Muscle Growth and Hypertrophy

Muscle Growth and Hypertrophy

Muscle Growth and Hypertrophy

Muscle growth and hypertrophy are essential when you want to stay fit. Everyone has muscles, but many want them to be a bit bigger. Did you know there are over 600 muscles in your body? Muscles are responsible for actions like movement, digestion, circulation, and respiration. There are different muscles for each job in the body. 

Injuries, diseases, and various disorders affect the way your muscles function. These issues can be muscle pain spasms or more severe like paralysis and cardiomyopathy. 

Living a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition and adequate exercise prevents early deterioration of muscle and function and improves endurance, size, and strength.

Muscles

Muscles’ function is to contract and relax. It doesn’t matter if that muscle is voluntary or involuntary. It is going to contract in one-way shape or another. 

The somatic nervous system is responsible for the voluntary movement of skeletal muscle, while the autonomic nervous system is responsible for involuntary action like that of smooth muscle [1].

3 Different Types of Muscle Tissue

There are three different types of muscle tissues. Each type of muscle also functions differently within different areas of the body. These are: 

  • Skeletal: As part of the musculoskeletal system, these muscles work with your bones, tendons, and ligaments. Tendons attach skeletal muscles to bones all over your body. Together, they support the weight of your body and help you move. You control these voluntary muscles. Some muscle fibers contract quickly and use short bursts of energy (fast-twitch muscles). Others move slowly, such as your back muscles that help with posture.
  • Cardiac: These muscles line the heart walls. They help your heart pump blood that travels through your cardiovascular system. You don’t control cardiac muscles. The heart tells them when to contract.
  • Smooth: These muscles line the insides of organs such as the bladder, stomach, and intestines. Smooth muscles play an essential role in many-body systems. These include the female reproductive system, male reproductive system, urinary system, and respiratory system. Different types of muscles work without you having to think about them. They do essential jobs like moving waste through your intestines and helping your lungs expand when you breathe.

Skeletal Muscle

Skeletal muscles consist of flexible muscle fibers that range from less than half an inch to just over three inches in diameter. These fibers usually span the length of the muscle. The fibers contract or tightens, allowing the muscles to move bones so you can perform lots of different movements.

Skeletal Muscles Structure

Each muscle can contain thousands of fibers. Different types of sheaths, or coverings, surround the fibers:

  • Epimysium: The outermost layer of tissue surrounding the entire muscle.
  • Perimysium: The middle layer surrounding bundles of muscle fibers.
  • Endomysium: The innermost layer surrounding individual muscle fibers.

Actin and myosin are both proteins that are found in every type of muscle tissue. Thick myosin filaments and thin actin filaments work together to generate muscle contractions and movement. 

Myosin is a type of molecular motor that converts chemical energy released from ATP into mechanical energy. 

This mechanical energy is then used to pull the actin filaments along, causing muscle fibers to contract and, thus, generate movement.

What does skeletal muscle look like?

Skeletal muscle fibers are red and white. They look striated, or striped, so they’re often called striated muscles. Cardiac muscles are also striated, but smooth muscles aren’t.

How healthy is skeletal muscle?

Although skeletal muscles typically make up roughly 35% of your body weight, this can vary from person to person. Men have about 36% more skeletal muscle mass than women. People who are tall or overweight also tend to have higher muscle mass. Muscle mass decreases with age in both men and women.

Hypertrophy

In simple terms, hypertrophy just means “to make bigger.” It is the opposite of atrophy which is to make smaller. When we talk about hypertrophy in muscles, we mean muscle growth. Muscle growth and hypertrophy is the primary goal of why people work out and train. 

When you talk about muscular hypertrophy, it is different from just gaining strength. Although with hypertrophy comes more strength, it is a different concept and different mode of work than strength training [2].

  • Hypertrophy is done to increase the size of a muscle
  • Strengthening is done to increase the ability to produce force

2 Different Types of Hypertrophy

1. Myofibrillar hypertrophy

  • This type of muscular hypertrophy involves increasing the number of protein filament bundles known as myofibrils. Myofibrils help the muscle contract and relax. Increasing myofibrils boost muscular strength. With myofibril hypertrophy, the muscle also becomes denser [3].
  • Growth of muscle contraction parts.

2. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

  • You can also increase the volume of fluid within the muscle. This is called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. The fluid provides the energy the muscle needs during weight training. Similar to how adding water to a balloon makes the balloon grow, more fluid in the muscle makes it look bigger [4].
  • Increased muscle glycogen storage.

How to Build Muscle?

There are many ways to muscle growth and hypertrophy and strengthen muscle, but we want to focus on how to maximize hypertrophy. 

1. Diet and Sleep 

You need proper fuel and rest to build muscle. There has always been a debate between carbs, proteins, and fats.  With so many diets out there, you should not solely rely on one of them. 

The main thing to always keep in mind when it comes to the human diet is that we need all the macronutrients. It would help if you ate carbs, proteins, and fats. Neglecting any one of those will directly impact not only your muscle growth but your overall health.

Proteins get broken down into amino acids that are the building blocks of all our cells. Carbs are your body’s primary source of fuel. Fats are required for hormone function. Many studies show the benefit of eating a higher amount of protein when trying to build muscle. 

Research indicates that achieving muscle hypertrophy requires balancing muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown. Additionally, consuming protein within 24 hours of weight training can provide a positive net balance. 

This net balance supports muscle growth. Follow your workouts with higher protein meals or shakes to give the body the nutrients to achieve maximum hypertrophy.

Carbs are beneficial for:

  • Carbs prevent muscle weakness
  • It can prevent muscle degradation
  • Carbs help muscles recover from exercise

Recommended Protein Intake for Muscle Growth and Hypertrophy

  • Individuals in Energy Balance
  • Consume ~0.4 g/kg body mass (i.e., 0.24 plus 0.06 with protein added to account for the influence of other macronutrients in meals and protein quality), to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) following a period of rest or exhaustive resistance exercise.
  • Spacing protein-containing meals ~3–5 h throughout the day maximizes MPS rates over the course of a 12 h (i.e., waking) period.
  • Practice pre-sleep protein ingestion (1–3 h prior to sleep) to offset declines in MPS that would occur during an overnight fasting period.
  • To maximize muscle protein accretion with resistance exercise, daily protein intakes should be ~1.6 g/kg/day and up to 2.2 g/kg/day. This intake can be achieved by ingesting 3 meals, each containing ~0.53 g/kg protein, or 4 meals containing ~0.4g/kg protein.
  • Individuals in Energy Restriction
  • Daily protein requirements are greater than they are during periods of energy balance to promote the maintenance or increase in lean body mass.
  • Resistance exercise should be performed during energy restriction to promote the retention of lean body mass if desired.
  • For athletes cutting weight over an extended period, high-quality protein sources such as whey and casein, or a blend of each, should be chosen to optimize appetite control and ensure dietary compliance.
  • Protein intakes of ~2.3–3.1 g/kg/day have been advocated to promote leaner body mass retention during weight loss. Exercise-naive adults who have a more significant body fat percentage should aim to achieve the lower end of this range. However, leaner individuals with resistance-training experience who are more vulnerable to losing lean body mass during energy restriction should aim for the higher end of this range [5].

2. Exercise

With exercise, muscle growth and hypertrophy are induced. What causes it is “as calcium is released in higher quantities with each contraction induced by the neuron, calcium binds to calmodulin, which activates calmodulin kinases (CaMKs), and in turn, activates Akt, which activates protein synthesis via mTOR and the inhibition of glycogen synthase pathways.”

Muscle growth is achieved when a combination of things occurs: muscle damage and repair, mechanical tension through stretch and force, and the build-up of metabolites like lactate, hydrogen ions, creatine, and others. 

Metabolite accumulation can occur as lactate, hydrogen ions (lowering pH), and phosphate molecules accumulate within the cell. The collection of these, and likely others (like creatine), metabolites in the cell shows an increased expression of Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1).

This increases the proliferation of satellite cells and increases protein synthesis via the Akt pathway. Also, the increase in growth hormone (GH) further increases the release of IGF and the release of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) for different effects on satellite cell recruitment.

How Muscles Work During Exercise

To be able to return for another bout of exercise, the trauma to the muscle leads the cell to release calcium (likely due to damage to the sarcoplasmic reticulum) into the surrounding extracellular area; this release of calcium leads to the activation of an immune response.

As soon as one hour after this event, neutrophils go through phagocytosis and clean up the debris of dislodged and broken organelle proteins caused by the stress put on the myocyte. 

24-48 hours after myocyte damage, macrophages are the dominant immune cells finishing phagocytosis and releasing cytokines and growth factors to activate other immune clean-up cells and the repair process.

These cytokines, Interleukin-1, 6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), are the regulators of inflammatory response and communicate more or less the need for further necrosis and inflammation between immune cells. 

Growth factors such as growth hormone (HGH), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) are released to begin the repair process.

Main Concepts and Strategies When Exercising

To accomplish muscle growth and hypertrophy you have to induce some kind of physical activity. The main concepts and strategies to think about when creating a program or just in exercise are:

1. Engage in strength training regularly.

You can’t just work a muscle once and expect it to grow. It needs to be stressed repeatedly over time. Resistance training at least three times per week can provide the tension necessary for the muscle to adapt and grow. Constantly doing the same exercise over again is an excellent place to start. Over time repeating the same workout does lead to fewer results, so it is essential to switch up the routine.  

2. Increase resistance over time.

Starting with lighter weights gives the muscle time to adjust to a new weight training program. But once that weight becomes easy to lift, it needs to be increased if the goal is hypertrophy. The general rule is to increase your weight by about 5-10% to prevent injury.

3. Aim to overload the muscle or muscle group.

If you walk out of your weight training sessions feeling as if you could go through the sets and reps again, you’re not overloading your muscle enough. While you don’t want to go to the point of pain, growing muscle requires a certain level of overload. During your workout, aim to push your muscle as much as possible while still being safe.

4. Lift heavy for higher reps.

A hypertrophy workout involves lifting fairly heavy weights. You also want to shoot for higher reps than if your goal was strength. Again, you have to overload the muscles to a certain extent if you want them to grow [6].

5. Sets and repetitions.

Start muscle growth and hypertrophy with two to three sets of ten to 15 reps, completing repetitions at a manageable but challenging weight. So if you are doing three sets of 12 repetitions, the weight you use should be heavy enough that you cannot do more than 12 reps, but not so heavy that you cannot get to 12. If you know your one-rep max and have the basics of working out down, you should be looking to lift between 65%-75% of your 1RM for eight to 12 reps for three to six sets.

6. Reduce your rest periods.

The rest time between sets changes based on whether the goal is to increase muscle size or strength. The recommended rest period is generally between two and five minutes for strength increases. This period is shortened to 30 to 90 seconds to increase muscle size.

7. Allow adequate time for muscle recovery.

Getting enough recovery time is critical to building bigger muscles. It is during this recovery that muscle damage is repaired. Therefore, if you don’t allow enough time for this repair to occur, not only will muscles not reach their maximum size, but you also risk injuring them. Allow 24 to 48 hours before working for the same muscle group again [7]

Muscle Soreness

Many people have sore muscles after working out. The soreness results from tiny tears (microtears) occurring when you put stress on a muscle. Usually, muscle soreness sets in a day or two after vigorous exercise. This condition is why providers call this condition delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

The muscle tissue becomes inflamed as the muscles repair themselves and the tiny tears heal. Your muscles recover within a few days, and the inflammation goes away. With continued exercise, the muscle tissue tears and rebuilds again and again.

To watch the full episode on Muscle Growth and Hypertrophy, click here for more 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:49 Plugs
02:11 Episode Introduction
06:05 Different types of muscle tissue
07:20 The skeletal muscle structure
11:48 What is hypertrophy?
15:55 How to build muscles and maximize hypertrophy?
18:43 Building muscles: Carbohydrates
20:33 Building muscles: Protein
24:42 Protein recommendations for building muscles
29:32 A Scientific explanation of how hypertrophy works
34:06 Things you can do to maximize hypertrophy.

Men Talk: The Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels

Men Talk: The Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels

The Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels 

In this episode, we will talk about the decline of serum testosterone levels among young Adult Men in the USA. Testosterone is a sex hormone that plays a vital role in the body. It regulates the sex drive, bone mass, and fat distribution.

In addition to that, testosterone is responsible for muscle mass and strength. It is also in charge of sperm production and red blood cells. And small circulating testosterone is converted by the body to estradiol, a form of estrogen.

Mammals have >95% of T fused by Leydig’s cells of the testes and are regulated through the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular (HPT) axis.

The adrenal glands also produce testosterone but in small amounts. However, the amount produced depends on gender. So, it means different areas have different amounts.

A Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels in Men

A study from 1999 to 2016 showed that the testosterone levels in young adult men and adolescent males with an average body mass index resulted in a decline, as presented in the 2020 American Urological Association Virtual Experience

The reason for this decline in testosterone level is attributed to age. It means that the decrease in these levels is time-dependent. However, the overall reduction in testosterone levels is caused by multiple etiologies. 

Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) dating from 1999 to 2016 to analyze serum testosterone level changes in 40-45 AYA males. 

This study found a few factors affecting the decline of serum testosterone levels. These are as follows:

  • Age
  • Race
  • BMI
  • Comorbidity status
  • Alcohol intake
  • Smoking
  • Physical activity levels

Here are acceptable testosterone levels for men by age group

  • Early Teens: Between 12 to 13 years old, a person should have 7-800 ng/dL. But by 15 to 16 years old, the ng/dL should be 100-1,200.
  • Late Teens: Anyone between 17 to 18 years old have normal testosterone levels between 300 and 1,200 ng/dL.
  • Adults: An adult (19 years and older) should have anywhere between 240 and 950 ng/dL.

Mean Total Testosterone Decrease: 

  • 1999-2000 (605.39 ng/dL)
  • 2003-2004 (567.44 ng/dL)
  • 2011-2012 (424.96 ng/dL)
  • 2013-2014 (431.76 ng/dL)
  • 2015-2016 (451.22 ng/dL)

An increased BMI is associated with decreased total testosterone levels (P < .0001), with the mean BMI increasing from 25.83 in 1999-2000 to 27.96 in 2015-2016 (P = 0.0006). 

It was noted that even men with an average BMI of 18.5-24.9 had declining total testosterone levels of P < .05 during the same time frames.

Limitations of the Study

The study was a cross-sectional study design, a type of observational study. It is self-reported activity leading to potential bias and testosterone levels are only measured once. However, there were no results given on the participant’s symptoms. It is also the most extensive study of its kind.

Potential Causes Of Decline of Serum Testosterone

  • Increased Obesity/BMI
  • Diet/phytoestrogens 
  • Declined physical activity
  • Fat percentage
  • Marijuana use 
  • Environmental toxins

Increased Obesity/BMI

People with moderate obesity have decreased total testosterone. This decrease could be due to insulin resistance that is associated with reductions in sex hormone-binding globulin. Severe obesity connects with reductions in free testosterone levels.
 
Researchers believe it is due to a suppressed hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. Obesity also affects iron metabolism and overactivity. It can further contribute to low circulating total T levels.

Diet

A small study conducted in 2016 investigated the dietary patterns associated with serum total T levels and their predictive effect on hypogonadism (low sex drive) and body composition.

Anthropometry, blood biochemistry, and food frequency questionnaires were collected for 125 adult men [1].

People whose diet is mainly composed of bread, pastries, and dairy products and those who rarely eat homemade food or dark green vegetables are most likely at risk for unhealthy body composition.

When the body composition suffers, it can increase visceral fat and decrease skeletal muscle mass. This result can also lead to lower serum total T levels.

How do endocrine disruptors affect the body?

When absorbed in the body, an endocrine disruptor can decrease or increase normal hormone levels, mimic the body’s natural hormones, or alter the natural production of hormones.

Examples: BPA, PFAS, Phytoestrogens, Phthalates, Triclosan &, etc.

Stress Levels Contributes to Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels

Stress can raise your cortisol, which is a hormone that can lower your testosterone once elevated. Reducing stress also reduces testosterone production. So if you want to reduce stress, you must get enough sleep and live a more balanced lifestyle. Exercising also helps and so does proper nutrition in your diet. 

Doing Physical Activity

A 2016 study of men with obesity found that regular exercise increased T levels than even losing weight. 41 overweight and obese men completed a 12-week lifestyle modification program (aerobic exercise training and calorie restriction).

They measured serum testosterone levels, the number of steps, and the total energy intake [2]. The best exercises to increase T levels are resistance and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). 

One study in men found that interval training helps in boosting T levels. The training consists of 90 seconds of intense treadmill running interspersed with 90 seconds recovery periods.

Results show a significant increase in T levels compared to running on the treadmill for 45 minutes straight [3]. So, to rise the T levels in your body, you must do intense exercises for half an hour or so. Running on the treadmill helps but it might slow down your T-level production. 

Doing cardio has no evidence that it can impact your T-levels, no matter the gender. However, too much cardio may lower your T-levels. 

Can Marijuana Cause a Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels?

A study from 2020 using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2011-2016 had some interesting outcomes. They have studied men who are regular marijuana users and how it had impacted their testosterone levels.

This study had identified all men 18 years old and above who answered the substance use questionnaire and underwent laboratory testing for T levels.

In addition to that, regular THC users were defined as those who use THC at least once per month, every month for at least a year. Does this mean marijuana helps increase the T levels? 

Among 5,146 men who met inclusion, 3,027 endorsed using THC at least once in their lives (ever-user). Nearly half of the THC ever-users (49.3%) were regular THC users.

THC use is associated with small increases in testosterone. This means that the rise in T appears to decline as THC use increases. However, T is still higher with any amount of regular use when compared to T in non-users.

Furthermore, this increase was represented by an inverse U-shaped trend with Regular THC users using two-three times per month. It demonstrates the most significant increase in T (+ 66.77 ng/dL) over non-users [4].

Men who smoke it regularly are twice as likely to have sperm with abnormal shape and size. According to one study, males who smoke marijuana at least once a week experienced a reduced sperm count.

Conclusion: 

What you believe you believe is what you become. If you think you’ll lose intelligence by basking in the sun, you probably will. The hippocampus is 90% affected by what you believe and your confidence, in my case, at least.

If you believe that you’re smarter than Einstein, your neurons will fire corresponding signals, and you’ll be seriously reading and studying. It’s all about self-discipline and determination. 

To watch the full episode of Ep. 94, check out our latest by clicking here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:52 Plugs
02:11 Episode Introduction
04:02 What is testosterone?
06:00 The fun and exciting time of puberty
07:47 The Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels
11:01 The acceptable testosterone levels for men by age group
13:17 Testosterone decreased by 150 points
15:34 Potential cause of testosterone decrease
15:57 1. Obesity
18:39 2. Diet
20:48 3. Environmental Toxins
22:21 4. Stress
23:19 5. Physical Activity
25:26 6. Marijuana use
29:13 Conclusion
31:54 Wrapping up the episode

EP 156: How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome With Crystal Grant

EP 156: How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome With Crystal Grant

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever felt like you are never good enough or good at something? Did you ever feel like you are not doing as much as others thought you to be? If you feel like a fraud or do not belong anywhere, you might be suffering from Imposter Syndrome. 

No matter your social status, race, background, skill, level of expertise are, anyone can suffer from this. We must arm ourselves with knowledge and educate others to help those who are struggling with impostor syndrome. 

Overcome Imposter Syndrome

But what is imposter syndrome anyway? How do you know if you are suffering from one? In this new episode, we would like to introduce our guest, Crystal Grant. She is a CRNA, CEO of Superscript Wellness, and author of several books. 

Crystal has also worked in the healthcare system for over 20 years and now coaches nurses and CRNAs about imposter syndrome and how to overcome it. 

She currently has a new book coming out called A CRNA’S Guide to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome. Besides working with nurses and CRNAs, she also has her line of Vitamin gummies. 

So, sit back, relax and enjoy another great episode with your favorite Cup of Nurses! 

QUESTIONS FOR OUR GUEST:

  1. Can you give some background about yourself and how you got to the position you are in today?
  2. How was life growing up? What were some of your goals in life? How have they varied over the years?
    – When we finished nursing school we were making a decent amount of money, we came out with minimal loans and we were making more money than a lot of our friends. When we looked back at where we were at the age of 21/22 compared to a lot of other people it felt like night and day. It still feels that way to this day.
  3. What is Imposter Syndrome? Do you think it comes with success?
    – Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
  4. With many psychological issues like depression and anxiety, is there a genetic predisposition to imposter syndrome? Or is there something that happens in childhood that makes people more susceptible to imposter syndrome?
  5. With the age of neuroplasticity, we can almost reprogram our brain to react differently. How can we use the concept of neuroplasticity to help us with imposter syndrome or other negative thinking?
    – Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury. 
  6. We are holistic beings which means how we feel physically affects us mentally and how we treat ourselves mentally reflects on us physically.
    – How important is physical health? The importance of nutrition, exercise, and supplementation. 
  7. What are some of the ingredients in the gummies you’ve created and what are the benefits of micronutrients? 

To watch the full episode about How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome, click here and learn more 👇

 

You can also find Crystal on Instagram at @thecrystalgrant. Her book titled Overcoming Imposter Syndrome is currently available at thecrystalgrant.com. And to those interested to buy her vitamin gummies, check out superscriptwellness.com and walmart.com for more. 

TIMESTAMP:

00:00 Intro
00:47 Plugs
02:03 Episode Introduction
02:35 About Crystal
04:47 Can imposter syndrome be beneficial to someone who has it?
06:38 What happens to a person who has imposter syndrome?
09:32 Imposter Syndrome: The Perfectionist
11:28 How and when did Crystal know that she had imposter syndrome?
15:02 The 5 Types of Imposter Syndrome
17:19 How does a person get imposter syndrome?
21:26 Ways to Overcome Imposter Syndrome?
24:04 Neuroplasticity: Rewiring the brain
26:44 The best investment is in yourself.
32:53 Mindfulness and meditation can help fight Imposter Syndrome.
35:27 The lack of self-belief
37:29 How did Crystal become an entrepreneur?
39:32 How to get into the supplement business?
42:58 Built for nursing, built for success.
47:32 Where to find Crystal?

 

 

How Does Caffeine Affect Your Body?

How Does Caffeine Affect Your Body?

How Does Caffeine Affect Your Body?

Can caffeine affect your body? The short answer is yes. In this episode and honor of Caffeine Awareness month, we will discuss how caffeine affects your body and is effects after consuming it for a long time.

Most Americans use caffeine daily but don’t even know what it is or what caffeine exactly does. About 85% of people in the US consume at least one caffeine beverage/per day [1]. 

What is Caffeine, and Can Caffeine Affect Your Body?

When someone says caffeine, we immediately think of coffee. And while coffee has caffeine, it’s not it. Caffeine is a bitter-tasting, white, and odorless powder. It is naturally found in the fruit, leaves, and beans of coffee, cacao, and guarana plants. The truth is that caffeine is added to almost all kinds of food and drinks. 

It is also a Central Nervous System Stimulant and one of the most common psychoactive drugs used globally. In addition to that, caffeine is the only legal, unregulated psychoactive drug. 

So, the next time you wonder why you are addicted to caffeine, it’s because of its psychoactive properties. 

How Caffeine Acts in the Body

The way caffeine works are thought to be mediated by several mechanisms: 

  • Antagonism of adenosine receptors
  • The inhibition of phosphodiesterase
  • Release of calcium from intracellular stores
  • The antagonism of benzodiazepine receptors

The most common one is that it blocks the action of adenosine on its receptors and prevents the drowsiness associated with it.

Adenosine Antagonist 

When a person is awake and alert, small amounts of adenosine are present in CNS. Over time, adenosine accumulates in the neuronal synapse by being constantly awake. 

Once adenosine increases, it binds and activates the receptors found on specific CNS neurons. 

When activated, the adenosine receptors produce a cellular response that increases drowsiness. 

What Happens to Adenosine?

  • When caffeine is consumed, it antagonizes the adenosine receptors. Caffeine prevents adenosine from activating the receptor by blocking the receptor site. Therefore, caffeine temporarily prevents or relieves drowsiness and maintains or restores alertness [2].
  • Caffeine also increases energy metabolism throughout the brain but can also decrease cerebral blood flow, which induces relative brain hypoperfusion [3].

Due to the blocking of adenosine inhibitory effects through its receptors, caffeine indirectly affects the release of the following [4]:

  •  norepinephrine
  • dopamine
  • acetylcholine
  • serotonin
  • glutamate
  • gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
  • neuropeptides 

Inhibition of Phosphodiesterase

Phosphodiesterase inhibition prevents the ability to break down cAMP and cGMP. The levels inside the cell increase, therefore, leading to a decrease in calcium levels in the cell. It leads to vasodilation and smooth muscle relaxation [5].

Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor and works mainly in your heart and brain. However, it vasodilates your peripheral and bronchial vessels as well.

Releases Calcium from Intracellular Storage

Caffeine affect the body by taking calcium from the bone and introducing it into the bloodstream. Most studies show that this amount is not substantial enough to cause osteoporosis, and the calcium loss can be replaced by adding some milk. 

Benzodiazepine Receptor Antagonist 

Studies show that caffeine has weak antagonistic properties at the benzodiazepine receptor sites. The reaction, however, can be due to adenosine suppression [6]. 

SNS vs. PNS

The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) controls homeostasis. The PNS maintains the body at rest and is responsible for the “rest and digest” functions. 

Similarly, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) controls the body’s responses to a perceived threat and is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. 

Effects of Caffeine on the Body

Caffeine’s direct effects on the body are due to the inactivation of adenosine receptors. It leads to greater stimulation of the SNS, causing various effects. Here are the most common effects of caffeine on the body: 

Increase in alertness

  • The stimulating effects of caffeine cause alertness right away. In addition to that, it can also temporarily relieve drowsiness and fatigue.

Decreased suicide risk – check with your doctor

  • One study found that the mood-enhancing effects of caffeine were linked to a percent lower risk of suicide in participants.

Increased heart rate and blood pressure

  • Caffeine affects your body by resulting in a rapid heartbeat. In that case, this may be a concern if you have a preexisting heart issue. You may notice arrhythmias whenever you have caffeine.
  • It can also temporarily raise your blood pressure. The effects may be especially noticeable if you have caffeine during or right before exercise or other physical activity.

Confusion

  • Too much caffeine can overstimulate the brain, leading to confusion or the inability to focus on one task.

Headache

  • A headache can occur from either too much caffeine or as a symptom of caffeine withdrawal. But specific amounts can help with headaches.

Irritability

  • When your body is used to caffeine, you can experience irritability as a symptom of withdrawal.

Heartburn

  • The acidity of certain caffeinated products, like coffee and soda, may cause heartburn.

Diarrhea

  • Caffeine can also help regulate your bowel movement, but too much intake can cause opposite effects like diarrhea.

Fertility/Pregnancy

  • Some women who consume too much caffeine might experience difficulties getting pregnant. If you’re trying to get pregnant, It’s best not to consume more than 300 mg per day.
  • Consuming too much caffeine affects your body during pregnancy, which may cause miscarriage and developmental issues in newborns. 
  • It’s recommended that pregnant women consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. It equals about one 12-ounce cup of coffee.

Bones

  • Caffeine prevents calcium absorption in the bones, increasing your risk of osteoporosis. As you get older, your bones may break more easily.

Urination

  • Frequent urination may be experienced when you consume too much caffeine. Caffeine affects the body as a diuretic, and long-term use of high amounts of caffeine may increase bladder instability. It can worsen the risk for those already experiencing bladder problems.

Jitters

  • Caffeine can give you the jitters if you’re not used to it. If you have an anxiety disorder or sleep disorder, caffeine may make it worse.

Metabolization of Caffeine 

  • Caffeine from coffee or other beverages is absorbed by the small intestine within 45 minutes of ingestion and distributed throughout all bodily tissues.
  • ​​Peak blood concentration is reached within 1–2 hours.
  • Caffeine’s biological half liver varies from individual to individual, roughly between 2 and 7 hrs.
  • It can also be absorbed rectally. However, the rectal route has a 30% lesser absorption rate [7].

The FDA has cited 400 milligrams a day for healthy adults—about four or five cups of coffee—as an amount not generally associated with complications.

To watch the full Episode 92, click here for more 👇

TIME STAMPS:

0:00 Intro
0:50 Plugs
2:16 Episode Intro
6:07 The only unregulated psychoactive drug
10:19 How Caffeine Acts in the Body
10:25 Adenosine Antagonist
13:03 Caffeine decreases cerebral blood flow
15:39 Inhibition of Phosphodiesterase
16:29 Releases Calcium from Intracellular Storages
18:52 Benzodiazepine Receptor Antagonist
23:13 A possible reason why you are irritable
25:00 Effects of Caffeine
25:10 Increase in alertness
29:18 Tips on setting your body clock
33:07 Estimating time when to take caffeine
39:32 Frequent urination
39:58 Too much caffeine can cause diarrhea
40:41 Decreased suicide risk
46:33 Caffeine as medicine

How Dental Health Affects Overall Health

How Dental Health Affects Overall Health

How Dental Health Affects Overall Health

In this episode, we would like to talk about dental health. Many people don’t know that dental health provides valuable information on someone’s overall health.

Today we know that most chronic illnesses are not down to coincidence, bad luck, or bad genes. Instead, they are the result of constant, silent inflammation in the body and the resulting chronic stress. This kind of inflammation often occurs in the mouth.

It can be found hiding in the tips of inflamed tooth roots, gingival pockets, around implants, in dead teeth, or in the cavities that are left behind whenever a tooth has to be removed.

Although research is constantly revealing new relationships between teeth and the body, doctors and dentists work in two different spheres, our medical care system is structured such that we can’t see the forest for the trees.

Importance of Dental Health

Looking inside someone’s mouth gives clues to their overall health. Did you know that many problems can stem from poor oral health? Good oral health gives a person the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and impacts facial expressions to show feelings and emotions.

Just like in other parts of the body, the mouth houses a lot of beneficial bacteria. But remember that the mouth is the initial entry point into the rest of your body and sometimes these bacteria make a home elsewhere where they can cause damage.  Proper oral hygiene keeps these bacteria in stable conditions.

What Contributes to Poor Dental Health

Untreated tooth decay. More than 1 in 4 (26%) adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay. Gum disease. Nearly half (46%) of all adults aged 30 years or older show signs of gum disease; severe gum disease affects about 9% of adults [1].

The main factors that cause oral health are:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Diet high in sugar
    • Sugar changes the acidity in your mouth.
      • There are 2 bacteria, streptococcus mutants, and streptococcus sobrinus. These bacteria feed on sugar and create plaque on your teeth. When you get your teeth cleaned your dentist removes this plaque. If left unchecked this plaque will eat away at your enamel.
      • Sugar also attracts bacteria that eat away at your gums and cause gingivitis and gum disease [2].
  • Alcohol use
    • Alcohol drinks are usually high in sugar like beer, liquor, and mixed drinks. This leads to the breakdown of enamel, long-term tooth decay, and gum disease.
    • Alcohol also decreases the amount of natural saliva that acts as a natural antibacterial agent. 
    • Depending on what alcohol you consume it can stain your teeth. 
    • Normal Saliva PH: 6.2-7.6
  • Smoking 
    • Smoking weakens your body’s infection fighters (your immune system). This makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once you have gum damage, smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal.
      • You have twice the risk for gum disease compared with a nonsmoker.
      • The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
      • The longer you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
      • Treatments for gum disease may not work as well for people who smoke.

Prevention

  • Proper oral hygiene
  • A well-balanced diet low in free sugars and high in fruit and vegetables, and water as the main drink;
  • Stopping the use of all forms of tobacco, including chewing
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • encouraging the use of protective equipment when doing sports.

What Conditions are Linked to Oral Health

Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:

Endocarditis

This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves (endocardium) typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.

  • The study looked at 94 participants where participant’s portal hygiene, gingivitis, and periodontitis statuses were evaluated. 
  • The authors found that oral hygiene and gingival disease indexes were associated significantly with IE-related bacteremia after toothbrushing.
  • Participants with a mean plaque and calculus scores of 2 or greater were at a 3.78- and 4.43-fold increased risk of developing bacteremia, respectively.
  • The presence of generalized bleeding after toothbrushing was associated with an almost eightfold increase in the risk of developing bacteremia [3]. 

Cardiovascular Disease

 Although the connection is not fully understood, some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.

There are a few theories on why this can occur, according to Harvard: 

  • The bacteria that infect the gums and cause gingivitis and periodontitis also travel to blood vessels elsewhere in the body where they cause blood vessel inflammation and damage; tiny blood clots, heart attack, and stroke may follow.
  • Supporting this idea is the finding of remnants of oral bacteria within atherosclerotic blood vessels far from the mouth.
  • Rather than bacteria causing the problem, it’s the body’s immune response – inflammation – that sets off a cascade of vascular damage throughout the body, including the heart and brain.
  • There may be no direct connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease; the reason they may occur together is that there is a 3rd factor (such as smoking) that’s a risk factor for both conditions.
  • Other potential “confounders” include poor access to healthcare and lack of exercise – perhaps people without health insurance or who don’t take good care of their overall health are more likely to have poor oral health and heart disease [4].

Pregnancy and birth complications

Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

  • Nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease that occurs when the gums become red and swollen from inflammation that may be aggravated by changing hormones during pregnancy.
  • If gingivitis is not treated, the bone that supports the teeth can be lost, and the gums can become infected. Teeth with little bone support can become loose and may eventually have to be extracted.
  • Periodontitis has also been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth and low birth weight. However, how periodontitis may lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes is not yet fully understood [5].
  • One systematic review looked at periodontal status looked at 22 totaling about 17,00 subjects and concluded that “The present systematic review reported a low but existing association between periodontitis and adverse pregnancy outcomes.” [6].

Pneumonia

Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

  • A study looked at over 122,000 participants with no history of pneumonia with a median age of 52.4.
  • The mean systolic blood pressure and fasting glucose were 125.5 mmHg and 96.7 mg/dL. While 49.6% of participants had periodontal disease, 2.7% and 6.0% had five or more dental caries and missing teeth, respectively. 
  • According to the self-reported questionnaires, 45.0% of participants brushed their teeth three times or more per day, and 26.0% replied having professional dental cleaning at least once per year.

It concluded that:

The risk of pneumonia was higher in groups with more dental caries and missing teeth. In contrast, the risk of pneumonia was lower in the frequent tooth brushing group and the regular professional dental cleaning group. 

  • There was no significant difference in the risk of pneumonia between groups with and without periodontal disease. 
  • A number of dental caries and missing teeth, and the frequency of tooth brushing and professional dental cleaning, were associated with the incidence of pneumonia. 
  • The risk of pneumonia was significantly higher in the group with a higher number of dental caries and the group with more missing teeth. 
  • Risks of pneumonia decreased significantly in the frequent tooth brushing group and the regular professional dental cleaning group [7].

Fluoride: Is it the best means of fighting tooth decay?

Fluoride is considered an essential part of dental care. Almost all toothpaste contains it. Roughly 73.0% of the U.S. population with public water access in 2018 received water fortified with fluoride. In Germany, however, no fluoride is added to drinking water—and yet rates of tooth decay have dropped.

Fluoride can store and lock calcium and other minerals in tooth enamel, which sounds like a beautiful, helpful attribute. But just like many things, it also comes with unwanted side effects.

There are ongoing studies linking fluoride to chromosomal changes, bone cancer, and impairments to intelligence, while many other studies declare its innocence of these allegations.

The concept of holistic dentistry is based on avoiding overburdening the body with artificial substances as far as possible. If we eat well and get all the nutrients we need, there is no need for additional fluoride. Saliva’s job is to store minerals in teeth. That is its natural function, and it does not require extra fluoride to get the job done.

Tough Foods Make You Tougher 

Chewing food is easier to digest. But did you know that adequately chewing our food can protect us from infections? Researchers recently discovered this when they took a closer look at what is known as Th17 cells in our mouths.

These cells are part of the immune system and can ward off harmful bacteria to our health while leaving friendly bacteria in peace.

Furthermore, Th17 cells form in the mouth, so the more we chew, the more cells are produced. In addition to this, eating foods with a more rigid consistency, or simply chewing well, ensures a better immune defense in the mouth.

Good Dental Hygiene Practices

Taking care of your oral health may take a lot of effort. However, if you add them to your daily routine and practice them daily, it will not feel like a chore but more of a natural habit. Here’s how you can practice good dental hygiene:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day
  2. Use mouthwash daily
  3. Floss daily
  4. Drink more water
  5. Eat more crunch fruits and vegetables
  6. See your dentist twice a year

Watch the full episode on this by clicking here:

TIME STAMPS:

0:00 Introduction
1:00 Sponsor Ads
2:15 Cup of Nurses Introduction
4:04 Episode Introduction
6:36 Importance of Dental Health
10:44 Statistics About Gum Disease
13:28 What Contributes To Poor Dental Health
13:39 Sugar changes the acidity in your mouth!
15:42 How Alcohol Affects Dental Health
18:08 How Smoking Affects Dental Health
21:59 How to Prevent Poor Dental Health
22:45 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Endocarditis
23:23 Study About People with Endocarditis
25:13 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Cardiovascular Disease
28:24 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Pregnancy & Birth Complications
31:51 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Pneumonia
37:36 Fluoride: The best means of fighting tooth decay?
44:13 Tough Foods Make You Tougher