Over time, damaged and dysfunctional components of the body’s cells accumulate leading to a potential buildup of cellular debris which can permanently alter the genes, structure, and function of cells. Clearing away these parts is essential for maintaining optimal cellular function and happens naturally in the body during a complex process called autophagy. Scientists are currently investigating the potential benefits and risks involved with inducing autophagy, which has been linked to several positive health effects including the improvement of cellular health and promotion of an elongated human lifespan. Research in this field remains in its early stages yet some studies have revealed promising results that could shape future approaches to functional medicine.
Prolonged leaning and repeated lifting movements can frequently lead to fatigue of the low back muscles, which are responsible for the extension of the lumbar spine and undergo undesirable function changes such as tremors, discomfort, soreness, and exhaustion. Lumbar muscle fatigue can negatively impact an individual’s performance, productivity, satisfaction, and safety – especially in the case of workers in manual material handling environments. External aids and wearable assistive devices have been proven to mitigate or reduce lumbar muscle fatigue although the majority currently available on the market are limited by practical factors such as affordability, form, and ability to be seamlessly integrated into workflow.
A recent study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University examined the benefits of wearing a new clothing-like exoskeleton on the reduction of back muscle fatigue and the physical relief afforded to material handlers, medical professionals, and other frontline workers. Its findings were published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.
While there are over 200 hormones in the body – estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, insulin, leptin, and thyroid hormones are the most commonly known and closely linked to metabolism, fertility, mood, and other vital functions. Changes in hormone production, such as under- or over-production, or interferences in signaling pathways contribute to the development of hormonal imbalances, which can lead to diabetes, weight gain, infertility, and other health concerns if not managed appropriately. Sudden weight fluctuations or changes in energy levels can signal hormonal abnormalities, as can muscle aches and weakness, joint inflammation, and increased temperature sensitivity. There are many possible causes of hormonal imbalances, such as medications, tumors, and underlying health conditions; diet-related hormonal fluctuations, including those spurred by eating disorders, are also prevalent and underscore the connection between the endocrine system and eating patterns.