Health can be measured in many ways and is often broken down into a variety of numbers and diagnoses that don’t often provide the best picture of what a truly healthy body and mind looks like.
While modern-day western medicine has brought many wonderful and life saving advancements, one of the downfalls of western medicine is the often siloed approach to health, which looks at the body in sections of individual symptoms and pieces rather that the whole system it really is.
This is why holistic health is so important, because to truly achieve optimal wellness in the physical, mental, and spiritual sense we have to be viewing and supporting the body as the incredible system it is.
Adding fiber to your diet, eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, and cutting down on salt can help clear your body of toxins. So can avoiding alcohol and smoking, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep. Milk thistle is a herb you can use to improve liver function and so are turmeric and licorice. If you’re looking for a comprehensive detox program, try the panchakarma therapies advocated by Ayurveda.
Junk food, alcohol, pollution – your body battles numerous toxins on a daily basis. Fortunately, it’s got a great detoxification system in place. Your skin, your immune system, and your intestines work to eliminate, screen, or protect you from harmful substances. Your liver helps to metabolize nutrients like zinc and copper and neutralize dangerous metals like mercury, lead, and cadmium. And of course, your kidneys filter out toxic waste materials.But thanks to our lifestyle habits and other environmental factors, these systems are often put to the test. So how can you lend your body a hand and rid it off toxins?
There is perhaps no group of people on the planet who focus more on nutrition and supplementation than athletes. The physical demands of training for an athlete, whether they be a marathon runner, an Olympian or even a casual gym-goer, are rigorous. Every meal contributes (whether positively or negatively) to their success. One of the ways athletes can meet and even exceed their goals is by introducing enzymes into their diets. Here’s everything you need to know about enzymes for athletes.
In order to push harder, go further and perform better, athletes must consume more calories, and more food, than the average person. The ideal diet for any hard-hitting athlete starts with plenty of protein to help build muscle (anabolism) and prevent muscle breakdown (catabolism). To fuel the body and keep it moving, ample carbohydrates and fat are also required. Lots of lean meat, protein shakes and grains are great for bulking up or cutting down, but these foods have a tendency to wreak havoc on the digestive tract.
Not only do athletes face tough digestive challenges, they also put their musculoskeletal systems through the wringer. After a particularly limit-pushing training session, some muscle fatigue and soreness can be expected, which can slow the training process. In addition, athletes who have been in the game for a prolonged period may experience pain or recurring problem areas triggered by overuse, injury or inflammation. Taking all of these unique factors into account, it’s clear that athletes need their own special considerations when formulating the right diet. Their supplementation routine should focus on:
With the above considerations in mind, athletes of all types should consider introducing a sports nutrition enzyme into their diet. These enzymes often come in pre-formulated blends that contain various potent enzymes for the whole body. Here are some examples:
Since most people eat meals that contain a unique combination of protein, fat, carbohydrates, sugars and lactose, it doesn’t make sense to isolate these powerful digestive enzymes or take them separately. Instead, enzyme blends are used to provide complete support for digestion and the body’s ability to recover after strenuous physical activity
RESTORE - This powerful blend of proteolytic enzymes is formulated to aid the body in converting proteins to smaller peptides and amino acids, which can promote building and maintaining muscles. Specifically, it helps athletes reach their goals by boosting the bioavailability of the protein they consume.
Both of the aforementioned enzyme blends are effective throughout the pH range (3 to 9) of the digestive tract, ensuring maximum effectiveness. All products from Specialty Enzymes & Probiotics, including our unique athletic enzyme blends, are formulated with the highest quality ingredients. They all achieve the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) seal and are vegan, kosher, halal, gluten-free and GMO-free.
The bacteria that live in your intestines are a mixed blessing. Scientists have known for decades that this so-called microbiota helps us digest our food and crowds out infectious germs. The bugs have also been implicated in allergies and obesity. Now, a new study adds one more potential malady to the list: rheumatoid arthritis.
"It's been suspected for years and years, both in humans and in the animal model, that the development of autoimmune diseases like arthritis is dependent on the gut microbiota," says immunologist Diane Mathis of Harvard Medical School in Boston. Now, she says, those suspicions are beginning to be confirmed in humans. "It's a very striking finding.”
Rheumatoid arthritis is a mysterious disease. It can strike at any age, typically beginning in young and middle-aged adults and causing painfully stiff, swollen joints in the hands and feet. It can also destroy bone and cartilage and damage organs like the lungs and kidneys. Scientists aren’t sure what causes rheumatoid arthritis, but they do know that it’s an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body's immune system is attacking its own tissues. And that's where gut bacteria come in
Gut bacteria have an intricate relationship with our immune system. We need to be able to tolerate helpful microbes while still recognizing and fighting invaders. Immunologist Dan Littman of New York University knew that gut microbes are important to the development of a particular type of immune cell his team studies, known as a Th17 cell. Mice that are reared in sterile conditions produce very few of these cells, and his group had previously found that mice bought from one supplier had far more Th17 cells than those that came from a different supplier. The difference turned out to be due to the rodents' gut microbes.
When Littman presented that result at a conference several years ago, Mathis, who was in the audience, told him that she had seen a change in her lab animals when they were moved to a lab in a different town. Instead of spontaneously developing a mouse version of arthritis, they remained healthy. Littman and Mathis collaborated to find out why and tracked down the difference to a particular type of bacterium that, when present in the intestines, trains the immune system to produce Th17 cells, which in turn release molecules that cause inflammation and bone damage in arthritis.
Littman wondered if rheumatoid arthritis in humans might also be due to specific gut microbes. His team tested fecal samples (which reflect the population of gut bacteria) from 114 residents of the New York City area. Some subjects were healthy; others had been living with rheumatoid arthritis for years; still others had psoriatic arthritis, a different autoimmune disease whose causes are also unknown; and some had been recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Members of this latter group were especially important because, although they had rheumatoid arthritis, they hadn't yet been treated for it. In this group, a bacterium named Prevotella copri was present in 75% of patients' intestines, the researchers will report online tomorrow in eLife. P. copri only appeared in 37% of patients living with either rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis and 21% of healthy controls. This last number is similar to the prevalence of P. copri that previous studies found in the general population in industrialized countries.
"That they were able to associate one bacterium with one pathology is remarkable," says Yasmine Belkaid, an immunologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved in the work.
But the results aren't enough to convict P. copri as the mastermind behind rheumatoid arthritis, she notes. The authors can't ethically give the bacterium to healthy subjects, so they couldn't prove that P. copri caused arthritis in patients, just that the bacterium and the disease tend to occur together. Genetics and other environmental factors, like smoking, have been associated with rheumatoid arthritis, so even if P. copri is the culprit, it doesn't necessarily act alone. "The next step is to be able to understand how causative these microbes are," Belkaid says. That would require surveying people's microbes and waiting to see who develops the disease.
To build its case against the bacterium, Littman's team gave a lab-grown strain of P. copri to mice and watched what happened in the rodents' guts. P. copri easily took up residence, and the researchers found that the mice developed increased inflammation, especially in the gut. They didn't get arthritis, possibly because the strain of P. copri was different from the human ones, but Littman says the gut inflammation corroborates the idea that gut microbes are prodding immune cells to develop and that those cells then go forth and lead an attack on other parts of the body.
That is the most exciting possibility, Mathis says. But, she explains, other hypotheses can't be ruled out. It's possible that arthritis patients' immune systems allow P. copri to grow out of control, or perhaps a third factor affects both the microbes and the immune system independently. Rheumatoid arthritis, Littman says, seems to have several environmental triggers, but how and whether they combine is not well understood.
The findings, Mathis says, open the possibility of new therapies to prevent or treat rheumatoid arthritis. Current treatments for the disease include drugs with scary side effects—Remicade, for instance, seems to increase the risk of developing certain cancers and serious infections. Perhaps P. copri could be attacked with antibiotics, Littman says, or crowded out with probiotic pills full of good bacteria. Either way, patients may someday be able to relieve their joint pain by focusing on their guts.
Information sourced from https://www.sciencemag.org/