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Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 06 February 2014

Eighteen Tips for Extending Your Lifespan!

Everyone wants to live a long and healthy life, but there isn't just one simple and easy way to do it. Here are eighteen steps that you can take in your everyday life to help you increase the odds of seeing 80, 90, or even 100 years or more!

Safeguard Your DNA to Live Longer

Healthy DNA help us live longer in a number of different ways. Healthy DNA reduces the risk of cancer, because genetic mutations are a significant contributor to cancer risk.

In the past, many scientists believed that there was a hard limit to the length of time that human beings could live because of our telomeres. Telomeres function like aglets on your shoelaces. They keep your shoelaces from becoming frayed and ripping apart by capping the ends. Telomeres are the caps to the ends of our DNA and they function in a similar fashion.

Over time, the tips of the telomeres slowly break down, which increases the risk of health and aging conditions related to genetic breakdown. In a recent study, researchers proved that changing one's lifestyle to incorporate healthier habits seems to have the ability to increase the length of the telomeres. Further research shows that exercise and diet also have the ability to strengthen telomeres.

This means that taking the advice in this article likely will be able to improve your health even at a genetic level!

Live Conscientiously to Live Longer

An eighty year longitudinal study has shown that one of the strongest and most reliable factors which contribute to long life is a personality grounded in conscientiousness. In this lengthy study, researchers considered a large variety of personality attributes to see which factors helped people live longer, such as persistence and attention to detail.

Researchers found that one of the strongest correlations between personality and long life was conscientiousness. People that considered how the things that they did affected themselves and others were more likely to live longer because they were more likely to make thoughtful life decisions.

They were more likely to take steps to maintain and safeguard their health, and they were also more likely to choose careers and relationships that fit themselves in a healthy way. They also had more impactful and healthy relationships, and tended to be more successful in their careers.

Maintain Strong Friendships to Live Longer

There is also strong evidence that sharing your lives with others has the ability to improve your health and your life. Keeping strong connections with your friends has the ability to help you live longer, and this correlation is stronger the older that you happen to be.

An Australian study showed that elderly individuals that were active socially in fostering friendship with others were more likely to live longer than those that were not as active socially. Elderly men and women with more friends were more likely to still be alive after ten years than those with fewer friends.

A full research review of nearly 150 studies also strongly reinforces this correlation between positive social activity and longevity.

Pick Your Friends Intelligently to Live Longer

Although strong friendships may help you live longer later in life, poor friendships can also have a negative impact on your longevity throughout the lifespan. Choosing friends that make positive life and health choices makes it more likely that you will also make intelligent and proactive decisions with regard to your health.

In one series of studies in particular, there was a strong correlation found between having a friend gain weight and gaining weight yourself. If one of your friends gains a lot of weight and becomes obese, this increases your odds of becoming obese by nearly sixty percent.

People with friends that smoke are also more likely to start smoking themselves, and if you surround yourself with smokers, it also makes it much harder to quit. In this case, like many others, making positive life changes can have a positive effect on those around you. If you are actually successful in quitting smoking, it makes it more likely that others around you will quit as well, and the same goes for losing weight!

This applies to younger people in more ways. If you surround yourself with others that are taking significant risks, such as driving fast, taking drugs, or other risky behaviors, it increases your risk of early mortality significantly.

Stop Smoking to Live Longer

These days, everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, but many people keep smoking, resigned to the mistaken belief that the damage has already been done. In fact, there are strong and powerful benefits to quitting smoking, no matter how young you were when you picked up the habit or how old you were when you chose to quit.

Many people also feel that the benefit of quitting at a later age is overshadowed by the difficulty to quit, but this also appears to be a hugely mistaken belief. Researchers in Great Britain conducted a fifty-year longitudinal study which showed the benefits of smoking cessation at a variety of different ages.

They found that individuals that stopped smoking by the age of thirty lived on average ten years longer than those that continued smoking throughout their life. Those that quit at forty lived nine years longer. Those that quit at fifty lived six years longer, and those that quit at sixty lived three years longer on average.

Taking Naps Can Help Your Live Longer

In America, many people think that frequent napping is a sign of laziness, but there is strong evidence that taking naps on a regular basis does have a protective effect upon the heart. In many areas of the world, afternoon naps are an ingrained part of the culture, and scientific evidence shows that naps may be a proper and healthy aspect of day-to-day activity.

Researchers conducted a broad study, researching over 24,000 men and women. They found that, regardless of sex, individuals that napped regularly had a greater than 35% risk of dying from heart disease at a given age than those that only nap occasionally.

Scientists hypothesize that napping may strengthen the heart by reducing levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. Stress hormones are beneficial in emergency situations or over short time spans, but chronic stress wreaks all sorts of havoc on the cardiovascular system, as well as other systems of the body.

Eat Like a Mediterranean to Live Longer

The Mediterranean lifestyle has done wonders to enhance our knowledge of how diet affects lifespan and life quality. In the Mediterranean, people tend to have a diet that is high in fish, whole grains, veggies, fruits, and heart healthy oils, which helps them live longer.

A review of fifty studies including more than 500,000 men and women from the Mediterranean provided powerful evidence that this lifestyle was highly conducive with a long life. In particular, researchers found that this form of diet greatly reduces the odds of experiencing metabolic syndrome, which has a starkly negative impact on lifespan.

Metabolic Syndrome is the name for a collection of related conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity, and atherosclerosis which all vastly increase the risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Choose the Okinawan Diet

The residents of Okinawa, Japan were once recognized for living longer than anyone else on earth. Scientists have conducted a number of studies regarding the members of this culture, and found that their diet had a powerful impact on their unique ability to live longer than anyone else in the world.

Residents of Okinawa have classically followed a very traditional diet, centered around yellow and green vegetables, which contributed to their longevity. In addition to this, Okinawans naturally subsisted on restricted diets, which also appears to have extended their life spans. In Okinawa, it has long been a strong tradition to only eat eighty percent of the food served in a meal.

Recent changes in life expectancy in younger Okinawans also supports the hypothesis that diet allowed these Japanese to live longer and healthier lives. As younger Okinawans have turned away from these traditional dietary habits, they no longer live the long lives that their elders experienced.

Get Hitched to Live Longer

Being single may have its benefits, but it is not conducive to a long lifespan. On average, married couples live longer than their single cohorts. There are a number of different reasons for this, some psychological, some social.

There are many scientists that believe that the economic and interpersonal support that is necessary in a healthy marriage helps those in the marriage live longer. Anecdotally, this can be seen in couples that live long lives together and die at nearly the same time. The connection to the partner increases the desire and will to live, and once the partner is gone, this often causes the other to lose the inner strength which keeps them going.

Even in the case of those that have been widowed or divorced, a previous marriage seems to have a positive impact on mortality. Those that have been married earlier in their life also tend to live longer than those that have never been married.

Drop the Pounds to Live Longer

One of the most powerful things that you can do to help yourself live a longer, happier, and healthier life is simply to lose weight. Obesity is one of the strongest risk factors for a wide variety of health conditions. Obesity increases the risk of both Testosterone Deficiency and HGH Deficiency. It also vastly increases the likelihood of diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

The worst form of fat in regard to your health is known as adipose fat. Adipose fat cells are located mostly around your midsection, stomach, and thighs, and they are simultaneously the hardest form of fat to get rid of and the most dangerous to both your short-term and long-term health. A five year study of African Americans and Hispanics has shown that engaging in healthy exercise habits and consuming more fiber are two particularly strong ways to burn belly-fat.

Simply dieting can show some improvement, but studies have shown that if one diets and does not combine it with exercise, then the individual is more likely to burn muscle before fat, which reduces the benefits of dieting and can negatively impact health as muscle mass contributes strongly to positive health.

Exercise Regularly to Live Longer

Whether you are at a healthy weight or you are overweight, engaging in regular exercise can have a spectacular impact on your overall health and outlook. People that engage in healthy exercise habits clearly live longer lives than those that commit to a more sedentary lifestyle.

A multitude of studies have outlined the various benefits. Exercising on a regular basis alleviates depression, reduces cancer risk, and diminishes the risk of diabetes, stroke, and cancer. Cardiovascular exercise works out the heart and the circulatory system, and anaerobic exercise stimulates the muscles and strengthens the structural capacity of the body, defending against frailty.

There is even scientific evidence that physical activity positively impacts cognitive health as well, reducing the risk of general cognitive impairment as well as the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Ideally, you should engage in moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes each week.

Drink Moderately to Live Longer

In the not-so-distant past, many people believed that alcohol had a universally negative impact on health, but in recent decades, it is becoming more and more clear that mankind has evolved to incorporate alcohol consumption into health.

People that drink moderately are less likely to experience heart disease than others that don't drink anything. Alcohol does seem to have some anti-oxidant effects on the body when imbibed in moderation, but long-term, heavy drinking counteracts these benefits with a negative impact on liver health.

Over-consumption of alcohol can also lead to other health problems such as obesity, increased blood pressure, and cognitive decline, so it is important to be judicious with alcohol consumption. To experience the optimum benefit of alcohol consumption with the minimum risk of negative effects, the American Heart Association suggests that men should drink two alcoholic beverages per day and women should drink one per day.

This isn't to say that those that do not drink should take up the habit, however. There are a number of different ways to safeguard your heart rather than drinking, and if you aren't interested in drinking, there is no reason to start simply for your health.

Engage in Spiritual or Self-Reflective Activity to Live Longer

Research shows there is at least some link between religious activity and longevity. People that go to church or attend other forms of spiritual gathering live longer lives on average than those that have never attended church at all.

In a twelve-year research study conducted with a pool of participants older than 65, men and women that went to religious services weekly had stronger immune health than others that did not go to church at all. In addition to this, those that attended services had a much lower mortality rate than those that did not.

There are a number of hypotheses why this is true, but the strongest seems to be that religious activity fosters strong social ties that help people keep themselves going. Simply the pleasure derived from interacting and acting collectively with others has powerful physiological effects.

If you are not religious, think about participating in group meditation, yoga, or any activity which allows you to be in the company of other people that you can share experiences with. It is likely that participating and fostering a sense of community in any aspect will produce similar effects to those that are experienced by spiritual individuals in regard to health and wellness.

Forgive Others to Live Longer

Anger and grudges have been scientifically shown to have a devastating affect upon health, especially if they are held for an extended period of time. These sorts of strong, negative feelings are linked to a number of diseases and conditions which are also associated with increased stress hormone levels.

Strong and long-term bottling of anger contributes to an increased risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as reduced lung capacity and a number of other ailments. Fostering an ability to accept forgiveness has been shown to increase lung capacity, improve blood pressure, and alleviate anxiety. The older that you get, the more that these benefits will impact your overall health.

Wear Safety Equipment

Among people of all ages, accidents are the fifth highest cause of death in the United States, as well as the number one mortality risk for young people from the age of one to twenty four. The simplest way to dramatically reduce your risk of mortality caused by accidents is to wear safety equipment.

Wearing seat belts, helmets, and other safety gear will provide tremendous benefits to your overall lifespan from your first steps to your last breath, especially for younger people that are less experienced with activities like driving and more likely to engage in activities such as skateboarding and cycling which can be risky without safety gear.

If you get in a major automobile accident, simply wearing your seatbelt can reduce your risk of serious injury or death by half. In regard to bicycle and motorcycle accidents, most deaths occur as a result of traumatic head and brain injuries, and a helmet can improve your odds in an accident tremendously.

Make Sure You Get Your Sleep to Live Longer

Sleep is just as important as exercise and diet for a healthy life. Getting a full night's sleep every night can significantly drop the risk of experiencing a number of negative health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and a variety of mood disorders.

Sleep is when your body recovers from the day's activity and reorders itself to prepare for a new day. This is also when certain important hormones are produced at their highest levels, including Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone. If you don't get enough sleep, your body doesn't maintain healthy hormone balance, and unhealthy cortisol and stress levels increase in direct relationship to poor sleeping habits.

If you sleep well, your memory and cognitive faculties remain stronger, you are more resistant to illness, and you just generally maintain a happier and more positive outlook. 5-7 hours of sleep still provides some benefits, but 8-9 are maximally optimal. Sleeping fewer than five hours, on the other hand, can actually be dangerous, and greatly increase your mortality risk while sleeping so poorly.

Keep Stress Managed to Live Longer

You may think of stress as a psychological issue that impacts your mental health, but stress is actually a physiological process which affects every aspect of your mind and body, and ideally needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible in order to improve health.

There is even research that patients with heart disease may be able to actually improve the health of their heart by working hard to alleviate their stress levels. So stress not only contributes to heart disease, but also may be a primary contributor to the condition.

Stress also makes it harder to sleep, harder to lose weight, and harder to maintain hormone balance. There are a number of effective ways to manage stress. A few physical activities that you can engage in are deep breathing, meditation, and yoga. You can also work to balance the stresses in your life with the things that sustain you in order to help you live a healthier and longer life.

Live a Life with Purpose

This ties in with a number of other suggestions that we have made today, like having a healthy marriage and engaging in valuable interpersonal activity. In order to live a long life, it seriously helps to live a life that you, personally feel is worth living for. What that means is up to you. What are your values? What makes you feel like a productive, active, and happy person?

For each human being this will be different. In one Japanese study, scientists discovered that males that had a defined sense of purpose had a much lower risk of mortality from a variety of sources, including heart disease and stroke, over thirteen years, as compared with men that self-identified with less purpose in their lives.

An American study has shown a reverse correlation between Alzheimer's and purpose. Men and women that feel that they are living a life driven by purpose are much less likely on average to experience Alzheimer's disease in their life, especially at an early age.


Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 06 February 2014

Can Human Growth Hormone Treat Brain Damaged Addicts?

There have been a number of studies in recent years that have provided evidence that Human Growth Hormone may produce beneficial effects in patients that are suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, but a recent study shows that HGH Injections may have the ability to alleviate neurological issues resulting from drug use. In this case, the study strongly suggests that Therapeutic Human Growth Hormone may have the ability to alleviate attention deficit and memory issues related to heroin abuse.

There is a large body of evidence that proves that the abuse of opiates such as morphine, methadone, and heroin damage the cells of the brain, and the two areas which are most profoundly impacted are the areas which control memory and attention. This new research provides convincing evidence that HGH Shots have at least some restorative effects upon these two aspects of neurological function.

How Do Heroin and Other Opiates Harm the Body?

Heroin and Opiate Abuse have the ability to harm the body and the brain in a number of different ways. Opiates, especially heroin, carry a high risk of overdose, and also have the ability to spread a number of different diseases through shared needles, such as HIV and Hepatitis.

People that regularly abuse opiates can experience a number of health conditions, including kidney and liver disease, constipation, abscesses, heart infections, and collapsed veins. They are also at enhanced risk of pneumonia, which results from both a compromised immune system and depressed breathing.

Heroin and other opiates derived on the black market also regularly contain harmful additives that can damage and clog the arteries and blood vessels, which can potentially damage a number of organs, including the lungs and the brain.

How Does the Body Process Heroin?

Heroin produces its physiological effects because when it is injected or snorted, it is circulated through the blood stream to the brain, where it is broken down into morphine, which stimulates opioid receptors in the brain and throughout the body. There are also opioid receptors in the base of the brain, which is why the drug and related drugs can cause overdose and death. Heroin depresses respiration, arousal, and blood pressure, which can lead directly to cardiac arrest.

How Do Heroin and Opiates Cause Brain Damage?

Two of the primary ways that Heroin causes brain damage is through oxygen deprivation and through the influence of toxic additives. Heroin seems to impact memory and attention span by rewiring the brain in response to addiction. The addictive capacity of Heroin and other Opioids is so strong that even after the feelings of addiction subside somewhat, the neurological effects of addiction still leave the brain wired in a way that negatively impacts psychological function.

How Can HGH Injections Protect the Brain from Brain Damage Associated with Opiate Addiction?

A Swedish study from Uppsala University explains that cells associated with attention and memory are among the first to break down when the brain is taxed by long-term opiate use. They also suggest that Bio-Identical Human Growth Hormone Injections may have the ability to salvage these damaged cells, alleviating the negative impact of Opiate and Opiate Overdose on the brain.

How Does the Body Make HGH and What Does it Do?

Human Growth Hormone is produced naturally by the pituitary gland by small organs known as Somatotrophs. HGH is largely responsible for cell replication and cell growth throughout the lifespan. During childhood and adolescence, HGH Levels in the body are high, which contribute to heightened physiological growth and development.

Later in life, HGH is secreted in lower concentrations in order to maintain health and optimal hormone balance, and there is growing evidence that HGH Injections can be beneficial in a number of disorders and physiological issues which can be treated by encouraging enhanced cellular reproduction in target areas, such as the brain or the joints. In the case of joint injuries, Human Growth Hormone encourages cartilage in the joints to develop more smoothly.

There is also evidence that Human Growth Hormone Injections can enhance rehabilitation and recovery times associated with injury and illness.

HGH Treatments Appear to Protect Brain from Damage Associated with Opiate Dependency

The researchers related to this study explain that this presents a potentially groundbreaking new way to treat patients suffering from the effects of Opiate Addiction, and may be a way to prevent brain damage in these patience and even increase psychological function through HGH Injections. This can also be used to protect the brains of patients that are taking Opioids for pain management to reduce the risk of psychological side effects and neurological deterioration.

HGH, Opiates, and Neurogenesis

Earlier studies provide strong evidence that long term Opiate Use and Addiction prevents the brain from staying healthy, because it slows down neurogenesis, or the development of new cells in the brain. Opiate Use primarily slows down neurogenesis in the area of the brain known as the Hippocampus.

This area of the brain is located in the cerebellum, and the area is strongly related with what is known as episodic memory. Episodic memory is responsible for linking people, places, and emotions to particular memories, essentially maintaining them for long-term storage.

HGH Deficiency is Also Associated with Cognitive Decline

Human Growth Hormone and other related hormones sustain neurogenesis, and HGH Decline is associated with a loss of cognitive ability as the brain can no longer create new cells and connections at the rate at which old cells and connections deteriorate. In essence, Opiate Dependence slows down the rate at which cells regenerate, causing the patient to retain memory and attention like someone many years older.

Previous Studies Show that HGH Provides Cognitive Benefits

The co-author of this neurological HGH Study, Fred Nyberg, explains that older patients treated with Bio-Identical HGH in previous studies, experienced enhanced cognitive function, and that they hypothesized that Opiate Dependent patients would experience the same quantifiable benefit.

It appears that Opiates and Human Growth Hormone have opposite impacts on the brain. Opiates limit the brain's ability to restore itself, even after the patient has stopped using the drugs. Human Growth Hormone Injections appear to counteract that negative neurological impact, allowing people currently taking Opiates for clinical reasons to avoid the related neurological decline, and perhaps restoring neurological function to individuals that are recovering from a previous addiction.

In Vitro Lab Testing Proves that HGH Protects the Brain from Morphine

The way that the researchers demonstrated the possible effectiveness of this form of treatment was through in vitro testing. They used partially developed nerve cells drawn from the fetus of a mouse and isolated them in a petri dish. To mimic the effects of opiate addiction on nerve cells, they dipped the cells into a bath of pure morphine for seven days. Control neurons were simply dipped in morphine, but experimental cells were also treated with Bio-Identical Human Growth Hormone.

In the end, they found that the neurons in the control sample started to die from morphine exposure, but those in the culture with Human Growth Hormone added were able to survive in spite of the morphine. In certain cases, the number of neurons actually increased among cultures in the experimental group!

Nyberg is optimistic, explaining that if Human Growth Hormone Injections have a similar effect on neurons in the brain as they do on brain cells in the petri dish, the hormone may end up being an effective medical treatment to preserve the mental faculties of both ex-opiate addicts and those suffering from chronic pain which only responds to morphine and similar drugs.

Pilot Studies Have Begun in the Treatment of an Opiate Dependent Patient

Since the original study was published, Nyberg and his associates have begun experimental HGH Injection Therapy on a single pilot patient. This patient takes opiates for chronic pain and is suffering from memory issues directly resulting from Opiate Treatment.

Although this pilot study is still ongoing, Nyberg explains that the results achieved thus far are incredibly promising. The pilot patient has been taking HGH Injections with no major side effects, and is experiencing a quantifiable increase in cognitive memory ability.

The results are actually so promising, that Nyberg is already preparing to take HGH for Opiate Addiction to a clinical trial, in order to assess the potential of the treatment more completely. All signs thus far suggest that Growth Hormone Therapy will be effective at safeguarding the Hippocampus from the neuro-degenerative effects of powerful opiates.

HGH Injections Could Possibly Alleviate Neurological Dependency Associated with Drug Addiction

A representative of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Frank Vocci, is interested in the potential to use Bio-Identical Human Growth Hormone as a treatment for drug addiction. There have been legitimate arguments made that the benefits to cognitive function produced by Human Growth Hormone could potentially have the ability to make it easier for current addicts to quit addictive drugs, and that it may help those that are already clean stay clean.

Research regarding the potential of Human Growth Hormone to combat addiction is still in a purely hypothetical stage, and there is no hard evidence supporting the use of HGH Injections for Addiction Recovery.


Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 06 February 2014

The Truth About Metabolism

Metabolism is Strongly Correlated with Body Composition

Your metabolism is related directly to the physiological composition of your body. Muscle has the natural ability to increase metabolism, and fat has the unfortunate ability to slow it down. By maintaining a proper and healthy balance of Muscle and Fat, you can positively impact your metabolism, generating more energy and helping you stay healthier and more lively throughout the day.

The easiest way to determine your body composition is through a simple conversion known as the Body-Mass Index. Although not perfect, BMI will give you a roundabout estimate of your muscle-fat ratio, letting you know what your goals should be when exercising and dieting.

Proteins Are the Best Food to Enhance Metabolism

The foods that you eat influence your metabolism powerfully. The more complex the food that you eat, the more energy it takes for your body to turn it into a useful product. Proteins take the most energy for the body to break down, so they burn the most calories.

Simple sugars and carbohydrates take the least energy for the body to break down, and have the least influence on metabolism. The body has the ability to break down simple carbohydrates and convert them directly into fat. Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole grains take more energy to break down and are healthier for the body because they add fiber and other nutrients to the diet.

Women Have Slower Metabolism than Men

It may seem a bit unfair, but it is physiologically more difficult for women than men to burn fat. Women genetically store higher levels of fat than their male counterparts, because this helps with the nursing process and makes it easier for women to bear healthy children.

Men, on the other hand, have higher metabolisms, both because their bodies are less prone to deposit fat, and because Testosterone flowing through their veins encourages the muscles to grow larger, which further enhances metabolism.

The good thing about this for women is that they are biologically designed to carry more body fat than men, which means that as long as they stay within a normal range for their sex, it's not harmful for women to have a slightly higher BMI than their male counterpart pound for pound.

What Exactly Is Metabolism?

In terms of diet, nutrition, and exercise, the word Metabolism usually refers to the rate at which your body burns fat and calories, but the full definition is more broad. Metabolism refers to any activity that your body does that uses energy.

When you exercise, your body is burning consumed and stored calories in order to fuel your physical activity. Any food that you eat will lead to an increase in metabolism, because your body is spending energy breaking the food down. The problem with simple carbohydrates and empty calories is that your body expends significantly less energy breaking simple foods down than more complex foods, such as proteins and whole grains. This causes your body to store more calories than you actually need.

Metabolism can further be broken down into two forms of action: Anabolic Metabolism and Catabolic Metabolism. Anabolic Reactions in the body either store energy or use energy to build cells and other physiological structures. Catabolic Reactions refer to any metabolic reactions which free up stored energy or break down cells or molecules.

What is Metabolic Rate?

Metabolic Rate refers to the speed at which your body burns calories over time. When you hear the word Metabolism used in the context of exercise, nutrition, and diet, it is generally being used as a shorthand for metabolic rate.

The most common scientific measure of Metabolic Rate is Basal Metabolic Rate. Resting Metabolic Rate is a shorthand method of approximating Basal Metabolic Rate using weight, height, sex, and age in a less restrictive setting.

Your Baseline Metabolic Rate gives you a general idea of how your body uses energy. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will naturally burn even in a sedentary environment. The more fat that you have, the fewer calories that your body will ambiently burn.

A Variety of Factors Influence Your Metabolism, Including Lifestyle, Age, and Genetics

Metabolism is impacted by a wide variety of different factors. Lifestyle is the aspect that you have the most control over as an individual. Lifestyle encompasses a wide variety of components, including the foods that you choose to eat and the level of physical activity that you choose to engage in.

You don't have any control over age, but it is important to recognize how age affects metabolism. Children and adolescents have incredibly high metabolism, because they directly use the energy and calories they take in to grow taller and stronger. During early adulthood, most people still have strong metabolisms, but metabolism naturally slows with age, making it harder to maintain a healthy weight.

Genetics is another factor which cannot be controlled by human beings. You got your parents eyes and their height, and you also get their physiological predisposition toward metabolism. Some people are just born to burn energy, and these people will find it easier to keep weight off than those that were born with more modest metabolism.

Metabolism is Controlled Primarily by the Thyroid Gland

The Thyroid Gland is a complex area of the brain which is responsible for controlling the way that your body absorbs and expends energy. Thyroid Hormones control how slowly or quickly that your body burns calories.

It also makes executive decisions regarding what your body does with the nutrients that you take into your body. The Thyroid decides if you need to build protein for muscle or build fat for energy storage. The Thyroid also decides whether you burn fat or muscle during exercise, and how your body reacts to other hormonal influences.

Thyroid Dysfunctions are almost synonymous with Metabolic Disorders. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body does not produce enough Thyroid Hormones to allow the body to function appropriately. This has a negative influence on metabolism, and can lead to extreme fatigue, reduced metabolism, and extreme difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the Thyroid Gland produces too many hormones, which speeds up metabolism, sometimes leading to rapid weight loss or a need to consume a large number of calories to remain at a healthy weight.

Both Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medications which influence the rate at which the Thyroid Gland operates. Hypothyroidism can be treated with Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy which replaces Thyroid Hormone which is not being produced effectively by the brain, and Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medications which block Thyroid Hormone Receptors, limiting the influence of the excess hormone production.

Anaerobic Strength Training is a Fantastic Way to Encourage Faster Metabolism

Weight Lifting and Resistance Training are powerful ways to both help you lose weight and increase your Basal Metabolic Rate. Although there is no debate as to whether or not this is true, there is some debate regarding the mechanism by which these positive changes occur.

There is one school of thought that suggests that reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass increases your metabolism at rest, allowing you to burn more calories even when you aren't engaged in physical activity.

There are many detractors to this hypothesis, however, including the American College of Sports Medicine. The ACSM suggests that the primary benefit of Strength Training for most people in regard to Metabolism occurs during exercise and when new muscle is being developed. They admit that regular Strength Training does increase Resting Metabolism, but for most people, the Metabolic Benefits of Strength Training which occurs in the period during and immediately after physical activity vastly outweighs the slight increase in Resting Metabolism.

As You Grow Older, Your Metabolic Rate Decreases

As we mentioned earlier, briefly, your Metabolism decreases as a factor of age. The rate at which this decline occurs is different from person to person, but all people will burn less energy as they grow older.

One reason for this is that the body becomes less effective at maintaining muscle mass over time. The influence of hormones like Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone start to decline in the late twenties and early thirties, and the metabolic processes of the body start to slow down. The average rate at which metabolism tends to slow down for the individual is around two percent every ten years.

In women, Menopause can also play a more immediate factor in metabolism. It is vitally important to engage in physical activity before, during, and after Menopause, because studies have shown that women that do not engage in regular exercise lose about ten percent of their metabolism, adjusted for age-related loss of muscle mass, than women that have not yet experienced Menopause. Women that exercise regularly do not experience any additional decline beyond the guaranteed two percent per decade.

A Highly Restrictive Diet Has a Negative Impact on Metabolism

Many people believe that one of the easiest ways to lose weight is simply to cut calories. While it is true that responsibly cutting back on calories is an effective aspect of losing weight, cutting calories too much can actually have a negative impact on your ability to lose weight. If you cut your calories to less than 1,200 per day, your body is going to react to that as a sign of starvation and cut back metabolism significantly in order to help the body maintain its weight against that risk. The problem is that if you are simply cutting back in order to try to lose weight, you are going to get vastly limited results.

The best way to lose weight is to cut calories moderately and increase physical activity in order to enhance metabolism. Following this method, you ensure that your body increases its metabolic rate while also reasonably decreasing calories, which produces the most effective rate of healthy weight loss.

Experts also suggest spreading small, nutrient dense, low-calorie meals across the day in order to enhance metabolism. Eating a snack or meal every two to three hours gives your body energy and choosing foods smartly allows your digestive system to work hard to break down the nutrients contained within the complex foods that you are eating.

Caffeine Increases Metabolism

Caffeine belongs to a class of chemical compounds known as stimulants. Caffeine has the ability to positively impact metabolic rate, and research has indicated that a single cup of coffee has the ability to increase metabolism by as much as four percent as it is metabolized by the body.

Caffeine takes around twenty to thirty minutes to fully enter the blood stream, and many people actually use it in order to amplify their physical activity. Caffeine can increase energy levels during exercise and help prevent fatigue. Caffeine can also help the body burn more calories and exercise harder. It's important to consume caffeine in efficient sources, however. Black coffee contains few calories, but if you are drinking peppermint mochas to increase your metabolism, you are being counterproductive.

Of course, too much caffeine can be bad for you, and the body does slowly develop a tolerance to caffeine over time. There are some experts that suggest that the best way to use caffeine to enhance weight loss is to use it for such purposes only for short periods of time. For example, drink coffee before exercising for two weeks, then stop for two weeks.

Eating Spicy Foods Can Boost Your Metabolism

Spicy foods contain a potent chemical known as capsaicin. Capsaicin is what makes spicy foods feel hot no matter what temperature that they really are. They accomplish this by stimulating heat receptors in the mouth and other parts of the body, giving a stronger burning sensation dependent upon the concentration, measured in Scoville Units.

Like caffeine, capsaicin can also be used in order to enhance metabolism. Capsaicin is also a very calorie-effective means to accomplish this, because most hot sauces contain very few calories. Simply using a few dashes of hot sauce on your breakfast, lunch, or dinner can give you a quick and easy metabolic boost.

If you want to boost your metabolism before a workout, take a tablespoon equivalent of green chile pepper or red pepper. This has been shown to provide you with a temporary increase in metabolism which can be as high as 23 percent. If you don't want to deal with the taste, you can also get a beneficial effect from red pepper capsules. Taking a capsule before every meal has been shown to provide an average metabolic increase of ten to sixteen percent over the course of a two day period.

Be Extremely Careful When Considering Weight Loss Supplements

Weight loss pills and supplements may sound like a miracle in a bottle, but most of them also come with a significant risk of side-effects. Never use a dietary supplement without consulting your doctor, because your physician will be able to give you a responsible and professional opinion regarding their use.

For example, Ephedra used to be a widely-used energy and weight loss supplement, but was made illegal in 2004 after it was found that Ephedra could be dangerous to take for many people. Ephedra has the ability to both increase heart rate and blood pressure, which does increase metabolism, but these two factors are also associated with a number of dangerous health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and anxiety attacks.

We also suggest extreme caution when utilizing amino acid supplements, because the human body can only process a certain concentration of amino acids and other peptide fragments before the liver starts to suffer and become overloaded as a direct result. Try to get your amino acids from the foods that you eat, not from supplements that flood your body.

Climate Has a Direct Impact on Your Metabolism

The human body is a machine that is designed to function at a particular level of body heat. Our bodies work hard to keep our internal temperature between 96 and 98 degrees, and the harder that is to attain, the more energy that will be expended to restore optimal temperature. The chemical reactions in our body depend upon a specific range of temperatures, and the body will start to fail if it becomes too hot or too cold.

Room temperature is the ideal environment for our bodies. The ambient heat generated by the body is enough to sustain an average temperature. The more it deviates from that temperature, the more calories the body will burn. Studies suggest that people that live in hot climates have Basal Metabolic Rates that are between five and twenty percent greater than those that live in cool climates.

Remember that your body doesn't care what the temperature is outside, if you are inside. A helpful tip to slightly increase your metabolism is to keep your home a little cooler or a little warmer than room temperature, depending on the season. The increase in metabolism may only be slight, but every little bit counts when you are trying to sustain a healthy weight.

Your Body Burns More Calories Simply Sustaining Itself Than Working Out

The human body burns a lot of calories just keeping you alive. On average, seventy percent of the calories that you burn during the day would have been burned whether you were running at the gym or sitting around watching television.

This doesn't mean that you should forgo exercise or anything, it just gives you an idea of the amount of work that it takes for your body to keep you happy and healthy. Around thirty percent of the calories that you burn during the day are a direct result of the activities you pursue throughout the day.

People that are sedentary always burn fewer calories than people who are active. People that are sedentary only burn around twenty-five percent of their calories through physical exertion, whereas physically active people burn around-thirty five percent of their calories through exercise and activity.

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