15 Dec

Year-Round Health With ph360

Year-Round Health With ph360

Your body functions in a highly complex state of balance at all times. It’s remarkable really, how it can stay on track at all with the amount of emotional, physical and dietary stress we subject it to!

So how do we give ourselves the most support to stay in balance when we have so many other things going on?

Take, for example, the fuel we need if we go on holidays, or even through the change of season for that matter – our bodies have different requirements in different climates and if we maintained the same source of fuel (what we ingest) at all times, we’re going to wind-up battling imbalances and sickness.

Imagine if it were mid-summer and you decided to visit your friends on the other side of the world where it was snowing. As soon as you step off the plane (and even on the plane too!) your brain chemistry functions differently. Your body functions differently. It’s cold outside compared to the heat you’ve just been sweltering in! Your body needs a change in fuel – and quick! So how do you know which fuel is right? Well, you’ll also notice your ph360 food recommendations change as your circumstances do.

ph360 recalculates your data to give you meaningful advice that you can use to stay happy and healthy, wherever you are, whenever you’re there! Now you don’t even have to worry about getting sick or feeling drained while you’re away from home, or as the seasons change!

To maintain that careful state of balance all we need to do is be prepared. ph360 is Smart Health – making your healthy decisions easy, kind of like your own little health and wellness support system. Update your profile, take note of the changes and revel in the healthiness that you can now enjoy all year round!

17 Nov

Exercise: A Physical and Mental Endeavour

Exercise: A Physical and Mental Endeavour

We’ve all heard it many times: exercise is good for us. Exercise provides increased circulation, strengthens the heart, and it truly helps keep us young. So why is it challenging for most people to make time for regular exercise? The excuses for not exercising are many: I’m too busy, I hate the gym, I’m too tired, my knees hurt and the list goes on and on. So what is the solution?

There is a way to motivate people to exercise. The secret is to make exercise fun to the point where the mind wants to do it. Finding a fun way to move does more than simply create a motive for movement. Having fun actually releases good chemicals in the brain and makes exercise more valuable to the body. When the brain is happy, the body is healthier. Having fun with movement does a lot more for the body than just increase circulation and build muscles. Part of building health has to do with the emotions, hormones and neurotransmitters flowing through the body. Some emotions improve health while others don’t. Feel guilty for not exercising or feeling lazy both stimulate a response in the body, and it’s not the one you’re seeking for optimal health. On the contrary when you accomplish something new in the body, such as lifting a heavier weight, making a faster time or improving at a sport, you feel great about your accomplishment and good hormones are released that give you energy and support the body on the cellular level. This can create a feeling of being high. Allow the brain to get high a few times and it will look for ways to feel that feeling more often. If exercise gives your brain rewards from the time you begin a new routine, the brain is likely to want to come back for more, and ultimately, it is your brain that decides if you exercise or not.

Often people want immediate results and they force themselves into a boot camp routine. For many people boot camp taxes the body resources that can be used for cell repair, regulation, digestion and other essential functions. For most bodies, a routine that graduates over time to more intense work is better and more motivating for the brain. When the body is greatly taxed by a boot camp style beginning, especially after a long period of time without a lot of exercise, neither brain nor body are left feeling better.

It might take some thought on your part, but sit down and come up with ways that are fun for you to move your body. Do you enjoy working out with others, being outside, going long distances or do you enjoy the gym? Does dancing, yoga or tai chi make you feel great? Find the fun in your workout and you will have all of the motivation to move that you need!

20 Oct

Can Personalized Health Technology Change the World?

Can Personalized Health Technology Change the World?

By Matt Riemann

When ph360 was founded, the goal was pretty straightforward: To eliminate chronic pain and disease through the tools of personalized health. An admittedly lofty goal, but one that I have been passionate about for years. As someone who struggled to find my own way out of a life threatening genetic abnormality, I tried just about every diet, exercise, and therapeutic plan on the way to health. I learned that the only path to my optimal state of health was an entirely personalized one.

I discovered this the hard way, only after trying to do what worked for everyone else. I sweated through hot yoga classes, I tried the Paleo diet, and I tried to force myself into a hundred other health approaches thatworked for other people. It wasn’t until I understood how my lifestyle could affect the expression of my genes that I recognized the impossibility of trying to find health through someone else’s blueprint.

Our DNA contains the genetic map for how we look and for our predisposition to many diseases. And though our DNA can’t be changed, genes may or may not be expressed. Epigenetic science has shown that lifestyle can actually affect whether or not a gene is expressed—meaning that just because you have the genetic predisposition for a disease, you can live your life in such a way that the disease does not manifest.

Having experienced this firsthand, I know that every choice I make on a daily basis, from the time I wake up to what I eat to where I work to the people I interact with, influences both my genes and my health. This means I have tremendous responsibility for my own wellness. I can’t simply rely on someone else’s program for health—every moment of every day might mean health or disease both now and in the future.

Epigenetic science is at the core of ph360’s algorithm—we use your body’s unique measurements and your health history to determine the foods, exercises, and environments that will be best for your genes. Each part of your ph360 dashboard is packed with highly detailed insights about what will keep your body and mind balanced and vibrant. So whether you’re looking to lose weight or recover from disease, the personalized approach to health gives you the power to revolutionize your well-being, for good.

22 Sep

Future Health Technologies

Future Health Technologies

Robotic hands produced by digital printers. Therapy on the go via mobile phone. Contact lenses that sense blood sugar levels. Personalized health has gone truly technological. But are all these future health technologies actually making life easier? It depends on how they’re used.

Dr. Robert Pearl of Stanford University commented, “These wristbands, sensors, headsets and even ‘smart clothes’ can obtain and transmit huge amounts of data on anything from heart rhythms to blood pressure. But there’s little evidence those wearing them overcome abnormal heart rhythms or elevated blood pressures better than those who don’t.”

As alluring as the concept of futuristic health tech transforming our lives for the better may be, it’s yet to be integrated fully into user’s lives. Dr. Pearl explained, “Physicians would love a tool that truly helps patients better manage their diet, exercise and stress levels. Many applications available today claim to modify behavior through alerts, reminders and real-time feedback, but few have demonstrated measurable success.”

While investing in wearables like the FitBit or Jawbone could be valuable, it may be more important to find a technology that actually knows what to do with your data. Particularly as new products like the Apple Watchand HealthKit app come to market, a health tool that can provide targeted guidance about diet, health, and lifestyle is more important than ever. Information is interesting, but doesn’t do much to help you change your habits. This is where the development of a personalized health app like ph360 becomes more critical than ever.

As a personalized health app that integrates the cutting edge technology of epigenetic science (the study of how your genes are expressed) with endocrinology (the study of hormones) and nutrition, ph360 has the unique capacity to provide individualized diet and health plans that reflect the data harvested by wearables. The web-based app is designed to be used in concert with treatment from healthcare professionals, augmenting the relationship an individual may have already established with their physician.

ph360 is powered by an algorithm that uses anthropometry—the scientific assessment of the body’s measurements—to determine what each individual needs to thrive. Recommendations for foods to eat and foods to avoid, specific exercises for distinct body structures, and suggestions for the best environments and professional and social situations will support revitalized health for both body and mind.

So while we can all marvel at the most recent developments in health technology, the path to lasting health starts with actionable insights. Synthesizing scientific discovery and ancient wisdom, ph360 offers the best of both worlds. Data grounded in everyday life. Ready to help you become the best version of yourself.

25 Aug

Crazy for Gluten

Crazy for Gluten

Have you noticed, over the last few years, a significant increase in the amount of ‘gluten free’ products available to buy in stores? Gluten free pasta, gluten free bread, and even gluten free skin care products are getting more and more common. Even products that never contained gluten in the first place are advertising the fact that they are ‘gluten free’. I was at the supermarket the other day, getting something out of the refrigerated section when I noticed a display of bottled water pointing out, right on the label, that it’s ‘gluten free’. Water! That’s when I realised that the ‘gluten free’ craze was in full swing and not looking likely to abate any time soon. But is this just another trend? And is there a better way to ensure you are eating what’s right for you?

Gluten intolerance, or Celiac Disease, is a very real medical condition and if you think you may have it, or you are ill in any way, you should seek medical advice immediately. Many people, however, are choosing to go ‘gluten free’ without having been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or speaking with their doctor. These ‘Gluten Avoiders’ as they’re being referred to, are simply deciding to try to make a change in their diet and an improvement to their health.

Trying to make positive changes to one’s health should always be applauded and going ‘gluten free’ isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, ‘gluten free’ products are on average 162% more expensive than their regular counterparts (according to a cost comparison study done by pediatric gastroenterologist Mohsin Rashid), so buying those products may be putting unnecessary extra stress on many people’s finances.

Trends will come and go, and while the ‘gluten free’ craze may have food marketing teams around the world jumping up and down with glee, it too shall pass. Making choices about food is something we all have to navigate on a daily basis, and we always will. The absolute best thing any of us can do to ensure we are eating the food that will keep us in optimal health is to educate ourselves.

Each and every one of us is completely unique and, therefore, we all have completely unique dietary needs. Some people feel fantastic going ‘gluten free’ and some actually put weight on. All our bodies and needs are different. Learning what those needs are will ensure that you can purchase and eat the kind of foods that are ideal for you with complete confidence. If you are already a ph360 member, then you already have the ideal tool to do this. Look at your food list. Study it. Educate your self about your needs and you will always be able to make wise and informed choices about what foods to buy and eat. Don’t let marketing teams affect what choices you make for your own health.

30 Jun

Can You Change Your DNA?

Can You Change Your DNA?

Does your DNA really contain your genetic destiny? For decades, this was the overriding dogma about DNA: What’s contained in your genetic code will dictate your health throughout the course of your life. Yet a new scientific field suggests that this belief may be far from the truth. Enter the science of epigenetics.

Epigenetics is a field of study that investigates the influence of your environment and lifestyle on your DNA. In 1990, the Human Genome Project began—an international effort to decode and map every gene that comprised the human body. It turns out we humans have about 20,000 to 25,000 genes linked to a variety of factors. These genes guide everything from the color of our hair to our propensity for certain diseases.

Arriving at the momentous occasion of having mapped the human genome in 2003, another question loomed: Now that we understand our DNA, can we change it?

Over the next decade, scientists have found again and again that genetic material is truly influenced by its environment. For example, identical twins who lived completely different lives after birth may have nearly 50% functionally differing DNA (different in its expression) by old age. If one twin smoked or was a heavy drinker, or if one was malnourished or had a particularly stressful job, all of these factors may influence the way genes express themselves.

Why? Because every gene can be thought of as a kind of light switch for a particular trait or disease. If the gene for dimples is turned on, you’ll have dimples. To take a more charged example, we now know that certain individuals are carriers of BRCA1, or the “breast cancer gene”. For those who know they are BRCA1 carriers, an understanding of epigenetics is more important than ever.

Because epigenetic science asserts that just as a gene can be turned on, it can also be turned off. Continuing with the example of a gene that affects the expression of cancer, let’s look at how nutrition comes into the picture.

Two years ago, a study at Oregon State University revealed that histone modifications can affect the expression of diseases like cancer. Histones are proteins that can hide certain DNA from view, including tumor eradicating cells that prevent the spread of cancer. Rod Dashwood, head of the Cancer Chemoprotection Program, shared results that certain foods can act as histone inhibitors, ensuring that tumor fighting cells are strong and prevalent in your body.

This example is also true for hormone production, exercise, and a number of other environmental and lifestyle factors: All affect the expression of your DNA. So while you may not be able to change your DNA, you can change which genes are expressed, and which not. It’s all a matter of being able to care for your body as it needs.

Fortunately, the personalized health, epigenetic, and biotechnology sectors now have the insight to provide individualized information about which foods, exercises, climates, and more are most appropriate for each person’s unique body. This science forms the foundation of ph360.

Explore how you can change your genetic destiny at www.ph360.me!

02 Jun

Taking the Nature Cure: Environment & Health

Taking the Nature Cure: Environment & Health

Whether you live in a bustling metropolis or a quaint country town, your environment affects your health. The amount of light and the range of temperatures we’re exposed to on a daily basis influence many of our physiological and hormonal processes.

And, like so many other factors that go into your health, the climate in which you’ll thrive is a personal matter. Not everyone does well in the tropical temperatures of Florida or the crisp Colorado winters. In order to feel your best, it’s critical to understand what climate serves you. The study of how environment affects health is called geomedicine.

But you don’t need to be an expert in geomedicine to put its wisdom into action. One fast way to change your relationship to your environment for the better is to explore new places around you that may be well-suited to your unique geomedical needs.

For example, if you know that you need a cool, shady environment to feel calm and centered, do some research on your surrounding area and see if there are any safe trails to explore in parks or nearby woods. Alternatively, if you need a bit more sunshine in your life, look for nearby areas that may be sunshine magnets, exposed to the elements.

Of course, these factors will vary by season and location, but taking the time to discover the natural resources in your local area can make a big difference. Almost every city has pockets of nature smattered throughout, and almost every small town is adjacent to some form of natural beauty. Be willing to take the drive (or bike, bus, or train ride) to get to the kind of environment that will help your body function at its best.

As you explore new areas, take note of how your body feels in each. How do you react in a jostling city street versus a wide-open field? What do you feel in the shade of the forest versus at the beach? All of this is information that can help you modify your daily life (and your vacation plans) to suit your distinct body profile.

05 May

Body and Mind

Body and Mind

Getting healthy has many advantages, but some of the benefits that many people don’t think about is how being well affects your mood, productivity, confidence and spirituality. It is true that the better your health, the better your attitude. Many people believe the opposite is true as well; the better your attitude, the better your health. I believe both are correct, but what I can tell you for sure is something that I see happening all the time. When people get well, they have more energy, they sleep better, their mood is more joyous and their confidence is higher. Just those benefits alone have a big impact on a person’s life, work, relationships and productivity. People become more able to follow their dreams when they have more energy and a happier outlook. Many areas of life can improve all at once, and who knows how much of it happened just by focusing on taking care of our health.

The biggest message here is that one thing affects the whole and everything affects everything else when it comes to the mind and the body. Holding a grudge affects your body, mind, mood, health, energy levels and holds back some possibilities. Loving your life propels you forward, boosts your serotonin and oxytocin and gives you energy, motivation, and excitement. Everything you do impacts you, from the food you eat, to the clothes you wear, to the shows you watch and the thoughts you think.

When it comes to feeling well, health can impact your spirituality as well. I see people feeling better and looking deeper, wondering what matters to them, how they are impacting the world and the people around them. They are asking how they can help people and share the ideas of health with others. Getting well is much greater than losing weight, looking younger and living longer. It is far more about living better, with more quality, clarity and joy. When you look at why you want to choose good food to eat and to exercise more, know that those choices are reaching into every area of your life. Every thought about being well and every choice has some effect on the whole picture; and you are painting the picture.

07 Apr

Food: A Message for your Body

Food: A Message for your Body

We give our body tomatoes, carrots, apples and lettuce thinking that we need to provide minerals like calcium and magnesium, and vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin C. But food is much more than just nutrients. Food is information that our body is taking in and deciding what to do with. When you eat your breakfast, lunch or dinner you are feeding your body data. The question is: are you giving your body good information to work with?

Food isn’t the only knowledge that the body is continually taking it. Your environment also provides news to the body including temperature, moisture, air quality, chemical pollution, wind, and so much more. Are the reports from your environment friendly to your body or do they tax your body’s energy?

Even the people that you hang out with, your friends, coworkers, boss, and neighbors, give messages to your body. The people you have conversations with give your body a clue as to what is predominant, how much stress is around you right now and how much love is available? It’s all valuable for your brain and body. It also impacts how your body responds, how much energy it must use to mitigate what is happening and ultimately, it impacts your health.

Your body will respond to the messages by contracting, expanding, protecting itself or with one of many other natural responses. As data comes in, the body will try to assimilate it and decide where it can be best utilized for the body; whether it’s from a nutrient, temperature change or an angry coworker. In every situation the body has to decide what to do with the incoming forces and how to utilize or protect itself from what’s coming in.

So the next time you’re wondering how important it is to select the right foods for your body and to have the right home environment and job, consider what your body is taking in and how it has to process and deal with the material you give to it and what your body can do with that knowledge to maximize your health.

Good information coming in, equals good health going out.

10 Mar

Epigenetics: Confusing Science or a Revolution in Health?

Epigenetics: Confusing Science or a Revolution in Health?

If you’ve had an ear to the ground about the personalized health revolution, chances are you’ve heard the word “epigenetics” being tossed around. Of course, simply hearing the word and actually understanding it are two very different things. Let’s take a deeper look into what epigenetics actually is—and what it means for you.

First, let’s break down the word itself. The prefix epi is Greek, meaning “over” or “outside of.” Epigenetic, then, means something beyond genetic—in this case, it refers to both outside factors that influence DNA and the changes to the DNA itself.

Wikipedia describes, “In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is mostly the study of heritable changes that are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence.” Which leads to the question—what are those changes caused by? Scientists are finding that heritable changes are being caused by outside influences to DNA, such as lifestyle and environment.

What does lifestyle include? The way you eat, the way you move, where you live, and even your relationships and your work. Almost everything you do, it seems, may have the potential to affect how your genes are expressed. All of these factors can actually switch genes on or off, which has significant implications not just for heritable traits, but also heritable diseases.

While the common line of thought used to be that what’s contained in your genetic code will dictate your health throughout the course of your life, epigenetic science is suggesting otherwise.

If you think of DNA as the hardware of your body, you could consider epigenetics the software. While DNA provides the basic genetic coding from which who you are comes into being (your eye color, hair color, skin color, etc.), epigenetics determines how and whether certain genes are expressed. As the software, it operates within and above your genetic hardware.

It turns out humans have about 20,000 to 25,000 genes linked to a variety of factors. These genes guide everything from the color of our hair to our propensity for certain diseases. Epigenetic science says that we can actually change the way some of these diseases are expressed.

For example, identical twins who lived completely different lives after birth may have nearly 50% functionally differing DNA (different in its expression) by old age. If one twin smoked or was a heavy drinker, or if one was malnourished or had a particularly stressful job, these factors may change how that twin’s genes are expressed.

Diet, hormone production, exercise, and a number of other environmental and lifestyle factors are all a part of epigenetics, affecting the expression of your DNA. Understanding epigenetics—scary word aside—means claiming your right to be as healthy as you can be. Starting right now.