7 Amazingly Easy Steps to Achieve True Nutrition

In the past few decades, it has become overwhelmingly apparent that diet and nutrition plays a significant role in our overall health.  The old saying “You are what you eat” is taken more literally by the day, it seems.   A lack of various nutrients is linked to almost every type of disease and may lead to chronic illness or even death if the deficiency is untreated.  Likewise, consuming too many of some vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients, may also lead to sickness or cause unwanted side effects (and in extreme cases, may become toxic.)  In this article, we’ll discuss the “True Nutrition” concept and several easy alterations that you can make to your diet today that will put you on the course to obtaining true nutrition.

What do we mean by true nutrition?

As I mentioned in the introduction to this article, by not obtaining any of certain nutrients, not consuming enough of a nutrient, or consuming too much of a nutrient will all produce unwanted side effects or negative changes to the body that may go unnoticed for some time.  So, when I refer to “true nutrition” in this article, I will be referring to an adequate amount of all nutrients with good balance.  It is important to note that all individuals absorb, store, and process nutrients differently due to genetic factors.  Some underlying conditions may also affect nutrient absorption.  For example, people that are lactose intolerant lack an enzyme that breaks lactose down into smaller sugars.  Many people that are lactose intolerant feel bad after consuming dairy products which may make them more susceptible to deficiencies in good sugars, fats, calcium, vitamin D, etc. if dairy products are not substituted with another food that provides these nutrients.

Illustrating portions of food groups for a balanced diet

Educate Yourself about Beneficial Ingredients that Contribute to True Nutrition

The first step to achieving true nutrition is to self-educate on diet and nutrition topics and to make this a reoccurring habit so that you will be informed about the latest scientific evidence on nutritional needs.  Most of the population (excluding the health / medical industry populations) has the perception that we now have scientific evidence for most biological factors of the body and that we have the majority of medical things figured out.  However, this is not so accurate.  While we have a much better understanding of the human body’s biological processes, there is still so much that has not been discovered, or that is not totally understood at this time.  For this reason, today’s true nutrition may be drastically different than next year’s true nutrition.  Most doctors will concur that we probably aren’t giving totally accurate advice, but that we have enough data to know that we’re on the right path towards true nutrition.  So, most likely, true nutrition will not have drastic changes in the near-future.

I remember just 20 years ago being in middle school and learning about food groups and the FDA’s Food Pyramid.  If you were familiar with this illustration, it suggested that the majority of our diets (at least 6-11 servings per day) consist of bread, grains, cereals, rice, pastas and other carbohydrates.  Then, it suggested that we eat 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruits, 2-3 servings of dairy, and 2-3 servings of meats, beans, and nuts per day.  The pyramid also suggested using fats and oils as sparingly as possible.  However, today we understand that there were quite a few issues with this plan to achieve true nutrition.  The first issue being that the minimum amount of food servings that would be consumed by an individual would be 15 servings.  For a child or person with a low BMI, this can be way too much food to consume (which may have contributed towards some of our current obesity problems in the United States).  Also, this is a massive amount of carbs, starches, and saturated fats (many which will convert to excessive amounts of sugar and fat in the body).  In those days, we also did not fully understand the importance of certain fats and protein necessities either.  We also didn’t realize the amount of benefits that phytonutrients and other nutrients present in fruits and vegetables provide.  And today, there has been quite a bit of talk about how the USDA’s Food Pyramid may have been financially motivated, which would mean that the USDA was simply benefiting corporations over the US population’s health which is their primary duty.  Pubmed is a great place to stay educated on nutritional topics.  Almost all controlled studies are published on Pubmed for the public and others in the medical communities to view.

Determine True Nutrition Goals with Blood Work

After educating yourself about beneficial vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that contribute to true nutrition, it is important to have your dietician or physician conduct a blood test to determine if you’re getting appropriate amounts of each true nutrient.  Most individuals overall consume enough vitamins and nutrients, but it is extremely common for an individual to be deficient or to have an abundance of at least one or two vitamins/nutrients.

The most common causes for nutrient deficiencies are a poor assortment of foods, genetic factors, and other conditions within the body that prevent nutrient absorption.  By obtaining blood work, your physician will quickly and accurately be able to identify these imbalances affecting true nutrition and will be able to recommend the best plan of action to get these nutrients within normal ranges.

Importance of Phytonutrients in True Nutrition

When the majority of us were children, we probably all heard “Take your vitamins!” on a daily basis.  These days, we still hear it – just from online ads versus our parents.  Less often, do we hear that we need to take our minerals, but the importance of minerals is becoming more evident by the year.  However, a new group of nutrients has come to surface in the last 20 years that go by the name of “Phytonutrients”.  “Phyto” is the Greek word for “plant”, so essentially phytonutrients are nutrients in plants that assist their survival and thwart off threats like bugs, fungi, germs, etc.  As science continues to reveal, if a nutrient is beneficial to the survival of a form of life, there’s a good chance that it’s beneficial for another form of life (considering that we’re all made out of the same organic chemicals).

Some examples of phytonutrients are resverotrol, flavanoids, glucosinolates, carotenoids, phytoestrogens, and Ellagic acid.  Phytonutrients seem to be amazingly effective at fighting cancer, fighting free radicals in the body that destroy tissues, and many can even be converted into vitamins and other nutrients in the body.  Scientists have been studying these phytonutrients heavily and are finding that they are beneficial for a long list of diseases and conditions that humans often contract.  Many scientists are also toying with curing disease with large amounts of the nutrients, since they’re only currently available to us in small amounts in the food that we eat.

As we said, achieving true nutrition is a concept of packing your body full of as many healthy nutrients as possible.  So, why wouldn’t we try to get as many of these phytonutrients as possible?  Well, it may be kind of difficult to get every single one of them, as there are over 25,000 forms that have already been discovered, but the good news is that most common fruits and vegetables come with a huge assortment of them.

Buy REAL produce for true nutrition

It’s becoming more and more evident that people that buy real produce (from local farmers) tend to have higher amounts of several healthy compounds that contribute to true nutrition.  Over the past decade, produce from local/organic farmers versus big box store produce (usually coming from “power farms”) has been heavily debated and studied by scientist and nutritionists.  Power farms are typically corporate suppliers that harvest huge amounts of food in certain pieces of land.  They are equipped with very efficient tools to harvest crops and also use pesticides to thwart off insect threats and other chemicals to help yield high amounts of quality produce.  However, many scientists have hypothesized that the soil that the produce is grown on eventually becomes depleted in nutrients due to plant consumption of these nutrients.  This repeated consumption of nutrients by plants may lead to lower levels of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the soil.

In addition to soil nutrient depletion, many scientists have also argued that the pesticides and other chemicals used by power farms may be excessive and possibly toxic to humans.  There have even been claims that some of the “harmless” chemicals aiding in maximum produce yields may build up in certain individuals bodies and eventually become harmful versus harmless.  However, most of these claims were not backed up by any scientific evidence until recent years.  Now, many scientific communities are discovering methods of testing not only the nutrient concentration in certain crops, but also discovering methods to test how many nutrients our bodies actually absorb after eating certain foods.

One of these very important studies backing real produce nutrition content, published by the The British Journal of Nutrition, proves that organically grown produce from local farmers contains significantly higher amounts of antioxidants, phenolic compounds, flavones, flavanones, flavoids, carotenoids, xanthophylis, and healthy carbohydrates – all which greatly contribute to total nutrition.

Don’t Forget Raw Foods for True Nutrition

You may have heard of the “Raw Diet” before because the concept of this diet has existed since the 1800s and has been pretty popular in recent years in the United States and other parts of the world.  The diet suggests that people should consume at least 75% of all food intake in its raw form.  Most forms of the raw diet also suggest only eating 100% natural, organic, non-processed, and non-genetically modified foods.  The reason that many believe in this type of diet is because cooking food denatures enzymes and other true nutrients in the food and may denature many of the enzymes that are also available.

Indeed, cooking food does kill off some of the vitamins in the food (especially water-soluble vitamins), and cooking foods may change the form of some important enzymes in the food.  However, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s important to eat 75% raw food.  I believe that the 20-40% range may be more appropriate considering that the majority of people often consume plenty of the essential vitamins and produce many of the enzymes (that are denatured by the cooking process) inside their bodies.  The reason that I would only recommend eating around 30% vs 75% is because studies have shown that eating almost entirely raw does not help contribute to true nutrition and can sometimes even result in negative effects.  Bacteria could be a large contributing factor of these negative effects because cooking food kills nearly all of the harmful bacteria that are found on common foods that we eat.

Add Black Pepper Extract for a True Nutrition Boost

You wouldn’t think that black pepper would have much of an effect on true nutrition at all (besides possibly making foods that we don’t particularly care for taste better).  However, black pepper extract has shown to increase absorption of many different nutrients, and can also increase bioavailability of a wide variety of herbal supplements (ex: curcumin).  What’s also impressive is that only about 5mg of black pepper extract is needed to achieve this huge boost in true nutrition.

Black pepper extract’s patented form goes by the name “Bioperine”.  Black pepper is a form of Piperine which doesn’t have a significant impact on the body alone, but black pepper extract has the ability to inhibit many enzymes that target certain molecules.  By inhibiting the enzymes from breaking down these molecules (like herbal supplement or produce nutrients), the body has a much higher supply that can be absorbed.

A Detailed Diet Plan is Essential for True Nutrition

Nobody said that obtaining true nutrition was going to be easy.  In addition to adapting your taste for healthy foods, feeling hungry, and possibly spending a little more than you normally would while grocery shopping, you’re going to have to do quite a bit of planning.  This step should occur after educating yourself about nutritional content in different foods and how those nutrients interact with each other and your body.  The steps that I take to achieve true nutrition diet planning are:

  • Educate yourself about the most beneficial vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that contribute to true nutrition
  • Determine what you need or lack in achieving true nutrition – The easiest way to determine this is to get blood work done by your physician or a nutritionist
  • Determine your goals for achieving true nutrition – Your physician or nutritionist knows best!
  • Find your favorite ingredients – Find ingredients that are easy to eat and help you achieve your true nutrition goals
  • Determine the right amount of each ingredient needed to achieve your true nutrition goals
  • Coordinate shopping and meal schedule to ensure that food does not spoil
  • Stick to the plan!


4 Awful Complications Caused by Bladder Stones

If you’ve ever had an experience with bladder stones, you’ll know that they’re no walk in the park.  Bladder stones can be extremely painful and may drastically interfere with your regular day to day activities.  In this day and age, almost every illness comes with a long list of treatments.  However, with bladder stones, that’s not always the case.  Some of the risks of treatment procedures outweigh the benefits, so many bladder stones are left alone for chance of passing on their own.  As we’ll discuss, this sometimes leads to serious complications that can become life-threatening or that may cause additional chronic conditions down the road.  Again, bladder stones cannot always be treated, but there are steps that you can take to prevent getting them.  Educating yourself about the causes and condition is always one of the most effective ways of preventing/avoiding getting bladder stones in the first place.  Taking the small amount of time needed to educate yourself on the bladder stones subject may prevent you from experiencing unnecessary agony and may help you save boat loads of money in the long run.

Illustration of Bladder Stones

Overview of Bladder Stones

To sum it up, bladder stones are small (sometimes large) clumps of minerals that crystallize and build up inside your bladder.  These accumulations are most commonly the result of not fully emptying your bladder, but may result from other issues with the body.  Kidney stones are not to be confused with bladder stones.  The difference between the two being that one is formed from mineral accumulations in the kidney, and the other being formed in the bladder.  However, many kidney stones drop from the kidneys to the bladder on their path towards expulsion.  It is also fairly common from mineral accumulations to begin in the kidneys, and then further develop and grow inside the bladder.  In developing countries, bladder stones are most common in children.  However, in other parts of the world, bladder stones are most commonly found in adults.  Bladder stones are most common in adults over the age of 50 and are seen more in men than women.

Bladder stones can be caused by nearly any type of mineral, but some of the culprits are more well-known than others.  Below are several types of the most common minerals that cause bladder stones:

  • Forms of Calcium – These are among the most prevalent when it comes to bladder stones. Forms of calcium such as calcium oxalate dehydrate, calcium oxalate monohydrate, and calcium phosphate, may cause or contribute to bladder stones.
  • Forms of Magnesium – Magnesium analogs are also a common accumulation of bladder stones. The most common of these forms being magnesium phosphate.
  • Forms of Ammonia – Ammonia is highly present in human urine. Ammonium phosphate and ammonium magnesium phosphate bladder stones are fairly common.
  • Uric Acid and salts of uric acid
  • Xanthine
  • Cystine

So what causes these bladder stones?  Well, Lloyd (in Dumb & Dumber) says it best: “I can’t stop going once I’ve started, it stings!”  It may not just sting when you stop, but you may be adding to your risk of getting bladder stones.  The root cause of bladder stones is usually because your bladder is not fully being emptied.  The minerals in the urine crystallize and begin to accumulate into a mass.  Over time, this mass may continue to grow and there you have it – a bladder stone!

There are other factors and contributors to the development of bladder stones, however.  For instance, an enlarged prostate gland may prevent men from fully emptying their bladder.  This is one of the most common causes of bladder stones, and the reason why bladder stones are more prevalent in men than women.  Nerve damage is another underlying cause that commonly contributes to bladder stone masses.  Some individuals that have experienced nerve damage in parts of their body and brain experience issues that cause a disconnection between the bladder and brain.  An example of nerve damage that may have these effects is spondylosis.  This condition is caused by cervical disk issues and sometimes results in disks losing their ability to hold fluid, as well as bone spurs, sometimes resulting in the shrinking of the spinal column.  Spondylosis and other forms of nerve damage may result in the brain thinking that the bladder is fully emptied, when in all reality, it is not.

Bladder inflammation and medical devices are also seen as causes for bladder stones.  While not as common as the previously mentioned contributors, many of these cases are often seen.  For instance, those that undergo radiation treatments or that experience urinary tract or bladder infections tend to experience inflammation in their bladders which may obstruct the urinary system.  Catheters and other medical devices may also obstruct these same pathways.


Serious Complications of Bladder Stones

Not all bladder stones cause noticeable symptoms which is one reason that complications are sometimes seen which untreated bladder stones.  Below are some of the top complications that may arise from the presence of a bladder stone.  Afterwards, we will discuss signs and symptoms of a bladder stone and steps to take to avoid the risk of these complications:

Permanent Bladder Dysfunction – Untreated bladder stones may result in permanent damage to the bladder or urinary tract system.  This permanent damage may lead to bladder pain or the need to urinate frequently.  There are several ways that this damage may occur, but one of the common scenarios seen is caused by the bladder stone lodging inside the urinary tract.  This event may require surgery in some cases.

Urinary Tract Infections – There is a clear link between urinary tract infections and bladder stones.  If the bladder stone is obstructing the urinary tract, bacterial accumulation may be a result.  If not cared for properly, these infections can become very serious.

Overgrown Mass – If left untreated, bladder stones may grow too large to pass through the urinary tract.  If bladder stones get to this point, they almost always require surgical removal.

Complications from Bladder stone surgery – There are several situations where bladder stones may need to be surgically removed.  Risks are almost automatically increased exponentially once surgery is involved.  Surgery for bladder stones could potentially result in permanent damage to the bladder or surrounding areas, adverse reactions to drugs needed for the operation, nerve damage, or infections that can sometimes be life-threatening.

Several Actual Bladder Stones Relative to Size

Avoiding Complications from Bladder Stones

As you see, bladder stones are no laughing matter.  However, if you know that you may be at risk for getting bladder stones, and if you contact a physician if you suspect that you may have a bladder stone, your chances of complications will be drastically reduced.

Prevention should be your first method of combating bladder stones.  The two best ways to prevent bladder stones from accumulating in the first place are to drink plenty of fluids and to drink citric juices.  By drinking plenty of fluids, the mineral to water ratio will be less, thereby decreasing the chance of mineral accumulations.  Juices containing citrates have also been found to reduce chances of bladder stones from occurring.

As mentioned above, there are instances where bladder stones may not produce any noticeable symptoms; however, most bladder stones are usually accompanied by some sort of discomfort.  Some of the most common symptoms that accompany bladder stones are pain in the penis or testicles (in men), abdominal pain (usually in the lower region of the abdomen), blood in the urine, difficulty urinating or difficulty fully emptying the bladder, or a burning sensation while urinating.  If you experience any of these symptoms, it is strongly advised that you notify your physician immediately before it’s too late.

If bladder stones are suspected, there are several tests and forms of imaging that can be done to detect them.  Your doctor will most likely begin with a physical exam to try and determine if the bladder is enlarged.  This is a common indicator that a bladder stone may be forming.  Your physician may also need to conduct a rectal exam to determine if you are experiencing an enlarged prostate.  Your doctor may test your urine for mineral or bacterial content.  If bladder stones are still suspected, your physician will most likely order for you to have some type of imaging done to verify that your issues are in fact caused by bladder stones.  Common forms of imaging that reveal bladder stones include CT scans, ultrasound testing, or an X-ray of your urinary system.

The Chickenpox Cheat Sheet and FAQs

The chickenpox virus has been infecting children for decades, to the point that obtaining the virus has become a tradition in the United States.  When a child in a community first receives chickenpox, some parents have thrown “chickenpox parties” to expose their child to the virus to get it over with while they’re young.  While the chickenpox virus is not as dangerous as many viruses that are often encountered these days, there are some potentially serious effects of the virus – especially for those that do not catch the virus until they’re an adult.

Illustrated Image of Chickenpox Virus

Chickenpox FAQs

What is the chickenpox virus?

Chickenpox, also known as Varicella zoster virus, is an extremely contagious airborne virus that causes fairly mild symptoms, but can lead to complications that may be life threatening.  Chickenpox is a form of herpes and is related to the herpes zoster virus that is also known as “Shingles”.

How does chickenpox spread?

Chickenpox pathogens are usually spread by close contact with humans.  Chickenpox has been declared an airborne disease and is spread through bodily fluid particles in the air-usually transmitted through coughs, sneezes, laughing, etc.  The blisters and sores, which are the most common and profound symptom of chicken pox, are also highly contagious and should not be touched by other individuals if possible. Chickenpox is contagious a few days prior to visible symptoms and remains contagious until all visible symptoms have cleared.

Who can get chickenpox?

Nearly every person is susceptible to contracting the chickenpox virus that hasn’t already caught chickenpox or that hasn’t received appropriate immunizations for chickenpox.  Most people are exposed to the virus during their childhood, but many do not encounter the virus until they’re adults.

What are the symptoms of chickenpox?

Chickenpox usually starts to display symptoms of the virus approximately 7 to 21 days after contracting the virus.  Initial symptoms of chickenpox typically include a fever and headache (that may vary throughout individuals) the first day.  The second or third day, most will experience the most common symptom of chickenpox, which is a rash consisting of small, blotchy blisters that may be somewhat painful and itchy.  These blisters will turn to sores within a matter of days and will scab over and begin to heal.

How long does chickenpox last?

Chickenpox usually runs its course within 10-21 days total.  However, those that experience complications with the viral infection may experience a longer duration of symptoms.  At this point, your immune system has typically conquered the virus, but the virus may remain inactive in your body.  Although rare, some individuals experience reactivation of the virus as herpes zoster (shingles).  And while it’s an extremely rare occasion, there have been some instances of people that catch chickenpox for a second time.

Can chickenpox be dangerous?

In general, there isn’t much to fear about chickenpox, but you should definitely be aware of potential complications and monitor those infected with chickenpox closely as a precaution.  The most serious conditions that may develop as a result of contracting chickenpox is pneumonia, meningitis (infection of the meninges surrounding the brain), encephalitis (infection inside the brain), and possible kidney problems.  However, serious complications of chickenpox are usually only experienced in those with some type of immune system dysfunction.  The bottom section of the Chickenpox Cheat Sheet (this article) discusses chickenpox precautions and warnings that should be considered.

If my child or I get chickenpox, should we see a doctor?

Most healthy children and adults will not need to see a physician if catching chickenpox.  In fact, it is generally recommended that you do not bring your child to the doctors’ office so that you do not expose others to the virus.  If you fear that you or your child are experiencing unusual or severe symptoms associated with chickenpox, or potential complications of the viral infection, you should call your doctor first, explain the symptoms and issues, and follow their recommendation.

 Is there a cure for chickenpox?

Great news – there is finally a chickenpox vaccine available.  In fact, if you live in the United States, your child has most likely already received the vaccine as it is now a routine immunization for children.  The vaccine was created in 1988 and was released in the United States in 1995.  The vaccine contains a live, but very weak version of the chickenpox virus.  So by receiving the vaccine, your body will learn to combat the virus while having a strain that does not usually cause noticeable symptoms and eliminates almost all of the risks of severe complications.  Since the chickenpox virus poses larger risks for adults, it is highly recommended that you get vaccinated if you have not yet had chickenpox.  The CDC recommends that adults receive two doses of the vaccine versus the single dose that children typically receive.

For those that were not able to get vaccinated, that get chickenpox, you will most likely have to let the virus run its course and let your body fight the infection naturally.  If you have any type of immune disorder, or if you feel like symptoms are severe, or if you feel like you’re experiencing uncommon symptoms of chickenpox, you should call your physician’s office immediately and let them know about your issues.  For those that may be at a higher risk of chickenpox complications, or for those experiencing abnormal progression of the infection, your doctor may prescribe acyclovir (a potent antiviral medication) to help treat the virus.

Is the chickenpox vaccine safe?

The chickenpox vaccine has gone through extensive testing and has closely been monitored by the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) since it was first released.  The CDC published a report that shows the data of those vaccinated for chickenpox.  The report shows statistics for both the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine and the results are a clear indication that the vaccine is extremely safe and effective.

How to Care for Chickenpox

Caring for Somebody with Chickenpox

Diet & Nutrition

It may be difficult to have a proper diet while having chickenpox (especially during the first couple days) because of loss of appetite to eat or drink, but it’s important to eat/drink as healthy as possible.  Maintaining a healthy diet and consuming enough nutrients will keep your immune system functioning at maximum capacity so that you recover quickly and reduce the risk of complications.  Below are several tips that we recommend if infected with chickenpox:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated – Its extremely important that you are fully hydrated. Dehydration is one of the quickest ways to lower immune function.
  • Drink fresh juices or vegetable broth – Juices and vegetable broths are easy on the stomach and deliver a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients that support immune function.
  • Add protein powder to liquids – Protein is also important for immune function, as well as many other processes. We recommend staying away from cooked foods and sticking to a liquid diet during the initial days of the infection.  Because eliminating cooked foods will reduce your protein intake, we recommend adding protein powder to your liquids.

Treating the Rash

Living with an extremely itchy, and sometimes painful, rash can be the worst part of chickenpox.  Below are a few tips for avoiding the agony of these rashes:

  • Cut your fingernails – If you or your child has chickenpox, cut all fingernails as soon as possible to discourage scratching and picking of the sores. There are many bacteria that live beneath your fingernails also, so by cutting them, you will be reducing the risk of any bacterial infections that may occur if coming in contact with the chickenpox rash and sores.
  • Take an oatmeal bath – During the infection, the rash is going to become extremely itchy. At times, it will be unbearable.  To reduce the itch, take a bath with uncooked oatmeal or cornstarch.  Both of these have been shown to be safe and effective methods of reducing itchy feelings during outbreak of a rash.
  • Use Calamine Lotion – Calamine lotion is one of the most commonly used medicines for chickenpox outbreaks. It is considered safe for chickenpox conditions and also extremely effective for reducing itch.

Medicine & Supplements

We strongly recommend at least calling your doctor to see what they recommend for you or your child’s chickenpox symptoms.  However, if you are unable to contact a physician, we recommend the following to help eliminate risk of severe complications, to relieve symptoms, and to ensure a quick recovery.

  • Acyclovir – Acyclovir is a potent antiviral drug used to treat herpes-related viruses. This drug has the ability to drastically stop the virus from replicating and makes the virus a stronger target for your immune system.  Acyclovir is only needed in extreme outbreaks of the chickenpox virus or if some are at a higher risk of developing severe complications as a result of chickenpox.  Unfortunately, you can only obtain acyclovir by prescription from a physician.
  • Emergen-C – There has been a lot of content in recent days trying to discredit Emergen-C, but after reviewing the ingredients of this low-priced supplement, I’m confident that it contains just about every vitamin and mineral that is important to immune function. I’ve also used this product any time that I am sick or even feel like I’m getting sick and I am almost certain that it is extremely effective.  After reading some reviews throughout the internet, I’ve found that there are many others that feel the same way that I do.  I highly recommend taking this supplement to help aid your immune system


As we’ve discussed, there are several potential complications with chickenpox that can beome severe, and even life threatening.  There are also other diseases that share similar symptoms with chickenpox.  Below are some warnings and precautions that you should take to ensure that matters don’t become worse with a case of chickenpox:

  • Avoid spreading the virus – Because there are many people out there without healthy immune systems, and because adults are at a higher risk if obtaining chickenpox, it is important that you stay home during a chickenpox infection to avoid spreading the virus.
  • Get plenty of rest – If you catch chickenpox, it certainly isn’t a requirement that you stay in bed, but we highly recommend taking it easy and getting as much rest as possible.
  • Monitor fever – With any type of viral infection, a fever is likely to occur. This is your body’s natural immune response to a virus.  The body rises its internal temperature in order to kill the virus.  Medicines that reduce fever/body temperature will combat this natural, effective process so we only advise taking these types of medicine if your fever is getting too high.  If you have an extremely high fever, you should also contact your physician as soon as possible.
  • Never give a child under the age of 12 years old aspirin. They could potentially be at risk of Reye Syndrome which is a very rare, but serious condition that can be fatal with consumption of aspirin.

As we mentioned in the previous section, there are a few severe complications that may potentially develop with chickenpox, so I wanted to list these complications and their side effects for your knowledge.  If you or your child are infected with chickenpox and experience any of the following symptoms, contact your physician immediately!:

Encephalitis & Meningitis – Severe headache, constant vomiting, unusual sleepiness, confusion, or sensitivity to light (photophobia)

Pneumonia – Problems breathing, persistent coughing, or coughing up unusual amounts of phlegm

Bacterial Skin Infection – Red, warm, spotty skin surrounding chickenpox sores.  There may also be a significant amount of pain occurring in or around these sores.

Who Wouldn’t Get a Chickenpox Vaccine?

Raise your hand if you would like to get sick, accompanied with a nice little spotty rash all over your body!?  (If you did, then hold off on receiving the chickenpox vaccine).  I am a middle-aged male and to be honest, I had no idea that there was a vaccine for Chickenpox until just a few years ago.  It definitely makes me feel old to know that I was born over a decade before a vaccine was created, that is now routinely given throughout the United States and most of the well-developed countries in the world.  My first thought is “What if it has long-term side effects”?  I ask this because the long-term effects cannot possibly be known since the vaccine was invented less than 30 years ago. Well, I’m not the only person that worries about vaccine factors like these potential long-term side effects (and many others), which makes the Chickenpox vaccine, like many others, a strong topic for debate.

Child with Chickenpox

What is Chickenpox?

First and foremost, Chickenpox is the name for a virus called the Varicella zoster virus.  This virus isn’t particularly dangerous like all viruses are in the movies, but it is quite contagious like seen in these doomsday films.  The Chickenpox virus is an airborne disease and travels from host to host through coughing, sneezing, etc.

The Chickenpox virus usually only produces negative side effects one time in those that contract it.  Multiple occurrences of the viral infection still manifest within the host, but side effects are not typically generated or felt after the initial infection.  Those that are not immune to the virus, and that do not receive the Chickenpox virus, will typically experience a spotty, itchy rash throughout their body.  A victim of Chickenpox may experience fatigue, headache, nausea, muscle aches, fever, and other symptoms while having Chickenpox.  The chickenpox virus is typically contagious from 1 to 2 days before symptoms appear until up to 5 days after symptoms first appear.  Symptoms are usually present for 3-7 days.  Those that encounter chickenpox usually do not display noticeable symptoms for 10-21 days after exposure to the virus.

Chickenpox is usually contracted by children, but sometimes is not contracted until an adult.  Adverse effects of the chickenpox virus are much more common, and dangerous, in adults than children.  Infections tend to be much more severe if contracted as an adult.  Further complications of the chickenpox virus tend to occur in adults too.  Encephalitis, hepatitis, and pneumonia are examples of complications that may occur in some adults that contract chickenpox, and that did not receive the chickenpox vaccine.


Say Hello to the Chickenpox Vaccine

The first vaccine for chickenpox was created in 1995 by using live attenuated cells of the Orka/Merck strain of the virus. The cells were taken from embryonic lung cells of an unborn fetus, then altered and bred in the cells of guinea pigs, then introduced and propagated into human diploid cells.

Japan was the first country to introduce the chickenpox vaccine in 1988.  With overwhelming initial success of the chickenpox vaccine, many countries including the United States followed their lead.  The chickenpox vaccine was introduced in the United States in 1995, and is now a routine vaccine given to nearly all children.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that countries should not make the chickenpox vaccine a routine vaccination unless they’re confident that they can vaccinate at least 80 percent of their population going forward.  The reason for this recommendation is that if only 20% – 80% of the population is vaccinated, it may lead to a rise of adults (that have not received the vaccine) contracting chickenpox and the overall threat of chickenpox-related illness could potentially rise.  Due to this recommendation and the cost of the chickenpox vaccine, many countries have not followed suit in injecting their youth with the vaccine.

Is the Chickenpox vaccine good or bad?

Is the Chickenpox Vaccine Bad?

Vaccines save lives, right?  Well, not all the time, but pretty darn close.  Vaccinations have been a huge topic of debate over the last few decades and conversations about the topic still remain heated between some.  Over the years, there have been some vaccines that are thought to have caused some pretty awful side effects or adverse reactions in some patients.  The FDA and drug companies are often accused of rushing vaccines (along with pretty much every drug) to the market without first conducting an appropriate amount of testing for safety, such as conducting the multi-year double blind placebo testing.  Vaccines are not technically required to undergo this testing because they’re classified as Biologics instead of drugs.  However, most drug companies state that the majority of vaccines undergo a significant amount of testing.

Another argument by those that oppose vaccines, like the Varicella zoster vaccine, is that they infringe on religious freedom rights.  Some Christian groups think that the will of God is enough to keep children safe from viruses, for example.  There are also groups and individuals that believe that the governments should not have the right to enforce that all children in public schools, and other institutions, receive vaccinations.

Finally, one of the other common arguments about vaccines (not necessarily the Chickenpox vaccine, but other vaccines) is that they may contain harmful ingredients.  The bases of some vaccines contain formaldehyde, aluminum, thimerosal, and other potentially unsafe ingredients.  Some scientists expect a link between thimerosal (an organic mercury) and autism.  Formaldehyde is considered a dangerous carcinogen and too much aluminum built up in human bodies may cause neurological harm.  However, most scientists state that there are too many other variables introduced during the years of vaccine discoveries that could have caused the increase in autism.  They also state that vaccines with other harmful ingredients, such as formaldehyde and aluminum, only contain trace amounts of the substance and that children are exposed to higher levels on a daily basis.

There is some controversy that applies specifically to the chickenpox vaccine (the same concept applies to other vaccines, however).  Unlike fungi or bacteria, a virus is unable to replicate on its own.  A virus requires a host with cell lines developed over multiple generations.  This is why some viral infections are more severe in some people than others – and why some people are not affected at all.  Some individuals host the virus, but do not display any side effects (dormancy).  The chickenpox vaccine was developed using WI-28 and MRC-5 embryonic lung cells developed by an unborn fetus nearly 35 years ago.  Because Merck & Co. requires these cells to develop the vaccine, they have obtained some of these cells from aborted fetuses.  Some pro-life supporters fear that this is unethical and refuse to use the chickenpox vaccine.

Chickenpox Vaccine Safety

The chickenpox vaccine is considered to be very safe in those with a normal, healthy immune system.  During the years of 1998 to 2013, there has only been one single reported death caused by the chickenpox vaccine.  The incident occurred in a young child with a pre-existing case of Leukemia.

Although very rare, some potentially serious side effects may occur such as meningitis, pneumonia, and anaphylaxis (allergic reaction).  Minor side effects that may occur as a result of the chickenpox vaccine include rash, fever, as well as redness, soreness, and stiffness at the injection site.  There is also a small chance that individuals receiving the chickenpox vaccine develop herpes zoster (shingles), but the chance of this occurring from the chickenpox vaccine is smaller than the chance of developing shingles from the actual chickenpox virus.  There have been several reports of children contracting chickenpox from receiving the chickenpox vaccine, but all cases were said to have weakened immune function.

Chickenpox Vaccine Statistics

According to the CDC, there were approximately 4,000,000 people that contracted chickenpox each year.  Of the 4 million that were infected, there were about 13,000 hospitalizations and 150 deaths caused by the virus.  After the chickenpox vaccine was introduced in the United States, chickenpox occurrence quickly began to decline.  In 2014, 91 percent of all children were given a dose of the Varicella vaccine.

Based on the CDC’s data report given in 2012, chickenpox cases in the United States declined by 79%.  Outpatient visits declined by 84% in 2012 and hospitalizations decreased by 93%.  Deaths related to chickenpox decreased by 87% between the years 2008 and 2011.  It is estimated that the chickenpox vaccine prevents nearly 3.5 million people from getting infected with the chickenpox virus, and also prevents 9,000 hospitalizations and 100 deaths per year.

Chickenpox Vaccine Summary

The data reporting statistics of the chickenpox vaccine are a clear indication that the vaccine is extremely efficient.  The chickenpox virus was once a dreaded experience for both children and adults, but its existence is now rapidly fading away.  Just like most products in the drug markets, as years pass and if no negative long-term side effects arise, as well as the discovery of new methods to produce the product at a cheaper cost, the chickenpox vaccine will likely become more available and practical for other countries to start using.  As this happens, the world may become free of strong strains of the chickenpox virus.

There are many myths and propaganda about vaccines throughout the internet which has caused much concern for many contemplating receiving a chickenpox shot.  While potentially harmful effects do exist, physicians are well aware of the statistics on vaccine adverse reactions.  They are also aware of the percentage of vaccines that caused dangerous long-term effects (not many).  With this knowledge of possible risks associated with vaccines, they are also aware of benefit statistics for the vaccines.  So, I would strongly recommend trusting your physician and receiving the chickenpox vaccine if they recommend that you or your child should receive the chickenpox vaccine.

Viral Meningitis: Bugs in the Brain

When most of us were children, we all wondered why out mothers constantly nagged us to wash out hands.  What an unnecessary evil, right?  Well, perhaps not.  As we grow a little bit older and wiser – and especially for those of us that pursue careers in the medical field – we notice that anywhere and everywhere are tiny little threats that are typically invisible to the human eye such as viral meningitis.

Viral meningitis is one of those conditions that most of you have probably heard of, but if you’re like me, it may not have seemed too interesting because you could never get it, right?  Never say never..  It wasn’t until I saw a small child in agonizing pain from viral meningitis that made me appreciate the horror of this condition.   The child’s neck was stiff as a board, as well as the rest of its body from the pain. Viral meningitis usually stems from a common virus and while it isn’t as life threatening as other types of meningitis, it is something that you do not want to experience in your lifetime.  I also have a friend that was lucky enough to catch viral meningitis from an enterovirus.  She described viral meningitis as the post painful and agonizing week of her life.

Viral Meningitis Basics

Meningitis is the term describing a condition that involves acute inflammation of the meninges around the brain.  There are several protective membrane layers that surround our brains and spinal cords called Meninges.  The Meninges term refers to a group of three layers that help cushion and envelope the brain.  These three specific layers are referred to as Pia Mater, Arachnoid Mater, and the Dura Mater.  The Dura Mater can also be described as the outer layer of the skull.  This layer is a fairly tough layer of fibroelastic cells and contains a bit of extracellular space.  The Arachnoid mater consists of many blood vessels, the subarachnid space, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).  The Pia Mater is the layer that is closest to the brain.  It actually touches the brain and envelopes the brain and spinal cord’s contours.

Meningitis infections are generally classified into several types.  These types include: Bacterial Meningitis, Viral Menengitis, Fungal Meningitis, Parasitic Meningitis, and Non-infectious Meningitis.  Most of these are pretty self-explanatory.  Many times, you’ll also hear the specific name of a type of meningitis, which is simply the specific type of infection responsible for the infectious meningitis.

Bacterial Meningitis is one of the most prevalent, damaging, and life threatening types of meningitis.   It typically occurs when certain bacterium enter the blood stream and travel the brain and spinal cord, which often results in brain damage, hearing loss, and learning disabilities.  Fungal Meningitis is the same scenario, but is caused by fungal matter that is usually introduced into the body by inhalation of spores in contaminated soil, bird droppings, or other things that you shouldn’t be sniffing around in.  Parasitic Meningitis is very rare, with only 31 cases between 2002 and 2012, but is extremely fatal.  Out of the 31 cases, there were no survivors.  All other types of meningitis fall into the Non-infectious category.  These cases of meningitis are usually caused by head injuries/trauma, cancer, Lupus, brain surgeries, or certain medications.

Viral Meningitis Prevalence

Now, how likely am I to get viral meningitis?  Well, that’s not entirely easy to say because viral meningitis statistics may not be entirely accurate due to misdiagnoses, the illness being overlooked or unreported, and because many cases go untreated.  Of all of the known cases (totally all types of meningitis) throughout the world, there were over 8.8 million cases throughout 2005-2015.  Of these 8.8 million victims, 379,000 resulted in death.  For this century, that’s a lousy survival rate and definitely something to fear.  My first thought, since I’m terrified of obtaining any type of virus, was that viral meningitis was definitely the type killing everybody off.  However, my assumption was entirely inaccurate.  Viral meningitis is one of the more common forms of meningitis, but only claims the lives of less than 1% of its victims which is much better than the 20-40% mortality that bacterial meningitis has.  Viral meningitis is most likely to occur in young children.  However, symptoms of viral meningitis in children cannot always be communicated to doctors easily which makes it another condition that is hard to determine statistic for.

Viral Meningitis Causes

What causes viral meningitis?  A virus, of course!  It so happens that the meninges prove to be a nice place for a virus to hide out from the immune system to conduct some massive replications and to infect the host.  Some people with very strong immune systems may be able to fend the virus off somewhat, but those that are experiencing a weakened immune system from things like HIV, cancer, chemotherapy, etc may be more likely to contract viral meningitis and may take long periods of time to recover from the meningitis infection.

It was very surprising to me to hear which culprits are responsible for this horrific condition.   Over 80% of all viral meningitis cases these days are caused by the enteroviruses, which belong to the viral family Picornaviridae and are one of the most common types of viruses today.  A couple of other fairly common viruses that are responsible are Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) which is another very common virus present in humans, and the Mumps virus.  Varcella zoster and Herpes simplex virus `1 (HSV-`1) are two others that cause a significant amount of the viral meningitis cases, but are not near as prevalent as the enteroviruses.  Other notable viruses that are known to cause viral meningitis include the West Nile virus, HIV, Epstein-Barr (EBV), Mumps virus, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, tick-borne encephalitis viruses, and Cytomegalovirus (CMV).

Symptoms of Viral Meningitis

The most common symptom of viral meningitis is a headache (and from reading experiences of viral meningitis patients, these headaches sound pretty intense and severe).  Headaches are experienced by over 90% of people diagnosed with viral meningitis.  The most common symptoms of viral meningitis in adults are photophobia (sensitivity to light), fever, and muscle stiffness in the neck, muscle aches and pains, nausea and vomiting.  A notable side effect often seen in children is a meningitis rash.

Viral Meningitis Diagnosis

Upon arriving to the hospital, a patient’s medical history will be reviewed.  If spinal meningitis or viral meningitis are suspected, the physician will most likely conduct tests to determine C-reactive Protein white blood cell counts, and glucose concentrations.  Bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis have the same symptoms and cannot be clinically diagnosed because most medical clinics do not have the necessary equipment for collecting and testing blood or cerebrospinal fluid at their facilities.  For this reason, patients should be referred to the hospital for further testing.  A lumbar puncture for cerebrospinal fluid (C SF) is the only test that can distinguish the two types of meningitis.

It is extremely important that all known symptoms of viral meningitis are reported since this condition can often be misdiagnosed as a typical viral infection or other common occurrence.  If viral meningitis goes undiagnosed, the patient may experience mental deterioration, death, or the viral meningitis may convert to an even more serious state/condition, referred to as meningoencephalitis.  Meningoencephalitis occurs when the condition spreads from the meninges to other parts of the brain which causes those areas to inflame as well.  Meningoencephalitis also carries a larger amount of symptoms and potential threats, such as seizures, additional brain damage, and a higher mortality rate.  If you’ve ever seen the movie Contagion, you’ll understand how big of a threat meningoencephalitis can be – the virus in the movie causes meningoencephalitis in its hosts.

Viral Meningitis Treatment

Viral meningitis will typically last approximately 7-10 days for most of those that experience meningitis caused by one of its usual culprits.  However, if viral meningitis spreads into parts of the brain or spinal column, the disease may progress and last longer/cause more damage to the body and nervous system.  At this time, there are no specific treatments for viral meningitis.  A large number of patients with viral meningitis overcome the infection without treatment.  A patient will most likely receive a general antiviral medication after being diagnosed with viral meningitis.   After the condition has been identified and declared to be the cause, the physicians should diagnose and determine the specific virus causing the infection because the most logical form of treatment would be to treat the condition that is known to be most effective for the specific virus responsible for meningitis.

Viral Meningitis Prevention

Like the introduction lead on, washing your hands is a good start to preventing viral meningitis (or any form of infectious meningitis for that matter)  In theory, general virus prevention would applicable to viral meningitis prevention.  Steps to avoid unwanted viruses and illnesses include washing hands thoroughly after using the restroom, handling food, or animals.  Before traveling to other countries, it would be extremely wise to check the CDC’s map for disease prevalence in your destination country and obtain any shots/vaccines that are recommended by the CDC from your physician a reasonable amount of time before departing.  Some cases of viral meningitis are thought to be caused by coming into contact with rodent droppings or urine, so it is recommended to get control of any rodents or other scavengers investing your home or office.

Possible Sustanon 250 Medical Benefits

Anybody that has a basic understanding of anabolic steroids has probably heard of the ever-popular Sustanon 250 blend, that naturally has a fairly bad reputation due to the 1980-1990s “steroid epidemic”.  But, most probably haven’t heard the other side of the story – that Sustanon 250 could actually provide medical benefits to some through availability of the drug on the prescription market.  This article will discuss several of these potential medical benefits.  We’ll let you decide for yourself whether this drug should be available for medical prescription!

About Sustanon 250

Sustanon 250 is a brilliant oil-based blend of four of the best types of testosterone that provide benefit to human males.  The steroid blend features both short and long (ester) testosterone forms in a single compound.  A Sustanon 250 dose allows users to obtain stable testosterone blood serum levels without having to re-dose, or inject the drug frequently.  Bodybuilders and athletes commonly undergo a Sustanon 250 cycle to rapidly build muscle and for cutting cycles, or to rapidly lose body fat without losing much of the muscle fiber that they have gained.  Sustanon 250 is currently not approved by the FDA for human use in the United States.  It is currently listed as a Schedule 3 Drug.

One dose (or 1 milliliter) of Sustanon 250 delivers a total of 250mg of Testosterone to the body.  The content of each ester testosterone in the Sustanon 250 formulation are listed below:

100mg Testosterone Decanoate
60mg Testosterone Phenylpropionate
60mg Testosterone Isocaproate
30mg Testosterone Propionate

Vials of Susutanon 250

Potential Medical Benefits of Sustanon 250

In recent years, aging has become a popular subject for scientific studies due to the anti-aging industry growing by the day.  Many of these studies have revealed a huge number of conditions and disorders that may be caused by low amounts of testosterone levels in men.  Many of these conditions were previously thought to have other underlying causes.  This makes Sustanon 250 a great potential medication to be used in the medical field due to its potency, stability, and amazing effects.  Below are some of the hypothetical benefits that may be experienced with the use of Sustanon 250:

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

This disorder is a cognitive behavioral disorder that affects both men and women.  Those that suffer from BDD often experience anxiety, stress, and depression due to being unhappy with their physical appearance.  This disorder is becoming more and more prevalent due to the physical appearance of marketing models being extremely fit and masculine (in male models).  This causes many men to believe they are not masculine.  In extreme situations, while being closely monitored by a medical physician, Sustanon 250 could be used to aid males in rapid muscular hypertrophy which may decrease the negative psychological effects of BDD.

Employment Eligibility and Increased Work Performance

While equal rights in America have given some individuals a fighting chance that wish to perform certain work duties, there are still many professions that prevent certain individuals from gaining employment.  Certain duties in the construction and firefighting industries require that individuals be able to lift certain amounts of weight and other physically challenging tasks.  Sustanon 250 could benefit individuals whose physical limitations prevent them from being able to perform physically challenging tasks.

Sustanon 250 may also increase the amount of work output in certain individuals that perform physical tasks in their line of work.  An interesting argument relating to this subject is the treatment of ADHD.  By taking stimulant drugs, millions of ADHD sufferers are able to increase their concentration, focus, and are able to increase their work output and have better overall quality of live.

Weakened Immune System

Several studies suggest that lower doses of testosterone (doses below 500mg) may increase immune system functions.  More research is needed to determine if Sustanon 250 treatments could help those with diminished immune function, but we thought that this is definitely worth mentioning!


In the United States especially, obesity is a growing problem.  Sustanon 250’s obvious ability to increase fat metabolism alongside exercise make it an excellent possible treatment for obesity.  Many that become obese also suffer from other problems, such as joint problems, which limit them from obtaining necessary amounts of exercise.  Sustanon 250 may also aid in supporting extra strength needed to exercise regularly and prevent injuries caused by basic exercise, which may help those that are obese participate in a regular exercise regimen.

Extreme Depression

Several forms of depression, related to low testosterone levels, have been identified in recent years.  Some studies also suggest that raising testosterone levels result in increased moods and feelings of well being.  Under appropriate care by physicians and psychologists, Sustanon 250 may potentially be a successful method of treatment in those that suffer from depression caused by low testosterone production.

Chronic Fatique & Lethargy

Another common effect of low testosterone in men can be chronic fatigue, lack of energy, and lethargy in individuals.  Sustanon 250’s ability to rapidly increase testosterone levels make it a great possible medication to treat low energy levels in men with low testosterone levels.

Incentive to Exercise Consistently

I don’t expect to ever see Sustanon 250 as a medication for exercise incentive, but I do find it to be an interesting concept.  And, if I were a physician with the ability to prescribe Sustanon250 for this incentive, I very well probably would.  One of the most common reasons that men don’t exercise as frequently as they should is that they lose the incentive to do so by hitting plateaus.  There are usually methods of overcoming plateaus, but the fact is, they do happen and they can kill your desire to exercise.  There are definitely risks associated with using Sustanon 250, but if used properly and under the supervision of a physician, I think that the benefits could outweigh the risks.  Considering the negative effects of the alternative of not exercising all together, Sustanon 250 use may not be so bad at all!

Hormone Replacement Therapy in Transgender Individuals

Again, more studies are needed to determine for sure if Sustanon 250 would be beneficial to those undergoing female-to-male transformations, but it looks like a viable candidate due to its high potency and stability.  At least two esters of the testosterone in Sustanon 250 are currently used in some forms of hormone replacement therapy in transgender individuals.

Sustanon 250 May Help with Obesity

Sustanon 250 Side Effects

It wouldn’t be ethically right to discuss all of the potential advantages of Sustanon 250 without also discussing some of the possible side effects that may occur with use of the blended steroid.   It should also be noted that anabolic steroids should not be used without the supervision of a physician.  Doctors have the ability of conducting blood tests to monitor your hormone levels and can prescribe medications to prevent or treat unwanted side effects.  Below are some of the most common side effects that may be experienced with the use of Sustanon 250:

Gynecomastia & Water Retention

Gynecomastia is the enlargement of a man’s breasts.  This side effect is common with many types of anabolic steroids and is usually caused by testosterone converting into estrogen by the aromatase enzyme.  Higher estogren levels may also cause the body to retain more water than usual, which may increase blood pressure.  Many Sustanon 250 users combat these side effects with Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) or Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs).

Androgenic Side Effects

Due to the potent androgenic effects of Sustanon 250, users may experience side effects like hair loss, acne, or rapid growth of body hair.  These side effects have a lot to do with genetic dispositions.  These side effects are typically caused by the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), but are usually reversed or slowed after a user ends their Sustanon 250 cycle.

Changes is Cholesterol

Some men that experience increases of testosterone show that their good cholesterol (HDL) levels are reduced.  This effect is very dose-dependent.

Testosterone Suppression

With sufficient amounts of testosterone being administered throughout the body, natural testosterone production is slowed or stops all together.  Most Sustanon 250 users will plan post cycle therapy to include a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator to keep estrogen levels low and to speed up the body’s ability to start producing testosterone again.

Not all users of Sustanon 250 will experience noticeable negative side effects, but since a dose of the anabolic steroid delivers 250mg of testosterone (which is a significant dose) it is common for some adverse effects to occur.  However, most of Sustanon 250’s side effects subside after discontinuing use of the steroid.

Sustanon 250 Summary

Today, there are thousands of great drugs available on the prescription market that offer a wide range of benefits to people.  Studies are showing that many of these drugs also offer hundreds of great off-label benefits as well.  It is my belief, that with time, many of the potential benefits of anabolic steroid like Sustanon 250 will come to surface and will be studied extensively.  Studies will likely reveal more adverse effects, as well as methods to reverse or prevent these effects, which will make the drug safer to use.  Down the road, anabolic steroids will most likely lose a lot of their negative reputation that they received in the 1980s-1990s as well.  I would not be the least bit surprised to see a version of Sustanon 250 branded by a large pharmaceutical company in the future that will possibly be used in the treatment of one of the conditions listed in this article.

Best Testosterone Booster for Low Testosterone in Men

I may be the only person, but when I hear the term “testosterone booster”, I immediately see an image of either a guy sticking himself in the rear with a needle or a roid-raged muscled-up monster with veins bulging out of his forehead that’s about ready to slap his wife silly.  The last few decades, the testosterone hormone has generally been associated with steroid use and has generally received quite a bad reputation due to the unfairness it has caused in athletic sports, as well as the negative health effects that many experience that have abused anabolic steroids.  However, in the last five to ten years, more people now associate testosterone in a more positive manner than the previous negative connotation because (thanks to marketing) we now know that a huge amount of men suffer from problems caused by low testosterone levels.  It is now known that testosterone is single-handedly one of the most important hormones in men and that it affects such a huge amount of factors in our overall health and well being.  More evidence is also suggesting that a large percentage of men are becoming deficient in testosterone-not just experiencing declining levels of testosterone (which is part of the common aging process), but experiencing faster than normal declines in their testosterone levels. This has sparked a lot of interest in tons of scientific and health communities which has created a huge market for and a race to find the best testosterone booster to safely raise testosterone levels to a natural or healthy level.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the basics of testosterone, factors that affect testosterone levels, some of the most important ingredients that have proven to increase testosterone in men, as well as some of our favorite picks for the best testosterone booster (stacked & branded supplement versions).  My hope is that this information will steer you in the right direction as you start shopping for a solution and that it may save you money, time, and the frustration that is often occured after some blindly pick testosterone pills that are nothing but snake oil.

Testosterone and its Effects

Testosterone is a hormone that is secreted from the testicles (and also adrenal glands in small amounts).  It is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics, sexual drive, sperm production, muscle mass, bone mass, red blood cell production, and can even affect mental health in men.  Testosterone is also produced in the ovaries by women, and then released into the bloodstream.  However, testosterone is produced in much smaller amounts in women than men (men generally have about 8 times as much testosterone as women.)

It is estimated that testosterone levels drop at approximately 1% per year after a male reaches the age of 30.  Testosterone levels may decrease more drastically in men that are over the age of 60 years old.  In the past, it was thought that testosterone levels decrease largely because of the reproductive axis (the need for sperm production becomes less needed in the older male).  There are also many other factors that are thought to be responsible for the decline of testosterone in men such as obesity, decline in liver and kidney function, the use of certain medications, and the use of many unknown anti-androgen objects (that we are finding out by the day may cause us harm).  However, there is also a large percentage of older men that have perfect levels of testosterone as well which suggests that there are other unknown factors responsible for the decline of testosterone in aging men.  In recent years, many doctors and scientists have begun to think that testosterone decline with aging isn’t much of a natural phenomenon as was once though  Testosterone continues to be a widely studied hormone in the subject of anti-aging as well.

Testosterone and Balance

As I mentioned earlier, the negative association with the testosterone hormone comes mainly from men abusing testosterone and other anabolic steroids to increase their athletic performance or overall muscle mass.  A large percentage of these abusers inject themselves with anywhere from 10 to 100 times the amount of testosterone than the body needs.  So it’s no wonder why these individuals often experience negative health effects or a total and permanent loss of testosterone production.

Some of the most common negative health effects associated with testosterone abuse include an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, enlargement of the heart’s ventricle, high blood pressure, liver damage, male pattern baldness, testicular atrophy, infertility, and impotence.  In fact, many studies show that it is evident that testosterone and steroid abuse lead to a high frequency of early deaths in abusers.

However, a deficiency in testosterone can be equally as damaging to some.  Negative health effects that are often associated with low testosterone levels include an increased risk of infertility and erectile dysfunction, loss of sex drive, osteoarthritis, difficulty keeping muscle mass, rapid weight gain/obesity, constant fatigue, loss of motivation, depression, and even cognitive decline.

To make things more difficult, testosterone works in a similar manner to neurotransmitters in that a certain amount is available by the body for use.  However, once our body determines that we’ve had enough, the chemical is temporarily disabled until it is needed again.  Our bodies disable testosterone by emitting a glycoprotein called Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) that binds to the free testosterone molecule causing it to be unable to bind to anything useful.   Men also convert excess testosterone into the female sex hormone, estrogen.  This is why many bodybuilders that abuse steroids take estrogen blockers after cycling steroids, because if they did not, all of their muscle gains would be lost when estrogen takes over their bodies.  Also, when foreign substances are introduced into the body that increase testosterone, the testicles slow their production since there is not a need to produce the hormone.  This is why testicles are known to shrink or atrophy with steroid use.  After discontinuation of the foreign substance, it takes the body a significant amount of time to re-adapt and to start producing these hormones again.  If steroids are used for too long or in too high of dose, it’s possible that the testicles may stop producing testosterone all together.

So, it’s obvious that no matter what goals you’re trying to achieve by boosting your testosterone levels, it isn’t very wise to pick up a needle full of testosterone and stick it in your buttocks.  Like most things, moderation is key to the optimal success – especially when dealing with human hormones.  Some factors like stress, diet, and certain infections have been known to decrease testosterone in men temporarily.  And so, it may not be wise to rush to the doctor asking for a prescription drug either because many doctors are unable to accurately determine just how much your body is producing testosterone while supplementing with it.  For most men that are prescribed testosterone gels, injections, or testosterone replacement therapy, they’re on it for the rest of their lives. For this reason, I recommend trying a testosterone booster if you’re experiencing mild health issues that you believe to be caused by low testosterone levels.  Testosterone boosters are safe alternatives to drugs, are affordable, and generally only increase your testosterone levels marginally, compared to prescription drugs or steroids.  Most men that use testosterone boosters notice nothing but benefits because they naturally assist the body to create the needed amount of testosterone vs throwing your entire Endocrine system out of whack.  Most of the best testosterone increasing supplements also have a wide variety of other benefits to the body (that are unrelated to male libido or athletic performance) as well.

What is the Best Testosterone Booster?

With all of the marketing that we’re exposed to on a daily basis, the testosterone supplement industry has boomed.  There are thousands of products available today with all types of different ingredients – many that are extremely useful, and many that have no chance of ever becoming close to the best testosterone booster because they lack the scientific basis to provide any benefits whatsoever.  There are also many supplements out there that have been thought to work, due to scientific evidence that showed promising effects, but are no longer considered effective at boosting testosterone because of flawed studies or new conflicting scientific evidence.

There are two types of testosterone supplements that we’ll be discussing.  First, are the best testosterone booster individual ingredients that are currently the most promising in delivering increased amounts of testosterone safely and then I’ll list and discuss a few of my top-picks for the best branded testosterone booster.  These branded testosterone supplements are generally stacks of multiple ingredients that have shown to aid in testosterone production.  These products are generally available in health supplement stores and health/bodybuilding websites throughout the internet.  Depending on the amount of time you have to achieve your desired results, and your budget, you may want to try the individual ingredients or a branded supplement with multiple ingredients.  Trying individual ingredients, you will be able to pinpoint exactly what works for you and what doesn’t.  These individual ingredients are generally much cheaper than branded supplements and you can easily control the dosage.  However, if you’ve got the money for them, stacked testosterone boosters may be the better option for you if you’re looking for quick results that contain a variety of well-studied ingredients.  Do plenty of research on the ingredients and make sure that they contain an effective amount of the ingredients that you’re looking for.  Many brands have been known to sneak only a little bit of the effective ingredients in to make it cost effective, but to show the ingredient listed in their product.

Best Testosterone Boosting Ingredients

D-Aspartic Acid

An amino acid regulator of testosterone synthesis has showed to be a very safe and effective testosterone booster.  Testosterone increases of 30-60% were seen in men taking the supplement for short periods, but there is some evidence that suggests that D-Aspartic acid may need to be cycled (or taken for short periods of time, while taking time off of supplementation to continue receiving beneficial effects).  D-AA has also shown to increase the amount of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in men and reduces sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) which, in turn, increases the amount of free testosterone that is available to the body for use.  Studies have also showed that the supplement is able to increase fertility in men.  One study showed an increase from 0% to 26.6% of men conceiving during use of supplementation.


This molecule is found in Cruciferous vegetables such as collard greens, kale, and broccoli.  It acts as a potent anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, is currently used to combat certain hormone-induced cancers, and has also shown to be effective at metabolizing the negative effects of some estrogen metabolites, in addition to other benefits.  As I briefly mentioned in the last section, excessive testosterone usually leads to conversion of estrogen in men’s bodies.  So, in general, as a man’s testosterone level is increased, estrogen will be increased as well.  Not all estrogen is bad, though.  2-hydroxyl & 2-methoxy estrogen metabolites actually help burn fat and fight off some types of cancer, while 16-hydroxyl estrogen metabolites have shown to decrease energy levels, increase mood swings, decrease libido, etc.  DIM works to increase levels of the “good” estrogen metabolites, while metabolizing the “bad”.  It seems to offer nothing but positive effects in those wishing to build muscle, increase energy levels, reduce fat, or increase sex drive.


The element, Boron, has been linked to everything from strong bone production, to muscle production, to coordination, and cognitive function.  Less than .0001% of the Earth’s crust is Boron.  However, it remains to be vital to healthy human life.  Many dietitians and nutritionists suspect that “power farming” (that is, the practice of repeatedly using the same agricultural locations/soil to grow massive crops) may be causing us to be purchasing fruits and vegetables that are extremely low in vitamins and minerals.  Boron seems to be an important mineral that is lost in the cycling of repeated crop growth.  Many speculate that this could have a significant impact on men’s testosterone levels.  Boron is thought to decrease the amount of sex hormone-binding globulin which leads to an increase of free testosterone levels.  One study showed that boron increased the amount of free testosterone in men by 28%. Boron is also suspected to reduce the overall amount of estrodial in the body as well.

Magnesium & Zinc

I’ve lumped these two test boosters together because their effects on testosterone are very similar.  Similar to boron, a deficiency in these minerals can directly affect testosterone levels in a negative manner.  Some studies suggest that over 70% of adults in the United States are deficient in magnesium.  Zinc deficiencies are more common in the elderly, with over 40% being deficient.  Diet and power-farming are thought to be a large contributor to these deficiencies.  Magnesium can actually evaporate from the body through sweat, which may cause many hardcore gym rats to lose more magnesium than they’re aware of.

Several studies show that magnesium may increase the bio-availability of testosterone.  Magnesium seems to have a stronger affinity to testosterone than sex hormone binding globulin, (or rather, testosterone prefers to bind to magnesium than the neutralizing SHBG) which increases the effectiveness of your body’s current testosterone.  The increase of free testosterone and increased bioavailability make magnesium extremely effective in boosting testosterone in men.  However, men that are already consuming sufficient amounts of magnesium may not receive many added benefits if supplementing magnesium.

Those who are deficient in zinc have shown to have altered androgen receptors which may eliminate the effects of good testosterone that’s available in the body.  Some studies have shown zinc to increase the amount of leuteinizing hormone in men.  LH is a hormone that plays a crucial role in testosterone production.  Zinc has also shown to act as a fairly potent aromatase inhibitor which helps block testosterone from converting into estrogen.  But one again, those that have healthy zinc levels may not receive a ton of benefits from supplementing with zinc.

Vitamin D

This essential vitamin, while technically being a hormone, is responsible for over 1,000 functions in the human body and is essential to life.  In addition to aiding in development and maintenance of strong bone structure, it acts as a steroid hormone and lowers sex hormone-binding globulin as well.  Studies show that men who were deficient in vitamin D, that supplemented the vitamin, has free testosterone increases above 25%.  A significant amount of our vitamin D comes from a chemical interaction between cholesterol in our skin and sunlight (UVB rays).  Those that do not receive hardly any sun exposure are more likely to be deficient in Vitamin D.

Best Brand Testosterone Boosters

GENIUS TEST (Genius Brands)

This product is Amazon’s best testosterone booster for a reason.  It’s loaded with high-quality Ashwaghanda (an adaptogen herb that has shown to relieve stress and increase T-levels), Shilajit Extract (loaded with important minerals), DIM, and Biotin.

This product also has Tongkat Ali (Longjack) & Fenugreek, two supplements that we have not yet discussed, but both are definitely worthy of mentioning.  Tongkat Ali is a plant extract that has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac.  Tongkat Ali is believed to work by allowing the hypothalamus and pituitary glands (which play crucial roles in testosterone production) to allow higher testosterone concentrations before signaling cells that counter the free testosterone.  Fenugreek is also a plant extract that has proven to be effective in enhancing men’s libido and supporting healthy testosterone levels.  There are several studies that conflict evidence that Fenugreek actually increases testosterone levels, but there are many independent studies that suggest that is more than slightly effective.  There are also many positive studies that show that Fenugreek increases sperm count and libido.

The only downfall to this testosterone boosting supplement is the high price tag that comes with it.  However, you’re not going to find high-quality and effective ingredients for nothing.

EVERLASTING T (Nutripharm)

While some testosterone boosters are better for muscle and strength gain, some are better for an energy boost and vitality, and some are best for sex drive/contraception, this is a great supplement that is likely to support all of men’s needs that are relating to low T.  Everlasting T has most of the individual ingredients that we discussed above such as D-Aspartic Acid, magnesium, zinc, and Longjack.  It also has many other ingredients that have shown to increase testosterone and that support the male sexual system like Cissus Quadrangulus, Maca Root, Horny Goat Weed, Mucuna Pruiens, Resverotrol.  This product also contains BioPerine, or black pepper extract, which is well known for helping the body absorb nutrients and herbal extracts.

This product also contains Tribulus Terrestris, which we have not yet discussed.  I have not listed Tribulus as one of the top testosterone boosting supplements, because I have not seen much scientific evidence that supports the claims that it increases testosterone.  There are several old studies that did suggest this, but they were seriously flawed or have been contradicted by more recent studies.  However, Tribulus still remains to be the #1 top selling testosterone increasing ingredient in supplements.  I also know several bodybuilders who swear by Tribulus.  One thing’s for sure, though, and that is that it is proven safe and definitely can’t hurt to throw into the mix.

Nutripharm is a pretty big supplement company that is known to have high-quality ingredients.  The wide variety of ingredients in this supplement that are known to support high levels of testosterone in men and the mid-priced price tag, this product easily makes it a top-pick for us.

EVER VITALITY (Universal Body Labs)

Ever Vitality is one of our top picks for those without a large budget and for those that don’t want to risk spending too much on a product that may not benefit them.  Ever Vitality contains many of the basic testosterone boosters such as Zinc, Tribulus, Fenugreek, Tongkat Ali, Maca powder, and Horny Goat Weed.  It also contains a low dose of Panex Ginseng and caffeine, both which are well known for increasing energy levels and boosting mood.  While Ever Vitality’s ingredients aren’t in high doses, they have enough of each ingredient to produce at least mild effects/benefits in those with low testosterone if they’re respondents to the supplements effects.


Best Testosterone Booster That is Not a Supplement

Once you’ve found the best testosterone booster for you, you’ll have quite the edge over most men by being able to capture an additional 20% + jump in testosterone just by eating a capsule or two. However, your work isn’t completely over then.  Nobody ever said that boosting T-levels was going to be as simple as that.  I’ll bet you’ve already heard this before, but quite possibly the best ways to boost testosterone levels are sleep, a good diet, and exercise.

Testosterone levels follow our circadium rythym for the most part.  As we fall into a deep sleep, testosterone starts working it’s magic to get our testes whipping up a batch of high-quality sperm (never know when it could come in handy) and our T-levels peak around the time we wake up (after REM sleep).  Throughout the day, testosterone levels dwindle away and then the cycle is repeated.  There are studies that show that men who were able to get 8 hours of sleep vs. 4 hours of sleep, had almost twice the amount of testosterone in their bloodstream.  The more you sleep, the more testosterone your body pumps out.  If you’ve made a habit out of sleep problems, that could possibly be the greatest factor impacting your testosterone and energy levels.

If you’re trying to increase your testosterone levels, it’s important to eat plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, and good fats.  However, it’s also equally important to exercise regularly or else the change in your diet is likely to just clump into additional fat and make your testosterone levels worse.

When it comes to hitting the gym, endurance and resistance training have been known to increase testosterone levels, but not near as much as some challenging strength training and power exercises.  Shooting for high intensity and low reps, while tricking your body’s typical patters is great for increasing testosterone.  Eat right, exercise hard, take a testosterone booster, and you’re bound to get the results that you’re looking for!

It also wouldn’t hurt to ask the doctor to test your hormone levels while you’re in for your routine visit.  Most people claim that they can actually feel and notice the effects of testosterone raising supplements, but it is possible that even with the raised levels of testosterone, you may still be below normal levels and not at an optimum level.


6 Amazing Benefits of the Sulbutiamine Nootropic

We’ve all heard about the different forms of Vitamin B that are essential to human life.  These vitamins are essential to life because they’re responsible for the production of neurotransmitters in our brains, they allow us to absorb certain nutrients, and they allow our bodies to metabolize foods and generate energy.  So it’s no surprise that a supplement called sulbutiamine, that was derived from one of these B vitamins offers a wide variety of benefits to people, especially those that are deficient in Vitamin B1 (thiamine).

In the mid-1900s Japan was experiencing an epidemic in individuals called beriberi.  Beriberi affected the central nervous system and was believe to be caused by low levels of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine).  A Japanese naval doctor synthesized sulbutiamine while trying to find a drug that could significantly increase thiamine levels in the body (or increase thiamine bioavailability).  Sulbutiamine consists of two modified thiamine molecules, then bound together which seems to be more bioavailable and lipophilic than thiamine, also allowing it to more easily cross the blood-brain barrier.  The first known synthesis of sulbutiamine was reported in 1965 by Taisho Pharmaceuticals.

Benefits of Sulbutiamine Use

Sulbutiamine has ergogenic and stimulant-like properties

Sulbutiamine is not necessarily deemed an official stimulant and does not possess direct psychostimulant effects, but it does have positive effects on the central nervous system which may, in effect, boost energy levels and have impact on the body’s sub-systems that contribute to stimulating properties in the body.  Sulbutiamine is a popular treatment for Asthenia which is a condition that causes fatigue of the muscles.

B Vitamins, as well as sulbutiamine, are essential to our body’s metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and some proteins into energy.  Those that are deficient in thiamine most likely are not functioning at peak performances.  Therefore, sulbutiamine will likely provide ergogenic benefits by increasing muscular output from the increase in metabolism and ATP.

In 2009, after a discovery that sulbutiamine caused a false positive for the anabolic steroid boldenone, a Russian laboratory re-analyzed its subjects’ tests for Sulbutiamine and found that over 100 subjects had tested positive for the sulbutiamine compound.  After further investigation and after speaking with some of the users, they had found that sulbutiamine was being used as a supplement for its ergogenic effects.

Sulbutiamine has neuroprotective benefits

There are several studies that suggest sulbutiamine acts to protect the brain against stress responses and may prevent many natural stresses from having a negative impact on the brain.  One of the most suggestive studies showed that sulbutiamine was able to increase neural activity in the hippocampus of a test subject suffering from oxygen-glucose deprivation.  The hippocampus is one of the first parts of the brain to be affected by ischemia (oxygen deprivation).  The positive effects of sulbutiamine on ischemia suggest that it could act as a neuroprotective agent in those with oxygen deprivation in the brain.

Sulbutiamine is effective for mental fatigue

Sulbutiamine’s lipid solubility makes it more bioavailable in the brain.  The chemical compound is able to easily cross the blood-brain barrier.  Once it enters the brain, it is converted to thiamine, thereby increasing thiamine levels which enhance brain cell energy overall due to increased and faster metabolism of nutrients.

Mental fatigue is probably one of the most common symptoms that lead users to take the sulbutiamine nootropic.  While studies have been conducted on the chemical for its effects on metal fatigue, the wide availability of sulbutiamine supplements at a very low cost has led to wide experimental use by college students and others that experience mental fatigue.  Many of these users post their sulbutiamine experience in the form of a sulbutiamine review on internet forums, or nootropics websites that they purchase the chemical from.  The majority of users tend to express very positive effects of their sulbutiamine use.  Many users also create their own sulbutiamine stack, or a cocktail of nootropics, supplements, vitamins or minerals that are believed to work synergistically with each other to combat mental fatigue and to produce peak brain performance or maximum creativity with their everyday patterns of thinking.

Many members of sulbutiamine forums report that the effects of sulbutiamine are similar to effects of the popular drug, modafinil (sold under the brand name Provigil).  Modafinil is a drug that is prescribed for narcolepsy, mental fatigue, shift work disorder/jet lag, and as a treatment for ADHD.  Modafinil, like sulbutiamine, is not an official stimulant, but has stimulant-like properties and has proven to be very useful for mental fatigue, allowing its users to work or study for longer hours than they would be able to without use.

Increase in memory processes

The sulbutiamine nootropic is also commonly used for memory enhancement. Sulbutiamine is thought to have positive impacts on the neurotransmitters dopamine, glutamate, and acetylcholine in the brain.  These effects on neurotransmission are most likely responsible for sulbutamine’s memory enhancement effects.

Dopamine is well-known for producing pleasure or reward in individuals and is thought to be a key-player in learning and cognition.  This is why ADHD drugs and treatments often stimulate the neurotransmitter dopamine because it has shown to stimulate attention, learning, focus, and memory improvement when there is an abundance of the neurotransmitter in the brain.  Acetylcholine is also known to play an important fact on memory creation, retention, and recall.  Glutamate triggers a response termed LTP, or long-term potentiation, which enables simultaneous-firing neurons to be strengthened for long periods of time.  This increased glutamatergic activity caused by sulbutiamine is likely responsible for improving memory, learning, and general cognition.

Sulbutiamine has antidepressant properties

Sulbutamine has shown to be useful in those with major depressive disorders when used during rehabilitation.  Sulbutiamine aids in biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter GABA which slows down certain activities of the brain.  Anti-anxiolytic drugs such as benzodiazepines mimic GABA, thereby decreasing anxiety and stress in individuals which is often a common contributor towards depression disorders.

Other sulbutiamine studies suggested that it may help reduce shyness and social anxiety in people that are afraid of public speaking and those with general social issues.  The chemical seems to have positive impacts on those that are emotionally guarded, timid, or fearful of interacting with others in society. Another sulbutiamine mechanism of action thought to be responsible for sulbutiamine antidepressant effects are the supplement’s impacts on dopamine transmissions in the brain.  It is also thought that sulbutiamine effects act on dopamine activity in a manner that does not encourage receptor down-regulation or tolerance to its use.

Possible treatment for men with erectile dysfunction

Not only is sulbutiamine well-known for having increased cognitive benefits, but it is also used as a treatment for men with Erectile Dysfunction (ED) which makes it another popular choice as a supplement for men.  Many users have also reported increases in libido while using sulbutiamine.  While sulbutiamine libido and erectile dysfunction benefits are not fully understood, a study conducted on 20 men with erectile dysfunction for 30 days reported that 16 of the test subjects had positive effects with sulbutiamine treatment.



Sulbutiamine side effects are almost non-existent in most users.  The most common side effects reported with sulbutiamine are irritability and skin rash.  More rare side effects include headache and anxiety.  Most side effects were reported in users using a sulbutiamine dosage that was multiple times higher than the recommended dosage of 400mg twice daily.

Because sulbutiamine is more of a vitamin or nutrient that is essential to the body vs. a foreign drug that the body recognizes as a substance that needs to be cleared from the body, it is able to be used daily without developing tolerance to the chemical and its benefits.

Sulbutiamine is available for purchase over the counter at many health stores and online.  It is sold by most nootropics websites and sites that specialize in cognitive enhancement supplements.  The supplement is available in capsules for easy dosing and is also commonly available in powder form because sulbutiamine is almost tasteless.  Many users mix the powder in with a drink or with water alone for quick ingestion.  Whether purchased in capsules or powder form, many sites provide up to a 3-month supply for less than $10-15.

Because sulbutiamine offers such a wide variety of treatments and so many benefits, while being generally recognized as safe (without many reported side effects) and because of the low cost of the supplement, it continues to gain popularity and will likely continue to be a nootropics that will be studied more and more.  There are most likely many more potential benefits to be reported from future studies and reports from users of the supplement.

Wonder Drug Phenylpiracetam Seems to Benefit All

Phenylpiracetam is becoming one of the more popular “nootropics”, or smart drugs, that are also gaining popularity by the day due to their apparent ability to protect the brain, improve memory, creativity, and offer other general cognitive enhancements.

Who wouldn’t want to be smarter and more athletic if they had the choice?  In today’s world, information is everything.  Those that retain and process the most information will have an obvious advantage over others.  We all have our limitations, but more and more discoveries like the smart drug phenylpiracetam may start to help us overcome these limitations and allow our species to advance further.  Phenylpiracetam is becoming one of the more popular “nootropics”, or smart drugs, that are also gaining popularity by the day due to their apparent ability to protect the brain, improve memory, creativity, and offer other general cognitive enhancements.


In previous generations, a person’s hands might have been considered the most important body part, allowing them to defend themselves, build shelters, hunt/gather, etc., but the majority of us would probably consider our brains a more important body part today.   From the time we wake up in the morning, we’re rushed to work and forced to organize all of our thoughts and plan all of our tasks.  We get into our offices and strategize innovative ways to beat our competition.  Society constantly has us thinking about how to approach friends, colleagues, family, or potential customers.  Because our minds are constantly running haywire, Phenylpiracetam proves to be a very beneficial supplement for the modern-day thinker.  The drug also offers benefits to the elderly, those with brain trauma and cognitive decline, as well as those with severe mental diseases.  Below are some of the most common characteristic effects that the drug phenylpiracetam has to offer:

  • Antidepressant
  • Antipsychotic
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Antianxiolytic
  • Anti-amnesic
  • Myoclonus treatment
  • Parkinson’s Disease Treatment
  • Child Autism Treatment
  • Fatigue Treatment (general stimulant)

What is Phenylpiracetam?


Phenylpiracetam is a chemical that was discovered in 1983 by a scientist in Russia.  It is a member of the Racetam drug family and is a phenylated analog of the drug piracetam which was heavily studied by the Russians decades ago and still remains the subject of many studies today.  Unfortunately, many of the Russian studies are not available to the Western world of medicine, but its popularity and interests by the Russians have made others just as curious if not more.  Phenylpiracetam’s brand names are Phenotropil and Carphedon, both of which are prescription drugs and prescribed for many conditions in many countries around the world.  There are also hundreds of cognitive enhancement supplements that include the drug, available on the internet.

Phenylpiracetam was derived from its cousin, piracetam.  Piracetam was the first discovered racetam drug and was the most studied out of the racetam drug family.  Piracetam was originally discovered in the 60’s in Belgium, but did not receive a lot of attention until the Russians got ahold of it and found some of its amazing benefits/uses.  It was this Russian intrigue that led to the creation of Phenylpiracetam which is piracetam with a phenyl branch added to the compound.  Phenylpiracetam has greater liquidity than piracetam, meaning it is better absorbed by fats/oils, which makes it more bioavailable.  This extra bioavailability requires a much lower dose of the drug to achieve the same results.  Phenylpiracetam has also seems to be more stimulating than regular piracetam which is neither a stimulant or depressant.


How does Phenylpiracetam work and what is it used for?

Like most drugs, we’re not 100% sure how its mechanisms of action work because we do not fully understand how each part of the brain works and how it will react to foreign substances.  However, there are several theories that have been verified with studies to suggest accurate mechanism of actions.  Double-blind placebo studies can be expensive and without a large pharmaceutical company paying for these studies, many deserving studies remain unconducted. So, there is still much to learn about this promising drug.  The popularity of the substance and the low risk for adverse side effects has led to the use and experimentation of thousands of people.  Many of these people post their experiences with the drug on the internet.  Most users seem to have at least some positive effects from using the smart drug.

One of the most common uses for phenylpiracetam is the use for neuroprotection and use as a general cognitive enhancer.  Phenylpiracetam and other racetam drugs have shown to increase the amount of fluid in brain cell membranes which increases mitochondrial output of the cells.  Think of all of the times you have heard how important it is to stay hydrated. When your cells become dehydrated, they do not perform at peak performance and some cells may actually die off if not properly hydrated.  Phenylpiracetam basically keeps the brains cells extra-hydrated, allowing them to operate at peak performance.  The drug has also shown to be a positive allosteric modulator of the AMPA receptor and is believed to act on the brain’s ion channels which increase neuronal excitability.  Again, this is another mechanism that increases the general output of our brain cells.  Most drugs that have this ability come with many unwanted side effects like nervousness, anxiety, jitters, etc., but phenylpiracetam typically manages to do so without causing these effects.  In fact, as we’ll discuss later, the drug often reverses the effects of anxiety in most users.

Phenylpiracetam is also prescribed to stroke patients that display cognitive decline.  One reason that phenylpiracetam is thought to have a positive impact on stoke patients is because the drug increases blood flow to the brain, delivering more oxygen.  However, it is still unknown if the increased blood flow is a primary effect of the drug or if it is a side effect caused by the increase of brain activity.  Most strokes, such as ischemic strokes, are caused by parts of the brain not receiving enough blood flow or oxygen, causing the cells to die off.  It is thought that phenylpiracetam helps deliver blood to these areas where the victim had the stroke.  When a person has a stroke, it is typically a long recovery process if they’re even able to recover.  The brain doesn’t grow back to its previous state, but studies have shown that the brain exhibits a degree of plasticity, meaning that other brain cells may be able to learn how to operate similar to their neighboring cells and can take over their tasks if needed.  It is presumed that phenylpiracetam’s positive effects are primarily from delivering blood to the part of the brain that was deprived of oxygen, but it is unclear if it also has a positive effect on the brain’s plasticity as well.

Phenylpiracetam is often used to help treat those with Alzheimer’s disease or organic cognitive decline with aging.  Alzheimer’s disease is an incurable disease that affects a person’s memories.  After onset, the disease typically worsens quickly until the individual no longer remembers friends, family, tasks, etc.  While phenylpiracetam’s neuronal excitability/output and increase blood flow probably contribute to the positive effects seen by those with Alzheimer’s, the drug has also shown to increase the use of an abundant neurotransmitter in our brains called acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine has been proven to be a very important contributor to our memory processes.

Conducting studies on phenylpiracetam, scientists have shown that the drug acts as an anti-amnesiac, allowing those with forgotten memories caused by trauma to remember certain things.  One of the common side effects of a benzodiazepine drug is memory problems/difficulties.  Phenylpiracetam has also shown to help those with lost memories caused by this benzodiazepine side effect.  Not only that, but studies with mice have shown to reverse much of the depressant effects of benzodiazepine drugs, while not affecting their anxiolytic benefits.

Phenylpiracetam has also shown to have positive psychomotor effects in humans and is being studied as a possible treatment to those with Parkinson’s disease.  For those that aren’t aware of the horrible disease, it is caused by nerve cell damage that triggers a response causing dopamine levels to drop very low.  Some common symptoms of Parkinson ’s disease are slow movements, muscle stiffness, loss of balance and motor control.   Choline and acetylcholine not only impact our memory, but also play a part in motor function and muscle movements which probably contribute to the positive impact of the disease.  Phenylpiracetam is not only being studied and being prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, but is also commonly prescribed as an anticonvulsant.

Phenylpiracetam has shown to act as a mild norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor which likely contributes to its stimulating effects.  The drug has been used to treat those with fatigue.  The World Anti-Doping Agency added it to their banned list of stimulant drugs due to its stimulating effects, positive effects on mental and psychomotor responses, and its odd ability to allow the body to better handle extreme cold temperatures, prevention of hypoxia, and increased resistance to stress.

Not only does phenylpiracetam act as a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, but evidence suggests that it may also act as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, which would make the drug a NDRI (norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitor).  These characteristics of the drug likely contribute to some of the anti-depressant effects that seen with its use.  Phenylpiracetam has shown to benefit those with sleeping disorders.  The increased extracellular dopamine levels from phenylpiracetam use are most likely what is responsible for this benefit of the drug.

There is also evidence to suggest that the miracle drug, phenylpiracetam, may boost motivation in individuals.  The motivation increase is likely caused by the elevation in both dopamine and norepinephrine levels since both of these neurotransmitters are typically responsible for feelings of well-being and motivation.  After all, depleted levels of these chemicals thought to be the main cause of attention-deficit disorder (ADHD) and may cause distraction of day-to-day tasks.  The most common treatment for ADHD is stimulant drugs, such as amphetamines or methylphenidate.  Both drugs boost neurotransmitters like serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine.  These drugs often guide the brain to determine what’s important to focus on, store memories of, or to filter out/not pay attention to.  However, these drugs often come with adverse side effects that outweigh the benefits of the drug.  Many of these side effects include increase heart rate, increased blood pressure, mood changes, lack of impulse control, anxiety, paranoia, and sleep disorders.  These unwanted side effects may make phenylpiracetam a favorable drug to the typical stimulants prescribed for ADHD.  In a study conducted with rats, the rats that were given phenylpiracetam showed work outputs of 350%, while the rats given amphetamines had a work output of 150% and rats given methylphenidate had an output of 170%.

Racetam drugs are a derived from the neurotransmitter GABA.  However, GABA Receptors and GABA metabolism do not seem to be directly affected by racetams.  Phenylpiracetam seems to have both anti-epileptic and anti-anxiolytic properties.  It is unclear how the drug helps those with seizures, but it is thought to have something to do with the relation to GABA since GABA stimulation often helps those that suffer from epilepsy.  The anti-anxiolytic effects could in part be related to GABA as well.  GABA slows down the firing of neurons in the brain, often resulting in relaxation or depression of the Central Nervous System.  The increased levels of dopamine may also assist in the reduction of anxiety in individuals.

There are also many other interesting properties that phenylpiracetam and drugs of the Racetam family seem to possess.  Studies suggest that racetams promote alpha brain waves when ingested.  There are four types of brain waves that our brains emit that correspond with our mental state/brain activity.  Alpha brain waves are the type of waves that are emitted when we’re in our deepest and most active thoughts while remaining relaxed and thinking clearly.  Another interesting study has shown that racetams may promote interhemispheric connectivity, meaning that our left-brain and right-brain hemispheres communicate more.  This may allow us to generate creative thoughts with a logical touch.  Some left brain-dominant users have suggested that racetam use allows them to think more creatively and some have even described experiences such as seeing colors much brighter than usual after taking a dose of a racetam.

Is Phenylpiracetam Safe?

Amazingly, this wonder drug proves to be one of the safest drugs available.  One reason it remains to be a chemical of interest to many scientists around the world is because of the apparent safety of the drug and lack of side effects, while being able to provide substantial benefits – especially to many that suffer from life-destroying diseases.  Many drugs that are prescribed to those with diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s come with very intrusive side effects or risks that can be more dangerous than the actual disease itself.  However, since all humans are different, there are always some individuals that will react differently to a chemical than the general population.  While adverse side effects are somewhat rare in the use of phenylpiracetam, some of the most common side effects that have been reported with phenylpiractam use include headaches, upset stomach, insomnia, increased anxiety, solumnance, weight gain, and general weakness.

Phenylpiracetam is usually taken in doses of 100mg – 200mg, 1 to 3 times daily.  General suggestions state not to exceed 750mg per day because there seem to be no added benefits when ingesting doses larger than this.  By taking more than 750mg per day, you’re basically only increasing your chances of unwanted side effects.  100mg seems to be the most common and most effective single dose.  While the lethal dose of phenylpiracetam in humans is unknown, there have been no reports of phenylpiracetam overdoses.  Studies in rats show that racetam drugs have an extremely low acute toxicity, meaning that it would take an incredibly large amount of the drug to cause toxic effects or poisoning of the body.

Phenylpiracetam is often combined with other supplements and cognitive enhancers by those who frequently use smart drugs.  Many claim to be able to reach their desired state of mind and focus with a stack consisting of certain smart drugs, which often include phenylpiracetam.  Because these smart drugs are not extremely powerful or intoxicating, and since they’re generally ingested in low doses, instances of adverse side effects due to drug interactions are uncommon.  However, caution should always be used when combining any kind of drug. It is important to research all drug combinations to ensure that the drugs to not potentiate/negate each other, or create a chemical byproduct when processed by the liver that may be harmful to the body.

Phenylpiracetam Availability

While phenylpiracetam is a prescription drug in many countries around the world, it is not a prescription drug in most western countries like the United States.  In the United States, it has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA and is not allowed to be sold in the U.S., but there are many suppliers that sell the drug online.  This is common with drugs that are not patented or sold by Big Pharma companies.  Whether they like to admit it or not, the FDA is an entity of the U.S. Government which is ultimately a privatized business.  Without receiving funding or a commission of sales, they’re not likely to study, evaluate, monitor, or allow sales of a chemical unless being rewarded appropriately for doing so – unless, of course, the drug is harming many people or being abused.  In the instance of harm, they would likely label the drug a controlled substance.

I was a member of a forum back when nootropics first started gaining popularity, where we had open discussions about chemicals of interest pertaining to life extension and cognitive enhancement.  Racetams gained a lot of attention quickly during those days.  Several suppliers started providing the smart drug at an affordable price and sales seemed to be booming.  The largest supplier in the U.S. was also a member of our forum.  He couldn’t have been happier with his quick success.  He was researching as much as possible to find other safe smart drugs that he could manufacture and provide the public.  And then it came – a letter from the FDA demanding that he seize all sales of Piracetam from any business that he owned in the United States.  A couple of the other large suppliers also received these letters around the same time and they stopped selling to U.S. citizens.  Many of the smaller suppliers continued production and sales because they knew that if they stayed under a certain amount of sales, they would sail under the FDA’s radar.  There are still many suppliers today that are producing phenylpiracetam and other cognitive enhancers that have not yet been approved by the FDA and selling them to people in the U.S. from the U.S.  However, to my knowledge all of the businesses are online-based businesses.  I have not yet seen phenylpiracetam or any other racetams being sold in an actual retail store.


In summary, phenylpiracetam seems to be quite an amazing and promising drug.  It provides benefits to students that need a kick of motivation, focus, and memory enhancement.  The drug may also be useful in treating some of the worst diseases humans encounter like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Phenylpiracetam seems to safely offer everybody some type of benefit or relief.  I have taken this drug at times throughout the last decade and will continue to do so as long as it’s available.  If you think that the smart drug may benefit you in some way, you may want to give it a try while it’s still obtainable.  I am almost certain that it will continue to be heavily studied by the scientific community as well as by the general public and I’m almost certain that additional findings and benefits will continue to surface in years to come.

6 Vision Exercises You Should Do to for Better Sight

Sight is a beautiful sense to keep intact and healthy. It allows us to better appreciate our environment, and is very useful in day-to-day activities. Perfect eyesight is given to a good number of people, yet the rest of us have to deal with vision issues. The rise of technology, desk jobs and excessive phone and computer usage have led to the worldwide development of unhealthy lifestyles, eye strain and poor posture, and with it come more vision problems that could have been avoided. The use of contact lenses exposes the wearer to bacteria and infection, and glasses invite dependency. Here are 6 exercises designed to move the ocular muscles to restore good vision.


Doing the pencil push up


Fix your eyes at a marked point on a pencil held vertically in front of your face. Make sure it is your central line of vision. Move the pencil up and down while focusing on the mark ten times. Afterwards, rotate the pencil clockwise then counterclockwise, still keeping your eye on the mark. This exercise helps the ocular muscles achieve a faster reaction time and rate of movement, and can help conditions wherein there is difficulty focusing. A variation of the exercise you can do is to change the distance of the pencil from your face by moving it closer then farther away. This will stimulate the muscles that adjust to depth.




Sunning is an exercise that focuses on the contraction of the iris, which is the sphincter muscle that makes the pupils wider. It helps with light accommodation and reduces light sensitivity especially in those to tend to squint. This exercise is done with the eyes closed, and is done during the daytime due to the requirement of the sun. It involves moving the head from full right rotation to full left rotation, making sure that the eyes are not exposed to the sun during full rotation, yet is exposed to the sun during neutral rotation (or facing forward). This is done for 10 minutes and before the Palming exercise, which we will discuss next.




This method is simple and relaxing, and can be considered a form of mindfulness and meditation exercise that also benefits vision. This is most useful for those who have eyestrain, who suffer from headaches due to vision, and those who have dry eyes and blurry vision after a long day. The key to palming is to find a position comfortable to you. Keep your legs unfolded, and keep your body connected and in a state of relaxation, like you would do in meditation. Prop up your elbows, and put your palms over your closed eyes with one hand overlapping the other. Breathe slowly and deeply, and focus on positive things. You can do this several times a day for a few minutes depending on the time it takes you to relax.




Although it is natural for us to blink, staring too much at the television, computer screen and the displays of our mobile devices actually reduce the rate of our blinking, allowing the eyes to dry up and eventually making it prone to scratching, irritation, and vision problems. Blinking is an activity that will keep the eye lubricated and healthy, and is important especially when work involves staring at a computer screen all throughout the day. It is important to take breaks after 20 minutes, and blink a few times. Closing the eyes for a few additional seconds can also help.





Teaching the eyes to transfer focus from one point to another is called shifting. You literally just shift your focal point from one object to another. To start, pick two objects in the scenery you would like to focus on, for starters it would be nice if the two objects were at the same distance from you. Then, look at one object, then the other, then back to the first again. Keep on transferring focus for a few seconds. To add variation to this, and to add a little difficulty, try changing one focus to something farther or nearer than the other, to challenge your depth perception as well.


Visual Treat


One of the most relaxing things for the eye is the color green. This is the reason why a lot of offices have plants, or paintings with landscapes on them. These are not merely for decoration and aesthetics, but are also actually helpful for the eyes to calm down. It is also recommended to look at something green after staring at a computer screen for too long. Give your vision a treat by going to a place wherein there is abundance of green, or of nature to be exact. Fresh air does a body good, and fresh green landscape is what the eyes need after a long week of working.