Metabolism

Natural metabolism boosters for all different types of metabolic disorders.

natural metabolism boosters

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  1. What is Metabolism?
  2. What Factors Can Affect your Metabolism?
  3. Types of Metabolic Disorders
  4. Boosting your Metabolism

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is the term used to describe the process by which the body converts food and nutrients into energy. The body’s metabolism is like an engine, it runs all the time – whether we are eating, moving, thinking or even sleeping! Without our metabolism, we would not be able to live. It is needed to perform all bodily activities, create new cells and tissue, maintain body temperature, heal injuries, repair damage and free the body of all toxins.

Your metabolism kicks in when you eat and your stomach begins to digest your food. After you have eaten, the body uses enzymes released by the pancreas and thyroid gland to break down the digested food into simple substances (sugars, amino acids and fatty acids). These substances are distributed by the bloodstream and absorbed by the body cells to be used as energy to run the various processes in the body. Excess energy is then stored by your body (as either muscle or fat) so that it can be used in the future.

Two Types of Metabolism

There are two types of metabolism, catabolic metabolism and anabolic metabolism. Catabolic metabolism refers to the breaking down of large molecules into smaller ones so that they can be easily absorbed. Anabolic metabolism is when small molecules are assembled into larger ones. Your body’s metabolic processes are also used to break down chemicals, such as drugs or toxins, in the body.

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How is Metabolism Measured?

Everybody has a unique resting metabolic rate, called your basal metabolic rate or BMR, which determines how quickly, or slowly, your body uses up energy when you are resting. Metabolism is measured according to your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This calculation will determine how quickly your metabolism works when you are resting.

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What Factors Can Affect your Metabolism?

Nutrition, hydration and physical activity are vital contributors to a healthy metabolism. When you skip meals or reduce your calorie intake, your metabolism decreases because the body burns fewer calories and less fat, or stores the excess fat – resulting in unwanted weight gain. It is very important when on a weight loss program to gently increase your metabolic rate through regular small meals, and moderate physical activity so that a healthy body mass may be achieved.

Common Causes of Changes in Metabolism

Lean Muscle Mass Lean muscle mass burns more calories than any other part of your body, and a higher percentage of lean body weight results in a higher metabolic rate. (That’s why building muscle is a good idea if you wish to shed a few pounds!)

Age When you become older, your metabolism slows down as you lose lean muscle mass. This metabolic decline usually starts from the age of 30.

Sex Men generally have higher levels of lean muscle mass (because of the availability of testosterone) which results in higher BMR than women as well as the difference in body size and composition to women. Women in general, have lower metabolisms than men.

Height Tall people tend to have a more active metabolism and need more calories to stay energized because they have a larger surface area for their bodies to fuel.

Genetics Family history also influences your metabolism. Some people are born with a slower metabolism causing them to gain weight more easily.

Eating patterns When you eat regularly throughout the day, your metabolism becomes more active and burns off the calories. If you do not eat regularly (like only having lunch and a late dinner), your body goes into "starvation mode" causing your metabolism to slow down and your body to store excess energy as fat.

Sleep Adequate and effective sleep is crucial to boost your metabolism. When you don’t get enough sleep, an increased amount of fat is stored as a result of the inability to metabolize carbohydrates. This leads to high blood sugar levels causing an increase in the levels of insulin produced and increasing the stores of unused fat. The outcome is weight gain or an inability to lose weight easily.

Metabolic Disorders Metabolic disorders are rare and occur when there is an abnormal level of a particular body chemical (either enzymes or substances) or a malfunctioning in the metabolic process. This can cause a buildup of toxic substances or a lack of substances required for the body to function normally.

Most metabolic disorders are genetic, usually when genetic defects are passed from both parents to the biological child. Metabolic disorders are categorized by the biochemical pathways, the components of the cell involved and the enzyme affected.

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Types of Metabolic Disorders

The treatment of metabolic disorders depends on the individual’s overall physical condition, as well as the type and the severity of the disorder.

Various Types and Descriptions of Metabolic Disorders

Hyperthyroidism

This condition is caused by an overactive thyroid gland which releases the hormone, thyroxine which, at normal levels, helps the metabolism to function properly. When too much thyroxine is released, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is increased. Symptoms such as weight loss, increased heart rate and blood pressure, a swelling in the neck and protruding eyes may be an indication of hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism

This condition is caused by an underactive thyroid gland either due to a developmental problem, nutritional deficiency, thyroid disease or problems with the pituitary gland . When too little thyroxine is released, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is reduced. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, slow heart rate and constipation.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body cannot use glucose properly. There are two principle types of diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.

In Type 1 Diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin, and insulin has to be taken everyday. Symptoms may include increased thirst and urination, extreme fatigue, constant hunger, weight loss, and blurred vision. If a person suffering from type 1 diabetes is not treated with insulin, he or she may lapse into a life threatening diabetic coma.

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is also known as ‘Insulin Resistant Diabetes’. The pancreas usually produces enough insulin but the body is resistant to it and needs increasingly larger amounts of insulin to perform the same functions. Most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.

Symptoms may include fatigue, increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, weight loss, blurred vision, and slow healing of wounds or sores. Some people may experience no symptoms at all. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with older people, family history of diabetes, previous history of gestational diabetes, physical inactivity, obesity or certain ethnicities.

  • G6PD deficiency
  • G6PD is an enzyme produced by red blood cells and helps the body to metabolize carbohydrates. G6PD deficiency (Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase) can result in the damage and destruction of red blood cells known as haemolytic anemia. Common symptoms of haemolytic anemia include lack of color of the skin, dark colored urine, jaundice, fever, weakness, dizziness and confusion.

  • Galactosemia
  • Galactosemia is a rare genetic disorder that is caused by a liver enzyme deficiency needed to digest galactose (breakdown product of lactose found in milk products). Because galactose cannot be broken down, it builds up in the blood and causes serious problems. Symptoms usually occur in babies and include vomiting, swollen liver, and jaundice. If left untreated, eye, brain, liver and kidney damage can be caused.

  • Phenylketonuria
  • Phenylketonuria (also referred to as PKU) is a genetic disorder that is caused by the inability of the body to break down the amino acid, phenylalanine - essential for normal growth in infants and children. It occurs predominantly in infants, and if left untreated, can lead to mental retardation and seizures. Newborns with phenylketonuria do not present with any symptoms at birth. It is only over time that symptoms such as mental retardation, behavior or social problems, seizures, stunted growth or a small head size will become apparent.

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Boosting your Metabolism

Natural and holistic remedies are very effective treatments to boost a slow metabolism and treat symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, or mood swings. Herbal and homeopathic remedies can be used to support the body and address underlying conditions without the negative side effects of prescription and over-the–counter medication.

Natural metabolism boosters may also contain ingredients such as Gallium aperine, Taraxacum officinalis, Glycorrhiza glabra, Erythrea centaurus and Paulina cupana (guarana) – all plants that have energy boosting properties to assist the metabolism and promote a healthy weight. Herbs such as Fucus vesiculosis, Garcinia cambogia and Capsicum minimum also improve a sluggish or imbalanced metabolism. Consult a homeopath or herbalist about a remedy that suits your symptoms.

Increase your Metabolism – Give it a Boost!
  • Eat Healthy
  • Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, skinless poultry, fish and lean meat. Grill, bake, steam, barbecue, broil, sauté or poach food rather than fry and reduce your carbohydrate, sugar and dairy intake. Do not skip meals, especially breakfast which will help to kick-start your metabolism after sleep. Natural metabolism boosters include eating smaller portions throughout the day – at least six mini meals including snacks. Try to also eat most of your meals earlier in the day with a light dinner before 8pm and drink at least eight glasses of water a day to suppress your appetite and to replace high calorie drinks such as juice, soda or alcohol.

  • Exercise Regularly
  • Natural metabolism boosters inlcude increasing your physical activity by exercising. A regular exercise program of at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week will help to keep the pounds off. Add weight training to your exercise routine to build lean muscle mass because the more muscle created, the more calories are burned. While there are rigorous exercise and training programs that might appeal to some, others can bike, skate, swim, dance, play tennis or golf to get some form of exercise.

  • Increase your Intake of Vitamin Supplements
  • If you experience low energy levels, you may need to add Vitamin B12 supplements to your diet. Vitamin B12 boosts energy levels and helps to overcome fatigue by ensuring that the red blood cells are besting peak condition.

  • A Good Night’s Rest
  • Make sure that you get adequate sleep and rest so that the body has an opportunity to regenerate itself. Approximately seven hours of sleep each night has an effect on the hormones that help to regulate body weight and appetite. Studies have shown that individuals who slept less tended to gain weight more easily.

  • Avoid Making Drastic Changes to your Body
  • Do not starve yourself or try any crash diets. When you lose weight too quickly, it is not only dangerous to your health but also interferes with the metabolic process. Weight loss is a slow, gradual process which requires determination and patience. With the help of a well balanced eating plan, regular exercise and a supportive network structure, achieving your goal weight is possible.

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