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In today’s society, more and more people are aware of health issues that they have and what needs to be done to control those issues. Although some conditions need a pharmaceutical solution, it’s not always necessary. And often, if the pharmaceutical route can be avoided, it’s best to avoid it. Few medications come without side effects. Additionally, becoming tolerant to a medication that might be necessary later is not ideal.

This has resulted in an increase in non-pharma treatments that can provide people with a helping hand. Many people, for example, have issues of concentration and focus. Although this is on the ADHD spectrum, they might rightly be uncomfortable with stimulants. So instead of going the pharmaceutical route, they might benefit from supplements such as iron or Omega-3.

Similarly, people with depression may find anti-depressants unpleasant. Many find that St John’s Wort or tryptophan work better for them. People with digestive issues may find that they benefit more from herbal teas and supplements than from harsh antacids. All of this has created a strong, competitive market in herbal supplements. Which is certainly a boon on one front, but is it all for the best?

Are Regulations Allowing Dishonesty?

In a majority of cases, pharmaceutical drugs will not come to market until they have been tested extensively. Although some exceptions have slipped through the net, existing regulations catch a lot more. Where the issue seems to be arising for some is in the dietary supplement and health food market. Because these aren’t medicines in the strictest sense, they aren’t regulated in the same way.

That approach is hard to argue with, from a regulatory point of view. Of course, pharma-grade medications need to be seen with a firmer gaze. Doctors will be prescribing them, and there is also a natural extra level of trust that is given to them. There is, then, a gap between what we call medicine and what we use for the good of our health. If this gap is exploited in the wrong way, it can be bad for us.

For the avoidance of doubt, the FDA treats supplements as being in the “food” category of its food and drug purview. This means that supplements pass as “safe” unless they are proven otherwise. However, the FDA will challenge companies that make false claims for their produces.

This is the case for health food and for supplements. The recent Hampton Creek news story is one example of where the FDA has requested that a company change its naming approach. This is a relatively benign example and illustrates how the FDA offers guidance to companies. However, companies that make inaccurate claims for their products will face sterner challenges.

What Does This Mean For Supplement Providers?

Companies who make supplements with purported health benefits do not, strictly speaking, need FDA approval to do so. However, there is an issue of credibility involved in the sale of health foods. Without FDA approval, it is more difficult to widely sell a product with claims for health benefits. Health food stores and companies with a wide reach are naturally going to favor products with this credibility.

In order to gain approval, a provider will need to demonstrate the claims they make are accurate. It may sound impressive to claim that a product gives improved muscle mass in just a week. But if this claim is not provable, the company will not get FDA clearance to say it on the label. Without that clearance, the product is automatically less attractive in the marketplace.

For any company looking to sell foods or supplements with a range of health benefits, then, the choice is clear. You can shoot for the moon with bold claims about what the product will do. This will not be cleared by the FDA and will render your product more of a novelty item. Or you can research the benefits of your product and see what it really can do, and benefit from the regulator’s approval.

How Is That Working Out?

In truth, with the limits that exist on the FDA’s power in the food and supplement market, there is only so much it can do. Without the power to ban companies from making claims, or to take products off the shelves, it has less sway than may be ideal. It doesn’t take much time online to find companies selling treatments with outlandish claims. These can range from boasts about reversing the ageing process to boosting sexual prowess.

The FDA is not in a place to prevent these products from being sold nor to restrict the claims being made. What it does have power to do is withhold regulatory approval. This is why such products end up being advertised online in ways which most potential customers will distrust. People will still end up purchasing them, but in much reduced numbers than if they were widely stocked in stores.

For some people, this will naturally be viewed as disappointing. The truth of the matter is that in a free market, regulators will be limited in their scope. Giving them the power to take products off shelves or to dictate what someone can print on a label is difficult. Many people would see it as a restraint of free trade. So is it better that at least the FDA can have some sort of power to dictate credibility?

In the long run, the supplements that we come to trust are the ones which have been widely used and found credible. While some products will continue to be sold on the grounds of unsupported claims, their reach in the market is at least limited.

And what does all this mean for the consumer? Put simply, the decision is yours when it comes to choosing a supplement based on the claims of its manufacturers. We can choose to see for ourselves whether a product does what it says on the bottle. But when there is an option that has already been tested, why risk wasting time and money on something that may be a simple con?

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Inventor of a liposuction technique, Dr. Dario Bazzano shares tips on cosmetic surgery

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According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the percentage of cosmetic surgery performed in the United States between the years of 2000 and 2018 remained relatively constant. These include surgeries like breast augmentation and liposuction. On the other hand, less invasive procedures such as botox and chemical peels have increased 228 percent in this same period.

In face of such data, it seems that Americans are preferring an approach more orientated to aesthetic medicine, that is, techniques that are less invasive and therefore risky. But there’s good news: Dr. Dario Bazzano, an aesthetic surgeon with 17 years of experience and more than 4,000 operations performed, has invented and patented a technique of liposuction called “biolipospectrum.”

Less invasive and more efficient than the options more commonly available in the market, “biolipospectrum” allows the skin to contract more, reduces or eliminates bleeding (thus allowing a great percentage of fat to be eliminated) and offers a much quicker postoperative recovery time. In fact, the surgery takes only about two hours and is not very painful or invasive. According to Dr. Bazzano, patients could have the surgery on a Friday, for example, and Monday or at the latest Tuesday, they could be going back to work yet.

However, as experienced and serious as Dr. Bazzano is, there are other challenges he faces at work than the complexity of surgeries. The surgeon says that oftentimes, girls show up with retouched photos of themselves or even pictures of celebrities. Sometimes, says the doctor, the requests are even excessive and may indicate a distorted view of the patient over their own body. “In that case, professional seriousness demands refuse to perform the intervention,” he adds.

The most popular requests in the clinic include breast augmentations (reconstruction of the breast through a prosthesis) and liposculpture or lipofilling and abdominoplasty. “In short, everything related to the correction of body shapes,” adds Dr. Bazzano. After these two types of operations, there is also a lot of interest in blepharoplasty, which is the reconstruction of the inner part of the thighs.

But since these procedures involve surgery and relatively invasive techniques, what is the best way to choose the professional? Dr. Bazzano says that people can check publications and also take a look at photos of previous interventions performed by a professional, but beware of retouched photos. “They look better than the ‘raw’ photos, but these are nevertheless capable of showing the reality of the facts, as opposed to photos that are pleasing to the eye, but decidedly artificial,” advises the surgeon. Finally, Dr. Bazzano says that it is important that the patient trusts the doctor and that there is empathy between them, which means cosmetic procedures are not just about technique, but also about human relationships.

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Benefits in the measurement of strength and speed exercises

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Preparing and actual work are vital in day to day existence, regardless of whether for expert or novice competitors. For a right observing of how we are improving and arriving at various levels, there is the chance of estimating the speed and strength that we are acting in every daily schedule. Choices like Vitruve permit us to quantify the preparation, and today we will discuss the advantages that this implies for charting and playing out our schedules.

What is Vitruve?

The Vitruve training enconder is a device that unites the latest in estimation innovation with precision in terms of monitoring information about the space traveled and the movement time of an external load. By merging it with our activity program, it allows us to explicitly know how we are progressing based on the factors of strength, mechanical work, endurance or speed.

With the assistance of Vitruve, information and a fitness coach, we can additionally alter our active work schedules to benefit from them. Yet, taking these estimations additionally brings us different advantages when we train.

How linear encoders work?

Linear encoders are dynamometers that are used within the sports context to carry out direct and continuous measurements of the space traveled by an external load (bars, weights, dumbbells… among others), taking into account the time during which it occurs said displacement. Through a series of calculations, the device will provide you with a series of variables that will allow you to measure the performance of your exercise session, thus helping to evaluate the changes in strength that you may experience as your training progresses.

The results provided by linear encoders are characterized by very low errors, making these devices extremely useful tools for the most dedicated powerlifters. It must be taken into account, however, that the error that we can find in the results is derived from the inclination when lifting the free weights. In the event that we deviate the trajectory of the weight by 5 degrees, for example, the results would suffer an error of 0.38%.

These devices are an ideal investment for all those who seek to make the most accurate measurements possible on the evolution of their physical condition when undergoing training. The truth is that the degree of precision and guarantees provided by the numerous scientific studies that validate the results of linear encoders more than justify the purchase.

Vitruve encoder: affordable model with endless benefits

Despite the many advantages of using a linear encoder for physical exercise, it is true that some drawbacks can be mentioned at the same time that make us reconsider this purchase. These disadvantages disappear when we take into consideration the Vitruve brand of encoder, designed to solve some of the main problems that these products usually have.

First of all, we have to mention that the use of a normal linear encoder requires a laptop computer. However, the Vitruve encoder manages to work completely independently, making its use much more accessible by not forcing us to carry a laptop with us wherever we want to perform our training. 

In return, the Vitruve device shows the calculated results through a display, information that can be complemented with what we get from synchronizing the encoder with our Android or iOS phone through the Vitruve app. In case it bothers you to rely on a mobile device, you should know that the data you have access to thanks to Vitruve’s display includes the calculations of average propulsive speed, maximum speed, repetition number and encoder battery.

Another concern that may arise before deciding to purchase this encoder is the minimum sensing distance. When we do a weight lifting exercise, it is possible that the encoder does not detect the effort made by not exceeding the minimum distance required for the device to detect a repetition. This is not a problem for the Vitruve encoder, as it includes an option to modify the centimeters you want it to detect in a repetition.

Thanks to the use of the Vitruve encoder you can experience a number of benefits, including an increase of up to 20% of the 1RM (maximum weight that can be lifted in a single repetition), reduced risk of injury by using the optimal load, increased explosiveness and reduction of up to 60% of the recovery time, among others.

Undoubtedly, Vitruve offers athletes a very valuable tool with which to get the most out of their strength training, obtaining very detailed information about their performance that will allow them to progress at a faster rate. If you also want to take advantage of all that the Vitruve encoder has to offer, don’t think twice. Taking into account all these advantages together with the fact that, compared to the rest of the competition, the price of the Vitruve encoder is much more affordable, the purchase decision becomes much more obvious.

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Mitigating The Effects Of Harmful Health Issues

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Self-care is very often seen as a proactive process, that is, in order to succeed in it, you need to perfect each day, to work out hard, to get perfect sleep, and to eat properly. Sure, you might not be able to live up to perfection in this way, but it is good to use that as a proper rule of thumb going forward.

That said, sometimes, we’re not in the right stage of our lives to just think that’s all we need. After all, if you’re managing a health condition, a habit that has harmed your health, or you’re suffering from the effects of health mismanagement over the years, it can be tough to return to that baseline and know how to go on from there.

Any self-care advice, then, is incomplete unless it properly understands this and leverages guidance to people just looking to improve, no matter what relative point they may currently occupy. Thankfully, there are ways to get the most out of this, and in this post, we hope to discuss how to mitigate the effects of harmful health issues so you can return to an appropriate normal:

Identify That Which Is Holding You Back

It’s good to figure out exactly what it is that’s holding you back, in its full scope. After all, we cannot make progress if we’re fooling ourselves, or haven’t fully understood the issue. For some people, this might mean collecting the courage to attend a medical checkup. After all, for some people, this can be a worrying process.

This is especially true as we get older, and the necessity for more regular medical checkups are required. Men in their 40s are usually known for being quite flimsy about having issues seen to, fearful of prospective health issues and what that might mean for their overall sense of robustness and wellbeing. That’s a generalization, however, as it’s true that anyone can experience health anxiety and want to delay facing that kind of clinical inspection to the degree that they can.

That said – it’s best to view this in its full scope. You might find that your drinking habits have gone unchecked for a small while, and you need to actually record how much you’re consuming and spending to understand how deep the problem lies. With the help of trusted relatives, friends and objectively noting that which is troubling us, we can come to a better understanding.

Ask For Help If Necessary

We can often think that harmful health issues must be dealt with in stern silence, but that’s not true at all. If you ask for it, help is out there. From relief programs to the simple guidance of a friend willing to take you to your checkups or meetings, you’d be surprised how many people can and will pull together to help you through a tough spot if needed. Asking them to do so can be the first step, be that attending drug rehab or physiotherapy sessions.

Find A Step-By-Step Recuperative Program

Finding a step-by-step recuperative program you can use to gain potential and increment your progress can be worthwhile in helping you avoid trying to do this all on your own. For instance, a weekly meeting with a therapist can be key towards managing old behaviors and building the new in its place.

Managing Quality of Life

It might not be that you can live the life you had before, but that’s not to say you should feel totally disconnected from the quality of life you deserve to lead. Through appropriate exercise, leveraging the support you’re entitled to, keeping optimistic, and engaging fully with a course of treatment or lifestyle guidance, as well as using the internet or support groups to discuss with people who actually understand, this process can be much more manageable, no matter your condition.

Believe In Better

Ultimately, your attitude will determine how well you make it through this process and reclaim your own potential. Sure, you should never be blamed for suffering an optimism hit once experiencing a real-life malady, such as becoming newly disabled with a condition, but it’s important to recognize that life is not over.

Believing in better and making do with the best of what you have, though it’s easy for us to type and harder for you to live, can be a great way of finding your renewed joy and lightening your spirit so that your condition becomes part of your life, not the defining factor of it. You would be amazed at how this intent can leverage results.

With this advice, we hope you can mitigate the effects of harmful health issues, using a range of practical steps, social aid, and motivational willingness. You’ve got this.

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