Showing posts from March, 2011

An Old Dog Learns New Tricks: "Fatloss Fat" Tetradecylthioacetic Acid (TTA) Cardioprotective in Diabetic Rats

Do you remember the acronym TTA? Tetradecylthioacetic Acid ? No. Well, I guess then you were not into fat burners in the early 2000s. TTA , a thia-fatty acid, was all the rage back in the day: Supplement producers claimed it would literally melt fat away and it actually turned out that some users had outstanding results megadosing respective supplements. Others, however, got bloated and/or started cramping . In view of these nasty side effects, most companies decided to reformulate their products and - with the exception of a few so-called "non-thermogenic" fat burners - TTA has almost disappeared from the market. An international team of scientists from Norway and Canada ( Khalid. 2011 ) has now discovered that the artificial fatty acid tetradecylthioacetic acid, which was originally intended as a drug for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome, might have the potential to protect type II diabetics from heart attacks. In a previous study ( Hafstad. 2009 ) the scientist

More on Putting Carbs to Good Use: Scott Connelly's BodyRX Show - Tune in Live at 12:00pm PDT

Who listened to my interview on Super Human Radio, yesterday, may have heard my advice to tune in to today's BodyRX Show with Dr. Scott Connelly, Vince Andrich, Layne Norton, Patrick Arnold and (this is new) me, ProfDrAndro, being the brains behind a completely overhauled show concept, I promise you won't be disappointed. BodyRx Radio Show #017 Tune in Live @ 12pm PDT Here is a short glimpse onto what is waiting for you: On our last BodyRx Radio show (#016) we learned that by reducing carb intake from levels at the top of the food pyramid (>60% of energy) to a modest 35-40% of energy, you can effectively “teach” your body to preferentially store the carbs you eat into muscle cells and NOT your fat cells [cf. Effect of Macronutrient Composition ]. But, when does reducing carb intake negatively impact your performance in the gym, where the work to build muscle takes place? More importantly, does that number change if you alter your training program? We take this a

ProfDrAndro @ Super Human Radio: Set to Be Obese? Of Set & Settle Points on Your Way to a Super Human Physique

Just in case you got nothing else to do: Tune in live and listen to some more (probably Carl) or less (probably me ;-) intelligent Supp-Talk on Carl Lenore's Super Human Radio ! Topic: Set & settle points and how contemporary science may contribute & explain your personal weight loss success Update: available for Download now Listen live @ 9:00AM AM/12:00PM ET

Putting Carbs to Good Use: Meta-Review Reports Ergogenic Effect of Carbohydrates in Endurance Athletes

One of the leitmotifs, many of my posts here at the SuppVersity share, is the idea that (almost) everything works for someone. From the feedback I am receiving, from the crowd this blog is attracting, I gather that my general advice against high carbohydrate intake is (as human as that may be) often misinterpreted as "carbs are evil, beware of all carbs"! For the average pizza eating fast-food junkie, this certainly is an adequate message, because even if he believes that carbs are the root of all disease, without a MAJOR change in his dietary habits (I am not talking of ordering the normal, instead of the super size menu at McDonalds, here) he will probably still get way more carbs out of his diet than it would fit his sedentary lifestyle. If, however you are an athlete or avid gym-goer you may probably already start to notice that following what you took to be a one-solution-fits-it-all recommendation lead to performance decreases, laziness, brainfog, lack of sexual desi

Epidemiological Study Shows Correlation Between Anti-Oxidant Intake and C-Reactive Protein & Homocystein

After a sudden onset of discussions around the beneficial or even detrimental effects of vitamin supplements in general and antioxidants in particular in the mid to late 2000s, vitamins and, even more, other anti-oxidants have been put back on the map, lately. A recent epidemiological study from the University of Connecticut ( Floegel. 2011 ) provides further evidence for the hypothesis that, after all, consumption of adequate amounts of vitamins C and E , beta carotene , flavonoids and selenium would be beneficial to your overall health Intakes of vitamins C and E and carotene were inversely associated with the probability of having serum CRP concentrations >3 mg/l in multivariate logistic regression models. Flavonoid and Se intakes were not associated with the odds of elevated serum CRP concentrations. The mean plasma Hcy concentration was 8·61 (95 % CI 8·48, 8·74) μmol/l. Intakes of vitamins C, E, carotenes and Se were inversely associated with the odds of plasma H

Now Its Official: Propecia Drug Finasteride Kills Male Libido Permanently

Image 1: Chemical structure of finasteride Other than the FDA some European medicine and health care agencies, such as the Swedish Medical Products Agency and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom already had the guts to declare in their patient informations that " persistence of erectile dysfunction after discontinuation of treatment with Propecia has been reported in post-marketing use. " While this was obviously no reason for the all-mighty FDA to correct or re-evaluate their own documents, two it did intrigue Michael S. Irwig and Swapna Kolukula, two US scientists from Washington and Baltimore, respectively. In their study ( Irwig. 2011 ), the scientists conducted standardized interviews with 71 otherwise healthy men (age: 21–46y), who experienced permanent (>3 months) sexual side effects after temporary use of Finasteride. Their reports are staggering: 94% developed low libido , 92% developed erectile dysfunction , 92% d

Fat or Fire, What Comes First? Scientists Answer: Obesity Alone Triggers Inflammatory Signaling in Mice

The metabolic syndrome, i.e. the combination of obesity, inflammation and insulin resistance, is at the center of contemporary medical research. In my appearance on Carl Lenore's Super Human Radio , I already mentioned that from a logical perspective the mainstream belief, inflammation was the root of all evil, must be flawed. How should the reaction to a problem be the cause of the very problem itself? A recent study coming from a group of Korean scientists strengthens my conviction that out of the triad that not inflammation, but rather obesity or - one step further up in the genesis of the pathology - the combination of an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle is at the heart of the triad we now call the "metabolic syndrome". Kim et al. investigated the pro-inflammatory signaling cascade in either diet-induced (DIO) or leptin gene deficient (ob/ob) obese mice and found that obesity alone ... [...] up-regulated the expression of TLR1–9 and TLR11–13 in murine adip

Effects of Macronutrient Composition on Metabolic Signaling: Higher Protein Diet Favors Glycogen Storage in Muscle Over Adipose Tissue

Those of you who have already listened to the latest, revamped (and improved) episode of Dr Scott Connelly's BodyRx Show will already have heard of Suzanne Devkota's and Donald K Layman's study ( Devkota. 2011 ) on the effects of different meal compositions on the postprandial glucose disposal. For the rest of you who have missed the episode and those of you who like their info white-on-black, here are the main results... For 10 days, Devkota and Layman fed 60 rats a diet containing either 60% of energy from carbohydrates, 12% protein, 28% fat (CHO) or 35% carbohydrate, 35% protein, 30% fat (PRO) and evaluated plasma levels of insulin, glucose and C-peptide , as well as muscle and adipose tissue Akt, p70S6K and Erk 1/2 (markers of glucose and protein metabolism and cellular growth, respectively). The graphs in figure 1 illustrate their most significant finding quite nicely. Other than in the case of the protein-fed rats, blood glucose is preferentially stored in

Got a Pot Belly? Stubborn Belly Fat? Unhandy Love Handles? Massage Them Away!

"Massage away your pot belly!" Sounds hillarious, doesn't it. Well, a small study ( Rahimi. 2011 ) coming from scientists from the University of Mashhad in Iran suggests that massaging your love handles could actually facilitate localized fatloss. In their study, Rahimi and Javahery put 16 healthy - I quote - "non-sportsperson male students"  ;-), aged 20-27y on a 5x a week massage regimen (15-20 min) that had, if not outstanding, then at least statistically significant results: The results of correlated t test show that the mean values of skin fold fat of the stomach are of the participants before and after the massage program was 36.81 and 36.12 respectively, which shows a significant decrease after 30 sessions of massage (p=0.036). - 2% skin fold: You are not impressed? Well, me neither. Although the increased blood flow to the subcutaneous fat pads may, as the scientists speculate, have a beneficial effect on local fat mobilization, I would suggest you be

NAC + Zinc + Selen = Silver Bullett Against Mercury Poisoning

Mercury certainly is among the most dangerous and, at the same time, most ubiquitous heavy metals, we are exposed to. In a recent article (thanks to Dominique for raising my awareness of its publication) strength coach Charles Poliquin references a 2010 study from Michigan State ( Wirth. 2010 ) : Looking at several well-designed studies, they determined that even low exposures from cadmium, lead and mercury had an impact on semen quality and reproductive hormone levels in men. As far as solutions to this problem are concerned, Polliquin refers somewhat dubiously to "a specific herbal combination" of "andrographis paniculata, zinc citrate, humulus lupulus, and curcuma longa" without providing scientific evidence for why he thinks this specific formula would work (guess what, Charles sells it ;-). Chances would have it, though, that Joshi et al., in a very recent study ( Joshi. 2011 , still ahead of print) report the beneficial effects of another, from my perspe

Protein's Effects on Gene Expression: Higher Protein Lower Carbohydrate Diet Spares Gylcogen, Lowers Insulin and Reduces Lipogenesis

High protein diets have become the "gold standard" within the fitness community. On the countless bodybuilding, fitness and weight loss related bulletin boards on the Internet, athletes, gymrats and even overweight house-wives report outstanding benefits of a higher than normal protein intake on weight gain and/or fat loss. French scientists ( Stepien. 2011 ) have now taken a closer look at the mechanism behind these success stories and found a strong (epi)genetic component (for an introduction to epigenetics, I recommend listening to Dr Rouse's interview series on Carl Lenore's Super Human Radio).  Figure 1: Effect of high protein diet on genes regulating lipogenesis [lipo = fat; genesis = production] in the liver ( Stepien. 2011 ) Stepien et al. fed 80 male winstar rats either a normal or a high protein (50% protein) diet for 1,3,6 or 14 days and evaluated the mRNA levels [indicators of how active these genes are] of genes "involved in carbohydrate and

Muscle Building Takes Time. Less in Newbies, Though: 9.6% More Muscle in 8 Weeks

"Patience is a virtue!" Many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts have to learn this the hard way - even on drugs, muscles won't grow (hypertrophy) within days and visible gains in lean muscle mass will take years or month. Although the results of a recent study ( DeFreitas. 2011 ) done by scientists from the University of Oklahoma won't help to overcome the delay between training induced muscle stimulus and physiological hypertrophy response, the observations of DeFraitas et al. are nevertheless interesting. By the means of weekly testing the scientists wanted to determine the "precise time course of skeletal muscle hypertrophy" in response to 8 weeks on a specifically designed high intensity resistance training program in 25 healthy, sedentary men. The measured outcomes were whole muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) of the dominant thigh (via computer tomography) and isometric maximum voluntary contractions (MVC).  After only two training sessions (

Supplemental (!) Coconut Diet Reduces Waist Circumference in Men more Than in Women While Leaving Lipid Profiles Unchanged

I take the recent New York Times Article on coconut oil as clear evidence of the fact that the health benefit of tropical oils is getting more and more public attention. Studies that establish the many anecdotal reports you can find all over the Internet may even speed up this process and thus I am happy to report the findings of a Malasian study ( Liau. 2011 ) that clearly underlines that the "bad" saturated fat cannot be so "bad" after all. The scientists had a group of 20 healthy, but obese Malay volunteers consume an additional 30 mL of coconut oil (approx 2 tablespoons) per day taken in three divided doses, half an hour before each meal (as far as digestive side effects are concerned, this was the best tolerated dose as assessed before the actual study) and found... that only waist circumference [WC] was significantly reduced after one month of VCO with a mean reduction of 2.87 +/-4.95 cm . The high standard deviation of this data may well be attributed

Energy Restriction + Whey = Dieting Success, BUT the Magic is not in the Alpha-Lactalbumin

Ever since the first studies showed the beneficial effect of dairy in general and whey in particular on weight loss induced by caloric restriction, scientists have been arguing for alpha-lactalbumin being the key, or at least one of the key factors that contribute to the anti-obesity effects of milk products. A group of scientists from Finland ( Shi. 2011 ) did now investigate the exact contribution of alpha-lactalbumin to the dairy / whey induced anti-obesity effects. For 50 days Shi et al. fed mice on one out of three isocaloric, energy restricted diets containing either casein (calcium 0.8%) or two different high-calcium (1.8%) whey protein -based (α-lac + Ca and AA + Ca) amino acid mixes , which differed only in the amount of a-lactalbumin they contained. The results contradict the hypothesis that alpha-lactalbumin is the/a major driving force behind dairy induced weight loss outcomes: The mice on α-lac and AA lost significantly more weight and body fat than mice on casein

Chrysine: 5,7-dihydroxyflavone for Bigger Balls and Higher Serum Testosterone

Polyphenols in general and flavonoids in particular are every supplement producer's favorite. Its so easy to pick up some exotic plant from somewhere deep down in the jungle, extract an exotic flavonoid, give it a fancy chemical looking name and provide some in-vitro data on his anti-oxidant omnipotence or whatever. In most cases the compounds disappear from the market within weeks, yet chrysine which is extracted from the Common Passion Flower, has been around for years. A recent study ( Ciftcy. 2011 ) by Ciftci et al. provides further evidence that its market persistence may not be without a reason. Over the time course of the scientists fed a group of lab rats 50 mg/kg chrysin (human equivalent ~8mg/kg) or placebo for 60 days and found: that chrysin significantly increased GSH, CAT, GSH-Px and CuZn-SOD levels , but did not change the formation of TBARS significantly. In addition, sperm motility, sperm concentration and serum testosterone levels significantly increased ,

ALA + Vitamin E Make Up for Fructose Induced Cardiovascular and Metabolic Changes

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and vitamin E are among the most investigated and best-known natural antioxidants. And, despite the fact that scientists came to realize, that both, ALA as well as alpha-tocopherol, are far from being the saviors of the metabolically deranged, they were once hailed as, a recent study from the University of Queensland ( Patel. 2011 ) demonstrates their therapeutic potential in an animal model that (unfortunately) is not far from the high fructose corn syrup fed morbidly obese man/woman in a western(-ized) society. Patel et al. found that supplementation with vitamin E (either α-tocopherol or tocotrienol-rich fraction , 0.84 g/kg food) and α-lipoic acid (1.6 g/kg food) could prevent (high fructose diet + Vit E + ALA ) and even reverse ( Vit E + ALA after high fructose diet for 8 weeks; reversal protocol) "glucose intolerance, hypertension, and increased collagen deposition in the heart together with an increased ventricular stiffness" in rats fe

8 Weeks of 5mg/kg Zinc-Sulfate Fire Up Immune System of Turkish Wrestlers

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that I am generally opposed to mega-dose supplementation with isolated nutrients and so I do not really know what to make of the results of a recent investigation ( Kara. 2011 ) into the effects of 5mg/kg bodyweight zinc -sulfate on cytokine response in 15–17 year-old male subjects. At the beginning of the study, there were no significant differences of the measured parameters between the four study groups. At the end of the study, the levels of TNF-α, IL-2, and IFN-γ were significantly higher in the two zinc-supplemented groups compared to those that did not receive supplementation, regardless of the activity status ( p  < 0.01). Most interestingly, mega-dose (I do not really get, why the authors call 350mg zinc , which would be the dose for a 70kg subject still "physiological") zinc-sulfate supplementation elevated TNF-alpha, IL-2 and IFN-Gamma by >90% regardless of whethe

Energy Drinks Increase Resting Metabolic Rate, But Do Not Influence Energy Expenditure During Exercise

Ever wondered, whether the drink that was once rumored to contain "taurine from bull sperm" and similar fashionable "energy drinks" are of any use? Well, a recent study ( Nienhuesser. 2011 ) coming from an international team of scientists showed that the consumption of each and every of the three energy drinks used in this study lead to a statistically significant increase in resting metabolic rate (RMR). [...] in a randomly assigned cross-over design, the subjects consumed 473 ml of one of three commercially available energy drinks or a placebo and then RMR and RER [respiratory exchange ratio; i.e. a measure of the relative amount of fat/carbs that is used as fuel] were measured 1 hour later.  The subjects then engaged in 15 minutes of treadmill exercise at 50% of V02max, during which RER and oxygen consumption (VO2) were measured. RMR was not changed by placebo, but increased (P<0.05, means ± se) above baseline by 10 ± 2.5%, 15.0 ± 2.9%, and 15.3 ± 2.9%

Gadgetry & Caffeine a Dynamic Duo for Sleep Deprivation and, Consequently, Obesity in School-Aged Children

Ever wondered what your children do, when you send them to bed in the evening? According to the results of a study from the Department of Family and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, they probably drink Coke and watch TV or play video-games. Does not sound too bad? Well, Calamaro et al. found that children who drank caffeinated beverages had 15 fewer minutes of sleep per night than did children who did not drink such beverages ( b = –0.27, P = .002). Children with three technology items in their bedroom received 45 fewer minutes of sleep than did children without these items in their bedroom ( b = –0.75, P = .010). Still not impressed? What if I told you that these kids missed out on 15 to 60 minutes of what - to my mind - is the most healthiest, most anabolic and most lipolytic time of the day (sleep), and that the study provides evidence for the hypothesis that the immediate consequence of caffeine induced sleep deprivation is obesity? If you

Arginine + Glycine a Synergistic Duo for Gut Health

Lately, "gut health" has become a topic of interest way beyond colonics and irritable bowel syndrome. Scientists begin to understand more and more how important an intact intestinal system is for nutrient absorption, infection defense and general health. The results of a very recent study published in the Journal of Colerectal Disease ( Picano. 2011 ) are thus relevant for all of us. In an experiment with rats Picano et al. found that a combination therapy of l-arginine and glycine inhibited irradiation induced damage to the colon walls of the animals: Stereologic analysis showed that irradiation induced a reduction of the total volume of the colon wall of group II and III animals compared to healthy controls, but not of group IV animals supplemented with glycine. The mucosal layer of the irradiated animals of all groups was reduced compared to healthy group I animals, but supplementation with L-arginine and glycine was effective in maintaining the epithelial surface of

Caramel Coloring, E150D, or Coca Cola Brown: Not So Carcinogenic as Some People Would Have It

You probably have read it in the NEWS: "Caramel Coloring in Cola carcinogenic!" Well, after yesterday's post on aspartame , I thought it might be advisable to have a closer look at this one, as well. After all, it suddenly appeared more likely that the sulfite ammonia caramel in your diet coke would kill you than the overly dreaded artificial sweetener aspartame. Although almost none of the webpages, which covered the carcinogenicity of caramel coloring cites the original source of this information, it is yet not difficult to find the respective study ( Moon. 2001 ) on PubMed. It was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry and contains the following small table with data about the amount of 4(5)-Methylimidazole (a byproduct of the production process) in five commercially available cola softdrinks: cola soft-drink     amount (μg/mL)         in one bottle (μg/591 mL) brand 1 0.36±0.02 212.76 brand 2 0.32±0.01 189.12 brand 3 0.30±0.01 177.30 bra

Carbohydrate Restriction Reduces Liver Triglycerides More Effectively Than Calorie Restriction - With Equal Weight Loss Outcomes.

A calorie is not a calorie, I hope you knew that even before Garry Taubes published his famous NY Times best-seller. Yet, in case you are still looking for respective studies to show to medially indoctrinated family members or friends, who still believe that - even if fat is not the enemy - half ratios would be the key to health & longevity, you might be interested in the results of a very recent investigation by Browning et al. ( Browning. 2011 ). The scientists put a group 18 non-alcoholic-fatty-liver patients on either a carbohydrate-restricted (<20g/day) or a calorie restricted (1200-1500kcal/day) diet - just to make sure you get this right: the carb-restricted group ate as much calories as they wanted! - and measured hepatic triglyceride levels before and after the 2 week dietary intervention. Probably to the surprise of many members of the medical orthodoxy, both groups lost about the same amount of weight ( in fact the low-carb group lost -4.6kg, while the low-calor

Diet Coke & Liver Damage? Long Term Very High Dose Aspartame Consumption Impairs Antioxidant Defense of Rat Livers.

The ever-growing group of health conscious costumers is rightly very skeptical of artificial sweeteners in general and Aspartame in particular. A recent study ( Abhilash. 2011 ) done by scientists from the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, Kerala, India, seems to rectify this attitude. The scientists fed rats drinking water that contained either no, i.e. 0mg, 500mg or 1.000mg aspartame per kg body weight day for a period of 160days. The rats from the 1.000mg/kg group showed... [...] a significant increase in activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and γ- glutamyl transferase (GGT). The concentration of reduced glutathione (GSH) and the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR) were significantly reduced in the liver of rats that had received aspartame (1000mg/kg.b.wt). The presence of "leukocyte infiltration in aspartame-treated rats (1000mg/kg.b.wt)" further unde

Review of Intervention Studies Shows: Weight Loss Success Independent of Meal Frequency

"Eat 3 large meals à day!", "Eat smaller meals every 2 hours!", "Eat a single meal and fast the rest of the day!" If you have been trying to find information on how to lose weight effectively, you probably heard all these "expert" advises. What if I told you that a recent review of 25 weight loss interventions shows that it simply does not matter ! In an extensive review of the literature, Palmer et al. ( Palmer. 2011 ) conclude: Manipulating the EF [eating frequency] of a client seeking weight management is unlikely to provide any additional benefits to weight, body composition or health. The theoretical benefits of manipulating EF may not be sustained in the real life clinical setting as a change to EF may be difficult to maintain over the longer term . Current evidence does not support many of the theories that encourage manipulating EF for weight management. Focus needs to be placed on dietary weight management strategies that ar

Want to Burn More Fat During Your Cardio Training? Eat Low Carb Before Workout!

Modulation of substrate utilization is the key to effective weight loss. For years we have been told that "training in the zone" (referring to a specific heart rate) would do the trick - recent research does yet suggest otherwise: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been shown to be at least as effective in burning off unwanted body fat, as the longstanding "gold standard", Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) in the "fat burning zone". Researchers from the Department of Exercise Science and Sports Studies at Springfield College, Springfield, MA, USA, have now found that apart from the type of exercise you chose to perform, the nutrition, especially in the hours before working out, determines whether you will predominantly burn fat or carbs to sustain the workout. In their study ( Gregory. 2011 ), Gregory et al. compared the metabolic responses of a group of 8 "active, pre-menopausal" women to a 30 minute exercise regimen performed afte

More Conflicting Evidence on Leucine Metabolite: HMB Makes Volleyballers Stronger.

The leucine metabolite HMB, i.e. β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyric acid , is unquestionable the comeback kid of the supplement industry. "It works!", "It's useless!", ... every now and then a new study supports one side of the debate. A group of international scientists does now present a study, which would support the use of the expensive, yet readily available amino acid. Portal et al. ( Portal. 2011 ) investigated the effect of 3g HMB/day "on body composition , muscle strength , anaerobic and aerobic capacity , anabolic/catabolic hormones and inflammatory mediators in elite, national team level adolescent volleyball players (13.5–18 years, 14 males, 14 females, Tanner stage 4–5) during the first 7 weeks of the training season". The results were unequivocal, yet not overtly impressive: HMB led to a significant greater increase in FFM by skinfold thickness (56.4 ± 10.2 to 56.3 ± 8.6 vs. 59.3 ±  11.3 to 61.6 ± 11.3 kg in the control and HMB group, respec

Low Dose Caffeine Ameliorates Catabolic Effects and Increases AMPK and PPAR Expression During Reduced Food Intake in Mice

Caffeine , "the mother of all stimulants", has lately developed a bad reputation. Stress, Cortisol, Adrenal Fatique, Insulin Resistance etc. are only the most recognized buzzwords occurring within the context of caffeine consumption. A very recent paper ( Shermann. 2011 ) coming from scientists from the University of Jerusalem draws a wholly different picture. Shermann et al. investigated the effect of caffeine consumption ( 3.5 mg/kg/day or 7 mg/kg/day ) on circadian rhythms and expression of disease and metabolic markers in mice under two distinct dietary conditions over a period of sixteen weeks. When the rats were fed an ad libitum diet (meaning they could consume as much food as they wanted), ... caffeine reduced the average daily mRNA levels of certain disease and inflammatory markers , such as liver alpha fetoprotein ( Afp ), C-reactive protein ( Crp ), jejunum alanine aminotransferase ( Alt ), growth arrest and DNA damage 45β ( Gadd45β ), Interleukin 1α ( Il-1α ),

Omega 3 Attenuates Exercise Induced Rise in Inflammatory Markers, BUT is This Necessarily a Good Thing?

I want to take the results of a recent study ( Bakhtyar. 2011 ) published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine as an opportunity to readdress the question of whether or not the Omega 3 induced suppression of inflammation must be considered a good or a bad thing, both in view of athletic performance, as well from a health and longevity perspective. Those of you, who listened to my interview on Carl Lenore's Super Human Radio show , will know that my understanding of "inflammation" is somewhat different from the mass market "explanation" of "a fire that causes damage". To be precise inflammation, or what scientists generally measure, is the release of signals (inflammatory markers) that tell immune cells to do their jobs. So, saying that inflammation is the root of all disease would be like saying that someone who calls the firefighters is to blame for the fire - but I am digressing from the topic at hand... After administering 1.5g/day of an om

Flavanol-Rich Lychee Fruit Extract Displays Potent Antioxidant Activity in Trained Long-Distance Runners

If I told you about each and every "new" antioxidant that produced some marvelous effects in the petri-dishes of some scientists somewhere on a random university campus, there would hardly be any space left for interesting information on this blog. In the case of the particular lychee fruit extract (FRLFE), Nishizawa et al. ( Nishizawa. 2011 ) selected for their study, we do not only have a human study, but also direct information on how supplementation with 50mg of Oligonol (brand name of the extract) influenced inflammatory markers and performance of 20 university level marathon runners over the course of 2 months: Some parameters, including the white blood cell count, were significantly modified by FRLFE supplementation [46.3 FRLFE vs. 57.6 control]. Compared with the placebo group, the change in the serum interleukin-6 level between pre- and mid-training were significantly lower in the FRLFE group, while the change in the transforming growth factor-β level between pr

Heart Protective Effect of Red Wine not Exclusively Due to Resveratrol. Melatonin Potentially the Major Player!

Resveratrol, the red wine polephynol still is in everyone's mouth (literally, as well as metaphorically), yet a recent ( Lamont. 2011 ) study published in the Journal of Pineal Research indicates that another hitherto overlooked constituent of the fermented grape juice factors into its protective value: Melatonin. Lamont et al. found that, at the doses which can be found in red wine, naturally , individually, as well as in combination resveratrol and/or melatonin ... ... significantly reduced infarct size compared with control hearts in wild-type mouse hearts (25 ± 3% and 25 ± 3% respectively versus control 69 ± 3%, P  < 0.001) [...] Furthermore, perfusion with either melatonin or resveratrol increased STAT3 phosphorylation prior to ischemia by 79% and 50%, respectively ( P  < 0.001 versus control). Both, melatonin, as well as resveratrol, appear to work via the "survivor activating factor enhancement" [SAFE]. What I consider more important, yet is the scie

Order of Exercises Does not Matter if you Train Upper Body & Lower Body in One Session - Testosterone & Cortisol Response Identical

You will probably remember my post on the effect of leg training on biceps size !? Well, although it is necessary that you train your legs, if you want to grow, a recent study by Jason D. Miller (Miller. 2011) indicates that hormonally it does not make a difference which part of your body you train first; or, in other words, you will get the same hormonal response (measured as testosterone (T) to cortisol (C) ratio) if you bench press (BP) first and do leg presses (LP) as your second exercise (both at 73.5% of 1RM for 4 sets ), as you will get if you start with the leg press and finish your workout on the bench. There does not appear to be an affect of resistance the exercise order of LP [leg press] and BP [bench press] on T [testosterone] and C [cortisol] . The exercise orders resulted in the same exercise volume and lactate responses which in turn resulted in no interaction in T and C between the UB-LB and LB-UB exercise orders. Miller does yet speculate that a higher volume a

Life-Long Endurance Exercise and Myocardial Fibrosis - A Potential Danger for Endurance Athletes

Habitual aerobic exercise has long been the cornerstone of what was considered a "healthy" lifestyle. Yet, lately, scientists are not only questioning the time-efficacy of these training regimens (there are studies showing that one can achieve similar metabolic adaptations with short high intensity interval training), there is also cumulative evidence that indicates that life-long engagement in endurance exercises may even be detrimental to your health. In a recent study by Wilson et al. (Wilson. 2011)  "twelve lifelong veteran male endurance athletes (mean ± SD [range] age: 56 ± 6 yr [50-67]), 20 age-matched veteran controls (60 ± 5 y; [52 - 69]) and 17 younger male endurance athletes (31 ± 5 years [26-40]) without significant co-morbidities underwent cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging to assess cardiac morphology and function." The results of the CMR were disquieting - to say the least: In 6 (50%) of the veter
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