More than 50% of all women older than 65 in the US are widows, and widows outnumber widowers by at least 3 to 1. The disparity is even greater at older age; among centenarians (people who live for more than a 100 years), there are 4 females for every male.

This longevity gap is not unique to the US. When it comes to health, males are the weaker sex throughout life, and that’s a universal fact. But why?
A mix of biological, social, and behavioral factors that put men at higher risk of disease and death compared to women may be to blame.


Sex Chromosomes – Because women have two X chromosomes, the effects of having one bad disease-producing gene on one X can be counterbalanced by the presence of a normal gene on the other X. But in men – who have only one X chromosome – the same bad gene on the X will cause the disease, as they lack the potential protection of a matching gene.

Hormones – Testosterone has been historically blamed for the higher prevalence of heart disease among men, and even though research has disproven this, the male hormone is still thought to fuel other diseases like those of the prostate. Testosterone also contributes to aggressiveness, violence, and risk-taking – namely among younger men – which can lead to all sorts of problems.

Estrogen on the other hand is known to be protective for women – namely against heart disease – which is why its incidence is delayed by about 10 years in women compared to men.


Work Stress – A common explanation for the increase in cases of hypertension and heart disease among overworked males. As more women enter the workforce the gender gap may be slowly closing.


Diet and Lifestyle – Women generally eat healthier than men, and that’s a fact. “Male foods” stereotypically include meat and are less healthy compared to “female foods” which include more fruits and vegetables. Studies also found that men who consume a more healthy diet are judged to be less masculine and more feminine which may help explain the observed differences in consumption patterns.

Smoking and Alcohol Abuse – Smoking, drugs, & alcohol abuse have traditionally been male problems and the association of these self-destructive behaviors with multiple health issues from heart disease to lung cancer and more is well-known. Women have however been catching up to those rates due to the increasing adoption of these habits.

Lack of Routine Health Checks – According to a major survey, the proportion of surveyed men who had not seen a doctor in the previous year was 3 times greater than that of women. More than 50% of men in that survey also reported not having had a physical exam or cholesterol test in the previous year.


For all the lads out there, bad health isn’t inevitable. Men cannot change their chromosomes and not everyone has the luxury of quitting their stressful jobs, still, men can do a lot to catch up to women in many other areas. Taking care of one’s health should not be judged as “feminine” and Valeo is here to change this perception.
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No matter your age, not being able to get an erection when you want one is frustrating. But, when it happens in your 20s or 30s, you may be wondering if what’s going on down there is normal.

We’re here to tell you that you’re not alone, and that experiencing Erectile Dysfunction (referred to as ED throughout this article) at a younger age is much more common than what you might think.

Indeed, estimates from local studies in the Arab world show that up to 26% of men experience ED in their 20s & 30s, while 40% experience it in their 40s. And while Arab men experience ED at similar rates to the rest of the world, they live in a culture in which male virility and fertility is a foundational component of masculinity, which leaves them battling social stigma and enormous emotional pressures. That’s why Valeo decided to step in.

Debunking the hard truth – What is ED & why does it happen?

ED happens when a man can’t get or maintain an erection that is sufficient enough for satisfying sex – that might include erections that aren’t as long or as firm as wanted. For some men, ED may be a short-term problem that happens occasionally but for others, it is a long-term issue that has been developing over the course of years or decades.

A number of reasons – physical and psychological – such as stress, depression, and heart disease – can lead to ED. To explain how these factors relate to the functioning of the penis, it’s important to cover the basics of how erections work first.

From a physical aspect, the penis grows in size when a man is sexually aroused –  this happens as a result of a complex series of events in the body that involve the nervous system, the vascular system, and of course the tissue of the penis itself. Upon sexual stimulation, the brain releases a chemical to the penis (known as cGMP) which causes its muscles to relax, allowing blood to flow to its base, and leading up to an erection.

Seeing that erections highly depend on proper nerve functioning and a healthy blood flow, it’s no wonder why heart diseases, hypertension, kidney diseases, mental illness – and all other factors or conditions that affect either – would be associated with ED.

Getting hard made easy with Valeo

ED can be a frustrating issue when it happens, but Valeo has made it its mission to make getting hard..easy (the puns are endless).

Valeo provides its users with FDA-approved medications including Viagra a.k.a the famous little blue pill –  as well as state-of-the art and evidence-based natural supplements formulated to combine some of nature’s most potent aphrodisiacs – all delivered next day in discreet packaging –  to help men enjoy a satisfying sex life.

Tiredness & Fatigue: What blood tests you should look for

Tiredness & Fatigue: What blood tests you should look for

We’ve all had one of those days when we could barely keep our eyes open at work and had to chug one cup of coffee after the other in a desperate attempt to self-energize. And while exhaustion is a feeling that is often resolved with a good night’s sleep for most people, some of us may be dealing with it on a daily basis which can be a sign of underlying health conditions. We’ve summarized a list of biomarkers that may help reveal the cause of your constant tiredness.

Iron Profile – symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include tiredness, lack of energy, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and pale skin.

Complete Blood Count (CBC) – can help reveal a wide range of illnesses including anemia & inflammation associated with fatigue.

Testosterone – one of the main symptoms of having low testosterone levels is feeling fatigued all the time. Low testosterone levels can be due to excess weight, blood sugar imbalance, & alcohol abuse among other reasons.

HbA1c – type 2 diabetes & blood sugar imbalances cause tiredness, namely due to the body’s inability to effectively utilize blood sugar to produce energy.

Our modern “everyday hustle” pushes us to think that tiredness & fatigue is just part of how things flow. But feeling tired all the time is not normal, it’s your body asking you to slow down & take a look at what’s happening on the inside. So you guessed it, checking on your blood work is the ideal way to start! Valeo’s advanced blood test package includes detailed information on biomarkers related to your energy levels. Your test results along with the help of your Valeo Health Coach would help you recharge your energy battery and keep it on green mode.

The Powerful Supplement That No One’s Ever Heard of Before

The Powerful Supplement That No One’s Ever Heard of Before

We spend a good time at Valeo trying to comb through piles of research to find supplement recommendations that can help improve people’s health. Some of the supplements we often recommend include vitamin D to increase vitamin D levels and omega-3 to support anti-inflammatory pathways in the body – boring, I know…

But one highly effective supplement that we’re particularly fond of, that has been studied in a plethora of peer-reviewed scientific studies – and yet – that no one seems to have heard of before is: Berberine


Berberine is a bioactive compound found naturally in the roots of many medicinally important plants such as Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal),and Berberis vulgaris (barberry).
Berberine had been historically used as an antibiotic for over 3000 years in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat a range of ailments, from diarrhea to eye infections, before its effects on modern day chronic disease – namely diabetes and high cholesterol – started gaining momentum.

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In a 2015 meta-analysis – a kind of “super-study” that reviews all the research published on a subject – confirmed the ancient remedy’s efficacy in “improving type 2 diabetes”, “improving high cholesterol”, and “reducing hypertension”, without causing the slightest side-effect! This “super-study” had summarized the evidence from 27 clinical trials.

One of the studies included in this meta-analysis found that supplementation with 1000 mg of berberine daily significantly reduced fasting blood glucose by 21% from an average of 126 mg/dL to 100 mg/dL in 3 months.

In an older meta-analysis from 2012 including over 1000 type 2 diabetics, berberine was even found to be as effective as conventional blood sugar medication for reducing fasting blood glucose!

More so, another meta-analysis published in 2018 – drawing on 16 clinical trials and including more than 2000 participants – showed that the use of berberine remarkably lowered the blood levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), triglycerides, and total cholesterol, while also increasing the levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) when used alone as therapy or in adjunction to medication.

Scientific evidence also supports the positive effects of berberine in a number of other health conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and PCOS, and according to, there are currently 18 clinical trials being conducted on berberine’s potential effects on conditions ranging from gastric cancer and inflammation to liver disease.


In brief, we don’t exactly know. But the theory is that berberine activates an enzyme called AMPK which is present in the muscle and liver. This enzyme is directly involved in improving the sensitivity of tissues to insulin – the hormone that helps lower blood sugar.

Studies also show that berberine may act by accelerating the breakdown of blood sugar to produce energy (a process known as glycolysis) and decrease the production of glucose in the liver (a.k.a the process of gluconeogenesis) which helps keep the blood vessels clear more efficiently.


Beyond the research findings, what further fuels our enthusiasm for berberine is the remarkable improvement in the blood biomarkers of Valeo users that we see on a daily basis (with decreased levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and HbA1c) after they try Valeo’s Berberine+.

What sets Valeo’s Berberine+ apart from other supplements is its purity: the extract of Berberis vulgaris we use is standardized to 97% berberine, the highest percentage you’ll find on the market.

In addition, the dose (3 x 500mg capsules a day with food) corresponds to what is tested in the majority of clinical trials.

So we have this naturally sourced supplement that is highly effective, clinically-supported, with empirical evidence dating back thousands of years, and that may very well be the knockout punch to lower your blood sugar and cholesterol. But could it work for you? Book a free consultation with a Valeo health expert to find out.



While genetics are the most common reason for hair loss in men, there are a number of other conditions that may cause shedding all over the scalp such as hormonal changes, thyroid imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies, and a simple blood test can reveal a lot of those. Wondering what blood biomarkers to look for in your test? Read on.

Iron Profile

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world and it is well-known for causing anemia (in which the body does not produce enough red blood cells), but you may be surprised to learn that it can also cause hair loss. While scientists are not sure how and why iron deficiency causes hair loss, the damage is often reversible, and hair regrowth is usually possible when the deficiency is corrected through diet or supplementation.


Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in many food sources such as animal proteins, beans, fortified cereals, and many types of nuts. If you’re not getting enough zinc in your diet – and this can happen easily if you’re vegan or vegetarian, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have a GI condition that reduces nutrient absorption – then you may experience the annoying effects of zinc deficiency which include poor immune health, lack of alertness, and hair loss. The relationship between zinc and hair loss is complicated and some researchers think that the mineral may act as an inhibitor to DHT production – the main hormone responsible for male pattern baldness in men.

Vitamin D

We all know that vitamin D is vital for strong bones and immunity, but did you know that your body also needs the sunshine vitamin to create new hair follicles? As vitamin D deficiency happens to be one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the UAE – with more than 80% of the population lacking adequate amounts of the vitamin in their blood – it is recommended that you take a blood test if you haven’t done so already, and check where you stand.

Thyroid Profile

If you have a thyroid condition, it’s possible that it could cause some degree of hair loss. Unlike male pattern baldness, thyroid-related hair loss usually doesn’t result in a receding hairline or a bald spot at the crown –  instead, it usually leads to thinning of the hair across the entire scalp. Hair loss related to thyroid may affect your eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair too. What’s reassuring though is that hair loss due to thyroid disorders is often reversible especially if detected and managed in a timely manner.

What about DHT?

If you’ve never heard of DHT before (short for dihydrotestosterone) – it is a derivative of testosterone that is formed in the blood and has the ability to bind to hair follicles in the scalp causing them to shrink until they stop growing. DHT is also known to be the primary hormone responsible for genetic hair loss in males.

And so, a common question is whether doing a blood test for DHT has any value in managing hair loss. 

The short answer is, no.

Despite the important role DHT plays leading up to hair loss, the usefulness of a DHT blood test is questionable, as researchers think that the sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT – which is genetically determined – is far more important than the actual level of DHT in the blood. Research also found high blood concentrations of DHT in people with and without hair loss and higher levels of DHT were not associated with more severe hair loss.

The Valeo Hair Loss package includes all relevant biomarkers to help you pin down the cause of your hair loss including the complete iron and thyroid profiles, zinc, and vitamin D. You also get to review your results with a qualified health expert and get actionable advice on how you can improve your hair quality and quantity through diet, lifestyle and supplementation.

Find Your Inner Zen with Zen+

Find Your Inner Zen with Zen+

For many of us, the past 3 years have been exceptionally stressful, having been dominated by fears about the pandemic. But even now after the pandemic fear has more or less subsided, chronic stress continues to be an unavoidable part of modern life, manifesting in many different ways – from constant headaches and sleepless nights, to inexplicable digestive issues and creeping anxiety – all hindering our productivity and undermining our sense of wellbeing in the process.

And so most of us are likely to benefit from some stress management strategies to carry us into the times ahead.


While medication and therapy are undoubtedly effective means to manage stress and anxiety, some of us may be interested in regaining inner balance naturally without resorting to pharmaceuticals. The good news is that nature offers several powerful ingredients that are renowned for their soothing effects and have been proven effective.

Valeo’s Zen+ Supplement combines 4 of nature’s most powerfully soothing ingredients that can help you keep calm and sail through daily stress with ease.

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L-Theanine – if you have ever wondered why you were told to drink a cup of green tea before bed to help you relax, then you are about to find out why.
Both green tea and black tea are great sources of a unique amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to exhibit calming effects and increase alertness – without causing drowsiness. L-theanine is thought to work by decreasing “excitatory” brain chemicals that contribute to stress and anxiety while increasing brain chemicals that promote the feeling of relaxation. Other research has even linked L-theanine supplement consumption to improvement in sleep quality, blood pressure, as well as focus and attention.

Saffron Extract – Saffron, often referred to as the ”golden spice”, has been used as a seasoning and coloring agent in food for centuries. But did you know that saffron may also support mood, hormone balance and gut health, amongst other emerging health benefits? Saffron’s mood-elevating and calming effects are due to multiple sites of action, including increasing the levels in the brain of important mood-elevating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, balancing the body’s stress response, and exhibiting anti-inflammatory effects in the brain.

Magnesium Citrate – Magnesium’s beneficial effects on mood and stress are so well-known that the mineral has nicknames like “the original chill pill” and “nature’s valium”. However, many people are often on low doses of magnesium or take forms of magnesium that are not well-absorbed by the body. It’s no surprise that they don’t notice any benefit in their anxiety, stress, mood, or sleep. Magnesium in the form of magnesium citrate – used to alleviate constipation – is however one of the most well-tolerated and well-absorbed forms of magnesium that are likely to help you ease into sleep after a long stressful day.

Vitamin B6 – the calming effects of vitamin B6 have been recently confirmed in a trial in which significant reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms was noted among participants who took vitamin B6 supplements for about one month. The effects of vitamin B6 supplements were thought to be related to improved functioning of a neurotransmitter in the brain (GABA) which is known to be responsible for inducing calm and relaxation.

Along with supplementation, there are plenty of other measures to take to enjoy a more balanced body and calmer mind – from regular and gentle exercise to get the endorphins flowing to meditation and limiting screen time in the evening as much as possible.

It is important to note though that supplements are unlikely to help in cases of severe depression or anxiety and that you should always consult with a trained professional.
We actually recommend that you consult a health care provider before starting any supplement, regardless of what it is meant to treat.

So You're Losing Your Hair. Now What?

So You're Losing Your Hair. Now What?

More than 95% of men experience some degree of hair loss during their lives according to the American Hair Loss Association, and near 60% notice a receding hairline or thinning hair by age 35. 

A head full of hair is not just a matter of vanity. Losing hair without control over its regrowth can create serious psychological distress, especially when it starts at a fairly young age and has a noticeable impact on the way you look. But there are numerous steps that you can take to slow down or stop hair loss.

In the article below, we explain how and why hair loss happens and what you can do about it, from FDA-approved medications that prevent hair loss and stimulate regrowth, to dietary supplements that nourish your hair from within and more.

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Hair loss: The Basics

  • While a number of factors can contribute to this universal complaint, hair loss in men is primarily the result of a hereditary condition known as androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness. So if you have a close relative who has lost their hair, then you’re probably at risk too.
  • This inherited trait means that a by-product of the male hormone testosterone called DHT (short for dihydro-testosterone) binds to receptors in your scalp causing your hair follicles to shrink through the years until they stop growing new hairs.
  • A range of other issues may also contribute to hair loss though such as illness, stress, infections, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and use of certain types of medication.

What can you do about it?

If you’ve just started experiencing hair loss, don’t panic as hair loss can be reversible!

Remember though that early action is the best action. If your hair loss is caused by male pattern baldness, it’s important to treat it early to stop it from getting worse over time.

While there isn’t a cure for hair loss, multiple medications have been proven effective at slowing down hair loss and even reversing it. Currently, the most effective treatments for hair loss are the FDA-approved medications finasteride and minoxidil.

Valeo offers both of these medications to you online, along with the ability to connect with a licensed medical provider who will recommend the best course of action for your case. That is on top of numerous other curated natural products & supplements that – though they may not prevent hair loss – would help keep your hair strong, thick, and healthy.

Here is how Valeo can help you confront hair loss with confidence:
All you need to do is fill up Valeo’s hair loss questionnaire by clicking on {link}, after which you will receive our recommendations on the best available treatments based on your answers – these may include prescription drugs, dietary supplements, or even a blood test to rule out potential hormonal imbalances or nutritional deficiencies.
Your answers will also be reviewed by a licensed medical doctor to make sure whether prescription drugs are appropriate whenever applicable.
You may also choose to meet with a Valeo health coach for personalized guidance on how to maintain healthy hair through diet, lifestyle habits, and supplementation.
You can choose to have your products delivered to you every 3 or 6 months for maximum convenience.
So what are you waiting for? Start TODAY and don’t DELAY!

Level-Up Your Vitamin D with Valeo

Level-Up Your Vitamin D with Valeo

If you live in a hot climate, and you don’t get outside for at least 15 minutes each day, you may have low vitamin D. 

Why? Because your body actually makes most of its vitamin D from sunshine, and if you keep running away from the sun, you are likely to become deficient.

Why do you need Vitamin D?

  • Maintain bone health – Vitamin D is crucial for the body to be able to absorb calcium and phosphorus, both of which are critical for building healthy strong bones. Having weak bones puts us at greater risk of fractures and developing osteoporosis, and may result in back pain, hindered movement, lost height and a hunched posture.
  • Increase muscle mass & body strength – Vitamin D also acts directly on muscles to increase protein synthesis thus increasing muscle mass and general body strength.
  • Support a strong immune system – Research also suggests that vitamin D may a major role in the inhibition of viruses. If your vitamin D is low, your immune system may be less effective.

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How can you increase your vitamin D levels?

The three ways to increase vitamin D levels are through diet, sunshine, and supplements. Given the limited number of foods that are naturally-rich with vitamin D, and the dangers of excess sun exposure, most people end up resorting to supplements to meet their vitamin D needs – in which case making the right choice on the right supplement is crucial.

How to choose a vitamin D supplement?

Before you decide on a vitamin D supplement, it’s a good idea to get your levels tested. A blood test is the only way to know whether your levels are deficient, insufficient, sufficient, or optimal.

Factors to consider when shopping for vitamin D supplements include:

  • Form of vitamin D – Vitamin D supplements contain either ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) or cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). While both forms can increase levels of vitamin D, vitamin D3 can increase levels more significantly and for longer.
  • Quality – Look for supplements that are packaged in dark glass or opaque containers to protect vitamin D from getting oxidized by light and oxygen. Look also for evidence on testing for purity, quality, and accuracy, ideally from a third-party organization.
  • Dose – Choose a product containing an appropriate dose of vitamin D to meet your needs. Keep in mind that the recommended amount of vitamin D varies by age and whether you’re looking to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D or are deficient.

Why you may also need to supplement vitamin K with vitamin D?

While Vitamin D increases calcium absorption to ensure you have enough of it to meet your body’s demands, Vitamin K makes sure that you use that calcium efficiently; by increasing its deposition in bones & reducing its accumulation in soft tissues such as blood vessels.

Taking high doses of vitamin D without enough vitamin K may cause blood vessel calcification which increases the risk of certain conditions like heart & kidney disease.

How can you optimize your levels with Valeo?

1-Test – The only way to tell if you’re vitamin D deficient is to get your blood tested. Valeo allows you to conveniently & affordably measure your vitamin D levels – at only 99 AED (like seriously?!) – and provides you with recommendations on how to improve them if they are out of range through diet, sunshine, and supplements.
2-Supplement – Valeo provides the highest quality vitamin D supplement which includes vitamin D+K combos. Your Valeo Health Coach will recommend the right dosage for you based on your levels.
3-Reap the benefits! – Results with Valeo are guaranteed – but don’t take our word for it! You can ask 95% of our repeat customers who managed to improve their levels following Valeo recommendations.

11 Health Myths Everyone Believes - Busted with the Real Facts

11 Health Myths Everyone Believes – Busted with the Real Facts

Let’s first share the non-scientific definition of a health myth, as described by Dr. Shmerling from Harvard Health Publishing, which requires most of the following:

  • Many people believe it.
  • There is no compelling scientific evidence to support it.
  • There is at least some scientific evidence against it.
  • It may have a pseudo-scientific explanation to it that may also have an intuitive appeal.
  • The idea defies standard understanding of biology.

Two other features of many popular health myths include:

  • The possibility that it can actually harm you
  • A profit motive (by those promoting the myth)

Myth 1: The human body needs detoxing every once and a while

Detox diets, juices and treatments are hugely popular, but the very idea that we can take steps to detox our own bodies and simply wash away our calorific sins is a huge myth. First of all, if toxins did actually build up in a way that your body couldn’t excrete, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention. Moreover, from a biological perspective, the human body is naturally capable of removing impurities from the blood, primarily through the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through its kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph, skin, and immune system. So give your body a break and stop detoxing. 

Myth 2: You should be walking 10,000 steps every day

You might think that the number 10,000 is a golden number that was revealed after years of research. It is said that this magic number only became popular after the success of a marketing campaign in the 60s for a company that sold a pedometer called the Manpo-kei: “man” meaning 10,000, “po” meaning steps, and “kei” meaning meter. With that being said, if aiming to complete those 10,000 steps makes you walk more, then it is a great strategy. However, to some of us, 10,000 steps can seem like a high goal to achieve every single day, which might make some people not want to even try. Failing to achieve your goal day after day might make you want to give up. To get people with sedentary lifestyles walking, a lower goal might be better psychologically.

Myth 3: Weight loss is all about willpower

Everyone blames dieters after regaining the weight they lost for not being dedicated enough and lacking the willpower to stick to the diet plan, and that’s just wrong – looking at everyone that has attempted to diet, it seems that nobody has willpower. In fact, willpower is a quick-fix solution that can occasionally get you past a hankering for brownies at 4 p.m., but diets that include restriction depend on a mythical idea that we have full control over our eating habits, ignoring basic human biology: The more we restrict, the more likely we are to fail. So many factors play a role in what we’re eating and why we’re eating. Moreover, years of research on the physiological mechanisms behind weight regulation revealed so many biological changes that happen in the body when we try to lose weight, such as rise in hunger and appetite hormones and a metabolic tendency to slow down fat burning, that it becomes practically impossible to keep the weight off.

Making more nutritious food choices does not mean having hard and fast rules about the types of foods you eat. Indulging sometimes is 100% a part of eating in a healthful way.

Myth 4: All fat is bad

Very often we hear that fat is bad and that eliminating it from our diet is healthy.

Dietary fats are deemed unhealthy due to the high energy quotient of calories they supply and their reputation for blocking arteries and obviously “making us fat”. But make no mistake – our bodies absolutely require fat to provide essential fatty acids and absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and K). Moreover, unlike what decades of preaching have told us about the harmful effects of cholesterol on the heart, recent research is showing that high-quality fats such as unsaturated fats found in coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, and nuts are protective for the heart.

Myth 5: Fruit juices are healthy

Most fruit juices available in the market are as high in calories as a sugary soft drink. A glass of orange juice contains the extracts of around six oranges. When you have a fruit you usually limit yourself to one or two and have it with all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Juicing it destroys some minerals, takes out the fiber and just gives you a sugar overdose. The recommended daily dose of fiber for women is 25 gm and men need 38 gm. By eliminating that fiber from a fruit, you could be depriving yourself of a dense source of nutrition.

Myth 6: Gluten is evil

Gluten is a protein found in many grains, including wheat and is common in foods such as bread, pasta, pizza and cereal. People with celiac disease (who form only 1% of the world’s population) have an immune reaction that is triggered by eating gluten and develop inflammation and damage in their intestinal tracts and other parts of the body when they eat foods containing gluten, and should therefore follow a gluten-free diet to avoid sickness. Then there are people described as “gluten-sensitive.” Their tests for celiac disease are negative (normal) and yet they get symptoms such as bloating or abdominal cramps whenever they eat foods with gluten. Avoiding gluten makes sense if it makes you sick or feels unwell but for the rest of us, avoiding gluten won’t be doing you any good and is most likely just costing you more. In fact, while you think that gluten-free diets are more nutritious, many reports indicate that these foods are actually commonly less fortified with folic acid, iron, fiber, and other nutrients and tend to have more sugar and fat.

Myth 7: Eggs increase cholesterol levels

Eggs are often demonized for their cholesterol-heavy yolks. In reality, there is insufficient data to show that consumption of dietary cholesterol (such as that in eggs) affects our blood cholesterol levels. Our harmful cholesterol levels are more influenced by the consumption of saturated and trans fat. It is more important to keep your cholesterol in check by monitoring these fats in your diet. Moreover, the incredible egg (yolk included) is a high-quality protein source chock full of important nutrients including omega-3s, vitamins A, D, K, B6, iron, zinc and copper, so please don’t miss out on all of its nutritional value by following.

Myth 8: “Take this supplement. It helped me and so it must help you too”

Has anyone ever told you that you MUST try that one supplement. You have to, because…wait for it…It will change your life! Well, newsflash: it might not. Your body is unique and your supplementation plan should be too.

Following someone else’s advice on supplements can be tempting because it comes with a living proof that it works. However, anecdotal evidence from unqualified people can often lead to exaggerated and misinterpreted results and random supplementation. This can increase the risk of toxicity, medication interaction, and side effects, or can simply be ineffective. Instead, supplementation should be personalized and tailored to one’s bloodwork and medical history. Blood testing is one of the most powerful ways to understand what is going on inside of your body and identify your need for supplements.

Myth 9: You should drink at least 8 cups of water a day

Despite it being a belief widely held onto for its supposed multiple health benefits (including better skin and the prevention of gallstones), the age-old mantra of drinking 8 glasses of water a day is medically unfounded. While water is essential to keep you hydrated, there is actually no evidence that we need to be drinking at least 8 cups of water a day. This is because water is not the only source of hydration – we also get water from fruits, vegetables, and even juice and coffee that we consume.

Furthermore, there is also no scientific evidence that increasing water intake has any health benefits for an average healthy person. That being said, water is still the healthiest drink to consume – you may not need to tick the 8-cups-of-water box every day, but you do need to keep yourself hydrated. The best gauge of how much water to drink is simply to drink as and when you feel thirsty.

Myth 10: A calorie is a calorie

A calorie is a calorie in terms of energy, but the nutrients that come with those calories vary. So while it’s true that a 3-ounce skinless chicken breast has the same amount of calories as two slices of white bread (both have about 140 calories), those calories are not equal as the source of the calorie changes how you digest it and how you retrieve energy from it. And so, instead of counting calories which ignores the metabolic effects of each calorie, focus more on eating whole foods and healthy fats, and avoiding unhealthy processed foods like crackers and cookies.

Myth 11: You need to have 5 meals a day.

Have you heard that you’ll lose more weight if you eat small frequent meals? The 5-6 meals a day theory claims it increases your metabolism given that you burn more calories if you digest food more often. Remember, weight loss isn’t primarily about calories in and calories out. And so, if the basis of this theory is calorie counting then it is ineffective.

Another long-standing theory is that having big fewer meals causes spikes in blood sugar whereas having small frequent ones help regulate it. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating more often does keep your blood sugar consistent throughout the day – consistently high, that is! Your blood sugar might surge after a big meal, but only for an hour or less, and on average, people who eat fewer meals have lower blood glucose levels throughout the day. The best way to prevent an upturn in your blood glucose after your meal is to eat fewer refined carbohydrates, and more protein and complex carbohydrates at each sitting. To add to that, the benefits of eating less often are well-highlighted in the literature and include increased metabolism, blood glucose control, and weight loss!

Probiotics: Defining Quality

Probiotics: Defining Quality

Discoveries about how the gut microbiota affects human physiology are multiplying at an astounding rate, reshaping much of what we know about health and disease.

Thousands of probiotic supplement brands are now available on the market as millions of people now regularly consume these supplements. However, that does not mean that all probiotics are equal when it comes to quality!

So how do you choose a good quality probiotic supplement?


Probiotics are not one-size-fits-all remedies, and certain probiotic strains are much more effective for certain medical conditions and symptoms than others. Look for supplements with specific strains based on your needs.

Among the known probiotic bacteria, species of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus) and Bifidobacterium have a long history of safe use, possess the ability to withstand digestion and the gut’s high acidity, and have been consistently shown to exert the biological functions.


Vitamins and other supplements typically indicate dosages in terms of weight or volume. For probiotics, weight and volume mean little. What’s important is the number of living microorganisms that survive and replicate after being consumed – and the standard indicator for that is the quantity of colony-forming units (CFUs) per dose. In short, CFUs estimate the expected number of viable organisms a probiotic capsule will deliver to the intestines.

For common commercially available probiotics, label claims run somewhere between 1 billion to 10 billion CFUs per day.
The product quality matters. It’s important to look for probiotics that contain at least 106 (1 million) CFUs per gram, as research suggests that this is the minimum amount needed to exert positive effects in the body.


Because probiotics are quite vulnerable to factors like temperature change and storage time, many may no longer be viable by the time the product is purchased. We therefore recommend that you choose products that include CFUs at the end of a product’s shelf life, which indicates that a product contains a therapeutic number of CFUs after the product is purchased.

Some probiotics also require refrigeration. Check the product label for proper storage instructions. In general, probiotics are sensitive to heat. Thus, if they don’t require refrigeration, you’ll want to store them in a cool, dry area.