Fall is a season of change; the signs of aging are all around us. Another year speeds quickly towards its conclusion, but just because we can’t slow down time doesn’t mean we can’t slow down the aging process. Injections of Botox Cosmetic help to keep a youthful appearance and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Botox Cosmetic is the most popular neurotoxin used for cosmetic procedures in the United States and is FDA-approved for cosmetic use. Facial expression, stress, genetics and other factors may lead to unsightly wrinkles that can make you look and feel older. Do you often find yourself wishing you looked younger? Does your appearance lead to personal insecurities? While you may have to watch the leaves decay outside, you don’t have to watch your face suffer the same fate! Botox Cosmetic is a non-surgical way to reduce or eliminate unsightly wrinkles and lift the brow. Botox Cosmetic can also be used as a preventative by weakening facial muscles that cause wrinkles to appear. Interested in learning more about Botox Cosmetic? Read below for 7 of the most frequently answered questions.
(1) What is Botox Cosmetic?
Botox Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles, specifically the facial muscles, to temporarily alleviate moderate to severe forehead lines, crow’s feet lines, and frown lines between the eyebrows in adults. Botox Cosmetic temporarily reduces the muscle activity in these areas of the face to visibly smooth these lines and wrinkles. It is the only FDA-approved treatment for smoothing wrinkles and fine lines and has many clinical studies to prove its effectiveness and safety in use. On average, the effects of Botox Cosmetic last 3-4 months, so you will need to continue treatment to see results.
(2) How is Botox Cosmetic administered?
Botox Cosmetic is an injectible medicine, administered to the muscle surrounding the sides of the eyes for crow’s feet or the corrugator and the procerus muscles for frown lines. Botox procedures must be performed by a licensed medical professional. Results typically last 3-4 months, and usually results can be noticed right away with minimal side effects.
(3) What does Botox Treat?
Botox Cosmetic treats fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet in the face. This includes more specific areas like horizontal lines across the forehead, frown lines, lines on the sides of the nose, “lipstick lines” around the corners of the mouth and neck banding as well. Botox Cosmetic also has reported medicinal use, including migraine relief, sweating reduction, lifting the brow, and has been used to reduce eye squinting as well.
(4) What are some Benefits of Receiving Botox Cosmetic?
Botox Cosmetic can increase your self confidence by helping you look younger and combat the aging process. Botox has also been proven to aid in migraine reduction, excessive sweating and eye squinting, although it is only FDA-approved for cosmetic use. There have also been clinical studies performed on patients who receive Botox Cosmetic treatments and its link to human emotions. These studies used volunteers who regularly receive Botox treatments for the treatment group and volunteers who do not receive Botox treatments for the control group, and asked them to respond to a questionnaire of emotion-producing sentences with three answers, “angry”, “sad” or “happy”. When prompted with questions to encourage negative feelings, the participants took longer than the control group (no Botox) to read and understand it. The study was performed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. Professor emeritus of psychology, Arthur Glenberg, said “normally, the brain would be sending signals to the periphery to frown and the extent of the frown would be sent back to the brain. But here, the loop is disrupted, and the intensity of the emotion and of our ability to understand it when embodied in language is disrupted.” Simply put, the angry and sad emotions did not compute as easily as before their frown and wrinkle lines were paralyzed. This research is part of an exciting field in psychology called, “embodied cognition” which theorizes that most of our cognitive capabilities are rooted in and reflected by the body. Do the results of this research prove that people who receive Botox are happier? Not necessarily, but the best way to find out is by scheduling your Botox consultation today!
(5) Is Botox Cosmetic Safe?
There are minimal side effects from Botox Comsetic reported for healthy individuals who do not suffer from chronic nervous system diseases such as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. In clinical studies, 3% of patients experienced eyelid drooping in the frown lines and 1% experienced eyelid swelling for the crow’s feet treatment. Other possible side effects include discomfort or pain at the injection site, headache, eye problems, double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids and swelling of your eyelids. Make an appointment with our Nurse Practitioner, Lauren DeNeve, to find out if Botox Cosmetic is right for you!
(6) Why Choose Dr. Pacholec’s practice for Your Botox Consult?
Our Nurse Practitioner, Lauren DeNeve, is fully qualified to perform Botox injections and has been practicing for over 5 years. She thoroughly understands facial anatomy, especially the muscular network that underlies the skin. She is gentle, accurate and precise, making the Botox experience easy and comfortable for the patient. She truly enjoys performing Botox Cosmetic procedures and helping patients discover their vitality and recapture their youth!
(7) What other cosmetic procedures does Dr. Pacholec offer?
At Dr. Pacholec’s practice, Pacholec Center for Weight Loss, we strive to offer the best treatments for our patients. Our nurse practitioner, Lauren DeNeve, administers the Botox Cosmetic procedures and also offer facial filler injections, including Juvederm and Volbella. Juvederm treatments last between 9-12 months and are useful for people with moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, specifically the nasolabial folds, which run for the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth. Volbella is the recommended treatment for lips, lines around the lips and fine lines and wrinkles. Volbella lasts for 12-18 months and is the longest lasting lip filler on the market. If you are interested in any of these cosmetic procedures, call the Lutz, FL office at 813-909-4430 to schedule your consultation with Lauren DeNeve!
1. Diabetes Type 2: Weight Loss Program May Help
This disease results from the body developing a resistance to insulin over time. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and is responsible for feeding the cells of the body with glucose, which is converted to energy that we use in daily activities and body system processes. Insulin resistance occurs when insulin isn’t being produced or used correctly, which leads to a buildup of glucose in the blood. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and more than 87% of people who are diagnosed with this disease are overweight or obese. Weight loss and being more active will help to control blood sugar levels and may even reverse the disease, when weight loss is significant and a shift in lifestyle occurs. The Diabetes Prevention Program found that losing 5-7% of your body fat and doing moderate to intense exercise (like brisk walking) for 150 minutes a week, can delay the onset of type 2 diabetes or even prevent it. Dr. Pacholec’s long term weight management programs can help to prevent this disease from occuring or even reverse symptoms of diabetes in a safe and effective manner. She oversees weight management programs out of her Lutz, FL and St. Petersburg, FL offices in the Tampa Bay area.
2. High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease and Stroke: How Modifying Eating Habits and Losing Weight May Help
High blood pressure refers to the arterial pressure in your arteries, which is a good reflection of how hard your heart is working to supply blood to all your cells. When you are overweight or obese, there are more cells to pump blood too, which can increase your blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke or kidney failure. Modifying your lifestyle, eating a healthy diet, increasing exercise and quitting smoking can all help lower blood pressure. Excess fat also damages the kidneys, so losing weight is essential to lowering your BMI and bringing your blood pressure down to normal. Losing 5-10% of your body weight can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease which equates to only 10 pounds for a 200-pound person! Dr. Pacholec’s weight loss center in St Petersburg and Lutz, FL offers long term weight management programs to help prevent cardiac diseases and can even reverse symptoms of these illnesses, or cure them altogether in some cases.
3. Cancer: How Medical Weight Loss Can Prevent Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 1/3 of cancer deaths are related to being overweight, obese, or suffering from poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. Cancer of the breast (post-menopause), colon, rectum, endometrium (lining of the uterus), esophagus, kidneys and pancreas have shown a tight link with obesity, while cancer of the blood, liver, gallbladder, cervix, ovaries and prostate have shown a probable link with obesity in several research studies. Medical weight loss, especially losing belly fat, modifying your lifestyle, eliminating processed foods, increasing your consumption of leafy greens and vegetables, along with adequate exercise can drastically reduce your risk for these types of cancers specifically. A personalized weight loss program, such as the programs offered at Dr. Pacholec’s weight loss centers in St. Petersburg and Lutz, FL, can help a patient lose weight, regain their health and help prevent diseases, like cancer from occuring.
4. Sleep Apnea: How Diet and Weight Loss Can Prevent Sleep Apnea
Obesity is the highest risk factor for sleep apnea. Individuals who are overweight or obese may have more fat stored around the neck, which puts pressure on the airway and makes it more difficult to breath, especially when lying down. Inflammation also increases in people who are overweight or obese, and inflammation can occur around the airway, putting further pressure on it and making it difficult to breath, increasing snoring or inhibiting breath from coming out altogether. Losing weight can reduce one’s neck size and decrease inflammation, making it easier to breath and reversing sleep apnea completely! Dr. Pacholec creates personalized weight management programs and customized diet plans to help her patients lose weight successfully at both of her weight loss centers in St. Petersburg and Lutz, FL.
5. Osteoarthritis: Weight Loss and Collagen Supplements May Help Improve Symptoms
One of the main risk factors for developing osteoarthritis is being overweight. Excess weight puts pressure on the joints, tendons, bones and ligaments, which can lead to osteoarthritis. Being overweight or obese also makes one more susceptible to injuries, which in turn, can lead to osteoarthritis. Losing weight helps to alleviate pressure on the joints, which can relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis or even reverse signs of the disease. Dr. Pacholec uses customized weight management programs that include appetite suppressants, such as Phentermine, and vitamin support to help patients who suffer from osteoarthritis lose weight safely and effectively at both her St Petersburg and Lutz, Fl locations. One of the supplements she often recommends for patients suffering from osteoarthritis is whole body collagen, which helps to firm the skin and support the joints, tendons, bones and ligaments. Collagen is a dense, insoluble and fibrous protein that accounts for approximately one-third of all protein in the human body and decreases as we age due to sun exposure, smoking and age-related processes, such as menopause.
6. Fatty Liver Disease: Weight Loss Can Prevent and Reverse Symptoms
Fatty liver disease is also known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and while the cause is unknown, it occurs when fatty deposits build up on the liver. This puts stress on the liver and diminishes its performance, leading to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or even liver damage. It is most common in people who are overweight, obese or diabetic. Losing weight, particularly belly fat, can help to reverse this disease once a person’s BMI is back in normal range. Dr. Pacholec works with her patients to tailor a weight loss program unique to their needs at both her St. Petersburg and Lutz, FL locations. This may include lifestyle adjustments, exercise recommendations, diet plans, meal plans, nutrition advice and appetite suppressants, such as Phentermine. Losing weight is the best way to prevent diseases like fatty liver disease from occurring and may also help reverse signs of this disease in the long term.
7. Kidney Disease: Medical Weight Loss Can Prevent Kidney Degradation
The kidneys are responsible for filtering blood and eliminating waste products from the body. Being overweight or obese can lead to a buildup of waste in the blood, especially if one is pre-diabetic or diabetic, which puts stress on the kidneys and inhibits them from functioning properly. Kidney disease is often linked with diabetes and high blood pressure, so weight loss can help combat all three of these disorders at the same time! Dr. Pacholec’s prescription weight loss and weight management programs at both her St. Petersburg and Lutz, FL locations are perfect for people battling these disorders or in danger of developing them. Losing just 10% of your body weight is enough to prevent diseases such as kidney disease from occurring and is also enough to reverse signs of these diseases in most people.
Dr. Pacholec is a board-certified Fellow by the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine and has over 20 years of experience helping people lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Her anti-aging and prescription weight loss programs at both her Saint Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations help patients learn how to take back control of their health, lives and longevity. Dr. Pacholec recommends clean eating with a diet full of organic whole foods, daily exercise, calorie counting and vitamin supplementation to help patients reach their weight loss goals. Dr. Pacholec also dispenses prescription appetite suppressants, like Phentermine, from her offices in Saint Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL to further assist patients in their weight loss transformations. Dr. Pacholec's motto is, "Together we will succeed!" because weight loss is not only about counting calories and exercising; it takes motivation and support from family, friends and your doctor! You can read our reviews from both our Saint Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations to see how Dr. Pacholec encourages and supports her patients every step of the way.
Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States over the last few decades. This is due to diet, a sedentary lifestyle, genetics, the early cessation of breastfeeding and lack of physical activity. People are consuming more processed foods than ever before and organic whole foods are often pricey. Walking, biking or running has become more of a leisure type of activity, rather than a necessity to get from one place to the next. Our reliance on technology for work and leisure leads to more time sitting in front of a computer, tablet or phone. Research shows that exclusively breastfeeding an infant leads to a decreased risk of obesity from childhood through adulthood, yet only 13% of infants are fed breastmilk with no supplementation after 6 months of age. While this portrait of our society may seem grim, these are all factors that can be changed with education and an adjustment to lifestyle and diet. Being overweight or obese can be rectified with motivation to lose weight and a shift to a healthier lifestyle and diet.
Dr. Pacholec has motivated and medically assisted patients to lose weight for over 20 years in her Lutz, FL and Saint Petersburg, FL offices. These 7 deadly diseases, including diabetes Type 2, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and fatty liver disease, are all diseases directly correlated with obesity. Weight loss can help prevent you from developing these disorders in the future and can even help reverse certain diseases once a patient loses weight. The best way to lose weight and keep it off in a safe and effective manner is with medical help, so call Dr. Pacholec today at either her Lutz, FL or Saint Petersburg, FL location to get started on your weight loss transformation!
Am I overweight or obese?
Measuring your Body Mass Index (BMI) is one quick and easy way to determine if you classify as “overweight” or “obese”. Even people who look outwardly skinny, may still have a high BMI depending on how much body fat they are storing. Dr. Pacholec measures BMI using a sophisticated bio-impedance test in both her Saint Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL offices, that sends a painless electrical current through the body in a matter of seconds to detect body fat and mass. The computer then calculates a person’s BMI, along with a suite of other data, including lean body mass, body fat percentage, and muscle mass. A healthy BMI is considered 20-25, an overweight BMI is considered 25-30, a severely overweight BMI is considered 30-40 and anything over 40 is considered obese. Instead of focusing on losing pounds, it is better to focus on lowering your BMI. An increased BMI is what makes you more susceptible to these diseases. At both Dr. Pacholec’s Saint Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations, Dr. Pacholec focuses on decreasing a patient’s BMI and increasing lean body mass, which equates to the percentage of a person’s weight attributed to bones and muscles. Dr. Pacholec recommends a diet rich in organic produce, meat and diary (when appropriate), lowering one’s caloric intake, decreasing belly fat, and regular exercise to help lower BMI and increase lean body mass. Dr. Pacholec may also prescribe appetite suppressants to assist in weight loss, which she dispenses from both her Saint Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations.
In America, obesity has risen almost 20% since the 1980s. We are consuming 20% more calories, 40% more meat and 45% more fat than our counterparts did in the mid-1900s. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Americans are also not burning enough calories and 80% of us don’t get enough daily exercise. When a decline in activity is combined with an increase in caloric intake, the final product equals more fat storage in the body. As the fat stores grow, they can contribute to inflammation and many different diseases, including cancer, insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease. Fat builds layer upon layer, from subcutaneous fat around our arms, thighs and face to deeper intra-abdominal fat which surrounds the organs and expands a person’s mid-section. This is what we call visceral fat but is more commonly referred to as belly fat. This is the most dangerous type of fat there is and forms a gel-like layer beneath the subcutaneous fat that is extremely difficult to lose if proper weight loss techniques are not employed. Losing this type of weight is difficult but can be done with proper nutrition, exercise and guidance. However, if belly fat is left untreated, it begins to act as an organ, triggering an inflammation response by the body and upsetting normal hormone functions as well. It can create its own hormones, which affect appetite, weight, mood and brain function through the brain/gut connection. Hormones and chemical signals are sent from the gut to the brain in response to our appetite and to alert us when we feel full. If there is a breakdown in this chemical feedback system, we are in danger of over-eating, which leads to excess fat storage. Excess fat storage also occurs when we eat refined processed sugars and carbohydrates, which triggers a large release of insulin from the pancreas and ultimately leads to weight gain.
The Role of Insulin: Belly Fat, Weight Gain and Fat Storage
Insulin is the main hormone involved in blood sugar control, affecting appetite, mood and weight gain. When we eat a meal high in carbohydrates or sugar, the food products breakdown in the stomach to usable sugars, like glucose and fructose. These sugars need to be transported to the cells to provide us with energy, and the hormone that is responsible for this transport is insulin. When there is too much glucose in the blood, also known as “high blood sugar”, the pancreas is prompted to release more and more insulin. When insulin levels creep too high in the blood, this can lead to problems like insulin resistance, where the cells don’t respond to the signals produced by insulin and therefore, do not accept the glucose molecules, which get stored as fat instead. This happens a lot more quickly when we consume refined processed carbohydrates, like white bread or white rice. Research has shown that insulin resistance promotes weight gain, and has been associated with abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and low HDL (the “good cholesterol”). Insulin resistance syndrome, or metabolic syndrome, occurs when most of these symptoms are observed in an individual and can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
How to Lose Belly Fat in 6 Steps
Luckily, when we lose belly fat, our risk of diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and inflammation decreases as well. So losing belly fat is not only going to make your waist line shrink, it is also going to increase your longevity and vitality as well! Losing this type of fat is not easy, however, and requires dedication, support and motivation. Dr. Pacholec has outlined below the most effective ways to lose belly fat and keep it off. Call Dr. Pacholec at either our Lutz, FL or St. Petersburg, FL locations to set up a weight loss consultation and get started on your journey towards better health and happiness!
If you read our previous post about our new product, Secretropin, you may be wondering what exactly human growth hormone (HGH) does in the body. Even though it sounds similar to human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), it is actually very different. Both are used for growth and development, but HCG is produced by the placenta during pregnancy to aid in growth of the fetus, while HGH is produced by the pituitary gland throughout life and has a wide range of metabolic and growth effects on the body. As we age, the production of HGH goes down, which contributes to many of the detrimental side effects of aging, including memory loss, poor sleep and insomnia, looser skin, hair loss, fatigue, and lack of muscle tone. HCG gets a lot of hype in the diet and weight loss industry, and in the past, HGH has been pretty well known in professional athletics for its physical performance enhancing abilities. However, HGH is responsible for so much more than just its ability to enhance performance. It is a natural testosterone booster, which can be used to increase vitality, improve sleep, stimulate hair growth, increase muscle tone and so much more. It is often used to treat both children and adults with signs of HGH deficiency, but more recently, has gotten popular for it's powerful anti-aging effects. Read below to learn more about this all-encompassing hormone.
1. What are the anti-aging effects of HGH and how does it work?
HGH is responsible for many different metabolic and growth processes in the body. It keeps skin smooth and youthful, reduces hair loss, increases muscle tone and strength, builds stronger bones, reduces your risk of heart disease and it improves sleep, memory and cognitive function. HGH is a hormone which is closely linked to other metabolic hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, so any disruption to these hormones can lead to decreased production of HGH. The peak of HGH production is at night, between the hours of 8pm and 4am, and it is known to increase melatonin production during this time, which is why it promotes deeper sleep. Sounds great right?! So if HGH is produced naturally by the body and production continues throughout life, why do so many millions of people suffer from these ailments? Well, unfortunately, there is no easy answer, but there are many physical, emotional and environmental factors that play a role in decreasing the natural production of HGH over time. HGH naturally decreases as we age, but hormone imbalances in testosterone and estrogen levels, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, lack of green vegetables and fresh fruit, obesity, nutrient deficiency, fatty liver or liver degeneration and depression are some of the factors which can decrease HGH and if not corrected, eventually lead to true HGH deficiency.
2. How do I know if I am deficient in HGH?
There are certain symptoms that are specific to true HGH deficiency in both children and adults. See below for more information.
There are natural ways to increase your HGH, which include being more active, specifically engaging in a high interval intensity training (HIIT) workout, which has been proven to be the best exercise for increasing HGH levels. Supplementation of l-arginine, l-glutamine and vitamin C have shown to have a great effect on HGH levels and laughter has proven to also increase HGH levels by as much as 30%! Secretropin is a combination of amino acids, including l-arginine and l-glutamine, which has been proven to increase HGH naturally, thereby eliminating many of the negative side effects that occur with HGH injections.
3. Can HGH be used to for weight loss?
Yes! Even though HGH isn't as effective as HCG, it does promote weight loss, primarily by inducing better sleep (which in turn speeds up metabolism), increasing muscle mass, and reducing belly fat. It also does not require you to adhere to a strict diet, so as long as you are eating a healthy and varied diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, you should start shedding some pounds. You won't lose weight quickly, but by improving your metabolism and overall well-being, the weight will naturally shed.
4. How does Secretropin differ from HGH injections?
HGH is notoriously difficult for providers to test, and levels can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. When patients receive injectable HGH, this eliminates their body's own production of HGH and therefore, they are relying on their physician to accurately administer a correct dose. Unfortunately, due to the many different variables affecting HGH levels as described above, it is difficult for physicians to prescribe an accurate dose for injections. This leads to many negative side effects, which are described below.
Negative Side Effects of HGH Injections:
For these reasons, Dr. Pacholec believes it is safer to naturally support the body's own production of HGH. Secretropin, is an all-natural supplement to boost the body's own production of HGH, thereby eliminating all of the negative side effects associated with injection of HGH. It is a daily supplement, administered before bed, which elevates HGH to levels that are acceptable for each unique person. It has been in use for over 20 years, and no adverse side effects have been reported.
Interested in learning more? Call Dr. Pacholec's St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL offices to set up your anti-aging consultation today!
Secretropin® is one of the latest innovations in anti-aging medicine and natural hormone replacement therapy. Patients of Pacholec Center for Weight Loss in Lutz, FL and St Petersburg, FL who are looking to improve immunity, regulate their hormones or achieve better health and wellness overall can benefit from this easy oral bedtime spray. It is a natural alternative to Human Growth Hormone (HGH) injections and works to stimulate the natural release and production of HGH by your own body.
How Does Secretropin® Work?
As a secretagogoue, Secretropin® enhances the signals sent to the pituitary gland that tell it to secrete more HGH and it works with the body’s natural systems rather than eliminating the body’s own production of HGH, which often occurs with HGH injections.
Secretropin® combines natural amino acids to increase the production and release of natural human growth factors. This unique formula allows patients to experience the same results as they would receive from getting HGH injections, without damaging the body’s natural ability to produce HGH and Somatostatin.
Benefits of Secretropin® HGH Treatment
With Dr. Pacholec’s assistance, patients can experience the highest level of benefits from this amazing innovation in anti-aging medicine and natural hormone therapy. Call Dr. Pacholec's Lutz, FL or St. Petersburg, FL location to set up an appointment for your anti-aging consultation today!
Directions for Use
Start with three sprays under the tongue and hold for 30 seconds. Administer at bedtime.
Collagen is the anti-aging secret that has finally stolen the spotlight! For centuries people have consumed collagen without even realizing it, in the form of whole meat soups, bone broths and the delightful “fish-head” soup, common to so many Asian cuisines. Unfortunately, most Americans follow the SAD diet (Standard American Diet), which does not promote the consumption of whole animal proteins, including bones and organs. Collagen is abundant in these parts of the animal and nearly non-existent in the main meat of the animal, which of course is what westerners prefer to eat. Now that more people are catching on to its many different anti-aging benefits, people are starting to give second thoughts to eating the turkey giblets or chicken livers that frequently get tossed during family dinners. Dr. Pacholec describes below how adding collagen to your diet can benefit your health, mental function and even assist in weight loss! Make an appointment at either our Lutz, FL or St Petersburg, FL location to discuss with Dr. Pacholec how you can start implementing collagen into your anti-aging regimen today!
Collagen is made up of 19 different amino acids and is known as a “complex protein”. It is found in all living animals and is most abundant in the bones and organ tissues. The main building blocks of collagen are proline, glycine, glutamine and arginine.
Proline makes up roughly 15% of collagen and is important for cardiovascular health, maintaining the integrity of blood vessels and improving joint health.
Glycine makes up nearly 1/3 of collagen and is responsible for building and maintaining healthy DNA strands. It is also required to produce creatine, which promotes muscle growth and increases energy during workouts.
Glutamine is one of our favorite anti-aging amino acids! It is essential to nearly every system in the body and improves health from head to toe. As a quick overview, it improves anxiety, tension, sleep disorders/insomnia, a lack of concentration, poor digestive health, a weakened immune system, stubborn weight loss and low energy. Check out our blog post on Leaky Gut Syndrome for a more in-depth overview on the magical benefits of glutamine.
Arginine breaks down into nitric oxide within the body, which is an important compound for arterial and heart health. It also improves circulation, strengthens the immune system and may even improve libido! These four amino acids have powerful anti-aging effects, making collagen one of the most beneficial natural products to slow the aging process and increase energy. Read on for information regarding the top 6 issues collagen is most beneficial for.
Improves the Health of Skin, Hair, Nails and Teeth
As we age, our skin gets noticeably looser, more wrinkled and less elastic. For decades, people were expected to believe that this was just a natural part of aging. Thanks to advances in anti-aging medicine, we know no many of these processes can be prevented and even reversed with certain dietary supplements. Collagen is a beneficial supplement which has been found to increase skin firmness, make skin smoother and increase elasticity to naturally prevent and even reverse cellulite, stretch marks and wrinkles (ref: Collagen Peptides have Beneficial Effects on Human Skin).
Improves Joint Health and Arthritis
Another assumed negative impact of aging is the deterioration of our joints and bones. Anti-aging medical research has now found that myth can be debunked as well through the use of certain dietary supplements, such as collagen. Ingesting a hydrolyzed collagen compound has been found to reduce joint pain and degeneration and research has also proven it to be an effective remedy for osteoarthritis (ref: Collagen for Treatment of Osteoarthritis). It also helps to rebuild cartilage and buffers our bodies against the effects of vibration or shock, which often deteriorates as we get older.
Improves Gastrointestinal Health
The amino acids present in collagen help to create new connective tissue, which is the underlying reason why collagen has so many beneficial properties. It is especially beneficial for leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel disease, Chron’s disease, acid reflux and ulcerative colitis since it is able to protect and repair the gut lining, due to the high concentrations of glutamine. Research has found that patients who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease have decreased serum concentrations of collagen (ref: Collagen in Inflammatory Bowel Disease).
Improves Weight Loss
As we age, it also gets more difficult to lose weight. Collagen not only repairs degenerating connective tissue, it also increases metabolism by aiding in the conversion of essential nutrients, like glucose, to be used as energy and fuel for muscle cells during workouts. This creates more lean muscle mass and reduces fat storage (ref: Collagen Improves Body Composition and Increases Muscle Strength)
Assists in Liver Detoxification
Glycine, which is one of the main amino acid building blocks of collagen, improves liver function and can even reverse alcohol induced liver damage (ref: Glycine Accelerates Recovery from Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury).
Improves Cardiovascular Function
Collagen helps to release fat buildup in your arteries and minimizes fat accumulation. It also prevents arteriosclerosis (i.e. hardening of the arteries) since it helps to clear dangerous plaque buildup. It also improves vasodilation, which allows arteries to widen and relax which improves overall blood circulation (ref: Effects of Collagen on Atherosclerosis).
As you can see, collagen has many different beneficial properties, which is why it is considered one of the “miracle” supplements in anti-aging medicine. One of the best ways to increase your collagen level is by making and consuming your own bone broth, made from organic, free-range or wild-caught chicken, fish or meat bones, or by consuming organ meats. If you don’t have time to slave away at the stove making broth, a daily supplement is another easy way to increase collagen consumption. Be wary of processed or store-bought bone broth, especially ones that are shelf stable, since these will not have collagen levels needed to see health improvements. Dr. Pacholec sells a pharmaceutical-grade collagen supplement, called H-S-N Complex, which contains not only collagen peptides, but extra glutamine, biotin, vitamin C and aloe vera to further strengthen its effects on the integumentary system (i.e. hair, skin and nails) and gastrointestinal system. Vitamin C is needed to help convert the collagen into useable proteins in the body, so if you are making your own bone broth it is important to also take a vitamin C supplement or add oranges and other foods rich in vitamin C to your bone broth recipe.
While the ingestion of collagen has been proven to help improve the skin, hair, nails and teeth, effects from its topical application to the body are less conclusive. Many skin products boast of the added collagen in their formulas to naturally prevent and reduce wrinkles, fine lines and tone skin, but collagen is not as readily absorbed through the skin as it is through the gastrointestinal system. Don’t be fooled by the expensive price and fancy packaging on these skin care products. The best way to treat skin conditions is from the inside out!
A great way to get your dose of collagen every morning is to add it to your coffee. Bulletproof coffee is a health fad that is sweeping the nation, and for good reason! Coffee plus collagen, grass-fed butter and coconut oil extract (MCT oil) makes a great start to your day. It keeps you full longer and burns energy to help your body reach ketosis faster, which is helpful if you are following a ketogenic diet. Check out the recipe below on how to make your own bulletproof coffee!
1 cup coffee
1 scoop H-S-N Complex powder
1 tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
1 tsp MCT oil
1 tsp cinnamon (to taste; optional)
1 tsp raw maca powder (to taste; optional)
What are some other ways you like to incorporate collagen into your diet? Do you have a bone broth recipe to share? Post it in the comments below!
Beneficial bacteria and a diverse and healthy diet are two of the main contributors for promoting weight loss and sustaining a healthy weight. Both human and animal studies have found that people with a normal or healthy weight have significantly different gut bacteria species and diversity than overweight or obese people. Obese people have a less diverse gut flora, which adds to the argument that a more diverse diet leads to a more diverse gut flora.
There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Research has shown that body weight seems to be related to a balance in the ratio of these bacterial families. In these studies, people suffering from obesity had more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes, compared to people of a normal weight. Dr. Pacholec offers a Gut Health Consultation at both her St. Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations in which she performs specialized testing to assess this ratio of these bacteria. The results of this analysis will help her customize a medical weight loss plan to help get the ratio back into normal parameters. This will help her patient not only lose weight, but sustain a healthy weight down the road.
Lactobacillus is another important bacterial genus which has been shown to inhibit the absorption of dietary fat and increases the amount of fat excreted with feces. Consumption of Lactobacillus in a pharmaceutical grade supplement has also been associated with a decrease in belly fat. The species of Lactobacillus that seems to have the greatest effect on weight loss is Lactobacillus gasseri, which has been shown to prevent obesity in studies with laboratory rodents. In a Japanese study of 210 overweight people suffering from belly fat, the researchers provided a probiotic for 12 weeks. Participants who took the supplement for the full 12 week period had reduced body weight, reduced fat around their organs, a reduced Body Mass Index (BMI) and decreased waist and hip circumference. Participants who stopped taking the probiotic gained back all of their belly fat within a month. The specialized testing that Dr. Pacholec uses at both her St Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations also analyzes the presence of Lactobacillus in a patient's gut, which helps her create a customized medical weight loss plan, specific for that patient.
Probiotics may also regulate proteins and hormones associated with fat storage and energy reserves.
The Western Diet
The Westernized lifestyle, including diet is associated with high incidences of chronic diseases, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. The Westernized diet is characterized by the over consumption of highly refined, omnivorous diets of poor nutritional quality. They are energy dense, high in animal protein, total and saturated fats and simple sugars, but low in fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods. This type of diet leads to poor diversity in the composition of the gut bacteria. The gut bacterial population is responsive to acute dietary changes, so altering a diet low in nutritional quality to a more diverse plant-based diet can help revitalize the gut bacteria and lead to better health in the short-term.
Probiotic Rich Foods
In addition to a high quality, pharmaceutical grade probiotic supplement, Dr. Pacholec recommends her patients to eat probiotic rich foods to aid in medical weight loss and increase the health of their gut microbiome. Fermented and pickled foods are rich in probiotics and digestive enzymes, so they promote better absorption of nutrients and help balance the gut microbiome. A list of Dr. Pacholec's favorite probiotic rich foods is below:
Schedule a Gut Health Consultation with Dr. Pacholec at either her St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL locations for your next appointment to discuss other ways in which you can increase the health of your GI system. A healthy, balanced diet has many more benefits than just losing weight!
Your “Gut Health” plays a significant role in many health conditions such as:
In patients with leaky gut syndrome, the permeability of the intestinal lining is increased, forming larger “holes” which allow for large proteins like gluten, chemical waste and harmful bacteria to pass into the bloodstream, therapy eliciting inflammation; foreign body reactions and many chronic health issues.
Some physical signs that you may have leaky gut syndrome are:
Some causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome are:
Treatments for Leaky Gut
L-Glutamine is an amino acid which has an affinity for the cells that line the gastrointestinal tract. This is one of the most effective treatments you can use to treat and prevent leaky gut syndrome. This amino acid supports intestinal mucosal health by encouraging optimal nutrient absorption and by repairing the intestinal barrier between the mucosal lining and the bloodstream. Repairing this barrier helps to prevent “holes” or gaps from forming in the intestinal lining, which decreases the likelihood of bacteria or their byproducts from entering the bloodstream. As an additional perk, it is also beneficial for losing weight quickly, burning fat and building muscle! Because of these properties, L-Glutamine has been used for decades by body builders and gym enthusiasts. L-Glutamine can be purchased on its own, or it can be found in products like OptiCleanse, GlutaShield or GI-Revive. These products use L-glutamine along with other beneficial nutrients to offer more comprehensive support for the whole GI system. Dr. Josh Axe offers an in-depth overview of L-Glutamine on his website, which can be found here: https://draxe.com/l-glutamine-benefits-side-effects-dosage/.
The second most important supplement Dr. Pacholec recommends for treatment and prevention of leaky gut syndrome is a high quality and diverse strain of probiotic containing between 25-50 billion CFU. This will help to strengthen the integrity of the intestinal lining, nourish the cells that create the mucosal lining and decrease inflammation. Dr. Pacholec highly recommends the Ther-Biotic Complete formula from Klaire Labs which contains 25 billion CFU of 12 strains of beneficial bacteria.
Dr. Pacholec’s 3-month protocol to repair: Leaky Gut Syndrome:
Click on the links to learn more about each product!
Dr. Pacholec can provide a full gastrointestinal wellness check-up when you make an appointment at either of her Lutz or St Petersburg offices. During this visit, she can provide laboratory testing to assess food allergies or intolerances, parameters of inflammation, and gut bacterial health. She will use the information gathered from this assessment along with the patient's symptoms and medical health history to create a customized treatment plan. Treating chronic illness, such as leaky gut syndrome, can help a patient burn stubborn fat and contribute to medical weight loss. It may also help regulate hormone imbalances and create an overall sense of increased well-being. So what are you waiting for? Call either the Lutz or St Petersburg office to schedule your next appointment today!
The world of nutrition supplements can seem overwhelming when strolling down the vitamin isle in the grocery store. There are so many different brands, dosages and formulas available that often we find ourselves blindly selecting a nutrition supplement and hoping it is the right one that will benefit our health in some way. We tell our doctors, “yes, I am taking calcium” or “yes, I take vitamin C every day” but we also find ourselves wondering why our bones are still aching or why we continue to get sick. Aren’t these supplements supposed to prevent or even cure these issues? Well, unfortunately not all supplements are created the same, and the efficacy of the supplement depends on many different factors, from manufacture to sale.
In a 2015 investigation, the NY State Attorney’s Office found that 80% of herbal supplements sold from Target, Walgreens, Walmart and GNC locations across the state of New York contained either a minimal percentage or no traces of DNA from the active herbal components and contained a high proportion of DNA from unlisted contaminants, such as household plants and powdered rice. The presence of these unlisted contaminants is especially detrimental for people with allergies, who may have adverse reactions to these products.
In contrast, suppliers of pharmaceutical-grade supplements ensure pure ingredients and correct dosages by conducting scientific studies, selecting high quality ingredients, establishing a high quality manufacturing process, and utilizing ingredients in their most bio-available form.
Continue reading below to find out what makes all these supplements so different, and why pharmaceutical-grade supplements, such as the ones Dr. Barbara Pacholec prescribes at her Lutz and St Petersburg locations, can actually improve your health when compared to similar over-the-counter (OTC) products that more often than not, only result in expensive urine.
Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements Must Meet Strict Guidelines for Purity and Quality
Other than price, one of the biggest differences between pharmaceutical-grade supplements and OTC brands is the level of government regulation over their manufacture and sale. OTC supplements are marketed for Food Grade consumption, which means the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is only responsible for making sure these supplements are safe to eat. They do not test for purity, strength or quality and allow many different additives, colors and filers to be included in the manufacture of these supplements, which can decrease the purity and overall efficacy of the nutrient or herbal extract.
On the other hand, pharmaceutical-grade supplements undergo rigorous third-party testing by research laboratories for purity, quality and strength. The manufacturing process must meet stringent guidelines set forth by the US Pharmacopeia to ensure quality and purity. The research laboratories often conduct independent studies to test the efficacy of the products on either lab animals or with human trials. The key difference here is that a vitamin which is in its purest form will be absorbed better by the body when compared to a vitamin that has many different additives applied to it. Additives make the vitamin unable to bind to key receptors in the body, and ultimately the vitamin ends up being excreted without having much effect.
Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements Contain the most Bio-Available form of the Nutrient
Pharmaceutical-grade supplements contain active, raw nutrients which are absorbed quickly and effectively by the body when ingested. Examples of this include Pyridoxal-5’-phosphate, which is the active form of Vitamin B6, methylcobalamin, which is the active form of Vitamin B12, and L-methylfolate (5-MTHF), which is the active form of folate. When you see these ingredients listed on a nutrition label, it means that you are buying high quality supplements which are already available in their most active form, so can be quickly absorbed by the body. This is especially important for people with severe allergies, or those who are immune-compromised as they cannot convert inactive ingredients to active forms through biochemical conversions within their own bodies.
Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements are Administered in Correct Dosages
Since pharmaceutical-grade supplements are more active and contain pure ingredients, they are also generally more potent than OTC products. This means they need to be administered under the supervision of a medical practitioner to ensure they are being taken in an effective manner. Each tablet, capsule or suggested dose of powdered nutrient is rigorously tested to ensure dosages remain uniform. OTC products do not undergo this level of quality control, and many studies have found that the dosages between individual capsules or tablets is not standardized and therefore, may be negatively impacting the overall effectiveness of the supplement. This is one of the reasons why some health professionals refer to OTC products as resulting in “expensive urine.”
If you want to see real results from your supplements, do your research before you buy blindly at the grocery store. Dr. Pacholec offers an extensive range of supplements, which she has thoroughly researched herself to ensure they are the best ones for her patients’ health and well-being. Make an appointment at either her Lutz or St Petersburg location to discuss which supplements may be best for you. Begin your journey towards better health today!
Barbara Pacholec, MD
Dr Pacholec is Board Certified in Bariatric Medicine and Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. She has run a successful practice specializing in medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy and anti-aging/regenerative and functional medicine for the past 20 years in Lutz, FL in Tampa Bay. In January 2018, she opened a satellite practice in St Petersburg, FL which also specializes in medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy, and anti-aging/regenerative and functional medicine.