Grounding

Also known as Earthing, grounding is still considered to be on the fringe of science. While usually regarded as a complete pseudoscience, grounding does have a growing body of research alleging benefits.

 

Grounding/Earthing ‘Therapy’

The practice of grounding involves being in direct physical contact with the Earth. Or being grounded via an electrical ground. There are an increasing number of business producing grounding devices that facilitate grounding even when not plausible to be in direct contact with the Earth.

grounding earthing benefits
Earthing

Reported Benefits

While quality research is relatively recently starting to come out, the practice of grounding is not new. There are many proponents of grounding who swear by the benefits the practice can offer.

Among the many benefits reported by supporters and researchers are:

  • Wound healing
  • Reduction of inflammation
  • Pain relief
  • Improvement in sleep quality
  • Improved blood flow
  • Mood enhancement
  • Energy
  • Recovery from exercise

 

How It Works

The way grounding or Earthing is said to work is quite simple. The Earth, naturally, has a mild negative charge. Throughout our daily activities such as being indoors, wearing rubber soled shoes, etc., our bodies build up a positive charge. These same activities leave us unable to discharge the positively charged particles we accumulate. By being in contact with the Earth, our bodies are able to release those charged particles.

grounding earthing benefits
Feet in the sand

How To

Aside from the very simple way of being outside in the grass or dirt, there are some other ways to ground yourself. As mentioned before, many companies are producing devices that allow you to ground yourself even indoors. One of these devices is an Earthing sheet. An Earthing sheet plugs into the existing ground wire in your home or office, when the sheet is placed on your body, it allows your charged particles to discharge. Another method of grounding is to prevent the buildup of positively charged particles in the first place by using earthing shoes. Inside Earthing shoes a small conductor creates a ground, simulating being in direct contact with the Earth. One other way to be grounded, even indoors is an Earthing mat. An Earthing mat works similarly to an Earthing sheet, but more appropriate for under your feet at your desk or sitting on the couch. They are ideal for working at a computer as they help to reduce EMF (electromagnetic field) disruption.

 

Whether grounding/Earthing works remains to be conclusively seen. People that like it swear by it, and whether or not the benefits they report are placebo or not, they’re feeling better. That counts for something, right?

 

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Supplement Focus: Multivitamin

Multivitamins are, for some reason, a bit controversial. Some people say you need them, others insist they do more harm than good. So, what are multivitamins, really? Do you need them? Should everyone be taking one? What constitutes a “good” multivitamin? Are they really dangerous?

What Is A Multivitamin

Most multivitamins are in either capsule or pill form, though some are sold as powders. A multi– vitamin will contain multiple vitamins, minerals, and other elements. Some vitamins for example, only have different B vitamins, alleging stress relief as a benefit. This would not be considered a multivitamin. The majority of multivitamins will contain:

  • Vitamin C
  • Several B vitamins (1,2,3,5,6,9,12)
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Potassium
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron

And depending on the vitamin, more. The dosages will vary product to product as well.

 

Why Multivitamins Are “Bad For You”

The idea that multivitamins are bad for you, can lead to disease, and should be avoided is brought up frequently. Using weak science, incomplete data, and false assumptions people or organizations will try to scare people away from taking multivitamins. Some reasons commonly given for why multivitamins are terrible for your health are:

  • “Abundance” of research associating multivitamin use with increased rates of cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • No evidence that they increase lifespan
  • Little to no government regulation as a supplement
  • Vitamins/minerals less bioavailable than in food (somewhat true, as most vitamins and minerals require fat to be absorbed)

 

Why Multivitamins Are Good For You

There are plenty of things wrong with the reasons listed above as well as how those conclusions were arrived to. First, some simple and clean facts:

  • Studies show no increased rates of CVD in men or women
  • Decades of data regarding multivitamin use shows a decrease in all-cause mortality
  • Yes, it is preferable to get all the vitamins/minerals/elements from diet. It’s just not feasible. For financial, time, and practical reasons, diet alone is not enough

Now let’s look the vitamin deficiencies in American adults not using multivitamins:

  • Vitamin D: 96%
  • Vitamin C: 48%
  • Vitamin E: 96
  • Vitamin A: 58%

Those are large numbers.

Vitamin deficiencies in American adults using multivitamins:

  • Vitamin D: 25%
  • Vitamin C: 3%
  • Vitamin E: 5%
  • Vitamin A: 2%

Significantly less.

 

Methodological Problems

The science used to conclude multivitamins are bad for you is executed poorly, along with the omission of data in most published reports. Many of the claims against multivitamins are based off of research with no biochemical analysis done. In other words, no blood work is done in these studies; the research is relying on participants’ memory of what multivitamin(s) they took, how often, for how long, etc.

In the majority of this research the participants end up deficient in one or more vitamins/minerals/elements. This is true. What’s not published is that these participants began the study already deficient in those vitamins/minerals/elements. A similar problem occurs with disease states. Many of the participants begin the study in diseased states, so to say that multivitamin supplementation caused the diseased states observed at the conclusion of the study is disingenuous, at best.

The most egregious aspect of this is when these stories get sensationalized, the data supporting the use of multivitamins is omitted. When reading the actual research data, it’s obvious that overall, multivitamin use is beneficial to health in many aspects, but this is left out, seemingly, for the appeal of a shocking headline.

 

 

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Lack of context may fuel spread of unintended consequences – Peter Attia

A recent study on diet and prostate cancer suggests we need to be more careful communicating and interpreting information.

Source: Lack of context may fuel spread of unintended consequences – Peter Attia

Will supplements help your workout or diet routine?

Many people turn to dietary supplements for a boost to their routines. To help cut the confusion, the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health has two new resources to help people understand what is known about the effectiveness and safety of many ingredients in dietary supplements.

Source: Will supplements help your workout or diet routine? | EurekAlert! Science News

How do we taste sugar, bacon and coffee? Science finds a surprising answer…

Until now, many scientists believed that a single protein — TRPM5 — acted as a gatekeeper for tasting sweet, bitter and savory foods. Remove TRPM5 from a person’s taste cells, and they would no longer be able to identify sweet, bitter or savory (also called umami) foods. A new study challenges this thinking.

Source: How do we taste sugar, bacon and coffee? Science finds a surprising answer: Researchers identify a new chemical pathway that helps the brain detect sweet, savory and bitter flavors — ScienceDaily