Selenium & Skin Cancer. ALA, Inflammation & Muscular Adaptations. Eccentric Training & Oxidative Muscle Fibers. Tip of the Day: Have Plenty & Regular Sex For Your Brain
|Certain "behaviors" during spring break can give your brain a neuro-anabolic break.
Who said our youth did not know what's good for them?
Since the pertinent study preceded the Glasper study addressed in the current installment of on short notice by 15 years, these results just go to show you that we know instinctively what's necessary to counter the effects of the alcohol over spring-break ;-)
Selenium and skin cancer (Cassidy. 2013) -- I guess you will remember the debate that arose after the data from the selenium + vitamin E large scale trial hit the mainstream media news. Hell broke lose and people did (unfortunately) not only start questioning the usefulness, but also the safety of all vitamin supplements - and that quite frantically (cf. "Ask Dr. Andro, Are Vitamin Pills Bad for Me?").
The results of a recently published study by scientists from the Huntsmen Cancer Institute (no that's not "Paleo" ;-) in Salt Lake city could shed at least some new insights into the very mixed results we are seeing in the studies on vitamins and/or minerals with anti-oxidant prowess:
In other words, in as much as they are able to postpone / prevent the occurrence of cancer by protecting the healthy cells, their protective effect is not tissue specific and will - once the bad guys have appeared on the scene protect the cancer from your bodies own, as well as the pharmacological inflammatory anti-cancer machinery.
"We studied the effects of Se in vitro on UV-induced oxidative stress in melanocytes, and on apoptosis and cell cycle progression in melanoma cells. In vivo, we used the HGF transgenic mouse model of UV-induced melanoma to demonstrate that topical treatment with l-selenomethionine results in a significant delay in the time required for UV-induced melanoma development, but also increases the rate of growth of those tumors once they appear. In a second mouse model, we found that oral administration of high dose methylseleninic acid significantly decreases the size of human melanoma xenografts." (Cassidy. 2013)
"Taking A Multivitamin is a Question of Faith", above all (read more)
Alpha lipoic acid does not hamper exercise induced intramuscular ROS production & DNA damage (Fogarty. 2013) -- I know this does not really sound like good news to some of you, but you will be surprised that even the authors of the study at hand feel that it is.
|While this is not directly related to the intramitochondrial ROS production, I still reccomend, you read my previous article on the purported "nutrient partitioning effects" of ALA before you go and buy a year's supply. (learn more)
Wouldn't it be better to use R-ALA? I am telling you this now for the 1124th time: There is no reliable evidence for the superiority of R-ALA over regular ALA, the majority of the studies showing benefits of ALA supplementation has been conducted with the 50% r-enantiomer and 50% s-enantiomer version and if you have ever heard of the hormesis hypothesis (=low (eu-)stress induces beneficial adaptation) you would rather ask, "isn't it likely that taking R-ALA would not have yielded the same beneficial effects?"The caps were to be taken in addition to the regular diet, the young men were following and were supposed to build up a protective anti-oxidant belt against the exercise induced oxidative assault of 100 isolated and continuous maximal knee extensions in the non-dominant leg after 14 days of supplementation.
"[The ALA preload] increase[d] plasma antioxidant status and attenuates lipid peroxidation and DNA damage following maximal, eccentric muscle contractions[, but] had no protective effect on muscle mitochondrial DNA damage."Now this is actually awesome news, because it shows that ALA blunts the systemic oxidative damage only, while leaving the local intra-muscular oxidative damage of which the researchers rightly point out that "a substantial body of literature documents" the beneficial effects of ROS on "cell adaptation associated with exercise training" (Fogarty. 2013). In other words: It's unlikely ALA will hamper your gains.
Eccentric training for bigger stronger muscles? (Hody. 2013) -- At first sight the conclusion of a soon-to-be-published study from the University of Liège in Belgium, which says:
"Our data suggest that the eccentrically biased contractions in mice induced specific adaptations in protein expression and muscle fiber composition which may reflect a more oxidative muscle phenotype." (Hody. 2013)appears to suggest that the longstanding wisdom that eccentric reps are (given you get adequate rest) profoundly anabolic was inaccurate. If you use your knowledge about the enormous degree of type I fiber hypertrophy in bodybuilders (cf. fig.1 here), however, the information that eccentric training causes a shift in the muscular phenotype towards a predominantly oxidative slow-twitch fiber make-up, would at least the part about the muscles becoming "bigger" will remain intact.
|Figure 1: Effect of five training sessions of variable duration (75-135 min / increasing from session to session) with 48h breaks between sessions on the muscle fiber make-up of mice (Hody. 2013)
Only regular sexual intercourse keeps your brain healthy and in shape (Glasper. 2013) -- No, I am not going to start this comment with a reference to certain old men who met a couple of days ago in Rome. I will rather stick to the relevant facts and inform you that you better make sure you get laid this weekend. Why? Easy, a recent study by scientists from the University of Maryland and Princton University shows quite impressively that our body notices that we are useless once we give up reproducing. So useless, in fact, that he even does not bother to repair our brains any longer:
You want a bottom line? Well, let's make it fast, I feel I got to do something for my brain, now! Have sex, have it regular and have plenty of it (the rodents did it at least once a day) and when the new pope calls, tell him it's just for your brain health ;-)
"Sexual experience enhanced the number of newly generated neurons in the dentate gyrus with both single and repeated exposures in middle-aged rats. Following continuous long-term exposure to sexual experience, cognitive function was improved. How-ever, when a prolonged withdrawal period was introduced between the final mating experience and behavioral testing, the improvements in cognitive function were lost despite the presence of more new neurons." (Glasper. 2013)
In a past installment of On Short Notice you have already learned what the female orgasm could be for, remember? Which brings up the question will the women benefit, as well? Likely.
Note: Although I deliberately wrote this part of On Short Notice, I hope that you are all old enough to know that getting drunk and having unprotected sexual intercourse with the next best person you can find "spring break style" is an absolute no-go. Not just for Catholics, but for any sane human being who has not already drowned his last neuron in alcohol.
That's it for today, and I guess with the Glasper study in the back of your head, I don't have to tell you that there are other things than hanging out in front of the computer, TV or even the gym that can be done on the weekend, right? Enjoy!
- Cassidy PB, Fain HD, Cassidy JP, Tran SM, Moos PJ, Boucher KM, Gerads R, Florell SR, Grossman D, Leachman SA. Selenium for the prevention of cutaneous melanoma. Nutrients. 2013 Mar 7;5(3):725-49.
- Fogarty MC, Devito G, Hughes CM, Burke G, Brown JC, McEneny J, Brown D, McClean C, Davison GW. Effects of α-Lipoic Acid on mtDNA Damage following Isolated Muscle Contractions. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Mar 6.
- Gasper ER, Gould E. Sexual Experience Restores Age-Related Decline in Adult Neurogenesis
and Hippocampal Function. Hippocampus. 2013 [Epub ahead of print]
- Hody S, Lacrosse Z, Leprince P, Collodoro M, Croisier JL, Rogister B. Effects of Eccentrically and Concentrically Biased Training on Mouse Muscle Phenotype. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Feb 22.
- Maticka-Tyndale E, Herold ES, Mewhinney D. Casual sex on spring break: Intentions and behaviors of canadian students. Journal of Sex Research. 1998; 35:3.