6 ways to increase your HDL naturally

HDL is the good cholesterol.  It helps to “scoop” up excess cholesterol in the arteries and brings it back to the liver where it is then excreted via the bowels.   Thus, high HDL is heart protective.

If you are struggling to raise your good cholesterol, the following tips may help you.

1.  Increase Vitamin D3 levels:  Consult with your natural medicine oriented doctor to determine the dosage of Vitamin D3 needed.

Low Vitamin D3 levels are associated with low HDL

2. Drink some alcohol:

1 to 2 drinks can increase HDL levels.  But no more!

3. Reduce your consumption of trans fats.  Trans fats are formed whenever oil is heated to high temperatures as is the case when food is deep fried.  They are also identified on food labels as partially hydrogenated fats.

4. Increase your consumption of monounsaturated fats:

Monounsaturated fats found in olive oil and avocados can help to increase HDL.

 5. Take Krill Oil:  Consult with your natural medicine oriented doctor to determine the right dosage for you.

Studies have shown that krill oil can lower bad cholesterol levels by 34 per cent and boost good cholesterol by 44 per cent.

6. Do HIIT –  high intensity interval training

HIIT can help to raise HDL

 Summary: Raising the HDL can be challenging, but these 6 tips can help you protect your heart and reduce the clogging of your arteries by  excess cholesterol.


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What are the benefits of high intensity interval training?

There are many benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT)

1. HIIT has been studied in overweight women and has been found to be beneficial to improving blood sugar control and making insulin more sensitive.

2. It is time efficient and effective.

A typical workout can be as short as 4 minutes.

3. HIIT can benefit the heart.

Studies shows that HIIT can improve the functioning of the blood vessels that delivers blood to the heart and the muscles.

 4.  HIIT helps to increase the good cholesterol – HDL

An 8 week HIIT, 3x/week in adult males, show favorable improvements in HDL levels

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What is the science behind burst training?

Originally from : http://jjvirgin.com/3982/effective-efficient-exercise-4-minutes-day/

“The science behind burst training is based on something called the ‘excess post-exercise oxygen consumption’ (EPOC) effect, which is the recovery of one’s metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels,” says Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Jini Cicero. “It is a measure of how much oxygen the body utilizes in the period immediately following a workout or bout of exercise. EPOC directly effects fat oxidation in response to high-intensity exercise.”

In other words, when you burst, your body creates an oxygen debt that it must then repay. This recovery requires energy, which your body utilizes via fat oxidation. Literally, you’re burning fat to meet this demand.

Burst training also increases lactic acid which in turn increases growth hormone.    When growth hormone is elevated, fat burning and muscle development is enhanced.   Also growth hormone helps to control cortisol levels.  When we exercise, cortisol levels rise.  In aerobic exercise, cortisol degrades muscle which contributes to slow metabolism and inability to lose weight.  In anaerobic exercise such as burst training, growth hormone helps to curb elevated cortisol which then helps to prevent muscle loss

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How to do burst training

So how do you do burst training?  Burst training can be done in many ways:

How to do Burst Training-Transformation TV-Episode #007

18 Intense Burst Training Exercises




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What is Burst Training?

When it comes to weight loss, many people are misled to believe that they need  to perform aerobic exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes each day.   While this may help some people lose weight initially, it leaves many struggling to lose weight in the long term.

A newer approach to weight loss is called burst training.  Also known as high intensity interval training,  burst training involves performing intense exercise for shorter duration of time.   Instead of doing continuous aerobic exercise (with oxygen)  for 30 minutes, burst training is purely anaerobic (without oxygen) and is performed for 30- 60 seconds and repeated 2-8 times with periodic 1 minute rest intervals.  To do a burst training, you perform an intense exercise such as sprinting as hard as you can for 30 seconds and then rest for 1 minute.   You then repeat this 3 times.   A typically burst training session such as this can last 6 minutes.

The video below by JJ Virgin, fitness  gives a good explanation of burst training: what is is and how to perform it:

JJ Virgin explains Burst Training 

This video below by Dr. Mark Smith PhD explains why you should burst fit:






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Benefits of shark liver oil

Many people have heard of cod liver oil and know how this contains Omega 3 fatty acids which have been show to be beneficial to cardiovascular health and in lowering inflammation.  But what about shark liver oil?

As the name implies, shark liver oil (abbreviated to SLO) is oil derived from the liver of a shark.  Unlike cod liver oil or any fish oil for that matter, SLO contains compounds called Alkylglycerols (abberviated to AKG’s).   AKG’s are found in human breast milk, the bone marrow and liver and spleen and they are partially responsible for conferring immunity to a newborn from the mother.  Of all the animals in the world, sharks  have the highest amounts in their liver.

So what is the big deal about AKG’s?

Well, AKG’s are amazing at boosting various  immune cells such as White Blood Cells, Red Blood Cells,  and Neutrophils.    This was discovered over 50 years ago in Sweden.  A Swedish oncologist, Dr. Brohuit, was working with children with leukemia and giving radiation to these children which resulted in low blood counts.   Because the bone marrow is the site of blood cell production, she rationalized that by giving these children marrow from a calf, the children blood counts would improve.   She was right.  Her husband, a biochemist, determined that it was the AKG’s that was responsible for the immune boosting effect.    Later on, he discovered that the liver of the shark contains the highest amounts of AKG’s.

SLO standardized to contain 20% of Alkylgycerols is available in capsule form.  The recommended dose of 600 mg per day may be of benefit to cancer patients undergoing radiation and/or chemotherapy.   These patients often develop cytopenia (low blood counts) such as low platelets (thrombocytopenia) and neutropenia (low neutropils).   If counts are too low,  cancer patient’s treatments can be delayed.

WARNING: Patients who are considering using SLO, should let their physicians know and  have the blood counts monitored as taking SLO for an extended period of time at high doses may cause a rapid elevation of platelets resulting in clots.


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What is adiponectin?

If you are struggling to lose weight,  understanding what is adiponectin might be the key as highlighted in this article:  Adiponectin – a key to fat loss? By Andrea Kreithen, MD / Natural  

Adiponectin is a type of fat hormone that plays a role in  metabolizing fats.   High body fat is associated with low adiponectin levels and thus less fat metabolism whereas low body fat is associated with higher adiponectin levels and thus greater fat metabolism.  For most people when they are young, they have high adioponectin levels and as people age, adiponectin levels fall and this partially explains why people gain weight later in life.

Recently in the news and on Dr. Oz, there have reports of natural agents to target truncal obesity otherwise known as belly fat.  Some of these agents include raspberry ketones and safflower both of which increase adiponectin levels.

Raspberry Ketones:

When ingested in substantial amounts, the ketones derived from red raspberries are believed to trigger the production of adiponectin… read more – ***The Science behind Raspberry Ketone

Safflower:  Clinical studies have shown that moderate consumption of safflower oil can reduce belly fat…. Learn more about the science of safflower here:

Lose Belly Fat – What is Safflower Oil?

 Other conditions linked to low adiponectin levels:

Besides obesity, low adiponectin levels are linked to

1. Type 2 Diabetes

2. Heart disease- atherosclerosis

3. Metabolic syndrome – a condition characterized by high triglycerides, reduced good cholesterol, elevated blood sugar,

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Waist to Height ratio: A better predictor of obesity and cardiovascular related health conditions

For a long time, BMI or Body Mass Index, which is the ratio of one’s mass to one’s height, has been considered a screening indicator for obesity.  Generally a BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight.  However BMI can be misleading.  For example, BMI does not take in account muscle mass and so muscular people might be considered obese.  In addition,  BMI does not reflect the ill health effects of high amounts of belly fat.    Thus people with a “normal” BMI,  but who carry a lot of fat around their waists are actually at an increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular related conditions.

Now, a new review suggests that a simple measurement — the ratio of one’s waist circumference to height — is significantly better at gauging cardio-metabolic risk than body mass index and waist circumference, two common measures.  See  Better Than BMI? Study Promotes Alternate Measure – US Mag – The 

Once you take the height and waist measurements, the assessment is simple.  If your waist is less than half of your height than you are not at risk for cardiovascular disease.   If your waist is greater than half of your height, then you at are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and related conditions.   So, if your height is 68 inches, an ideal waist size should be 34 inches or less and anything greater than 34 inches would put unhealthy.

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Sleep helps weight loss!!

You probably have heard the saying…”Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man/women healthy, wealthy and wise.  Well now studies are coming out showing that sleeping at least 9 hours a day can be helpful to weight loss.

More Sleep May Keep Weight Down: Study | NBC New York


It’s no secret that sleep, even just a few extra hours, does the body good. But new research suggests that those extra hours of sleep may even assist with weight loss. The study out of the University of Washington found that

Why would getting proper sleep help with weight loss? 

Well it turns out that there is this hormone called adiponectin that is involved in fat metabolism and that if you don’t get proper rest and sleep, you make less adiponectin which means you have less fat metabolism.  Also, the hunger hormones increase at night which then contributes to snacking at night and further weight gain

So how can you improve your sleep? 

Well first you want to rule out any physical causes of poor sleep such as sleep apnea.  Second, consider taking Melatonin and a herb called Mangolia bark as this article points out:

How to Sleep Your Way to a Healthy Weight – Vitamin Research


How to Sleep Your Way to a Healthy Weight. Bookmark Print. Text Resize: T T Reset. by VRP Staff. Whether you occasionally have a tough time falling asleep or you just can’t seem to stay asleep at times, too many nights spent lying awake can catch up with you faster than you may think Getting your sleep schedule back on track is half the battle when it comes to weight gain, but you can also help your body along with a blend of acacia gum polysaccharides and esterified fatty acids.

Besides improving your sleep, what else can you do to increase adiponectin levels so you increase your fat burning metabolism?

It turns out exercising, eating fiber rich diet and increasing your intake of fish oils all have a positive impact on raisisng adiponectin levels as this abstract points out

Fiber, Fish Oil and Exercise Increase Adiponectin Levels For Weight


Daily intake of fish or omega-3 supplementation increased adiponectin levels by 14-60%. Weight loss achieved with a low-calorie diet plus exercise increased adiponectin levels in the range of 18-48%. A 60-115% increase in

So it is all about the basics when it comes to losing weight: sleep right, eat right and exercise right.  You probably  have known this, but now you know why!

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Improve your health with Resveratrol

It turns out red wine contains high amounts of a compound called resveratrol that has many health promoting benefits:

1. Improving diabetes in Obese Men

 This article talk about how resveratrol can improve the metabolic picture of Type II diabetes in terms of insulin, glucose and fat levels in Obese Men.

Red Wine Ingredient May Improve Health of Obese Men | FYI  :

2. Fighting Cellular Aging 

This article talks about how resveratrol has been shown to play a role in preventing cellular aging.

How That Glass of Red Wine Might Help You Live Longer – iVillage:  The study was done in mice.  Humans would have to drink the equivalent of 100 glasses of red wine to achieve the same life enhancement benefit.  While some people would not mind drinking 100 glasses of red wine per day !!  ,  it may be better to obtain the benefits of resveratrol in a supplement form.

3. A very nice chart that describes how resveratrol benefits health conditions such as cancer, obesity, bone, cardiovascular, and brain health.

The Life Extension Blog: How Resveratrol Can Help Prevent Disease


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