Image 1: Looks like the Terminator was concerned about "bone" health, maybe he should consider Tonkgat ali as an addition to his TRT... or whatever regimen;-)
So let's see what we have here: Contrary to the order in the headline we will check out your toenails later, after all, I don't know what they look like and don't want to kill your appetite so that you cannot fully appreciate the findings of Fry et al. who discuss the potential application of an extract from the bark of Sclerochiton ilicifolius A.Meeuse as an all natural sweetener that's probably at least as, if not sweeter than stevia and - you guessed it - 100% calorie free! The same, i.e. being calorie free is obviously true for magnesium aspartate... whatever, in view of its potent protective effects against lipopolysaccharide induced mitochondrial damage and decay, you should not care about that, anyways. And despite the fact that I would hope that the same goes for the minor pro-thrombotic effects of interval training, there may be one or another of the SuppVersity readers who's having issues with platelet activity already and will therefore be relieved to hear that a cup of coffee before your workout will not increase, but rather decrease the risk of thrombosis in response to the post-exercise increase in platelet activity.
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You see, as usual, even doctors can learn something, here at the SuppVersity so let's not put them on the rack for another paragraph or two and start right with our first item for today:
Image 2: Could the bark of these twigs from a spiny-leafed, hardwood shrub from South Africa hold a likewise natural stevia alternative?According to the Fry et al., the compound has a potency above 3000 at 5% sucrose equivalent, which would make it (theoretically) even sweeter than stevia. Since the latter hit the market, we do yet all know how unrealiable these theoretical values are so that we will probably have to wait until the first monatin-based sweeteners become available - and you as a SuppVersity would be the first to know what's in there ;-)If we assume that there are no hitherto undisclosed health issues with monatin and it does in fact taste sweet and not disgusting, metallic or whatever, it is also likely that we are going to see new "proprietary" blends of stevia + monatin, similar to their artificial counterparts you still see in Coke Zero & Co - the quasi "natural" way to get as close as possible to the "true sugar taste", people are still craving, these days... if they don't hurry, I do yet doubt that there will be a market for products like that very long, as we are more or less trained to crave the "real sugar" taste, but this would be the topic for another blogpost ;-) Figure 1: Effect of different doses of pre-supplementation with magnesium aspartate on markers of LPS induced mitochondrial decay, antioxidant activity and oxidative damage (data calculated based on Ahmed. 2012)The ATP:ADP ratio, the activity of the sodium potassium pumps and the creatine phosphate levels (CrPh protects the cell wall from damage as you remember from a previous installment, right?) were not completely restored to, but the pathological changes were minimized dose-dependently. In conjunction with the normalization of the lactate to pyruvate ratio, a sign of either exertional exercise or - if it occurs at rest, as it does here - mitochondrial failure, these observations indicate that Mg therapy could be a reliable protective agent in LPS-induced cardio- and general myotoxicity. In that it should be noted that higher, but not exorbitantly high (250mg is roughly 2/3 of what you should aim to get from our diet everyday, anyway) doses were more effective in reducing cell membrane damage as well as in improving the intracellular acidosis, energy production, oxidative stress and Na+,K+-ATPase activity and corresponded with a better perseverance of the mitochondrial ultrastructure.And while Ahmed sees the main application of Mg aspartate therapy in "critically ill" patients, I would say that the large group of patients (and non-patients) with other pathologies such as a leaky gut would benefit as well, since the defective gut barrier opens the door for the "excrements" of your gut bacteria, to induce all sorts of pathologies including mitochondrial damage and decay, but also depression, obesity, diabetes, etc. (Maes. 2008; Musso. 2010)... and before I forget to mention it is not unlikely that cheap magnesium citrate (if tolerated) would do the job just as well - maybe in a slightly higher dosage of say 300mg per day (best taken in divided doses with food). Image 3: Coffee is full of wonders ;-)Whether this effect is of any importance to you certainly depends on your personal health. Personally, I would say that it is negligible for the vast majority of people who engage in strenuous athletic activities, if you belong to a risk group where platelet function is either high (risk of developing thromboses) or low (risk of bleeding) you may want to keep these results in mind.And if you don't care about platelet function, you may be considering to have another cup of coffee, when I tell you that ~3 cups per day appear to offer some protection against skin cancer, parkinson's and non-alcoholic-fatty-liver disease (click on the links to read the full stories on the SuppVersity Facebook Wall). Image 4: Remember last week's post on the mercury in fish and how it's not simply excreted with the selenium, let alone the cysteine it's bound to? It looks like the toenails of young Americans would confirm those lab results.I know, it may sound gross, but toenails have, among the various biological specimens you could theoretically analyze, the advantage of providing a relatively reliable long-term measure of Hg exposure (from a few months to a year), are easily collected, transported,stored, and cleaned and are relatively sheltered from environmental contaminants and less likely to be contaminated by shampoo, hair treatments, and medication (Morris. 1983, He 2011). Image 5: Who would have thought that your toenails provide a way better measure of the toxic load you have accumulated than your hair, for example? Just looking at them is yet not enough for a thorough analysis
- What's interesting, as well, is that all treatments were equally effective in restoring normal body weight - who knows maybe 15mg/kg/day (HED: 2.4mg/kg; ~170-250mg/day) of Eurycoma longifolia (EL) extract would even make a valuable stand alone (no pun intended ;-) testosterone booster for mild cases of real hypogonadism (not the one where your diet is shitty, your training sucks and it's your "low T" that you believe is to to blame that you make no gains), or an adjunct to HRT that would allow you to use only half the regular dose (this was done in the study at hand) and see similar results!? That it's good for sperm quality and testosterone, when it's administered in ~13x higher dosages in rodents (Chan. 2009) and for sperm health in men (at about the dosage used here; cf. Tambi. 2010) has already been established.And still, the "major gap" of which Bhat et al. postulated that it existed "in [sic!] providing scientific base for commercial utilization and clearance of the Tongkat Ali products with regard to consumer's safety" is still in existence. Moreover, the same could be said about our knowledge with respect to the individual effects of the potentially biologically active component(s) in the plant and respective extracts. Before those issues are not solved, the "extract" you may buy could be anything from uberpotent to simply toxic... although I suspect that it is still most likely that it will simply be ineffective.
- the correlation of low growth hormone levels with NAFLD (= non-alcoholic fatty liver disease),
- a study on how digestion potentates the antimicrobial activity of coconut oil,
- a potential successor to metformin that triples muscular glucose uptake in the absence of insulin
- Ahmed, L.A., Protective effects of magnesium supplementation on metabolic energy derangements in
lipopolysaccharide-induced cardiotoxicity in mice. Eur J Pharmacol. 2012.
- Bhat R, Karim AA. Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack): a review on its ethnobotany and pharmacological importance. Fitoterapia. 2010 Oct;81(7):669-79. Epub 2010 Apr 29.
- Bjorkman L, Lundekvam BF, Laegreid T, Bertelsen BI, Morild I, Lilleng P, Lind B, Palm B, Vahter M. Mercury in human brain, blood, muscle and toenails in relation to exposure: an
autopsy study. Environ Health. 2007; 6:30
- Chan KL, Low BS, Teh CH, Das PK. The effect of Eurycoma longifolia on sperm quality of male rats. Nat Prod Commun. 2009 Oct;4(10):1331-6.
- Fry JC, Yurttas N, Biermann KL, Lindley MG, Goulson MJ. The Sweetness Concentration-Response of R,R-Monatin, a Naturally Occurring High-Potency Sweetener. J Food Sci. 2012 Aug 27.
- He K. Trace elements in nails as biomarkers in clinical research. Eur J Clin Invest. 2011; 41(1):98–102.
- Maes M, Kubera M, Leunis JC. The gut-brain barrier in major depression: intestinal mucosal dysfunction with an increased translocation of LPS from gram negative enterobacteria (leaky gut) plays a role in the inflammatory pathophysiology of depression. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Feb;29(1):117-24.
- Morris JS, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC Dietary selenium in humans: toenails as an indicator. Biol Trace Elem Res. 1983; 5:529–537.
- Ohno T, Sakamoto M, Kurosawa T, Dakeishi M, Iwata T, Murata K. Total mercury levels in hair, toenail, and urine among women free from occupational exposure and their relations to renal tubular function. Environ Res. 2007;103(2):191–1.
- Saadiah Abdul Razak H, Shuid AN, Naina Mohamed I. Combined Effects of Eurycoma
longifolia and Testosterone on Androgen-Deficient Osteoporosis in a Male Rat Model. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:872406. Epub 2012 Aug 9.
- Whittaker JP, Linden MD, Coffey VG. Effect of Aerobic Interval Training and Caffeine on Blood Platelet Function. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Aug 29.
- Xun P, Liu K, Morris JS, Jordan JM, He K. Distributions and determinants of mercury concentrations in toenails among American young adults: the CARDIA Trace Element Study. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2012 Aug 25.