How I Cured Metabolic Syndrome and Stopped Diabetes in its Tracks!

 

In May of 2016, I had to face the bad news I had metabolic syndrome.  I had ignored the symptoms for too long. I was at a high risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. No longer could I stick my head in the sand!

If I didn’t take some drastic measures, I was on my way to diabetes and heart disease.

I did what I do best I dug into the research and came up with a plan. It only took me 9 weeks to cure my metabolic syndrome.  My doctor was shocked and said “This just doesn’t happen this fast.”

Maybe cure is too strong of a word its cured as long as I keep up with the plan, so it’s more accurate to say it’s under control.

I’m sharing exactly how I reveresed my metabolic syndrom so that I can help you avoid Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke and all the other seriously bad things metabolic syndrome does to harm you.

 

lowered blood pressure

lowered blood pressure in 9 weeks

 

Here was my plan that reversed metabolic syndrome.

 

    1. Keep blood glucose and insulin low using a Ketogenic Diet.  Closely monitor blood glucose and ketones using a glucometer, a Precision Xtra Blood Ketone Monitor and a Ketonix breath ketone device.
    2. Lose weight specifically lose abdominal fat.
    3. Exercise.
    4. Take Arginine 3 times a day to increase insulin sensitivity
    5. Take ALA before meals to remove glucose without insulin
    6. Take Berberine to lower blood glucose and improve insulin sensitivity
    7. Take NAC to lower glucose, improve insulin sensitivity and protect my liver.
    8. Take High-Quality Fish oil (Omega 3s)

 

1. Ketogenic Diet

 

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

 

The traditional ketogenic diet developed in the 1920 and 1930 was a very high fat (80%), low protein diet first used to treat seizures.  I used a more modern version often called a Modified Ketogenic diet with about 30 % calories from protein, 5 % or less from carbs and about 65% fat. To be in ketosis blood glucose and insulin levels need to be low.  Keeping insulin low for an extended period allowed my insulin receptors to become sensitive to insulin again. 

 

2. Lose Weight

Weight Loss

Weight Loss

 

Study after study shows that losing weight helps or reverses metabolic syndrome. At the start, I weighed 192 lbs, and my goal was 160 lbs.  My starting body fat was 29%. That put me in the obese category.   I have to admit this was a shock.   What’s even more shocking is if I used the newest smart BMI I wasn’t even in a high-risk category.   This points out the importance of getting your body fat percentage measured it’s your body fat that counts not your height and weight. My end goal was 17% body fat.  I didn’t get down to 17% because my metabolic syndrome was cured sooner than expected at seven weeks at that point I was 22%  body fat.  Dropping the weight was relatively easy, and I was seldom hungry because the ketogenic diet lowered my insulin levels. When your body has a continuously elevated insulin level, your access to fat stores are blocked, and you are primed for adding new fat.  Once your insulin levels are low enough, your body has continuous access to fat stores for energy.  Ketosis also suppresses appetite making it much easier to maintain a calorie deficit. Another benefit of ketosis is it helps preserve muscle mass when in a large calorie deficit. I monitored my body fat percentage and lean mass to make sure I didn’t lose precious muscle mass. I used a BodyMetrix Ultrasound system for this.

 

3. Increase Exercise

 

Exercise for Metabolic Syndrome

 


The right kind of exercise is the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth!
   A few years ago I broke my leg and made the mistake of not doing anything to maintain my fitness during my 2-year recovery.  This is what started my downward slide to metabolic syndrome.  After I was able to walk,  I was still unable to rock climb or backpack like I used to. I should have joined a gym and use the elliptical machine or at least got out and walked every day.

To cure my metabolic syndrome I used walking, short hill climbs, and weight training. To keep from overtraining (easy to do during a calorie deficit), I used Heart Rate Variability.  Heart Rate Variability is used by Elite athletes to know when they can push their workouts or need to recover.    I used a Polar HR7 wireless heart rate monitor and an app called Elite HRV.  This is a free app and is better than all the paid ones I have tried.  It also comes with an excellent PDF explaining how to use HRV.

 

4. Arginine

 

Arginine has a lot of benefits that will help with metabolic syndrome. Arginine at 3 grams 3 times a day for three months was shown to improve insulin sensitivity in obese insulin resistant subjects.  Arginine also helps restore endothelial function and blood pressure.  I can benefit from these things also.  I was concerned about an insulin release from arginine. Studies have shown that arginine caused an insulin release, but the deeper study revealed that it does only at high intervenous doses.  More recent studies have demonstrated that 10 grams given orally did not affect insulin or blood glucose.  The previous study for insulin sensitivity used 3 grams per dose because they were under the impression that was the maximum that can be given without an insulin release.  I have been experimenting with the dose and monitoring how it affects my blood glucose and ketones.  At a dose of 5 grams, 3 times a day arginine raises my blood glucose a slight amount (.3 mmol/L) for about an hour but does not affect ketones.  Since arginine does cause a release of glucagon, this is not surprising and not of any concern for me.  5 grams seems to be the optimal level for me causing a Nitrous oxide release and drop in blood pressure.

 

 

5. Alpha Lipoic Acid

 

Studies show that ALA lowers blood glucose and reduces insulin resistance and other components of metabolic syndrome including blood pressure and lipid profile.  Some people claim it helps them get and stay in ketosis while eating more carbs.  The blood glucose lowering effects are delayed, so I will be taking my ALA before meals.  ALA reduces oxidative stress and has been shown to be protective of health in a multitude of ways.

  • Reduces oxidative stress in the body via powerful antioxidant activity
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces insulin resistance
  • Improves the lipid profile
  • Reduces weight
  • Increases insulin sensitivity
  • Improves diabetic neuropathy
  • Reduces brain damage after a stroke. Protects against cataract formation
  • Improves visual function in glaucoma
  • Prevents bone loss
  • Removes toxic metals from the body
  • Reduces severity of migraines

 

6. Berberine

 

Berberine is new to me but wow its a powerhouse for metabolic syndrome. Multiple studies confirm its glucose lowering and insulin sensitizing effects.  Studies have compared it to pharmaceutical glucose lowering drugs, and Berberine is equal in effectiveness to the drugs but has some added benefits.  I’m excited to measure its effects on myself.  Berberine alone could be enough to normalize my glucose and insulin. In one study of diabetic patients, 1000 mg of berberine per day decreased fasting blood sugar by 20%, from 7.0 to 5.6 mmol/L (126 to 101 mg/dL), or from diabetic to normal levels.  5.6 mmol/L is right at the cutoff for diabetes its certainly not optimal.  Mine was 5.8 at my last checkup so just over normal a 20% drop for me would bring me to 4.6 mmol/L, which is a healthy level.  What exciting about Berberine is it works by multiple different pathways.

  • Decreases insulin resistance.
  • Increased glycolysis.
  • Decrease sugar production in the liver. (this is how the drug Metformin works also)
  • Slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the gut.
  • Increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
  • May turn on beneficial epigenetics
  • Studies even show weight loss in obese or overweight subjects with metabolic syndrome
  • Improves lipid profile.

 

7. N-acetyl cysteine

 

Another amazing compound is N-acetyl cysteine.  I will be taking it for its ability to reverse insulin resistance but also to protect my liver from damage from both fatty liver disease and damage from alcohol.  It is so effective at preventing liver damage it is the number one treatment used by hospitals to prevent acute liver failure from acetaminophen overdose.  The benefits from NAC are wide-ranging a few of the benefits are listed below.  NAC can achieve all of this because of two super powerful effects. First, It reduces inflammation throughout the body. It does this by turning off genes that cause excess inflammation.  This is an extraordinary benefit because excess inflammation has been implicated in almost every disease of aging. Second It restores your bodies own glutathione stores. Glutathione stores are reduced with age and excessive stresses on your antioxidant system.  Glutathione is like the shields on the starship Enterprise as long as they are at full power your cells are protected.  When your glutathione levels get low, your cells are vulnerable to attack.   I’m sure you have noticed how people often age very slowly and then suddenly start aging at an accelerated rate.  One of the causes of that rapid aging is when you get to a tipping point where inflammation is too high, and glutathione levels are too low. This starts a vicious circle where the damage from the inflammation and reduced antioxidant ability lets the cells get damaged enough to reduce their ability further and cause more inflammation more depletion of glutathione and so the circle goes. NAC can raise glutathione levels stopping the vicious cycle.   NAC improves insulin sensitivity in some of the most difficult-to-treat metabolic disorders. Best price for NAC is  BulkSupplements Pure NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) Powder (250 grams)

  • NAC can protect against influenza.
  • NAC has been shown useful in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • NAC protects from the effects of exercise-induced oxidative stress.
  • NAC replenishes levels of the intracellular antioxidant glutathione (GSH), which is often deficient with advancing age and other stresses.
  • NAC  regulates activation of genes linked to oxidative stress and inflammation.NAC blocks cancer development at virtually every step in the process, and through multiple mechanisms.
  • These two effects give NAC a powerful role in the prevention and treatment of many common diseases of aging.
  • NAC has been shown effective in treating stomach infection Helicobacter pylori

8. Fish Oil

 

Fish oil

Fish oil

 

Fish oil has many benefits too many to list here there have been thousands of studies on the benefits of fish oil. Over time it makes your membranes more fluid, this makes you cells function better. Fish oil has anti-inflammatory effects, positive effects on metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, lung diseases, neurodegenerative conditions, and cancer.  I wouldn’t even consider it a supplement as much as a staple of healthy eating.  I won’t be eating industrial seed oils ( they are very harmful) but some pre-bought sauces will have some of these harmful oils that are too high in omega six content.  There is a debate about the ideal ratio of omega 6 to 3.  It’s safe to say over 4:1 ratio is less than ideal and as low as 1:1 may be ideal.  Anthropological evidence suggests we evolved eating around a 1:1 ratio.  A few grams of omega three from fish oil will help keep my ratio under 4:1. Fish oil is one area that quality matters.  Fish oil is easily oxidized, and when it is oxidized, it does more harm than good.  It is best to use fish oil in a glass container (no air permeates glass and no BPA or other chemicals leach).  Natural whole fish oil has been shown to be better absorbed than purified fish oils.  The only one I use is Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil  it is processed on the boat for maximum freshness with a small amount of vitamin e added as a preservative and tested regularly for heavy metals to ensure purity.  I use the one-liter size and pour half into a smaller bottle and preserve the rest until ready to use with inert gas meant for preserving wine but great for oils too.

 

 

My Progress and Observation Log

 

May 24 2016

Weight 192lbs
Fasting Blood Glucose =5.8 mmol/L (104 md/dl)
Fasting Insulin 188 pmo/l  (Under 95 is normal  95-125 pmol/L: probably insulin resistant, 125-165 pmol/L: insulin resistant, >165 pmol/L.)
Cholesterol= 8.6 mmol/L (332 mg/dl)
Ldl= 6.39 mmol/L (247 mg/dl)
Triglycerides = 1.7 mmol/L (150 mg/dl)
APO B = 2.0 g/L
Blood Pressure Average  165/112

May 31 2016

Weight 186 lbs (Since I have been on a very low carb diet alot of the weight will be water)
Fasting Blood Glucose=4.8 mmol/L
Blood Ketones ranging from .7 to 1.9mmol/l
Carb Cravings subsided
Blood Pressure Average 155/109 ( a very small probably statistically insignificant improvement but I will take what I can get for now)

June 7, 2016

Weight  185 lbs ( could have added water weight due to the carb up but also could be just only 1lbs of fat loss because this is the end of phase 1 that’s more about ensuring certain adaptations take place.
Fasting Blood Glucose =5.1 mmol/L
Blood Pressure Average 151/101 (Still improving)
The morning blood glucose is up a little I had a night with about 200-300 grams of carbs which took me out of ketosis for a 2 days and morning glucose is higher as a result.  There are benefits that occasional but not prolonged spikes in carbs and insulin can have this was not a planned deviation but not a problem long term at all.
Blood Ketones back to 1.2 -48 hours after carb feast.

June 14, 2016

Weight 182 (3 lbs loss) phase 2
Fasting Blood Glucose =4.2 mmol/L
Blood Ketones 1.5 – 4.2
Blood Pressure Average 142/89 ( Huge improvement I have had some reading as low as 117/78)
This week I went to a birthday party had Wine and a lot of food but almost no carbs next morning blood glucose was 4.2 and Ketones was 4.1

June 21, 2016

Weight 179.5 (2.5 lbs loss)
Fasting Blood Glucose = 4.4 mmol/L
Blood Ketones 1.1 – 4.0
Blood Pressure Average 133/85 ( It is looking like I may be able to avoid blood pressure drugs)
Had 2 nights Carb meals without leaving ketosis one was 60 g of carbs from sushi (planned meal with optimal timing) and post-meal glucose never went above 5.2 and morning glucose was 4.5 and ketones 1.7.  Second was unplanned after drinking wine and a 1300 calorie thin crust pizza with 100 g of carbs morning glucose 4.5 and ketones 1.1

June 28, 2016

Weight 177.5 (2 lbs loss)
Fasting Blood Glucose = 4.5 mmol/L
Blood Ketones .9 – 3.8
Blood Pressure Average 134/87

July 5, 2016

Weight 175.5 ( 2 lb loss )
Fasting Blood Glucose 5.0 mmoL.  (I was camping and backpacking this week and had several days with over 200 g of carbs)
Blood Ketones .7 -4.5
Blood Pressure Average 132/85

July 12, 2016

Weight 174.5 (1 lb loss)
Fasting Blood Glucose 4.8 mmol
Blood Ketones .5 – 3.2
Blood Pressure Average 133/87

 

July 26, 2016

Weight 176 (1.5 lb gain) I was away on holidays and not in ketosis probably about 2 lbs of that would be accounted for by the water in the stored carbs
Fasting Blood Glucose 5.4 mmol
Blood Ketones 0-.2
Blood Pressure average 145/92

August 2 2016

Weight 171 (4 lb loss)
Fast Blood Glucose 4.5 mmol
Blood Ketones .2-1.5
Blood Pressure Average 121/78

It took about two months to get my Metabolic Syndrom under control.  Blood test shows everything improved from Lipid Panel to Fasting Insulin and Fasting glucose not to mention the perk of looking better due to the weight loss.

 

 

 

13 Amazing Sauna Benefits – Backed by Science

My blood pressure had been creeping up for a while and had reached the point where I had to do something about it. I wanted to get my blood pressure down, without medication. I had tried the medication route before, and I hated the side effects. When researching alternatives, I found claims that one of the benefits of the sauna was lowered blood pressure; in fact, I found so many fantastic claims for the benefits of sauna use, I wasn’t sure which ones were real and which ones were just hype. I am not one of those people, who believes everything I read, and many of the claims were from websites selling saunas, making the information suspect. Most lacked any reference to scientific papers. I like to know how and why things work and see the science behind it, sometimes, obsessively so. This list of sauna benefits is the result of digging into the science of saunas.

How I Cured Metabolic Syndrome and Stopped Diabetes in its Tracks!

This is one of the biggest of the sauna benefits. After all, doesn’t everyone what to live longer? This study was done in Finland, where sauna use is a way of life.  Association between sauna bathing and fatal cardiovascular and all-cause mortality events. The Researchers tracked 2315 men for an average of 20.7 years. All the men saw benefits, and the participants who used the sauna 4-7 times per week had the greatest benefits, with a 63% lower risk of sudden cardiac death and a 40% less chance of dying from all causes. The sauna sessions offering the most benefit were 20 min or more in a dry, hot Traditional Finnish Sauna.

2. Great for Your Heart.

Repeated sauna use increases your blood volume, thus blood flow to your heart, making your cardiovascular system more efficient. What this means, in practical terms, is your heart rate will be lower, running at the same speed, than it would be without sauna conditioning. The increased blood flow carries more needed nutrients to the muscles and carries away waste products.  Studies show up to 50% reduction in stored muscle glycogen use (carbohydrate stores in your muscles) after acclimation to heat through sauna use.  This means you can run further before you hit the wall (that point where all your body’s reserve stored carbs are depleted).  This is not  just theory; at least one study directly measured this, and after only 3 weeks of 2 times per week sauna sessions, the time to exhaustion during endurance exercise was improved by more than 30 %. Remember in the Finnish study, the most sauna benefits were in the group using the Sauna 4-7 times per week, so using the Sauna more than 2 times per week may show greater endurance performance benefits.

3.  Better Sex Life!

There are no direct studies of this done, yet, but as shown in the coronary sauna studies, one of the sauna benefits was improved endothelial function. Researchers have now discovered the reduced production of nitrous oxide, caused by dysfunctional endothelial cells lining the penile arterial system, is the cause of the majority of cases of erectile dysfunction. Sauna use improves endothelial function, actually treating the root cause. Endothelial function declines with age so when we improve our endothelial function we are turning back the clock and making things work like they did when we were younger.  For a more in-depth look at the science behind this, read Endothelial Dysfunction, Erectile Dysfunction, and Coronary Heart Disease: The Pathophysiologic and Clinical Linkage 

4. Improves Your Endurance Performance.

Healthy girl sprinting

Repeated sauna use increases your blood volume, thus blood flow to your heart, making your cardiovascular system more efficient. What this means, in practical terms, is your heart rate will be lower, running at the same speed, than it would be without sauna conditioning. The increased blood flow carries more needed nutrients to the muscles and carries away waste products.  Studies show up to 50% reduction in stored muscle glycogen use (carbohydrate stores in your muscles) after acclimation to heat through sauna use.  This means you can run further before you hit the wall (that point where all your body’s reserve stored carbs are depleted).  This is not  just theory; at least one study directly measured this, and after only 3 weeks of 2 times per week sauna sessions, the time to exhaustion during endurance exercise was improved by more than 30 %. Remember in the Finnish study, the most sauna benefits were in the group using the Sauna 4-7 times per week, so using the Sauna more than 2 times per week may show greater endurance performance benefits.

6. Amazing Sauna Benefits for Your Brain

It is the ultimate smart pill with no negative side effects.
The benefits include faster brain function, improved repairing of damaged neurons, and the actual growth of new brain cells.

That’s right. One of the sauna benefits is growing new brains cells. I find that pretty exciting. The sauna increases BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor) it increases the growth of new brain cells (neurogenesis) and increases the survival of existing brain cells. BDNF modulates neuronal plasticity (the ability for your brain to change and adapt) and long-term memory.

In this study, the subjects stayed in a hot, dry  80°C  sauna until subjective exhaustion and had an increase in norepinephrine by 310%, a 10-fold increase in prolactin, and at the same time a small decrease in cortisol.  Other studies such as this show similar results. This increase in Norepinephrine increases focus and attention. The significant increase in prolactin promotes myelin growth; myelin is the insulating sheath around nerve fibers. Myelin makes your brain function faster and is key in repairing nerve cell damage. Without a healthy myelin sheath, really bad things happen. For instance, ALD is caused by the degradation of the myelin sheath. The movie, Lorenzo’s Oil, is the true story about Augusto and Michaela Odone, who fought for an ALD cure for their son against all the skeptics and created the only treatment for ALD. Sorry for the sidetrack. It’s a great movie. Hot dry sauna has been demonstrated to cause a large increase in beta-endorphin levels. Beta-endorphins are what give you the runners high. Sauna use has actually been shown to cause a larger release of beta-endorphins than exercise.

Sauna use actually causes you to create extra receptors for endorphins so that anything that makes you feel good in day-to-day life feels better than it would if you didn’t regularly use the sauna.  Here is Rhonda Patrick talking about how sauna use improved her mood and reduced her anxiety

7. Grow More Muscle Without Expensive Risky Supplements.

There are 3 things that cause the sauna benefit of muscle growth.  The first is by the release of Growth Hormone.  Growth hormone is powerful stuff, causing muscle growth, fat burning, bone building, and a host of other positive responses in the human body. Growth hormone is a regulated substance and very expensive. Movie stars, who are paid millions to look good with their shirts off, can afford this stuff. For the rest of us, we have the sauna. That’s okay, because growth hormone from sauna use doesn’t have any of the downsides of injected growth hormone. The growth hormone release is increased if you use the sauna right after exercise

  1. Two  20-minute sauna session at 80°C (176°F) separated by a 30-minute cooling period doubled growth hormone levels .
  2. Two 15-minute sauna sessions at 100°C (212°F)  separated by a 30-minute cooling period resulted in a five-fold increase in growth hormone.
  3. Two one-hour sauna sessions a day at 80°C (176°F) dry heat for seven days was shown to increase growth hormone by 16-fold on the third day

The second reason muscle growth is increased is because Sauna use increases insulin sensitivity. I cover more on insulin sensitivity in the diabetes section of this article. Insulin is an anabolic hormone, and increased insulin sensitivity equates to increased muscle growth, along with a host of other benefits. The third-way sauna use increases muscle growth is by way of causing your body to create heat shock proteins. Heat shock proteins do a lot of impressive things. For muscle growth, they first have an antioxidant effect, cleaning up free radicals. This helps save what might be the body’s most important antioxidant, glutathione. This all means there is less damage to muscle cells. Furthermore, heat shock proteins can repair damaged cells. The body is in a constant state of muscle breakdown and repair. When you improve the breakdown side of the equation, the net result is more muscle growth.

9. Prevent and Treat Colds and Flu

Every year, the web is flooded with folk remedies for preventing the common cold with zero science backing them up. I always get a kick out of the claims, because what’s always offered as proof is the fact that the author used it last year and didn’t get the flu, and that’s proof enough. I am planning on doing an in-depth look at proven cold preventions and cures at a later date. Lucky for us, there are studies showing reduced incidence of colds and flu from sauna use. The study linked below showed 50% less colds at the end of the study. Regular sauna bathing and the incidence of common colds.  this study shows that athletes using the sauna had an immediate  immune system boost by increasing white blood so count

9. Prevent and Treat Colds and Flu

Every year, the web is flooded with folk remedies for preventing the common cold with zero science backing them up. I always get a kick out of the claims, because what’s always offered as proof is the fact that the author used it last year and didn’t get the flu, and that’s proof enough. I am planning on doing an in-depth look at proven cold preventions and cures at a later date. Lucky for us, there are studies showing reduced incidence of colds and flu from sauna use. The study linked below showed 50% less colds at the end of the study. Regular sauna bathing and the incidence of common colds.  this study shows that athletes using the sauna had an immediate  immune system boost by increasing white blood so count

9.  Fight Cancer.

prevent cancer

Cancer cells are more susceptible to hyperthermia than normal healthy cells. As a result, the sauna can directly kill cancer cells because cancer cells are weaker than normal cells. They are more susceptible to damage from heat. The heat shock proteins, mentioned already, have the ability to repair damaged DNA. Obviously, this has implications for preventing cancer. Cancer clinics in Germany and Mexico are using infrared saunas as one of their tools for cancer treatment. Hospitals in the United States are also using hyperthermia treatment for cancer.

​10. Weight Loss

This is one of the most common of the sauna benefits claimed on all the sauna sales pages, basically, claiming you can melt your fat away. The sauna might be able to help speed up your fat loss efforts, but it’s no magic pill. 90 % of successful weight loss is due to your diet. Although you do burn a few more calories in a Sauna than resting on the couch, you’d probably burn about the same calories going for a walk. Perhaps, the biggest help for weight loss comes from the significant increases in growth hormone when Saunas are taken at higher temperatures. Increased circulation to adipose tissue might also be a contributing factor.  BPA has been associated with increased obesity lucky for us sauna use gets BPA out of our system.

​11. Flushes Toxins

Unfortunately, we now live in the world that exposes us to more toxins than ever before.  One of the scariest toxins PCBs has been banned in the USA, since 1979, but that doesn’t mean PCBs are gone from our environment. They were used in transformers and other industrial equipment that are still around today. Once in the environment, Polychlorinated biphenyl still has a half-life of 8-15 years. Some of the toxins, like PCB, once in our bodies, don’t leave on their own. Others, such as BPA, we are constantly exposed to and need to help our body keep them cleared out. The sauna helps to eliminate both kinds of toxins. Below, I have linked to 2 studies, showing how the sauna helped firefighters and police officers exposed to toxins. I talked to a firefighter, once in a sauna, who told me that he always goes for a sauna a day or two after a big fire, and often, black comes off on the towel afterwards from the pores opening up and letting out the trapped soot.  Methamphetamine exposure and chronic illness in police officers: significant improvement with sauna-based detoxification therapy.

​12. Reduce Cholesterol Levels

lower cholesterol

Even though there is much debate about the use of total cholesterol as a predictor of cardiovascular disease, there is no harm, and probably benefit, from reducing LDL, and it may keep your doctor from prescribing a statin drug. Avoiding the potential side effects of statins is a big plus.  In this study  using the sauna was shown to reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels (the bad cholesterol) without reducing HDL (good cholesterol).  In fact, there was a very small rise in HDL

​13. Increased Lung Capacity

improved lung capacity

Improved lung capacity

If you suffer from problems with your breathing, good news for you too.  The sauna can help your breathing, in this study those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were treated with sauna use and their vital lung capacity was increased.

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