Saturday, June 8, 2013

Your Body Knows How Much It Needs: Muscle & Activity Increase, Being Fat Decreases Energy Intake. Argan Oil, A Natty Test Booster (+20%) W/ Melatonin, CoQ10 & More. Pimp Your Workout With Palm Cooling & Heating

It does not always have to be the beach. There are other places to relax and enjoy the summer. And let's be honest anything is better than your computer screen, no?
Alright, we are in for a regular installment of On Short Notice and my figure of the day is 25°C - which goes to tell you that summer is there and I am not about to spend more time than necessary hanging out in front of the computer. A smart move on my part and one I would suggest you simply copy.

And if you have a pre-schooler hanging in front of the computer / TV set next to you, you better make sure you take him / her along with you if you don't want his/her chance of getting fat (beta = 56% for skinfolds) compared to his / her peers with close to zero computer use (Can you imagine that even in 2007 >10% of pre-schoolers were hanging on front of a computer for >1h per day? Mendoza. 2007)

  • Body composition and energy expenditure predict energy and macronutrient intake (Weise. 2013) -- Sounds almost to good (and normal) to be true, but the more you burn, the more you eat...

    "Bikini Body Now!", headlines like this and the unfair suggestion that by following diet X or taking supplement Y you would make it onto the cover of a magazine like that are part of the problem why diets fail, people get discouraged and caught in the diet trap. After all, "5% Calorie Restriction & Longterm Dieting Make You Fat and Insulin Resistant. Plus: Model Predicts Weight Loss Based On Number, Weight Lost & Diet Pill Use On Previous Diets" (read more)
    ... well, at least that appears to the case for the 184 participants (73 F/111 M; age 34.5±8.8y; % body fat 31.6±8.1%) of the study at hand, whose fat free mass index, index (FFMI kg*m2), fat mass index (FMI kg*m2), and 24-h energy expenditure (EE, n=127), the scientists from the Obesity and Diabetes Clinical Research Section at the NIDDK-NIH in Phoenix compared to their ad-libitum food intake using a 3d vending machine paradigm and what they found was this:
    • the more muscle the subjects had, the more they would eat; and this effect was independent of how much fat the participants were carrying around 
    • fat people eat more (on total) and they eat some more protein and significantly more fat
    • people with lower muscle and fat mass ate more of their daily allotment in form of cabohydrates, while those with higher fat mass and lean mass availed themselves of more fat than the rest of the pack
    • 24h-energy expenditure and fat free mass were associated with higher energy intakes than the standard calculation would tell you, while for being fat the opposite was the case

    So what's the significance of this data? I guess that'd be the underlying message that we can in fact - to a certain degree - rely on our bodies' bodyweight self-regulation. With dieting and overeating and the consumption of 50% chemical foods the system is yet unfortunately totally out of whack in many of us.  
  • Argan oil - another natural oil, you may have overlooked so far (Derouiche. 2013; Lopez. 2013) -- You may have heard about Alisa Profumo's secret to beautiful hair, when you listened to yesterday's installment of "Casual Friday" on Super Human Radio, but even if you don't care about hair (or skin; cf. Boucetta. 2013). You may be missing out if you don't use some of the expensive oil that is a staple food in the Moroccan diet, for example.

    Figure 1: The testosterone boosting effect of Argan oil (vs. butter) is not much more pronounced than the one of olive oil, but argan oil gets your testes to produce more T without having to resort to sign. more luteinizing hormone (Derouiche. 2013)
    According to 2013 study by Derouiche et al.  60 young and healthy male volunteers aged between 23 and 40 years old saw increases in testosterone and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels of 19.9% and 18.5% (p < 0.007) after consuming virgin argan oil as their staple fat source after only three weeks. Before the intervention the subjects had been consuming butter to standardize the baseline intake for 2 weeks and were then assigend to either argan or extra virgine olive oil (EVOO). And while the latter produced similar increases in testosterone, the 2x higher increase in LH would suggest that argan oil is the preferable test booster with each addition percent of LH yielding a corresponding increase in testicular testosterone production (higher responsiveness vs. EVOO).

    So what? Ok, obviously there was no effect on body composition in the Derouiche study within three weeks, but in view of the potent antioxidant effects Lopez et. al. ascribe to the CoQ10 and melatonin content and the rest of the antioxidant molecules (tocopherols, polyphenols, etc.; cf. Lopez. 2013), this is one of the cases where you may even expect to see those and general health benefits. 

  • Keep your palms cool (or hot?) to lift longer (Kwon. 2013) - Now, years after the release of the original iPhone the combination of "cool" or "hot" and "palm" is no longer equivocal (I guess, some of you won't even know what a Palm was, right?)... but that's a whole different story. Different from the one at hand at least: PALM COOLING! You will have heard about how it is supposed to have relevant ergogenic effects, but let's be honest, does that sound realistic?

    A recent study from the Department of Kinesiology at the Washburn University in Kansas certainly makes it appear at least more likely that palm cooling could in fact work.
    Figure 2: Effects on muscular activity (left); inter-set volume (reps) and total volume (right; Kwon. 2013)
    What is yet amazing and puts another questionmark behind the recommendation to bring a couple of ice-cubes or a bottle of frozen water to the gym, are the effects of palm heating Robert A. Kwon and his colleagues tested in their 8 female subjects (mean±SD, age = 25±6 yr, height = 160±6 cm, body
    mass = 56±7 kg, 1RM = 52±6 kg, weight training experience = 6±2 yr) who completed 4 sets of 85%  1RM bench press exercise to failure, with 3 min rest intervals, as well. After all,
    "PC repetitions were significantly higher than TN during the 2nd set and PH repetitions were significantly higher than TN during the 4th set. Total exercise volume-load (kg) for both PC (1387±358) and PH (1349±267) were significantly higher than TN (1187±262)."
    So that the actual and unexpected question is not, whether you want to modulate the temperature of your palms, but rather which direction would be best... upwards or downwards?

    Further research is warranted - both in men, as well as with longer (=more realistic workouts) and different exercises. The finding that palm heating can increase strength endurance on the latter sets could even indicate that you got to bring two Thermos bottles, one with ice and another with hot water in your gym bad ;-)

Alright, that's it for this beautiful Saturday. Have a nice weekend everyone and read you ... or is it read me - whatever (!?), just briefly check out the most recent facebook news
  • All teas, green, black, white, ... have some effect on weight gain  (read more). It does yet appear as if those are most pronounced in the sick and obese, where they are a simple result of the health benefits of GTE & co (learn why)
    Organically grown vs. conventional green tea - The organic version has a "significantly higher" anti-oxidant activity (read more)
  • Choline Better than viagra: 1.3g choline per day turn 79-year old man into a sex maniac within 6 weeks (read more)
  • Coffee in the eyes? Not really, but in rodents, caffeine eye-drops protect the eye from UVB radiation (read more)
  • Michael Douglas, Cancer & HPV - Irrespective of whether the rumors about the actor having cancer due to his love for oral sex are true or false, the corresponding study showing that people will now be more willing to vaccinate, is already out there (read more)
and enjoy your day. And don't worry, there will be more from the peculiar terrain, where bro- and pro-science meet, tomorrow.

  • Boucetta KQ, Charrouf Z, Aguenaou H, Derouiche A, Bensouda Y. Does Argan oil have a moisturizing effect on the skin of postmenopausal women? Skin Res Technol. 2013 Mar 26. 
  • Kwon YS, Robergs RA, Mermier CM, Schneider SM, Gurney AB. Palm Cooling And Heating Delays Fatigue During Resistance Exercise In Women. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 May 29. 
  • López LC, Cabrera-Vique C, Venegas C, García-Corzo L, Luna-Sánchez M, Acuña-Castroviejo D, Escames G. Argan oil-contained antioxidants for human mitochondria. Nat Prod Commun. 2013 Jan;8(1):47-50. 
  • Mendoza JA, Zimmerman FJ, Christakis DA. Television viewing, computer use, obesity, and adiposity in US preschool children. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2007 Sep 25;4:44.
  • Weise CM, Hohenadel MG, Krakoff J, Votruba SB. Body Composition and Energy Expenditure Predict Ad-Libitum Food and Macronutrient Intake in Humans. Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 May 23.