Category Archives: General

Can Stress Make You Tired?

man looking tired in bed

Short answer: Yes!

Long answer:

Our bodies have this wonderful function called the “fight or flight” response. It’s regulated by the adrenal glands, and its intention is to equip our bodies for those extreme stress situations in which we must fight or flee. The adrenal glands release stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline to prepare us to react. That’s where we get the alertness, the tension, the rush of energy that lets us do things in high-stress situations of which we didn’t know we were capable.

It’s just as critical for diving off the starting blocks in a 50m butterfly sprint for the gold as it is slamming on the brakes to avoid rear ending that reckless driver who swerved into your lane on the freeway. These hormones elicit the immediate response that lets us react in an instant. These high-stress situations — whether emergencies or competitions — resolve quickly. Your heart rate goes back to its resting level and your adrenal glands get to rest.

The problem is prolonged, chronic stress. The adrenal glands can treat constant stress from work, relationships and other daily worries like a life-or-death situation, constantly releasing the stress hormones and overworking themselves. That’s what’s called adrenal fatigue. It’s a whole system of the body working overtime. It gets tired.

And it’s not just the glands themselves responding to stress that can make you tired. The long-term secretion of stress hormones are also damaging to our energy levels.

The adrenal glands release adrenaline to increase the heart rate, blood pressure, and energy to prepare the body for action. The adrenaline rush can save our lives in a dark alley. It can also cause substantial disruption to our sleep when we’re lying in bed and our bodies are preparing to do battle with an assailant.

Cortisol is one of those stress hormones and it’s gotten a bad rap due to its unintended effects from chronic stress. It’s meant to increase the glucose in the bloodstream so the brain has the supplies it needs to respond in an emergency. Cortisol suppresses bodily functions deemed nonessential during these emergencies, like the immunity, digestion, and reproductive systems. This laser focus on the response to the immediate stressor is what helps us achieve the “life” in “life or death” situation. Again, this is detrimental when it’s on all the time.

As you would assume, being constantly in a state of high alert can disrupt sleep. You may know that your already-heavy workload increasing due to your manager’s upcoming maternity leave is not a life or death situation. Your body doesn’t get that nuance. It’s preparing for a litany of emails like it was a hail of bullets.

All these hormones cause your body to be in a state of mental and physical alertness. Our muscles go under tension to do things like brace for a punch in the gut. When that response doesn’t shut off, it’s as exhausting to the body as holding a plank all day.

Our brains become hyper alert on the response to the stress, working to process the thoughts surrounding the emergency. Again, vital for your survival if you are in a fight to the death on the edge of a cliff. Not so useful when you’re sitting on the couch after a long day at the office.

Chronic stress makes our bodies’ react like we’re constantly under siege. Our adrenal glands and all the body systems that stress hormones affect are convinced that if they don’t shut off, we will die. And that’s an exhausting way to live.

So, can stress make you tired? As much as a never-ending car chase.

What Produces Collagen? Hint: It’s Deeper than the Skin.

collagen molecules

Collagen is the most prevalent protein in the body. What produces collagen is a series of reactions in parts of the body where it’s needed, that occur at different rates as we age.

Ever wondered why our skin was so smooth and firm as children, even though mom scrubbed the dirt off our faces with bottom-shelf bar soap? Why we sled down hills with reckless abandon and rarely broke a bone while a slip in the bathtub in our later years is enough for the dreaded broken hip? Why our knees never ached, even when it rained?

It’s because our little bodies were replete with collagen, a naturally occurring structural protein made by a chemical reaction in our cells. As it’s responsible for firm skin, healthy joint cartilage, and strong bones, it’s in a constant cycle of production and use by these parts of the body.

As children, our bodies produced collagen in abundance, at a rate faster than we could use it. And, like so many processes in our bodies, our natural collagen production declines with age. While so many beauty companies are peddling topical creams and oils claiming to infuse collagen into the skin to restore elasticity and the elusive youthful appearance, collagen production does not occur on the surface. It’s a cellular process that transpires inside the body to yield the results on the outside, and infusing youthful productivity into an aging collagen factory requires more than surface treatment.

What produces collagen is a complex series of chemical reactions at the cellular level.

It starts with two amino acids, glycine and proline. These building blocks of protein form a stranded structure called procollagen, a precursor to collagen. A functional group containing hydrogen and oxygen atoms, called a hydroxyl group, bonds to the procollagen. This process is called hydroxylation, and it’s a critical step to forming the triple helix structure that is collagen.

The hydroxylation process is dependent on the presence of Vitamin C to function as a cofactor, a substance that is essential for the activity of an enzyme. In the case of collagen, the enzymes prolyl-4-hydroxylase and lysyl-hydroxylase are the catalysts for the reaction that bonds the oxygen-hydrogen group to the amino acids. Without Vitamin C, that reaction can’t occur and collagen can’t be formed.

What produces collagen is just as important as what breaks it down.

Cells in the skin, bones, and cartilage are in a constant cycle of creation and destruction of collagen. In the skin, fibroblasts produce the collagen while fibroclasts break it down. In the bones, the cycle is replicated by osteoblasts that assist bone formation and the osteoclasts that absorb the bone tissue. Chondroblasts are responsible for producing cartilage while, you guessed it, chondroclasts help the body use that cartilage. While it sounds negative, the destruction process is vital to putting the collagen to use in the areas of the body where it’s needed; namely the skin, bones, and joints. The problem is that as we age, the destruction accelerates while the production lags.

It’s supply and demand. And the body’s production line can’t keep up with the joints, skin, and bones that become more demanding of collagen as they age and continue to be exposed to the free radicals and other environmental damages that come with just existing.

So, what to do to help your body keep up with the demand? Well, the obvious answer is to give your body’s production facility the materials it needs to produce maximal collagen. As Vitamin C is essential to the process, ensuring that you get an adequate daily dose of this antioxidant can’t hurt. Be cognizant of the other lifestyle factors that can compromise your ability to produce collagen, like sun damage and the accumulation of free radicals.

Discover how to maximize your body’s absorption of this essential nutrient for collagen production with our Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C.

Do I Have a Vitamin C Deficiency?

We all know we need Vitamin C, but sometimes we just can’t get enough. It’s a powerful antioxidant, helping our bodies body defend against the harmful effects of free radicals and supporting overall good health. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may not be getting enough of this crucial vitamin.

multicolored bell peppers

Easy Bruising

When capillaries near the surface of the skin leak, bruises form. While some bruising is normal, unexplained or excessive marks may suggest weakened capillaries due to a lack of Vitamin C.

Dry, Splitting Nails or Hair

Just as healthy locks are usually a sign of a healthy diet, chronic bad hair days may suggest a dietary deficiency. Since hair is not an essential tissue, Vitamin C is conserved for more important tissues and organs first. If you don’t have enough Vitamin C, you won’t have enough left to fortify your hair.

Vitamin C also helps our bodies utilize iron. A lack of iron can lead to poor nail and hair health.

Wounds That Are Slow to Heal

If your scrapes or cuts seem slow to heal, it might be time to pay more attention to your diet. Collagen — the connective tissue that helps bind a healing wound — requires Vitamin C to form.

Bleeding, Inflamed or Swollen Gums

Low levels of Vitamin C are often linked to oral health issues, such as frequent mouth ulcers or irritated gums.

Rough, Dry, Irritated Skin

Low collagen levels due to insufficient Vitamin C intake can result in rough, dry skin. Low Vitamin C levels are also linked to skin conditions like keratosis pilaris — tiny, hard bumps on the legs, arms and face.

Unexplained Weight Gain

Insufficient Vitamin C in the bloodstream can cause increased body fat, particularly around the midsection.

Frequent Nosebleeds

Almost 100 percent of nosebleeds occur from capillaries located at the front of the nose. Since proper Vitamin C intake helps make these blood vessels less fragile, a lack of Vitamin C may lead to increased nosebleeds.

 

 

 

Worried you might not be getting enough Vitamin C? Check out these non-citrus surprising sources of vitamin C.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

What are the benefits of Liposomal Vitamin C?

Sure, Vitamin C helps to support a healthy immune system, but the benefits of Vitamin C are multifaceted. It’s a critical nutrient for healthy bones, skin, gums and even hair. Like many vitamins, Vitamin C is water soluble, which means that you must replenish the stores that are used or lost through your body’s natural processes. Much of the Vitamin C from standard pills and powders available in the drugstore encounter absorption barriers in the body and flush right out of your system. That’s why liposomal Vitamin C has become so popular; it delivers Vitamin C to your body in a protective casing that maximizes absorption.

The Importance of Vitamin C

Without vitamin C, your body would not be able to perform many of its most basic functions. Take collagen, which is essential for the health of your skin. Without Vitamin C, your body could not make it. It’s also important to keep your bones healthy and help you better absorb other vitamins and minerals, like iron.

How Liposomes Work for Vitamin Delivery

Liposomal vitamin C benefits the body by enabling better absorption. Liposomes are extremely small fatty particles that help to carry nutrients into the bloodstream and into your body’s cells. Liposomal vitamin C is created to work like a body cell as it moves through your system. The liposome is able to bypass the absorption barriers in your body, increasing the potential for delivering more vitamin C to your bloodstream and your body’s cells.

Boost the Effects of Liposomal Vitamin C

You can enhance liposomal vitamin C benefits by following a healthy diet that includes Vitamin C-rich foods. At this point, Vitamin C and citrus may as well be synonymous, but you can also find it in a variety of vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers and spinach if you prefer salad over sour.

As with any lifestyle change, you should always consult with your doctor before beginning a liposomal Vitamin C supplement regimen.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Side Effects of Vitamin B12

Your body relies on a specific balance of nutrients to perform vital processes, like cell renewal, that keep your body functioning at its best. While B12 is found in many common foods such as meat, eggs and fortified cereals, some of us may not be able to absorb enough of the nutrient for optimum functioning. When a B vitamin deficiency occurs, supplementation is an option for helping to ensure that you get enough of this nutrient each day.

Just be cognizant of the other elements of your diet and how they could interact with Vitamin B12 supplementation.

salmon with lemon and pepper

You Can Take Too Much Vitamin B12

Since Vitamin B is water-soluble, our bodies usually excrete excess amounts, making overdoses rare. If this occurs, the effects of a Vitamin B12 overdose can be unpleasant. Eye pain, abdominal discomfort and unusual fatigue are a few B12 side effects that indicate you may have taken too much. Severe side effects of a B12 overdose can include hives, increased sweating and an irregular heartbeat. If you have unusual symptoms after taking a vitamin, report the supplement you used to your physician.

Beware of Possible Medication Interactions

Tell your doctor about any supplements when you receive a new prescription, as several medications have adverse effects when taken with B12 supplements. Chemotherapy medications, long-term antibiotics and seizure preventatives can all increase your chances of experiencing B12 side effects. Certain over-the-counter medications, including pain relievers and stimulants, could interact with B12 supplements. Always use caution when starting a new supplementation routine and discuss your experiences with your doctor as needed.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

An Overview of B Complex Vitamins: Sources and Benefits

Eight different vitamins comprise the B complex, each serving important functions in our bodies. All the vitamins in the B complex are essential, meaning that our bodies can’t produce them. Fortunately, B vitamins are available in a plethora of delicious foods and supplements are easy to come by.

eggs and spinach

What Are the Different B Vitamins?

The eight main types of B vitamins include the following:

  • Thiamin (B1)
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Pantothenic acid (B5)
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
  • Biotin (B7)
  • Folic Acid (B9)
  • Cobalamin (B12)

Typically, you can find at least one or more of the B complex vitamins in most foods, and a varied diet helps you ensure that you get each of the eight different types each day.

How Do They Work in My Body?

Each of the B complex vitamins serves a different role. For example, thiamin helps your body convert food into energy, and this B vitamin has been associated with promoting a more positive mindset. Currently, research is underway to understand the role that B complex vitamins play in the conversion process of turning homocysteine into methionine, which is one of the components your body uses to create protein. Your body also relies upon B complex vitamins to work with other nutrients such as vitamin C to support your eye, digestive and skin health.

What Are the Best Sources of B Complex Vitamins?

The ideal way to get the most B complex benefits is to include sources of these vitamins in your diet. Under most circumstances, eating a diet that includes a variety of meats, vegetables and fruits is enough for you to get the proper amounts of B vitamins each day. However, some factors can make you susceptible to developing a deficiency. If you have digestive disorders or drink alcohol regularly, you are at greater risk for developing a deficiency that requires supplementation. Since these vitamins are water soluble, your body’s stores may also run low if you hydrate excessively due to sports or other reasons. Milk, eggs, citrus fruits and lean meats are all excellent sources of B vitamins.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

B Complex Benefits: Skin, Hair and Overall Health

Beauty comes from within. Turns out that isn’t just a cliche. A balanced diet — rich in many vitamins — can help you achieve better skin, hair, and other beauty benefits. And when it comes to beauty benefits, think Vitamin B complex. It’s more than alliterative; this group of vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12) supports your body inside and out.

milk and cereal

 

Vitamin B Complex Benefits

B complex benefits range from helping to combat the effects of stress to supporting healthy immune and nervous systems. Additional B complex benefits include:

  • Promotes the normal growth and division of cells
  • Helps maintain healthy muscle and skin tone
  • Helps support the body’s metabolic rate
  • Helps boost your mood
  • Vitamin B12 has been found to help regulate pigment production in the skin (this can help prevent hyperpigmentation, which causes certain areas of the skin to darken)
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) can help support healthy metabolism
  • Vitamin B5 helps you digest fats and protein
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) helps maintain strong hair
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) helps the body absorb iron (a mineral that is essential for strong, healthy nails)
  • Helps convert carbohydrates into glucose (this translates into healthy energy levels)
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is an antioxidant

Issues Caused by a Deficiency in B Vitamins

While a diet rich in all forms of Vitamin B can help you look and feel better, a deficiency can have unpleasant consequences. Low Vitamin B levels can lead to stunted hair growth, slow cell division among hair follicles, and even hair loss.

A healthy diet can help ensure you are getting the right amount of B Vitamins, as can adding a Vitamin B Complex supplement. As with any supplement changes, it is always best to check with your physician first.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

How Can Vitamin C Improve Your Skin?

With all these serums on the market and the articles in beauty magazines, the message is clear: Vitamin C can benefit your skin. Here are five ways that Vitamin C — when taken orally — can support the look, feel, and overall health of your skin.

citrus and vitamin c serum

Vitamin C For Skin Care

Natural Sunscreen

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which means it fights the effects of harmful free radicals that form when your skin is exposed to the sun. It also protects against the skin damage that can occur from ultraviolet radiation, including sunburns, pigmentations and redness. If you do get a sunburn, Vitamin C can accelerate the healing process.

Supports Prevention of Skin Discoloration

A study published in the Free Radical Biology and Medicine journal determined that Vitamin C shields your DNA from everyday photochemical reactions that lead to skin discoloration and age spots. If you already have age spots, taking Vitamin C supplements and applying Vitamin C-infused skin creams could help diminish their appearance.

Essential for Collagen Production

Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin and other connective tissues. It helps your skin appear firm, smooth and vibrant. Vitamin C plays an essential role in the production of collagen, regulating its synthesis in your body. If you don’t consume enough Vitamin C, your body’s collagen levels will decrease, making your skin appear looser and more susceptible to wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Maintains Healthy Skin Texture

Collagen is an important structural component of the blood vessels that supply nutrients to your skin. Vitamin C also promotes the rapid renewal of skin cells, a process that helps your skin feel soft and smooth. Without Vitamin C, your skin would lack moisture and nutrients, causing it to become dull, rough and dry.

With the numerous beauty creams and serums lining the skincare aisles, there is a bit of a misconception that Vitamin C must be applied topically for skin support. The reality is that the aforementioned actions occur at a cellular level, meaning you can reap the skincare benefits by taking Vitamin C orally — through diet and supplements. You can get beauty from the inside out. So, before filling your medicine cabinet with expensive beauty products, try stocking your fridge with citrus, leafy green veggies, bell peppers, berries and some top-notch Vitamin C supplements.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Vitamin C Dosage: How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?

Did you know that humans are one of the few mammalian species on Earth whose bodies cannot produce Vitamin C? Lucky for us, and not the primates and guinea pigs who also do not make Vitamin C, we know we need to get this essential antioxidant through diet. What we often don’t know is how much we need each day. And that’s because there are just so many recommendations out there.

According to U.S. government guidelines, adult women should take 75 mg of Vitamin C each day, and adult men should take 90 mg. To complicate the matter, many experts recommend a Vitamin C dosage of between 200 mg and 1,000 mg daily, or even more, to achieve maximum benefits.

vitamin c food sources

The goal of daily Vitamin C intake is to attain optimal saturation levels in the blood and tissues. However, measuring those levels can be complicated. Vitamin C is water soluble, which means that excess portions are flushed out in your urine. Different organs and bodily fluids have different Vitamin C retention capabilities. The adrenals, brain, eyeballs and prostate can retain high levels of Vitamin C, while blood plasma retains less. The problem is that medical professionals often use blood plasma to test the body’s overall Vitamin C levels, which can produce misleading results and differing opinions on daily intake requirements.

So how much vitamin c should you take each day? Authorities have varying opinions, but the majority seems to favor Vitamin C dosage in the range of 200mg to 500mg per day. They also suggest breaking up daily vitamin consumption into two or three doses. This allows your body to receive Vitamin C in waves, counteracting vitamin loss through the urine. There is also some consensus that older adults, smokers and lactating mothers should consume more vitamin C.

Vitamin C is safe to consume. Since it’s water soluble, you can’t overdose on it. Just watch out if you’re taking more than 2,000mg a day, as you may experience some uncomfortable digestion issues. If you experience an upset stomach or diarrhea, you should be able to find quick relief by lowering your Vitamin C intake.

No matter how much Vitamin C you decide is best for you, try to get it from a variety of sources throughout the day. Take a Vitamin C supplement with breakfast, enjoy some fresh berries at lunch and dark leafy green vegetables and maybe even another supplement at dinner. Remember that fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of Vitamin C.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Scurvy Symptoms: It’s 2018, But You Might Have Scurvy

Scurvy isn’t something people typically think of unless they’re learning about pirates or watching an old film. The disease, which is caused by a severe deficiency in vitamin C, is typically associated with the 15th to 18th centuries. However, it may still be prevalent in our modern society.

Symptoms of scurvy include:

  • loss of teeth
  • bleeding sores
  • eroding gums
  • skin rashes
  • anemia
  • and more

These symptoms occur because vitamin C is a necessary component in making collagen, which is essential to connective tissues. Vitamin C is also needed for mood stabilization because it aids in synthesizing chemicals such as dopamine, which are needed for positive mood and energy.

You may be at risk for scurvy if you don’t eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, have an eating disorder, have a restrictive diet, or use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco excessively. The elderly are also at an increased risk of developing scurvy because of weakened immune systems.

In 2003 and 2004, researchers for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study collected data about vitamin C levels in the general population, and approximately 7 percent of people had deficiencies so low that they were considered at scurvy levels.1

The disease often affects people who are left out of typical studies, the poor and mentally ill. This may be because people in poverty often have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce tends to be more expensive than processed foods such as bread and rice, so people living in poverty may not be taking in the levels of vitamin C they need to remain healthy.

Scurvy is also found at higher numbers in people with mental illness because some mental illnesses lead to unhealthy eating habits.

For example, in 2010, doctors from Springfield Baystate Medical Center treated a man who came into a hospital with bleeding gums, bruises, and severe fatigue. He had a mental illness and had only eaten white bread and American cheese for years. This led to severe vitamin C deficiencies, which led to scurvy, according to Doctor Eric Churchill.2

The doctors who had studied that man’s case at Springfield Baystate Medical Center tested 120 patients with similar symptoms, and 29 of them turned out to have scurvy level deficiencies.2 Cases like these show the importance of having a balanced diet and intake of plenty of vitamins.

Another example is a different patient of Doctor Churchill’s, who ate mainly pizza, Chinese takeout, and burgers and fries. When he was diagnosed with scurvy he was surprised, because he didn’t feel that his diet was that out of the ordinary. But, as he learned, even getting some vegetables into your diet doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get scurvy.2

Everyone absorbs vitamins at different rates. Some people naturally absorb and retain less nutrients from their food than others. These people are at a particular risk of getting scurvy because even if they’re eating what would be enough vitamin C for one person, it may not be enough for them. This is why supplementation may be an important routine to adopt.

Even having vitamin C levels that are low, but not low enough to get scurvy, can be problematic. When you have low vitamin C levels it starts affecting your mood, energy, skin, and overall health. Some less noticeable and less severe warning signs of a vitamin C deficiency are:

  • easily bruising
  • dry scalp
  • frequent nosebleeds
  • inflamed or swollen joints
  • irritated gums
  • and more

To get an adequate intake of vitamin C on a daily basis, incorporate foods that are high in vitamin C in your diet, like oranges, kale, bell peppers, and kiwi. It is best to consume these raw and fresh for optimal vitamin absorption.

If you’re concerned about your vitamin C level, talk to your doctor. A simple blood test can help you understand the levels of many nutrients in your blood.

Understanding nutrition and balanced eating is one key to a healthy life. I bet you’ve heard the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an orange a day keeps the scurvy away.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

  1. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/5/1252.abstract
  2. http://digital.nepr.net/news/2015/05/25/not-just-for-pirates-and-sailors-scurvy-diagnoses-mount-in-springfield-clinic/