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Chronic inflammation can cause increased stiffness and pain, chronic inflammatory diseases include risk of cancer and heart disease, Cenegenics Elite Health Evaluation can help explain how to control inflammation based on your individual risk factors and history

Chronic Inflammation and Its Serious Health Implications

Acute inflammation is part of the body’s immune response and is a natural way to defend against harmful stimuli. Without it, wounds and infection wouldn’t be able to heal. Yet, there’s another type of inflammation which occurs on an ongoing basis –chronic inflammation – that has serious health implications.

Chronic inflammation is central to many chronic conditions and ailments – especially those that are more likely to develop with age. Thus, controlling inflammation is integral to maintaining a long, healthy life.

Although we have many bits and pieces of data on inflammation, we have yet to put the complex puzzle together. For instance, while we know inflammatory factors influence our health, we still don’t know the exact degree to which each factor affects us.

What we do know, however, is that inflammation is inextricably linked to disease, and that tools that can help resolve inflammatory issues are invaluable for improving our quality of life. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the critical implications of inflammation, as well as ways to control it.

The Dangers of Chronic Inflammation


Acute inflammation takes place when your body is exposed to toxins, injuries, and infections. The immune system releases inflammatory cells to heal tissue, and blood vessels leak fluid to the affected area. This results in the telltale symptoms of redness, pain, and swelling.

Chronic inflammation increases risk of heart disease and stroke, Arthritis and COPD are listed as chronic inflammatory diseases, ask your doctor how to control inflammation to reduce your risk of chronic diseases

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is systemic and affects a number of functions throughout the body. It’s characterized by inflammatory cells within the blood vessels, which allow dangerous plaque to accumulate. This spurs a vicious cycle in which the body sends more inflammatory responders (white blood cells) to combat the plaque.

The plaque continues to accumulate, thickening the artery walls and increasing the risk for heart attack or stroke. [1] One inflammatory protein in particular, interleukin-6 receptor, appears to be involved in the development of plaque in the arteries. [2]

Another biomarker of inflammation is high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, or CRP. This protein is produced by the liver when widespread inflammation occurs throughout the body. Large elevations of CRP are commonly related to acute responses in the immune system, but can also indicate disease. In specific, continuous, slightly elevated levels of CRP are commonly associated with chronic inflammatory risk factors.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that chronic inflammation also plays a role in the constituents of what has been termed “metabolic syndrome,” or the constellation of disorders that precedes the formal diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome is an intermediary state of one or more conditions which may include obesity, a trend toward insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Chronic Inflammatory Diseases


Beyond cardiovascular issues, inflammation raises concerns as a risk factor for other diseases. For example, in autoimmune conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, the immune cells attack the digestive tract, targeting even the healthy bacteria living in the gut. While experts remain unsure exactly why only certain individuals have this response, it appears to be a result of combined genetic, environmental, and dietary factors. Stress management and taking antibiotics may contribute to risk too.

When it occurs in the joints, inflammation can also cause damaging conditions such as psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Stiffness and pain can occur, and because the conditions are chronic; there is no lasting cure, although lifestyle management techniques may help.

Conditions of Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation contributes to the following damaging conditions: 

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stiffness and pain
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Weakened immune system
  • Breathing issues
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Infection
  • Asthma
  • Periodontal disease
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Lupus
  • Depression

Indeed, the potential implications of chronic inflammation span far and wide. A significant amount of research has been conducted exploring the link between inflammation and disease. Although further, more conclusive studies must still be done, here are some of the most noteworthy observations to bear in mind:

  • High levels of inflammation may increase risk of cancer. Specifically, inflammatory diets have been linked to a 63% increase in colorectal cancer risk. When immune cells produce inflammation it impacts the body’s ability to regulate the immune response, allowing diseases like cancer to thrive. [3]
  • When seen in the lungs, inflammation can cause serious breathing issues including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), infection, and asthma. [4]
  • Inflammation is seen in periodontal disease, which is also thought to be a precursor of heart disease. When inflammation occurs in the mouth, it’s typically a response to bacteria which can be found elsewhere in the body. [5]
  • Inflammation in the brain is believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Originally, it was believed that inflammation couldn’t affect the brain due to the blood-brain barrier. Now, however, scientists know that immune cells do infiltrate the brain when a person becomes distressed. [6]
  • Chronic inflammation has also been associated with a host of other conditions, including lupus and potentially even depression. [7]

Based on these insights, the case for controlling chronic inflammation is compelling. Yet, to know how to combat it, we must first understand where it comes from.

Where Does Inflammation Come From?

Unfortunately, identifying the precise factors that lead to inflammation and why some people appear to be more sensitive to them than others isn’t so simple. What is clear, however, is that diet appears to be one of the most significant influencers. In particular, inflammatory factors parallel glycemic load and insulin sensitivity. While glycemic load refers to carbohydrates’ impact on the body and blood sugar, insulin sensitivity is a measure of how sensitive the cells are to insulin.

Thus, the National Health Service’s finding that a diet with a high content of processed foods, such as soft drinks, refined grains, and processed meats, is correlated with inflammatory biomarker levels makes perfect sense. Processed foods are typically high in chemical additives, which is why low-inflammation diets prescribe avoidance of them.

It isn’t just food that can elicit an inflammatory response, however. Chronic stress, obesity, smoking, and alcohol are also thought to trigger inflammation. Long-term exposure to irritants, including pollution or industrial chemicals, can also contribute. [8]

With this in mind, we’ll review some effective ways to control inflammation in the next section.

How to Control Inflammation


What Can You Do to Control Inflammation

The body's inflammatory response can be regulated by the following: 

  • Improve diet
  • Quit smoking
  • Manage stress
  • Improve stress quality
  • Exercise regimen

As mentioned above, not all inflammation is bad, but in the interest of wellness and disease prevention controlling chronic inflammation is essential. This often requires a number of lifestyle adjustments. Primarily, the following factors appear to have the most significant impact on regulating the body’s inflammatory response. 

Diet

low inflammatory can be how to reduce inflammation in your body, avoiding processed foods can reduce your risk of chronic inflammatory diseases

Today, there are many variations of low inflammatory diets. In particular, diets low in carbohydrates have shown to significantly reduce inflammation, especially in obese individuals. [9] Additionally, the Mediterranean and DASH diets can help to lower inflammation levels.

Anti-inflammatory foods such as those rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, including nuts and the spices ginger and curry, should be prioritized, while known pro-inflammatory foods including refined and processed foods (especially carbohydrates) should be avoided.

Smoking

Smoking increases your risk of chronic inflammation, Quitting smoking can be how to control inflammation in your body

The impact of smoking on immunity is complex, with both harmful inflammatory responses and immune system suppression taking place. [10] The toxic effects of smoking are too far-reaching to list, which is why anyone who hasn’t already done so should develop a plan to quit.

Stress

Stress is shown to cause chronic inflammation in the body, Managing stress appropriately may be how to control inflammation in your body, stress can contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases such as depression and Alzheimer’s

The body’s natural fight or flight reaction helped our ancestors respond quickly to threats, and it’s also what helps us perform well under pressure today. Yet, stress also triggers hormonal responses linked to inflammation, which is why chronic stress and inflammation go hand-in-hand. Thus, finding healthy ways to control stress is key in staying healthy and minimizing disease risk.

Sleep

Increased sleep can help control chronic inflammation in the body, sleep deprivation increases inflammatory markers and proliferates risk of chronic inflammatory diseases

Several pro-inflammatory markers are associated with sleep duration, and inflammation can result from even one night of missed sleep. For each hour of sleep deprivation, inflammatory markers increase by 8%. [11] The link between sleep duration and cardiovascular disease may be stronger than we previously thought, so diagnosing and addressing any sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is critically important to long-term health.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the best tools we have to reduce chronic inflammation, Excess adipose tissue and visceral fat increases your chance of developing chronic inflammatory diseases

One of the most critical pieces of the inflammation puzzle, exercise is perhaps the best tool we have alongside diet for reducing chronic inflammation. While fat is an inflammatory organ, muscle is an anti-inflammatory organ. Just 20 minutes of exercise per day can suppress the activation of pro-inflammatory agents in the body. [12] Working out consistently also reduces mortality, CVD, osteoporosis, and breast cancer risk, while also improving cognition.

Understanding and Controlling Chronic Inflammation – In Conclusion


It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the factors contributing to inflammation, and the many serious conditions to which it’s linked. Nonetheless, age management specialists like our clinicians at Cenegenics are committed to taking a comprehensive approach to help you manage your body’s inflammatory response.

With tailored exercise and dietary programs as well as robust blood panels and diagnostics, our experts pinpoint any concerns tied to inflammation and offer detailed, individualized solutions to help you optimize both your current health and long-term wellness.

If you’re interested in exploring how Cenegenics can help you combat chronic inflammation, contact your nearest center today.

Next Steps in Understanding Chronic Inflammation


FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

References

[1] DiCorleto, Paul, PhD. “Why You Should Pay Attention to Chronic Inflammation.” Cleveland Clinic. 14 Oct. 2014. Retrieved from URL: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-you-should-pay-attention-to-chronic-inflammation/

[2] Nadeem Sarwar, et al. “interleukin-6 receptor pathways in coronary heart disease: a collaborative meta-analysis of 82 studies.” The Lancet. 31 Mar. 2012. Retrieved from URL: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(11)61931-4/fulltext

[3] Fred K. Tabung, MSPH, PhD, et al. “Association of Dietary Inflammatory Potential With Colorectal Cancer Risk in Men and Women.” JAMA Oncology. March 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/article-abstract/2669777

[4] MacMillan, Amanda. “13 Ways Inflammation Can Affect Your Health.” Health.com 04 March 2015. Retrieved from URL: https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20898778,00.html?slide=91725#91725

[5] MacMillan, see above.

[6] Cleveland Clinic, see above.

[7] Anft, Michael. “Understanding Inflammation.” Johns Hopkins Health Review. Spring/Summer 2016. Retrieved from URL: https://www.johnshopkinshealthreview.com/issues/spring-summer-2016/articles/understanding-inflammation

[8] Han, Seunggu, MD. “Understanding and Managing Chronic Inflammation.” Healthline. 27 Jul. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-inflammation

[9] Y. Gu, et al. “Very low carbohydrate diet significantly alters the serum metabolic profiles in obese subjects.” Journal of Proteome Research. 6 Dec. 2013. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24224694

[10] J. Lee, et al. “Cigarette Smoking and Inflammation.” Journal of Dental Research. Feb. 2012. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3261116/

[11] Leake, Jeffrey Park, M.D., CPT and Greenberg, Todd David, M.D., CSCS. The Textbook of Age Management Medicine: Volume 1. Leake-Greenberg Ventures, LLC. 2015. p. 335.

[12] Stoyan Dimitrov, et al. “Inflammation and exercise: Inhibition of monocytic intracellular TNF production by acute exercise via β2-andrenergic activation.” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. Vol. 61, March 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159116305645

Cenegenics Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program helps patients recognize the early signs of heart disease, cardiovascular disease kills more than 800 thousand people in the U.S. each year, recognizing how to prevent heart disease may reduce your risk of death by cardiovascular disease

Are You Fully Prepared to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke?


Each year, more than 800,000 people in the U.S. die from cardiovascular disease. This figure accounts for a whopping percentage of fatalities, making up one in three deaths. To put it into perspective, cardiovascular disease collectively claims more lives than all cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, or accidents. As many as 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, with one death occurring every 39 seconds.

Cardiovascular disease, the umbrella term referring to all types of diseases affecting the heart or blood vessels, encompasses coronary heart disease and stroke. Alarmingly, more than 10% of Americans have already been diagnosed with heart disease.[1]

Despite these grim statistics, there’s still tremendous hope for today’s adult population: heart attack and stroke are largely preventable. To prevent these diseases effectively, however, you must first be able to recognize the warning signs. Browse through this guide as we review some of the most critical information about the life-saving power of heart disease and stroke prevention.

Heart Disease & Stroke: An Introduction


Cardiovascular disease and heart disease are often used interchangeably. While the conditions share many of the same characteristics, the serious ways in which they affect the body can actually be different. Here is a helpful breakdown to help you remember these key terms.

Cardiovascular Disease

As mentioned above, this catchall refers to all types of diseases of the heart or blood vessels, including clogged arteries (heart disease) which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and congenital heart defects.

Heart Disease

Any condition affecting the heart’s function and structure is heart disease. While heart disease is a type of cardiovascular disease, and thus all heart diseases are also cardiovascular diseases, not all cardiovascular diseases are a form of heart disease.

Heart disease can encompass many different issues which are often related to atherosclerosis, or the formation of plaque along the artery walls. Heart disease can therefore lead to heart attack or stroke.

Stroke

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that feeds or is located within the brain becomes blocked or bursts. This starves the brain of blood and oxygen, causing brain cells to die. If too many brain cells die, the effects of a stroke can be permanent, but in cases where enough brain cells survive, injured cells can be repaired and impaired functions may improve.

While understanding the key differences among these conditions is important, cardiovascular diseases as a whole share many of the same causes, risk factors, early warning signs, and prevention tactics. Because of this, and the fact that heart disease and stroke are so closely related, we will focus on the characteristics of heart disease for the remainder of this guide.

Causes of Heart Disease


Atherosclerosis is one of the most common causes of heart disease and can lead to heart attack and stroke, plaque build-up and wall stiffness are one of the early signs of heart disease, Reducing risk factors such as smoking and obesity may be a suggestion on how to prevent heart disease

Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of heart disease.[2] As the plaque thickens along artery walls, it causes the walls to stiffen, which can prevent blood from flowing freely through your arteries to your vital organs and tissues.

Alarmingly, the signs of atherosclerosis may never be outwardly visible – that is, until a plaque ruptures or builds up to the point where blood flow is completely restricted. If you have atherosclerosis in your heart valves, you may develop symptoms such as angina (chest pain). The appearance of this symptom calls for quick action, however, as it often precedes a heart attack. [3]

The plaque development which characterizes atherosclerosis develops slowly over time. While the exact cause of the condition is unknown, experts strongly believe it can result from many different factors, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Obesity
  • Inflammation
  • High triglycerides [4]

While atherosclerosis is the most common cause of heart disease, it isn’t the only one. Heart arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathy (thickening of the heart muscle), and heart infections can also lead to heart disease. Arrhythmias are caused by many of the same factors as atherosclerosis including high blood pressure, tobacco use, and smoking, but can also be brought on by excessive caffeine or alcohol use, illicit drug use, and stress.

In addition to the primary causes, there are many behaviors and other risk factors which can contribute to your likelihood for developing heart disease.


Heart Disease Risk Factors


What Are Your Risk Factors for Heart Disease?

Common risk factors associated with heart disease include: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Poor Diet
  • Insulin Resistance/Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Genetic Factors
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Mental Illness

Age

Age plays an important role in raising the risk of heart disease. In men, the risk for heart disease begins to increase at the age of 45. For women, the age is 55. [5] While age-related behavioral factors, such as poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles, can contribute to heart disease risk, biological changes also factor in. For instance, the blood vessels naturally become less flexible as we age, which makes it more difficult for blood to pass through. 

Gender


For many years, heart disease was perceived to be commonly seen in men. Now, however, it has been established that it is the leading cause of death for both sexes. After the age of 65, men and women share roughly the same risk. With that said, the symptoms of heart disease in diabetic women tend to be less obvious than in their male peers. For example, women may only experience shortness of breath during physical activity, versus men who experience chest pain.[6]

High Blood Pressure


Your blood pressure measures the force of your blood pressing against your blood vessel walls. Having high blood pressure creates added stress on your heart and blood vessels causing them to work harder. High blood pressure also creates friction, which damages the tissues in your arteries, causing bad cholesterol to develop within the tears in the artery walls and prompting atherosclerosis.

High Cholesterol


Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels increase heart disease risk in the ways outlined above. Poor diet is one of the main culprits behind high cholesterol.

Poor Diet

A diet high in processed foods can increase risk of heart disease and stroke, understanding how to prevent heart disease begins with a healthy diet

Saturated fats, commonly found in animal products, can raise your cholesterol levels. In particular, red meat and full-fat dairy could lead to increased cholesterol, but this is oftentimes a result from poor selection of raw materials. For example, grass-fed beef is leaner than grain-fed beef, and both meat and dairy from hormone-free sources are considered healthiest. Of course, genetic factors should be assessed to create a meal plan to support each patient’s unique needs. If an individual’s genetics do not make them susceptible to cholesterol increases, full-fat dairy and red meat typically needn’t be restricted.

On the other hand, commercially baked cookies, crackers, and other processed foods are problematic in that they often contain cholesterol-raising trans fat, and even when they don’t, they can contribute to inflammation, a common culprit behind chronic illness and a suspected causative agent behind heart disease.

Insulin Resistance/Diabetes


In diabetes, the body fails to produce ample insulin or cannot use insulin properly, causing blood sugar levels to spike. Over time, this increased level of blood glucose can damage your blood vessels, along with the nerves controlling your heart. Adults with diabetes face twice the risk of a fatal heart disease or stroke compared to those without.[7]

Limiting poor-quality carbohydrates that have a significant impact on insulin response is critically important to preventing insulin resistance, and subsequently, the development of type 2 diabetes.

It is carbohydrates – and in particular, high-glycemic index carbohydrates – which most substantially increase cardiovascular-related disease by modulating insulin and inflammation and causing a negative impact on the cardiovascular system.

High-glycemic index foods, including white bread, rice, and processed snacks such as breakfast cereals and packaged cakes or cookies, pose an especially concerning threat for patients with excess body fat and exercise limitations. Diets rich in these foods could place an individual at risk for diseases related to inflammation, including heart disease, especially when coupled with a sedentary lifestyle.

Obesity


Adults have a significantly increased risk of developing any form of cardiovascular disease if they are overweight or obese. Specifically, obese or overweight adults between the ages of 40 and 59 have an increased risk ranging from 21-85%, compared to normal weight peers.[8]

The relationship between heart disease and being overweight is complex, but most notably, carrying extra weight creates a ripple effect of damage on the heart as it is associated with hidden inflammation which can impede your heart’s ability to function properly.

Smoking


Smoking damages and constricts blood vessels, and has also been found to raise cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Moreover, it can prevent ample oxygen from reaching the body’s critical organs and tissues, thereby increasing heart disease risk.[9]  

Genetic Factors


Genetics remains an elusive area in determining risk for heart disease. While the precise role genes play in contributing to all cardiovascular conditions remains unknown, researchers have identified family history of heart attack or stroke – especially at an early age – as an important consideration to weigh. In fact, family history can be as powerful an indicator of heart disease as high cholesterol or blood pressure.[10]   

Lack of Exercise

lack of exercise can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, exercise can be one of the best methods on how to prevent heart disease

A sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of chronic diseases, including heart disease. Studies have even indicated that the increase in risk associated with reduced fitness is comparable to or greater than other clinical factors, such as smoking and diabetes.[11]

Exercise contributes to cardiovascular health in numerous ways. It controls blood pressure, increases “good” HDL cholesterol, improves circulation to prevent clots which can lead to heart attack and stroke, and aids in weight regulation

Mental Illness

Research shows up to 44% of people with heart disease also have major depression, and individuals hospitalized for heart attack are about three times as likely to have depression. While individuals with heart disease often face stress related to health issues, depression itself also appears to be a risk factor for heart disease. While the precise interplay is still unclear, experts believe both inflammatory and lifestyle changes related to depression can impact cardiovascular health.[12]

While calculating your risk for all cardiovascular issues, including heart disease and stroke, is an important foundational step in preventing a deadly cardiac event, it’s also critical to watch for the early signs of heart disease. Identify what to look for in the next section.


Early Signs of Heart Disease


Early signs of heart disease can manifest as chest pain but can also result in shortness of breath and fatigue, ask your doctor how to prevent heart disease and what the early signs of heart disease are so that you can be proactive, ignoring the early signs of heart disease can lead to heart attack and stroke

Frustratingly, many of the early signs of heart disease mimic those seen in other health issues. Further, some of these symptoms are even ignored as signs of aging or inactivity. Yet, when they are intense or appear out of the blue, it’s worth taking note. Patients should always be mindful of any unfamiliar developments in their health and err on the side of caution, because by the time signs of heart attack manifest it is likely past the point of prevention.

Early signs of heart disease can include unexplained aches or pain. When the blood supply to the heart is blocked, it can cause significant strain and, subsequently, pain in the heart. Yet, this pain isn’t always experienced in the chest. It can also be felt in the arms, shoulders, back, or even the jaw or abdomen. Symptoms that occur with activity but fade with rest are especially important to note, as they can indicate heart issues.

Shortness of breath is another telling sign of heart problems. While it’s possible for anyone to become winded after exertion, climbing just a few stairs shouldn’t leave you out of breath. Extreme shortness of breath, accompanied by pressure or pain in the chest, dizziness or lightheadedness, extreme fatigue, pain in the regions described above, or extreme fatigue could indicate a heart attack, which demands immediate medical attention.

Additionally, heart palpitations, characterized by irregular or rapid beating, can signify heart issues. While they are often harmless and can occur with anxiety, caffeine, and dehydration, unexplained palpitations occurring while at rest should be investigated by a physician. Note how often they occur and what you’re doing when they happen.

Being mindful of these signs, along with your individual risk factors, can be helpful in preventing heart disease. With that said, the most comprehensive approach to prevention should incorporate the expertise of physicians who employ the next generation of medicine to stop heart disease before it even starts.

How to Prevent Heart Disease


Speak with your Cenegenics physician to learn more about how to prevent heart disease as well as understanding the early signs of heart disease, the Cenegenics Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program takes an in depth look at your current risk factors as well as gives your physician the information necessary to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke

There are many preventive tactics within your reach, which you can begin implementing right away. Smoking cessation, diet and weight management, exercise, and blood pressure and cholesterol control are among the most powerful lifestyle changes you can make to prevent heart disease.

Yet, a key component of prevention is knowing your individualized risk for heart disease and stroke. Metrics such as blood pressure levels can only tell you so much, and without insights garnered from more advanced, comprehensive laboratory screenings, we only see a small portion of overall heart disease risk.

With its innovative Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program, Cenegenics provides life-saving testing, going beyond conventional screening to assess in-depth genetic factors, advanced lipid panels, laboratory markers for plaque formations, and assessments for inflammatory markers which contribute to cardiovascular disease.

By combining the expertise of three cardio-diagnostic leaders and implementing aspects from the nation’s two top laboratories screening for cardiovascular disease, we have developed an industry-leading program to provide the most specific and accurate cardiac health picture currently available.

The findings retrieved from your screenings allow our physicians to offer patient-focused, specific recommendations based on your unique needs. From prescribing nutritional adjustments such as sodium intake and nutraceuticals to tailoring exercise plans to encourage physical fitness that is both effective in reducing disease risks and safe for your current abilities, our clinical team takes an all-encompassing approach to not only supporting your heart health, but also your overall wellness.

And, because our experts remain at the forefront of age management medicine, all of our programs are tailored to accommodate age-related risk factors and concerns, thereby allowing you to minimize the risk of deadly disease and feel great through every decade of life.

If you’re interested in preventing heart disease, stroke, and other chronic illness while becoming the healthiest possible version of yourself, contact a Cenegenics location near you.

Next Steps on How to Prevent Heart Disease

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 


Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

References

[1] National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH). “Know the Differences.” Retrieved from URL: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/sites/default/files/media/docs/Fact_Sheet_Know_Diff_Design.508_pdf.pdf

[2] Mayo Clinic. “Heart Disease.” 22 Mar. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353118

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Heart Disease Facts.” 28 Nov. 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

[4] Mayo Clinic, see above.

[5] NIH. “Coronary Heart Disease.” Retrieved from URL: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/coronary-heart-disease

[6] Resnick, Art, MD. “How Age and Gender Affect Your Heart.” Kaiser Permanente. 01 Mar. 2014. Retrieved from URL: https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/healthAndWellness/index.jhtml?item=%2Fcommon%2FhealthAndWellness%2Fconditions%2FheartDisease%2FageAndGender.html

[7] NIH. “Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke.” Feb. 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/heart-disease-stroke

[8] SS Khan et al. “Association of Body Mass Index With Lifetime Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Compression of Morbidity.” JAMA Cardiology. 1 Apr. 2018. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29490333

[9] NIH, see above.

[10] Harvard Health Publishing. “Heart disease: All in the family history.” Jan. 2016. Retrieved from URL: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/heart-disease-all-in-the-family-history

[11] Frank W. Booth, Ph.D., et al. “Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases.” Comprehensive Physiology. 23 Nov. 2014. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4241367/

[12] Morris, Nathaniel P. “Mental illness and heart disease are often found in the same patients.” The Washington Post. 18 Feb. 2017. Retreieved from URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/mental-illness-and-heart-disease-are-often-found-in-the-same-patients/2017/02/17/665e5dd0-ee1d-11e6-9973-c5efb7ccfb0d_story.html?utm_term=.88eb1b2db522

What are the Best Sources of Micronutrients for Weight Loss & Optimal Health?

Article at a Glance

  • Essential micronutrients for weight loss and optimizing health includes a number of animo acids and antioxidants.
  • Although you can find most micronutrients in food, antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acids, are often taken as a supplement.
  • Cenegenics micronutrient food allergy testing can help you determine nutritional gaps as well as the next steps toward optimizing your health.

As discussed previously, a large portion of adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese. When majority of people pursue their weight loss goals, they often attempt fad diets which promise the greatest results in the shortest amount of time. However, fad diets are often extremely restrictive and can leave large nutritional gaps, which when not addressed can result in a diminished state of health.

Although macronutrients are a large portion of daily consumption which are necessary for energy production and cellular functioning, micronutrients are often overlooked and underrated. They play a large role in essential functions and are only needed in small amounts.

Simple deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D can have minor to devastating effects from symptoms such as weak or soft bones, to serious conditions like breast, colon and prostate cancer. While neither vitamins nor minerals, the following micronutrients are all essential in unique ways and are therefore also deserving of attention when it comes to pursuing weight loss and optimizing overall health:

  • Asparagine – eliminates waste created during the breakdown of proteins
  • Glutamine – acts as building block for protein synthesis, and is essential for immune health
  • Serine – essential for brain and central nervous system functioning
  • Oleic Acid – helps reduce disease risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid – beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes, helps reduce blood pressure
  • Coenzyme Q10 – improve immune function, combat chronic fatigue, and lower high cholesterol
  • Cysteine – essential for detoxification and metabolic functioning
  • Glutathione – reduce oxidative stress and damage
  • Selenium – helps combat free radicals, and defend against heart disease and cancer
  • Chromium – important in the fight against diabetes by reducing insulin resistance
  • Choline – crucial for DNA synthesis
  • Inositol – used for nerve pain, panic disorders and other neurological issues
  • Carnitine – plays a role in energy production

Essential Amino Acids


The following amino acids play critical roles in optimize your health including:

  • Eliminating waste
  • Acting as a building block from protein synthesis
  • Assisting in immune function
  • Reducing disease risk
  • Participating in the production of energy

Asparagine

This non-essential amino acid is involved in the biosynthesis of glycoproteins. It also carries and aids in the elimination of ammonia, which is a waste product created during the breakdown of proteins to amino acids. A deficiency is rare in individuals with normal eating patterns, and the only true deficiency is genetic and known as Kegg disease.

As an amino acid, it can be found in almost any food containing proteins such as:

  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Asparagus
  • Potatoes
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Soy

Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid produced by the body but also found in abundance in foods. It is a multifaceted amino acid in that it acts as a building block in protein synthesis but is also critical for immune function and digestive health. It can be taken as a supplement as well but should be taken with the amino acid L-Alanine to avoid being broken down completely by the stomach.

Glutamine can be found in:

  • Meats
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fermented foods

Serine

An amino acid synthesized from other amino acids, glycine or threonine, serine is essential for the biosynthesis of purines and pyrimidines and acts as a precursor to other amino acids. It is essential for proper brain and central nervous system functioning as it helps to form the phospholipids needed for cell creation. A deficiency is a result of a neurometabolic disorder that affects the synthesis of serine itself.

Foods dense in serine include:

  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Dairy
  • Carob seeds
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
  • Asparagus
  • Lentils

Oleic Acid

A non-essential fatty acid, oleic acid is linked to reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. It may also improve mood, slow aging, and potentially aid in cancer prevention. Oleic acid may also aid in controlling inflammation and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, as well as chronic nerve pain. Because it is prevalent in western diets, a deficiency is quite rare. In fact, there is a concern over consuming too much oleic acid. The body needs to maintain a balance of omega 3, 6, and 9 acids, and too much oleic acid can significantly increase omega 9s, thereby impacting the ratio. An imbalance could contribute to a number of diseases, and too many omega 9s could lead to a deficiency in the other conditionally essential fatty acids (3 and 6).

This monosaturated fat is found primarily in:

  • Oils:
    • Olive
    • Almond
    • Peanut
    • Grapeseed

Cysteine

Cysteine is a non-essential amino acid containing sulfur. It can be used to form taurine or cystine. It is involved in protein synthesis, detoxification, and a host of other metabolic functions. Cysteine crosslinks proteins (making them more rigid) and helps to protect against protein breakdown when necessary. Deficiencies are identified as inherited metabolic disorders, which are typically associated with impaired antioxidant defense, decreased ability to metabolize drugs and toxic compounds, and depressed immunity.

The nutrient is found in:

  • Soy
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Oats
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Legumes

Carnitine

This nutrient is an amino acid with a primary function of transporting fatty acids to be broken down for energy in the mitochondria. Carnitine supplementation is useful in individuals with deficiencies. With that said, deficiencies are extremely rare so it isn’t necessary for most people to supplement with carnitine. Although carnitine supplementation is deemed unnecessary unless there is a deficiency, it may be useful for increasing androgen receptor sensitivity (Carnitine Tartrate) and improving cognitive function (Acetyl-L Carnitine).  

Carnitine is found in:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Some vegetables

Benefits of Antioxidants as Micronutrients


These antioxidants or micronutrients with strong antioxidant properties are beneficial for weight loss and optimize overall health, as benefits can include:

  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Treating blood pressure and heart failure
  • Improving immune function
  • Reducing oxidative stress and damage

Alpha Lipoic Acid

An antioxidant that has shown to be beneficial in lowering blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, alpha lipoic acid also reduces symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Due to its strong antioxidant properties, it may also deliver benefits in terms of reducing inflammation and decreasing hepatic fibrosis, though it is not commonly used for either.

It can be found in foods such as:

  • liver
  • broccoli
  • potatoes
  • yeast

Although alpha lipoic acid is found in some food, it is most commonly taken as a supplement.

Coenzyme Q10

This micronutrient is a naturally-occurring nutrient with strong antioxidant properties. It is regarded as beneficial in treating high blood pressure and heart failure. Coenzyme Q10 can also improve immune function in immune disorders, improve symptoms such as chronic fatigue, and lower high cholesterol. Symptoms of an acute deficiency include muscle or joint pain and frequent headaches. The symptoms of a chronic deficiency can resemble those seen in heart failure.

The nutrient can be found in:

  • organ meats
  • fish
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • oranges
  • strawberries
  • legumes

It is also taken as a supplement and is best taken with fats as it is a fat-soluble nutrient.

Glutathione

This antioxidant encompasses three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. It is made in the body but declines naturally as a result of stress, age, and exposure to toxins. Interestingly, one of its greatest abilities is its power to reduce oxidative stress and damage. While it can be found in a few foods containing sulfur, including broccoli and cauliflower, it is also effective to supplement in the diet. One way to supplement for this antioxidant is to take N-Acetyl Cysteine, as it acts as a precursor to glutathione production in the body.

Selenium

Another antioxidant that helps to reduce oxidative stress, selenium also fights free radicals and may help defend against heart disease and cancer. Selenium is also needed for thyroid and immune functioning as well. A deficiency is primarily observed in the thyroid and manifests as symptoms of hypothyroidism including fatigue, mental slowing, goiter, cretinism, and recurrent miscarriage. If ingesting too much, toxicity is possible and can lead to nausea, vomiting, hair loss, nail discoloration, irritability, and “garlic breath.”

It can be found in:

  • seafoods
  • lean meats
  • eggs
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • soy

Other Essential Micronutrients for Optimizing Health


Although these micronutrients are neither antioxidants nor amino acids, they play a critical role in:

  • Reducing insulin resistance
  • DNA synthesis
  • Treatment of nerve pain and neurological issues

Chromium

A mineral required in trace amounts, chromium reduces insulin resistance and is directly involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. A deficiency impairs the body’s ability to use glucose and raise insulin sufficiently. Deficiencies are very rare, as it is found in many food sources including:

  • meat
  • seafood
  • vegetables
    • broccoli
    • cauliflower

It is also available as a supplement but should not be taken in excess, as it could lead to low blood sugar, gastrointestinal distress, and potentially even kidney or liver damage.

Choline

Choline is a water-soluble nutrient and is a source of methyl groups needed for metabolic processes. It is used to create phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, two major phospholipids, which are major components of cell membranes. Choline is also needed for DNA synthesis as well as homocysteine reduction (homocysteine buildup is seen in the serious condition, liver cirrhosis). Inadequate choline intake may lead to fatty liver, a precursor to cirrhosis or death. Choline can be found in:

Some forms of choline can have a profound effect on neurological functioning as they increase levels of acetylcholine, which functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain.

Inositol

Mainly used to treat nerve pain or panic disorder and other neurological issues, this nutrient has a host of cognitive benefits. It is a vitamin-like substance found in plants and animals, but it can also be produced synthetically. Inositol can be commonly found in many types of:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Leafy greens
  • Whole grains

Although it has many different benefits, among its most notable strengths is its abilities to reduce anxiety and address mental health issues by balancing chemicals leading to mental health conditions. While deemed safe, it does carry potential side effects including nausea, tiredness, headaches, and dizziness.

How Cenegenics Micronutrient Testing Can Make the Difference You Need


Cenegenics Micronutrient Food Allergy Testing is a blood draw that tests multiple allergens to assess what symptoms are being triggered by food, food allergies can cause immune system responses that range from a runny nose to life-threatening anaphylaxis

With so many different micronutrients – and their respective roles – to consider, it’s easy to see how deficiencies could be impacting your health. Unfortunately, these deficiencies are very hard to detect and pinpoint without specific testing.

Whether it is in your quest to lose weight or to simply become healthier, in many cases the smallest factors can make the biggest difference. That’s precisely why Cenegenics offers micronutrient testing that encompasses all of the nutrients listed above. In addition, we also measure fructose sensitivity, glucose-insulin metabolism, total antioxidant functioning, and immune response score through SpectraCell to determine if there are any other underlying barriers impeding your journey towards optimal nutrition.

Upon taking the test, you will be paired with a Cenegenics physician who can go over your results in detail and develop a plan to correct and account for any deficiencies that are present. A noticeable improvement could be made by simply changing some aspects of your diet or adding supplements to make up for missing nutrients. Whatever the case, you can’t identify any potential gaps in your diet without help. Take the first step in becoming a healthier version of yourself today – contact your nearest Cenegenics location to get started.

Next Steps to Schedule Your Micronutrient Food Allergy Test


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources of Micronutrients


This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

Austin Zechman MS, CSCS

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics Dallas

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Education Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Information on Micronutrients


What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Low Energy: How the Cenegenics Program Boosts Energy & Combats Fatigue

The Dangers of Processed Foods

Understanding Mental Acuity: Improving Focus, Memory and Concentration with Cenegenics

How Cenegenics Can Help Relieve Stress in Executives & Professionals

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Nutrition for Weight Loss

The Role of Vitamins and Minerals as Micronutrients

Micronutrients: Learn Why Your Diet is Failing

Psychology of Weight Loss: The Problem with Fad Diets

The Role of Vitamins and Minerals as Micronutrients

Article at a Glance

  • Micronutrients are required in small amounts for normal functioning and a deficiency can manifest as a number of symptoms including: fatigue, depression, and a weakened immune system.
  • Micronutrient deficiencies can be caused by dietary choices or food allergies.
  • Cenegenics Micronutrient Food Allergy Testing can help you determine which foods you should be avoiding and if supplementation may be required.

Micronutrients, as previously discussed, are chemical elements/substances required in small amounts for normal functioning.

Micronutrient deficiencies can manifest in a large array of symptoms and are often attributed to other health issues or even simply lifestyle factors, making it easy for a deficiency to go unnoticed.

Below, we identify key micronutrients and their critical roles to help you develop an in-depth understanding of them and to showcase just how far-reaching and complex the impact of your dietary choices can be.

 

Essential Vitamins and Their Role as Key Micronutrients

Micronutrient

Role

Symptom of Deficiency

Vitamin A

  • Maintain teeth, skeletal tissue, mucus membranes, and the skin
  • Produces pigment in the eye
  • Night blindness

Vitamin B1

  • Supports brain and central nervous functioning
  • Significant contributor to proper digestion
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Numbness in the extremities

Vitamin B2

  • Breaks down macronutrients
  • Maintains the body’s energy supply
  • Weakness/fatigue
  • Dry skin around the nose and mouth
  • Skin rashes

Vitamin B3

  • Nicotinic Acid: used to treat high cholesterol and heart disease
  • Niacinamide: used to treat type 1 diabetes, skin conditions, and schizophrenia

Pellagra (condition that causes):

  • Skin inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue

Vitamin B6

  • Healthy brain development in children
  • Supports overall function of individuals
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Cracked or sore lips
  • Sore or glossy tongue
  • Mood changes
  • Weakened immune system
  • Tiredness or low energy levels
  • Tingling or pain in extremities
  • Seizures

Vitamin B12

  • Keeps nerve and blood cells healthy
  • Contributes to creation of DNA
  • Helps prevent megaloblastic anemia
  • Tiredness/ Weakness
  • Constipation and/or weight loss
  • Nerve problems
  • Depression/ Confusion
  • Balance issues
  • Anemia

Vitamin B7

  • Helps convert food into energy
  • During pregnancy: plays crucial role in fetal development
  • Supports healthy skin, nails, and hair
  • Can cause metabolic disorder
  • Lead to more than 140 different genetic defects

Vitamin B9

  • Helps develop red blood cells
  • Aids in synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA
  • Anemia

Vitamin B5

  • Red blood cell production
  • Metabolizing food/macronutrients
  • Similar to B6 and B3 deficiencies

Vitamin C

  • Protects cells against free radicals
  • DEFICIENCIES ARE RARE

Vitamin D

  • Promote bone growth
  • Proper hormone functioning
  • Softer bones
  • Breast, colon, prostate cancer

Vitamin E

  • Reduce free radical damage
  • Slow the aging of cells

Vitamin E OVERDOSE:

  • Diarrhea, headache, fatigue, weakness, blurry vision, problems with reproductive organs

Vitamin E DEFICIENCY:

  • Disorientation, vision problems, muscle weakness

Vitamin K

  • Essential for blood clotting
  • Reverses arterial stiffness
  • Easy bruising, excessive bleeding
  • GI bleeding, heavy periods
  • Increased prothrombin time

 

Vitamin A

This vitamin is fat soluble which means it is absorbed in the small intestines and stored in the liver and the body’s fat deposits. Water soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are easily absorbed into the body and when consumed in excess, will be secreted instead of stored. Vitamin A helps to maintain teeth, skeletal tissue, mucus  membranes, and the skin. It also produces pigment in the eye. Night blindness is typically the first symptom of a deficiency.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B1

Also known as thiamine, vitamin B1 supports brain and central nervous functioning. It is also a significant contributor to proper digestion. Loss of reflexes and numbness in the extremities are associated with deficiency.

Vitamin B2

Referred to as riboflavin, B2 breaks down macronutrients and maintains the body’s energy supply. Deficiencies are characterized by weakness/fatigue, dry skin around the nose and mouth, and skin rashes.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, or niacin, has two forms: nicotinic acid (used to treat high cholesterol and heart disease), and niacinamide (used to treat type 1 diabetes, skin conditions, and schizophrenia). Symptoms of a deficiency, when severe, can include pellagra, a condition associated with skin inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue.

Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine, a lesser-known name for vitamin B6, is needed for healthy brain development in children and to support overall function in all individuals. It aids in the production of the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine. A deficiency can lead to seborrheic dermatitis, cracked or sore lips, sore or glossy tongue, mood changes, weakened immune system, tiredness or low energy levels, tingling and pain in the extremities, and seizures.

Vitamin B12

An essential nutrient that must be consumed through food sources or supplements, vitamin B12 assists in keeping the nerve and blood cells healthy and contributes to the creation of DNA. B12 is essential in preventing megaloblastic anemia, in which the bone marrow produces abnormal and unusually large red blood cells, causing weakness and tiredness. B12 requires intrinsic factor, also referred to as gastric intrinsic factor (GIF), a glycoprotein produced in the stomach, to be absorbed. A deficiency can produce a series of significant symptoms, ranging from tiredness, weakness, and constipation, to weight loss, nerve problems, depression, confusion, balance issues, and anemia.

Vitamin B7

B7 or biotin, like other B vitamins, helps convert food into energy. It is even more important during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it plays a crucial role in fetal development. Biotin is also known for its ability to support healthy nails, skin, and hair. A deficiency is extremely rare. A deficiency in the enzyme biotinidase is considered a metabolic disorder in which biotin cannot be released from proteins during digestion. It can lead to more than 140 different genetic defects.

Vitamin B9

Folate, or vitamin B9, is often seen in its synthetic form, folic acid. Because folic acid has a better bioavailability in the body, it is often used in processed foods and supplements. It is an important contributor for developing red blood cells and also aids in the synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA. Deficiencies, while rare, most often lead to some form of anemia.

Vitamin B5

Also known as pantothenate or pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 is necessary for red blood cell production and metabolizing food/macronutrients. Symptoms of a deficiency are similar to those seen in B6 and B3.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C: Sometimes referred to as ascorbic acid, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant which protects cells against free radicals, which are produced when we convert food into energy and are also found throughout the environment. Deficiencies are rare. It is believed that vitamin C can help prevent immune deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal issues, eye diseases, and skin wrinkling.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D: This vitamin is available in two forms, D3 and D2. D3 is better absorbed and utilized by the body and is, therefore, more commonly seen. The body also requires vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. It is also required for adequate hormone functioning. A deficiency would lead not only to weak, softer bones (a condition called Rickets in children), but can also lead to breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Other complications associated with vitamin D deficiencies include heart disease, depression, and weight gain. Our bodies can produce vitamin D but only with adequate sunlight exposure. It is therefore essential to ensure you are taking in enough vitamin D through diet or supplementation, if necessary, or if living in a northern state where there is limited sun exposure.

Vitamin E

A powerful antioxidant which can reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process of cells, vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in foods such as seeds, nuts, leafy greens, oils, and swordfish. It may also protect the skin against aging, inflammation, and sun damage. Potential side effects of a vitamin E overdose include diarrhea, headache, fatigue and weakness, blurry vision, and problems with the reproductive organs. A deficiency can cause disorientation and vision problems as well as muscle weakness.

Vitamin K

An often-underrated vitamin, K is essential for blood clotting and reverses arterial stiffness by preventing the calcium buildup that causes it. A vitamin K deficiency can cause easy bruising, excessive bleeding, heavy periods, GI bleeding, and increased prothrombin time (a measure of how quickly your blood clots). Vitamin K is found in many leafy green vegetables as well as fish, liver, meat, and eggs.

Role of Minerals as Micronutrients

Micronutrient

Role

Symptom of Deficiency

Calcium

  • Development of healthy bones and teeth
  • Produces pigment in the eye
  • ​Hypocalcemia (condition that causes):
  • Confusion, muscle spasms, numbness, depression, hallucinations, weak/brittle nails, and weak bones

Magnesium

  • Facilitates over 300 different chemical reactions
  • Regulating muscle & nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure
  • Muscle twitches/cramping
  • Mental disorder
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Irregular heartbeat

Manganese

  • Supports formation of connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones
  • Fat and carbohydrate metabolism
  • Calcium absorption
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Normal brain and nerve functioning
  • Poor bone growth and skeletal defects
  • Slow/impaired growth
  • Low fertility
  • Low glucose tolerance
  • Abnormal fat/carbohydrate metabolism

Zinc

  • Proper function of immune system
  • Cell division and growth
  • Wound healing
  • Carbohydrate breakdown
  • Proper hormone function
  • Acne, eczema, xerosis, seborrheic dermatitis, and alopecia
  • Impaired vision, sense of smell and taste, immune function, appetite, and cognitive function

Copper

  • Red blood cell formation
  • Maintains healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function
  • Supports iron absorption
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Frequent sickness
  • Weak/brittle bones
  • Memory/ learning impairment
  • Pale skin
  • Difficulty walking
  • Premature gray hair

 

Calcium

A mineral essential for the development and health of bones and teeth, calcium also plays vital roles in cell signaling, blood clot formation, and muscle/nerve functioning. A deficiency in the mineral, known as hypocalcemia, could lead to a vast array of symptoms such as confusion, muscle spasms and cramps, numbness and tingling in the extremities, depression, hallucinations, weak and brittle nails, and bones that fracture easily. While most dairy foods are rich in calcium, they aren’t the only source of it. Calcium can also be found in seafood, leafy greens, legumes, certain fruits, and even dairy substitutes such as almond milk.

Magnesium

Another mineral, magnesium, facilitates more than 300 different chemical reactions in the body. It is important for regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It also contributes to the development of bones, proteins, and DNA. A magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle twitches or cramping, mental disorders, osteoporosis, fatigue and muscle weakness, high blood pressure, asthma, and irregular heartbeat. Foods containing high amounts of magnesium include leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, and seafood. There are many variations of magnesium supplements, so it is recommended to speak with a health professional to determine which is best for you.

Manganese

This mineral supports the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. It can also be a contributor in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Manganese could also play a role in calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, and normal brain and nerve functioning. Deficiency symptoms include poor bone growth or skeletal defects, slow/impaired growth, low fertility, impaired glucose tolerance, and abnormal fat/carbohydrate metabolism. Manganese is found in whole grains, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and tea.

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral which is required by the immune system for proper functioning but also plays a role in cell division and growth, wound healing, carbohydrate breakdown, and hormone function. In addition, zinc supports the senses of smell and taste. Some symptoms of a deficiency may be acne, eczema, xerosis, seborrheic dermatitis, and alopecia. It can also impair vision as well as the sense of smell and taste, immune function, appetite, and cognitive function. Zinc is found in meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, and whole grains. When supplementing with zinc, it is critical to avoid overdose. When taken in excess, zinc can suppress copper and iron absorption and may also lead to nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, cholesterol issues, and flu-like symptoms.

Copper

A metal/mineral that is incorporated into proteins and metalloenzymes to support essential body functions, copper is used in conjunction with iron to form red blood cells. It also maintains healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function while simultaneously supporting iron absorption. It is suspected that consuming ample copper may aid in preventing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, which is no surprise given its function in the domains of the body affected by those conditions. Some symptoms of a deficiency include weakness and fatigue, frequent sickness, weak or brittle bones, memory and learning impairment, pale skin, difficulty walking, and premature gray hair. Copper can be found in oysters and other shellfish, beans, nuts, potatoes, dark leafy greens, and dried fruit, such as prunes. Like zinc, however, it can be dangerous if consumed in excess. If used as a supplement, it is important to take copper in safe amounts.

The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals as Micronutrients


The role of micronutrients is often overlooked, since macronutrients receives so much of the world’s attention in regard to nutrition and weigh loss. However, the severity of symptoms caused by deficiencies, and sometimes vitamins or minerals taken in excess, can be the reason you can’t achieve optimal health.

Micronutrient food allergy testing through Cenegenics can give you the boost you need to meet your personal goals. Performed under the direction of a clinician, this blood analysis tests for 35 vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids inside the body, which are important to its optimal functioning. Don’t let a simple imbalance, caused by a food allergy or fad diet, get in the way of your personal health goals!

Next Steps in Understanding The Role of Micronutrients


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources of Micronutrients


This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

Austin Zechman MS, CSCS

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics Dallas

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Education Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Information on Micronutrients


What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Low Energy: How the Cenegenics Program Boosts Energy & Combats Fatigue

The Dangers of Processed Foods

Understanding Mental Acuity: Improving Focus, Memory and Concentration with Cenegenics

How Cenegenics Can Help Relieve Stress in Executives & Professionals

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss

Micronutrient deficiencies can cause nutritional gaps that may contribute to obesity, Micronutrient food allergies can cause you to lose vital nutrients, Common food allergens include shellfish and peanuts, macronutrients and micronutrients are in almost everything we eat

Understanding Your Diet: What are Micronutrients?

Article at a Glance

  • Most popular fad diets can leave nutritional gaps due to extreme restrictions. This often causes dieters to return to their original eating habits and gain all, or even more, of their weight back.
  • Macronutrients are foods required in large quantities within our daily diet, and tend to be in almost everything we eat. This includes carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins.
  • Micronutrients are chemicals or substances required in small amounts for normal bodily functions.
  • A micronutrient deficiency can lead to a large array of symptoms including: weakness/fatigue, depression, anxiety, increased stress, mood changes, weakened immune system, and decreased energy.

Today, more than a third of U.S. adults are obese, and roughly 70% of the population is considered overweight. These figures have been increasing steadily throughout recent decades, with the most dramatic increases occurring within the past 20 years. As a result, we’ve seen a significant push to increase efforts to combat obesity and promote weight loss, especially within the past five to ten years. It should therefore come as no surprise that the U.S. weight loss market is worth a whopping $66 billion. The consumer base for this market comprises more than 95 million people seeking to make some degree of change to their overall health or body composition.

Naturally, with such a vast market, there are bound to be virtually limitless options for diet, weight loss programs, fat-burning pills, and so forth. With so many different options to consider, it is far too easy for anyone pursuing weight loss to get caught up in the next big diet plan, workout program, or supplement. After all, most people looking to lose weight are seeking the means that will help them reach their goals as quickly as possible, and when a particular program is trending, no one wants to miss out on its promised results.

Among the most popular diets right now are low-carb/high-fat keto diets, plant-based, or strictly “carnivore-based” diets. Some individuals do experience success with these diets or other alternatives. More often than not, however, these extreme approaches cause people to burn out too quickly and drop off, which leaves them to return to their former eating habits. Therefore, many people wind up hopping from one program to another in an endless quest for measurable, lasting results, believing each program or diet to be superior to the other. As we’ve seen, however, this usually isn’t the case.

There are many reasons why diets fail. The person often fails to commit to it long enough to see results, the prescribed approach to eating is too restrictive, or the diets followed lack scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness. Oftentimes, failure results from a combination of these reasons. With that being said, there is almost always one common theme among unsuccessful diets: those who try them often lack an understanding of what the body truly needs, why it needs it, and how to get the most from their food choices. That’s where understanding the role of macronutrients and micronutrients comes into play.

What Are Macronutrients?


Macronutrients play an integral part in providing the body with the energy necessary to perform essential processes on a cellular level, Micronutrients are often overlooked since the role of micronutrients is more widely known, macronutrients and micronutrients play essential roles in maintaining bodily functions

Everything we eat is made up of macronutrients, or chemical substances the body needs in large quantities. The three macros include carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins, all of which play an integral part of providing the body with the energy and materials needed for essential processes performed at a cellular level. Each macronutrient is responsible for specific functions and metabolites.

Are Carbs Bad for You?

Carbohydrates are essential for fueling the body and, more specifically, the brain. They are the primary source of fuel used during high-intensity exercise and can be stored in the muscles as glycogen. Yet, a more sophisticated look at the macronutrient constituents of food reveals not all are the same. In fact, each subtype of macronutrient can have substantially different metabolic consequences. Fats, for instance, are categorized into essential and nonessential fatty acids. While essential fatty acids include anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and largely pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, fats can also be found in various forms, from saturated to mono, poly, and unsaturated.

Eating Fat Will Not Make You Fat

Contrary to common belief, eating fats will not make a person fat as most fats actually contain many qualities that contribute to health benefits. While saturated fatty acids were once believed to be the major culprit in cardiovascular disease, it was later found that carbohydrates are actually the more likely causative agent behind this and many other diet-related health issues. Since fat reduction efforts have been in place, carbohydrate content has replaced fat content, largely in the form of store-bought foods which contain high amounts of processed sugars. Thus, high glycemic index carbohydrates have emerged as the real cause for concern.

In fact, diets rich in monounsaturated fats and omega acids can actually prove to be beneficial for lowering cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Fat is also a very calorically-dense nutrient which can help you feel sated and provide ample energy for the body to use. Additionally, fats are essential for absorbing and utilizing vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as neural functioning and optimal hormone responses.

Proteins Help Fight Muscle Breakdown

Proteins are likewise essential, and are made up of amino acids which the body uses to build and repair muscle tissue inside the body. They extend far beyond the muscles, however, as they are also required for maintaining the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s organs and tissues. Protein that comes from other sources also provides the nine essential amino acids that our body cannot create, meaning they must be acquired from foods.

With a deeper understanding of how various carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins signal metabolic function and appetite regulation, it becomes possible to control the results of our eating habits. Yet, there’s more to nutrition than macronutrients alone.

What Are Micronutrients?


Micronutrient deficiencies are often undiagnosed as their symptoms include stress and tiredness, Micronutrients play a central role in metabolism and disease prevention, What are micronutrients and what role do they play in the body

With macronutrients receiving so much attention in the world of nutrition and weight loss, the role of micronutrients is often overlooked. Indeed, macronutrients are the primary nutrients and are often the factors that are prioritized when it comes to meal planning and helping individuals understand the association between dietary consumption and health outcomes. Nonetheless, they only make up one piece of the puzzle in nutrition and overall health.

Micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients and deliver many benefits to the body. Micronutrients are chemical elements/substances required in small amounts for normal functioning. Oftentimes, micronutrient deficiencies are overlooked and are instead diagnosed as symptoms of other conditions. Because symptoms of a micronutrient deficiency can include tiredness, and/or depression, which may result in stress – all of which can be attributed to other health issues or even simply lifestyle factors – it is easy for a deficiency to go unnoticed.

The Crucial Role of Micronutrients

The importance of micronutrients cannot be overstated. They play a central role in metabolism, as well as disease treatment and prevention [1]. It can therefore be argued that, when attempting to lose weight or maintain a healthy body composition, as well as optimizing overall wellness, one should also consider their micronutrient levels and adjust their intake appropriately. There are many gaps in the modern American diet which leave individuals susceptible to deficiencies – even in people who eat a varied diet primarily consisting of unprocessed, whole foods.

Moreover, if you have a known or undiagnosed food allergy, it’s possible that your body is further experiencing a loss of nutrients. For instance, a milk allergy can leave you with lower levels of calcium, riboflavin, phosphorous, and vitamins A, D, and B12 [2]. This is only one example of a nutritional gap caused by an avoidance of a specific food; there are many other deficiencies which can go undetected even after performing a careful analysis of a person’s diet.

Thus, the best way to determine a micronutrient deficiency is to take a micronutrient test. Performed under the direction of a clinician, this blood analysis tests for 35 vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids inside the body, which are important to its optimal functioning.

Macronutrients and Micronutrients – In Conclusion


Today, roughly 70% of the U.S. population is considered overweight or obese. Anyone trying to lose weight will stumble upon various “fad diets” that promise to help you lose the weight with minimal effort. However, these fad diets leave gaps in you nutritional plans and the deficiencies could set you back.

In order to understand why your current diet may be failing, you need to recognize the different components of your nutritional plan: macronutrients vs. micronutrients. Macronutrients make up almost everything you eat and include three major groups: carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins, all of which play an integral part of providing your body with the energy it needs to perform essential processes on a cellular level. Micronutrients are chemical elements/substances that are only required in small amounts to maintain normal functioning.

Next Steps in Understanding What Micronutrients Are


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources of Micronutrients


This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

Austin Zechman MS, CSCS

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics Dallas

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Education Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Information on Micronutrients


What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Low Energy: How the Cenegenics Program Boosts Energy & Combats Fatigue

The Dangers of Processed Foods

Understanding Mental Acuity: Improving Focus, Memory and Concentration with Cenegenics

How Cenegenics Can Help Relieve Stress in Executives & Professionals

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss

Sources of Micronutrient Food Allergy Testing


  1. Shenkin, A. “The key role of micronutrients.” Clinical Nutrition. 10 Jan. 2006. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16376462
  2. “Replacing Lost Nutrients Due to Food Allergies.” Kids With Food Allergies, A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. March 2013. Retrieved from URL: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/replacing-lost-nutrients.aspx

Psychology of Weight Loss: How to Lose Weight & Make Your Results Last

Table of Contents

Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss 

Psychology of Weight Loss – In Conclusion 

Next Steps to Long-Term Sustainable Weight Loss 

Before taking on any weight loss journey, the reasons for the change need to be plainly stated. However, people who look towards outside sources for those reasons or use external sources to uncover their reasons tend to fail. They tend to lose themselves in the process and become so consumed in their journey to lose weight that they overlook the person for whom the changes should be made in the first place: themselves.

Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss 


Making lasting, positive changes for yourself is incredibly challenging, and it is arguably the most difficult thing humans in modern society can undertake. We are surrounded by a myriad of images and social representations, which enforce a certain ideal and demand that we make changes for a predetermined reason outside of our own motivators. As a result, we forget the real reasons behind “getting a six-pack” or achieving a certain number on a scale. Even for the fittest individuals who eat exceptionally well, these results are often impossible to achieve. True success in weight loss can therefore only be achieved when we look past airbrushed nonsense and instead look inwards.

While this means something different for everyone, there are some overarching principles, which may be beneficial in starting your internally-motivated weight loss journey. Here are a few of the factors, which many people who lose weight and keep it off have credited to their success:

Take time to define your goals as well as how to reach them, planning your goals in small increments can help increase your chances of achieving sustainable weight loss
  • Take some time to yourself. 

Before you even begin to purse weight loss, take some time to sit down and really think about why you want to lose weight. Define your goals, but be realistic with them. Your weight loss goals can also encompass more than a number. For example, “trying more healthy recipes” or “finding an exercise class I love” can also be encompassed by your weight loss journey.Once you’ve defined your goals, it’s okay to reach out to external sources for help. Yet, the initial goals and reasons must come from you.

Keeping your goals in mind with small reminders can help ensure your reach your goals, Sticky notes or alarms on your phone can keep you on track for sustainable weight loss
  • Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.

It’s easy to get distracted by day-to-day responsibilities and priorities, but this should now be one of your priorities. The decisions you make every day will enable you to meet your goals, so give yourself ample reminders of what it is that you’re pursuing. If you need to set an alarm on your phone to remind you to exercise, or you want to stick a note on your computer reminding you to eat more vegetables, then do it!

Remember, these types of goals don’t take “breaks.” Achievement is a result of the culmination of your everyday decisions. Set yourself up for the best odds of success by thinking ahead. This could include planning your meals out for the week in advance and only purchasing the ingredients needed for them when you’re grocery shopping. Or, perhaps you feel like it’s easier to stick to your healthy eating plan when you prepare your breakfasts and lunches for the week in advance. Determine which strategies work best to help you reach your goals, then stick with them.

Celebrate your small achievements with healthy rewards such as new workout clothing, Rewarding yourself with food can be dangerous for sustainable weight loss
  • Give yourself positive reinforcement.

Don’t wait for someone else to give you encouragement. People are often consumed with their own priorities – and that’s okay. Remember your reasons for why you started this – they are yours and yours alone.

Celebrate the small wins you achieve in your pursuit towards bigger milestones. Whether it’s eating a balanced breakfast, working out five days on a given week, or another small victory, recognize these achievements and give yourself praise. You might even want to incorporate healthy rewards along your journey, such as new workout clothing.

Being selfish during your weight loss journey is okay, Being your influence for exercise and nutrition will ultimately positively affect the people around you
  • Be selfish in your endeavor.

This is for you! You may have to sacrifice other things in your life to make time for healthy eating and exercise. Keep in mind that you must put yourself first in order to be a good friend, parent, employee, sibling, or any other role you may take on. Your success will ultimately have a positive effect on the people around you, but the process is all yours.

An occasional cheat meal can help maintain psychological balance, A simple cheat meal should not be the end of your weight loss journey
  • If you fall off a bit, get back on immediately.

Going into your journey, you should expect to have slip-ups. From special occasions to vacations, there may be moments where you indulge here and there. You can give yourself the freedom to enjoy these moments without guilt – as long as you know you’ll get right back into your healthy habits the next day. Research has actually shown that having the occasional “cheat meal” can satisfy appetite while maintaining psychological balance. Falling off every once in a while isn’t the problem, but staying off is. Just get back into it and focus your efforts on moving forward – it won’t do any good to look to the past and shame yourself for a mistake.

Enjoy the weight loss process, Sustainable weight loss is a lifelong endeavor
  • Enjoy the process and take it slow.

Weight loss is a journey, but weight management is a lifelong endeavor. Every meal, training session, and day full of healthy choices is a win. Enjoy these wins – you’ll have a lot of them during a lifetime of health and wellness!

Achieving lasting weight loss isn’t simple, but understanding the psychological influences behind weight gain and failed diets is an important first step towards success. Once you know why it is that you want to lose weight and find ways to combat the influencers that have held you back before, you’ll have the greatest tool available for becoming healthier – and you can’t find that in any fad diets.

Psychology of Weight Loss – In Conclusion


Sustainable long term weight loss is achieved through mental toughness and being able to enjoy the process, Following fad diets for instant gratification can detour you from your long term weight loss goals

Weight loss is one of the most commonly sought-after goals in our society. However, many fail because of stress, increased appetite through a release of ghrelin, and the outside influence of TV shows, movies, and people may have on our behavior.

Long term weight loss is achieved by making lasting, positive changes for yourself instead of others. It is arguably the most difficult thing humans in modern society can undertake. Once you understand the reason(s) you want to lose weight and find a way to combat your external influencers, you’ll have the greatest tool available for becoming healthier!

Next Steps to Long-Term Sustainable Weight Loss


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources on Weight Loss


This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN 

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation 

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Resources On How to Lose Weight 


Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) and Food Preparation Tips for Reducing Inflammation in Your Diet

The Dangers of Processed Foods

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss 

What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Bariatric Surgery Alternative

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

Aggressively restrictive diets can cause stress and fear to be developed intrinsically, Fad diets do not promote healthy weight loss as the anxiety caused by it can spur a stress eating cycle

Achieving Healthy Weight Loss: The Problem with Fad Diets

When someone sets out on a new fad diet such as an extreme low-carb diet or one with another aggressive restriction, many negative thoughts begin to manifest in the person’s mind.

Stress, apprehension, and even fear are often the guiding principles of these diets and the means by which they are enforced. These feelings are developed intrinsically – but, it’s important to note that they’re a response to an external demand. What can someone learn from an aggressive weight loss plan? Nothing but what is told to them or even demanded of them.

Don’t have this; you can’t have that; stay away from this food group – all of these negative phrases make it challenging to walk into a store, read a menu, or look into your refrigerator without feeling understandably overwhelmed.

These feelings of anxiety can spur the stress-eating cycle we discussed previously, which is just one of many problems with fad diets. Moreover, being so limited can make you more inclined to just give up and return to a pleasure-driven diet.

The Dangers of Fad Diets 

The demands of fad diets, which come from an external source, often overlook or are perhaps completely at odds with your intrinsic qualities. For instance, if you’re a person who enjoys eating meat and has for your entire life, how will a raw vegan diet suddenly become sustainable for you?

The same could also apply to exercise-based weight loss programs: if you’re someone who has always enjoyed cycling, how will weight training be a fitting choice for you?

Certainly, it’s possible that you could find you actually enjoy going vegan or incorporating weight training into your lifestyle. Yet, unless you’re exploring healthy options because of your own personal motivators, they’re unlikely to stick.

Lack of Long-Term Results

One of the pillars of a fad diet is its promise to deliver short-term results. Yet, in exchange for weight loss results, which can be noticed quickly, fad dieters are giving up any hope for long-term success.

Oftentimes, fad diets advise taking in far fewer calories than what’s considered safe or healthy. As a result, people are delighted as they watch the weight “fall off” – not realizing that what they’re losing is probably water and lean muscle mass instead of fat. 

Starving the body in this way is impractical over the long-termand when dieters return to their normal eating patterns, they tend to gain back all of the weight and perhaps even more. This makes lack of long-term success one of the dangers of fad diets.

Nutritional Gaps in Fad Diets

Many fad diets also encourage people to pick from the same, extremely selective food choices day after day. Limiting food choices and discouraging a balanced approach to nutrition is a flawed approach for a few reasons. For one, it can lead to boredom. Excluding an entire group could leave you with cravings or cause you to grow tired of the same choices. This may spur you to “cheat” on the diet and actually overeat to satisfy your craving.

For another, extremely restrictive eating plans may advise severe calorie restrictions or leave nutritional gaps in your diet. In some cases, these can have adverse health effects. Even if there aren’t any risk factors associated with your chosen fad diet, it’s unlikely to be sustainable over the long term.

What to Avoid in a Weight Loss Program

Because of the nutritional gaps in fad diets, from extremely restrictive eating plans, fad dieters tend to gain back all of the weight, and perhaps even more, when they return to their original diet. Fad dieters also run the risk of:

  • Promises to help you lose more than two pounds per week

  • Results that sound too good to be true; i.e, “eat whatever you want without exercising and still lose weight”

  • Advice from weight loss or nutrition “experts” who lack credentials

  • Conclusions that aren’t backed by clinical research

  • Severe restriction against eating a variety of healthy foods

  • Requirements of purchasing packaged meals or meal plans

Ultimately, the hazards of taking any diet to the extreme include slowing down your metabolism, increasing anxiety over food choices, and potentially even suffering from malnutrition or depleting energy levels due to a thyroid condition. Any short-term results you may witness simply aren’t worth risking your mental and physical wellbeing for – especially when there’s a better, more sustainable way to approach weight loss.

Fad Diets Are Not Good for Sustainable Weight Loss 

Fad diets are the first mistake many individuals make on their journey to long-term weight loss. Lured by the temptation of instant gratification, these fad diets promise to deliver short-term results. Oftentimes, fad diets take in far fewer calories than what is considered normal or healthy, giving up any hope for long-term success.

Fad Diets Don't Work in the Long Run

Any weight loss program, plan, or product with the following features is best avoided:

  • slowing down their metabolism

  • increasing anxiety over food choices

  • potentially suffering from malnutrition

  • suffering from depleted energy levels due to a thyroid condition

Short-term results are not worth the mental and physical turmoil. Contact Cenegenics to learn more about how our program can help you achieve your long-term weight loss goals!

Next Steps to Achieving Long-Term Weight Loss

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Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN 

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Majority of people attempting to lose weight turn to fad diets which are not sustainable for long term weight loss, Cenegenics helps patients understand “Why Am I Gaining Weight” and how to lose it

Why Am I Gaining Weight: Psychology of Weight Loss

Article at a Glance

  • Fad diets are often the first mistake encountered by individuals attempting to lose weight. Fad diets can cause major nutritional gaps and be extremely restrictive, which may cause individuals to gain all or more of the weight back upon stopping the diet.
  • Stress, increased cortisol levels, increased ghrelin, and outside influences can contribute to weight gain.
  • Outside influences from TV shows, movies, magazines or the people around you can affect your motivation for physical activity, eating patterns, goal orientation, and self-efficiency.

Losing weight is one of the most commonly sought-after goals in our society. Oftentimes, when we think of improving health, the first thing that comes to mind is weight loss. Research shows that roughly half of Americans are trying to lose weight, with the majority of this group employing dietary changes as a means of doing so [1].

Yet, when they are first confronted with the puzzle of how to lose weight, most people don’t step back and analyze their approach to eating as a whole. Instead, they explore which fad diets promise the best results – whether that’s the quickest weight loss or greatest number of pounds lost. This is the first mistakemany people make on their journey towards sustainable weight loss – and overall health.

A recent statistic shows that 98% of dieters gain at least some, all, or even more weight than they lost while dieting [2]. This has been a well-known trend for quite some time, and yet, more extreme diets continue to emerge and gain popularity. How can this be? What societal constructs have led us to believe that strict restriction and near happiness are the key criteria needed for success in health? Here, we dive into the reasons why people turn to fad diets, and how to not only avoid falling into this common trap, but also how to lose weight the right way and keep it off for good.

Why Am I Gaining Weight? Psychology of Weight Gain


According to research, there are a few key reasons why people gain weight. However, these reasons can vary significantly from one person to the next. In order for healthy, sustainable weight loss to take effect, one must first assess and understand the drivers that led to weight gain in the first place. Below are some of the most common factors why people gain weight.

Stress

Poor stress management can be the answer to “Why Am I Gaining Weight”, Cenegenics aids in stress management as one of the steps to lose weight

Stress is indeed a factor in gaining weight, but it is not the stress itself that causes weight gain; rather, it is how stress is managed. For most individuals, stress is a natural aspect of daily life. In fact, stress is normal and, to some degree, even healthy. It keeps us alert and helps us avoid danger. For an upcoming event such as an important work presentation, your body may elevate its heart rate through an increase in catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine).

This increase in heart rate increases blood distribution to your brain, thereby enabling you to become hyper-focused and perform the task at hand successfully. This only occurs successfully, however, if you’re able to control that stress and use it for its true purpose: to become productive and overcome obstacles. Problems begin to arise with prolonged, elevated stress and lack of control. This leads to a fluctuation in hormone levels – specifically, cortisol.

How Does Cortisol Relate to Appetite?

The body’s immediate response to stress is to produce adrenaline. On a short-term basis, adrenaline suppresses appetite. As the blood flows away from your internal organs and to your muscles to prepare for “fight or flight” mode, you begin to feel less hungry. Once that adrenaline subsides, however, it leaves cortisol in its wake. On an occasional basis, spikes in cortisol aren’t bad. Yet, chronic stress can lead to frequent, severe increases in cortisol, also known as “the stress hormone.”

Cortisol doesn’t wear off as quickly as adrenaline; instead, it lingers and signals the body to replenish its food supply. After all, in the wild, fighting off predators would require an immense expenditure of energy. Yet, modern humans that are exposed to consistent stress without control are aggressively conserving fuel – without having a real need to do so.

Cortisol is a catabolic hormone, which means “breakdown.” However, in addition to regulating metabolism, controlling blood sugar levels, and performing other key functions needed for survival, it can also increase fat storage over time. In other words, our neuroendocrine system is still designed to function as it did for our ancestors and does not take into consideration that most modern individuals lead sedentary lifestyles. Thus, cortisol will still prompt you to reach for extra food when you’re unable to control elevated stress, even though your body doesn’t need it.

Stress Induced “Pleasure” Food Cravings

Stress can trigger increased levels of ghrelin which increases your appetite and may be one of the reasons “Why I Am Gaining Weight”, stress eating can cause people to crave highly processed and unhealthy foods which can lead to weight gain

Another factor that plays a role in weight gain is pleasure. While consistent stress spikes cortisol levels, it can also increase appetite through a release of ghrelin. This hormone is released as the body anticipates a need for more fuel to prepare for the impending “danger.” To satisfy our appetite, we understandably reach for food. Yet, the problem lies in the fact that it is not healthy foods we seek. Instead, we crave the foods that provide immediate pleasure.

Foods that are easy to eat, highly processed, and high in sugar or unhealthy fats tend to quell appetites driven by stress-related factors. They release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that aids in controlling the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. The dopamine momentarily relieves our stress, almost allowing us to forget that it’s there. Yet, it isn’t long before the cravings come back – often even stronger than they were in the first place. This cycle sets the foundation for poor behaviors, which comprise the third reason behind weight gain.

Influence on Individual Behavior

External factors such as TV shows and movies can influence behaviors we implement to combat weight gain, Weight loss can be influenced by external factors such as life events and physical activity which is why Cenegenics focuses on these as one of the steps to losing weight

Behavior should be the first point of focus for anyone pursuing weight loss. Yet, behavior is influenced in so many ways that it often becomes dependent on external factors. From magazines to TV shows, movies and the people around us, there are a number of outside sources which influence our actions. The behaviors we implement to combat weight gain are often a product of someone or something else – the latest fad diet recommended by a coworker, an ad for a weight loss supplement, and so forth – but are rarely spurred by intrinsic motivators. This is a major reason why even individuals who do lose weight successfully tend to gain it back.

In an article published in Obesity Reviews, [3] numerous aspects of human personality were examined in relation to weight loss and failure to maintain weight loss. These components included:

  • Physical activity
  • Eating patterns
  • Weight loss goals
  • Life events and social support
  • Self-efficacy, among others

What most of these components have in common is that, when they are changed intrinsically, they yield better results. More often than not, if the decision to change came from an external source, quick results were achieved. However, once that external factor was no longer relevant, the weight was gained back rapidly. This sheds light on one of the chief components of weight loss and weight management which is also, quite frankly, the hardest one to master: self-accountability.

Thus, in order to enact lasting change, individuals must start by identifying their true purpose for pursuing their goals. Fad diets do not cater to these goals, but there are other shortcomings beyond that which we’ll discuss next.

Understanding Why People Gain Weight – In Conclusion


Losing weight is a highly sought after goal. With over 70% of the U.S. population being obese or overweight, it is not uncommon to stumble upon various websites that promise the best solution with minimal effort. However, fad diets and exercise programs is the first mistake many people make on their journey to sustainable weight loss.

Understanding the reasons behind your weight gain is where you should start. There are three common factors to why people gain weight: stress, pleasure eating induced by stress, and outside influences on individual behaviors. Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that tends to linger and trigger signals to the body to replenish its food supply.

Chronic stress can consistently spike cortisol levels, forcing us to crave “pleasure foods”: foods that are highly processed, and high in sugar or unhealthy fats. Lastly, outside influences such as TV shows, movies, or the people around us, tend to influence our individual behaviors including our amount of physical activity, our eating patterns, and our goals. This is why your next weight loss plan should be custom tailored to your specific needs and with your health in mind – Cenegenics will help you accomplish long-term, sustainable weight loss.

Next Steps to Lose Weight


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources on Weight Loss


This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN 

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation 

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Resources on Weight Management with Cenegenics


Cenegenics Elite Health Program: Why You Should Consider Age Management Your Next Investment

What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Bariatric Surgery Alternative

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

Weight Loss: Role of Exercise

Nutrition for Weight Loss

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Sources on Weight Loss


[1] Ducharme, Jamie. “About Half of Americans Say They’re Trying to Lose Weight.” 12 Jul. 2018. Retrieved from URL: http://time.com/5334532/weight-loss-americans/

[2] Elfhag, K., and S. Rossner. “Who Succeeds in Maintaining Weight Loss? A Conceptual Review of Factors Associated with Weight Loss Maintenance and Weight Regain.” Obesity Reviews, vol. 6, no. 1, 2005, pp. 67–85.

[3] Elfhag, K et al. See above.

Obese and overweight individuals have significantly higher risk factors of type 2 diabetes than the rest of the population, Weight and inactivity increase risk factors of type 2 diabetes and increases chance of stroke and cardiovascular disease, controlling weight is one of the main methods to manage type 2 diabetes

Recognizing Your Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes

Article at a Glance

  • Risk factors of type 2 diabetes include weight, inactivity, poor nutritional habits, poor lipid metabolism, genetic factors and age.
  • Exercise and nutrition are two of the main factors for controlling type 2 diabetes.
  • You can manage type 2 diabetes with your Cenegenics physician, and if you are prediabetic, Cenegenics can help reduce the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes through custom-tailored programs that help combat disease.

Previously, we discussed the factors that comprise metabolic syndrome and place individuals at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Nonetheless, conditions encompassed by metabolic syndrome are not the only factors which determine a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes. Frustratingly, some individuals seem inherently more inclined to develop the disease than others. While researchers still do not understand the precise interplay among risk factors, it is clear that certain criteria do increase risk.

Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes


 being overweight is an important risk factor of type 2 diabetes, a DXA scan can give a physician better insight into a patient’s risk factors of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, managing risk factors is important for controlling type 2 diabetes

Here are some of the factors to consider when analyzing your risk for developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Weight
  • Inactivity
  • Genetic factors
  • Poor eating habits
  • Poor lipid metabolism
  • Age

Weight

Being overweight is an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Specifically, the greater the amount of fatty tissue a person has, the more resistant their cells are to insulin. Moreover, fat distribution is also a telling indicator as patients whose body fat is concentrated in the abdomen face a greater risk than those who store it elsewhere, such as the hips. Visceral fat, or the deep abdominal fat surrounding your organs, also has an inflammatory impact on the body, increasing risk factors for heart disease, cancer, and potentiating other age-related risk factors.

One obstacle that has impeded physicians’ ability to determine weight-related risks is the fact that measuring fatty tissue and its distribution is not as simple as calculating BMI and, in fact, determining what is considered “overweight” might not be as simple as we once thought it was. Body mass index was historically the golden standard for determining healthy weight ranges by height. However, there are patients who do not meet BMI criteria for obesity but do have excess body fat. Conversely, some individuals may have a higher composition of muscle and are considered overweight for their height according to BMI. For this reason, using a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan is the best way to measure actual body fat and thereby give physicians insight into a patient’s risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. DXA scans are encompassed by the initial testing performed for all Cenegenics patients.   

Inactivity

Leading a sedentary lifestyle can be a precursor for type 2 diabetes. It is well-established that regular exercise contributes to reducing obesity and, in turn, diabetes. Sedentary activities such as watching TV for long periods of time are strongly associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, research confirms men who watch more than 40 hours of TV per week face a nearly threefold increase in risk compared to those who watch less than one hour [1]. Thus, while diet plays an important role in controlling risk factors, physical activity cannot be overlooked.

Genetic Factors

If a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes, you face a greater risk of developing the disease. However, the disease does not have a clear pattern of inheritance, and researchers suspect that while shared genetic factors may contribute, the increased risk is also a result of shared behaviors [2]. 

Poor Eating Habits

Perhaps one of the most obvious risk factors for type 2 diabetes is poor diet. Sugary drinks, processed carbohydrates, red and processed meats, and trans fats should all be avoided or consumed sparingly, and alcohol consumption should also be controlled.

Insufficient Lipid Metabolism

Your body’s ability to break down the storage of fatty acid molecules (lipids) for energy is referred to as lipid metabolism. Lipids can signal many cellular responses, and the more inflammatory fatty acids eaten, the more they shift the inflammatory balance and gene transcription. Poor lipid metabolism can lead to high cholesterol, contributing to an elevated risk for type 2 diabetes

Age

While the risk of type 2 diabetes increases with age, some researchers believe this is largely due to increased inactivity that comes with aging. Lost muscle mass and weight gain can increase diabetes risk [3].

In the final section, we will discuss some of the ways Cenegenics helps you address these risk factors, as well as how our clinicians help type 2 diabetes patients regain control over their disease to enjoy an improved quality of life.

Preventing and Controlling Type 2 Diabetes 


Exercise not only facilitates weight loss but also helps improve insulin sensitivity, Exercise and nutrition can help facilitate a healthy insulin response and are important to help manage type 2 diabetes, Exercise can often be an important factor for controlling type 2 diabetes

While examining diabetes risk factors can be overwhelming for adults in their middle ages and beyond, it is important to remember that, again, type 2 diabetes is often preventable – even for patients who have been diagnosed with prediabetes. With proven approaches backed by science, Cenegenics clinicians promptly establish an all-encompassing exercise and nutrition plan. The first priority is not necessarily to facilitate weight loss, but instead to improve the all-important measure of insulin sensitivity.

To decrease high levels of insulin caused by insulin resistance, Cenegenics physicians will develop a tailored nutrition program with an emphasis on whole food sources. Vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, and other lean sources of protein are some examples of foods that can facilitate a healthy insulin response.

The clinical team will also compose an exercise program based on your current physical fitness levels. High-intensity interval training is considered most effective for losing and controlling weight as it requires a minimal time investment yet pushes the body to burn calories, boost metabolism, and improve heart health. With that said, patients who have been sedentary for long periods of time may be eased into exercise with appropriately challenging routines.

Following the initial assessment and plan development, Cenegenics collects lab values from blood draws at specific intervals to closely monitor insulin resistance and ensure improvement is being made. Once high levels of insulin are brought under control, then the body can improve the utilization of fuel sources during exercise, allowing weight loss to occur more appropriately.

Those with type 2 diabetes or near diagnosis can also benefit from the proactive and attentive care provided by Cenegenics clinicians. By processing lab work and regularly observing patients’ biomarkers, our clinical team is able to dynamically adjust the approach needed to facilitate the best possible outcome to control diabetes or drastically reduce your risk.

Research shows lifestyle changes are enough to reduce the risk of progressing from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes by more than 58% [4]. Yet, while most individuals know that avoiding or controlling diabetes demands a reassessment of certain lifestyle factors, they are often left unsure of the best place to start. Cenegenics provides a 100% personalized, physician-developed program with the ultimate objective of minimizing disease risk. It is based on proven principles and gives you a detailed roadmap for addressing age-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Thus, no matter where you currently stand in relation to diabetes risk, Cenegenics can help you lead your healthiest possible life.

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes – In Conclusion


Nearly 10% of the population suffers from diabetes, a growing epidemic in the United States. Type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed later in life and is most common for those who are obese or overweight.

Cenegenics custom-tailored programs help combat diabetes and are especially useful in reversing prediabetes. Cenegenics clinicians establish an all-encompassing exercise and nutrition plan to facilitate weight loss, but more importantly to improve insulin sensitivity. Cenegenics physicians help patients make important lifestyle changes to help reduce their risk of progressing from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.

Next Steps to Reduce Your Risk and Manage Type 2 Diabetes 


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources for Understanding Type 2 Diabetes 


This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Education Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Information about Cenegenics and Treating Type 2 Diabetes 


What is Cenegenics?

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

The Dangers of Processed Foods

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss

Weight Loss: Role of Exercise

Sources on Type 2 Diabetes 


[1] Hu, FB. Sedentary lifestyle and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Feb. 2003. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12733740

[2] “Type 2 Diabetes.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. Nov. 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/type-2-diabetes#inheritance

[3] “Type 2 diabetes.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193

[4] MacGill, Markus. “What’s to know about insulin resistance?” Medical News Today. 17 Feb. 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305567.php

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

How is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?

What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Next Steps to Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Nearly 10% of the population is afflicted with diabetes making it among the most common diseases in the U.S. While type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in children, type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed later in life. It is more common among overweight or obese populations, as well as individuals over the age of 45. The illness is chronic meaning that while it can be controlled through medication and lifestyle, it cannot be cured. Although many people do indeed continue to lead fulfilling, active lives following a diagnosis, disease management is indeed essential as diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S [1]. The serious nature of the disease, combined with its overwhelming prevalence, has led it to become a critical focus for physicians, especially age management specialists.

While addressing the type 2 diabetes epidemic may seem like a monumental feat given the above statistics, there is in fact some good news. People almost always have prediabetes before developing type 2 diabetes, and while more than 84 million American adults (or roughly one in three) have prediabetes, the condition can be reversed [2]. Moreover, for individuals who already have received a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, the medical advancements and resources available today have made disease management more effective than ever.

As the nation’s leader in age management medicine, Cenegenics is committed to helping adults lower their disease risk and achieve optimal health. Here, our clinicians provide an in-depth look into this common disease including how thorough and accurate health care can help you lower risk or manage your condition more effectively. We will begin with a brief overview of type 2 diabetes to help you develop an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms behind the disease.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes goes beyond just understanding blood sugar levels, Insulin resistance and glucose play a large role in type 2 diabetes

Despite its commonality, few people understand the specific characteristics of type 2 diabetes, including its causative agents. While most people understand that the condition involves blood sugar, there is a more complex interplay among food sources and the body’s functions than you may realize. Learning about the roles of insulin, glucose, and the pancreas can help you better understand what truly causes type 2 diabetes to develop.

What is Glucose? 

Glucose is a sugar which serves as an energy source for cells that make up the muscles and other types of tissues. It is produced by the liver and is also found in the food we eat and is absorbed into the bloodstream with the assistance of insulin. When glucose levels dip too low, the liver will transform stored glycogen into glucose to keep the levels within normal range. However, in people with type 2 diabetes, this process does not work as it should because the cells have developed a resistance to insulin.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a key player in both diabetes and metabolic syndrome (we will cover more on that condition later). It is a hormone, which is produced by the pancreas, and it is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose within your bloodstream. As your blood sugar level drops, this naturally causes the level of insulin secreted from the pancreas to drop as well.

Problems begin to arise when cells become insulin resistant. While the precise cause for insulin resistance remains unknown, it is suspected that genetics and environmental factors, including being overweight, are contributing factors. Insulin resistance prevents cells from being able to use insulin effectively, leaving blood sugar levels higher than they should be. As a result, the pancreas produces more insulin to reduce blood sugar. This can ultimately leave the pancreas depleted of insulin-producing cells, which is a trend commonly observed in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic Syndrome 

Oftentimes, you will hear diabetes discussed in conjunction with metabolic syndrome. While the two are linked, they are not the same. Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions, such as high blood pressure and abdominal obesity, which places an individual at higher risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. On their own, conditions such as high blood pressure are serious, but when experienced in combination with the other factors that make up metabolic syndrome, they increase disease risk even more.

It is estimated that nearly a quarter of all Americans have metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by three or more of the following metrics:

  • Systolic blood pressure of 130 mm HG or greater, or diastolic blood pressure of 85 mm HG or greater
  • HDL cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women
  • Triglyceride level of 150 mg/ dL of blood or greater
  • Waist circumference of greater than 40 inches for men, or 35 inches for women
  • Fasting blood sugar of 100 mg/dL or greater [3]

To put it into perspective, a fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 mg/dL is considered prediabetes, which is one reason why individuals with this indicator of metabolic syndrome are also at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

How is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed? 

The A1C blood test is the best-known method for testing diabetic risk factors

The National Institutes of Health recommends all individuals age 45 or older, as well as younger adults who are overweight, obese, or have other diabetes risk factors, be tested for type 2 diabetes on a routine basis, such as every year. While the A1C blood test is perhaps the best-known method for testing, it only measures average levels of blood sugar over the last three months. An emerging test is the HOMA2-IR test, which measures the actual levels of insulin resistance and is also used to identify metabolic syndrome. In studies, the test has been found to be a more effective predictor of diabetes and can actually evaluate functionality of cells in the pancreas [4]. All Cenegenics patients’ lab work includes this measurement. While it is not the only basis on which a prediabetes or type 2 diabetes diagnosis is made, it is valuable when included into a number of diagnostics reviewed by our clinicians.

What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes? 

Type 2 diabetes develops gradually. In the disease’s early stages, symptoms can be mild and difficult to recognize, which may partially account for the prevalence of undiagnosed cases; in 2015, an estimated 7.2 million people were found to have the disease but had gone undiagnosed [5]. Nonetheless, some patients do experience the following symptoms:

  • Frequent Urination: Excess glucose spurs the kidneys to flush it out of the blood resulting in more urine production and the need to urinate more often. This also doubles the risk of urinary tract infections in people with type 2 diabetes [6].
  • Increased Thirst: With increased urination, you will also begin to feel dehydrated. Dry mouth and intense feelings of thirst could be signs of type 2 diabetes.
  • Feeling Very Hungry: Insulin resistance causes the body to create more insulin which sends signals to the brain that you are hungry.
  • Exhaustion: When the cells are starved of sugar, you may find yourself experiencing fatigue.
  • Delayed Healing of Sores: Type 2 diabetes impedes your body’s ability to heal and fight off infections so, in addition to delayed healing, patients may experience frequent infections.
  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Without the ability to provide enough glucose for your cells, you may begin to lose weight. This can also result from lost water weight caused by frequent urination.
  • Blurred Vision: Rapid changes in blood sugar are associated with blurred vision, but once the disease is controlled, this symptom (as with many others on this list) should go away.

While there may be additional side effects in either the early phases of disease development or after it has been diagnosed, this list represents some of the most common initial indicators.

Recognizing Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – In Conclusion

Type 2 diabetes develops gradually and the symptoms are often hard to recognize. In 2015, an estimated 7.2 million people with diabetes had gone undiagnosed. But it still remains the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

People almost always present as prediabetic before progressing to type 2 diabetes; a surprising statistic considering that prediabetes is reversible. Cenegenics is committed to helping adults lower their risk of disease and achieve optimal health. Our physicians provide an in-depth look into this common disease, recognizing that symptoms such as frequent urination, increased thirst, delayed healing of sore, unexplained weight loss and blurred vision are not simply symptoms of aging.

Next Steps to Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources on Type 2 Diabetes 

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Available for purchase here

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Education Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Additional Information about Cenegenics and Treating Type 2 Diabetes

What is Cenegenics?

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

The Dangers of Processed Foods

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Nutrition for Weight Loss

Weight Loss: Role of Exercise

Sources on Type 2 Diabetes 

[1] Statistics About Diabetes. American Diabetes Association. 22 March 2018. Retrieved from URL: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/

[2] “Did you know type 2 diabetes can be prevented?” CDC. Retrieved from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/takethetest/

[3] Statistics About Diabetes. American Diabetes Association. 22 March 2018. Retrieved from URL: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/

[4] “Did you know type 2 diabetes can be prevented?” CDC. Retrieved from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/takethetest/

[5] Statistics About Diabetes, see above.

[6] Masters, Maria. “7 Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes.” Everyday Health. Retrieved from URL: https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/symptoms/warning-signs-of-type-2-diabetes/#increased-thirst-or-a-dry-mouth-may-signal-diabetes

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