Nitric Oxide ‘Dump’ Workout

Nitric Oxide ‘Dump’ — A Revolutionary Workout Strategy

Fitness science is getting more and more focused on efficiency — gone are the days when fitness was thought to require several hours of running each week. Research reveals that by maximizing efficiency you can dramatically reduce the amount of time needed to stay fit and healthy. The Nitric Oxide Dump is one such revolutionary exercise. This four-minute workout, done three times a day, capitalizes on your body’s release of nitric oxide, which plays an important role in muscle development and growth.

It’s hard to believe, but in those few minutes, you can get the same benefits as if you’d worked out in the gym for an hour. The exercise was developed by Dr. Zach Bush, whose triple-board certification includes expertise in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism. According to Bush, the workout is anaerobically efficient and the more you do it, the better it works. This short series of exercises could be called a new version of high-intensity interval training.

Above, I demonstrate a slightly modified version of this exercise. Start with three sets of 10 repetitions, incrementally increasing your reps until you’re doing 20 reps for each exercise. At the end, you’ll have completed 240 movements. Here’s an important stipulation, however: As you exercise, don’t breathe through your mouth. Keep your mouth closed and breathe only through your nose as this helps keep your carbon dioxide levels in the healthy range.

What This Four-Minute Workout Can Do for You

While intended to be done about three times a day, you’ll want to wait for at least two hours in between sessions, because that’s how long it takes for nitric oxide to synthesize in your body for subsequent release and optimal benefit. Nitric oxide is a soluble gas and free radical stored in the lining or endothelium of your blood vessels that can catalyze and promote health. For example, nitric oxide:

  • Dilates your blood vessels, which can help lower your blood pressure
  • Improves immune function
  • Thins your blood and decreases its viscosity, which helps lower your risk of platelet aggregation that can result in a heart attack or stroke, two common causes of death
  • Is a powerful anabolic stimulus that can help you increase lean body mass, which in turn triggers your body to burn more fat. Nitric oxide feeds your muscles, and the reason your muscles start to ache when exercising is because you’re running out of oxygen. Nitric oxide is released to make up for this lack. Once it moves through your bloodstream, your blood vessels dilate to deliver more oxygen and nutrients, resulting in muscle growth

Bush explains the revolutionary theory behind the Nitric Oxide Dump as follows:23

“Our blood vessels actually only store about 90 seconds’ worth of nitric oxide before they need to manufacture more, so working each major muscle group out for 90 seconds gives you the most efficient workout to tone and build muscles.The body has the ability to regenerate nitric oxide every couple of hours, giving you the opportunity to release it multiple times a day. What that means is the most effective way to increase your muscle function is to work out very briefly every few hours.”

Standing, Walking and High-Intensity Exercise — An Excellent Combo for Health

The take-home message is that while regular workouts are important for optimal health, they cannot sufficiently compensate for the damage incurred if you’re still sitting for hours on end. So, perhaps the most important strategy to protect your health is simply avoid sitting as much as possible. It is at that point that all the extra exercise you do will really start to pay off. If you’re currently sedentary, following this step-by-step progression into greater amounts of physical activity will likely do wonders for your health and well-being:

  • Start by reducing your sitting to three hours or less per day. A stand-up desk can help you achieve this goal. For additional tips and tricks to get more movement into your workday, see “Tips for Staying Active in the Office.” Remember, you likely need to work your way into increasingly longer periods of standing, so be patient with yourself. Don’t give up and abandon the practice altogether just because you cannot stand for eight hours straight
  • Add more walking into your day, with the ultimate aim of walking 10,000 to 15,000 steps daily. A fitness tracker can be helpful to measure your progress
  • Incorporate the Nitric Oxide Dump into your daily routine. It’s one of the best ways to start toning your body’s systems, and it’s free. Ideal times could be first thing in the morning and again in the evening, after work. Depending on your situation, you might be able to do a third set during your lunch hour. It doesn’t really matter what you’re wearing, as long as your clothing allows you to move freely
  • Once you’re walking and doing the Nitric Oxide Dump regularly and you feel ready to do more, devise a well-rounded fitness routine that incorporates other types of exercises. To get you started, see my free online Peak Fitness Plan

If you’re elderly, infirm or have severe mobility challenges due to some other condition, give some thought to how you can move about more. Do what you can each day.

Something is always better than nothing.

4-Minute Daily Workout

Story at-a-glance

  • A communication molecule stored in your blood vessels that feeds your muscles is the basis for an exercise sequence known as the Nitric Oxide Dump, which could be called a new version of high-intensity interval training or Peak Fitness
  • The three- to four-minute workout consists of four basic exercises including squats, tin soldiers, snow angel and military press, which work all 16 of your major muscle groups
  • The Nitric Oxide Dump workout should ideally be done multiple times a day, but it’s important to wait at least two hours in between workouts for nitric oxide to synthesize in your body for subsequent release
  • A typical workout using this method entails three sets of 10 reps, but you can gradually work toward 20, focusing on form and speed, and when you’re ready, you can increase it over time

By Dr. Mercola

Four-minute workouts done several times a day — as many times a day as you want (within reason) for maximum benefit — are a new concept for fitness that’s designed to use nitric oxide for muscle growth. Dr. Zach Bush, whose triple-board certification includes expertise in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism, says his four-minute workout is efficient anaerobically and the more you do it, the better it works. He developed the Nitric Oxide Dump workout; I demonstrate a modified version further down this article.

While intended to be done about three times a day, you’ll want to wait for at least two hours in between sessions, because that’s how long it takes for nitric oxide to synthesize in your body for subsequent release and optimal benefit. It’s hard to believe, but in those few minutes, you can get the same benefits as if you’d worked out in the gym for an hour.

This short series of exercises could be called a new version of high-intensity interval training. It’s designed to stimulate the release of nitric oxide, which is actually a soluble gas and free radical stored in the lining or endothelium of your blood vessels that can catalyze and promote health.

One reason it’s not wise to indiscriminately take high doses of antioxidants is because you do need some free radicals. Nitric oxide is one that causes your blood vessels to expand and dilate, which can lower your blood pressure. It also improves your immune function, stimulates the thinning of your blood and decreases its viscosity, which in turn decreases platelet aggregation.

When your platelets are sticky, it can cause the development of a blood clot, which could then cause a heart attack or stroke, two very common causes of death. In addition, another benefit of nitric oxide is that it’s a powerful anabolic stimulus that can help you increase lean body mass. One reason this is considered so important is that when you increase muscle mass, you’re able to burn more fat.

Nitric Oxide, a ‘Communication’ Molecule

Nitric oxide is a molecule your body makes that feeds your muscles, so when you run out of oxygen when you begin exercising, your muscles start to ache, Bush explains. When nitric oxide is released to make up for it, it moves through your bloodstream, your blood vessels dilate to deliver more oxygen and nutrients, and that’s how your muscles develop. According to Bush:

“Our blood vessels actually only store about 90 seconds’ worth of nitric oxide before they need to manufacture more, so working each major muscle group out for 90 seconds gives you the most efficient workout to tone and build muscles.

The body has the ability to regenerate nitric oxide every couple of hours, giving you the opportunity to release it multiple times a day. What that means is the most effective way to increase your muscle function is to work out very briefly every few hours.”1

In that four minutes, you work 16 of the largest muscles groups in your body. Bush calls it one of the best ways to start toning your body’s systems, plus it’s free and so easy nearly anyone can do it. Another convenient part of the concept is that you really can complete a quick workout multiple times per day. You can do it whether you’re on vacation, at work or at home, plus it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, provided you can move freely.

The Nitric Oxide ‘Dump’ — A Very Efficient Workout Strategy

What these short workouts do is increase the opportunity for muscle to build, Bush says, adding, “The cool thing is that you rebuild that nitric oxide every couple of hours.” If it’s released three times a day, you have the added benefit of your muscles deciding when it’s time to grow, feed and breathe. A typical four-minute workout entails three sets of 10 repetitions or “reps,” but you can eventually work toward increasing it to 20.

Hand weights aren’t necessary or even recommended at first, although you can also work toward using them later if you’d like. By focusing on form and speed, you run out of oxygen at your large muscle groups at the joints. It’s a new level of fitness, but form is important and only once you’ve mastered form should your pace increase over time.

Here’s the drill for each of these movements. Again, start with three sets of 10 repetitions. As you feel comfortable, move to 20 repetitions with each exercise. At the end, you’ll have completed 240 movements. Here’s an important stipulation, however: As you’re exercising, don’t breathe through your mouth. Keep your mouth closed and breathe only through your nose.

Squats: Legs — Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Calves — and Abs

“A good squat is your butt going back and looking like it’s going to sit in a chair. It’s not just a simple knee bend,” Bush explains. Further, your arms have to be held forward in front of you to maintain balance, especially as your weight shifts backward; first you “sit down,” then you straighten back up again.

To help you do that, your feet should also be placed as far apart as your shoulders, and if it bothers your knees or back, you just make the movements more shallow. You’ll get the same activation in your quadriceps. The goal is to keep that muscle engaged, but your speed is actually more important than the depth of your squat.

  • Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart, feet parallel, toes pointing forward and the weight of your body distributed evenly between your heels and the ball of your foot.
  • Perform 10 squats in rapid sequence, keeping your quadriceps engaged.

If you have knee problems that make squats problematic, get into the seated position by placing your back flat against a wall for 30 to 60 seconds or until your thighs begin to ache. Bush’s video, above, shows you how to do it.

Tin Soldier: Shoulders — Deltoids and Triceps

To start, swing your arms at a simple 90-degree angle, which helps work a number of muscles in your deltoids, which are the rounded, triangular-shaped muscles on the uppermost part of your arm and the top of your shoulder (hence, the name “deltoids” after the Greek letter delta, which is shaped like an equilateral triangle).

In fact, the arm swings from your waist, alternately right and left, go in front of you to shoulder height and encompass other muscles in your shoulders and back. Your hands should make loose fists and be pointed downward. In addition, it’s important to keep your form tight and maintain muscle control rather than just flapping your arms up and down, Bush says.

  • Alternately, achieve 90-degree elevation in each arm.
  • Begin standing straight with your arms at your sides. Lift your right arm in front of you to a 90-degree elevation, then swiftly drop it back down to your side while raising your left arm, also to a 90-degree elevation.
  • Alternate left and right, repeating 10 times each side.

Snow Angel: Back — Lats, Traps, Deltoids, Rotator Cuffs

This part of the workout is basically a jumping jack without the jump to work your latissimus dorsi muscles (lats), whose name means “broadest muscle of the back,”3 and trapezius muscles (traps), the large muscle that extends from the back of your head down your neck and into your upper back. Again, make sure you don’t get sloppy, but “click” your fists together both at the bottom and again at the top to get the full range of motion and the full benefit of the workout in your shoulders.

A modification if you have shoulder problems is to simply move in the opposite direction: Start at the center, hands clasped in a prayer position in front of your face, reach up in the center over your head and bring your arms downward on each side. “It’s almost like you’re doing the breast stroke. It’s amazing; even if you have frozen shoulder how that can break things loose and loosen it up,” Bush explains.

  • Begin standing straight with your arms down, fists touching in front of your pelvis.
  • Use a broad rotation, circle your arms upward on each side to touch your fists over your head.
  • Circle back down to hit fists at the bottom and repeat 10 times.

If you have shoulder problems with your rotator cuffs, try this variation instead:

  • Start with hands at a prayer position in front of your chest.
  • Keep hands pressed together lightly as you extend them above your head.
  • Circle your arms out to the sides to release before bringing them back to the prayer position. Repeat 10 times.

Military Press: Shoulders and Arms — Traps, Neck, Deltoids, Triceps

You could call this next exercise the “invisible pullup.”

  • Bring fists above your shoulder to either side of your head, elbows bent.
  • Extend arms straight above your head.
  • Return to position with fists just over your shoulders and repeat 10 times.

Then, without breaking your tempo, return to start the second exercise set in the same sequence: Squats, tin soldiers, snow angels and military presses, until you complete three sets. Bush notes that at the end of the four-minute exercise, it’s important to mentally regroupto allow your body to catch up to the enormous increase in blood flow. What you’re feeling is the liberation of nitric oxide.

“Resting with your hands at your sides, close your eyes and experience the sensation in your extremities. You may feel tingling or sense increased blood flow as all your blood vessels dilate, delivering oxygen and fuel for optimal health.

Relax, shake it out and feel your fingertips. You’ll feel a little tingling and a little puffy over the next 20 seconds. That’s the nitric oxide effect. You’re dilating all those blood vessels, oxygenating everything from your brain to your kidneys and everything else in your body, and you’re building muscle for the next couple of hours.”4

If you repeat that three times a day, you’ll find a change in your metabolism and muscle capacity so you can strengthen and maintain that lean muscle, Bush adds. It essentially changes the number of calories you burn even while you’re sitting still. It’s an exciting shift in our concept of exercise.

As mentioned, the Nitric Oxide Dump, when done correctly, entails starting at 10 reps and working up to 20, paying attention to your form, and completing the sequence two or three times a day, every day. You can do it no matter where you go — I even do it at the airport as I’m waiting for my luggage. You may look a little odd, but remember, it’s an extremely effective workout and totally free, and best of all, it will help you take control of your health.


Desk Exercises


The scientific evidence is in for what we all knew to be true: sitting too long is a major health hazard. Over the last decade, research has revealed prolonged sitting messes with your metabolism, accelerates obesity, increases lifestyle related disease and can potentially shorten your life span.

That’s why more office workers are choosing to buy a versatile sitting to standing desk (like VARIDESK®), which allows for a greater variety of movement throughout the work day. Sit/stand desks provide for better focus and productivity for your important work, as well as the opportunity to stay healthy and fit.

So what can you do to stay fit with a sit/stand desk? Let’s take a closer look at 10 effective and easy desk exercises that anyone can do throughout the day at a stand up desk, so you can give your best to both your business and your health.

Standing Desk Exercises

  1. Extend Yourself: A great way to start your desk exercises is while still seated with some leg extensions.
    • Sitting upright, place your feet on the floor with your knees at a right angle
    • Extend one leg at a time, until the leg is straight and the quads are contracted.
    • Hold for 3 seconds, and then slowly lower.
    • Repeat on each side 12-15 times, and repeat 3 sets.
  2. Core Values: While you’re sitting it’s a good opportunity to work in some abdominal exercises. An office chair with wheels is perfect, as it allows you to target the oblique abs with its swivel action.
    • Hold lightly onto the edge of the desk with feet off the floor and swivel from side to side, controlling the movement with your abs.
    • Swivel up to 15 times for a stronger core.
  3. Stay On Your Toes: Now it’s time to switch the game up by converting your sit/stand desk from the sitting position to the standing position. Then you can start by encouraging the circulation from the lower extremities with calf raises.
    • With your feet hip width apart, slowly lift your heels up off the floor. Balance on your toes for 3 seconds while contracting the calf muscle, then slowly lower.
    • Perform 12-15 reps of this exercise, and up to 3 sets.
    • Want to take it to the next level? Perform the exercise on only one leg at a time.
  4. Right on Point: Let’s keep the legs moving with a bend and point exercise.
    • With legs slightly apart, bend the knees a little until you feel the quads tighten up.
    • Lift your right foot off the ground and extend it forward, pointing the toe if you wish.
    • Hold for 3 seconds, then bring the right foot back in without letting it touch the ground, extend again out to the side.
    • Repeat this process extending the foot to the back as well, then bring the foot back in and relax.
    • Repeat the whole exercise on both legs from 3-5 times depending on your leg stamina!
  5. How About a Raise?: A leg raise that is! Strengthen hamstrings and gluts by performing a standing leg curl at your sit/stand desk by starting with legs close together but not touching.
    • Slowly bend one leg at the knee and raise the heel, aiming to touch it to the back of your thigh. Once again, the key here is to perform the exercise slowly for maximum benefit.
    • Repeat this one 10-12 times, and perform 3 sets on each leg, taking a little break between sets.
  6. Lots of Squats: The gluts are some of the largest and strongest muscles in the body, so just because they’re ‘behind’ don’t leave them out of mind.
    • Perform a desk squat by keeping feet about shoulder width apart and slowly bending your knees while pushing the buttocks backwards.
    • The aim is to keep the knees behind the toes, so take a quick glance down to check on this.
    • Perform 12-15 squats, have a rest then repeat up to 3 times.
  7. Put Your Hands in the Air: You don’t have to wait until Friday to let off a little steam! Put your hands up with a shoulder press.
    • Starting with hands at shoulder height, lift them above your head.
    • Use a small weight or a water bottle to add a bit of resistance.
    • Repeat 12-15 reps and complete up to 3 sets.
  8. Biceps that mean Business: Give your arms a workout on something other than a keyboard with a bicep curl.
    • Holding a water bottle, stapler, or another heavy small item, place your arms by your side, palms forward.
    • Slowly lift the heavy item, bending your arm at the elbow, until your hand is about 5 inches from your shoulder.
    • Slowly lower and repeat 12-15 times on both arms for 3 sets.
  9. Hot Off the Press: Keep those biceps balanced with a tricep press for the back of the arms.
    • While still holding the small weight, lean forward slightly, and raise your hand so your elbow is bent with the hand resting at about your waist level.
    • Slowly extend the hand backwards, straightening the arm, then slowly return to the starting position.
    • Perform 12-15 times on both arms and repeat 3 sets.
  10. March: With our muscles warmed up and strengthened, let’s get into a bit of cardio with a stationary march.
    • If you really want to step it up you can jog or jump on the spot.
    • The higher you lift the knees, the stronger the burn!

These 10 simple exercises to use with your standing desk give you a speedy total body workout for the major muscle groups in the body. Performing regular intervals of moving or standing while working helps to reduce your risk of disease, improve your mood and productivity, and keeps your body functioning well and feeling fantastic without even having to leave your desk.

To amp up your results from these exercises, try a few of these healthy tips…

Tip 1 – Banish excess fat, sugar and salt: Your waistline is no match for cupcakes and chips that have taken over your office’s kitchen. While you can’t control what snacks your coworkers bring to the office, you can put them away in the fridge or a cabinet. Out of sight, out of mind!

Tip 2 – Kick your soda habit to the curb: A soda habit can quickly put a damper on weight loss efforts. For a healthy alternative without sacrificing the fizz, opt for sparkling water. The meteoric rise of brands like La Croix and Topo Chico prove that it’s the effervescent sparkle, not the sugar, that helps beat an afternoon slump.

Tip 3 – Check your posture: Whether you’re standing or sitting at your desk, posture is important! Make sure your feet are pointing forward and your back isn’t arched over the desk. Check out our selection of standing desk accessories which can aid in achieving and maintaining proper posture.

Tip 4 – Get outside: During warmer months, the sun stays out longer so you can, too. Take advantage of more hours of sunlight and hit the beach on a summer Friday, join a local yoga practice or take the dogs to the park after work.

Tip 5 – Take your meeting to the streets: Conference rooms are so 2016. Squeeze in a few extra steps by taking your next meeting outside or to a local coffee shop.

Tip 6 – Stay hydrated: It’s common knowledge that being dehydrated can wreak havoc on your body. From debilitating fatigue to increased cravings, skimping out on water, especially when temperatures are soaring, can lead to decreased productivity. Keep a reusable water bottle at your desk and sip throughout the day to ensure you are always adequately hydrated.

Tip 7 – Grab a brown bag: Buying lunch at the local sandwich shop can have a negative impact on your wallet and your waistline. Try packing lunch a few times a week with healthy, fresh ingredients. If they are available in your area, local farmers’ markets are a great way to source cheap, local produce.

Tip 8 – Plan a recipe showdown: Get the whole office involved in your summer fitness goals! Encourage your coworkers to bring their favorite healthy recipes on Friday so everyone can share, compare notes and stay healthy together.

Tip 9 – Take a lap: … Around the office! Burn off a few calories while you give your brain and eyes a break by taking a lap or two around the office.

Tip 10 – Stand up: Last but certainly not least, utilize a VARIDESK and stand up while you work! You won’t believe how quickly standing at the office can elevate your work.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Despite the lack of scientific research to substantiate many of the claims made about it, apple cider vinegar is a popular fermented food highly regarded for its many health-boosting properties
Similar to other vinegars, apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which not only gives it its distinctive sour taste, but also provides powerful antimicrobial benefits
Among its many benefits, apple cider vinegar aids in weight loss, banishes bad breath, calms acid reflux, helps lower blood sugar, relaxes restless legs and soothes a sore throat.

First things first: while straight shots are a popular way to drink ACV — don’t. Because it’s highly acidic, over time ACV has the potential to do real damage to both the esophagus and tooth enamel. Instead, dilute ACV with water. In general, one to two tablespoons mixed into eight ounces of water is the sweet spot (like you’ll find in this delicious ACV honey drink).

Image result for apple cider vinegarYou can quickly recognize organic, raw, unfiltered, unprocessed apple cider vinegar by the distinctive presence of the “mother” — dark, strand-like chains of cloudy, enzyme-rich, probiotic bacteria found floating in the bottom of the bottle

If you have a bottle of apple cider vinegar in your pantry, you very likely know how valuable this particular staple is to your health. If you are not yet familiar with the many beneficial uses of this versatile and economical home remedy, you may be interested to know it has been used successfully to treat conditions ranging from blood sugar and weight loss to acid reflux and upset stomach. Check out these nine reasons why you should keep a bottle of apple cider vinegar on hand.

How Is Apple Cider Vinegar Made?
Apple cider vinegar is an enzyme- and probiotic-rich fermented food. As the name suggests, it is made from apples, which are allowed to ferment. Making unpasteurized apple cider vinegar follows a process similar to the one used for making other homemade fermented brews, such as kombucha. Below is a high-level overview of a more detailed “how to” process for making homemade apple cider vinegar.1

In the first step of the process, sugar is dissolved in filtered water that is then poured over a variety of coarsely chopped apples. This mixture is allowed to set at room temperature for one to two weeks until bubbles begin to appear as the sugar ferments into alcohol. (Because the sugars are digested through the fermentation process, apple cider vinegar contains very little sugar and carbohydrates, making it a very attractive food from a dietary standpoint.)

Image result for apple cider vinegar

During the second step of the process, the apples are strained out and the liquid is maintained, again at room temperature, for an additional three to four weeks. At this time, the alcohol is transforming into vinegar through the action of the acetic acid bacteria — this particular acid gives vinegar its distinctive sour tang. As the bacteria do their job, a small amount of sediment will appear on the bottom of the container and the “mother” culture will form on top, which is a colony of beneficial bacteria.

In fact, you can quickly recognize organic, raw, unfiltered, unprocessed apple cider vinegar by the distinctive presence of the mother. It appears as dark, strand-like chains of cloudy bacterial foam that are actually protein enzyme molecules and probiotic bacteria. Mother can only exist in vinegar that is not pasteurized or filtered, which means you will not find it in most types of vinegar sold at the grocery store.

Nutritional Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
While at least one source2 suggests apple cider vinegar may contain the same nutrient levels as apples, such as vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium and potassium, there is little evidence to support this assertion, particularly for pasteurized varieties. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database3 entry for apple cider vinegar is virtually blank and features data for calories per serving and sodium only.

Some assert unpasteurized, unfiltered varieties of apple cider vinegar, such as you’d make at home, do retain some of the beneficial nutrients present in apples. Even so, it’s the acetic acid4 — a powerful antimicrobial — and to a lesser extent, the malic acid in apple cider vinegar that act on your body in powerful, health-benefiting ways.

Apple cider vinegar also contains citric, formic, lactic and succinic acids, as well as antioxidants such as caffeic acid, catechin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin and gallic acid, which fight free radicals that cause oxidative stress and promote inflammation. Following are nine suggested benefits of apple cider vinegar.5,6

Related image

Aids in Weight Loss
Research published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry in 2009 indicates apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight and shed body fat.7 In this study, 144 obese Japanese adults consumed either 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of vinegar or a placebo drink every day for 12 weeks. Other than restricted alcohol consumption, the participants were free to maintain their usual diet and activity levels.

As shown in the table below, consumption of 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar added to a beverage yielded a positive effect on weight loss and the three other measures of health that were tracked. Consuming 2 tablespoons of vinegar produced the most benefits.

The study authors concluded, “[D]aily intake of vinegar might be useful in the prevention of metabolic syndrome by reducing obesity.”8 The weight loss is thought to be influenced by the acetic acid in vinegar, which is believed to suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism, as well as reduce water retention.9 Scientists also theorize apple cider vinegar interferes with your body’s digestion of starch, resulting in fewer calories entering your bloodstream.

Banishes Bad Breath
If you are looking to boost your oral hygiene but proper brushing is not doing enough to help you control bad breath, my first recommendation would be to take a closer look at your diet and digestion. If you are eating particularly fragrant (or downright smelly) foods, coupled with infrequent bowel movements, you will most likely suffer from bad breath. One option is to remove foods such as garlic and onions from your diet to see if that makes a difference, but this means missing out on their many health benefits.

You can increase the frequency of your bowel movements by increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods. In addition, you may want to reduce your intake of sugar and starchy carbohydrates, which slow down your system. As a secondary measure, you may be able to fight bad breath by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass of water and using it as a gargle after brushing.

Be sure to rinse your mouth with plain water after gargling to remove any remaining acid from your teeth, mainly because acid that sits on your teeth will damage your tooth enamel. When done properly, a daily gargle with apple cider vinegar may help kill odor-causing bacteria, reduce unpleasant tastes, prevent dry mouth and eliminate nasty tongue coatings.10

Calms Acid Reflux
Contrary to what you may believe, heartburn is often caused by too little, not too much, stomach acid. A lack of stomach acid has the effect of slowing digestion. In the presence of too little acid, food and gasses put pressure on your stomach, sometimes causing your stomach contents and some stomach acid to creep back up your esophagus.

If this happens to you on a regular basis, you may want to sip a glass of warm water containing 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar about 30 minutes prior to eating. (Some folks add a dab of raw honey to make the vinegary taste more tolerable.) By introducing apple cider vinegar, which has a pH similar to stomach acid, you ensure your stomach will have sufficient amounts of acid to promote proper digestion, thereby preventing heartburn.

Clears a Stuffy Nose
At the first sign of a cold, seasonal allergy or sinus infection, reach for apple cider vinegar because it is well-known for its ability to reduce congestion and thin mucus. The thinning of mucus promotes drainage and enables your body to expel bacteria and other infection-causing germs. The presence of acetic acid, which contains antimicrobial properties, has been shown to have the potential to prevent bacteria growth.11 Two options for using apple cider vinegar to clear a stuffy nose are:12

Tonic for internal use: Add one-eighth to one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar to 16 ounces of filtered water. Stir, and sip the tonic throughout the day. Alternately, you can quickly drink down up to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water daily until your symptoms improve.
Nasal rinse solution: Add one-half to 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to 6 to 8 ounces of warm filtered water. Stir well. Introduce the liquid into your sinuses once or twice daily using a neti pot or sinus rinse bottle until your condition improves.
Halts Hiccups
For some people, hiccups seem to respond to the sour taste of apple cider vinegar. You can either take 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar alone or mix it with 6 to 8 ounces of filtered water and drink it down quickly. Some suggest drinking from the opposite side of the glass boosts the hiccup-stopping power of apple cider vinegar.

Helps Lower Blood Sugar
According to CNN Health,13 there is substantial evidence suggesting the consumption of vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, can help keep your blood sugar under control. As you probably know, blood sugar regulation is an important factor in reducing your risk of diabetes and heart disease, among other conditions. Professor Carol Johnston, Ph.D., associate director of Arizona State University’s nutrition program, has been studying the effects of vinegar for more than 10 years and suggests it can be useful to control blood sugar spikes for prediabetics and Type 2 diabetics.

Johnston asserts even healthy control subjects have benefited from consuming vinegar. “Vinegar had an impact in all groups, but the most significant impact was in the prediabetic group,” she said. “In prediabetics, it was too good to be true; [blood sugar] fell a good bit and stayed that way. It may be this is the group that could benefit the most.”14 According to Johnston, the acetic acid in vinegar “appears to interfere with enzymes that break down starch molecules.”15

The good news is this antiglycemic response can be induced by all types of vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, because it is the acetic acid not the vinegar type that produces the results. Johnston added, “Basically, what acetic acid is doing is blocking the absorption of starch. If my study subjects eat a starch and add vinegar, glucose will go down. But if they drink sugar water and add vinegar, nothing happens. [Vinegar] only helps if you are consuming a starch.”16

Pacifies an Upset Stomach
Similar to its soothing effects on heartburn, apple cider vinegar is said to be useful to pacify an upset stomach. The best remedy for an upset stomach is to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass of filtered water and sip it. Apple cider vinegar is said to help relieve an upset stomach because:17,18

The enzymes produced during the fermentation process for apple cider vinegar support proper digestion by contributing to the breakdown and assimilation of foods
Its acidic nature helps to replenish low stomach acid levels so your body maintains a proper pH, which is important for mineral processing and the effectiveness of enzymes, among other benefits
The acetic acid it contains provides relief from bloating and gas because it helps your body absorb minerals, digest protein without waste and mobilize calcium, among other activities
The malic acid found in it is said to have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, which help your body address bowel irregularities
Pectin residues in raw, unprocessed apple cider vinegar are believed to soothe intestinal spasms
Relaxes Restless Legs
If you regularly experience leg cramps, which can be so painful, especially at night, it may be a sign your body is either not metabolizing minerals such as calcium, magnesium or potassium well or is losing certain minerals due to a pH imbalance. Contrary to popular opinion, muscle cramps are not an automatic sign you are deficient in a particular mineral. Often, you can relieve cramping simply by drinking apple cider vinegar because it will help regulate your body’s pH. When your body’s pH is properly balanced, it will be able to effectively metabolize and distribute vital minerals.

Once your body’s pH is balanced, your body will have what it needs to properly metabolize important minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium and the cramps will disappear. Similarly, you can use apple cider vinegar to help resolve eye twitches and other types of nerve pain. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass of filtered water and drink at the first sign of cramping, twitching or nerve pain.

Soothes a Sore Throat
Most sore throats are caused by allergies and viruses, and sometimes by bacteria. Although apple cider vinegar won’t cure a sore throat, it can be used to shorten its duration and relieve related tenderness and irritation. At the first sign of a sore throat, you can gargle with warm water mixed with apple cider vinegar. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 8 ounces of warm water and consider adding 1 teaspoon of raw honey and/or a squeeze of lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper to the drink.19

Another wonderful option for staving off sore throats is to treat each of your ears with a small amount of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide while lying on your side. Upon pouring the solution into your ear canal, you will hear and feel the bubbling and sense a slight stinging in your ear canal. Wait 5 to 10 minutes until most of the bubbling subsides, then drain the fluid onto a tissue. Turn over and repeat the process with the other ear. Do not use this technique if you believe you have an ear infection and the ear drum may have ruptured or opened.

Even More Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has also been said to:

Clear acne
Fade bruises
Remove warts
Treat dandruff
Whiten teeth (but be aware that straight apple cider vinegar could damage your tooth enamel due to its acidity)
Beyond that, you may find it useful as a household cleaner or a fruit and veggie wash. Some use it as a weed killer. It is also known to neutralize household odors. For even more uses and tips, check out my infographic on The Many Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar.

By Dr. Mercola

Fructose / Glucose

Consuming high-fructose corn syrup is the fastest way to trash your health. It is now known without a doubt that sugar in your food, in all its myriad of forms, is taking a devastating toll.

And fructose in any form — including high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and crystalline fructose — is the worst of the worst! Fructose, a cheap sweetener usually derived from corn, is used in thousands of food products and soft drinks. Excessive fructose consumption can cause metabolic damage and triggers the early stages of diabetes and heart disease, which is what the Davis study showed.

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A Calorie Is Not a Calorie
Glucose is the form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body, every bacterium — and in fact, every living thing on Earth — uses glucose for energy.

If you received your fructose only from vegetables and fruits (where it originates) as most people did a century ago, you’d consume about 15 grams per day — a far cry from the 73 grams per day the typical adolescent gets from sweetened drinks. In vegetables and fruits, it’s mixed in with fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and beneficial phytonutrients, all which moderate any negative metabolic effects.

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It isn’t that fructose itself is bad — it is the MASSIVE DOSES you’re exposed to that make it dangerous. There are two reasons fructose is so damaging:

Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way from glucose. The entire burden of metabolizing fructose falls on your liver.
People are consuming fructose in enormous quantities, which has made the negative effects much more profound.
Today, 55 percent of sweeteners used in food and beverage manufacturing are made from corn, and the number one source of calories in America is soda, in the form of HFCS.

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Food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (table sugar) to corn syrup in the 1970s when they discovered that HFCS was not only far cheaper to make, but is also about 20% sweeter than table sugar. HFCS is either 42% or 55% fructose, and sucrose is 50% fructose, so it’s really a wash in terms of sweetness.

Still, this switch drastically altered the average American diet.

By USDA estimates, about one-quarter of the calories consumed by the average American is in the form of added sugars, and most of that is HFCS. The average Westerner consumes a staggering 142 pounds a year1 of sugar! And the very products most people rely on to lose weight — the low-fat diet foods — are often the ones highest in fructose. Making matters worse, all of the fiber has been removed from these processed foods, so there is essentially no nutritive value at all.

Related imageFructose Metabolism Basics
Without getting into the very complex biochemistry of carbohydrate metabolism, it is important to understand some differences about how your body handles glucose versus fructose. I will be publishing a major article about this in the next couple of months, which will get much more into the details. But for our purpose here, I will just summarize the main points.

Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, has been a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism. His work has highlighted some major differences in how different sugars are broken down and used:

After eating fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent.
Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is “burned up” immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.
The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this.
When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat!
The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout.

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Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.
If anyone tries to tell you “sugar is sugar,” they are way behind the times. As you can see, there are major differences in how your body processes fructose and glucose. The bottom line is: fructose leads to increased belly fat, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome — not to mention the long list of chronic diseases that directly result. And eating sugar may accelerate the aging process itself.


New Revelations Support Diet and Exercise to Reverse Leptin Resistance, Thereby Promoting a Healthy Weight

  • Leptin is a powerful and influential hormone produced by your fat cells. It plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure. By acquiring a better understanding of how leptin and its receptor interact, researchers now believe they will be able to find new treatments for obesity and other metabolic disorders
  • Drug treatments are not likely to solve leptin resistance, just as they are ineffective and even counterproductive for insulin resistance. The ideal way to correct leptin resistance is through your diet. A strategic whole food diet that emphasizes good fats and avoids blood sugar spikes will enhance insulin and leptin sensitivity
  • According to recent research, being obese promotes the growth of existing tumors regardless of diet, which may help explain why lean cancer patients often have better outcomes than their obese counterparts
  • Previous research has shown exercise can convert cancer-boosting “white” fat cells to the more health-promoting “brown” fat (a heat-generating type of fat that burns energy instead of storing it)

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Leptin, a hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, may be one of the most important hormones in your body that will determine your health and lifespan. Insulin is another, and the two work in tandem.

Both insulin and leptin resistance are associated with obesity, and impairment of their ability to transfer the information to receptors is the true foundational core of most all chronic degenerative diseases.

Metabolism can roughly be defined as the chemistry that turns food into life, and therefore insulin and leptin are both critical to health and disease. Insulin and leptin work together to control the quality of your metabolism, and, to a significant extent, your rate of metabolism.

By acquiring a better understanding of how leptin and its receptor interact, researchers now believe they will be able to find new treatments for obesity and other metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes, as well as inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

According to recent research published in the journal Molecular Cell,1 the leptin receptor has two hinged legs that swivel until they come in contact with leptin.

Once leptin attaches to the receptor, these legs stop swiveling and become rigid, thereby sending a signal to an enzyme called Janus kinase,2 which has the ability to bind inflammatory cytokines. It is believed that inhibiting the Janus kinases might help improve inflammatory and metabolic disorders.

Alan Saltiel, Director of the Life Sciences Institute, told Medical News Today:3

“This study may help solve an important issue we’ve been struggling with for some time… Since leptin is a master regulator of appetite, understanding why resistance to its effects develops in obesity has been a major obstacle to discovering new drugs for obesity and diabetes. Developing a clear picture of how leptin can bind to its receptor may be the first step in overcoming leptin resistance.”

The fact that the primary focus is on developing drug therapies to “fix” leptin resistance is understandable. That’s the only way the medical industry can make money. However, the way to correct leptin resistance has nothing to do with drugs, and everything to do with diet. But first…

Image result for leptinWhat Exactly is Leptin?
Leptin is a very powerful and influential hormone produced by your fat cells. Your fat, by way of leptin, tells your brain whether you should be hungry, eat and make more fat, whether you should reproduce, or (partly by controlling insulin) whether to engage in maintenance and repair. In short, leptin is the way that your fat stores speak to your brain to let your brain know how much energy is available and, very importantly, what to do with it.

Therefore, leptin may be on top of the food chain in metabolic importance and relevance to disease.

If your leptin signaling is working properly, when your fat stores are “full,” this extra fat will cause a surge in your leptin level, which signals your brain to stop feeling hungry, to stop eating, to stop storing fat and to start burning some extra fat off.

Controlling hunger is a major (though not the only) way that leptin controls energy storage. Hunger is a very powerful, ancient, and deep-seated drive that, if stimulated long enough, will make you eat and store more energy. The only way to eat less in the long-term is to not be hungry, and the only way to do this is to control the hormones that regulate hunger, the primary one being leptin.

How Do You Become Leptin Resistant?
You become leptin-resistant by the same general mechanism that you become insulin-resistant – by continuous overexposure to high levels of the hormone. If you eat a diet that is high in sugar (particularly fructose), grains, and processed foods – the same type of diet that will also increase inflammation in your body – as the sugar gets metabolized in your fat cells, the fat releases surges in leptin.

Over time, if your body is exposed to too much leptin, it will become resistant, just as your body can become resistant to insulin.

The only known way to reestablish proper leptin (and insulin) signaling is to prevent those surges, and the only known way to do that is via diet. As such, diet can have a more profound effect on your health than any other known modality of medical treatment.

A strategic whole food diet, as detailed in my free nutrition plan, that emphasizes good fats and avoids blood sugar spikes coupled with targeted supplements will enhance insulin and leptin sensitivity so that your brain can once again hear the feedback signals from these hormones.

So to summarize: Insulin and leptin resistance are core factors in obesity, which in turn is a risk factor for cancer and may boost tumor growth. But the answer lies not in a pill.

To reverse insulin and leptin resistance:

Avoid, sugar, fructose, grains, and processed foods
Eat a healthful diet of whole foods, ideally organic, and replace the grain carbs with:
No-to-low sugar and grain carbs
Low-to-moderate amount of protein
As much highly quality healthful fat as you want (saturated and monosaturated). Most people need upwards of 50-70 percent fats in their diet for optimal health. Good sources include coconut and coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts, and animal fats. Also take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil