But now we are finding that we need to go north, to the brain, to show the true benefits of a physically active lifestyle on an individual.”

Exercise might be a simple way for people to cut down their risk for memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, even for those who are genetically at risk for the disease. In a June study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Okonkwo followed 93 adults who had at least one parent with Alzheimer’s disease, at least one gene linked to Alzheimer’s, or both. People in the study who spent at least 68 minutes a day doing moderate physical activity had better glucose metabolism—which signals a healthy brain—compared to people who did less.

The brain benefits of exercise go beyond disease prevention. Okonkwo has also shown that people who exercise have greater brain volume in areas of the brain associated with reasoning and executive function. “We’ve done a series of studies showing that increased aerobic capacity boosts brain structure, function and cognition ,” he says, “Other people have found exercise can improve mood.” Okonkwo’s research has also shown that exercise can diminish the impact of brain changes on cognition, not just prevent it. “Exercise is the full package,” he says.

Exercise likely improves brain health through a variety of ways. It makes the heart beat faster, which increases blood flow to the brain. This blood delivers oxygen—a good thing, since the brain is the biggest consumer of oxygen in the body. Physical activity also increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which i s known to help repair and protect brain cells from degeneration as well as help grow new brain cells and neurons, says Okonkwo .

In one study. Joe Northey, a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise in Australia, showed that when people ride a stationary bike, they experience increased blood flow to the brain, and within that blood are a range of growth factors that are responsible for cell growth and associated with improved brain function. “Considering exercise can also reduce the risks associated with common lifestyle diseases that impact the brain, such as high blood sugar and hypertension, it is further motivation to try to incorporate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle,” says Northey.

MORE: The Simple Reason Exercise Enhances Your Brain

Aerobic exercise, like running and swimming, appears to be best for brain health. That’s because it increases a person’s heart rate, “which means the body pumps more blood to the brain,” says Okonkwo. But strength training, like weight lifting, may also bring benefits to the brain by increasing heart rate. The link between resistance training and better brain health is not as established, but research in the area is growing.

For now, Northey recommends a combination of the two. “Combining both is ideal,” he says, for all of the other benefits exercise bestows on the body. “In addition to improving your brain function, you should expect to see improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength, as well as reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes and hypertension amongst other diseases.”

[“Source-time”]

This is what you should eat after different types of exercise

Eat well afterwards to get the most out of your exercise

Congratulations! You’ve make it through your workout. But the job isn’t done just yet – because if you really want to get the most out of your exercise, you need to put some thought into what you eat afterwards.

And according to Anna-Jane Debenham and Alex Parker, dietitians from nutrition consulting business The Biting Truth, it’s not just about protein.

Although important, particularly for muscle repair, “having protein on its own, although it may seem ‘trendy’, isn’t ideal in a lot of cases”.

Instead, they say snacks containing both carbohydrate and protein will “allow your body to recover and repair effectively”. And don’t forget to replace all those lost fluids (hey, we all get sweaty!) with extra water.

Failing to refuel or rehydrate after exercise can result in a host of problems, including earlier onset of fatigue, reduced speed and endurance, poor concentration and gut upset, Anna and Alex warn. Not to mention the fact you might not be getting the full benefits of all that effort!

Here, they explain why post-exercise nutrition is so important…

Don’t just wait until your next meal to eat

Restricting calories after a workout can be counterproductive, and after the extra strain you’ve put on your body, nutrition is even more crucial.

Anna and Alex explain: “During exercise (especially resistance training), the body shifts towards a catabolic state (muscle breakdown) which then transitions back to an anabolic state (muscle building) within the first few hours of completing your workout.”

Essentially, this means there’s a 60-90 minute “window of opportunity” after your training session, where you have a chance to replenish the stores of carbohydrates in the liver and muscle cells, as well as encourage muscle repair.

What to eat after… cardio

Running, dancing, boxing – all great cardio workouts, and they can leave you seriously pooped. “The key is replenishing carbohydrate stores,” say Anna and Alex, “and adequate hydration is essential.”

They recommend a slice of wholegrain bread with peanut butter and banana: “This snack provides high-quality carbs, protein and heart-healthy fats, and is full of potassium which helps soothe muscles.”

Other snacks you could reach for after a cardio workout include a plain banana, some nuts, or some wholegrain toast with either ricotta and fruit, or cottage cheese and tomato.

What to eat after… strength training

If you’re lifting weights and your goal is to gain muscle, Anna and Alex say: “An energy-rich diet with adequate amounts of protein is just as important as your well-developed strength-training programme.”

So, after strength training, your food intake should be low in fat and high in nutrients. “Consuming carbohydrates in conjunction with protein allows the protein to be used for muscle growth and repair,” they explain.

They recommend smoothies as a great option for fitting in a lot of nutrients in one go – you can just blend up your ingredients (such as berries, low-fat yogurt and/or oats) and you’re sorted.

What to eat after… HIIT

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is all the rage, hailed as a speedy way to burn more fat and build more muscle compared to traditional workouts. And putting your body well and truly through its paces (no one ever said HIIT was easy) means refuelling well is crucial.

Anna and Alex suggest an onion and pepper omelette plus some fruit, and their top tip is to include pineapple.

“Aside from their protein content, eggs are high in leucine, which triggers muscle protein synthesis,” they explain. “The vitamin C in the capsicums [peppers] is essential for maintaining the healthy cartilage you need to cushion your bones. Research suggests bromelain (an enzyme in pineapple) may help reduce exercise-induced inflammation.”

(Photo: Neville Williams)

What to eat after… stretching and toning-based exercise

What you decide to eat after classes like yoga, Pilates or barre depends on what your fitness goal is: whether you want to lose weight, boost your core strength, or increase your overall muscle mass.

“If your goal is weight loss, then a nutrient rich meal within 60 minutes of your workout is essential, as the meal will be more efficiently digested,” say Anna and Alex. “If your goal is to improve strength, then protein is key.”

They suggest two hard-boiled eggs with multigrain toast, or something like a slice of roast vegetable and feta frittata would be ideal.

To help repair tired muscles and replenish energy stores after yoga, Anna and Alex say: “Your body needs a hit of protein, some low-GI carbohydrates and fruits or vegetables.” Try a small tub of Greek yogurt with a couple of spoonfuls of muesli containing nuts and fruit, or a small can of tuna, four-bean mix and some chopped veggies.

[“Source-liverpoolech”]

This is the Astounding Impact Exercise has for Older Americans

Beyond keeping in shape, exercise can reverse the effects of aging on your body and fight brain decline.

Exercise has long been touted as an essential aspect of a healthy lifestyle, so it will come as no surprise to hear that if you don’t exercise, you should start.

What may surprise you, however, is the astounding effects exercise can have during your golden years. Beyond keeping in shape, exercise can reverse the effects of aging on your body and fight brain decline.

Sound too good to be true? Fortunately, research backs up these claims.

Reverse physical aging

After the first few decades of your life, you likely noticed your energy levels were sapped earlier in the day than they used to be and that it was harder to keep healthy. Generally, these changes are only exacerbated with time.

“Even the most athletically fit cannot escape these changes,” the National Institute on Aging said. “Take marathon runners, for example. An NIA-funded study found that their record times increased with age — aging literally slowed down the runners.”

At its most basic level, aging changes your cells. For example, lung tissue loses elasticity and rib cage muscles shrink, so the amount of air you inhale in a breath decreases, according to the NIA. Your gut produces fewer digestive enzymes, making it difficult to absorb nutrients. Your heart’s blood vessels accumulate fatty deposits.

Enough of the bad news. The good news is you can fight the breakdown.

For example, researchers found that high-intensity interval training can slow the decline of aging. Also called HIIT, this type of training involves doing a workout that goes back and forth between intense exercise and recovery periods.

Study participants did both HIIT workouts and resistance training — working out with weights — for 12 weeks, and researchers said HIIT was the workout that made the biggest difference to aerobic capacity and cells in the muscles.

Before being scared away by the words “high intensity,” consider all the workouts you can do. For example, one workout designed for seniors involves running and walking on a treadmill in this pattern:

  • Work interval: 20-second sprint
  • Rest interval: 90-second walk
  • Repeat 4-6 times
  • Cool down: 5-minute walk

If running isn’t your thing, incorporate the same pattern of exercise and rest in any activity you like such as swimming, cycling, weightlifting and so on.

Fight brain decline

Perhaps the idea that exercise can reverse aging’s physical effects makes sense, but understanding how it strengthens brain function is a little harder to grasp. Well, here’s the scoop.

Multiple studies have found that physical activity, particularly aerobic exercise, enhances cognitive function. That means exercise helps with activities in the brain including memory, attention span, language skills, logic and reasoning. These studies show exercise has “substantial benefits” according to an article published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest journal.

Exercise isn’t the only way to fight cognitive decline. Socializing and cognitive activities like doing puzzles or learning a language can also help. Still, “physical activity has the most support as protective against the deleterious effects of age on health and cognition” according to an article in the Journal of Aging Research.

These deleterious, or harmful, effects include more than just occasional forgetfulness. Physical activity can help delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in people who are 65 or older, according to research in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal.

All 1,740 participants were cognitively intact at the beginning of the study. After six years, the people who exercised at least three times per week had a lower rate of dementia than those who exercised less.

“These results suggest that regular exercise is associated with a delay in onset of dementia and Alzheimer disease, further supporting its value for elderly persons,” the researchers write.

Get started

As research shows, there is every reason you should exercise, even if you never have before. Don’t let common myths about exercise — such as exercise not being safe — get in your way. Of course, before you start any exercise program, you should always consult with your physician.

ComForCare of Palm Beach Gardens is the premier provider of private-duty, non-medical home health care allowing people to age comfortably, safely and happily in place. Services include meal preparation, light housekeeping, grooming and hygiene help, transportation assistance, medication reminders and more. Caregivers can even go on walks with those they care for or help them safely complete approved exercise routines. To learn more, visit comforcare.com/palmbeach.

[“Source-cbs12.”]

Why Donald Trump’s diet is bad for America’s health

President Trump can eat what he wants, but his attitudes toward wellness have major consequences for the nation at large. (Stephen Lovekin/Hill & Knowlton)

It was the fat joke heard ‘round the world. Pope Francis, speaking with Donald and Melania Trump during their recent visit, asked the first lady whether she’d been feeding her husband potica, a rich Slovenian dessert.

His Holiness wasn’t the only one eyeballing the president’s diet. Recently, the public learned that the White House kitchen staff knows to deliver their boss extra Thousand Island dressing and a double serving of ice cream while his guests get vinaigrette and a single scoop of vanilla, triggering sniggers about presidential gluttony.

And since Trump so shamelessly slings stingingly personal insults tied to fitness and body type — from “Miss Piggy” to “fat pig” to “Little Marco” – why resist the urge to poke his proverbial soft underbelly?

We should resist, because Trump’s attitudes toward healthy eating and exercise aren’t a joke — they have serious consequences for the nation’s health. First, they mark a dramatic pivot from his presidential predecessors on both sides of the aisle. Previous presidents saw projecting a personal embrace of healthy living as politically attractive, while Trump perceives just the opposite.

And second, in a nation already defined by highly unequal access to healthy food and exercise, Trump’s own inclinations threaten to make wellness an even lower public and private priority. Today, if your work schedule, child care and next meal are unpredictable, wellness is at best aspirational and at worst a cruel reminder of yet another dividing line between haves and have-nots. Trump’s attitudes and actions will only exacerbate this inequality — even as they thrill his fans.

American presidents have celebrated wellness as a personal and political virtue for so long it verges on cliché. Teddy Roosevelt famously advocated an outdoorsy “strenuous life,” which showcased his own swagger and resonated in a moment when urbanization and the expansion of white-collar work provoked anxiety that white men were becoming sedentary sissies.

Sixty years later, President-elect John F. Kennedy decried in Sports Illustrated that affluence had created a physically and morally “Soft American” unfit for Cold War citizenship. This essay painted JFK as a champion of “vigor” (even as he privately suffered from serious ailments) and boosted support for federally funded physical education and recreation programs.

Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were often photographed jogging, while a 1983 Parade spread featured Republican Ronald Reagan exercising on Nautilus machines and chopping wood. Fellow Republican George W. Bush installed a treadmill on Air Force One, required staffers to exercise and told Runner’s World in 2002 that at long last, “statistic after statistic is beginning to sink into the consciousness of the American people that exercise is one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle.”

President Trump, however, missed that memo. The president’s conspicuous contempt for self-care — unlike Obama’s occasional furtive cigarette — benefits him politically in part because it taps into the anti-Obama hatred that propelled him to power. The Obamas took the presidential embrace of healthy living as a vehicle to improve society and self to new levels.

Men’s Health dubbed Obama the “fittest president ever” and stealth video of his workout in a Warsaw hotel gym went viral. If Michelle Obama first drew notice for her sculpted biceps, her legacy became Let’s Move and lunchroom reform. So powerful is this association that a Tennessee school cafeteria worker recently told me that a Trump supporter crowed that serving her child chocolate milk and tater tots at school was a “personal F-U to Michelle Obama.”

Not only does Trump benefit from being the anti-Obama, but he also gives voice to a sense among his supporters that healthy eating and exercise have become increasingly elitist. Back in 2007, Obama caught blowback at an Iowa campaign stop for making casual reference to buying arugula at Whole Foods. Soon after, white working class reality TV star Mama June proudly told In Touch that despite her wealth, she served her family “sketti” — enriched spaghetti doused in butter and ketchup — rather than snobbishly preparing quinoa.

Trump’s self-fashioning as champion of the common man capitalizes on the contemporary association between wellness and unsavory cosmopolitan pretension. Yet his love of rich foods and leisure paradoxically trades on century-old tropes that also cast him as a kind of Everyman’s Billionaire. Until about 1920, the wealthy conspicuously consumed caloric foods and avoided exertion because few felt they could afford to do so.

Dominant scientific theory at the time argued that humans were born with a finite energy supply and that the better classes should conserve theirs for loftier ends than physical labor. When industrialization and the white-collar sector made food abundant and sedentary work more accessible however, resisting these temptations through diet and exercise became a display of upper-class restraint — as it remains today.

Trump, whose appeal to many stems from nostalgia, conjures an outdated but aspirational ideal of what wealth might feel, or taste, like. It’s why dropping $36 on an “haute burger” just after overwhelmingly capturing the working class white vote didn’t tarnish Trump’s legitimacy. It’s why the “cheap version of rich” marketed in every truffle-oil-soaked steak slung at his eponymous “Grille” still sells. Same goes for his peculiar but precedented explanation that he prefers relaxing at his various luxury properties to exercise that would deplete his “non-rechargeable battery.” In the throwback image of American abundance that Trump hawks, his supporters envision themselves as deserving fat cats consuming cake rather than kale.

And yet. While expending energy on exercise and dietary restraint may be undesirable for Trump’s everyman, it’s a requirement for the women in his orbit. Of the little we know about Melania Trump, her penchant for Pilates is widely reported and a former roommate remembered her consuming only vegetables and diligently wearing ankle weights around the house. First daughter Ivanka Trump’s diet and exercise routines have long been the stuff of lifestyle pubs, and she recently craved a sweat badly enough to cause controversy by enrolling at a D.C. studio under an alias.

In 1996, Trump himself set up a media scrum in a gym to film a tearful Alicia Machado exercising after she gained what he determined was an unacceptable amount of weight for Miss Universe. A viral meme in the wake of the January Women’s March announced, “In one day, Trump got more fat women out walking than Michelle Obama did in 8 years.”

Clearly, Trump’s world is a sexist one in which wellness is a women’s issue. Weight control is appropriately top priority for the half of the population whose worth corresponds to their waistlines.

Unlike exercise and diet, sports — especially football — have long earned the approval of conservatives, including Trump, for building masculinity and competitiveness. The president’s apparently contradictory celebration of sport and scorn for healthy living actually corresponds to a longstanding cultural divide between the two. In the 1950s and 60s, straight American males were assumed to be so uninterested in diet and exercise that women’s magazines counseled wives to trim the fat from their husband’s roasts out of eyesight in order to safeguard the health of their hearts and egos.

By 1979, historian Christopher Lasch bemoaned the “degradation of sport” due to the “new sports for the noncompetitive” taking place in gyms and studios, which promoted bland “amateurism” in the name of inclusiveness and health promotion. (Some might consider this a forerunner to conservative complaints about participation trophies.) Thus, in the Trump playbook, sports are commendable for building manly character, while expanding opportunities to exercise and eat mindfully for health or beauty is feminine and inferior.

Making America Great Again will affect our collective wellbeing in subtle ways beyond the AHCA, cuts to Planned Parenthood and the deregulation of school nutrition that Trump embraces. Contemporary wellness culture is flawed, but has dramatically improved Americans’ lives and saved taxpayers millions. Diverse policies and programs ranging from Title IX, to yoga for the incarcerated, to corporate wellness initiatives, to body-positive activism have helped make the connection between healthy living and human flourishing widely accepted. Trump threatens to destroy those gains.

We owe our president the privacy to eat and exercise as he wishes, free from the fat-shaming cruelty for which his critics rightly fault him. But when he brandishes his unhealthy lifestyle to romanticize an era in which junk science upheld twisted ideas about gender, class and health, we owe it to each other to resist the deepening wellness divide, body, heart and mind.

[“Source-washingtonpost”]

Bateman Skincare Is a Brand For Handsome Young Men Who Are Young and Handsome

Image result for Bateman Skincare Is a Brand For Handsome Young Men Who Are Young and HandsomeYou know how pretty much every pop culture film is being made into a musical? Imagine that… but now with beauty. Instead of breaking scenes down into dance-y numbers and jazz hands, the concept is translated into one thematic element, this one being skin care.

Bateman Skincare takes its name from the titular character in American Psycho, Patrick Bateman. The 1991 Brett Easton Ellis novel turned year-2000 film, now turned conceptual skin care line is a highly edited collection of your six essential products: a rose hip and seaweed cleanser, an herbal balancing toner, AHA exfoliating gel, hyaluronic serum, hyaluronic moisturizer, and a zinc + clay mask.

I would imagine that a psychopathic narcissist would absolutely follow a six-plus-step skin-care routine, but Bateman Skincare errs more general; the brand claims a unisex approach to skin care that focuses on the individual, You are your own best asset printed on their card. “One of the most memorable parts of the book and movie revolves around skincare and the importance of having a routine; this adherence to structure is a cornerstone of our brand.” It also happens to be the cornerstone of any good skin-care regimen that you expect to see results from.

The line is modestly packaged in clinical amber bottles and dare I say, vaguely early 90s-typeface (I don’t know. I’m a beauty editor, not a graphic designer). Judging by the products’ ingredients, however, it all seems fairly legit from a glance — simple pared-down formulas with botanically-derived ingredients featuring face-faves, hyaluronic acid, squalene, seaweed, rose hip seed oil and witch hazel.

I asked a cosmetic chemist (who asked to remain unnamed) his opinion about the line and he gave it a blasé thumbs-up. “I don’t think this line will help much with someone with acne or any specific skin concerns. I think it’s aimed more to handsome young men who are already handsome and young.”

… Kind of like the chiseled Mr. Bateman himself, who now that I think about it, is a bit parallel to the prototypical Glossier girl… but a dude — conventionally attractive, naturally fit, and effortlessly chic yet with a staunchly disciplined focus on grooming aesthetics that gives the appearance of effortlessness.

However in an ironic yet pleasant turn, Bateman Skincare products are cruelty-free, unlike the guy it’s based on.

[“Source-allure”]