September 24th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta
Insulin-Like Growth Factor and Aging
Many bodybuilding websites advise you to combine two hormones—IGF-1 and HGH—in supplement formulas. It’s the kind of advice a fair number of bodybuilders seem to go for—anything to give them the extra edge.
But is that a good idea? Let’s look at what these hormones are. Throughout life, HGH (human growth hormone) comes from the pituitary gland, whence it’s whisked throughout the entire body. The amount of HGH released declines with age. IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor) is produced in the liver and works with HGH in an important way. In effect, HGH stimulates the need for growth, stimulating anabolic activity throughout the body, and IGF-1 carries out the growth—especially muscle growth. Indeed, both HGH and IGF-1 prove essential to muscle growth—the bodybuilder’s goal.
But there’s a catch. Lots of scientific data indicate that high levels of HGH and IGF-1 will decidedly age you.
Lower levels of IGF-1 protect against aging and certain types of cancer. When IGF-1 levels are low, new cell production slows allowing the body to concentrate on repairing existing cells. When IGF-1 levels are high, this signals the body to enter a ‘go, go, go’ mode, causing cells to grow and age too fast to be repaired. The result: accelerated aging. Read the rest of this entry »
September 21st, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta
It is a part of the design of your skin that it has small openings on its surface, called pores, leading into sebaceous glands that secrete oil for skin protection and lubrication. Most skin pores are barely noticeable to the naked eye, and we pay them little attention. Except, that is, when we see them staring back at us in the mirror like so many moon craters. In my late thirties, I used to have this very problem. No more.
What Causes Pores to Enlarge?
While it’s commonly accepted that pore size is genetically determined, several other factors most likely contribute. Hormone imbalance may play a role in excessive oil production, promoting pore enlargement. As skin ages and loses collagen, pores become larger, continually trapping more and more dead skin cells along with oils, which plug and stretch the pores even more—a vicious circle. Enlarged pores almost always go along with an oily skin problem. The odds of having dilated pores are not in your favor if you struggled with acne as a teenager and attacked the problem with your bare hands. Sun damage to the skin can also factor into pores becoming more visible. Read the rest of this entry »
August 28th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta
I received this email from a reader:
At age 52, I have been using Copper Peptides for almost one year and added Retin A, two months ago…. I don’t believe in store or commercially bought anti-aging products anymore, but find the research and track record of Retin A and the seeming trustworthiness of Dr. Pickart (CP’s) hard to resist. Both claim to “remodel” skin, and I wonder whether I’d be missing out, long term, not to use them. What do you think?
Nowadays many women, like my reader above, are reaching for the latest discoveries such as Copper Peptides and Retin-A, two patented products promising unique, unrivaled benefits. Retin A chemically exfoliates, while copper peptides assist in wound healing and recovery. Both promise to “remodel” your skin, and they do—after a fashion. But once you understand the science behind it, you’ll see there are easier, cheaper, and healthier ways to do the same job. How do I know? Because I’ve been doing it for the last fifteen years with great results.
What is Retin A?
Let’s take a more careful look. As the product’s name suggests, it is a retinoid, a chemical compound derived from Vitamin A, and is only available by prescription. This by itself sends up red flags for me. Read the rest of this entry »
August 11th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta
Dr. Hauschka’s is one company whose products and methods are very popular with health-seeking, beauty conscious people. A number of years ago, I used and recommended their cosmetics myself. Recently one of my readers pointed out some differences in our approaches to skin care. Her email prompted me to review carefully Dr. Hauschka’s famous “7 facts that will change your skin.”
Hauschka’s philosophy differs slightly from mine. (Or shall we say mine differs from his? After all, he’s the doctor!) I don’t disagree in every respect, but there are a few tenets that I feel compelled to challenge. Read the rest of this entry »
July 7th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta
What gives hair that frizzy look? The part of your hair that you see—the shaft—consists of three layers. The outer layer is called the cuticle. It’s transparent, and under magnification looks like tiny overlapping fish scales. When the scales lie flat, hair looks healthy, normal, shiny. When the scales don’t lie flat, you get “frizzy hair,” and your hair loses its shine, takes on that dull, lifeless look.
It’s not just a matter of looks. The function of hair’s outer cuticle layer is to protect the soft middle layer, the cortex. When the cuticle’s scales get ruffled…no protection! This may lead to split ends over time, a condition called trichoptilosis.
Some ends can actually split into several pieces, even break off easily. Neglect them a while longer, and those split ends will migrate up the length of your hair shaft toward the roots, damaging the entire hair length, leaving you with just one option—cutting all that damaged hair off!
Why does hair get frizzy? There are several causes. Here are the major ones: Read the rest of this entry »
July 4th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta
In my book Quantum Eating I present abundant scientific research on how not eating in the late afternoon or later will give you ideal weight, youthful energy and put a powerful break on the aging process. Not eating at night gives our digestive system a chance to rest, letting our whole body use the available energy for regeneration, damage repair, and cleanup in all its nooks and crannies. But there’s one organ I encourage you to feed at night—your skin. Read the rest of this entry »
June 26th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta
Healthy eyelashes, seemingly insignificant parts of our features at first glance, are normally short durable hairs that grow on the edges of both upper and lower lids. Eyelashes are there to keep your eyeballs healthy by protecting them from dangerous, foreign substances and causing you to blink when necessary.
Not only that, but if you are also taking care of the skin around your eye area, long luxurious lashes can transform a pretty pair of eyes into stunning peepers. Read the rest of this entry »
April 1st, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta
For good health, you need a bowel movement at least once a day. Twice is better. Medically oriented websites note that merely not having a bowel movement on a particular day doesn’t mean you’re constipated per se. As a raw-foodist of fifteen years’ experience, I’ll say this: Unless you’re fasting, not having a bowel movement daily is constipation.
Regular evacuation of your bowels is essential for being healthy, for maintaining ideal weight (or getting down to it), and for having clear, youthful skin. For more on that, read my article: The Straight Poop. Read the rest of this entry »
February 14th, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta
I just came across an article that says: Did you know that Americans get most of their antioxidants from coffee? It’s true, according to U.S. dietary researcher Dr. Joe Vinson from the University of Scranton…. It clearly shows that coffee is our number one source of antioxidants…. Someone out there reading this article will decide that coffee is a great source of antioxidants, and we all ought to bang back eight or ten cups a day.
The current mainstream research says roughly this about daily coffee drinking…
Read the rest of this entry »
November 27th, 2011 by Tonya Zavasta
They’re good for you…that is until they’re bad. You don’t have to look far these days to find nutrition science changing its mind right and left. Oat bran is good for you, they tell us, and it’s a “must,” plastered across every cereal box. Next thing you know, they’ve discovered it’s not such a great idea. First you hear caffeine is bad for you, then the nutria-gurus recommend we drink a coffee a day for the antioxidants. So what about vitamins? For decades now we’ve all been assured we need a good multi-vitamin every day just to be sure our bases are covered. Read the rest of this entry »