What Doctors Won’t Tell You About Low or High Ferritin in Your Blood Test

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Ferritin stores iron and transports it to where it is required. In blood, it is an important indicator of the total iron stores. However, ferritin also participates in infections, inflammation, and malignancies. Elevated ferritin is often found in disorders with chronic inflammatory states such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Find out why it is important to keep this protein in balance, and which factors increase or decrease ferritin levels.

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12 Health Benefits and 6 Side Effects of Licorice, with References and Mechanisms

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Licorice is mostly associated with candy and has been used in food and medicine for 1000 years. It contains various compounds that help with heartburn, cancer, and a leaky gut. Keep reading to learn more about its health benefits.

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24 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Ginger (with References and Risks)

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Ginger has been revered as a culinary and medicinal spice in many traditional cultures. It is also a very powerful herb with numerous proven health benefits. Read this post to learn more about ginger and how to make the best use of ginger for your health.

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Top 17 Negative Health Effects of Environmental Pollution (#4 will surprise you)

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To live in the 21st century is to live in a toxic world. Rapid urbanization and the increased burning of fossil fuels over the past century has made people more susceptible than ever to harmful chemicals in the air, soil, and water including carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and endocrine disrupting chemicals.

These pollutants increase the risk of many chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and lung disease, making it a significant global health problem.

Conditions linked to everyday chemicals—used in cosmetics, plastics and common household items like sofas—lead to $340 billion in treatment and lost productivity costs annually in the U.S. (R).

Controlled studies show that when you pump in volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide in the air to levels that are within the range of normal and found in office environments (the worst 25% of offices), many important parameters of cognition go down dramatically (R).

The magnitude of effects from breathing cleaner air are greater than any nootropic you may be taking. Cognitive scores were 101% better when there was lower volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide levels (R).

Read more to learn about the detrimental effects of pollution and environmental toxins on human health.

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Everything You Need to Know about the C-reactive Protein (CRP)

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CRP plays an important role in infections. However, this protein is also a marker of low-grade inflammation and a predictor of your cardiovascular disease risk. Find out how this protein links stress, emotional and socioeconomic cues to physiological ones, and how to keep your CRP levels at bay.

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35+ Proven Health Benefits of Vitamin D (Part 1)

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Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods. It helps fight against cancer, improves physical performance, prevents osteoporosis, helps promote brain function and reduces depression. Deficiency of this vitamin may lead to brain disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

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Lycopene

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Lycopene is a pigment that helps give red fruits and vegetables their color. It has attracted scientific attention due to its effects as a natural antioxidant. Studies have shown that this pigment has potent anti-cancer properties, reduces stress, and helps prevent muscular injury and inflammation.

Introduction

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Lycopene is a common carotenoid found in fruits and vegetables.

Carotenoids are compounds that give fruits and vegetables their red, orange, and/or yellow color.

They are commonly found in tomatoes, apricots, cranberries, grapes, grapefruits, guava, papayas, peaches, and watermelons.

Lycopenes are not essential for humans but are usually incorporated into the diet.

It has antioxidant properties and has claimed anti-cancer properties.

It is often taken as a supplement, but too much lycopene can lead to skin discoloration.

Health Benefits of Lycopene

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1) Lycopene Is an Anti-inflammatory and Protects Against Injury

In rats, lycopene protects from lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury by reducing inflammation (R).

In rodents, it protects from depression-like behaviors and brain cell injury by reducing lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation (R).

Treatment with lycopene may protect against muscle injury and inflammation in mice (R).

2) Lycopene Prevents Liver Damage

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In rats, lycopene reduced furan- and diabetes-induced toxicity in the rat liver (R).

In ferrets, it reduced tobacco-associated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver cancer (R).

Lycopene treatment improves normal blood levels after being fed a high-fat diet in rats with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (R).

In male rats, it may reverse hyperhomocysteinemia, a blood disorder, which demonstrates an ability to help protect the liver (R).

3) Lycopene Helps Prevent Stress

Lycopene preserves sperm functionality and prevents sperm mutations caused by oxidative stress due to its antioxidant properties (R).

In mice, it may reduce oxygen deficiency by preventing endoplasmic reticulum stress and relieving any stress-induced cell death (R).

Lactococcus lactis, an important bacteria in dairy products, becomes more resistant to UV stress when combined with lycopene-related genes (R).

When combined with sodium valproate, lycopene reduced seizures and oxidative stress in mice (R).

In rats, daily supplementation of lycopene and gabapentin reversed sensitivity to pain, cold sensitivity, and reduced oxidative stress (R).

4) Lycopene Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth

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In human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma lines, lycopene prevented rapid cell growth and cellular invasion (R).

There is an increase in BCO2 production, a gene that acts as a tumor suppressor in prostate cancer (R).

5) Lycopene May Help Protect the Skin

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In humans, lycopene supplementation protects skin against harmful UV effects (R).

6) Lycopene Reduces Intestinal Damage

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In patients with chronic bacterial prostatitis, a combination of lycopene with other substances such as methylsulfonylmethane extracts improved the efficacy of levofloxacin, an antibiotic (R).

In patients with ulcerative colitis, lycopene reduced fecal blood, mucus, and pus (R).

7) Lycopene Is Neuroprotective

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In rats, lycopene reduced spinal cord injury by promoting the repair of the blood-spinal cord barrier (R).

Lycopene also reduces neuropathic pain by increasing spinal astrocytic connexin 43 gene production (R).

It also reduced learning and memory impairments in rats, and prevented dendritic spine density reduction caused by high-fat diets (R).

8) Lycopene Helps Restore Vitamin A Deficiency

In mice, lycopene supplementation restored vitamin A deficiency (R).

Cons

  • In patients with ulcerative colitis, lycopene did not reduce abdominal pain (R).
  • In an analysis of three studies, lycopene did not prevent prostate cancer as previously claimed and was not associated with colorectal cancer risk (RR2).
  • Lycopene may cause low blood pressure, increase the risk of bleeding, and interfere with estrogen/hormone therapies and chemotherapy medications (R, R2).
  • It may also cause anorexia, chest pain, diarrhea, stomach pressure, gas, indigestion, nausea, skin discoloration, and vomiting (R).

All about HbA1c and 33 Reasons to Maintain Healthy HbA1c Levels (Part 1)

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HbA1c is an indicator of long-term glucose levels and has been recommended for diagnosing diabetes by the American Diabetes Association. Increased HbA1c in nondiabetics, apart from being a risk factor for diabetes, is also associated with cardiovascular disease and elevated all-cause mortality. Ideally, you would want to keep your HbA1c low, but also stable. Read on to find out why, and to learn about all the factors that can help you improve your HbA1c levels.

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The Science of Detoxification and How It Relates to Your Health

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The human body has an amazingly efficient detoxification system, mostly located in the liver. In healthy people, these detoxification processes are in balance, and most of the time function well. However, some diseases, vitamin deficiency, exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol, and some drugs can upset the balance between detoxification enzymes. Find out which nutrients can help you restore that balance, and how you can help your body detoxify.

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