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Useful Info For Those on Thyroid or SSRI’s

Important Information For Those on Thryoid meds and or SSRI’s

Considering how many people are on thyroid meds and or SSRI’s, it’s surprising – especially in the case of thyroid medications – how much confusion exists in the medical community on how best to treat people with hypothyroid.

I find many people feel they are often in some sort of battle between themselves and their doctor as to what doses, types, etc of thyroid meds they need.

A book called “Thyroid Disorders” written by a Dr Gilbert Daniels, listed as Co- Director of the Thyroid Clinic at Mass General Hospital makes for a good reference guide. The book was published in 2006, so I am assuming he’s still there. The book is written for physicians, specifically for GPs/family physicians vs. specialists. Most of the information would be basic rehash for the people here that have already done a lot of research on the topic, and most of what he recommends is in line with the standard recommendations. Some of Dr. Daniels comments below on T4/T3  combination therapy was supported by recent studies that found people on a combo therapy much prefer it over a T4 mono therapy.

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Adverse health effects of testosterone deficiency, aka hypogonadism, in men

Testosterone deficiency, also known as hypogonadism, is a state with sub-optimal circulating levels of testosterone concomitant with clinical signs and symptoms attributed to low physiological testosterone levels.[1-3]

Sexual dysfunction is the most commonly recognized symptom of testosterone deficiency. However, testosterone also plays a broader role in men’s health. A growing body of evidence has established associations between low testosterone levels and multiple risk factors and diseases including the metabolic syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes, sarcopenia, frailty, mobility limitations, osteoporosis, cognitive impairment, depression, cardiovascular disease, and reduced longevity.[3-12]

In this article I provide an overview of the detrimental impact of testosterone deficiency on a wide range of health outcomes.[13]

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Reshaping the “Good Guy” Vs. “Bad Guy” Fat Paradigm: The Tale of Arachidonic acid

 “The human body is an infinitely complex, but wholly logical system” – Will Brink


Back in the day I wrote the first article on the value of omega-3 fatty acids (via fax oil) for health and fat loss in the major bodybuilding publications. In fact, my first article on the value of flax oil – a source of the Omega 3 lipid LNA – was rejected because the very idea of intentionally adding fat to lose fat and improve health was such a foreign concept at that time. Yes, we are talking pre Internet here! Lucky for me, another magazine – MuscleMag International – ran the article, and the rest is history. It’s safe to say I have been researching and writing about Essential fatty acids (EFA’s), the value of omega-3 fats, the importance of balancing fatty acid intakes, and so forth, for a extensive amount of time. I am also partially to blame for the overly simplistic view of these fatty acids that followed and hope to atone for that with this article.

Much of what we understood at that time, and is still being pushed to this day by some, was an overly simple and generalized view of the essential fatty acids (EFA’s) and their effects on human physiology. As time progressed, and additional research was published, the picture has become much more refined and accurate.

The old paradigm could be essentially summarized as “Omega-3 good, Omega-6 bad” and that was about it. Other than a few who have really taken the time to research the topic, a position that remains to this day. Per usual, such entrenched views tend to change very slowly.

heart-healthyHow did that start? Early research found the Standard American diet (SAD) provides excessive intakes of omega-6 lipids and minimal omega-3 lipids which resulted in an elevated omega-6/omega-3 ratio. As  science writer Monica Mollica put it so accurately in her recent article on, In turn, an elevated omega-6/omega-3 ratio has been linked to a number of common chronic diseases, notably cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, cancer, and certain psychiatric diseases such as depression. The omega-6 fatty acid that has been vilified and blamed to give rise to these detrimental health outcomes is arachidonic acid (ARA).”  Hence, we ended up with an “Omega-3 good, Omega-6 bad” model that attributed most of the negatives to ARA, with advice people should avoid ARA. Those concerned with their health increased their intake of omega-3 fats via fish, flax, supplements, etc., and reduced their intake of omega-6, to improve their 03/06 ratios.

All well and good, but it’s just not that simple as life rarely is, much less human biology. As Candice Pert Ph.D., discoverer of the opiate receptor said “Whenever something does not fit the reigning paradigm, the initial response in the mainstream is to deny the facts.” Such is the case with the “Omega-3 good, Omega-6 bad” model that some cling to in spite of the ever mounting data showing it to be an outdated model not supported by the modern data. Continue reading..

Testosterone Treatment and Heart Attack Risk – New study shows testosterone treatment can actually be beneficial

Testosterone therapy has been in use for more than 70 years for the treatment of hypogonadism, also called testosterone deficiency.[1] In the past 30 years there has been a growing body of scientific research demonstrating that testosterone deficiency is associated with increased body weight/adiposity/waist circumference, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, inflammation, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, erectile dysfunction (ED) and increased risk of mortality [2, 3]. In line with the detrimental health outcomes seen with testosterone deficiency, testosterone therapy has been shown to confer beneficial effects on multiple risk factors and risk biomarkers related to these clinical conditions.[4]

Despite these well-documented health benefits, testosterone therapy is still controversial, in large part due to a few flawed studies about potential elevated heart attack (myocardial infarction) risk with testosterone therapy. On July 2, 2014, a new study was published, demonstrating that testosterone therapy is not associated with an increased risk of heart attack, and may actually confer protection against heart attack…[5]

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Wall Ball Rehab!

My super simple and effective method of using a tennis ball (or Lacrosse ball) to reduce sore stiff muscles, rehab/pre hab, and improve mobility! Also mentioned in this vid and recommended, Joe DeFranco’s “Limber 11” and The Rumble Roller.

Testosterone And Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)

In prior posts, I have discussed my hypothesis that growth hormone and related growth factors,  as a possible therapy for  connective tissue/joint degeneration in active populations. The study below finds testosterone therapy (TRT ) appears highly valuable treatment in SCI; to prevent the loss of skeletal muscle post SCI. These results do not surprise me in the least and why this is not a common therapy for people with SCI is a tragedy in my view. If you, or someone you know, has suffered a SCI, I highly recommend you send this info to your/their doctor and pursue this as a possible option. It’s important to note that testosterone deficiency is common after SCI, and according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs SCI unit:

These findings confirm both a substantial population of men with SCI and with testosterone deficiency, and a significant association between testosterone level and severity of SCI. Measuring serum total testosterone levels should be included in standard screenings for patients with SCI…”

I can say, a very common report of those who go on TRT is a big reduction in general aches and pains in my experience, and again, it makes perfect sense to me. The future treatment of SCI will be the of  use various growth factors and other modalities (such as stem cell therapy) to re grow/re connect the spinal cord. That technology is much closer than people realize, but it seems the med/sci community very slow to pursue this area as quickly as they should. Obviously, this approach could be used to repair damaged nerves and other tissues far less challenging than repairing a severely damage or severed spinal cord.
Useful summary info from this study Effects of testosterone replacement therapy on skeletal muscle after spinal cord injury:

“The most important finding of this study was that TRT ameliorated the decrease in fiber CSA resulting from SCI. TRT also attenuated the slow to fast fiber type shift as well as the decrease in oxidative enzyme activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the potential of TRT to prevent atrophy in SCI. TRT in aging sarcopenia and in other diseases with muscle wasting (for example, AIDS) results in favorable effects on bone, muscle size and strength in both low-average and hypogonadal men.19 Increases in muscle CSA were equal, if not greater in TRT only groups than in exercise groups without TRT.20 These data and ours for SCI both demonstrate a positive effect of TRT on muscle size without traditional overload…” Continue reading..

Brinkzone Author Sumi Singh Launches “Strong, Powerful, Female” T Shirt Line

Sumi Singh is a contributing author here at has just launched her own t-shirt line. Check out her modeling the T-shirts here.

Sumi Singh Fitness ModelSumi Singh Fitness ModelSumi Singh Fitness Model

There’s sizes and variations for the girls, the guys, and even for strong, powerful, girls!

Jenny GoodwinNick NilssonSumi Singh Fitness Model

If you love to lift (heavy), show it!

If you’re interested in getting on these T’s or tanks for yourself or a family member,click here to order from Sumi’s online store.


Two Dumbbell Ball “Anti” Twists for Core Strength and Stability

Most twisting ab exercises are TERRIBLE for your lower back…seriously. Any oblique work you get out of them is offset by the potential damage you can do to your spine with a loaded twisting movement.

The deep muscles of the core (the obliques and transverse abdominis) are best worked in an “anti-rotation” capacity…which means working AGAINST that twisting movement that is so damaging to the lower back.

That’s where this exercise comes into play…I call it a 2 Dumbbell Ball Twist, but in reality it’s a ball ANTI-twist. Continue reading..

What You Need To Know About Caffeine

Someone once said “there’s no sunshine without coffee.” I tend to agree. However, there’s a great deal more to understand regarding the benefits of caffeine – the central nervous system stimulant most people associate with coffee – and its effects on mental acuity, performance, etc. In this article I’m going to cover what people really need to know about this topic, and suggest a way to get the most bang for your money when it comes to this highly popular beverage and supplement.

The Basics….

Caffeine – a compound in the methylxanthine family – has its effects through various mechanisms on the central nervous system, and to be honest, I doubt those mechanisms are of great interest to most readers, so I won’t bother with an extensive discussion on it here. Suffice to say, caffeine positively impacts memory, performance, endurance, coordination and increases arousal, vigilance, while reducing fatigue, to name a few effects. Anyone who has used straight caffeine knows the stuff works, which is why the military, for example, adds it to gum as well as other things like bars and such. We all know the “energy drink/shot” category is all the rage these days even outside the gym setting. Although caffeine is not for everyone to be sure, it’s amazingly non-toxic. OK, so users of caffeine either know all this, or have at least experienced it, and don’t need much convincing it’s effective stuff for its intended uses. Let’s move into the more interesting info of this article, shall we? Continue reading..

Psychology 101 Of Weight Loss

Does Your Mind Stop You From Losing Weight?


It’s interesting to note;  the single most important factor to not just getting the weight off, but keeping it off, is between our ears. That is, how people approach the issue, psychologically speaking,  is an essential component of success. And yet, 8 zillion weight loss books and programs out there, and at best, this aspect of weight loss gets lip service only.

Many diet programs out there don’t address the psychological aspect of why people fail to be successful with long-term weight loss. However, quite a few studies exist that have looked at just that. In many respects, the psychological aspect is the most important for long-term weight loss, and probably the most underappreciated component. Continue reading..

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