Burnout? How A Blood Test Can Help

Burnout? How A Blood Test Can Help

Feeling exhausted, detached, and constantly swamped at work? You may be experiencing work burnout. Most people associate burnout with its mental signs and symptoms. However, burnout’s effects – much like chronic stress – can reach way beyond the brain, affecting everything from immune function to metabolic processes, and hormone levels.

The human body is perfectly capable of handling stress, but very unfit to cope with chronic stress – which is defined as 3 hours or more of stress per day over a prolonged period of time. Chronic stress and unbalanced cortisol levels can exert a kind of domino effect on all connected biological systems. The term “allostatic load” represents the physiological problems or “wear and tear” that affect different body systems leading to increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases – due to elevated cholesterol and blood sugar levels – and immune problems.

By looking at specific biomarkers such as blood sugar, cholesterol, inflammation markers, and certain hormones, a blood test can reveal the effects of burnout on your body and help detect problems before they occur.

Hormones

Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland as the body reacts to a stressor, it prepares it for fight and flight conditions and is a significant biomarker for stress.

Blood Sugar and HbA1c

Stress triggers the release of cortisol into the blood, which could lead to an unexpected rise in blood glucose levels.

Cholesterol and Triglycerides

One theory dictates that stress causes the body to produce more energy for the fight or flight response, which causes the liver to produce and secrete more of the bad cholesterol, LDL.

CRP (C-reactive protein)

A type of protein produced by the liver in reaction to inflammation. Stress increases cortisol levels which suppresses the immune system, making it prone to inflammation.

So to wrap up, mental and emotional stress may lead to physical stress, and vice versa. We get it,  perhaps knowing the effects of stress on your body is more stressful, but at least it will push you to help your body fight the stress and stop it from doing more damage. This leads to a stronger mindset, getting you back on track to just regular stress – one that’s completely normal. So let’s get testing!


Tips Every Man Should Know

Tips Every Man Should Know

Taking care of yourself isn’t as hard as you think.

“Living a healthier life” might sound like an overwhelming goal, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips that are easy to add to your everyday life & will have a tremendous impact on your health in the long run.

Move Before You Eat

No more than 5 minutes needed. Depending on your fitness this could be a short walk, walk/run up and down some stairs, do some star jumps, press ups, or simply dance. This alters your metabolism and prepares you better for food.

Donate Blood

Once or twice a year. Blood donation is directly linked to fewer strokes, heart attacks and lower blood pressure. This is done by the reduction of hemoglobin and hematocrit when you donate. This is especially important for men.

Get Tested

Once a year blood testing can give vital information about your health. Don’t wait to get ill before getting tested.

Prevention is always way better, cheaper, and more convenient than cure.

Supplement Essential Nutrients

The nutrient content of food has reduced dramatically during the past century. Supplementing has become increasingly important, even just to fill the ‘nutrient gap’. That’s the gap between what you need and what you are getting from your food. It is important to seek advice on this. Not all supplements are created equal and there are certainly a lot of highly questionable supplements out there.

Stop Snacking

The act of eating food can be inflammatory. Snacking is really a modern phenomenon. All the major parts of our digestive system evolved to eat between 2 to 3 times a day. When you eat, eat well.

Become a Nutritarian

Quite simply a nutritarian is someone who seeks to get the most out of their food by seeking a variety of colors, high-quality ingredients, trusted meat, and fish sources and plenty of herbs. 

Seek Help

If you have any outstanding issues, be it health-related or not, seek help. Having a hard time quitting smoking? Seek help. Drinking too much? Seek help. Low energy levels? You get the idea.

Men are often encouraged to take care of themselves by the women in their lives, but taking charge of your own good health is important at any age – and it’s never too late to start developing healthier habits.

Follow @valeo.men on Instagram to stay up-to-date regarding the latest treatments and concerns in the world of Men’s health.


4 Essential Supplements for Female Health

4 Essential Supplements for Women’s Health

As children, men and women have the same dietary requirements while growing up. However, when puberty hits, nutritional needs change at every stage of a woman’s life. Those nutrient needs change throughout their life span depending on their overall health, diet, and lifestyle. Nonetheless, we have summarized some of the go-to gold standard supplements for all the ladies out there who want to stay on top of their health at all times.

 

Omega-3 fish oilsFish – such as mackerel, sardines, tuna, and salmon – are rich sources of omega-3s, namely EPA & DHA.These essential fats can’t be made in the body, and because many women don’t eat enough fish – they may not like the flavor or may fear heavy metals or contaminants – they simply don’t get enough of them. Omega-3s are however crucial for heart and joint health, and essential for the healthy development of babies. Take 1-2 g of fish oils daily and ensure that at least 250-500 mg of that are in the EPA & DHA form.

Our supplement of choice: Super Omega+

Folic acid – Folate is a B vitamin and its name is derived from foliage – that’s because folate is richest in leafy foods like spinach, asparagus, etc. Our cells need folate to make DNA, and without it we’d simply be unable to make new cells or tissues, such as skin or hair. Folate is also essential for pregnancy especially during the first couple of weeks and that’s to prevent serious developmental conditions in the fetus. Women who are looking to conceive are as such recommended to supplement 600 mcg of folic acid up to 3 months before conception.

Iron – iron deficiency is the most common deficiency in the world, namely among women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding, follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or have gut issues that prevent its absorption. During pregnancy, women also require more iron due to the increased production of red blood cells. It is recommended to speak to a health practitioner to determine the appropriate dosage for you.

Our supplement of choice for Iron & Folic Acid : Ferrolactin+

Vitamin D – Adequate vitamin D levels are essential to build a healthy bone structure foundation and prevent bone weakening, a condition known as osteoporosis  – that’s because vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium from the diet. While a daily maintenance dose of 1000-2000 IUs is generally acceptable, correction doses in the presence of a deficiency should be based on the blood test levels. 

Our supplement of choice: Bio-D-Mulsion Forte

You can always reach out to a Valeo health coach for a consultation to know the suitable supplements and the right dosages for your body. Book your free consultation today!


The Power Couple for Hard Erections: Testoplus & Tribulus+

The Power Couple for Hard Erections: Testoplus & Tribulus+

Done with the blue pill? Looking for more natural solutions? It’s okay if you can’t keep up, Erectile Dysfunction can be a complex issue and often takes patience to resolve. In short, an erectile dysfunction’s main physical limitation is caused by low blood flow and that’s exactly where we can help. Introducing Valeo’s Testoplus & Tribulus+, the first scientifically backed; custom made all-natural supplements for promoting erectile function in the region. Yes, believe the hype! It’s not just about the ingredients, at Valeo we have also taken the time to perfect the clinical dosage that each supplement delivers – so that YOU can deliver.


THE SEXY INGREDIENTS
First let’s learn about the importance of Nitric Oxide (NO), it’s not that hard!

NO is a physiological signal that is essential to penile erection. Disorders that reduce NO or its release in the erectile tissue are commonly associated with erectile dysfunction. In order to counter this, Valeo’s male sexual performance supplements are designed to improve nitric oxide distribution, improve male hormones, and support healthy tissue which ultimately leads to healthy blood flow.

L-Citrulline the main component in Testoplus, is known to improve and increase NO distribution. A study shows that 50% of men taking 1.5g of L citrulline over a one-month period experienced improved erection hardness.

Korean (Panax) Ginseng Extract & Ginkgo Leaf – also team players in Testoplus – can relieve oxidative stress in blood vessels and tissues, and can help with the creation of nitric oxide thanks to its antioxidant properties. This is important because low blood flow often causes damage to blood vessels, where the smallest and most vulnerable arteries are found in the penis.

Zinc One study examined zinc supplementation in elderly men. Researchers showed that with increased zinc intake, testosterone levels in the elderly population almost doubled – a powerful evidence that zinc, found in Testoplus, has an impact on testosterone production and therefore male performance.

 

Tribulus Terrestris that makes up Tribulus+, is a well-known aphrodisiac with recent scientific validation of traditionally used herbal plants as aphrodisiac herbs for the management of impotence. It has been clinically proven to improve sexual desire, enhance erection, and increase testosterone levels in men.

To sum up: positive NO & testosterone levels = positive blood flow = positive erections

THE DOSAGE

The components of both Testoplus & Tribulus+ have been carefully formulated in a way that optimises the effect of each ingredient on the body. Typically, you might find all ingredients in one capsule also recommended to be taken in one go, that’s definitely not ideal. Based on the solid research, the clinical dosage needed from Tribulus greatly differs from the rest of the ingredients found in Testo+. And so consuming the supplements separately at different frequencies but taking them together makes all the difference. Talk about #CoupleGoals!

Well gents, exciting news right?

To be clear, this is definitely not a quick fix. Men start seeing the benefits of doing this regime in 2 to 6 weeks – but then again IT IS relatively quick when we’re thinking long term.

With Valeo’s Testoplus & Tribulus+ also comes a marked improvement of performance over a period of time, something a one-off blue pill can never achieve. You’re gaining stamina, and energy, increasing your testosterone levels, improving blood flow, you’re basically manifesting a full power house to reach satisfaction on your own. Credit goes to you!

At the end of the day (or at any time of the day) approaching ED with natural supplements as opposed to meds, gives you more spontaneity and room to live in the moment and have fun, whenever the opportunity comes your way.


MEN DIE YOUNGER THAN WOMEN. HERE’S WHY

MEN DIE YOUNGER THAN WOMEN. HERE’S WHY

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.

BIOLOGICAL FACTORS

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.

SOCIAL FACTORS 

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.

BEHAVIORAL FACTORS 

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.

CLOSING THE GAP WITH VALEO 

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.
Follow @valeo.men on Instagram to stay up-to-date regarding the latest treatments and concerns in the world of Men’s health.


GETTING TO THE SIZE OF THE MATTER

GETTING TO THE SIZE OF THE MATTER

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

 WHAT 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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AN ANCIENT REMEDY BACKED BY MODERN RESEARCH

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 clinicaltrials.gov, there are currently 18 clinical trials being conducted on berberine’s potential effects on conditions ranging from gastric cancer and inflammation to liver disease.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

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.

WHY IS VALEO BERBERINE+ SO EFFECTIVE?

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.


Improve the Flow: Drink Recipes

Improve the Flow: Drink Recipes

We’re sure you know that having good blood circulation is, well… good!
Lifestyle habits such as how much we move or what we eat have a great influence on blood circulation. Even what we drink can speed-up or slow down the blood flow.

So let’s drink on for better flow!

Blood Flow Hot Chocolate

Snuggle up for some hot chocolate that’ll get that blood circulation sailing smoothly. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 40g top quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Good pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method

  • Warm the coconut milk in a saucepan – don’t bring it to a boil.
  • Add the spices and stir for a minute.
  • Add the chocolate and vanilla extract and continue to stir until fully melted.

Creamy turmeric tea

This is more of a milky chai, all sweet and spicy. It contains anti-inflammatory cornerstones like turmeric and ginger. Enjoyed at any time of the day.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, fresh or powdered
  • 1/2-inch-wide round slice of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Optional additions: a small pat of butter, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom

Method

  • Warm the milk on the stove.
  • In a mug, combine the remaining ingredients.
  • Drizzle a teaspoon of the warmed milk into the mug and mix until the liquid is smooth with no lumps.
  • Add the rest of the milk and mix well. You can leave the pieces of ginger in the tea or strain it out before drinking.

Some drinks offer more than just hydration & refreshment, they offer a health boost as well. The drink recipes we shared are not only easy to put-together but are downright enjoyable and will leave your blood pumping the way it should. Cheers!


Love Your Kidneys

Love Your Kidneys

Even though our kidneys are tiny, they are mighty.
Kidneys are small bean-shaped powerhouses that are responsible for filtering waste, regulating hydration, regulating blood pressure, producing urine and much more.
The kidneys perform those tasks without outside help, several conditions and practices such as poor hydration, uncontrolled blood sugar and elevated blood pressure are among the chief culprits in limiting your kidney’s ability to function.
Following a kidney-healthy diet plan may help the kidneys function properly and prevent damage to these organs. Here are some foods that will help keep your kidneys in a top-notch condition:

1-Cauliflower

A cruciferous vegetable that is packed with indoles that help the liver and kidneys to detox dangerous toxins that could damage cell membranes and DNA. It’s another contentious issue, love it or hate it food. That said, have you ever tried cauliflower mash, roasted cauliflower, or cauliflower steaks? These are simple to prepare and may positively change your opinion of this kidney loving friend.

2-Apples

‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’. Who knew your grandmother was always right… right! Apples are excellent for just about anything relating to our health. High in a substance called pectin which protects you from kidney damage. The best thing is that apples are so simple to include in your diet. From simply eating one, to making homemade applesauce (great with cottage cheese) to making a simple apple and onion omelet or grating into a beetroot and apple salad. What’s stopping you.

3-Red peppers

Red peppers are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin D, folate, and vitamin B6. They are naturally low in potassium which can put added pressure on your kidneys. They make an excellent choice for a kidney friendly diet.

4-Blueberries

Not only are they delicious but blueberries have been shown to improve kidney function. Like red peppers they are low in potassium and are also high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can protect cells from damage.

5-Red grapes

Like blueberries, red grapes have been shown components of red grapes (skin and seed) can reverse kidney damage. But why wait for the damage when you can simply include them as part of your weekly plan.

Other great additions to your diet would be radish, cranberries, and garlic as a salt alternative.

 

In conclusion, kidneys play an important role in filtering the blood and eliminating waste products in the urine. Many foods may help support an already healthy kidney and prevent damage to this organ.