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Today, almost 60% of all men and women living in the US, take some kind of dietary supplements or nutrition products and try to actively improve their health in one way or another. However, the majority of people in western countries is suffering from long-term illnesses and health problems related to reasons that can be controlled through health-conscious decisions and lifestyles. The problem in this situation is caused by blind reliance on popular sounding health and nutrition programs, instead of going the "hard" way of finding the real answers for oneself.

This article will try to correct some of the worst misbeliefs and misconceptions and replace them with easy provable facts based on personal experiences and basic medical knowledge. This article will deal with the negative and positive facts about supplements and anti-aging products, but only as one certain part of the topic of general personal health, since supplementation of key nutrients is only effective when used as an optimizing factor of a basic lifestyle supporting one's health.

Perhaps some people will disagree with recommendations in this article. This would not come as a surprise, as it goes into a vastly different direction than popular, mainstream health recommendations and fads of today do. But here's an offer: everybody can easily apply the basic recommendations of this article for one week, which doesn't even cost much money, and then judge for him or herself, as the benefits from a truly healthy lifestyle grow slowly but start showing positive effects almost immediately.


Myth: a carbohydrate-rich diet is healthy, leads to good mood and high energy

Today's view that consuming too much of the wrong kinds of fat as a major factor for obesity is not totally wrong, however, it is not the prime problem. The real problem are the consumption of sugars and carbohydrates in high amounts, something for which the human body is not designed. Most people know that too much fat is bad for health, but only few people know that most carbohydrates can be converted into fat by body metabolism, that sugars are a form of simple carbohydrates. Also, simple carbohydrates, such as in bread, pasta, flour, etc. are mostly converted into simple sugars, and eating mostly carbohydrate-rich food is almost as unhealthy as eating mostly sweets.

Also, as opposed to popular views, consuming sugar is generally bad and unnecessary for the human body, as it metabolizes its own sugar. In the long term, regular intake of sugar leads to reduced insulin sensitivity, related hormonal disbalance and chronic fatigue, and other symptoms of premature aging, with medical causes such as glycotoxicity (toxical biochemical imbalances at cellular levels), and so-called advanced glycosylation end-products (proteins irreversibly "glued together" by sugars, which is the cause of wrinkles on the skin, commonly age-associated problems of body organs, and even affects cardiovascular risk factors).

Fact: a protein-rich, low carbohydrate diet is natural and healthy

A healthy man's body consists of over 85% water, over 10% protein, and about 4% fat. This is also roughly how you should determine your diet. Getting enough water is important and underestimated by most people. The majority of people's health problems are generally worsened by chronic dehydration, which seems to be a mass epidemia according to recent studies. By preventing against dehydration you might even lower the risks of such serious diseases as silent strokes, in the long term.

Also, did you know that all the popular diets for losing weight that work share a common secret? That "secret", implicity or explicity a part of those diets, is to control the insulin level of the body. In a nutshell, insulin is the hormone that is released on elevated blood sugar levels, and regulates saturation as well as much aspects of metabolism and energy levels. Insulin levels can generally be controlled by eating a protein-rich diet, and specifically by chosing to eat mainly foods with a low value on the glycemic index.


Myth: the more and the harder, the better

Doing hard exercise doesn't have to be bad per se, but the benefits of such exercise greatly depend on what kind of exercise is performed, as well as on individual state of health and condition. For example, untrained people or persons with chronic diseases should not do hard exercise without making sure their blood pressure and stress levels do not exceed a maximum healthy range while exercising.

Fact: regular, moderate aerobic exercise is optimal

The purpose of exercise should be to keep a long-term state of good health and condition. Therefore, the most important part about exercising is to do it regularly. Also, aerobic exercises are much better for improving condition and health-related conditions and keeping them in the optimum in the long term. Even through regular walking or jogging, one can get the benefits from aerobic exercise, and this can be done without pain or stress on a regular basis. Also, relaxation, breathing, and stretching excercises, such as those of yoga, or just commonly known fitness and warm-up exercises, belong to the painless easy aerobic exercise that can easily help maintaining good health when done regularly.


Of course, one should be generally aware of one's own health. If physical or psychiological well-being declines noticeably without any external influence, a doctor should be consulted to detect and prevent diseases at an early stage. Diseases which can be prevented or mitigated at an early stage but often are not, due to lack of diagnosis include cancer, heart disease, age-related diseases, thyroid disease, genetic defects and others. It is also important for one's general health to retain happiness and a joyful life, and do things that one enjoys. In the worst case, depressions can and should be treated by a physician; in many cases, one can work against long-term mood changes by actively changing one's own life and taking on problems. In any case, measurable neuroendocrinological disturbances which cause symptoms from high aggression levels to strong depressions, should always be treated in one way or another, as they can have very real effects on the development of health risk factors, premature physical aging, cancer, and other diseases.

Generally, using drugs and addictives should be avoided at all costs, even occasional consumption, or consumption in small amounts. Caffeine is an addictive, low-toxic alkaloid substance, whose risks are commonly underestimated. It enhances absorption rates of several substances in the body (sugars, carbohydrates, and some medication), and increases the energy level of the body. The addictive effect can be a strong craving of caffeine and exponentially diminishing energy levels and absorption rates. Nicotine does have similar effects on energy levels and can deplete key nutrients in the body, such as B-vitamins (long-term deficiency can lead to neurological and metabolical diseases), and substances required for NADH reactions, a primary catalytic process of the body for gaining muscular and neural energy.

Alcohol has the chemical property of dividing fatty substances from water, which is also the cause for its addictive effect (reaching neural tissue, it damages nerve cells, which in turn release the neurotransmitter dopamine, which controls relaxation, euphoria and other positive feelings). The dehydrative effect alcohol has on cells also increases cardiovascular and stroke risk factors. All in all, there are so many effects of alcohol intake on the body and the nerve system, that medical science today is still trying to analyze and categorize all of them. To make it short, most health risks through use of the well-known addictive substances, especially long-term ones, are largely underestimated by most people, and even many professional doctors.


Once you have a lifestyle and diet that supports your long-term physical health and well-being, you can, and you should, start thinking about additional nutritional and medical supplements, for optimizing your health, to slow the aging process, to work against chronic diseases or problems you might still have, and to proactively prevent a couple of serious diseases.

The supplement, nutrition, and anti-aging market is a big market, especially in the US, and therefore, there are false, "snake oil"-products out there, however, among a variety of valid, valuable other products. Very important substances for maintaining health and preventing diseases are categorized as vitamins, from A to Q -- commonly established, and valid, knowledge. Alone by taking cheap multivitamins, you can greatly improve nutrition quality.

However, some vitamins in common preparates according to RDA's are still too spurious to match an ideal nutrition, and other substances are missing, because they are ignored by the mainstream or were only recently discovered -- at least, according to most clinical studies done by nutrition companies.

Some of the substances and products offered by nutrition companies do not have any proven benefit on health. Often this is due to lack of resources for research, but sometimes, the products really have no benefits on health. Additionally, originally highly effective substances are sometimes sold in a way in which they do not benefit health. For example, SOD, RNA, Human Growth Hormone, and other expensive substances are often sold for oral intake, but, when taken orally, such substances are broken down into other substances which have no beneficial effect on health. Also, products like colloidal minerals are often marketed as "ultimate cures" or with similar unrealistic promises. Even if not, a customer may often see them as such. Colloidal silver, for example, is a potent antibacterial agent, and can help as antibiotic, but not as a miracle cure to totally unrelated diseases.

When using supplements, it is necessary to:

* Live a generally healthy life
* Diagnose own problems or wishes and determine realistically what to buy
* Not to blindly rely on any product, but to evaluate it objectively
* Know about and chose among different groups and kinds of supplements

Here are some different categories of nutritional supplements:

* Antioxidants: natural or chemical substances that disarm free radicals (cell-damaging substances, byproducts of metabolism and external factors). Slows down the aging process in the long-term, can mitigate cancer risks. Some vitamins and herbal substances have strong antioxidant qualities.
* Amino acids: certain amino acids have different properties, e.g. they can increase the production of hormones, or fat metabolism in natural, gentle ways. Recommended mostly for specific or age-related health problems.
* Fatty acids: some herbal fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for the brain and should be supplemented for healthy fat metabolism.
* Mood affecting supplements: mild anti-depressants from Kava-Kava to SAMe, melatonin for sleeping problems, and similar supplements can be used as alternative to common medicine with side effects, when required.
* Hormone substitution therapies. DHEA, growth hormone injection, etc. should be used only when necessary and after consulting a professional.
* Many others. High-dose B vitamins against slight nervous problems such as strong itching. High doses of vitamin C to improve immune response. Coenzyme Q10 for cell longevity and increased metabolic energy. Bioflavonoids, isoflavones and other herbal substances against free radicals and specific toxins and against low-toxic metabolism byproducts. Fiber and certain digestive enzymes to accelerate protein breakdown and digestion.

There are a few good nutrition companies that can be recommended, such as LEF which also engages in scientific research and political action (such as working against the illegitimate FDA regulations of the medical industry) through membership fees. Generally, you can find nutrition companies using worldhealth.net.

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Original article can be found at http://secretcodes.org/health.html