In a divided and diverse world, there aren’t many nearly universal human experiences. Yet one may very well be the consumption of caffeine, whether coffee and tea, first thing in the morning. Then another later in the day. And maybe one more. However, how exactly is caffeine impacting the human body? Is all caffeine created equal?

Over the course of hundreds of years, the consumption of caffeine has become integrated with cultural traditions, social life, and general human behavior. Found in obvious places such as coffee and tea, and less discernible ones like chocolate or guarana berries, the consumption of caffeine is a daily occurrence. In the United States alone, 85% of adults consume caffeine daily with the average amount being around 1.5 cups of coffee. It is in brewed black coffee the highest amount of caffeine is found, with 235 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces. A list found crafted by the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore describes the most common sources of caffeine in descending order, working from the aforementioned black coffee, to other types of coffee, to teas, and then more sugary energy drinks or chocolate.

Caffeine, and coffee specifically, have long been a topic of debate in the health community. Concerns regarding caffeine’s potential contributions to cardiovascular diseases or cancers have persisted, yet in recent years there have also been studies published in support of caffeine. It is important to consider that all coffee is not created equal, with some coffee compounds offering gut friendly microbiome benefits or aide in boosting the metabolism, while others can affect cholesterol levels.

It is well known that caffeine can sharpen cognitive performances for an extended period of time, but it also can contribute to insomnia and anxiety for those susceptible. Furthermore, it is recommended to be careful with caffeine consumption during pregnancy, as it may reduce fetal growth or increase the risk of pregnancy loss. On a more positive note, metabolic research portrays that caffeine may be beneficial to weight loss due to its appetite reducing properties and raising an individual’s basal metabolic rate. The aforementioned study from the Yong Lin School of Medicine details many more points of contention, seeing both the pros and cons to caffeine.

When considering the benefits or detriments to caffeine consumption, it is essential to consider one’s health holistically. A proper consumption of caffeine depends on the person, though consuming overly sugary or modified beverages is never recommended. If you are curious about your own personal relationship with caffeine, and how it affects your body individually, reach out to the experts at Pria Wellness. They can work with you todetermine the best, safest way to boost your energy levels. Contact us on our website or reach out with a phone call to 410-565-6552 today.

Information sourced from the Saw Swee Hock School of Pub- lic Health and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore and National University Health System, Singapore, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.



In the health and wellness world, there are certain ingredients in food that when found, cause a sort of record scratch moment of horror. High fructose corn syrup is one example. At this point, it is well-known that this ingredient is detrimental to the health of anyone. However, what exactly is high fructose corn syrup? How does it affect the body? Where does it lurk?

High fructose corn syrup, a common ingredient in processed foods, is a major factor in the current worldwide obesity epidemic of the modern age. When ingested by the body over a certain threshold, high fructose corn syrup is converted into fatty acids and stored in the body as fat. A study of Princeton University finds that the small intestine is usually responsible for processing this fructose, but a high dose results in “fructose spillover” to the liver and colonic microbiota. This means that an overconsumption of high fructose corn syrup can overwhelm the body’s metabolic processing and undermine your health. Beyond this, it can induce insulin resistance which may eventually cause diabetes as well as increases triglycerides in the blood. This worsens atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fats and cholesterol on artery walls and increases the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. In short, the overconsumption of high fructose corn syrup can be very dangerous for the human body.

Now that the risks have been outlined, how can one go about removing this troublesome ingredient from their diet? The key is to locate the culprit, especially in unassuming places. Certain foods may seem healthy, but they are not always as they appear. Food items such as soda, candy, sweetened yogurt, and store-bought baked goods might be the spot one would expect to find high fructose corn syrup. Yet foods like salad dressings, bread, juice, granola bars, breakfast cereal, and even coffee creamer can contain high fructose corn syrup as a prevalent ingredient. Be sure to read the labels when you purchase items at the grocery store, and seek healthier alternatives.

If you are struggling with how to remove high fructose corn syrup from your diet, or are looking for healthier alternatives, reach out to Pria Wellness today. Our experts can guide your diet in the right direction, and towards a much healthier lifestyle. Reach out over our website or call 410-565-6552 today.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/20-foods-with-high-fructose-corn-syrup#section19https://www.sdxtraining.com/articles/how-the-body-absorbs-sugar-high-fructose-corn-syrup



Maintaining a healthy gut biome and one’s digestive health is a key part of staying well. The ability to absorb the nutrients we consume affects all the other systems of the body. However, achieving balance in the gut is often easier said than done given the array of factors that might impact each individual person. Things such as inflammation, gut microbiota imbalance, and more can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome which could allow potentially concerning substances to pass through the intestinal wall.

In fact, recent research from the University of Maryland displays that stressors such as poor diet, genetic predisposition and more can affect what the researchers coined as the zonulin pathway, a key part of maintaining gut health. However, there is a common protocol, known as “the 4R protocol,” that can aide individuals in supporting gut healing and health if something is amiss. The four steps are as follows: remove, replace, reinoculated, and repair.

In step one, removing inflammatory triggers and pathogens commonly known to affect the gut will make way for other steps to be more effective. Examples of these triggers include alcohol, gluten, refined starches and sugar, and other food sensitivities. Generally, these are the foods and beverages known to be less healthy for you.

The second step, replacing, marks an effort to replace the triggers removed in the first step with more gut-friendly alternatives. High-fiber foods including vegetables, fruits, and nuts are an easy first choice. Other nutrient dense foods like omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, extra virgin olive oil, mushrooms, and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices can all aide in getting your gut back on track.

Step three, reinoculate is geared towards realigning the intestinal microbiota with beneficial bacteria. As such, probiotic supplements and fermented foods such as cultured dairy, fermented vegetables, fermented soy products, and beverages like kombucha are all incredibly helpful. The friendly bacteria residing in everyone’s gut need these probiotics to say in top shape.

The final step of repair strives toward repairing one’s intestinal lining with specific nutrients and herbs known to decrease intestinal permeability and inflammation. Depending on an individual’s diets, dietary needs, and supplement needs, this could look different for everyone. Common examples include zinc, Vitamin D, polyphenols, and more, but it is best to consult a health and wellness expert like the ones at Pria regarding your specific, individual needs.

These four steps, especially followed under the guidance of one of Pria’s health and wellness experts, can cure signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut. If you suffer from an upset stomach, unintentional weight changes, sleep disturbances, or any other experiences you believe might be alleviated by reexamining your gut health, reach out today. Call our office at 410-565-6552 to speak with us today!



In taking a holistic approach to one’s health, good quality sleep is a key, if under-appreciated factor. When thinking about achieving a healthier lifestyle and shedding extra pounds, it is instinctual to think of the foods you’re eating and daily exercise. However, the quality of your sleep may be undermining results and ultimately become detrimental, as studies from the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin, and published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity present.

The recommended amount of sleep for the average adult is between seven and nine hours a night, as stated by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. In studies, when this average sleep pattern is altered, the effects are startling. For example, sleep-restricted participants in a study consumed 130% of their caloric requirements, doing a large part of this additional eating in the late evening following dinner. The on average 550 additional calories during the night hours resulted in the study’s sleep-restricted group gaining 1 kg (2.205 pounds) after just five nights. On the other side of things, for sleep-deprived obese patients who increased their nightly amount of sleep, effects such as a reduced body mass index, a greater willingness to exercise, and fewer cravings for sweet and salty foods were noted.

A third study conducted in 2016 featured ten overweight nonsmoking adults with an average age of 41. The intervention in this group featured a moderate caloric restriction, typical to most weight loss efforts, but with either 8.5 or 5.5. hours of sleep an evening. The results of this study were indicative: the curtailment of patients’ sleep decreased the proportion of weight lost as fat by 55% in the just 14-day study. The conclusions of the study note that results “shed new light on the paradoxical association of human obesity with loss of the most energy-efficient and sedentary human behavior: sleep.”

The illogical nature aside, the results due not lie. A crucial component to a healthy lifestyle, especially for an individual interested in losing weight in a healthy manner, is to get between the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep. By slipping into bed a few hours earlier or rising a few hours later, you can remarkably impact the present and future of your own health. Used to a nightly four hours and supplementing that with a cup (or four) of coffee? The experts at Pria Wellness can help put you on track. Book an appointment online or call today at 410-565-6552.



These days, many of us are contemplating the best ways to keep ourselves well. A key factor in maintaining peak wellness is having a healthy immune system, which serves as the body’s primary defense mechanism. The immune system guards against potentially harmful invaders such as viruses, toxins, bacteria, and fungi.

An overall healthy lifestyle is beneficial to preserving a healthy and effective immune system. Efforts such as eating a balanced diet focused on whole, unprocessed foods high in antioxidants can aide greatly. Other lifestyle choices such as engaging inthree or more hours a week of moderate exercise and seeking at least seven hours of good-quality sleep a night can also assist in strengthening your immune system. Managing stress in a variety of ways, from counseling to practicing mindfulness and meditation additionally helps. While aspiring to the best quality of health as possible is beneficial to the immune system, research supports that the following supplemental ingredients provide a vital boost to the body’s defense system whenbattling viral infections.

Probiotics

Probiotics are the healthy, helpful microorganisms that live in each of our guts. Probiotics support immune healthy by harmonizing immune response and preventing the growth of harmful pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract. Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, unpasteurized pickled vegetables, and tempeh are all full of probiotics and can be easily woven into any diet. Besides traditional food options, probiotic supplements are available and may work to protect individuals against a variety of ailments including respiratory infections, colds, and influenza.

Vitamin C

The familiar advice of being told to consume citrus when feeling a little under the weather comes from the power Vitamin C. Not only found in citrus, but in foods such as broccoli, kiwi, yellow peppers, kale, and a host of other fruits and vegetables, Vitamin C is a major player in supporting the immune system. A deficiency may result in lowered immunity and a higher risk of infections and thus if your diet is lacking in foods such as the ones listed above, it might be worth investing in a Vitamin C supplement.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin required for mineral metabolism, bone health, and immune function, according to research displays a prominent position in supporting immune tolerance in autoimmune conditions. Supplements in Vitamin D are available, but can be found as well in foods such as fish and mushrooms, plus fortified milks, cereal, and oatmeal.

Zinc

Though many may be familiar with Zinc’s importance in battling a bad sunburn, it is also recommended to fight against the common cold. Options such as seafood, animal proteins, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, and cashews, as well as supplements, all contain Zinc. Research has found that when zinc lozenges, when consumed at the start of a cold for a minimum of one to two weeks, may assist in reducing symptoms of and the duration of colds.

Omega-3s

The particular Omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) exert their health benefits from their anti-inflammatory properties. These Omega-3s additionally may help lower the risk of chronic diseases including cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. Found highly concentrated in the brain, these Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to cognitive functions such as memory. Being deficient in this key area creates a host of problems, among which are fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, and more. Seafood, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are all great sources of Omega-3s.

In order to preserve your health, maintaining a well-balanced and strong immune system plays a key role. By living a healthy lifestyle and focusing on these nutrients you’ll be feeling better and your immune system will thank you for it! If you want to learn more, have a wellness evaluation and find out what supplements are right for you, call us at 410-565-6652.

Image source: iStock



During trying times, especially ones framed by a global pandemic, it is only natural to contemplate one’s own personal health and well-being. Perhaps the global and national situation have prompted you to reconsider your own relationship with wellness, especially those who are at home.

Pria Wellness is still open and eager to serve you during this pandemic, whether you are reflecting on new goals, re-evaluating old habits, or anywhere in between. Read on to learn all the different ways Pria Wellness can guide you from home, specifically on our expert weight management and hormone balancing services.

Regarding communication with patients, Pria Wellness continues to strive for excellence. Tele visits are offered during regular office hours using HIPAA compliant video conference software. Or, communicate with us through messaging in our electronic medical record patient portal. Both ensure personal, private, and effective consultations.

Despite the current situation, progress and developments in your health goals are still more than possible. A convenient phone application allows patients to monitor their nutrition, weight, blood pressure, sleep, physical activity, water intake, and exercise from their own devices. Most of Pria Wellness’ nutritional products including meal replacements and supplements can be easily ordered online and shipped to your door. Additionally, lab work orders are sent directly to most labs electronically and electronic prescriptions are the norm. All of these combined efforts ensure the efficient and thorough care of your wellness needs.

If anything can be learned from this moment, it is that there is no time like the present to value your own personal health and well-being. Contact Pria Wellness for more information on any of our services or to book an appointment today. Reach our office at (410) 565-6552.



Through all of the advances the study of medicine has gone through over the course of human history, the idea notion of breakfast being the most important meal of the day seems to only grow stronger.

The latest example of this prevailing belief comes from the University of Bath’s Department for Health. In their new study, the researchers discovered that eating breakfast not only increased the rate which the body burned carbohydrates during exercise, it also increased the rate the body digested and metabolized food eaten post-workout.

The scientists were studying the effect of eating breakfast versus fasting overnight before an hour’s cycling. The control group rested for three hours after eating breakfast. The second group ate porridge made with milk two hours before exercise.

Following the period of exercise or rest, researchers tested the blood glucose, and muscle glycogen, levels of the 12 participants and discovered found the exercising group burned carbs, and digested/metabolized food, at a faster rate.

“This study suggests that, at least after a single bout of exercise, eating breakfast before exercise may ‘prime’ our body, ready for rapid storage of nutrition when we eat meals after exercise,” said Rob Edinburgh, a PhD student in the Department for Health who co-led the study.

Have more questions? Schedule an appointment with your primary physician. You can also simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at 410-565-6552!



The benefits of a high-protein diet continue to grow as more and more research is done on the subject.

The latest study on the subject — courtesy of the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism — found that protein-heavy diets may reduce the liver’s fat content and lower the risk of diabetes in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

The American Physiological Society gathered 25 volunteers, including 15 who had been previously diagnosed with NAFLD, to participate in a low-calorie diet to lose eight percent body weight. After the participants reached their weight loss goals, they were told to maintain weight through a moderate- or high-protein diet averaging from 0.8 to 1 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight.

Researchers found that after two years of weight loss, the dietary protein increase led to a reduced liver fat content. They also found that over half of the participants previously diagnosed with NAFLD no longer had a fatty liver.

“These findings stress the clinical implications and potential benefits of increased protein intake after weight loss for people with NAFLD at risk to develop diabetes,” the researchers wrote.

NAFLD — more colloquially called “fatty liver” — is a result of the liver’s total weight being made up of more than five percent fatty tissue. This extra fat in the liver may lead to scarring, which may increase the risk of liver cancer or failure. This also comes with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Coincidentally, those with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop NAFLD — an estimated 70 percent of people with type 2 diabetes also have a fatty liver. Obesity is also a major risk factor for NAFLD.

Interested if you are at risk for NAFLD, or even type 2 diabetes? Contact your primary care physician to find ways to better your liver health. You can also simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at 410-565-6552!



When people typically think about what parts of the body affect emotions, they’re more likely to think of the brain or the heart first. But, believe it or not, the most mentally influential organs within ourselves are the large and small intestines.

The trillions of bacteria, known as the microbiota, have some important jobs within our intestines. They help us digest our food, protect us from disease, neutralize toxic by-products that stem from the digestive process, and make it more difficult for unhealthy bacteria to thrive within our stomachs. Considering they make up around 4.5 pounds of our body, they are quite a strong force.

The microbiota also affects things outside of the stomach. One connection is on the obvious side. Feelings of anxiety tend to disrupt our stomachs by making us feel queasy, and depression causes constipation. But a research group in Ireland found that this also goes the other way around. Probiotic-fed mice were more suited to handle anxiety-inducing scenarios and less likely to feel depression than the control group, that received a bland broth.

Another connection centers around our personalities. A study at McMaster University found that when the gut bacteria of two groups of mice were switched with one another, the mice began to switch personalities as well. Originally, the two groups of mice were separated into an “extrovert” group and an “introvert” group. By the time the experiment concluded, the mice had the exact opposite personality that they had started with.

A third connection comes from a theory on cravings. Certain sections of the microbiota actually crave certain foods more than others. When food that is popular among the bacteria gets consumed, they produce particles that get sent to the brain and turned into dopamine and serotonin. The source of anger and frustration that comes shortly after starting a diet may actually come from bacteria in your stomach. This is an untested theory, but a well-formed on nonetheless.

Interested in how this can be changed? Contact your primary care physician to find healthier ways to create lasting change in your diet that your microbiota will enjoy. You can also simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at 410-565-6552!



The carbohydrate composition of diets increased the risk of osteoarthritis (OA) in laboratory mice, a new study from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation found.

Tim Griffin, Ph.D., and his lab placed groups of mice on different high-fat diets to test the effect of obesity on OA. Researchers noticed that fiber and sugar in the diets were enough to alter the mice’s chances of developing OA. The high-sucrose diet caused joint inflammation, and the high-fiber diet changed cartilage genes as well as cellular stress-response pathways.

Though the experiment was performed on mice, Griffin pointed out that the study could be translated to humans.

“It’s important to understand how our diet affects the health of our joints,” Griffin said to Science Daily . “We were surprised to see so many OA-related differences between the two high-carb diets even though body weight and body fat were the same.”

OA occurs when the cartilage that cushions bones in the joints breaks down and wears away, causing the bones to rub against one another. It affects nearly 27 million people in the U.S., and is the most frequently diagnosed arthritis. It’s also the most widespread form of disability in the country.

Though there are several factors that could contribute to an increased risk of OA (i.e. previous joint injuries, genetics and age), carrying extra weight is the most common.

Even if the root cause of this disease isn’t certain, shedding weight — particularly in the form of cutting carbs — is the best way to avoid this affliction at all. Contact your primary care physician to see if your weight puts you at risk for OA. You can also simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at 410-565-6552!


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