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Warming-Up Exercises in Qi Gong: Basic Movements in Chi Kung

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Chi Kung"There are many styles of Qi Gong training . However, in most Qi Gong classes, there are some similar fundamental movements practised by many that aim to warm the body in preparation for more demanding exercises.

The following exercises are based on the idea that tension in the body acts as a block or a hindrance to energy/chi flow. The muscles are encouraged to relax and the joints are loosened to allow for the flow of chi. The mind is also 100 percent engaged in the body’s movement. Qi Gong is a mind and body exercise.

All of the movements are done slowly and calmly as if the body is immersed in water or there is a feeling of weightlessness in the body. The breath is calm and natural. A new student aims towards feeling comfortable, rather than slowing down or perfecting the moves.

Beginner’s Moves in Qi Gong

After a form of swinging arms, Qi Gong warm-up exercises often begin from the neck and work down towards the feet. The exercises start with the left side of the body before being repeated on the right. Each exercise is completed a minimum of three times and maximum of nine for intermediate students. All rotations are repeated in the opposite direction.

Unless otherwise stated, students stand in the Basic Stance while conducting all exercises. Take one full breath between each rotation change and in between each exercise. Remember that stillness is as important as movement in Qi Gong.

  • Relaxing the Neck: Lift the head towards the sky. Gently allow the head to drop to the right, and then begin to rotate the head in a clock wise direction. The head feels light on the neck, and this movement is more of a relaxing movement than a stretching movement.
  • Rotating the Shoulders: Place the hands on the shoulders. Draw the elbows in towards each other, and then slowly begin to rotate the elbows in front, over and behind the head. Keep the shoulders soft and relaxed.
  • Wrist Circles: Circle the wrists in a clockwise direction. Be sure to be gentle while exploring the range of movement.
  • Bend to the Side: Bring the feet in together. Stand up tall. Bring the hands together and reach them up and over the head. Breathe in. As you breathe out, gently allow your body to stretch to one side. Ground the feet into the earth, and allow your shoulders to relax. Take three breaths. Notice the face is comfortable.
  • Forward Roll: From the Basic Stance, gently drop the head forward, and allow your upper body to roll down toward the floor. This movement is designed to warm up the back and spine. Go down as far as is comfortable, and take one breath. Slowly roll back up while breathing in.
  • Hip Circles: Place your hands on your hips and relax your shoulders into your body. Let the hips move to the right, and start to rotate them slowly in a clock wise direction. Maintain connection to the Basic Stance while warming up the hips.
  • Knee Circles: Place your feet together. Bend the knees gently and lean forward, placing your hands on top of the knees. Keep your neck in alignment with your back. Make smooth circles with the knees, moving first to the right and continuing in a clock wise direction. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Ankle Circles: Place your hands on your hips. Shift the weight to your right foot, and lift your left foot just off the ground. Make three circles with the left foot in an anti clockwise direction.

Warm-up exercises are more or less the same in all T’ai Chi and Qi Gong classes. They follow the principle of relaxation and increased joint movement to allow the chi to flow through the body. The exercises cover all of the main joints in the body.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Effects of Inadequate Amounts of an Important Nutrient

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "vitamin b12"Vitamin B12, also referred to as the cobalamins, is a vitamin found in meats and other animal-based products. It serves important functions in the formation of red blood cells, development of myelin nerve sheaths, and metabolism of nucleic acids. However, as with any nutrient, it is possible to have vitamin B12 deficiency. Such an abnormality can have various clinical consequences.

Causes

An understanding of the major causes of vitamin B12 deficiency requires an understanding of the its absorption. When vitamin B12 is ingested, acid in the stomach partially breaks it down. The stomach also produces a substance called intrinsic factor, which binds to vitamin B12. This enables absorption of vitamin B12 at the ileum, the last part of the small intestine.

One cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is inadequate oral intake. This can potentially occur in vegetarians, particularly those following the strictest vegan diets. Other people who are susceptible include chronic alcoholics and individuals attempting certain fad diets.

Otherwise, the major cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is malabsorption, which can involve one of the following portions of the gastrointestinal tract:

  • Stomach: Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur with pernicious anemia, an autoimmune condition that destroys the stomach cells producing intrinsic factor necessary for vitamin B12 absorption. Surgical removal of the stomach (gastrectomy) may also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Intestine: The ileum cannot absorb vitamin B12 if it is surgically removed or suffers from Crohn’s disease, overgrowth of intestinal bacteria (blind loop syndrome), or infestation with tapeworms that use vitamin B12.

Clinical Manifestations

In some cases, vitamin B12 deficiency results in the characteristic hematologic manifestation of megaloblastic anemia, which involves large immature red blood cells and hypersegmented neutrophils. In addition, patients with vitamin B12 deficiency suffer from various neurologic and psychiatric abnormalities, such as numbness and tingling (paresthesias), impaired sense of position (proprioception) or vibration in the lower extremities, muscle weakness, impaired memory, depression, and psychosis.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency is based on laboratory testing. A low serum vitamin B12 level confirms the diagnosis. However, if the diagnosis remains questionable because of a mildly low vitamin B12 level, then a physician can check serum levels of methylmalonic acid or homocysteine. These substances require vitamin B12 for metabolism, and elevated levels suggests vitamin B12 deficiency. Other tests should include a complete blood count to look for megaloblastic anemia, if present, and serum folate levels to ensure that megaloblastic anemia is not secondary to folate deficiency.

In certain cases, it may be important to determine the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, particularly if pernicious anemia is a possibility. This can be done with the Schilling test. It involves the oral ingestion of radiolabeled vitamin B12, which is absorbed by the intestine and excreted in the urine. The test is performed as follows:

  • First Phase: The first round of oral radiolabeled vitamin B12 is given. If it is subsequently detected in the urine, it means that there is no problem with absorption from the intestine and that the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is inadequate intake. Otherwise, it means there is a problem with the stomach or intestine
  • Second Phase: If there is a problem with the stomach or intestine, the second round of radiolabeled vitamin B12 is given along with intrinsic factor. If the B12 is later found in the urine, it means the cause of the deficiency is lack of intrinsic factor from the stomach. Otherwise, the cause is related to intestinal malabsorption.

Treatment

The treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency is replacement of the vitamin. This can be given orally for milder cases or as an intramuscular injection for severe cases. The duration of treatment depends on how long the underlying cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is present. In general, it takes approximately six weeks for hematologic manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency to resolve. Neurologic and psychiatric manifestations may take a longer time to resolve or remain permanent for life.

Multivitamins and Children: A Little Supplement Can Go a Long Way

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "children multivitamin"In this day and age, parents race home from work to put dinner on the table and then get their kids off to hockey, soccer, dance, or one of the many other activities in which they are involved. Weekends may be less hectic than weekdays, but, in many families, members go off in different directions, grabbing their meals at the mall or the drive-through.

Supplementing Meals

Giving children a multivitamin with minerals and omega-3 can make up for those times when they cannot get all they need from food. Granted, many people already know that vitamin D helps bones grow strong, vitamin A is good for the eyes and vitamin C bolsters the immune system, but what about folic acid, magnesium and omega-3? Folic acid not only protects unborn children from congenital defects in the case of pregnant women, but will also help little ones produce healthy red blood cells and protect them against anaemia. Magnesium is needed for our children to absorb calcium—important for a healthy nervous system and skeleton. It is also required in many of the body’s processes, such as communication between and within cells, and to stimulate elimination. Omega-3s are naturally found in breast milk and certain oils like fish and olive. They are high in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which supports brain development. Lack of DHA can lead to problems with learning, memory and behaviour, as well as depression. These are just some of the components needed to keep our children in optimal health.

Reading Multivitamin Labels

In addition, learning to read labels can help ensure better choices in multivitamins. To help ensure a multivitamin contains what it should, look specifically at biotin and selenium levels. Biotin, which helps stimulate hair and nail growth, enhance skin and control blood sugar levels, should be 100% or more of the recommended daily allowance (or RDA; also known as recommended daily intake or RDI). The same is true for selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that plays a role in the function of the thyroid and protects body tissues. Some companies tend to skimp on these amount, which could mean other vitamins and minerals may be in lower quantities than they should be. By looking at these two key elements, there is a better chance of selecting a good multivitamin. Government organizations such as Health Canada have charts listing the RDAs for infants and children.

Some brands contain additives to enhance the taste, appearance and consistency of the supplement or to extend shelf life. Parents should be aware of what their children are taking in order to weigh the pros and cons of buying one vitamin brand over another. For example, some children are sensitive to carrageenan, a food additive that can cause gastrointestinal problems. There is increasing, although inconclusive evidence that FD&C Yellow #6 and Blue #2 synthetic dyes may be linked to potential hyperactivity and behavioural problems in children. Other ingredients may be desired, such as zinc and iron, but, in some children, higher quantities of these two minerals, especially zinc, may upset their stomachs. To counteract this, the multivitamin should either be taken with a meal, which will make these two components easier to digest, or parents should look for a multivitamin providing a lower level of zinc or iron. By being informed consumers, people will be in a better position to make decisions on their darlings’ vitamins.

It’s a Question of Balance

Optimally, it would be great for everyone to slow down and take the time to make healthy, varied meals from scratch for their children, but this is not always possible. So the next time parents have to “nuke” a frozen meal or stop for fast food to be on time for a child’s dentist appointment, they can rest assured that a good supplement will be of benefit when nutrition must take a back seat to a frantic lifestyle.

Exercise For Busy Moms

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "mother exercise"As a mom, time is always of the essence and it feels like there is never enough. Between raising your children and refining your career, how do you find time to get in shape? Whether you are the mom forced to juggle board meetings and PTA bake sales or even the stay-at-home mom who spends her days cooking, cleaning, and changing diapers, getting fit does not have to be put on hold. While sources have shown that eating a healthy diet full of protein and nutrients can improve your lifestyle, regular exercise is also very important. Finding time to exercise can be overwhelming for mothers with children of any age, but it does not have to be.

Incorporate Baby Into Your Workout

While you may think fitness is impossible to achieve with an infant at home, that does not have to be the case. There are many exercises out there that enable you to tone your body while incorporating your little one.

  1. Crunches: I’m sure many of you have heard of this exercise. You lay on your back with your legs elevated and bring your upper body off of the ground toward your lower body. While your little one may not sit still long enough to watch you, why not add a little fun for them in your workout as well? Put yourself into the crunch position and put your little on their tummy on your legs while holding their hands to keep them steady. Your little one will add extra resistance to your work out as you start your repetitions. You could even make it more fun for them by swaying your legs back and forth, up and down, and making airplane sounds.
  2. Push-ups: Push-ups help tone your upper body and give you more muscular strength in your arms and chest. But how do you incorporate your little ones into this exercise? If you have a bouncy seat for your little one to sit in, it will make this exercise simple. Turn your workout into a game of peek-a-boo. Start in plank position. When you go down, you don’t say down. Instead, you will say “Peek”. When you return to plank position, instead of saying up you will say “A-Boo”. This workout is sure to get laughter.
  3. Running In Place: This will help tone your leg muscles and is bound to get laughter from your little one whether they are an infant or a toddler. If you have an infant, they can once again remain in their bouncy seat. Make it a game of “I’m Gonna Getcha”. When running in place, you can say “I’m gonna”. Then, take a step in and tickle them while saying “getcha”. If you have a toddler, you can have them run in place beside you and pretend you are running in a race. It allows them to utilize their imaginations while getting proper exercise.

Let The Older Kids Join In

With the older kids, you can also make exercising fun. For example, exercises such as push-ups can be done side-by-side or facing each other and after each repetition, you clap hands. The possibilities as your kids get older are endless, and it is never too early to get them started on a healthy lifestyle.

Even if you have teenagers at home, it is still possible to get regular exercise while juggling with their activities and your job. By dedicating only fifteen minutes a day to a regular routine, you are keeping in shape even if you don’t have time to go to the gym. You’ll be surprised at how the following exercises work.

  1. Squats
  2. Lunges
  3. Push-ups
  4. Over-Head Arm Presses
  5. Over-Head Arm Claps
  6. Crunches

These exercises will focus on your main muscle groups allowing you to tone up and stay fit. No more wasted gym memberships for you mom! Now you can really show off your powers as the “Super mom” who does it all!

The Benefits of Ehttp://narcane.com/?p=7&preview=truexercise You Might Not Have Known About

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Exercise"We all know how good exercise is for our bodies, but do we know exactly how good it is for us? Exercise helps keep our weight down and keeps us healthy, but “keeps us healthy” is a broad statement. Exactly what does that mean? How does exercise benefit our bodies?

Osteoporosis

As we get older, the threat of osteoporosis becomes a reality. However, if we participate in exercises that are weight-bearing, such as lifting weights, walking, jogging or dancing, this will help to strengthen our bones. In the Nurse’s Health Study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, 41 percent of the women had fewer hip fractures if they walked more than four hours per week.

Immune System

Being healthy means having a strong immune system and we all strive for that. Being sick is miserable. A great way to boost your immune system is through exercise. When you exercise, you release two different types of immune cells which seek out and destroy pathogens in your bloodstream. Your immune system reverts back to its normal condition in approximately three hours, but the effect of your exercising is cumulative, which means it adds up over time.

Sleep

If you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a while or if that late afternoon slump has you barely able to keep your eyes open, exercise can help with that. In a study with over 2,600 men and women between the ages of 18-85, 65 percent experienced improvement in their sleep and also felt less sleepy during the day.

Energy and Mood

Exercise will make you feel more energetic. That sounds like it shouldn’t be true because when you are feeling lethargic, the last thing you want to do is exercise. However, exercising makes your cardiovascular system and other key systems work more efficiently, which gives you more energy. It also stimulates your brain to release endorphins which make you feel happier and more relaxed.

Back Pain

If you struggle with back pain, you know how difficult it can be to do everyday tasks, let alone exercise, but exercise is what you should do, specialized exercise that is. With back pain, you don’t want to start off your exercise plan by running a marathon, of course. Start off with a low impact exercise that your back can handle. The most important thing to remember is that you want to strengthen your core muscles (the abdominal muscles) and gain flexibility. Strong abdominal muscles and good posture are important to reduce back pain.

Migraine

If you experience migraines, you know that you will do almost anything to avoid getting another one or to reduce the pain. A recent study suggests that exercise could work as well as medication or relaxation therapy at reducing the frequency of migraines and the severity of the headaches.

Exercise can benefit our bodies in so many different ways. By exercise, we don’t mean that you have to run five miles a day. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), they define moderate activity as activity such as ballroom or line dancing, gardening, brisk walking, and water aerobics.

Vigorous activity is defined as aerobic dance, biking at speeds faster than ten miles an hour, jumping rope, swimming laps, and jogging. The Dept of HHS recommends that getting 2-1/2 hours of moderate exercise weekly and 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly. Vigorous exercise should be done for at least 10 minutes at a time.

Given the many benefits you receive from exercising, hopefully this will motivate you to get moving. Start out small at first and set realistic goals.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.