Infrared light is a type of electromagnetic radiation just below what the human eye can detect. Sunlight is one of the largest sources of IR radiation but many other objects around us absorb and emit this frequency of light.

Quick Introduction

Research shows that infrared light affects the human body in ways beneficial to health when administered under certain conditions. Understanding these conditions can help one decide if products such as infrared saunas or heating pads may be worth the investment.

Light bouncing through prism
Light bouncing through prism

Wavelengths of Light

The vast majority of energy in the universe isn’t electromagnetic. Leading scientific theories describe that nearly 95% of all energy in our universe might not be visible at all! Energies such as dark matter are thought to be the majority shareholders in the universal energy market.

The electromagnetic spectrum accounts for only a small fraction of that 5% of the energy that is visible. I’ve read estimates of less than 0.1% but haven’t confirmed to my own satisfaction. Within that tiny fraction, of a tiny fraction, there is an even tinier fraction of light that the human eye can perceive. This is called visible light. Below is a chart displaying the frequencies the average human is able to perceive…


The term “heavy metals” is a pseudo-scientific term that can cause dangerous confusion. This quick dive into terminology will help you understand the facts, how potentially toxic compounds affect your health, and actions to safeguard your health. Spoiler alert: it isn’t a detox diet.

heavy metals illustration
heavy metals illustration

Heavy metals are naturally-occurring metallic elements that have an atomic weight greater than or equal to a certain threshold. This threshold varies depending on the author and source, thus making the term “heavy metal” ambiguous.

In the context of Physics, “heavy” might be an attribute assigned based on atomic weight. In metallurgy, “heavy” might be more associated with an element’s density. In Biology, “heavy” might be a relative function towards another compound, such as water. So what does “heavy metal” actually mean in the context of your health?

Highlights

  • There is no consensus for the definition of “heavy metal”
  • Many “metals” can be beneficial or


Can dietary supplements help fight off viral infections? These natural compounds have scientific support of their role as powerful allies to the human immune system.

antiviral supplements bottles banner
antiviral supplements bottles banner
Image by Optimus Medica

Antiviral supplements and herbs can offer strong immune support during cold and flu season. During peak infection times, or during outbreaks of novel pathogens like the COVID-19 Coronavirus, I see a barrage of advertisers exaggerating the claims of their products.

Of the health professionals I’ve spoken with, the research I’ve read, and my personal experience I’ve found only a handful of such compounds worth consideration. That’s to say; I think most supplements advertised as “natural antivirals” are mostly a waste of money.

Natural Antivirals

The compounds listed below all have some degree of clinical support for their role as antivirals. It’s important to realize these compounds do not have comparable levels of data to that of prescription antivirals. However, that’s not a reason to discount them. …


There’s nothing like a hangover to take away the previous night’s afterglow. It’s a sort of instant karma that always comes calling for its’ due. Fortunately, there are several safe and effective hangover supplements that can help.

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Image from Optimus Medica

Highlights

Hangovers can be characterized by a number of symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, and increased anxiety. The following natural compounds have scientific support as natural hangover cures:

  • N-Acetyl Cysteine
  • Milk Thistle
  • B Vitamins
  • Dihydromyricetin (DHM)
  • Vitamin C
  • Probiotics

Introduction

As common as hangovers are they aren’t well-defined. Individual factors such as genes, dietary state, and even lifestyle habits dictate how one might respond to large doses of alcohol. For example, certain genes may reduce the rate at which the liver clears away alcohol. There’s no herb or supplement for that.

Fighting off a hangover is about symptom management. For this article, I’m using the list of hangover symptoms outlined by Doctors Robert Swift and Dena Davidson in their 1998 paper titled Alcohol Hangovers: Mechanisms and Mediators which are as…


I’m tired of seeing weight loss supplements advertised as miracles. I’ve rounded up 5 weight loss supplements with scientific support to back up their claims. These supplements may not bring miracles but they’re the likeliest to support weight loss goals.

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Image from Optimus Medica

Introduction

Weight loss can be a tricky subject to approach. In my opinion, this is largely explained by the uniqueness of each individual. Lifestyle differences, genetic differences, and even geographic differences play a role. I believe weight loss supplements help in a combination of the following three ways:

Metabolic Support: A shift in how nutrients are used in your body.

Nutritional Support: A shift in what nutrients are available for use.

Psychological Support: A shift in perception of mealtimes and/or lack of.

An example of all three of these is illustrated by fasting for weight loss. Fasting provides metabolic support by burning excess glucose stores (fat), caused by lowered external nutritional support (less food), which — at least for me — offers psychological support by being so different from normal eating habits. …


On my path to better health, I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on various tests. Some were meant to discover while others simply to rule things out. In hindsight, there were a handful that provided such insight I wish someone had told me about them sooner.

On my path to better health, I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on various tests. Some were meant to discover while others simply to rule things out. In hindsight, there were a handful that provided such insight I wish someone had told me about them sooner.

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Image from Optimus Medica

Some of these tests can be ordered online but some require a doctor’s authorization. In either case — you should be working closely with a doctor to help you interpret them. These tests provide you with a lot of data. I wouldn’t have gotten half the value from them without the help of a professional to interpret them.

Highlights

In this article, I discuss several alternative health tests I’ve had over the years. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s to come:

  • Stool Testing: Doctor’s Data & Genova Diagnostics
  • Organic Acids Test (OAT): Great Plains Laboratories
  • Genetic Testing: 23andMe, StrateGene, Genetic Genie…

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I hate spam emails and I bet you do too. I’ve learned that ignoring these emails is the single least effective way to purify my inbox and often triggers a deluge of follow up emails. After a half-decade working in marketing — I can offer some better advice.

TL;DR

Marketers use automated email campaigns to contact you. Based on your response, a set of rules determines if you’ll receive more emails. Ignoring emails almost always signals followup emails. Responding slightly negative often signals that you aren’t likely to become a customer and not enough of an asshole to become annoyed with. If there’s an unsubscribe button — click it.

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Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

The Outreach Campaign

In the world of marketing, there is something referred to as Outreach. This means “finding potential customers” to most people. …


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Image from Optimus Medica

Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is a compound the body uses to relax. It helps calm the brain, soothes the nerves, and makes for a great natural sleep aid. Our bodies have GABA receptors all over the place but those in the lungs are kind of strange.

I’ve read reports of GABA causing asthma attacks and have experienced them myself. I wanted to get a better idea of how this happens, and what I found was strange — to stay the least.

Highlights

  • GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter
  • Counterbalances Glutamate and other excitatory compounds
  • GABA is excitatory in early childhood development
  • Lung tissue contains many GABA receptors
  • GABA Supplements may cause mild asthma attacks

Introduction

GABA is a neurotransmitter, found throughout our bodies, as well as the bodies of other mammals. It’s the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter used by the brain, but is found in other tissues as well (R).

Think of brain activity like jumping on a trampoline: glutamate is like the force the trampoline exerts to send you upward and GABA is like gravity that prevents you from going to high. …


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Image by Optimus Medica

I recently came across an article on MedicalNewsToday (MNT) about using essential oils for sunburns. I was taken aback by how the article noted a lack of scientific evidence then proceeded to present a list recommended essential oils to treat sunburns with. Shameful as it is, this article is a great example of how marketing objectives are often given priority over fact-checking in the world of online information. Let’s consider why.

Highlights

  • There is little to no direct scientific evidence that essential oils help sunburns
  • Without dilution, essential oils could very likely make sunburns more painful
  • Vitamin E & Vitamin C aren’t generally considered essential…


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Image from Optimus Medica

My daily routine helps keep my productivity, health, and focus where I want it. Traveling can be tons of fun — new connections, new places, new experiences — but can also be torturous to daily routines. I use a handful of abbreviated workout routines and nutritional tricks to help keep my body and mind sharp while traveling.

Introduction

Traveling is like game day — preparation only gets me so far. Ultimately, I’m left to deal with whatever may cross my path, and I’ll be nowhere near my comfort zone while doing so. I’ve carefully crafted my daily routine over the years. Being able to fall into lockstep with some semblance of its familiarity helps me feel and function better on any trip. After all, what’s the point of traveling if I’m going to feel like shit the whole time I’m there?

Tips to Stay on Routine While Traveling

Not only does maintaining my daily routine — as best as possible — help me while traveling, but it also helps reduce the amount of recovery after traveling. I want my business trips to be productive, but I also want to be productive the moment I get back. …

About

Zack West

Self-confessed health nut that writes about nutrition and personal experiences while seeking a better life balance.

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