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L-Tryptophan the Obesity, Depression & ADD Silver Bullet Solution?

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Updated by Marc Woodard, 2/27/20

What is dietary Tryptophan and how can it help you lose weight and reduce anxiety?

It is one of the 8 essential amino acids our bodies require to function correctly. It is found naturally in varying degrees within food we eat, such as red meat, milk, eggs, turkey, bananas and chocolate, etc.

How does IMG_20130405_174848Tryptophan work to produce benefits for our bodies that could promote natural weight loss, reduce anxiety, increase happiness, remove depression, and promote good sleep? Could it be possible this essential amino acid supplemented within a diet and known as L-Tryptophan could also help with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) for you and your children?

The answers will surprise, anger and shock many of you about the health benefits our pharmaceutical industries don’t want you to fully realize. This is because the prescription industry is a billion (s) dollar industries that do not want to give up its prescription turf!

Ageless MirrorAthlete has all the consumer information you need and want now – live life to the fullest today!

Let’s first cover a bit of history. Back in 1991 the US government banned the dietary supplement L-Tryptophan because it was linked to a large outbreak of a deadly disease that killed 38 people in a 1989 study. After 10 years had passed without incident of use in Europe, the US loosened its marketing restriction on the substance in 2001. Like anything else, if misused any product may cause ill-health conditions. Like many competitive industries, and most specifically our pharmaceutical industries back in 1989, they took full advantage of this disaster and profited in the market place by denouncing L-Tryptophan supplementation and created a whole slew of potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals to mimic the benefits of this essential amino acid.

As you will read below, there are still risks of using L-Tryptophan if not used correctly. But I believe the pharmaceutical cocktail mixes our doctors now prescribe to you and your children have greater risk to health than this natural occurring supplement found in a balanced diet. So instead of this industry improving a safe version of this supplement, it appears it was more profitable to create a whole lot of other products to achieve the same result at greater expense with increased health risk.

How does this amino acid work in our bodies to promote health benefits?

Our bodies need serotonin and melatonin neurotransmitters which are bio-brain chemicals that allow proper function of our physiology. Our bodies do not manufacture these neurotransmitters without this amino acid in the diet. IMG_20130405_174935That’s what essential means… our body can’t produce this amino acid on its own, and it has to be obtained through the diet.

This is important why? Because without enough of this essential amino acid – any one of us stand a good chance of suffering from one, or any combination of ill-health condition of varying degree… such as, migraines, low energy, sleepless nights, improper weight regulation, obesity, depression, anxiety and hyperactivity.

If your diet is predominately low protein-high carbohydrate, you are at greater risk of ill-health. When dietary balance is one of high sugar-fat and low protein you reduce the uptake of essential nutrients needed to sustain balanced body chemicals and good health.IMG_20130405_175411

Fortunately, more consumers today are educated on proper use and benefits of L-Tryptophan. It is making a big comeback in the mainstream weight loss, anti-anxiety/depression and ADD marketplace.

As you can imagine there is big opposition to this movement from the pharmaceutical industry because there is much profit to be lost once consumers wean off unnecessary pharmaceuticals.

I’m not saying all man-made products are without merit. However, all too often, our physicians and psychiatrists are too quick to prescribe a pill when the answer to the problem could be very simple – a poor diet, or need to simply supplement the diet with an essential amino acid to stimulate the production of the necessary neurotransmitter chemical.

Can supplementing the diet with L-Tryptophan help us regulate and reduce weight?

Science shows this supplement can greatly reduce our cravings for sweets and carbohydrates.

When dieting our serotonin levels appear to decrease which creates a carbohydrate binging and cravings effect.

When our serotonin levels remain low there is a direct correlation with weight gain and obesity. We know this binging and craving effect as the Yo-Yo effect.

There are known side effects of taking L-Tryptophan if proper dosages and impure quality grade are not considered. Unlike Tryptophan extracted from the foods in our diet, there appears to be no health risk. But like anything else we put in our bodies, if you consume too much with frequency, a negative to no benefit effect can result making the body ill.

Here is a list of possible side effects when misusing, or using L-Tryptophan: Eosinophilia-Myalgia Syndrome (EMS), or serotonin syndrome.  

Symptoms include severe muscle pain, fatigue, and nerve pain, hair loss, rash, dry thickened skin, or skin changes. High eosinophil levels are found in the blood when supplementation has gone wrong. Also when recommended dosages are disregarded, excess toxic waste in the body can impact the brain bringing on psychotic symptoms. This may include confusion, seeing, or hearing things, fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, diarrhea, difficulty walking. Allergic reactions may include: Rash, hives, itching, swelling of mouth/throat, wheezing, or breathing difficulty. Science still cannot tell us if EMS is the result of impure or specific brand L-tryptophan that had contaminants. But for best results, it’s best to ensure a quality pharmaceutical grade for safe use.

If L-Tryptophan is supplemented within the right dosages, the scientific data shows the brain will manufacture balanced serotonin and melatonin neurotransmitters promoting a cheerful mood, assist in weight reduction, relieve anxiety, reduce migraine, reduce hyperactivity, reduce depression and promote healthy sleep patterns. Sounds like the same benefits you’d receive from a doctor’s prescription, does it not? Because this supplement also has many potential risks like prescriptions; it would be prudent to work with your primary care physician if interested in supplementing the diet with L-Tryptophan.

This essential acid is also responsible for manufacturing the neurotransmitter Melatonin  [resulting in healthy sleep patterns]. Melatonin can be purchased over-the-counter in many retail stores.

I’ve used melatonin after working grave yard shifts and can tell you it works very well to induce sleep. But if you’re getting enough tryptophan from a balanced diet – sleepless nights may become less frequent. DSC00297Of course, bodies are all different in ability to process Tryptophan and manufacture serotonin and melatonin, so these dietary  truths and resulting effects will vary and affect each individual differently.

If you’d been advised to reduce the cholesterol in your diet, this may likely lead to a reduction of this essential amino acid. I have not supplemented my diet with L-Tryptophan, but would do so If I felt I couldn’t get this essential amino acid from the foods I eat daily.

Recommendations:

If you or your child suffer from ADD, obesity, anxiety, depression and insomnia, consider balanced diet and/or supplement with natural Trpytophan, or a high quality L-Trpytophan prescribed by a physician.

Understand there are literally thousands of Internet links and library resources on this topic. There is much to be interpreted and derived from the data I found outside of the two links listed below. I see the positive benefits of balanced diet and supplementation if needed. The pharmaceutical and psychiatric community does not share a similar enthusiasm over the benefits of supplementation.

Research the Internet and read up on diet Tryptophan versus supplement L-Tryptophan and how it may be your silver bullet to weaning off of pharmaceuticals and promoting a good health to meet your fit healthy and well-being goals.

Good health to you and your family!

Research Links:

http://www.weight-loss-center.net/L-tryptophan.html

http://mental-health.emedtv.com/l-tryptophan/l-tryptophan-side-effects.html

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2010-20 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Toxic Versus Healthy Cookware Knowledge

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Updated: 11 March 2019, by Marc Woodard

Throughout the years toxic cookware products have fueled consumer safety and health risk concerns abroad. Although cookware technology has made great strides in decreasing health risk factors, those risks still exist in inferior cooking vessel products.

Cookware safety concerns stem from the fact metals and sealant toxins can be released and absorbed into the blood regardless of the advancement of cookware technologies.

Although the bar-bee presents some health risk... I use white oak quarters to make natural briquettes... 'Chemical free.'
If barbecuing foods was considered healthy without health risk… I’d eat this way everyday.” Carcinogens are released and absorbed into foods through high heat smoke temp exchange.

Learn how to avoid unnecessary health risk by understanding how to use the right tool for the job and identifying breached cooking vessels & sealants.

For those unaware, most pots and pans have a protective HEAT barrier sealant which protects us from the reactive nature of metals. The cookware bonding and sealant technologies today can protect consumers from hazardous materials when used and cared for per manufacture instruction. However when unaware of cookware quality and signs of overuse, hazardous sealants and metals are more apt to absorb into foods.

Unfortunately, both copper and aluminum react readily to foods. (Copper, when ingested in quantity or consistently can cause liver, stomach, and kidney problems as well as anemia. Also, aluminum has long been suspected of contributing to Alzheimer’s disease (Chu 2005).

The reason this became a concern is that large amounts of the material have been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, which proves that aluminum crosses the blood/brain barrier. This does not establish a causal link, which would be needed to say definitively that aluminum in the brain causes Alzheimer’s disease. However aluminum is on the 2007 list of top priority toxins in the United States (a list put out every year by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), and aluminum has been clearly identified as a toxin for the human nervous system, immune system and genetic system (New 2015).”

Compromised Teflon Aluminum Pan. Note the scratch marks. This pan has been replaced
Compromised Teflon Aluminum Pan. Note the scratch marks at bottom of pan. Time to replace it.

Another concern with use of aluminum pots and pans is when treated with a Teflon sealant over the metal. Then that surface material becomes compromised.

There is a two-fold contaminant health risk factor with compromised cookware. A scratched or worn Teflon surface for example exposes the food to aluminum and flaking of the sealant material.

The two-fold contaminant factor increases as cooking temps near 450 degrees and  significantly increase when over 500 degrees. This produces toxic fumes and causes Teflon to bubble off metal pans with chemical flakes further contaminating the food. I tested the 450-500 degree premise by overheating a compromised Teflon pan.

I filled a Teflon coated pan with water and heated it over a propane stove at a high temperature. Once the water was 2/3 boiled out of the pan the Teflon began to flake into the water at 475-500 degrees. Within a short period of time 1/3 of the bottom pan was exposed aluminum with Teflon flakes floating in the water.

Dupont, the inventor of Teflon, was sued for withholding safety information about the use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in non-stick cookware. Studies which used animals as test subjects revealed that non-stick cookware “is more likely than not” related to, or a cause, or catalyst of the following medical problems: Children’s healthy development, risk of liver, pancreatic, testicular, and mammary gland tumors; Altered thyroid hormone regulation; generalized damage to the immune system; Reproductive problems and birth defects.

Compromised Teflon coated pans are good for one thing… target practice [Marc Woodard].

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are both fluoride compounds. These hazardous chemicals are also known as PFC (perfluorinated compounds). Fluoride is a poison that depresses the thyroid, which can cause hypothyroidism, particularly with repeated exposure. It accumulates in the bones, teeth, and pineal gland. It has been linked to brittle bone disease, and it causes cognitive problems. The E.P.A. reported that PFOA accumulates inside humans for years, and it has been verified to produce cancers in laboratory tests (Corriher 2008).

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) officials due to a growing body of evidence showing them to be highly toxic, extraordinarily persistent chemicals (some NEVER break down in the environment) that pervasively contaminate human blood and wildlife all over the globe. Recent research has shown that prenatal exposure to PFCs compromises early childhood immunity and that general exposure increases the risk of arthritis (EWG 2013).

Healthier Cookware Choice

Anodized Aluminum Cookware is a Safer Alternative to Teflon sealed pots and pans – These days, many health conscious cooks are turning to anodized aluminum cookware as a safer alternative. The electro-chemical anodizing process locks in the cookware’s base metal, aluminum, so that it can’t get into food (West 2016).

Anodized Cookware
Anodized Cookware

For those that want to know more about the metal construction of your pots and pans selections, Anodized’ means that a material such as the aluminum in cookware, has been subjected to an electrolytic process, where natural oxidation has been controlled. This involves immersing the aluminum in a chemical bath and applying an electrical current to it, causing oxide to be produced from the resulting rust on the aluminum. This layer of oxide hardens the aluminum and makes it resistant to corrosion. Which results in an even harder and more durable (cookware) coating (2014 Mifflin).

Calphalon is the leading manufacturer of anodized aluminum cookware, but newer offerings from All Clad (endorsed by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse) and others are coming on strong (West 2016).

At the time of its founding, All-Clad distinguished itself from other cookware companies by using a patented “roll bonding” process by which metals are sandwiched together and then formed into a cooking vessel. The company derived its name from this cladding process, which is applied not only on the bottom but extends all the way up the sides of each cooking vessel (Wikepedia 2016).

Copper Cookware is excellent for certain uses. Also it is not a health risk concern when selecting a durable sealant technology and when proper use and care is applied. Cookware favored by chefs for sauces and saut©s is copper, which excels at quick warm-ups and even heat distribution (West 2016). Copper can be toxic when used on the inside of cookware, so it is usually reserved for use on the outside or with a lining of other materials. Such as copper pots and pans are usually lined with tin or stainless steel so the consumer doesn’t need to be concerned with copper toxicity. Excellent heat conduction can be maintained through the lining (Carmichael 2015).

All-clad sauce pan
Clad-Stainless steel sauce pan

Stainless Steel Cookware Combines Different Metals – In fact, stainless steel is really a mixture of several different metals, including nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all of which can trickle into foods. However, unless your stainless steel cookware is dinged and pitted, the amount of metals likely to get into your food is negligible (West 2016).

Be careful how you clean it though, as frequent use of abrasive materials can scratch through the protective stainless surface and release small amounts of chromium and nickel. Although stainless is very safe for most to use, people with nickel allergies should avoid cooking with stainless steel cookware (EWG 2013).

Cast Iron Cookware may Actually Improve Health and is known for its durability and even heat distribution. Cast iron cookware can also help ensure that eaters in your house get enough iron which the body needs to produce red blood cells. Iron is considered a healthy food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers should beware, most cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned after each use and as such is not as worry-free as other alternatives. Lodge Manufacturing is a leading American producer of cast iron, enameled cast iron, seasoned and stainless steel cookware (Lodge 2016).

Ceramic Cookware has the properties of cast iron. Le Creuset with cast iron, stainless, copper and aluminum heat exchange interior to enamel coating does not appear to cause health risk with long term use (West 2016).

The Le Creuset foundry uses standard sand casting methods. After hand finishing, items are sprayed with at least two coats of enamel. The enamel becomes resistant to damage during normal use (Wikepedia 2016).

There isn’t much negative on Le Creuset. Only that it’s very expensive and a World chef Cuisine preference of cooking standards. The only user precaution was to ensure avoidance of chipping the enamel. The smooth and colorful enamel is dishwasher-friendly and somewhat non-stick, and covers the entire surface of cookware to minimize clean-up headaches.

Glass Cookware. All glass is inert, nontoxic, and safe (except for lead crystal glassware, which contains lead) (EWG 2013).

Other Safety Cookware Tips

Aside from glass, stainless steel, modern enamel (which is cadmium-free) and iron, there is anodized aluminum which was discussed earlier. Although Anodization is a process by which aluminum is treated with a nonreactive hard coating of aluminum called aluminum oxidation, which does not leach, but it might still be prudent to avoid storing tomato sauce and other acidic substances in any aluminum vessel. Care should also be taken to discard aluminum ware that is damaged in any way, which can happen even with the anodized version (New 2015).

Throw away scratched Teflon cookware and any other type of badly worn, pitted or chipped pots and pans and replace with higher quality products. The first one I replaced was the Sautee pan.

Enamel sealed clad sauté pan.
Stainless ceramic sauté pan.  Approx. $55.00.  This is my favorite cooking pan. It still looks the same – good as new one year later.

I replaced it with two high quality pans of various size: One a stainless-clad, and the other a like-Le Creuset type – Stainless Ceramic. I discovered I liked them both and began purchasing similar quality products based on price to upgrade compromised cookware.

For me replacing the saut© pan was a priority because I used it a lot to cook my meals. Most can’t afford to replace high quality cookware all at once. My advice, replace poor quality cookware with high quality products during seasonal promotions, e.g., black Friday and Holiday season. In time you’ll have great quality kitchen ware at 20-50% off normal price. I’ve replaced all my Teflon cookware with stainless, clad, enamel and ceramic pots and pans. I’ll never go back to Teflon sealed cookware.

Avoid using metal or hard plastic utensils on cookware. These utensils can scratch surfaces and cause pots and pans to wear out faster. Use wood, bamboo or safe silicone treated instead (Wax 2015).

“How to mitigate the possibility of ceramic lead absorption”

Protect your family from ceramic cookware containing lead that can leach into cooked and stored foods. It is not uncommon for ceramic items used for cooking or simply for decoration to contain lead. In fact, lead has been used in the glazing process for ceramic dishes, bowls, pitchers, plates and other utensils for centuries. Typically, after being fired in a kiln, a piece of ceramic will appear smooth and shiny due to the lead in the glaze (Claire 2012).

Cookware with lead: Safe use and risk factor awareness.

Enjoy good eats knowing no toxins have been absorbed into the foods you love to eat.
Enjoy good eats knowing ‘no cookware toxins’ have been absorbed into the foods you love to eat.

1) Acidic foods such as oranges, tomatoes, or foods containing vinegar will cause more lead to be leached from ceramic cookware than non-acidic foods like milk. 2) More lead will leach into hot liquids like coffee, tea, and soups than into cold beverages. 3) DO NOT use any dishware that has a dusty or chalky gray film on the glaze after it has been washed. 4) Some ceramic cookware should not be used to hold food. This includes items bought in another country or considered to be a craft, antique, or collectible. These pieces may not meet FDA specifications. 5) Test kits can detect high levels of lead in ceramic cookware, but lower levels may also be dangerous (Wax 2015).

Now you’re armed with the most up-to-date kitchen cookware knowledge and can select the right tool for the job that puts your families health first.

Good Health to You and Your Family!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2019 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for FREE Monthly eNewsletter.

References

Carmichael, Jackie. “Is It Safe to Cook in Copper Pots?” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 26 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Chu, Michael. “Common Materials of Cookware.” Cooking for Engineers. CFE Enterprises, Inc., 15 July 2005. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Corriher, Sarah C. “The Dangers of Non-Stick Cookware.” The Health Wyze Report. Health Wyze Media, 24 Feb. 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

EWG. “Be Cautious With Cookware.” Start Cooking Healthy by Using Safer Cookware. EWG or Healthy Child Healthy World, 22 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Lodge. “Lodge Use and Care.” Lodge Cast Iron. 2016 Lodge Manufacturing Company, 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Mifflin, Mariette. “Anodized and Hard Anodized Cookware Construction.” About.com Home. About, Inc., 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Mitchell, Claire. “Beware of Lead in Ceramic Kitchenware | Food Safety News.” Food Safety News. Marler Clark, 17 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

New, Maggie. “Poisons from Aluminum Cookware.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 24 June 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wax, Emily, RD, the Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY. Also Reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial Team. “Cooking Utensils and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” Cooking Utensils and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus, 25 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

West, Larry. “What Kind of Cookware Is Safest for the Environment?” About.com News & Issues. About, Inc., 19 Jan. 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wikepedia. “All-Clad.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Wikepedia. “Le Creuset.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

 

Walking is a Superior Fat Burning Activity

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What many people don’t know is during low-intensity aerobic exercise like walking the muscles prefer to burn fat fuel.

That’s right the metabolic energy needed to walk prefers stored body fat to move the large muscles in the legs and buttocks.

But those same muscles used during high-intensity aerobics exercise like running, sprinting or high intensity aerobic dance or boot camp training prefer mostly blood glucose [sugar] and stored liver and muscle glycogen fuel from carbohydrate conversion.

When intense exercise is performed the priority of fuel need by the metabolism is blood sugar and stored carbohydrate energy… and less body fat fuel. Thereafter the body needs to replenish the quick energy storage tank. That’s one reason why high intensity exercise cause carbohydrate food cravings… thereafter many become famished, overeat and gain weight. The point here is – “you don’t have to train hard to lose body fat weight and experience extreme carbohydrate food cravings that add undesired body weight.”

City trail pathways are a great for daily walking activity.

It will take approximately 1-2 weeks to become addicted to a daily walk habit to lose more body fat and body weight. However everyone differs slightly in metabolism, exercise and activity interest, intensity, frequency and duration where fitness results and weight loss do vary. But in the end, daily low-impact aerobics exercise will help moderate food cravings and increase will power to continue the exercise and natural weight loss course

Join a walking group and stay motivated to repeat the daily activity..

To improve the odds of sticking to a daily exercise habit,10 lifestyle changes will help sustain daily exercise activity and weight loss goals 1) Stop substance abuse and unhealthy over indulgences. 2) Get 6-8 hours of sleep. 3) Remove yourself from unhealthy and stressful environments. 4) Make the time for daily low impact exercise activity. 5) Eat more fresh whole foods like fruits and vegetables and less processed and high sugar foods. 6) Invest in a good pair of walking shoes with insole inserts if needed. 7) Don’t quit after 1 or 2 days of walking activity, be consistent and exercise on a daily basis. 8) Give up artificial sweeteners, they cause weight gain and acute and chronic disease. 9) Drink more water daily – up to 8 glasses will help with weight loss and reduce weight bearing joint pain. 10) Find a walking group, or walking partner. This will provide more will power to stay the course.

When beginning a daily walk program it doesn’t’ require much will power to get started. But it does require commitment. The excuse I often hear people use to avoid any form of exercise, “I don’t have the time.” But if you can make time you’ll lose weight and feel better almost immediately. If you haven’t exercised for awhile it may feel uncomfortable and you may experience a little soreness. But if you can walk or bike at least 15-30 minutes or more each day you’ll notice results and feel better in no time. Remember, “Rome was not built in a day.” Slow down and let your body adjust to the weight bearing exercise activity. Then increase duration and intensity over a period of days.

Low Impact Aerobic Dance is a great fat burning activity.

I’ve had plenty of overweight clients walk or ride a stationary bike for a year before they achieved successful weight loss. Thereafter participated in a long distance walk, hike, jog or ran or biked a marathon. They never imagined being capable of doing anything like it. They simply believed it possible because they could relate to the low-impact aerobics and fat burning engine truths. Truths that got them pointed in the right direction to achieve greater fitness goals.

Now go get addicted to the natural feel good chemicals and fat burning metabolism produced by your own body through low aerobic exercise. Dance, walk, jog or ride a bike but don’t overdue it. Then reap the ideal body weight, healthy longevity and increased mobility and energy benefits you need, want and deserve!

Good Health to You and Your Family.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2017 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org