Cervical Cancer – What You Need to Know

Cervical cancer is one of those cancers that only women get. You will want to be screened to make sure you don’t have it. Here, you will learn about some of those screening methods and what to expect. Learn about what cervical cancer is, ways to help prevent yourself from getting it and what the survival rate of it is if you do get it.

What Is Cervical Cancer?

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus. Most cervical cancers begin in the cells that line the cervix. The normal cells of the cervix slowly develop into precancerous cells. It takes time for the precancerous cells to turn into cancerous cells, and this is why it’s so important to get regular screenings.

Screening for Cervical Cancer

There are two tests which are performed to screen for cervical cancer – a Pap smear and an HPV test. The Pap smear tests for precancerous cells. The HPV test looks for the human papillomavirus which can lead to cancer.

The Pap test is recommended for women ages 21-65. It is done right in your doctor or gynecologist’s office. A speculum (a metal or plastic instrument) is placed inside the vagina and used to widen it and then a few swabs are taken and tested in a lab to make sure they are not abnormal.

The HPV test is done similarly, but the lab will test for the human papillomavirus.

The new recommendations from the American College of Gynecology (ACOG) is to have a Pap smear performed every three years starting at the age of 21. If you are at higher risk, meaning you have had precancerous cells in a prior test, then your doctor will recommend more frequent screenings. The Pap test is the most accurate screening test there is for cervical cancer. It does not detect any other gynecological cancers, though, so for any abnormal symptoms you should see your doctor.

Aside from regular screenings, you want to make sure you’re doing all you can to prevent yourself from getting cervical cancer.

How to Prevent Cervical Cancer

Getting screened is the most important thing you can do in preventing cervical cancer. However, beyond that there are some other things you can do as well. Since HPV can cause cervical cancer, getting the HPV vaccine will help prevent you from getting cervical cancer. Beyond that, eating right, not smoking, not having lots of sexual partners and practicing safe sex (using condoms) will help prevent you from getting cervical cancer.

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. And while HPV can live on both the male and female genitalia in areas which are not protected by a condom, using a condom has been shown to lower the chances of transmitting HPV and getting cervical cancer. All of these steps will help prevent you from getting cervical cancer.

Getting Cervical Cancer

In most instances it takes a few years for precancerous cells to turn into cancer cells, and most times that doesn’t even happen. This is why it’s important to have regular screenings so you can catch the cancer early, because that’s always your best chance.

There are many factors which will weigh in on your chances of survival with cervical cancer. These include:

* Type of cancer
* Stage of cancer
* Age and overall health
* If the cancer comes back after treatment

The further the cancer spreads outside of the cervix, the lower the chances of survival. So again, this is why screening is so very important to catch it early. It is completely reasonable to assume that you will survive five years or more after being diagnosed with cervical cancer.

The Myths about Vitamins and Supplements

When it comes to vitamins and supplements, there is so much misinformation out there that it is hard to know what to believe about them. There are many false claims from manufacturers, self-proclaimed health gurus with misleading information, and all of sorts of well-meaning people who simply don’t know what they are talking about. Combined with the desire for people’s need to believe that vitamins and supplements will perform miracles for them, many myths and misunderstandings have developed surrounding vitamins and supplements.

Myth #1: Vitamins and supplements cure disease.
Facts: Vitamins and supplements can help prevent disease, help cure disease, and help lessen the effects of disease; but vitamins and supplements alone cannot cure disease. No one who is seriously ill should ever take vitamins in place of prescribed medication or medical care. The main benefit of vitamins and supplements is their preventative nature. For example, if you have a history of cancer in your family, you might want to take beta carotene to prevent the disease before you have any signs of it.

Myth#2: Vitamins and supplements are not medication.
Facts: While there are many people who take vitamins and supplements seriously, there are others who take them like candy, and don’t feel like they have any major effect. The truth here lies somewhere in the middle. While technically vitamins and supplements are not medication, when taken in the right doses, they can take on the same qualities. Studies that researchers conduct with higher doses of vitamins and supplements show that these kinds of doses can have almost the same effect as real medication. Taken liberally, they can interfere with other medications and have serious side effects. So, while technically vitamins are not medicine, they should be taken like they are.

Myth#3: You can’t take too many vitamins and supplements.
Facts: This is completely false. There are several vitamins and supplements that can be deadly when taken in high doses or for too long a period of time. Vitamins A and D, niacin, and iron can all have adverse effects, resulting in liver damage, heart disease, loss of nerve function, and increased risk of cancer. Other supplemental overdoses can cause milder medical problems like diarrhea, stomach pain, and sleeplessness. Taken together in large doses, some vitamins will also cancel each other out. For example, too much extra zinc can zap the effects of any copper you might be taking.

Myth#4: Vitamins are all the same.
Facts: Just because a substance is labeled “Vitamin C” doesn’t mean that it will have the same potency as every other “Vitamin C” on the shelf. For example researchers have questioned whether synthetic vitamin C is as effective as vitamin C produced from rosehips or other natural substances. Vitamins come in so many different forms and from so many different sources that it is important to read the label and also to be an educated shopper. This way, you will get the vitamins you need in the right form and potency.

Myth#5: Everything on the label is true.
Facts: The only thing that is true about any vitamin or supplement is what you read from independent studies or literature. Many manufacturers make claims based on research or information that is not accurate in order to make sales. If the label on a vitamin or a supplement makes claims that don’t sound believable, then they probably aren’t. Many of these claims are made so that the price can be jacked way up in order for the manufacturer to make a big profit. Save your money. Just because a supplement costs twice as much as the others, doesn’t mean that it will work better.

Myth#6: Vitamins and Supplements can replace healthy eating.
Facts: You can’t live on junk food and take a daily supplement and think that it will do anything. If you eat nothing but junk food and take a multivitamin every day, the only thing that it will do for you is make you feel less guilty about your bad eating habits. Supplements are just what they say they are: supplementary to healthy eating. They are definitely not a replacement for it.

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Benefits of Boxing Training for Fitness

You may improve your health and have a physically fit body by getting into boxing training fitness programs. This is the best way for you to have a stronger body and gain confidence. Boxing workouts can help you to be at your best fighting form as well.

Many people see positive results from boxing trainings. You may build stronger and more defined arms and legs. These programs and classes also help you to gain a sense of inner strength and emotional balance.

Boxing training classes got across to the mainstream of physical fitness training a few years back. They have seen the benefits on the cardiovascular and toning of the muscles by these boxing training workouts. Tae bo work out videos also popularized these boxing and kickboxing exercises.

Cardio boxing training classes and the innovative variations of the sparring jabs, power punches, defense, and fitness has all blends of aerobics exercises. You will learn the proper execution of the punch and kick combinations for a more intensive workout that can help you become stronger and more confident.

The combinations you perform on the blocks, jabs, and kicks are executed to an imagined opponent. You may see classes where participants throw punches and kicks on the air. You will also find training camps that have quality equipment such as punching bags and you may also have the option of getting a partner that has padded hands.

You may also enjoy more benefits aside from the physical aspects of boxing trainings. Cardio kick boxing workouts allow you to burn out 350 to 500 calories in just an hour. It also helps maintaining the heart rate at 75 percent to 85 percent regular beat. This has been proven to be good and is the recommended range if you are exercising or into training.

Moreover, these boxing training classes improve your speed, resistance, and strength. Flexibility and the reflexes of the muscles are also enhanced. Repetitive motion on arms by sparring and jogging while you punch helps your arms and legs gain strength and power.

These workouts also enable your joint movements to build very efficient fitness results.
These movements require you to develop balance and coordination that enables your body to be stable and maintain a good form.

These physical benefits you gain from boxing and kickboxing are just few of the many benefits that they can provide. You will be able to learn more about defense mechanism skills, which you may use in case of unwanted instances. You will also feel the satisfaction when you punch or kick. Relaxation and self-motivation is also developed.

You will feel a sigh of relief and feel that you are released from stressed. It also helps you to get rid of that anger that is inside of you. Once these things are releases, you may feel lightness into your body and peace of mind as well.

Many aerobic and fitness experts recommend boxing training lessons for beginners. It allows you to workout on your desired pace and body condition. Boxing classes let you to push yourself to the limit as long as you are safe and well conditioned.

Positive results await you with boxing training. You will enjoy a physically fit body and will keep you in better shape. You have the option working out and exercising at your preferred level and skill. Enjoy the fun of these boxing training programs.

The Lifesaving Road Trip Screening Tour Raises Awareness About Skin Cancer

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The statistics are staggering–and growing. More than 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. Caught in the early stages, skin cancer is treatable.

The Lifesaving Road Trip Screening Tour Raises Awareness About Skin Cancer

The statistics are staggering-and growing. More than 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. There are more new cases of skin cancer in the U.S. than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. The key to keeping skin healthy? Detect and treat skin cancer as early as possible. Caught in the early stages, skin cancer is treatable.

“Many people are at risk, but skin cancer is also one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer,” says Dr. Mark Lebwohl, Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

To raise awareness of skin cancer and early detection and treatment, The Skin Cancer Foundation and Doak Dermatologics, a division of Bradley Pharmaceuticals, Inc., have joined forces on an innovative public service campaign. Throughout 2006, The Skin Cancer Screening Tour is heading to major cities across the U.S. to perform this important service.

Doak Dermatologics has built a custom-designed Mobile Diagnosis Vehicle (MDv) that will be staffed by local, board-certified dermatologists in each city, ready to offer free skin cancer screenings. The physicians will be looking for four primary forms of skin cancer or precancerous skin conditions:

1. Actinic Keratosis (AK), which affects 1.3 million people annually. AK is the most common type of precancerous skin lesion. If left untreated, AK can lead to squamous cell carcinoma.

2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is a form of skin cancer that affects 200,000 Americans each year. SCC can metastasize (spread) quickly. SCCs that metastasize most often arise on mucous membranes or lips.

3. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is a common form of skin cancer, affecting more than 800,000 Americans annually. Chronic exposure to sunlight is most often the cause of BCC, which occurs most frequently on exposed parts of the body.

4. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and has increased more rapidly than any other form of skin cancer during the past 10 years. By 2010, melanoma is projected to rise in one in 50 Americans. If diagnosed and removed early, melanoma is almost 100% curable.

Get Screened Today!

When The Skin Cancer Screening Tour comes to town, be sure to pay it a visit. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the MDv to get screened. Make an appointment with your local dermatologist for a screening as soon as you can.

Whether it’s on the MDv or with your dermatologist, the important thing is to get screened early and, if required, treated. It could save your life.

A cross-country tour is helping drive many people toward better health.

Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer is the third as far as the incidence rate is concerned among malignant cancers in men. This number is constantly increasing, which is in a way connected with a longer life span among male population and better diagnostic methods.

cancer, prostate, diagnosis, therapy

Copyright 2006 Radoslaw Pilarski

Etiology

Etiology of prostate cancer development is not completely known. Factors that can influence the creation and development of this type of cancer include:

genetic factors ?increase in risk of falling ill among men with a positive family history regarding the prostate cancer. Mutations of suppressor genes are also taken into consideration (p53)

dietetic factors ?food rich in saturated fatty acids probably increases the risk of falling ill whereas the consumption of soya and rice may have a beneficial protective effect racial and geographical factors ?Afro-Americans are 100% more likely to fall ill, whereas the lowest death rate is reported in Japan and in China

occupational factors ?cancerogenous influence of heavy metals and toxins infectious factors ?viral infection may lead to/ be the cause of anaplasia of adenocyte cells of prostate

Histopathologically, 95% prostate cancer cases occur in the form of adenocarcinoma. Other types (primary intracellular cancer, squamous carcinoma, anaplastic carcinoma, and sarcoma) are rarely met. Adenocarcinoma usually develops in the peripheral area of the prostate (85%), in the transition area (25% ) and in the central area (5%).

Symptoms

In symptomatology of the prostate cancer, 4 clinical forms are distinguished:

1) visible form with distinct pathological symptoms 2) latent form (carcinoma latens) with no distinct pathological symptoms found 3) hidden form (ca occultum) which is detected in the case of distinct ailments caused by the existence of remote metastases, however changes in prostate are not found in the course of per rectum examination 4) accidentally detected form – based on histopathological test of the gland that was removed because of prostate overgrowth, or based on biochemical tests (PSA) During the development of prostate cancer, an induction phase that lasts about 30 years which is clinically invisible can be distinguished. During the next stage – in situ phase (5-10 years) and invasive phase (1 year), ailments connected with the local growth of tumour start to appear. During this period, symptoms connected with sub bladder obstacle appear including mainly: – pallakiuria – nycturia – weak urine stream – painful vesical tenesmus – impression of incompletion of bladder emptying The above-mentioned symptoms are typical of cancer and in some cases they may suggest mild overgrowth of prostate, or neurogenic or athermatous bladder disorders. During the dissemination phase (about 5 years), prostate cancer develops continuously infiltrating surrounding organs, such as: urinary bladder, rectum, ureters, pelvic walls and leading to urinary retention in kidneys and to secondary failure of function. Ailments typical for this period include: – haematuria – dysuria – urinary incontinence – erection disorders – aches of perineum, lumbar area and anus – haematospermia Metastases spread through the lymphatic vessels and the vascular system. Symptoms caused by the existence of remote metastases are as follows: – osteodynia and pathological fractures – pressure symptoms and spinal paralysis – lymphadema of limbs – clotting disorders – cachexy – coma

DIAGNOSTICS

In order to diagnose the prostate cancer, patient should undergo per rectum tests (DRE), PSA concentration (prostate specific antigen) in blood serum should be determined, ultrasonography per rectum examination (TRUS – transrectal ultrasound) should be done and if there is a suspicion of prostate cancer, histopathological test of the material obtained through a per rectum thick-needle biopsy done under the ultrasound control should take place. Histopathological test is the only test that confirms the presence of cancerous cells in the prostate gland area. DRE, which is an examination of sensitivity of 80% sensitivity and of specificity of 60%, enables to seize changes in the area of the prostate such as consistency change, palpable nodules and hardenings. It is the base for sending a patient to a diagnostic biopsy. At present, it is believed that cytological diagnosis achieved through a fine-needle biopsy is not sufficient to make a right diagnosis. It results from the fact that the assessment according to Gleason’s classification is an important prognostic factor for the prostate cancer (see: prognostic factors). That is why a thick-needle biopsy is performed. Ultrasound use enables to take precise samples from suspicious foci. If there are no changes in TRUS picture, “sextant biopsy” is done (samples got for several places).

Recommendations for the biopsy of prostate gland: 1) palpable suspicion of the prostate cancer 2) PSA value over 15ng/ml regardless of DRE or TRUS tests 3) PSA value between 4 and 15 ng/ml with abnormalities detected during DRE or TRUS tests 4) PSA value exceeds the norm for a given age in the case of a positive family history regarding the prostate cancer

Recommendations for TRUS: 1) PSA between 4 and 12 ng/ml with abnormalities detected 2) questionable result of DRE test 3) necessity of a thick-needle biopsy Other diagnostic tests, such as CT and urography are not routinely performed because their value is questionable as far as the assessment of local stage and invasion of adjacent lymph nodes is concerned. Nowadays, magnetic resonance tomography done using transrectal coli (endorectal coil MRI – ERMR) to observe the prostate arouses great interest. Despite the increased sensitivity of the degree of the local stage, costs of the test do not allow for its routine use in the prostate cancer diagnosis. Scintigraphy of the skeleton is the most sensitive test (97%) in bone metastases detection. It is assumed that a patient with PSA under 10 ng/ml does not undergo scintigraphy because the probability of metastases is low.

Screening:

Screening: It is recommended that patients aged over 50 should undergo per rectum tests and PSA level tests every year.

PROGNOSTIC FACTORS:

Three groups of prognostic factors can be distinguished in the case of the prostate cancer:

1) development stage according to TNM 2) differentiation degree of the cancer based on the classification of Gleason and Mostofi 3) PSA level (prostate-specific antigen) in serum TNM classification

Preoperative assessment of the stage of the prostate cancer is made based on the above-mentioned tests.

T-stage: primary tumour

Tx – primary tumour cannot be assessed T0 – no evidence of primary tumour T1 – clinically unapparent tumour; not palpable or visible by per rectum imaging T1a – incidental tumour found in histopathological tests after transurethral resection of the prostate or after operational adenectomy: found in 5% or less resected tissue T1b – as above; found in more than 5% resected tissue T1c – tumour identified histopathologically by a needle biopsy (because of high PSA) T2 – tumour confined within the prostate gland T2a – tumour involves less than half of one lobe T2b – tumour involves more than half of one lobe only T2c – tumour involves both lobes T3 – tumour extends through the prostatic capsule T3a – extracapsular extensions (unilateral) T3b – extracapsular extensions (bilateral) T3c – tumour invades seminal vesicles T4 – tumour is fixed, invades adjacent structures other than seminal vesicles T4a – tumour invades bladder neck and/or external sphincter and/or rectum T4b – tumour invades levator muscles and/or pelvic wall N-stage: regional lymph nodes

Nx – regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed N0 – no regional lymph node metastases N1 – metastasis to a single regional lymph node with the diameter under 2cm N2 – metastasis to a single regional lymph node with the diameter > 2cm but < 5cm N3 – metastases to regional lymph nodes with the diameter over 5cm M-stage: remote metastases

Mx – remote metastasis cannot be assessed M0 – no remote metastases M1 – remote metastases M1a – non-regional lymph nodes M1b – bones M1c – other sites According to Whitmor-Catalon classification, grades A, B, C, and D correspond to T1, T2, T3 and T4 of TNM classification respectively.

Degree of cancer differentiation:

Degree of differentiation is defined according to 2 classifications: by Mostofi and by Gleason.

Mostofi’s classification uses a 3-grade assessment of differentiation dependent on the degree of cell anaplasia ?grading (G1-G3). The higher grade, the lower differentiation of cancer tissue, the greater atypy and at the same time, malignancy. In the case of a 10-grade Gleason system, the two extreme histological images in the preparation are assessed and then, added to produce a final grade.

PSA is a proteolyctic enzyme responsible for sperm melting. It is mainly produced by glandular epithelium, it might be also produced in organs such as salivary glands, pancreas and mammary gland and by clear cell carcinoma. Commonly used norm is the following: 0-4 ng/ml. Such concentration of PSA is found among 97% of men over 40. The level over 12 ng/ml is always connected with pathology. Difficulties with diagnosis are found among patients who have this level between 5-10 ng/ml because it may both stem from the prostate cancer or a mild overgrowth of the prostate, which causes the necessity of diagnostic methods use, such as TRUS. This test makes it possible to determine PSA density (PSAD – PSA density) – PSA concentration converted to prostate volume unit. It should be under 0.15 ng/ml/g. In the case of prostate cancer differentiation and mild overgrowth of prostate, free to total PSA (PSA F/T) is used. If it is over 20%, one may assume the presence of cancerous cells in the gland. PSA level does not correlate well enough with the natural development of the prostate cancer. However, it is useful as a prognostic factor after the treatment applied and in prognosis determination. However, high final levels indicate low survival rate.

TREATMENT

Proceeding strategy in patients with the prostate cancer depends on the degree of histological malignancy, the degree of local stage of development, coexisting diseases and age of a patient. There are many controversies as far as the choice of treatment is concerned. Radical treatment is possible in T1, T2 and N0 and Mo stages. In advanced cases (T3, T4, N-+, M-+), the procedure is restricted to delay the cancer progression and mitigate its effects (palliative treatment).

Surgery treatment – radical prostatectomy

The surgery consists in the prostate gland removal together with spermatic vesicles and adjacent tissues. Surgery is done through retropubic, transcoccgeal, perineal approach or through laparoscopy. Lymphadenectomy constitutes an integral part of the surgery. If the approach makes it impossible to remove the gland and lymph nodes (perineal approach) at the same time, a separate surgery is carried out. It precedes the operation proper. It is believed that cancerous cells found in the removed lymph nodes are the reason why prostatectomy cannot be performed. Invasion of lymph nodes to a certain extent suggests PSA level over 40ng/ml together with grade >7 in Gleason’s scale.

Recommendations for surgery:

1) cancer limited to the prostate gland (T1BN0M0Gx – T2N0M0Gx, T1AN0M0G3) 2) predictable life span over 10 years 3) consent of a patient If positive chirurgical margins, capsule infiltration or cancerous changes in the removed lymph nodes are found in postoperative microscopic assessment, the prognosis is worse ?such patients are qualified for palliative treatment. The death rate in the postoperative period does not exceed 5%. Intraoperative complications first of all include: bleeding from Santorini’s plexus, damage of rectum wall, underpinning of ureter. Early complications after surgery: thrombotic and embolic complications (phlebothrombosis 3-12%, lung embolism 2-5%) and lymphocele. Late postoperative complications after prostatectomy include: urinary incontinence, erection disorders and narrowing of urethro-vesicular junction).

Radiotherapy

Apart from radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy is an effective method of treatment for patients with regional advanced prostate cancer. In radical treatment, the most frequently done using radiation from external sources, the dose of 50-70 Gy in fractions continuing over 5-7 weeks are given. T1ABC – T2ABCG1 and T1ABCG2 stages require radiation limited to the prostate. In other cases, area that is radiated includes adjacent lymph nodes as well. In recent years, multidimensional imaging with CT (3D conformal radiotherapy) is used in the treatment planning.

Brachytherapy constitutes another method that is used.

Recommendations for radical radiotherapy of the prostate:

1) prostate cancer confined with the organ 2) sufficiently long predictable survival span 3) no disorders in lower urinary tract 4) no disorders in rectum and colon 5) consent of patient to carry out treatment 6) early complications of radiation energy treatment (30% of patients) include dysuria, haematuria, diarrhoea, rectal tenesmus, inflammation of large intestine and rectum. Among later complications (11% of patients) chronic diarrhea, ulceration of rectum, bladder neck stenosis and intestinal fistula stenosis are observed.

Control of patients after radical prostatectomy and radical radiotherapy:

– per rectum test, PSA level in blood serum each 3 months. PSA level should be lower than 1 ng/ml (after radical prostatectomy it should be near to 0). Increase over 0.5 ng/ml within a year means failure of radiotherapy. Hormonotherapy

Hormonal therapy is mainly used as palliative treatment in advanced prostate cancer. It makes it possible to stop symptoms of the disease for some time and then, further progression of the disease takes place. Nowadays, the use of therapy in pulsation system is considered as it delays the development of hormone-resistant cell clones.

Ways of hormonal treatment include: 1) surgery castration (orchidectomy) 2) anti-androgens a) non-steroid b) steroid 3) analogues LH-RH 4) oestrogens, progestogens, inhibitors of androgens synthetase Hormonotherapy by analogues LH-RH is also recommended before planned radical radiotherapy. In the case of hormone-resistant cancer, treatment with combined cytoctatic and hormone (estramustine), however without significant effects.

PROGNOSIS

Prognosis depends on the development stage, degree of differentiation and PSA level (see: prognostic factors).

In T1A, B stage prognosis is good. 10-years survival 35-80%, death rate of the cancer 7-30%. In T2 stage, overall survival equals 34-85%, death rate equals 8-26%. In T3 stage, among patients who undergo non-invasive treatment for 9 years, overall death rate equalled 63%, from cancer ?30%. Depending on the degree of cancer differentiation, 10-year survival of patients is the following: for cells well differentiated – 81%, for cells moderately differentiated – 58% and for cells poorly differentiated – 26%.

Vitamins and Supplements for Sports Nutrition

If you are training for sports, whether it’s competitive or recreational, you may be thinking about taking vitamins or supplements to enhance your performance. These aren’t supplements for health, exactly. They are vitamins or supplements to make you stronger, faster, leaner, or maybe to heal a sports injury. No matter the reason, if you are active in sports and want to see improvement, you are looking for something above and beyond the vitamins and supplements that will just make you healthy.

If you go to the health food store, you will find shelves and shelves of vitamins and supplements that promise almost everything you can possibly imagine. But just how many of these products are worth buying and how many are really just rip-offs? While some of these products are genuine, the majority of them are from companies that manufacture supplements and vitamin combinations in order to make money. For most of these companies, the bottom line is profit. This means that they make their supplements for a little cost as possible and mark them up as much as they can. Combine this with some slick advertising and you have a product that promises much more than it delivers.

Wild exaggerations have been made about products that may only help the user to achieve minimal or no results. The rule of thumb here is that the wilder the manufacturer’s claim, the more likely it is to be untrue. The real vitamins and nutritional supplements that will help you make physical gains aren’t so exciting. They don’t come in really neat packaging and they don’t work miracles. However, they do work. These are the vitamins and supplements that will help you achieve success, not overpromise unnatural results.

1. The first supplement to take is the standard multivitamin. Taken regularly, it will do more for you than any other products combined. Even if you do decide to take extra doses of vitamin C and E, you should still take the multivitamin everyday to make sure that you are getting enough of all the other vitamins you aren’t loading up on.

2. Extra multi-minerals can be taken before or after training. These should help replace any minerals lost through sweat and muscle contraction.

3. Liver tablets are a great endurance supplement. The vitamin B properties of liver help the body use its glycogen more efficiently.

4. Chromium is good for keeping blood sugar stable throughout the day and keeps energy high. If you are on a special diet, it also helps with junk food cravings.

5. Amino acids like L-Carnatine helps maintain lean body mass if you are trying to burn fat. L-Carnatine has been shown to transport long-chain fatty acids into the muscles where they are oxidized and most efficiently burned.

6. There are also protein powders, but these should only be consumed when you can’t possibly consume the amount of calories that you need in order to reach muscle building goals. Be careful with these, however, if you stop exercising or don’t exercise enough, the extra calories from protein powder will go right to the waistline.

Of course, these are vitamins and minerals that can improve your performance, but what if you get hurt? There are vitamins and supplements for that, too.

1. Proteolytic enzymes taken between meals speed healing by destroying free radical that are released during an injury.

2. Protein, in the form of free form amino acids, helps to repair and strengthen connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons.

3. Calcium plus magnesium repairs bones, connective tissue, and also is very important for the entire skeletal system.

4. Vitamin B complex, in addition to the vitamin B already in a multivitamin should be taken during any stressful situation.

As you can see, there isn’t any great mystery to taking vitamins and supplements. Any other promises that manufacturers make are just that, empty promises. If you find that you need more help than what standard over-the-counter supplements can give you, it is best to consult a doctor, preferably one who specializes in sports medicine. They will be able to tell you if there is another product out there that can help you, or if your Olympic dreams will just have to wait.

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Multivitamins – A Ticket to Daily Health

An increasingly number of the world’s population is now eager and interested in looking after their health and in keeping tune with their well-being. It is important to note that this awareness is progressively contributing to the creation of several health supplements to benefit both the adults and the young ones. Dietary and vitamin supplements have constantly proven their worth to health conscious individuals.

An excellent daily multivitamin supplement does not only develop your general bodily functions but also improves your mental and physical condition and well being. Occasionally specification is needed in appropriately supplementing nutrients to deal with any individual needs. An example would be in heart disease patients, they would have to take in CoQ10 in preventing the said condition. Alzheimer’s disease can be effectively prevented by a regular combination of Vitamin C and E intake.

Multivitamin supplements necessarily include all the vitamins and nutrients essential for recommended daily dosage. Multivitamin supplements may also be formulated to meet the needs of individual conditions like pregnancy and specific age brackets. It is a well settled fact that multivitamins in liquid form are more efficient than the ordinary pill forms. This is due to the fact that the body can easily absorb liquid nutrients five times more than ordinary multivitamins in tablet or capsule form.

Basically, the body needs 13 essential vitamins to function properly. In regulating the crucial performance of the body, it has to have vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, B12, and the 7 B-complex vitamins. Majority of these vitamins are obtained by our body through the food that we eat. The danger of illness or even mortality is in the deficiency of some of the essential vitamins. This is where vitamin supplementation comes in. It counteracts the illness caused by such deficiency. With this fact, it is very unlikely for someone to refuse vitamin supplementation on a daily basis. So the question now is, why is it necessary for individuals to take multivitamins when majority of our daily diet can provide us with the basic nutrients we need? It may not be compulsory, but everyone can profit from daily multivitamins.

As previously mentioned, the clear benefit of daily intake of multivitamins it to prevent vitamin/nutrient deficiency. Some personal circumstances may increase dietary needs. Pregnant women, during their first trimester, are recommended by their doctors to take multivitamins. This does not only provide the mothers with sufficient nutrition but also proper vitamins to benefit the unborn child inside their womb. Taking multivitamins everyday reduces the risk of transmitting malnutrition from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. Other conditions such as old age, alcoholism, smoking, and exposure to excessive pollution have long-term detrimental effects to the body system which can be successfully counteracted by multivitamins.

Stress is also one risk factor which needs serious supplementation that multivitamins can provide. Especially with people who have so much to do and have a hard time in keeping up with their health needs, multivitamins are a must to keep them always on the go without any health complications in the long run. Stress formulations benefit both your mental ability and daily endurance. Aside from the mentioned benefits, daily multivitamins also minimize the risk of cancer or any cardiovascular disease.

Several people, if not all, testify to have a feeling of comfortable health in regularly taking in multivitamins. This is due to the synergistic or combined effects of the supplemental ingredients found in multivitamins. A fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin, like the Vitamin E, works to neutralize probable harmful free agents in the body. This vitamin also maintains healthy skin through protection of cell membranes, blood circulation, heart, nerves, red blood cells, and muscles. Another antioxidant is the Vitamin C which effectively fights blood cell infection and is vital in collagen formation, wound healing, and formation of bone structures, capillaries, and teeth. Vitamin is also helpful in the iron absorption from plant sources. Vitamins A, D, K and other supplemental nutrients found in multivitamins have specific functions that benefit the bodily functions.

While daily intake of multivitamins may have proven beneficial, it is not a 100% guarantee to be free of serious illness attributed to other factors. It is often a misconception that symptoms of disease may always be cured by taking multivitamins. Health experts have the better opinion of immediate medical assistance rather than resorting to multivitamins alone.

Why Muscles Get Sore

As people age, they begin to complain more of pains in their muscles and joints. They seem to stiffen up with age, and such commonplace activities as bending over for the morning paper can make them wince.

Such pain can grip so fiercely that they are sure it begins deep in their bones. But the real cause of stiffness and soreness lies not in the joints or bones, according to research at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, but in the muscles and connective tissues that move the joints.

The frictional resistance generated by the two rubbing surfaces of bones in the joints is negligible, even in joints damaged by arthritis.

Flexibility is the medical term used to describe the range of a joint’s motion from full movement in one direction to full movement in the other. The greater the range of movement, the more flexible the joint.

If you bend forward at the hips and touch your toes with your fingertips, you have good flexibility, or range of motion of the hip joints. But can you bend over easily with a minimal expenditure of energy and force? The exertion required to flex a joint is just as important as its range of possible motion.

Different factors limit the flexibility and ease of movement in different joints and muscles. In the elbow and knee, the bony structure itself sets a definite limit. In other joints, such as the ankle, hip, and back, the soft tissue-muscle and connective tissue-limit the motion range.

The problem of inflexible joints and muscles is similar to the difficulty of opening and closing a gate because of a rarely used and rusty hinge that has become balky.

Hence, if people do not regularly move their muscles and joints through their full ranges of motion, they lose some of their potential. That is why when these people will try to move a joint after a long period of inactivity, they feel pain, and that discourages further use

What happens next is that the muscles become shortened with prolonged disuse and produces spasms and cramps that can be irritating and extremely painful. The immobilization of muscles, as researchers have demonstrated with laboratory animals, brings about biochemical changes in the tissue.

However, other factors trigger sore muscles. Here are some of them:

1. Too much exercise

Have you always believed on the saying, “No pain, no gain?” If you do, then, it is not so surprising if you have already experienced sore muscles.

The problem with most people is that they exercise too much thinking that it is the fastest and the surest way to lose weight. Until they ache, they tend to ignore their muscles and connective tissue, even though they are what quite literally holds the body together.

2. Aging and inactivity

Connective tissue binds muscle to bone by tendons, binds bone to bone by ligaments, and covers and unites muscles with sheaths called fasciae. With age, the tendons, ligaments, and fasciae become less extensible. The tendons, with their densely packed fibers, are the most difficult to stretch. The easiest are the fasciae. But if they are not stretched to improve joint mobility, the fasciae shorten, placing undue pressure on the nerve pathways in the muscle fasciae. Many aches and pains are the result of nerve impulses traveling along these pressured pathways.

3. Immobility

Sore muscles or muscle pain can be excruciating, owing to the body’s reaction to a cramp or ache. In this reaction, called the splinting reflex, the body automatically immobilizes a sore muscle by making it contract. Thus, a sore muscle can set off a vicious cycle pain.

First, an unused muscle becomes sore from exercise or being held in an unusual position. The body then responds with the splinting reflex, shortening the connective tissue around the muscle. This cause more pain, and eventually the whole area is aching. One of the most common sites for this problem is the lower back.

4. Spasm theory

In the physiology laboratory at the University of Southern California, some people have set out to learn more about this cycle of pain.

Using some device, they measured electrical activity in the muscles. The researchers knew that normal, well-relaxed muscles produce no electrical activity, whereas, muscles that are not fully relaxed show considerable activity.

In one experiment, the researchers measured these electrical signals in the muscles of persons with athletic injuries, first with the muscle immobilized, and then, after the muscle had been stretched.

In almost every case, exercises that stretched or lengthened the muscle diminished electrical activity and relieved pain, either totally or partially.

These experiments led to the “spasm theory,” an explanation of the development and persistence of muscle pain in the absence of any obvious cause, such as traumatic injury.

According to this theory, a muscle that is overworked or used in a strange position becomes fatigued and as a result, sore muscles.

Hence, it is extremely important to know the limitations and capacity of the muscles in order to avoid sore muscles. This goes to show that there is no truth in the saying, “No pain, no gain.” What matters most is on how people stay fit by exercising regularly at a normal range than once rarely but on a rigid routine.

How to Stop Your Cravings When You Stop Smoking

The attempt to stop smoking is a very difficult endeavor. It entails will power and determination just to be able to control the cravings that may accompany the withdrawal stage. See, as a smoker tries to cleanse his body from the nicotine that he consumes, the body would continue to look for nicotine for it to be able to function properly. This craving will urge the smoker to just continue smoking so that his body needs can be satisfied. This is where his focus and strength of mind should come in. He needs to fight off the urge in order for him to start a non-smoking life.

Some smokers who are on the process of quitting resort to drugs to assist them during the withdrawal stage. Several medicines that are publicized by media are offered to the public to help defeat the urge to smoke; and they are designed to give pleasure to the brain in the same way the nicotine affects the brain. Because of these drugs, the smokers will feel exactly the same feeling as if they had just finished a stick; so as a result, there is really no need for the smokers to actually puff a cigarette.

Despite the help that you may get from drugs, you still have to put in mind that you still need to exert effort in order for you to successfully overcome the temptation to smoke. Be reminded that the first few days of your renunciation would really be the toughest, so you should be prepared to face the difficulty. To be able to do so, you should try your hardest to stay away from things which might remind you of smoking.

For instance, you may want to avoid places where you may encounter a lot of smokers, because you might be tempted to join their fun. For some people, they try to replace a cigarette with healthier foods life cinnamon sticks or celery just to satisfy the need to have something pressed between their lips; and if it is your hands which crave for something to hold on to, try to replace the cigarette stick with a pencil or anything which may take its place. If you are the kind of person who associates smoking with drinking, then you may want to avoid drinking alcohol as well. Keep your mind of the idea of smoking, and keep yourself busy so that you would forget the temptation to smoke.

If despite all your efforts to avoid smoking, you are still craving for a puff, you may want to try these few tricks just to satisfy your longing:
Light a matchstick instead of a cigarette, and pretend that it is a cigarette stick that you are holding. This trick may cheat your brain, and it may gratify your urge if it does not, you can always treat yourself with a refreshing bath. Think of why you are quitting, and stay focused. Remind yourself of your objectives, and constantly repeat to yourself that you are strong enough to win this battle against smoking. Do not think that a single stick will have no effect on your struggle to stop, otherwise you might start from the very beginning again. And, do not be afraid to ask for your family’s and friends’ support, because in your journey to stop smoking, you need a strong support system.

Multiple Sclerosis- what is it?

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Multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, affects approximately 1 out 1,000 people. Did you also know that women are affected more than men are? For more information about this disease, visit the link below.

multiple sclerosis, sclerosis, MS, central nervous system

Multiple Sclerosis- what is it?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) where the body’s own immune cells attack the nervous system. In Multiple Sclerosis, inflammation of nervous tissue causes the loss of myelin, a fatty material that acts as a sort of protective insulation for the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. This demyelination leaves multiple areas of scar tissue (sclerosis) along the covering of the nerve cells, which disrupts the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain, producing the various symptoms of multiple Sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis-Causes, symptoms, and risk factors
The cause of multiple Sclerosis is unknown. Geographic studies indicate there may be an environmental factor involved. Multiple Sclerosis is more likely to occur in northern Europe, the northern United States, southern Australia, and New Zealand than in other areas.

Symptoms of multiple Sclerosis vary because the location and extent of each attack varies. There is usually a stepwise progression of the disorder, with episodes that last days, weeks, or months alternating with times of reduced or no symptoms (remission). Recurrence (relapse) is common although non-stop progression without periods of remission may also occur.

The exact cause of the inflammation associated with multiple Sclerosis is unknown. An increase in the number of immune cells in the body of a person with multiple Sclerosis indicates that there may be a type of immune response that triggers the disorder. The most frequent theories about the cause of multiple sclerosis include a virus-type organism, an abnormality of the genes responsible for control of the immune system, or a combination of both factors.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects approximately 1 out of 1,000 people. More women are affected than men are. The disorder most commonly begins between ages 20 and 40, but can strike at any age. Risks include a family history of multiple Sclerosis and living in a geographical area with a higher incidence rate for multiple Sclerosis.