A true fat burner, GABA.

There’s a very effective fat burner that’s available over the counter, and it’s been around since 1883? Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, more commonly known as GABA, is a powerful amino acid that is classified as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It acts as a balancer of excitation and relaxation. Its ability to burn fat is actually secondary. GABA stimulates the anterior pituitary gland, leading to an increased output of Human Growth Hormone. HGH is known to have anti-aging effects and lowers body-fat levels. One study conducted by the First Medical Clinic at the University of Milan found a five-fold increase in HGH levels of 19 subjects after 90 minutes of consuming 5gms of GABA. The 18 placebo subjects in the same study showed no increase in HGH output. This is an excellent product for those who can’t afford to go to an anti-aging clinic but want the benefits of HGH.

I’ve used this product on and of since the early eighties and have had good success. I always notice that I get a little leaner, sleep better and have a better overall well-being.

A conversation with Drew Brees’ trainer Todd Durkin about TRX Suspension Training

New Orleans Saints quarter back Drew Brees celebrates after the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on February 7, 2010. Brees was named MVP for the game. UPI/Rob Hobson

At your local gym, you may have been offered a chance to try out a tool called the TRX Suspension Training, which is an innovation by former elite Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick.

As a Navy SEAL, Hetrick often found himself in remote safe houses with limited means to keep he and his soldiers in shape. Using only salvaged parachute materials, Hetrick created what would eventually be named the ?Best Total Body Tool? by Men?s Health magazine.

The TRX Suspension Trainer was born.

One of the many trainers that have incorporated TRX not only in his athletes? workouts, but also into his own workouts is Todd Durkin. Of the many athletes Todd works with during the offseason, perhaps his most recognized is New Orleans Saints? quarterback Drew Brees.

During the offseason, Brees flies all the way from Louisiana to train with Durkin and the TRX, which obviously speaks to Todd?s credibility as a trainer. And considering Brees is coming off a Super Bowl win this past February, clearly Todd?s methods work.

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Todd about a variety of topics, including his work with Drew, TRX and the ?Get with the Movement? campaign, which is defined as a rally cry that dares American fitness enthusiasts to free themselves of their everyday routine. It encourages people to get off their exercise machines and take a more dynamic, moment-focused approach to building their overall health and achieving personal goals.

We also asked Todd to share his favorite Drew Brees story, what specific workouts he uses to train a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and how the TRX can help everybody from the ?weekend warrior? to yes, even grandma.

For more on Todd, TRX and his new book The Impact! Body Plan, please visit www.fitnessquest10.com and www.todddurkin.com.

Also for more on the ?Get with the Movement? campaign, visit www.getwiththemovement.com.

Anthony Stalter: Hey Todd, how are you?

Todd Durkin: Real good! Things have been a little crazy around here, but it?s exciting with the new book coming out.

To read the entire interview, click here.

Three Negative Effects Drugs Have on Your Body

Drugs are running rampant in our society as people continue to use them and become addicted to various substances that are harmful to their bodies. Many people start using drugs simply as a means to feel better, but many uses later they are addicted and they may not be able to make it through an entire day without using their drug of choice. Drugs can have a negative impact on the body, including these three common effects.

Tolerance

The more drugs you take, the higher your tolerance. This means that whatever feeling the drug gives you at first, it will take more and more of the drug to give you that feeling as you continue to take it. For instance, if you get a feeling of euphoria from one hit of ecstasy, you may need to take two, three, or more hits after a few months of use just to get the feeling you used to get from the one hit.

Altered Reactions

Drugs don?t change your situation or the things that go on around you. Drugs can only change the way you react to those situations. Many times, drugs will slow down your reaction time or change the type of reaction you have to a certain situation. This can be harmful physically and even emotionally to you or someone you know.

Appearance

Some drugs will alter the way you look. Crystal meth, for instance, can make you look much older than you actually are and it can cause you to become very thin. Your skin will lose its luster, and it can even rot out your teeth and make them very brittle so they break easily.

If you or someone you know has a problem with drugs, a residential treatment center is the answer. With proven techniques and qualified professionals, overcoming a drug addiction is easier by using this type of full service treatment.

Protecting Yourself from UV Rays

Everyone needs some sun exposure because the sun is a major source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D allows your body to absorb calcium, and it strengthens your bones and teeth. But, beware of over exposure to the sun?s ultraviolet (UV) rays that can be very harmful to your health.

When you get sunburned, the UV rays have already damaged your skin cells and your skin will eventually peel off. Getting sunburned is not healthy and can cause skin cancer. The UV rays can also cause premature aging where your skin becomes thick, wrinkled, and leathery. Your skin may take several years to manifest the changes, so you should start protecting your skin at a very early age.

”’Preventing UV Ray Damage”’
Use a sunscreen that has a sun protection filter (SPF) of at least 30. You do not need a rx drugs prescription for sunscreen. Sunscreen effectively blocks a high percentage of UV rays and it should be used whenever you are in the sun. Some people are allergic to sunscreen, so you may want to put a small amount in an area on your arm for a couple of days to see if you develop any redness or a rash, before putting it all over your body.

Covering up with a shirt helps prevent some of the UV rays from getting through. Tightly woven shirts and pants are the most helpful. If you can see through your shirt, the UV rays can also get through to your skin.

Hats with wide brims help keep the sun off of your head, face, and neck to protect your skin and your eyes. Sunglasses with UV protection help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, as you get older.

The sun shines year round and you should protect your skin and eyes year round.

Dr. Lustig explains why we are fat

So…why are we fat?

The incidence of overweight and obese individuals shown in the NHANES surveys has a linear relationship to fructose consumption in the U.S. According to the USDA?s data, total sugar and fructose consumption started to increase sharply in 1985 and reached a peak in 1999, which is congruent with the incidence of obesity. During 2000 through 2005 we see a slight drop in total sugar and fructose consumption, which is consistent with the leveling off of obesity rates during that same period. This drop in sugar, adds up to 10lbs of total sugar with fructose contributing 6 of those lbs.

Even more compelling, the USDA?s data in reveals total sugar consumption from 1970 to 1999 increased 26%, which at first glance doesn?t seem like much. Also note that from 1970 to 1983 total sugar consumption did not increase while obesity rates did. This would lead one to infer that sugar is not a major contributing factor to our expanding waist-lines. However, take another look. While total sugar consumption did not increase from 1970 to 1983, fructose consumption tripled. More-over, between 1970 and 1999 with only a 26% increase in total sugar consumption, fructose consumption increased 425%.

Evolution of the Unhealthy American

In the below video Dr. Lustig puts the kibosh on the positive reputation fructose has been allowed to hold even in the face of mounds of evidence pointing to the contrary.

More Reasons to Go Organic! More Nutrition and More Taste!

The debate rages on but a recent study in Science Daily analyzes conventional versus organic farming and the results went beyond environmental concerns.

In the tug of war over whether organic farming is really better than conventional chemical-laden farming, a new study in the online peer-reviewed journal PLoS One comes out solidly in support of the benefits of organic. Self-described as the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers from Washington State University found that commercial organic farms produce was more flavorful and nutritious strawberries, while leaving the soil healthier and genetically diverse.

In coming to that conclusion, the scientists analyzed 31 chemical and biological soil properties, soil DNA, as well as the taste, nutrition and quality of three strawberry varieties on 13 organic farms and 13 chemical farms in California, where 90% of the US strawberry crop is grown.

Preventing Altitude Sickness

Seeing the world through traveling can be a rewarding and exciting experience. However, even when soaking in new sights, safety should be a top consideration?especially when exploring areas that are unfamiliar and that the body is not accustomed to. Altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness, is an illness that plagues many travelers. Mountain climbers or tourists visiting destinations at high altitudes should be aware of the signs of altitude sickness and know preventative measures and treatment options so they can ward off the symptoms and enjoy their trips as fully as possible.

As altitude increases, the number of oxygen molecules inhaled per breath decreases, so the body must operate with less oxygen. Travelers can begin to experience mountain sickness at 8,000 feet, but most do not feel the symptoms until over 12,000 feet. Most people experience mountain sickness because they attempt to climb too high too quickly; if they ascend at a slower pace, the body is able to better adapt to its new surroundings.

Mild mountain sickness can lead the traveler to experience dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, and nausea. As the sickness gets more severe, symptoms include decreasing mental status, fluid build-up in the lungs, and the inability to walk. At this point, travelers should immediately descend to a lower altitude.

Climbers should take precautions to avoid experiencing mountain sickness. A pulse oximeter is a necessary tool for any climber?it can measure the pulse and the blood oxygen saturation, alerting climbers if their bodies are not receiving enough oxygen. Climbers should also avoid ascending to a higher altitude too quickly, and if they begin to feel symptoms, they should not travel further until the symptoms die down. Eating a high-calorie diet can be beneficial for travelers at a high altitude, as well. Travelers can take medications, such as acetazolamide or dexamethasone, before reaching high altitudes as a preventative measure.

ALERT: Eliminate these 2 toxins from your diet

Fructose

Sources: This garbage is found in everything from soda to cereal. It?s literally in thousands of products. Read your labels.

The ?fat carb? has been in our food supply for more 35 years. We?ve been led to believe that fructose from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is akin to naturally occurring sugar, the same that?s found in fruit. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fructose from HFCS is not the same as the molecule from sucrose (table sugar), or fruit leveulose. [1] Is it any wonder they have worked so hard to link HFCS to something natural and healthy like fruit?

The problem is our bodies metabolize HFCS differently than sucrose or fruit leveulose. When we consume sucrose, our bodies convert it into glucose, which raises our blood glucose levels. We then get an insulin spike to shuttle the glucose where it?s needed. When we consume HFCS, unlike natural sugar, it is metabolized in the liver and produces high triglyceride levels which are linked to heart disease. In addition, HFCS does not induce insulin secretion, nor does it boost leptin production, both of which are key signals for decreasing hunger. Hence, the name ?fat carb.? Eat it, get fat. Eat more, get fatter.

Russ Bianchi, a pharmacologist and toxicologist, explains: ?There is no safe form of fructose available from any source, unless already existing in an unprocessed apple or other piece of fruit. The science is known and epidemiologically proven.? [2]

If you follow the obesity epidemic in the U.S., you?ll find that Americans are eating less fat. In 1965, men ate an average of 139 grams and women 83 grams of fat per day. In 1995, men ate 101 grams and women ate 65 grams of fat per day. [3] With the way fat has been demonized over the last four decades, you?d expect an increase in fat consumption to be the main cause of the obesity epidemic, yet it?s not.

What does mirror the increase in fat Americans is the consumption pattern of HFCS. Between the years of 1970 and 1990, HFCS consumption increased 1000% and today represents 40% of the sweeteners added to foods and beverages. In fact, HFCS is the sole caloric sweetener in soft drinks in the United States. Is it any wonder that obesity is an epidemic? One of the main ingredients in our food supply not only converts to fat when we consume it, it facilitates fat storage. And Americans as a whole are eating more and more and more.

Trans Fat

Sources: Any foods containing ?shortening,? ?partially hydrogenated vegetable oil? or ?hydrogenated vegetable oil? in the ingredients list.

These manmade fats, like fructose, are in thousands of products. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading food labels. However, do not be fooled by products that claim ?zero trans fat?. Showing the power the edible oil and processed food industries have, the FDA agreed to allow food labels to list trans fat as zero if it contains a half a gram or less. And yes, small amounts of trans fat will yield negative consequences over time.

Decades of research show the consumption of trans fats to be detrimental to health. As early as the 1940s, researchers found a strong correlation between cancer, heart disease and the consumption of hydrogenated fats. [4]

What are trans fats? They are poison in our food supply. The latest government study confirms that trans fat is directly related with heart disease and increases LDL cholesterol. Because of that, the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, declared, “There is no safe amount of trans fat in the diet.? [5] ?There should be a warning on food made with this stuff like there is on nicotine products. It?s that bad for you.”, says Dr. Jeffery Aron, a University of California at San Francisco professor of medicine and one of the nation?s leading experts on fatty acids and their effect on the body. [6]

Poison is the most appropriate description of trans fat I can think of. These man-made fats are literally toxins in our bodies. Trans fat is produced through the process of hydrogenation. This process turns polyunsaturated oils into fats that are solid at room temperature, which are used to make products like margarine and shortening.

1. Mercola, J. ?Debate about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup.? Mercola.com
2. “Is lots of fructose water foolhardy? Apology, too.? Sugarshockblog.com, 13 September 2005.
3. Anand, Rajen S., ?Is fat consumption Really Decreasing?? Family Econ and Nut Rev. Summer 1998.
4. USDA Economic Research Service.
5. Severson, Kim. ?Trans fat in food: as bad as it gets. Scientists? warning likely to bring listing on nutrition labels.? San Francisco Chronicle. 11 Jan, 2002. SFGate.com
6. Severson, Kim. ?Hidden Killer, It?s trans fat. It?s dangerous. And it?s in food you eat everyday.? San Francisco Chronicle. 30 January, 2002. SFGate.com

Basic Fitness: Improving Your Blood Oxygen Levels

Maintaining appropriate blood oxygen levels isn’t just for patients requiring a finger pulse oximeter. This key factor in your overall fitness should be maintained regardless of what your health goals are. Here are a few basic steps you can follow in order to improve your overall blood oxygen levels.

1) Find better air.

If you’re living in a highly polluted area, you may be suffering from lower blood oxygen levels than are ideal. Much more importantly, you need to be certain that you’re not bringing any bad air into your life. If you’re a smoker, quit. If you add any air pollutants, such as heavy perfume, cleaners, and so forth, either avoid the area for a while after or stop altogether.

2) Do deep breathing exercises.

There are a number of breathing exercises that can help you improve your oxygen levels. These range from simple “sitting and breathing” tasks to more complex activities, such as yoga. This practice can also help you improve your breathing habits in other situations.

3) Improve your posture.

Poor posture makes you look like a slouch and it prevents your lungs from filling up completely. Adjust your posture in order to resolve this. If needed, do muscle training for any weak areas that are preventing appropriate posture.

4) Exercise regularly.

This one should be pretty obvious. If your heart or lungs aren’t healthy, a good blood oxygen level will be impossible. Get involved in a reasonable cardio fitness regimen that pushes your limits without ignoring them.

5) See a doctor.

If you have any extreme issues with blood oxygen levels, it’s important that you talk to a doctor. They will be able to examine your overall health and advise appropriate nutritional supplements and activities. In the more extreme cases, advanced treatment such as oxygen therapy may be suggested.

Lose fat with coconuts

Unless you’ve been in a vacuum, you’re aware that the U.S. has a little bit of a weight problem. As a matter of fact, if you’re born in this country your chance of being overweight is greater than 60 percent. One of the many great benefits of coconut oil, specifically the medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) it contains, is its ability to increase energy expenditure. In other words, it increases your metabolism.

Unlike long chain fatty acids (LCFA’s), MCFA’s are processed very easily by the body. When they are consumed, MCFA’s are absorbed directly into the blood stream from the small intestines and go right to the liver. Once in the liver, they are easily burned as fuel. Because of their size and the ease in which they are processed, MCFA’s are not readily stored as fat. On the contrary, because of their size, LCFA’s are not as efficiently processed and the body prefers to store them in fat cells.

MCFA’s metabolism boosting effects have been known for decades and are heavily documented through research:

In a study, researchers compared the thermogenic effect between MCFA’s and LCFA’s after single meals. The meals of 400 calories consisted entirely of either MCFA’s or LCFA’s. The thermogenic effect of MCFA’s over six hours was three times greater than that of LCFA’s. Researchers concluded that as long as the calorie level remained constant, substituting MCFA’s for LCFA’s would result in weight loss. [1]

Farmers found that when they fed their livestock feed that contained polyunsaturated oils like soy and corn oil, animals readily gained weight. However, when they used feed that incorporated coconut oil, the animals got leaner. The main reason for this is that polyunsaturated fats suppress thyroid function, which decreases the animal’s metabolic rate. Soy oils are the worst offenders because of the goitrogens (anti thyroid substances) they contain. [2] This is what happens to us. Is it any wonder the obesity epidemic is so bad when our consumption of vegetable fats has increased more than 400%? [3]

Researchers at Vanderbilt University compared the thermogenic effect of liquid diets containing 40 percent of fat as either MCFA’s or LCFA’s. All subjects were studied for one week on each diet in a double blind, cross-over design. Resting metabolic rate did not change during the week. The thermogenic response to MCFA’s was roughly twice that of the LCFA’s. [4]

A study was published last year conducted by researchers at McGill University to evaluate existing data describing the effects of MCFA’s on energy expenditure and to determine their efficacy as agents in the treatment of obesity. They reported that several different studies have shown weight loss equivalent to 12 to 36 pounds a year simply by changing the types of oils used in everyday cooking and food preparation. Animal and human studies have shown greater energy expenditure, less body weight gain, and decreased size of fatty deposits when using MCFA’s as opposed to LCFA’s. [5]

Sources of Coconut oil:
Only use organic virgin coconut oil. I am currently using Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil. This oil is truly unrefined and made from organic coconuts. It contains a very high lauric acid content between 50 and 57 percent. I use between two and four tablespoons per day, which is what is recommended.

References
1. Seaton, T.B., et al. “Thermogenic effect of medium chain and long chain triglycerides in man.” Am J of Clin Nutr. 1986;44:630

2. Daniel, Kayla T. The Whole Soy Story. Washington, New Trends Publishing, 2005.

3. Enig, Mary., and Sally Fallon. “Myths and Truths about Beef.”westonaprice.org www.westonaprice.org/mythstruths/mtbeef.html

4. Hill, J., et al. “Thermogenesis in humans during overfeeding with medium chain triglycerides.” Metabolism. 1989 July;38(7)641-8. www.ncbi.nlm.gov

5. Jones, P. “Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity.” J Nutr. 2002 March;132(3):329-32. www.thyroid.about.com

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