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News Archive for ‘Health’

L-Dopa and 5-HTP

Over the years I've tested a bunch of supplements on my quest for a healthier goddamn body. Even though I've treated myself like crap, It's kinda like squirting a water bottle on a raging forest fire. It doesn't do much, but I keep trying anyway. 

After A LOT of research I finally found something that actually kicks in just as strong as caffeine. It's called L-Dopa. What this does is it converts to dopamine in your body, this is what gives you energy, motivation, confidence, focus and overall happiness. 

It worked so well in fact, it almost felt like a miracle. I actually felt like going for a run and exercise which is unlike me, I like weight lifting but generally don't bother with running. However the surge of energy felt like I just needed to run and injest, digest the world. Unfortunately it needs to be taken on an empty stomach because protein competes for absorption, which can give you a little stomach ache. However you can still take it with a light amount of food if you don't mind a diminished effect. 

It works like this in your body when you eat food. 

Food > Tyrosine > L-Dopa > Dopamine > Norepinephrine > Adrenaline

Food > 5-HTP > Tryptophan > Serotonin 

Your body is an amazing chemistry set, it converts each chemical compound into the next one in this order generally using liver enzymes for some of them but the later ones use Hydrolysis in the brain. What we want is dopamine. Norepinephrine is what your body uses when you exercise, it's released to increase, heart rate, speed up oxygen delivery, speed up the production of glucose into energy (Or ketone bodies if on a keto diet) the body uses this to stimulate you ready for action. It can also be converted to adrenaline for when you are in danger, generally you don't get too much adrenaline because we don't use it as often as we did in our previous evolution cycle.

Now by cutting out the bodys need to convert food to Tyrosine and then L-dopa, we speed up the process and basically give ourselves a boost of energy. Not only that, but as someone like myself that was found to have A.D.D, they found Dopa Mucuna to be a promising replacement for stimulant medication like Amphetamines. 

What is Dopa Mucuna? Well it's a plant where L-Dopa is found naturally inside it. This is very rare for a food to contain this substance. In India it has been used for hundreds of years as a natural energy and libido boost. In early cultures people were known to chew the leaves just like they did with Coco Leaves (Cocaine) before humans managed to refine it into something more deadly of course. 

There unfortunately is some downsides. Like with everything when you start to increase dopamine the body will respond by increasing tolerance. If you do it too long and too much, the body can shut down dopamine receptors. This can take a while for them to come back. (Hence drug withdrawal depression) If you increase it even more than that, you enter neurotoxicity which is seen in things like Methamphetamine. Dopamine is like water on a car, its fine to wash it in, but if you leave water on it for weeks it starts to rust. In the brain dopamine becomes neurotoxic if theres too much at once, and dopamine receptors can shut down. As in the case of Parkinson's Disease. 

Sounds scary, but if you cycle on and off and keep a low dose, you will reap the benefits without the dangers and do not combine it with stimulant medication as this is dangerous for the brain. 

The other downside is it increases anxiety, so if you are prone to it like I am, you may feel wired or jittery like caffeine. I fixed this by adding the 5-HTP supplement which converts to serotonin. The brain works like an equalizer on a music board. If you drag one bar up, it affects the rest. Serotonin and Dopamine like to remain in balanced harmony. Too much dopamine and not enough serotonin is like nitro in a car without breaks. You will get anxiety, paranoia, shaky, jittery. If you have too much serotonin and not enough dopamine, you will get tired, bored, lazy, sleepy, drowsy and unmotivated. So your body balances them out. 

By increasing both at once, I was able to fully quit my anti-depressants (Which work by trapping serotonin in the brain) the reason the supplement is better is it has a short half life. The half life is how quickly it takes your body to eliminate half of the drug from your system, when half is gone you do not feel the main effects anymore, for example you won't feel drunk. However the rest will still affect periphery response like increased heart rate etc. The reason this is better is that I don't feel drowsy and sluggish all day, I can just take it to help sleep or to lower anxiety. 

Overall, if you are looking for a boost. I highly recommend these two supplements, just don't overdo it as they will lose there effects very quickly. 

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Try Not to Burn Yourself Out

When you're working long hours at the computer like I do, it's very easy to burn yourself out. I do it very often by accident. You get to that point where every task seems like a huge burden, where my programming starts to look like hieroglyphics. You need to take breaks often without getting too distracted which is easier said than done.

Sometimes I go the other direction, I take a break and go on Facebook and next minute I've been there for almost 2 hours and wasted too much time. You need some sort of designated break that allows you to refresh but also not distract you for too long. I personally use the game Counter-Strike to destress and shoot some people. The good thing is one game lasts around 45mins, so once the games over I get back to work. 

Caffiene seems like a good choice at first but beware it's a double edged sword. I found it works at the end when you want to cram in last minute changes but it's not so good when used everyday because it leads to longer fatigue I've found. You also can get quite jittery. 

Remember to pace yourself, don't feel stressed that you have to finish all your computer work at once. Sometimes it becomes counter-productive to force yourself to keep going and you will start to make mistakes.

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Alternative Medicine Can Be Dangerous

A big reason I'm very against Alternative Medicine, is because it was all used on me as a kid, I was a guinea pig to it all and suffered because of it.

When I was between 5-12 years old. My eczema and Asthma was very severe. I would scratch myself to sleep most nights, and wake up to blood all over the sheets or not being able to breathe.

My mum however had fallen for all the alternative medicine health information. What followed for the next 7 years was everything you can think of besides actual medicine.

Cod liver oil, oatmeal baths, fish oil tablets, 3 hour boring homeopathic appointments and drops, zinc vitamins, supplements, essential oils, seaweed tablets, chamomile, different diets, limited sweets, mum arguing with doctors, hands in gloves, crystals in room, psychic readings, every single healthy cream out there, herbs, spices, naturopathy and more.

It got so bad sometimes, every part of my skin hurt to move, i was cracked and bleeding everywhere, a few times I was sent to hospital (luckily). Then I was given proper steriod creams, moisterisers and wrapped up in banadages like a mummy and within one week I had nice clear skin. Feeling the proper relief I'd always wanted. Playing N64 as a kid was my biggest relief and escape from my eczema. It kept my hands busy and in hospital they used to wheel over the t.v and console.

When I was teenager I was old enough to get the creams myself and start taking care of it properly. As a kid I didn't know better. I was still very bitter about what I was put through however, needless suffering due to bad information.

I resented my mum for a while, but I came to realise she wasn't all to blame, but the people that took advantage of her lack of education on the subject. People that knew better and took her money to pedal complete crap that led to a kid suffering for no reason.

This is why I believe alternative medicine can be dangerous. Kids can suffer and in some rare cases on the news even die, due to how extreme the people believe in these things. So it makes me quite angry anytime I see it be advertised and make so much money and will probably always be pretty vocal about it due to my childhood.

However don't get me wrong. Eating healthy, exercise, hydration and certain vitamins and natural creams can help eczema a lot. I do a combination of these things. This is NOT alternative medicine, it is normal looking after yourself that is recommended by all doctors.

In fact of what my mum tried 95% was bullshit, but there was 5% that was good which I found out myself as a teenager with proper research. For example Omega-3 in fish, very important for the skin to repair and stay hydrated.

The problem is alternative medicine starts off with facts that a real, but then distort the truth into the crazy to get you to buy there products and ignore real medicine.

I use a combination of steroid creams when bad and when under control I avoid allergies and triggers to keep it down keeping the steroid creams to as little as possible. They are safe when used properly, just not long term. My skins the best it's ever been at this point I'm happy to announce, I'll still get itchy and the occasional rashes but it's nothing like it used to be which I'm happy to say.

In summary, remember its important to eat healthy AND take the appropriate medicine. Do your research on anything sold to you, to find out if it works, if it has backed research, and look into everything as much as possible using trusted sources.

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Muscles for Posture at the Computer

Long hours at the computer can take it's toll on our posture muscles. I found over the years I developed a hunch and had to slowly correct it. One of the best ways is working out either at the gym or in your own home. All muscles groups are best to hit, but ones you want to focus on at the start if you're a computer user like me is the core muscles and the back. I started getting shoulder pain a lot, and the way I fixed this was back exercises. 

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row - This exercise has been one of the best. It strengthens your back while stretching out your arms and shoulder at the same time. It helps pull your shoulders back when at the computer to prevent that hunch. Get a dumbell and 

Planks - Get on the ground and you just want to hold yourself up in a held pushup position. This will strengthen your abs and core muscles that hold you up, this is important with the long hours at the computer as these muscles hold you up and stop you slouching.

Push Ups
- Not only does this help the chest and triceps but will help build your core as well and a little of your back

Sit Ups
-This will hit your abs, you also want to add a twist to hit the obliques on the sides.

Squats and Deadifts
- This hits your legs well which you need to do when spending many hours without using your legs I find they become stiff and sore.

Remember to take care of yourself as well, the training will help but you also need to try sit up as well.

Leave a comment Posted in Health by Eggy on