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Archive for September, 2011

CUT YOUR HEALING TIME IN HALF OR BETTER FOR ANY INJURY  

CATEGORY: 2: Inflammation

RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENT: Beta Carotene

In any sport, an injury can mean the difference between crossing the finish line first or fifth, between a cheering crowd and a booing mob, between money in the bank and bankruptcy. How many times has your favorite team lost a game or season because important players were sidelined by injuries that didn’t heal fast enough? Maybe you’re a weekend warrior who uses tennis or running to unwind, or maybe you’re a professional with millions riding on every performance. Whatever, an injury can be a literal game changer.

Sports injuries are most often classified as either acute and traumatic, like an Achilles tendon tear, or arising from overuse of a particular body part, like tennis elbow. An acute sports injury is one that happens suddenly or rapidly and progresses quickly. An overuse injury takes longer to develop.

Acute sports injuries range from mild to life threatening, and result from a sudden impact or traumatic event to the body resulting in bruises, sprains, strains, tears, fractures, head traumas, and other injuries. Acute injuries can take months or years to heal. Some never truly heal because inflammation is never brought under control. In those cases, the injury can remain painful and limiting for the rest of a person’s life. These injuries can occur during all types of sports, even simple exercise, and usually involve the musculoskeletal system that includes ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones.

Definitions: A ligament is tough elastic fibrous tissue that connects bones or cartilage to joints, holding the joint together. A tendon is tough, inelastic fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bone, permitting mobility.

FREE RADICALS LEAD TO OXIDATION, CAUSE INFLAMMATION, AND
SLOW DOWN HEALING TIME

All sports injuries are accompanied by inflammation. Anytime you receive any damage whatsoever to your body, inflammation will be present. And
where there is inflammation there is pain. It is the same inflammation that
determines how long it’s going to take your injury to heal, and whether you will measure the time in days, or years. If you can stop inflammation quickly, your healing will be fast and easy. If you can’t, your injury may never really heal.

When you suffer a sports injury, like an Achilles tendon tear, many things happen on a cellular level that affect your healing time:

Inside a cell are two electrons that must remain together for the cell to remain stable, and free of inflammation and disease. Think of a social system where marriage is mandatory and you will be shot on sight if you are found without your partner.

The tear to the Achilles tendon affects thousands of cells, destroying many of them outright. But it only damages others and breaks the bond between the two electrons. There are suddenly a whole lot of single electrons in the area of the injury. As soon as the bond is broken and the two electrons are separated, each single electron turns into a free radical, dangerous and unstable. Think of a free radical as a lonely single desperately searching for a partner.

The free radicals in the injury immediately attack nearby healthy cells, attempting to separate them and hook up with one of the electrons. Unfortunately, free radicals are better at separating two other electrons than they are in partnering up with one of the stolen electrons, so free radical growth becomes exponential.

When too many free radicals are present in the tendon, oxidation occurs. Free radical oxidation is the final condition for inflammation. You know what happens to an avocado when you cut it and leave it on the counter. It is an excess of free radicals that leads to oxidation and causes the pulp to rot. Think of yourself as a larger more complex avocado, but still capable of the same kind of internal decay. That decay is driven by free radicals in both you and the avocado. During the healing process, unless you take steps to prevent it, free radicals will continue to proliferate decay, cause inflammation, and thereby slow down your body’s ability to heal the tendon.

HEALING SPORTS INJURIES IS ALL ABOUT NUMBERS

It’s as if you were trying to clean a floor. But behind you is a gremlin putting
down mud, so you have to keep going back over what you’ve already cleaned. Yes, you will eventually get it cleaned, but it will take twenty times longer than it would if the gremlin weren’t there. Free radicals are your injury’s gremlin. Your body will heal a spot, only to turn around and find that free radicals have chewed it up again. That’s why healing takes longer than it should.

The focus then has to be on the number of free radicals present at the site of the injury at any given time, and how to neutralize that number so that your body can clean the floor just once. Let’s call that number (X), as in there are (X) number of free radicals present. We are assigning the total number of free radicals with this designation, because we have no way of knowing exactly how many are present.

While we don’t know the exact number of free radicals present, we do know that if we send in an equal or greater number of antioxidant cells, to match or
exceed the number of free radicals, we can stop free radical production for the time being, as well as, the oxidation, inflammation, and pain. Therefore, if the number of free radicals equals (X), we need (X+1) amount of antioxidant cells to neutralize them. In a one-on-one encounter, using this formula means that the antioxidants will always outnumber the free radicals, and healing will be fast and relatively painless.

Antioxidants protect any living being from free radical damage due to a unique characteristic they possess. Unlike partnered electrons in a healthy cell that become dangerous free radicals when separated, an antioxidant cell remains stable even after the two electrons are separated. Meaning, an antioxidant cell’s two electrons will not turn into free radicals when they are attacked and separated by free radicals.

The antioxidant ends the electron stealing chain reaction, and by partnering with the free radical, returns it to healthy cell status again. The single antioxidant electron left behind after the donation can be used to neutralize another free radical or be harmlessly expelled from your body as waste matter. Either way, it performs its function without attacking any other cells along the way.

Antioxidants are the second important number in the equation. If you can send in (X+1) number of antioxidant cells to meet with and neutralize every free radical present, you will heal quickly.

WHY YOU NEED LARGE DOES OF BETA CAROTENE TO SPEED UP HEALING

We know there are (X) number of free radicals present in the Achilles tendon. We know that for every free radical, we need an antioxidant cell that will donate an electron to neutralize it.

There are apparently millions upon millions of free radicals present in the Achilles tendon, because that’s how much Beta Carotene it takes to end the symptoms of inflammation, when you are recuperating from a sports injury or surgery. Luckily, the signs of inflammation are easy to spot, so you know when you have it and when it’s gone. Your symptoms weaken and disappear when you take enough Beta Carotene.

The point is that when you are taking enough Beta Carotene, you will feel the difference. The discomfort melts away. Each dose will last about 3-8 hours. Less or more depending on where you are in your healing and how serious your injury is. To keep pain down and healing moving at a good pace you have to flood your system with Beta Carotene and keep the levels high for a sustained period. The large doses will not hurt you. They are being put to good use in ending free radical growth.

Remember two things: (1) Beta Carotene is concentrated nutrition, a food source. It should not be viewed as a prescription drug because it isn’t a drug. It’s a food. (2) You are trying to accomplish the neutralization of millions of free radicals. That’s why you need these large doses.

You have to send in one antioxidant cell for each free radical present. As dangerous as a free radical is, all it wants is a partner electron. Give it that by way of Beta Carotene, and it will stop misbehaving. Your wound will continue to produce free radicals as it heals so you will have to take Beta Carotene during the entire healing process.

You cannot possibly get enough antioxidants from your food to significantly speed up your healing time, no matter how healthy your diet. So you need supplementation through Beta Carotene. What good will it do to follow what
a bottle says and take one or two softgels, when there are fifty times that
amount of free radicals currently decaying your tissue? You need an amount of antioxidants that will match or exceed the amount of free radicals present.

Think of it in law enforcement terms. You are chief of police in a small town threatened with takeover by a motorcycle gang called The Free Radicals. You’re on conference call with the National Guard. When asked how many more people you need, you glance out your window. You do a quick count of the shiny black motorcycles darkening the curb, and find there are about 100. You have a force of 10. That means you need 90 bodies to simply match the gang’s. Since you’ve been given the option wouldn’t you play it safe and ask for more than you think you’ll need?

You most certainly would not ask for 40 people, ensuring that you’ll be outnumbered two to one. You’d ask for enough to outnumber The Free
Radicals. It’s the same thing with your body. If there are millions of free
radicals putrefacting your Achilles wound, you need millions of antioxidant
cells to neutralize them and hurry up your healing.

Keep in mind what the point of the high doses is, and how pointless it is for you to take less antioxidants than there are free radicals. When I say it’s a numbers game, I refer to the number of free radicals on one side, and the number of antioxidants necessary to neutralize them on the other. If you play the numbers correctly, match free radical with an equal amount of antioxidant cells, you can shut down the discomfort sooner, feel little or no pain during the healing period, and shorten that period by half or more. Plus, any scars will be lessened.

Beta Carotene will neutralize free radicals at a remarkable pace and enable your injury to heal much faster than you are used to. Vitamin D3 supports the Beta Carotene in its healing functions. D3 is recommended over just Vitamin D because it more closely replicates the Vitamin D made on your skin from exposure to sunlight. But if you can’t find D3 use plain Vitamin D.

Speed Healing Sports Injuries  QUICK GLANCE CHART
Supplements Breakfast Dinner Brand Strength
Beta Carotene (softgels only) 25-50 softgels 25-50 softgels Puritans Pride #1223 25,000 IU (equivalent to 15 mgs)
Vitamin D3 (softgels only) 2 softgels 2 softgels Puritan’s Pride #15605 1000 IU
If bone fractures are involved also take Calcium Magnesium Combo
Chelated Calcium Magnesium 4 tablets 4 tablets Puritan’s Pride #4082 500/250 mg

Notes

► If you take Beta Carotene without also taking Vitamin D, you will deplete your stores of Vitamin D and develop a Vitamin D deficiency. It usually manifests as sores on the inside of the mouth. Be sure to take Vitamin D when you take Beta Carotene and there will be no problem.

► Do not use mixed carotenoid products. They are only a marketing gimmick and will not work the way Beta Carotene will, not the way I have described here.

► If you select a certain dosage of Beta Carotene and feel better but still have symptoms of inflammation, raise your dosage. When you get it right, discomfort ceases until it’s time for the next dose. You can also add a third dose at lunch if necessary to relieve your symptoms.

Please be nice to each other, and look for my next blog: Blog 23: Butt Tightening Lower Back Exercises, where I tell you how to stop the
ravages of age and gravity on your behind, and thereby strengthen your lower
back and reduce lower back pain.

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