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Archive for the ‘Sports Nutrition’ Category

New Research Shows How Collagen Benefits Our Bones

 
 

Man Doing Yoga In Spectacular Coastal Scenery

 
Making up around 75% of the body’s protein, collagen benefits most of the functions we rely upon. We need adequate levels of this essential substance to ensure our skin, hair, nails, muscles and joints operate as they should. Studies have shown collagen benefits can be particularly effective in treating arthritis and sports injuries.

Another area that we now understand is affected by a loss of collagen is the strength of our bones. Beyond the age of 25 the levels of collagen in the body reduces by around 1.5% every year. As we reach middle age this loss starts to be significant, especially with the onset of hormonal changes in women, and conditions such as osteoporosis (brittle bones) can cause distress.

We have known for a long time that such problems can be reduced by a combination of a good diet, regular exercise and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol. The careful consumption of supplementary collagen benefits our bodies too (find out more about collagen supplements at LookRavishing.com).

It has taken a recent study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to understand just how the collagen benefits our bones.

The structure of bone has long been something of a mystery; the two main constituents of our skeletons are soft collagen and hydroxyapatite, a hard form of a mineral called apatite, but the riddle has been how these two work in combination.

Hydroxyapatite is brittle, like chalk, and collagen is the opposite, very bendy and soft, so researchers attempted to find out what combines the two to make the tough substance we know as bone.

It took the latest technology to shine the light upon this mystery: super computers were used to produce three-dimensional image of the molecules and it was shown the grains of hydroxyapatite are incredibly tiny and embedded within the collagen. They are held together by electrostatic energy.

The new research opens the door for further studies to discover just how conditions such as osteoporosis take place and how they can be countered.

Let’s hope the answer is not too far away.

Read more about the MIT study on their website.
 
 

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Natural Diet Supplement: John Bishops Tough Week

If you have ever wondered if you need nutritional health supplements to help you get through the week, spare a thought for comedian John Bishop who, following the example of David Walliams (who swam the length of the River Thames recently), set himself a grueling challenge.

John decided to run, cycle and row the 290 miles from Paris to London over five days in order to raise money for the Sport Relief charity. Bear in mind that John has never done anything even vaguely similar!

Fortunately he has help in his challenge. Professor Greg Whyte is one of the United Kingdoms foremost experts in sports physiology. A former Olympic athlete himself, Greg is an advisor to the British Olympic team and is the first person celebrities call upon when they are about to take on an extreme challenge. Greg accompanied David Walliams on both his previous Channel swim and the more recent River Thames challenge. He is with John Bishop at every step of the way.

Greg Whyte understands the need for correct nutrition in sport and ensures all his clients take the nutritional health supplements they need to complete the challenges they set themselves and that they are operating at an optimal level.

Professor Greg Whyte is also closely associated with the Proto-col company, recommending their range of nutritional health supplements to all his clients. Indeed, John Bishop is powered by Proto-col products in his present challenge.

See more about John Bishop’s challenge on the Sport Relief YouTube channel.

Find out by the Proto-col range of nutritional health supplements on LookRavishing.com.

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Nutritional Health Supplements: Excessive Exercise And The Immune System

We probably all know that moderate exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but did you know those who undertake a high level of exercise might need nutritional health supplements, as the immune system can be damaged?

Interestingly, Professor Greg Whyte of John Moore’s University, Liverpool points out that elite athletes, such as those training for the Olympics have a particular problem with infection especially if their nutrition is not carefully maintained. The body has a greater strain placed upon it and has to work harder so the immune system needs to be in top condition.

Research has shown that more than ninety minutes of high intensity endurance training makes sportsmen and women susceptible to illness for up to 72 hours after the exercise finishes. Stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) raise the blood pressure and cholesterol levels to aid energy but at the same time they suppress the immune system temporarily.

Amateur sportspeople can have a particularly tough time with their immune system as their professional counterparts usually have expert advice and a special diet.

This means that athletes need to ensure they have a healthy diet and sufficient recovery days to enable the body to allow the immune system to recover. Increasingly, specialized nutritional health supplements are also used to ensure top performance from the human body.

To discover nutritional health supplements created by Professor Whyte and former Olympic athlete James Greenwell, please go to LookRavishing.com.

 

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Collagen Capsule: Interview With A Young Athlete

16-year-old Anna Alexander-Holmes is not your average teenager.  Studying for her exams in the hope of a career working with children, Anna spends over 20 hours each week training for competitions and trials all over the country.

Taking time out of her busy schedule to visit the proto-col office, Anna was kind enough to give us an insight into her life. Proto-col’s Winnie Howard-Taylor asked Anna to explain in more detail the heptathlon and what her training involved.

A: It’s made up of 7 different events: I do the high jump, the long jump, shot put, the javelin, 200 metres, 800 metres and an 80 metre hurdle. I have always been good at sprinting so the 200 metres is probably my favourite event but the high jump is my strongest. During training I focus on technique and I practice these to perfection, which is something I love to do.

W: Wow, that’s an impressive line-up. To be good at one thing is a blessing, how did you find out you had a talent for 7?

A: I don’t know really. I have always been quite sporty. When I was 12 I competed in a pole vault competition. After the event I was approached by Brett Smith – he was the manager at that point for Team Bath. He just came up to me and asked me to join, he said I had a vast amount of talent and that’s where it all kicked off. I loved it, everything about it made me want to train more and more. The social side, the competitive side; it was all so much fun at that age. It still is now!

At this point Anna’s smile is wide, her passion for being active is clear. She doesn’t have a lot of social time outside school/training hours to be herself but she assures me that even she has time for a facial routine.

A: I use proto-col skincare products on my face. The microdermabrasion keeps my skin soft and smooth.

I use the mineral foundation all the time and I love the mascara. Proto-col black mascara is water resistant and lasts through school and training. I started using proto-col collagen first as I had heard about its benefits for your bones.

In February 2010, during the indoor season I started getting consistent pains in both my legs. I continued training for 4 months in the hope it would just go away but during a 200-metre event, mid-race the pain started and that was it. I could not complete the race, my legs felt like they were going to snap! It turns out I had level 2 bone stresses in both Tibia. I had to have 2 MRI scans and could hardly move. I spent 5 months in pain, sat around at home and it was a low time for me. I began taking collagen capsules; I take 3-6 capsules a day. The benefits were brilliant, my body began to repair at a fast pace and my bones are stronger now and the pain reduced. At the moment I notice that my legs get less sore and I can train for longer. I also take 2 glasses of green magic a day to keep healthy and energetic.  3 tablets of proto-col vita balance a day keeps a steady energy level. I take both green magic and vita balance in the mornings, which I have found makes it easier to get up early and I’m much happier in myself. It definitely helps me to juggle school, my exams and training.

As for sports nutrition, proto-col ultra-fuel works wonders. It contains Creatine, which is great for the gym.

W: So, no chance of anything getting in the way of your dreams no then – you seem to have recovered from your injuries and have come back with a vengeance!

A: Yes, it was a tough time and looking back if I had continued with the race I may have fractured both my Tibia. It is something I love so I had to get myself back into it and now I’m better than ever.

I have only been back in full training since April 2011 and I have already competed in some important competitions. I have the South West Championship trials at Millfield School in June with Team Bath.

I have a scholarship to attend in September to study. It is a brilliant opportunity for me; it will be a very personal level of education, specific to me. There will only be about 6 people per class, in academia as well as physical training. Coming up I have the English Schools’ Athletic Association (ESAA) event 17th – 18th September, which is a big achievement and may well be my first event after starting at Millfield.

W: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

A: I’m hoping that after my 2 years at Millfield School, I can move abroad somewhere and work with children. I would love to be a coach or sports teacher. After watching the Sports Relief show on television I was really inspired. I would love to make a difference like that!

Although Anna has not been training intensively and is still taking supplements to strengthen her legs, she never fails to put her best into each and every competition she enters. On Sunday 22nd May she jumped a personal best. Now ranked as number 1 in the South West and in the top 20 (UK) under 17 girls, Ann is ambitious and passionate despite her age and at proto-col we want to wish her every success for the future.

© proto-col in business ltd

Discover the nutritional health supplements and other products from proto-col that Anna and other athletes have benefited from at LookRavishing.com.

 

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How Collagen Benefits The Human Body


Collagen is one of those substances that are fashionable in discussions on health these days but what is it exactly and what are some collagen benefits?

Collagen is a durable substance with the consistency of glue that makes up around 30% of the body’s proteins. It is a fibrous material and contains large amounts of two amino acids: hydroxyproline and proline. The areas most reliant on this substance include bones, skin and the connective tissues in tendons and cartilage.

Smoking, ageing, the menopause, pollution, trauma and ultra violet light (from the sun) will damage the levels of collagen available.

Collagen And The Skin

Collagen benefits the skin by ensuring its elasticity and strength. Collagen molecules resemble microscopic ropes and they act as such by giving strength to the appropriate areas of our bodies. Collagen hydrolysate also helps hydrate the skin.

Interestingly collagen makes up some 90% of the skins proteins. Sadly women see to lose collagen faster as they age as a result of the reduction in oestrogen in the menopause. This results in dry skin, a thinning of the dermis layer, some bruising, reduced elasticity and even a reduction in hearing. The effects are easily seen with the development of lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. As exposure to the sun has the same effects the link with reduced collagen are clear.

A deterioration in the quality of nails and hair is also symptomatic of a loss of collagen.

Collagen And Connective Tissue

People active in sports will also find collagen benefits in the maintenance of the connective tissues in the joints. Cartilage covers the ends of bones of course as a strong lubricated pad to cushion the movement of bones against each other during muscle movement. Cartilage is made up of a combination of collagen and water.

A healthy level of collagen benefits the weight bearing abilities of ligaments and cartilage. Young athletes in particular need to keep levels of collagen maintained as the growing process connected to extra activity puts more strain on the joints.

According to a recent study in Germany athletes suffering damage to their connective tissues have found a collagen capsule course speeds up recovery markedly.

Collagen And The Skeleton

As we get older joints suffer wear and tear and a reduction of articular cartilage (bone cartilage) can result in osteoarthritis.

Affecting around nine million people in the United Kingdom alone, osteoarthritis is the most common disorder of the joints suffered by older people and those in middle age. Osteoarthritis is the deterioration of the cartilage at the end of the bones and creates swelling and a great deal of pain.

Another disease related to ageing is osteoporosis or brittle bones disease. This results in disability and too often death following bones breaking and is caused by a low level of calcium in the skeleton but also a reduction in levels of collagen.

This disease in found in both men and women but the menopause can create especial problems in women.

The Answer

Certain foods such as flax seed, prunes, vitamin rich fruit (such as oranges) and dark, leafy vegetables will improve the body’s own collagen production but a collagen capsule course would also have collagen benefits.

There are so many collagen benefits to the body it would seem wise to do everything possible to maximize the levels of this important substance.

To find out more about collagen and collage capsule supplements, please go to LookRavishing.com.

 

 

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Natural Diet Supplement: Nutrition And The Immune System

When discussions take place about nutrition and the need to use a natural diet supplement, the immune system will always be mentioned at some point.

Having a healthy immune system is essential to the wellbeing of the human body. It is very likely that we see off many illnesses without even knowing about it; indeed, some experts think the immune system defeats some cancers leaving us blissfully unaware that anything has happened.

So what elements do we need to have in our diet or, if necessary, in a natural diet supplement to ensure we have the best immune system possible?

Perhaps the best-known substance for boosting the immune system is vitamin C. This vitamin is traditionally credited with defense against, for example, the common cold.

This reputation is well deserved as vitamin C encourages the production of white blood cells and antibodies, which are the prime defense against infection. What is perhaps less well known is this vitamin also helps increase supplies of interferon. Interferon is well named as it coats the surface of cells and interferes with the entry of viruses.

Vitamin C also increases levels of the good cholesterol (HDL) in the body and prevents fat forming in the arteries thus warding off cardiovascular problems. There is also some evidence this vitamin will reduce the chances of the most numerous cancers: namely, breast, prostate and colon cancer.

Let us now turn to vitamin E. This vitamin is less well known as C but is just as effective and should be included in a good natural diet supplement.

Vitamin E may well slow down the decline in the immune system normally associated with ageing. It promotes the cells that attack germs, cancer cells and destructive bacteria. It has also been shown, in a study carried out by the Harvard School Of Public Health, to reduce the chances of heart attack by half.

More publicity has been given to Omega-3 fatty acids but few people understand them. In fact they promote phagocytes, which are white blood cells that deal with aggressive bacteria. Previous generations knew this and this would explain why doses of cod liver oil were so popular and why many people now take an Omega-3 natural diet supplement.

Another substance that encourages the production of white blood cells is zinc. It also helps produce more antibodies and cells to reduce the incidence of cancer.

Elderly people are often deficient in zinc and this weakens the immune system. There is some evidence that zinc may reduce infections but the results are still inconclusive. Equally it is wise when taking a natural diet supplement to ensure the dosage of zinc is controlled as an overdose can actually inhibit the immune system

Another bonus to the immune system is the group of phytonutrients known as bioflavenoids. These protect the cell membranes from environmental pollutants, covering the surface so toxins are unable to get access. Bioflavenoids also help to prevent clots and fat in the arteries.

Phytonutrients, incidentally, are plant-derived nutrients that are essential to sustain human life.

Lastly, carotenoids are a family that work together to aid the immune system. Perhaps the best-known member is beta carotene. Beta carotene also works to produce infection-fighting cells and reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in the arteries. In this way it helps to reduce the occurrence of strokes and heart attacks. The body uses cells called macrophages to attack cancer and beta carotene stimulates these cells.

Vitamin A also has such anticancer properties and boosts the immune system, which is not surprising as it is constructed from beta carotene. It is theoretically possible to overdose on vitamin A but is unlikely as the body only produces the amount it needs.

Clearly the levels of these immune system boosting substances should be maintained for good health. The ideal method is always to do so through a balanced diet but there will always be situations or lifestyles when a goodnatural diet supplement will be needed. The priority is to ensure our immune systems are in top condition.

To find the correct natural diet supplement for your needs, come to LookRavishing.com for more details.

 

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Nutritional Health Supplements: The Many Uses Of Arginine

Arginine is one of those substances you may read about and yet not be sure what it does. It is in fact what is termed a ‘conditional’ essential amino acid; in other words the body produces its own but there are circumstances (such as trauma and surgery) in which the body cannot supply enough and it needs to be supplemented from outside, either from food or from nutritional health supplements.

It is interesting how many of the body’s substances have several properties and uses and arginine is no exception.

This substance is necessary for the production of protein and helps to rid the body of any waste ammonia. It is linked to improvements in erectile dysfunction in men. In 1999, the BJU Journal published results of research where 50 men suffering erectile dysfunction took 5 grams of L-arginine or a placebo. After a period of six weeks there was a greater improvement in those taking the amino supplement. The reason for this success is arginine produces nitric acid, which helps improve the blood flow to the penis; this is different to Viagra, which blocks the enzyme that destroys nitric acid.

Arginine is also useful as a nutritional health supplement in sport. Depending on the dose, this substance can increase the production of growth hormone from the pituitary gland. The growth hormone has several uses, one of which is to move fat into the blood from where it can be burned as energy for the muscles. However the timing is important as, if the growth hormone is stimulated too early, it will confuse the body’s own production.

The natural conclusion of course is that the correct use of arginine will reduce fat mass, reduce blood pressure and improve the control of blood sugars.

This amino acid has also been used post-surgery and in burn patients as it can increase the production of collagen in healthy people over the age of seventy. Thus it improves wound healing.

Just as arginine helps with blood supply to the penis, it has a positive effect on sufferers of angina by improving the performance of blood vessels generally. Equally a study published in Clinical Cardiology in 2000 indicated this substance might also improve cardiac performance. It was felt however it should not replace other treatments prescribed.

Other studies show this useful amino acid may ease inflammation of the bladder, relieve leg cramps and help the function of the kidneys of kidney transplant patients.

It is possible arginine may have other uses, such as in the treatment of dementia, but there is no firm evidence to support this yet.

The dosage of this amino acid should be strictly controlled as overdoses could lead to indigestion, since it increases stomach acids, and may worsen asthma. Clearly, as it does lower blood pressure, people for whom this is already a problem should avoid it.

Arginine is a very useful substance within the body and can improve health markedly. However, as with the taking of all nutritional health supplements, it is always wise to consult a health professional before undertaking a significant course of supplementation.

To find out more about the Arginine supplement, please go to LookRavishing.com

 

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Fats Can Be Good For You

In recent times we seem to have come to the conclusion that all fats are bad for us. This is not the case at all.

There are certain fats that can actually improve our day-to-day performance and health. They can even help provide a healthy skin!

These are the essential fatty acids (EFAs) and the most beneficial are omega 3 and omega 6. These fat molecules cannot be made by the human body and are essential to our nutritional health and the correct functioning of the body. These have to come from the foods we eat.

Avoiding fat in our diet prevents us getting the fitness fats we require and a low-fat diet makes us very ill. Indeed, a no-fat diet could actually be fatal in the long-term.

These fats help the kidneys function and remove the excess water, which can constitute the surplus weight carried by some people. Omegas 3 and 6 also improve the detoxification process of both the kidneys and the liver.

Ensuring our nutritional health with fitness fats can actually keep you slim. These fats are anabolic and metabolise oxygen, increasing energy levels and stamina. As a result, muscles grow faster. Oddly, they help us burn calories faster and help the blood flow faster through the capillaries so improving the oxygen distribution through the body.

Protein is kept in check by fitness fats. Yes, protein can actually become toxic and create muscle breakdown unless balanced by the correct fats. They also help the production of testosterone and insulin.

Interestingly the fitness fats also promote calmness and concentration. Those with the right levels also sleep better.

Fitness fats have several other advantages, such as a better digestion and a better immune system. They also protect us from environmental toxins such as pesticides and are anti-inflammatory and anti-depressive.

The earlier point about healthy skin is relevent. Enough of the right fats promote a smooth, healthy skin. A lack of fitness fats results in dry skin. This is particularly a problem as the skin is the last organ to receive fats from the digestion.

Our nutritional health has been suffering recently from a phobia of all fats – good and bad. A healthy diet involves balance and should avoid the bad fats but importantly include the good fats. This is key to our nutritional health.

If you would like to know more about fitness fats, Dr Udo Erasmus has written a book, ‘Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill,’ on the subject.

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Sports Nutrition Tips

Chelsea Football Club Nutritionist, Nick Broad, gives some fascinating tips on sports nutrition.

Visit LookRavishing.com to find out about Proto-col’s new sports nutrition health range, developed with the company’s founder and former Olympic athlete, James Greenwell.

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