The cost of personal trainer certification programs varies, ranging in price from $400 to $2,000, according to American Fitness Professionals and Associates. Prices fluctuate depending on the organization providing the certification, the certification level, the study materials and support offered, and the price of the certification exam itself. While many programs offer payment plans to help with financing, some may not include the cost of earning a CPR/AED certification, which is required for most programs and can add about $75 to the total cost of certification.
Minton also recommends considering the costs of personal training once one obtains a certification. For instance, self-employed personal trainers may need to rent space in a gym or fitness club to work with clients. Many trainers also invest in liability insurance, which costs an average of $1,735 per year for small businesses. Equipment, such as hand weights, kettlebells, yoga mats, resistance bands or portable speakers for music, can also add to potential costs should a trainer need to purchase equipment for client use.
Lastly, many CPT certifications require trainers to participate in continuing education courses, keep their CPR/AED certification up to date and pay certification renewal fees every few years, all of which can add significantly to the total cost of maintaining their certification. Some continuing education courses can cost several hundred dollars, and recertification fees can exceed $400.
A big component of the sector revolves around fish oil supplements — with many of these products possessing claims related to heart health benefits.
But are these claims backed by science? This is a question that scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center explored in a new analysis report published August 23 on the JAMA Cardiology website.
Their findings stated that the majority of fish oil supplement labels comprise health claims relating to the heart (and other organs) — “despite a lack of trial data showing efficacy.”
Furthermore, they revealed that levels of all-important eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can vary between products.
The researchers looked at data from on-market fish oil (and non-fish omega-3 fatty acid) supplement labels, taken from the National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Label Database.
They reviewed the prevalence of two types of claims concerning cardiovascular disease: qualified health claims and structure/function claims.
Qualified health claims (QHCs) are claims relating to a supplement’s potential to aid in disease treatment or prevention and are made by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) following an evidence review.
The study revealed there are currently two cardiovascular-related qualified health claims for fish oil, one relating to coronary heart disease and the other to blood pressure. For instance, “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumptions of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
On the other hand, the FDA states that a structure/function claim “‘describes the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient intended to affect the structure or function in humans.’’ These claims cannot declare that the supplement prevents, treats, or cures any illness or disease.
Some structure/function examples shared in the paper include “Promotes heart health,” “Supports heart, mind, and mood,” and “Omega-3 fatty acids are important for cardiovascular, immune, and nervous system health.”
Out of 2,819 unique fish oil supplements assessed, 2,082 (73.9%) possessed at least one health claim — most of which were structure/function claims.
Only 399 supplements (19.2%) used a QHC: 394 relating to coronary heart disease, three for blood pressure, and two relating to both.
Of all health claims on fish oil supplements, a significant proportion (62%) related to heart health.
This is problematic, said the researchers, as “Multiple randomized clinical trials have shown no cardiovascular benefit to fish oil supplements.”
Further, they added, the pervasiveness of structure/function claims could lead to misinformation among consumers.
The researchers recognized several limitations to the study:
Experts unrelated to the study highlighted other potential drawbacks.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade group for dietary supplements, issued a statement criticizing the study.
“The report appears to ignore that [structure/function] claims and Qualified Health Claims (QHCs) serve different purposes – one to provide general non-disease specific health information to consumers, and the latter are permitted [by the FDA] to discuss the relationship between a nutrient and disease risk,” said the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) in a statement.
The CRN continued: “While [structure/function] claims may not have the same level of scientific substantiation as qualified health claims, they still require evidence to support their validity and provide consumers with valuable health information.”
Furthermore, they added, “Existing labeling, as the authors point out, carry the appropriate legal disclaimers regarding the limitations of those claims.”
Frustratingly, there’s no definitive answer.
Why? The research evidence is somewhat mixed.
“Fish oil supplements have always been a little controversial, especially for their use in heart health,” said Miranda Galati, MHSc, RD, dietitian and founder of Real Life Nutritionist.
In the new analysis, the researchers highlighted three different randomized trials, none of which found any cardiovascular benefits from taking fish oil supplements.
They did note that several other studies found higher doses of EPA and/or DHA (over 2 g per day) can lead to heart health benefits, including reduced cardiovascular events and lower triglycerides (blood fat) levels. However, higher doses in one study were linked to an increased risk of atrial fibrillation.
But there’s also research to support the use of fish oil supplementation in reducing cardiovascular disease risk.
For instance, a meta-analysis of 13 trials revealed that supplementation of marine omega-3 “lowers risk for myocardial infarction [heart attack], [coronary heart disease] death, total [coronary heart disease,] [cardiovascular disease] death, and total [cardiovascular disease.]” Most trials reviewed involved a daily dose of around 850 mg.
Another meta-analysis found certain marine fatty acids aided in lowering heart rate, while a double-blind, randomized crossover study found fish oil supplements reduced triglyceride levels by around 14%.
Unfortunately, “Nutrition studies are notoriously difficult to conduct in the right way,” said Megan Lyons, certified clinical nutritionist, board-certified holistic nutritionist, and founder of The Lyons’ Share Wellness.
“Humans have so many variables at play: different health conditions, diverse dietary intake, varying movement patterns, and distinct sleep and stress patterns — all contributing to our overall health,” she told Healthline.
Lyons explained that to isolate the very specific benefit or detriment of one nutrient or supplement, study participants would have to be rigorously restricted and controlled for years at a time — which is not possible.
“Therefore, many of these studies…often come down to what researchers are able to control and isolate,” she added.
EPA and DHA are both omega-3 fatty acids. “The most significant difference is their chemical structure because they contain different amounts of carbon atoms and double bonds,” said Allie Echeverria, a registered dietitian and founder of Eaton Broshar.
The research team found “substantial variability” in the amount of daily dose EPA, DHA, and combined EPA and DHA, across 255 different fish oil supplements from leading brands and manufacturers.
They stated that the “significant heterogeneity” in daily dose EPA and DHA can lead “to potential variability in safety and efficacy between supplements.”
The median amount of EPA in the analyzed supplements was 340 mg/d, DHA was 270 mg/d, and EPA and DHA was 600 mg/d.
However, there’s no official recommended daily amount for EPA or DHA, just as “There’s no established upper limit for omega-3 fats,” said Galati.
Typically, “You’ll want to look for a 250 mg dose of combined EPA and DHA per day,” Galati shared with Healthline. “Doses up to 1 g may be recommended for those with heart health concerns.”
Going overboard “can cause gastrointestinal distress, such as gas, belching, and diarrhea,” explained Echeverria. “Fish oil can [also] interact with blood pressure, anticoagulant, and contraceptive medications.”
The amount of fish oil a person requires can vary according to factors such as dietary habits and underlying medical issues. If you’re unsure, speak to a doctor or healthcare professional, such as a dietitian.
EPA and DHA are both believed to contribute to different aspects of health. “EPA is thought to help more with reducing inflammation and pain,” she continued, while “DHA is known to support brain health.”
Essentially, neither is “better” or more important. “Our bodies require a balance of both EPA and DHA,” said Lyons. “Without [this], our body cannot function at its highest level.”
In the U.S., dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way drugs are — but this doesn’t mean they aren’t regulated at all.
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 outlines various standards supplement manufacturers must meet regarding factors such as manufacturing processes, labeling, and ingredients.
If these are not adhered to, the FDA states it “has the authority to take action against any adulterated or misbranded dietary supplement product after it reaches the market.”
Despite this, issues can still arise with supplements, said Lyons. For example, they might contain less of the active ingredient than promoted or “incorporate other additives, fillers, or harmful agents that may be binders, or similar substances not listed on the label.”
Fortunately, consumers can take steps to help them stay safe when buying and consuming supplements.
“I always recommend looking for supplements that have been third-party tested,” stated Galati. “This means a company has taken the extra step to have their formulas tested for accuracy and safety by an unbiased third party.”
A product’s label or website usually states if the supplement has been third-party tested.
You could also consider doing some of your own research, suggested Lyons — such as by “consulting a practitioner who can offer personalized guidance on suitable supplements.”
A new analysis of fish oil supplements states that many on-label claims relating to heart health lack support from clinical trial data.
However, while the analysis highlighted studies finding no benefits to taking fish oil, other research indicates fish oil can aid in supporting various aspects of heart health. More investigations are required before firm conclusions can be drawn.
If you’re considering taking fish oil supplements, Galati said it’s vital to note they “aren’t necessarily harmless for everyone — so always check with your doctor and pharmacist before adding it into your routine.”
Hair loss can wreak havoc on our self-esteem, physical comfort, and overall well-being. To add insult to injury, hair loss and thinning can be caused by a wide variety of factors - many being out of your control. Genetics, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal concerns, and hair growth disorders are just a few things that can lead to hair loss. Additionally, hair loss is a rising concern amongst those who struggle with hair growth after contracting COVID-19. “The phenomenon is believed to be associated with physical and emotional stress related to the illness, as well as potential disruptors to the hair growth cycle,” explains Dr. Michelle Henry, board-certified dermatologist. So, if you’ve had Covid and experienced hair shedding or thinning two to three months later, it’s likely Covid is the culprit.
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With so many people enduring distressed tresses, we tasked our research team with finding the best hair experts and hair growth products to help us get some much-needed answers and remedies to our hair woes. Our team researched 23 companies treating hair loss and interviewed nine medical experts to come up with our top picks for the best products that target hair loss. When making our selections, we paid special attention to cost, product type, and ease of use. Read on to find the best hair growth product to fit your specific needs.
If you're tired of watching your hair thin and shed but overwhelmed by all the available options, we're here to help. We’ve broken down some key factors to consider when finding the best hair growth product for your unique needs.
To find the correct product, you’ll want to get familiar with the type of hair loss you’re up against. Genetics, stress, hormones, diet and Covid are all common causes of hair loss. If you’re not quite sure what type of loss you’re working with, you may want to consult a dermatologist for further clarity.
When considering the type of product you’d like to use, look at your daily routines. Are you someone who only shampoos your hair a few times a week? Then perhaps a supplement would work better than a shampoo for you. Do you have thicker hair that can easily absorb oil without looking greasy? Then be sure to check out the oil and serum treatments we’ve included in our top picks. Do you struggle to remember to take medication? If so, an oral supplement may not be the best for you.
Money is a major factor in considering treatment. Figure out how much you’re comfortable spending monthly on a hair loss formula before making a decision. Plenty of our picks are budget-friendly, so we are confident you’ll be able to find a formula that fits your needs.
You’ll notice we will use gendered language throughout this article due to certain products crafted with a gender-specific solution: for women, you will see 2% to 5% topical Minoxidil solutions, but only 5% for men. When it comes to prescription-only hair loss medications such as Finasteride, Dr. Henry tells AOL, "Finasteride and dutasteride are 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors that are often used in the treatment of male hair loss. Both inhibit the conversion of testosterone to DHT, decreasing 5-alpha-reductase and decreasing the effects DHT has on the hair follicles." She also notes that, "treatment with Finstraride in women should be avoided in those who are pregnant or may become pregnant, because the drug is teratogenic, which means it could affect a male fetus. We use both of these medications in practice." As always, we recommend discussing any new treatments with your healthcare provider before starting.
Do hair growth products really work?
Yes, but the results depend on the condition causing the hair loss and the type of product used. “You have to remember, thinning hair may need medical treatment,” explains Dr. LoGerfo. She continues by emphasizing that you want to tend to your scalp health first to set the best foundation for hair growth.
Another one of our experts, clinical dermatologist and trichologist Dr. Andy Goren echoes the importance of scalp health. Dr. Goren also spoke to AOL about the importance of early detection of hair loss. He explained that most patients only notice hair loss when about 50% of hair has already been lost on a particular area of the scalp. Even with a genetic predisposition, early diagnosis can lead to treating hair loss successfully before it is visible. So, if you notice you’re shedding just a bit more than usual, get checked out by your doctor ASAP. From there, you’re more likely to succeed with your chosen hair growth products.
How long does it take to see results from hair growth products?
This varies based on the product; however, many products we included in our picks offer visible results within two to three months.
Are hair growth products safe for everyone to use?
It is important to remember that some hair growth products have limitations on who can use them. For example, many of the formulas we included on our list are gender-specific. You also don’t want to assume that all products are pregnancy-safe. Be sure to do your due diligence in choosing a product and don’t forget to run it past your doctor to make sure it's safe for you.
While researching 23 different hair loss companies, our team looked for innovative products that were science-backed, affordable, and effective. We paid special attention to products developed by hair care doctors or experts. We rated each product based on effectiveness, affordability, and ease of use. To make sure we were making selections that were medically-sound, we consulted with nine different hair loss experts.
Khadijah Hines struggled with feelings of depression after the birth of her third child.
"There was no sunshine, a lot of dark moments," Hines told ABC News. "My family's from the Caribbean islands and they weren't really understanding ... it felt extremely lonely, like I was in a dark pit and I was just falling, falling deeper and deeper."
She didn't know it at the time, but Hines was among an estimated 15% of mothers who experience postpartum depression, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all pediatricians screen birth mothers for postpartum depression.
One OB-GYN interviewed by ABC News said not enough women know about the condition to ask for a diagnosis.
But doctors and patient advocates are hopeful that could change with a new pill approved specifically for postpartum depression. The pill, called Zurzuvae, is taken daily for two weeks, and studies found that some women saw improvements in their mood in as little as three days.
Zurzuvae was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this month.
"I think that this is a great change to what we've seen in the past as far as medical management and what we've been able to offer because of the quick onset," Dr. Jessica Shepherd, a board-certified OB-GYN and chief medical officer at Verywell Health, told ABC News.
Hines told ABC that if Zurzuvae had been available when she was struggling with PPD, she would have tried it.
Fortunately, Hines was connected to the Postpartum Resource Center of New York, where she said received education on postpartum depression, therapy, and support she needed to navigate her diagnosis.
For many new moms, postpartum depression can be a debilitating illness. Symptoms include intense sadness, anger, anxiety, panic attacks and more, which can coalesce into inability to care for oneself and one's baby.
Postpartum depression can even lead to mothers harming themselves and their babies.
Experts say many mothers experience this alone, without help.
The new pill won't be available until at least October, according to a spokesperson for the manufacturer, Sage Therapeutics -- and it's not a panacea, with studies showing it helped most, but not all, new mothers.
Meanwhile, experts caution long-term effects and safety while breastfeeding have not yet been studied, meaning parents and doctors will need to balance potential benefits and risks.
Still, the daily pill is considered a much more practical treatment option for new mothers compared to the sole prior medical therapy, Zulresso, an IV infusion that is continuously administered over several days. Doctors are hopeful that the accurate FDA approval will raise awareness of postpartum depression, breaking down the stigma of maternal mental health.
A 2018 CDC survey of more than 32,000 mothers across the United States found that 1 in 8 women experience postpartum depressive symptoms, yet they are not all diagnosed. Without diagnosis, many women are likely not offered proven, effective treatments for PPD.
Diagnosis of a medical condition usually happens in one of two ways: either the health care provider screens for the disease or a person asks their provider for help regarding specific symptoms. The same study found that the same number of women, 1 in 8, were not screened for PPD in their postpartum visit.
"In [obstetrics], we don't really typically see our patients for four to six weeks after delivery. A lot can develop in that time," Shepherd said. "So, I think that there are other ways we can intervene with catching these signs earlier, from a health care perspective."
The AAP recognizes that one place for improvement would be to screen for postpartum depression at the pediatrician's office. According to the AAP, a healthy baby should see the pediatrician seven times in their first year of life, with two of those visits in the first four weeks.
While women usually see their OB-GYNs four to six weeks after delivery, most women will likely have had the opportunity to see their pediatrician twice prior to ever seeing their own health care providers.
While Hines says she was able to overcome her PPD with a vigorous "mind, body, and soul" approach, utilizing intensive therapy and social support, she is hopeful that Zurzuvae will become "another tool that we can use with all the other things to help us take better care of our mental health."
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal, substance use or other mental health crises, please call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. You will reach a trained crisis counselor for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also go to 988lifeline.org.
Dr. Neha Gupta, an emergency medicine resident physician, is a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.
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For most men, going bald (either partially or completely) has long been an inescapable part of the aging process. It's so ubiquitous that by the age of 35, approximately 66 percent of men will have experienced some degree of hair loss. Unfortunately, this common problem doesn't have a simple solution. While there are a few FDA-approved topical treatments and oral medications, recently people on TikTok are claiming that using rosemary oil for hair growth is just as effective as over-the-counter drugs.
Dubbed by some as "nature's Rogaine," people have been using rosemary oil as a natural hair loss treatment for centuries, but the remedy has only recently started to go viral on TikTok. Beyond the convincing before and afters, there is some even stronger evidence to suggest that rosemary oil is the miracle hair loss solution that some people claim it to be: one study has shown that rosemary oil was just as effective a minoxidil at treating androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness).
So, does it really work? Is rosemary oil the Rogaine dupe the world has been waiting for, or is it just another overhyped fad? We tapped board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kseniya Kobets to find out the truth about using rosemary oil for hair growth.
According to Dr. Kobets, there is some evidence in the literature to suggest that rosemary oil can help hair growth by stimulating hair follicles with cytokines and growth factors.
Hair loss can't be blamed on a single condition or problem. Although genetic hair loss is the primary cause, how and when your hair falls out is largely circumstantial. Treating hair loss is similar in that the best solutions tackle the problem from multiple vantage points. Rosemary oil provides multiple benefits that can help with hair growth in a few different ways. It has antimicrobial properties, which also helps in dandruff by decreasing the yeast overgrowth. A 2015 study compared rosemary oil to minoxidil, with both having similar results but there was less itching with rosemary oil. There is also some evidence that rosemary oil can help increase blood supply in the scalp, which plays an important role in stimulating hair follicles and encouraging hair growth.
Rosemary oil is typically available in essential oil form, which are highly concentrated natural extracts taken from the leaves, flowers and the stems of the rosemary plant. In this concentrated form, rosemary oil is said to have anti-inflammatory, circulation-improving, and hormone-balancing properties—all of which can contribute to hair growth.
"One possible mechanism of action that rosemary oil can help with hair loss is in androgenetic alopecia since it has claims in blocking damaging hormones in the scalp," says Dr. Kobets.
She goes on to explain that rosemary oil contains caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, camphor, and 12-methoxycarnosic acid which deliver it antioxidant, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit the skin and scalp, which can overall help hair health.
Rosemary oil is thought to improve blood circulation, which plays a major role in preventing hair loss. When hair follicles are starved of blood supply, they die off, leading to patchy and uneven hair loss.
Because rosemary essential oil is highly concentrated, it's important to use it with caution if you plan to use it on its own. Add a few drops into the palm of your hand and mix with a carrier oil like jojoba, rosehip, or coconut oil. You can also add a few drops to your shampoo. "Men can use rosemary oils at the base of the roots, one to three times per week or less often if the hair is already oily," says Dr. Kobets. If you have a naturally dry scalp, you may actually like using rosemary oil more frequently, as it may reduce dryness and dandruff when used regularly. On the other side of the coin, men with a more oily scalp may only be able to tolerate it once a week. Pay attention to how your hair reacts to dictate your schedule for using rosemary oil for hair growth.
It's best to apply your rosemary oil mixture to a dry scalp and let it sit for a few minutes before continuing with your hair washing routine. "Since oil is lipophilic, theoretically applying oil on wet hair would probably affect absorption, as water may repel oils away," says Dr. Kobets.
Rosemary oil can weigh your hair down and make hair appear oily if not properly washed out, so make sure you deliver your hair a good rinse after applying your rosemary oil treatment.
Even the most effective hair loss solutions still take time to see results. "There are no great studies to know exactly how long it takes improvement, but usually it will probably take 4-6 weeks to help with hydrating the scalp, and about three months to see results, as it takes time to have hair grow out," says Dr. Kobets. Stick with a regular routine of using rosemary oil for hair growth if you want to see results. It helps to take pictures each week to monitor your progress and encourage you to keep going.
While you can certainly play mixologist and concoct your own rosemary oil for hair growth potion, there are a ton of products you can get off the shelf that include the ingredient. Look for rosemary oil that's already mixed with other beneficial oils. "I would recommend using oils that are specially formulated for the scalp and make sure there are no strong fragrances in the mix," says Dr. Kobets. "There are also some mixed in carrier oils that could be helpful to hydrate the scalp (like coconut oil) or, on the other hand, can be more irritating, like sandalwood, clover and menthol oils like peppermint oil."
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