Posted in Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) affects 10-20% of Americans during the winter months. Research shows that SAD, also known as the “winter blues”, is due to the decrease in sunlight available during the autumn and winter months. Because there is a decrease in sunlight, there’s an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, contributing to depression-like symptoms.

Lead researcher Brenda McMahon and her colleagues, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, presented findings in 2014 at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress in Berlin, Germany. Such findings followed 11 people with SAD and 23 people without SAD during the summer and winter months to see how the levels of serotonin and SERT (serotonin transporter) proteins changed during the seasons.

The results showed that those with SAD had 5% higher levels of SERT proteins during the winter than in the summer. Those without SAD had unaffected SERT and serotonin levels. “SERT carries serotonin back into the nerve cells where it is not active, so the higher the SERT activity, the lower the activity of serotonin,” explains McMahon. This seems to offer confirmation that SERT is associated with SAD.

Robert Tisserand and Psychology Today discuss how serotonin, melatonin, dopamine and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters) are all contributors to the symptoms of SAD. They also offer ways that you can naturally increase these levels during the winter when sunlight is not highly available.

Here’s some great ways to increase those neurotransmitters for overall improved mood during the winter months:

  1. Vitamin D Supplementation
  2. Exercise
  3. Sunlight or Light Therapy
  4. Massage
  5. Recall Happier Times!
  6. Essential Oils
    1. Stimuating Oils (black pepper, grapefruit, jasmine, lemon, rosemary)
    2. Calming Oils (bergamot, clary sage, orange, rose, sandalwood)

Seasons Greetings,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Resources:

Posted in Corrective Exercise, Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

Colder Temperatures Positively Affect Your Metabolism

Have you ever heard of BAT? Brown adipose tissue?

There exists two forms of fat in the human body: white fat and brown fat. The Scientific American shares that white fat cells store energy in the form of a single large, oily droplet that is otherwise relatively immobile. On the other hand, brown fat cells contain many smaller droplets, as well as energy machines known as mitochondria. Only in recent years have researchers found ways to convert white fat to brown fat. Having more active brown fat present can improve insulin sensitivity to help banish type 2 diabetes and heighten the body’s metabolism to reduce body weight.

Amongst multiple research studies, it is unanimous that lower temperatures force the body to induce thermogenesis, the heat generation that increases your body’s core temperature in order to bring it to homeostasis. When this takes place, white fat can then act like brown fat, otherwise called “beige” fat.

Beige-Fat-Infographic5

Luckily, these temperatures do not have to be low enough to cause muscle quivering. In 2013, Japanese researchers had 12 young men with lower than average brown fat amounts to sit in a 63 degree Fairenheit room for two hours a day for six weeks. After six weeks, those 12 men were burning an extra 289 calories and PET-CT scans verified the heightened quantity of brown fat cells. They believe that exposure to these colder temperatures over six weeks increased the activity of a gene named UCP1, which seems to guide the conversion of white fat into beige fat. They also understand that exercise helps to increase UCP1 in conjunction with a hormone called irisin that helps convert white fat to beige fat.

A study supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2014 had 5 healthy men reside in a clinical research unit for 4 months. They would do their normal daily activities during get day then return to their private room for at least 10 hours each night. The temperature of the room was set to 24 °C (75 °F) during the first month, 19 °C (66 °F) the second month, 24 °C again for the third month, and 27 °C (81 °F) the fourth and last month. Each month, the men underwent extensive evaluation, including energy expenditure testing, muscle and fat biopsies, and PET/CT scanning of an area of the neck and upper back region to measure brown fat volume and activity.

After a month of exposure to 19 °C (66 °F), the participants showed a 42% increase in brown fat volume and a 10% increase in fat metabolic activity. During the following month of neutral temperature, these alterations returned to near baseline, and then completely reversed during the month of exposure to 27 °C (81 °F). All the changes occurred independently of seasonal changes.The increase in brown fat following cold exposure was accompanied by improved insulin sensitivity after a meal during which volunteers were exposed to mild cold. The extended exposure to mild cold also resulted in significant changes in metabolic hormones such as leptin and adiponectin.

Yu Hua Tseng, Ph.D., the Principal Investigator in the Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism at Joslin Diabetes Center, says that “brown fat is a natural defense system for obesity, diabetes and related diseases or conditions.” Because of the supporting research, the idea of activating brown fat as a way to combust this excess energy is now an attractive area of research for developing new treatments to help combat obesity and various metabolic diseases. Increasing your metabolic baseline by activating brown fat could be the key to combating such diseases or conditions.

Imagine this: exercise while being exposed to colder temperatures. George King, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center, recommend combining these known brown-fat activators by working out in the cold to get the maximum benefit. By doing so, you’d be revving up your conversion of white to beige fat, in turn burning more calories and improving insulin sensitivity!

Season’s Greetings,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Posted in Corrective Exercise, Ketogenic Life

Improved Recovery

* Do your goals have 4 powerful workouts stacked a week? *

* Are you trying to gain lean muscle mass and shed fat without the “OW!!” factor? *

* Is the muscle soreness you’re experiencing more like “disabling fatigue”? *

Exogenous ketones are here to RESCUE you!

The British Journal of Nutrition published in 2012 an article from a myriad of highly qualified researchers addressing the use of B-Hydroxy-B-methylbutyrate (an exogenous ketone) to reduce markers of exercise-induced muscle damage and improve recovery in resistance-trained men.1 At 2 weeks before and throughout the study, subjects were placed on a diet (25 % protein, 50 % carbohydrates and 25 % fat) which was designed by a registered dietitian who specialised in sport nutrition. All subjects received 3g/day of either the HMB-FA supplement or placebo. Subjects received 1g of their given substance 30 minutes prior to the training session and 1g prior to both lunch and dinner meals. On non-training days, 1g of substance was consumed with three separate meals throughout the day.

Creatine kinase was a very specific blood test performed during this study because “a high CK, or a rise in levels in subsequent samples, generally indicates that there has been some recent muscle damage but will not indicate its location or cause. Serial test results that peak and then begin to drop indicate that new muscle damage has diminished, while increasing and persistent elevations suggest continued damage.”2 Before the exercise session, serum CK levels were nearly the same in placebo- and HMB-FA-supplemented subjects (141 and 158, respectively). As a result of the exercise session, serum CK in the placebo group increased to 604 after 48 hours, while the HMB-FA-supplemented group increased to ONLY 322 (almost half)!

Perceived recovery status also improved for those in the HMB-FA supplemented group, demonstrating quicker recovering and a better opportunity for better performance in subsequent training sessions.

Creatine kinase level and perceived recovery status were two variables that showed substantial improvements for the HMB-FA supplemented group as compared to the placebo group.

This is astounding to read. If your goals include a rigorous training schedule, all of the evidence points to the utilization of exogenous ketone supplementation. To get your hands on exogenous ketones, complete the Contact Form at on the Homepage here!

Cheers to success,

Coral J.

References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261516423_Interaction_of_Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate_Free_Acid_HMB-FA_and_Adenosine_Triphosphate_ATP_on_Muscle_Mass_Strength_and_Power_in_Resistance_Trained_Individuals
  2. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/ck/tab/test/