Thyroid Health Week

When considering health and fitness, it’s easy to overlook the importance of hormonal activity and function — we are so worried about food and calorie expenditure that sometimes we forget that hormones play a massive role in not only our physiology, but our overall health.

That is why we want to dedicate this week to thyroid health — what the thyroid is, what it does and how you can maintain its good health. Follow this blog entry all week as we update it with some of the best products available for regulating and maximizing your body’s important hormone production.

THE THYROID

The thyroid is a large endocrine gland in the neck that serves as a massive regulator of hormone sensitivity, protein synthesis and energy expenditure. It produces its own hormones that subsequently play a roll in other hormonal processes in the body. It can get somewhat confusing; the bottom line: Your thyroid is pretty darn important.

It produces, mainly, hormones known as T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). The big takeaway from these — other than important letters to win a Scrabble game — are what they do for your body. Namely, that is metabolism (a healthy, functioning thyroid works to improve it) and growth and development, all related to other hormones produced in the body, including anabolic growth hormone.

Stay tuned this week as we look into the best ingredients and products to keep the thyroid healthy!

DICANA

Dicana (3,3’ Diiodothyroacetic acid, protected by US Patent #7,919,533) is fueled by a powerful proprietary combination of patented Diiodothyroacetic acid isomers. These powerful, ground-breaking isomers represent the pinnacle in metabolic regulation as they are metabolically active on their own in addition to having a direct reversible pathways to the fat incinerating T3 thryoid hormone, Tricana, and T2!

Dicana is a potent non-stimulant metabolic booster developed to dramatically increase fat burning by raising basal metabolic rate, thus, increasing oxygen and energy consumption by the body. Dicana increases the rate of caloric burning through pro-thyroid mechanics, causing a shift from fat mass in favor of lean muscle. This is accomplished by strategically repurposing calories, increasing muscle protein synthesis while simultaneously annihilating body fat.

Dicana is found in the EVOLVE System sold at NUTRISHOP, in the form of DIOXITONE T4. That might seem familiar — yes, it’s referencing the same T4 (thyroxine) mentioned before when we were discussing the important hormones the thyroid produces. Remember, its purpose is to synthesize proteins, which in turn helps build muscle and — wait for it — ultimately leads to decreased body fat. This is how hormones can affect your physique and well-being, and Dicana can play a vital role in the process.

OTHER PRO-THYROID INGREDIENTS

In addition to Dicana, there are other options available for improving thyroid hormone production. Again, T4 and T3 are the main thyroid hormones responsible for protein synthesis, with some influence in body mass because of how they affect growth and development. HYDROSTIM, which contains sea vegetation like kelp (shown to provide iodine and even soluble fiber, to promote both thyroid hormone production and fat and cholesterol loss), is an option, as is diiodotyrosine — a precursor of thyroid hormone, found in some of our best fat-burners, including HYPERCOR.

Other products, like THERMOVEX, THERMOVEX PM and SOMNILEAN, contain guggulsterone (or guggul extract), which some studies suggest may help to regulate thyroid function as well as positively impact the body’s good and bad cholesterol levels.

 NATURAL VS. SYNTHETIC

Finally, to wrap up our Thyroid Health Week, we want to explain the difference between natural and synthetic thyroid hormone production. In almost all cases (consult your doctor to be sure, always), we’d recommend a natural approach to hormone production over synthetic alternatives — Synthroid, as it’s commonly known, may indeed provide the T3 and T4 that the thyroid does naturally, but just like with synthetic testosterone, there is a price.

You see, the brain and other glands do all the signaling to the thyroid when it comes to promoting (or not) hormone production. Using natural ingredients that encourage that process is NOT medication — it only serves to optimize hormone production, and if you were to stop, say, taking an iodine supplement like kelp, your body would find ways to level off one way or another without damaging the receptors, glands and all the other processes involved in producing T3 and T4.

But, when a synthetic hormone is introduced to the body, the brain interprets this as an abundance — a surplus, even — of T3 and T4, and its response is typically to signal the complete shut-off of more hormone production. In many cases, once Synthroid is started, it cannot be stopped without the thyroid being rendered unable to recover and produce hormones on its own anymore.

For this reason, we again recommend sticking to natural options as much as possible when it comes to this very important part of the body!

Stop Starving Yourself

Eat.

It seems so easy to just say it, doesn’t it? We do it for our health, for social reasons and because it satisfies us. And yet, those of us who want life both ways — to enjoy the pleasures of eating while still maintaining a healthy body — have undoubtedly come across the urge to simply resist eating in an effort to limit the number of calories we eat.

Years and years of gradual degradation of the overall diet in the Western world has made Americans fatter than anyone, but food isn’t the enemy. Like any other big businesses, the food industry is still a “buyer beware” scenario — the responsibility falls on the consumer (in this case, literally) to know what is going in his or her body. Unfortunately, most do not, and the result of ignorance or laziness is often grouping “FOOD” as one huge category, to be avoided whenever possible if weight is to be lost.

Why is this wrong? In a word: Evolution.

Our bodies were created and have adapted to be extremely efficient at preserving energy. The most obvious example of this is in our metabolisms — simply put, we are fat because we consume more than we expend. Don’t blame calories, don’t blame carbohydrates, don’t blame food. It is the overindulgence itself that is the problem!

The body wants more than anything to make sure that it never runs out of energy, and its preferred source is glycogen (blood sugar). Easily used, glycogen is what almost all the carbohydrates you eat are converted to for use — bread, crackers, sugar, oatmeal, starches, etc., etc. Different foods have different periods of time they take to be broken down, but rest assured, if it goes in your pie hole, it’s going to be converted to usable sugar at some point.

And here is where we start to tip the scales: Not all that sugar necessarily gets used. It’s true the body burns calories in the form of glycogen, but no more than it absolutely needs to. That means if you are not performing activities that require energy expenditure — if your lifestyle is sedentary — then you simply will not burn those calories. So, eat less of them, right? The short answer is “yes.” Where most people slip up is by taking this to an extreme, and the best example of this is that, somehow, along the way, this culture decided that three big, specifically timed meals were the answer.

Remember how we said the body was efficient? And how it will always make sure it has enough energy? That is doubly true if it thinks it is starving, and when you go hours on end without food, that is exactly the message the brain is getting. It doesn’t understand that you’re trying to lose a pants size; it understands that you are not eating, and when you do, it’s huge amounts of high-calorie food. It smacks of desperation, so your brain responds accordingly, sending the message to the body to store every calorie it can, just in case. Your body means well. But its preferred method of storing calories is as body fat, which later will be converted back to blood sugar — but that’s only if there’s ever a prolonged calorie shortage.

For all these reasons, we recommend eating every three hours, and making sure protein is part of that meal. You don’t need a full-course setup; three complete meals (a lean protein, some healthy fats, a slow-burning carbohydrate and a fruit or veggie) and three small snacks throughout the day will suffice. The idea isn’t to eat MORE FOOD; the idea is to eat about the same amount over more time, in smaller portions, frequently. Every three hours is just about ideal — you won’t be famished when it’s time to eat, so you won’t overdo it, you’ll provide a steady stream of nutrition throughout the day and, perhaps most importantly, you’ll convince your brain that no, you’re not starving, so there’s no need to keep hanging on to all those calories as body fat, that yes, it’s OK to actually start using some of that old, saved-up fat storage for energy instead (just imagine how much more clearly your brain will get the message once you incorporate exercise, too).

Fat loss has quite a few steps to it, but don’t get the most important one confused:

Eat.

What’s in a Gram?

Our theme this week: Not all calories are created equal. To show exactly what that means, consider this breakdown on what a gram of each macronutrient brings to the table, calorie-wise.

Protein = 4 calories

Carbohydrate = 4 calories

Alcohol = 7 calories

Fat = 9 calories

When talking calories, it’s important to always remember what exactly it is – it’s a unit of energy. Consuming calories is consuming energy, meant to be used, and if it’s not used, it’s stored. So, with that in mind, how can you use that information to affect your everyday eating habits? First off, let’s start with protein — it is by far the efficient macronutrient here, because of what it provides at such a low caloric cost. If you’re eating to gain muscle, you should be around 1 gram per pound of your own body weight.  So if you’re a 180-pound man, that’s about 180 grams of protein a day. That is 720 calories, just in protein — obviously, then, that standard 2,0o0-calorie diet isn’t for muscle-builders.

This should signify how important it is to keep alcohol consumption within reason. Your body will use carbs and fats, as long as you aren’t overindulging on them — carbs are fast, quickly used energy and fats help keep you feeling full (though, at 9 calories per gram, you can see that this is a lot of excess energy to be consuming). Alcohol, on the other hand, is ahefty  price (7 calories per gram) to pay for something that actually inhibits your metabolism’s ability to process calories in the first place. Alcohol weight is MUCH different from the weight you’ll gain by adding healthy fats and proteins to your diet!