Saturday, July 14, 2012

On Short Notice: 15% Stronger With Kineso Tapes, HIIT With 30-20-10, Combined Training vs. Diabetes, Coffee vs. Scars, Peanuts & Pregnancy, Phosphate & Insulin + More!

Image 1: You like it fast? Then the novel SuppVersity column SuppVersity "On Short Notice" is right for you. So don't forget to bookmark, subscribe to the RSS feed or the email updates (see bottom right of the page) or simply start following me on facebook and/or twitter
Actually I am quite happy that most of you liked last Saturday's first installment of SuppVersity "On Short Notice" - it turned out that just writing down one of those mini-items, whenever I have a couple of minutes to spare yields more great content than a single post can hold. So, despite the fact that I have stockpiled 11 items for you in today's installment I have already written the first ones for next week's installment of this new column. Before we start with those of the past week, I would just like to remind everyone that you can simply add the RSS feed (all SuppVersity posts, only "On Short Notice" posts) to your favorite RSS reader, or start following me on facebook and/or twitter if you like those informational quickies and thus make sure that you won't miss any information from the realms of exercise science, supplementation and nutrition!

30 - 20 - 10  HIIT for maximal conditioning

As a regular at the SuppVersity you have already learned one or two things about the benefits (and in many cases superiority) of high intensity interval training (HIIT) for fat loss and cardiovascular conditioning (read all about HIIT).
Figure 1:  The 30-20-10 protocol consists of a inner 5x1min 30-20-10 'acceleration'-cycles followed by a 2min period of active rest; those 5x 30-20-10 low-, moderate-, and high-speed running + 1x 2min active rest pairs are repeated 3-4 times.
A recently published study by Gunnarson et al. does now show that even moderately trained individuals can benefit from a very simple yet intense 15-20min interval training (see figure 1) similar to the one the 3 women and 7 men in the active arm of the study performed (total number of participants N=20). And I would say that 4% higher VO2max, 21s faster 1,500-m and 48s faster 5-km running times are nothing you would want to miss, either. Specifically, if those come with a 30-20-10 decrease of systolic blood pressure and reductions in total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) of -0.5 ± 0.2 and -0.4 ± 0.1 mmol/l, respectively - am I right? No, well you should better stick to your arduous treadmill walks in the non-existent  fat-burning zone, then.

Add strength training to your 10-20-30 aerobic regimen and rid yourself of type II diabetes

I guess it goes without saying that the exercise approach to diabetes won't work without other lifestyle interventions, such as dietary modifications and stress reduction / management (e.g. "Chronically Fatigued? Do Qigong!". After all, you would not have gotten into the mess if your nutrition had been in check and your stress-management effective - and don't give me the "bad genes excuse", I hear that from my type II diabetic grandma often enough!
Figure 2: fasting glucose and glycolosated hemoglobin levels before and after a 20-week exercise intervention consisting of either 3x per week of combined resistance and aerobic training or aerobic only training of the same volume (based on Moro. 2012)
As far as exercise goes, a recently published study has (once again) confirmed that a combined aerobic + resistance training protocol is more effective with respect to longterm (20-week) improvements in glycemia than the regular "walk" or even worse "jog an incline for 40-60min everyday" regimen - in the study at hand the aerobics regimen employed one of those classic 'ramps' starting at 15min @ 40-50% in the first week and ramping up volume + intensity to 60 min at 60-70% (Moro. 2012): What is particularly striking about the results (see figure 2) is the differential effects on simple fasting blood glucose levels and the amount of glycolosated hemoglobin, an index for the long-term (24h) glucose stability, which improved significantly more (p < 0.05) with the combined (3x split training with 3 sets à 10-12reps + 20min of light aerobic exercise afterwards), than with the aerobics only 3x per week exercise program.

Assuming that the additional strength training component is also going to help the 24 formerly sedentary participants (men and women aged 60,41 ± 7,87y) to build or at least maintain "metabolic currency" (= muscle) you can bet money that those differences would have been even more pronounced if the trial had lasted 6 or more instead of just 5 months. Remember: You are in this for life!

And if you want do get stronger, just tape your biceps

If you train in one of the gyms, where professional athletes go in and out, you will probably already have seen people come in with those blue, green or pink "package tapes" on their limbs. Usually their coaches and or physiotherapists apply those and send them to the gym, when they are still recovering from an injury and thus cannot perform their regular training sessions.
Figure 3: Concentric and eccentric elbow peak torque with and without kineseo or placebo taping ( (Fratocchi. 2012)
As the data in figure 3 goes to show, this practice could turn out to be the kinesiologic analogon to creatin... well, aside from the fact that it works instantaneously, maybe (Fratocchi. 2012). Done right, the taping can increase your concentric and eccentric peak torgue on a simulated biceps curl (performed on an isokinetic pulley machine) by 13-15%. Whether these results, Fratocchi et al. observed in trained, but not (upper body) strength trained young men and women will translate in similar pronounced strength improvement on real curls - let alone permanent gains, once you remove the tape - remains to be seen. But let's be honest, what do you have to lose? As long as you don't apply the tape wrong (see figure 3, green-framed photo), I would say that the worst thing that can happen is that people laugh at your novel 'gymwear'.

On ultra-short notice:
  • Your red blood cells can produce testosterone and other androgens - Believe it or not, but according to a recent study from the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile, human platelets can produce sex hormones from circulating DHEA-S (Garrido. 2012). They can also take up estrone-sulfate and convert it to 17b-estradiol (the most active form of estrogen); taking your DIM does therefore not necessarily prevent that your platelets avail themselves of the estrone your liver is spilling out and convert it back to estrogen, when they "feel that's necessary". If you don't care about that, you may be interested that DHEA can also ramp up insulin sensitivity and help you lose weight and protect your muscle against exercise induced damage - even when you train like a maniac. 
  • Image 2: Better smear some coffee paste onto your wound than special creams if you don' want nasty scars.
    Coffee paste applied to a closed wound could prevent scarring - Although the paper does not mention this explicitly (Perez-Aso. 2012), the discovery that the pharmacological blockade of the adenosine A2A receptor prevents scarring suggests that a paste made of/with fresh coffee should actually do the exact same thing. After all, coffee is a natural pan-(=across many)adenosine receptor antagonist. It goes without saying, though that you cannot apply the coffee onto the open wound, right? Well, I guess you can, but it is at least questionable if that would not rather increase your chance for infections that decrease your risk of developing ugly scars. Find out more about coffee!
  • EPO increases muscle repair by ramping up satellite cell activity - According to Jia et al., endogenous EPO, i.e. erythropoietin that is produced by your body, plays an important role in satellite cell proliferation and thus the repair and the "structural expansion" of muscle tissue. Based on their studies in wild-type and EPO overexpressing mice, the researchers speculate that exogenous erythropoietin could thus be used to "contribute to increasing satellite cell number following muscle injury, improve myoblast proliferation and survival, and promote repair and regeneration" (Jia. 2012). Read more about EPO or sattelite cells, and the commonly overlooked role of estrogen in satellite cell replenishment and activation.
  • IGF-1 from colostral whey is orally active and ameloriates high blood sugar - I have addressed the question whether the more or less complex peptides from milk (see "Colostrum & Milk"), deer antler (see "Ask Dr. Andro: Does Deer Antler Velvet Work?") & co can even work, when they are administered orally several times before - a recent discovery by scientists from the Republic of Korea does now suggest that, at least in diabetic rodents, the IGF-1 fraction in colostral whey exerts similar blood sugar lowering effects as its recombinant (artificial) human cousin (Hwand. 2011). Since this is nothing but another rodent study, the non-negligible blood sugar reductions of 11 and 33 % at weeks 2 and 4, respectively, are yet sill only something for the "ultra-short notice" section of the "on short notice" column of the SuppVersity (if you have not done so already, don't fotget to read up on the anti-diabetic effects of camel milk here).
  • People with reactive hypoglycemia shouldn't follow a low carb high protein diet - I knew that from my experience with others (esp. women), but when the issue of reactive hypoglycemia surfaced again in one of the comments, I dug up a 1975 study which clearly shows that avoiding carbs altogether (50-60g /day in the study) will only add impaired glucose tolerance on top of the existing and persistent symptoms (Anderson. 1975). More on potential pitfalls with very low carbing: "Carbohydrate Shortage in Paleo Land" and "Half As Heavy, but Twice As Fat: 'Atkins-Style' No-Carb Diet + Exhaustive Exercise Compromise Body Composition"
  • Image 3: Craving peanut butter? The sugar (and thus increased gestational diabetes risk) is probably more of a problem than the "allergens". At least that is what the ~20% reduced asthma and allergic rhinitis risk a recent study reports based on data from the Danish National Birth cohort reports would suggest.
    Peanuts during pregnancy not a problem, but rather beneficial - While real junkies harm their unborn babies by irresponsible consumption of cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs, health junkies could be doing the same by totally avoiding exposure to any kind of potential allergens. At least this is what a recent analysis of data from the Danish National Birth Cohort would suggest. According to the results of Maslova et al., the consumption of potentially pro-allergenic pea- and tree-nuts did not only elicit any changes in terms of future allergies, it was also "inversely associated with a medication-related asthma diagnosis (OR, 0.81) and self-reported allergic rhinitis (OR, 0.80)" (Maslova. 2012) - or put simply: not the consumption, but rather the abstinence of potential pro-allergens appears to dispose unborn children to develop respective allergies in later life.
  • High-normal TSH good predictor of visceral obesity; irrespective of insulin resistance - "Your TSH is somewhat high, but no reason to be concerned." If that's what your Dr. told you, you better get another one. After all, a recent study by Muscogiuri et al. shows that those "somewhat high TSH levels" are a pretty good indicator of increased visceral adiposity, and all its potentially fatal health consequences (Muscogiuri. 2012). And if you want to improve your thyroid function naturally, I suggest you read my previous post "Dietary Thyroid Treatment: Beef, Green Vegetables, Full-Fat Milk & Butter Normalize TSH in Subclinical Hypothyroidism"!
  • High phosphate content of meal increases postprandial blood glucose and insulin - What are two characteristics of coke and similar soft drinks? Right: They contain tons of high GI sugar and phosphate. A combination of which a group of researchers from the Department of Clinical Nutrition at the University of Tokushima in Japan has recently shown that it leads to a profound increase in postprandial (hours after the meal) blood glucose and insulin levels compared to low GI, but also compared to high high GI low phosphate (400mg vs. 1200mg) meals in 11 young, healthy volunteers. Bottom line: If high GI is bad, high GI + high phosphorus is even worse (Taketani. 2012). I am not sure how much phosphor the sports drink I wrote about roughly two weeks ago contain, but certainly less than coke, and still the average body fat gain per energy drink was ~18g ("Fat Content Per Energy Drink 0g, Body Fat Gain Per Energy Drink 18g!").
  1. Anderson JW, Herman RH. Effects of carbohydrate restriction on glucose tolerance of normal men and reactive hypoglycemic patients. Am J Clin Nutr. 1975 Jul;28(7):748-55.
  2. Fratocchi G, Di Mattia F, Rossi R, Mangone M, Santilli V, Paoloni M. Influence of Kinesio Taping applied over biceps brachii on isokinetic elbow peak torque. A placebo controlled study in a population of young healthy subjects. J Sci Med Sport. 2012 Jul 6.
  3. Garrido A, Munoz Y, Sierralta W, Valladares L. Metabolism of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and estrone-sulfate by human platelets. Physiol Res. 2012 Jun 6.
  4. Gunnarsson TP, Bangsbo J. The 10-20-30 training concept improves performance and health profile in moderately trained runners. J Appl Physiol. 2012 Jul;113(1):16-24.
  5. Hwang KA, Hwang YJ, Ha W, Choo YK, Ko K. Oral administration of insulin-like growth factor-I from colostral whey reduces blood glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Br J Nutr. 2011 Oct 10:1-7.
  6. Jia Y, Suzuki N, Yamamoto M, Gassmann M, Noguchi CT. Endogenous erythropoietin signaling facilitates skeletal muscle repair and recovery following pharmacologically induced damage. FASEB J. 2012 Jul;26(7):2847-58. Epub 2012 Apr 9.
  7. Maslova E, Granström C, Hansen S, Petersen SB, Strøm M, Willett WC, Olsen SF. Peanut and tree nut consumption during pregnancy and allergic disease in children-should mothers decrease their intake? Longitudinal evidence from the Danish National Birth Cohort. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Jun 26.
  8. Moro AR, da Rosa R, da Silva FC, Filho PJBG. Effect of combined and aerobic training on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. Fisioter. mov. [online]. 2012, vol.25, n.2 [cited 2012-07-13], pp. 399-409.
  9. Muscogiuri G, Sorice GP, Mezza T, Prioletta A, Lassandro AP, Pirronti T, Della Casa S, Pontecorvi A, Giaccari A. High-normal TSH values in obesity: is it insulin resistance or adipose tissue's guilt? Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Jul 3.
  10. Perez-Aso M, Chiriboga L, Cronstein BN. Pharmacological blockade of adenosine A2A receptors diminishes scarring. FASEB J. 2012 Jul 5.
  11. Taketani Y, Yamazaki M, Ueda H, Mori Y, Tanaka T, Horie D, Ominami H, Okumura-Yamanaka H, Yamamoto H, Takeda E. Interaction between dietary phosphate and carbohydrate on glucose and phosphate metabolism in healthy young men. Kidney Research and Clinical Practice. Volume 31, Issue 2, June 2012