Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cod Liver Oil vs. URTI. 2x Higher Fat Oxidation W/ Optimal Workout Timing, Aggressive Diabesity Control, Seaweed & Breast Cancer and NO Supplements Superior to Sugar

Self-proclaimed experts will say: "No cod liver! It's poison! It has way too much vitamin A... you better pop a kg of vitamin D pills if you want to do something for your health." Really? How do you explain the results of the Robertson study, then?
"Grandma was right" - That's if you will the statement of the week - a statement that is verified by the SuppVersity Figure of the Week which is p = 0.04 and describes the probability that the association between the consumption of cod liver oil and a decreased occurrence of upper respiratory tract infects (URTI) Swedish researchers observed in a cohort of 6350 middle-aged and elderly participants in the Tromsø Study 6, of which Robertsen et al. had actually expected that it would finally confirm the protective effects of high(er) vitamin D levels / intake against respiratory disease. As it turned out, however, neither vitamin D (25-OHD), nor the intake of fish, n-3 capsules or vitamin and/or mineral supplements were significantly associated. Shamed be he who thinks of vitamin A now ;-)
  • 2-Fold Increase in Fat Oxidation W/ Correct Workout Timing (Darvakh. 2013) -- If we assume that you want to burn the maximal amount of fat during a workout, timing could be a more important factor than previously thought.
    Figure 1: Maximal fat oxidation, intensity necessary to achieve the maximal fatty acid oxidation and total fat oxidation per minute; all values expressed relative to absolute mean in each category (Darvakh. 2013)
    In a recent study from the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz in Iran the maximal rate of fatty acid oxidation in healthy, but untrained subjects was 2x higher in the afternoon compared to both the morning and evening conditions.

    What's likewise interesting to observe is the fact that the exercise intensity that was required to achieve maximal fatty acid oxidation was higher in the morning. No wonder that the total fatty acid oxidation per minute in all three trials was the highest, when the participants worked out in the morning!
    Bottom line: It's not just the missing dietary control, but also the mere idea that "burning fat for fuel" during a workout would have beneficial effects on long-term weight loss - let alone help you shed weight, when you are not in a caloric deficit that renders the results of the study at hand interesting, but more or less irrelevant. My personal advice would thus be: Work out, whenever you can muster the time and whenever you got the choice, base your decision on when to work out on performance measures, not results from studies like these (learn more about planning your workouts here).
  • Is the time ripe for aggressive diabesity cures?! (Belsare. 2010) -- Everyone who has listened to the Wednesday episode of Super Human Radio, when Carl Lanore interviewed the Indian researcher Milind G. Watve, co-author of the paper at hand, will already be familar with the concept:
    Table 1: Molecules that affect aggressive behavior as well as insulin resistance (Belsare. 2010)
    Physical aggression is known to increase secretion of epidermal growth factor (EGF) in anticipation of injuries and EGF is important in pancreatic beta cell regeneration too. In anticipation of injuries aggression related hormones also facilitate angiogenesis and angiogenesis dysfunction is the root cause of a number of co-morbidities of insulin resistance syndrome.

    Reduced injury proneness typical of ‘diplomat’ life style would also reorient the immune system resulting into delayed wound healing on the one hand and increased systemic inflammation on the other. Diabetes is negatively associated with physically aggressive behaviour."
    These and the unquestionably striking associations the researchers collected in the tabular overview I used as a basis for table 1 to the right of this post (you read it a follows: arrows indicate up-/down-regulation or pos-/neg. correlation; "A"/"B" causation / reverse causation shown in A1/B1 = mutant or knockout experiment; A2/B2 = pharmacological/physiological exp. based on infusion or use of agonists/antagonists); C indicates only statistical association w/out direct evidence for causality), would unquestionably justify the hypothesis:
    "[...]that suppression of physical aggression is the major behavioural cue for the development of metabolic syndrome."
    However, despite the fact that "preliminary trials of behavioural intervention indicate that games and exercises involving physical aggression reduce systemic inflammation and improve glycemic control" - the same is true for "unagressive" types of exercise, so that I can't but vouch my doubts about the causative nature of aggression in this game of convenient laziness.
    Sugg. Podcast: Doves, Diplomats & Diabetes: A Darwinian Interpretation Of the Obesity Epidemic (listen)
    Bottom line: Irrespective of the causative or correlative nature of the lack of aggression or its presence in the etiology and resolution of the obesity epidemic.

    In the end, I am with Dr. Watve and his Indian colleagues: the non-pharmacological and in my humble opinion only viable solution to our problem are lifestyle changes - and as far as the "aggressiveness" is concerned, I guess, we'd just have to enforce these more aggressively. At least as aggressively as the Australians are leading their "war against" cigarette smoking - maybe a "war against" and not as a quest for revenue-generating pharmacological solutions to behavioral problems as we are still doing it by now.
  • The breast cancer protective effects of seaweed - proof of principle (Teas. 2013) -- Researchers from the South Carolina Cancer Center at the University of South Carolina state in their recently published paper in the Journal of Applied Physiology that the consumption of seaweed (Undaria) in the form of a capped supplement (5g/day, total) decreases the urinary human urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) concentrations in15 healthy postmenopausal women (5 had no history of breast cancer, 5 were breast cancer surivors) during a 3-month single-blinded placebo controlled clinical trial.
    What to make of these results? With the well-established increase in uPAR in post-menopausal and it's highly significant correlation with unfavorable breast cancer outcomes. The scientists argue that this controlled experiment would provide the hitherto missing "proof of principle" to confirm the epidemiologically observed anti-breast cancer effects of seaweed.
  • Pre- & Post-workout supplementation with VPX' flagship products NO Shotgun & Synthesize promote fat free gains more than pure sugar (Ormsbee. 2013) -- Actually I did not even want to post this study, but it's so hilariously funny that I could not resist informing you about the marginal edge the provision of the VPX pre- & post-workout supplements NO Shotgun & NO Synthesize had in a sponsored study from the Florida State University that's been published in provisional form on Friday afternoon.

    When the researchers analyzed the effects the provision of the said supplements before and after each of the workouts the 29 healthy resistance trained men had compared to a maltodextrin [yeah, that's protein, BCAA, creatine, caffeine, beta alanine & more in the "multi-ingredient performance supplements (MIPS) vs. plain sugar as "control" placebo)] they found
    • Figure 2: Body composition of previously resistance trained subjects after 6 weeks of standardized thrice weekly progressive strength training in participants ingesting one serving of NO Shotgun and Synthesize (MIPS) vs. 2x17g maltodextrin (placebo) pre / post workout; values expressed relative to group baseline (Ormsbee. 2013)
      no group time  interaction  for  HR,  BP,  blood  glucose,  lipids,  NOx,  hs-CRP,
      cortisol  concentrations  or  body  fat
    • significant decrease in body fat in both groups (mean ± SD; MIPS: -1.2 ± 1.2%; Placebo: -0.9  ± 1.1%), android fat (MIPS: -1.8 ± 2.1%; Placebo: -1.6 ± 2.0%), and gynoid fat (MIPS: -1.3 ± 1 .6%; Placebo: -1.0 ± 1.4%) and *drum rolls please* 
    • a  group × time interaction  for the increases in fat-free mass which were significantly  higher (4.2% vs. 1.9%) after the ingestion of the kitchen sink supplements compared to the 21g of pure maltodextrin
    What? Yeah, I know that VPX has had a very similar study done in the past (read up on the details, here) and obviously nobody read my comment back in the days that it's nice to spend some money to prove that your supplements works, but basically useless if the study protocol is designed in a way that ensures that your product will come as the more or, as in this case, rather less glorious winner.

    Bottom line: I wonder when the first supplement company dares doing a study comparing their product to a basic comination of creatine + whey and a cup of coffee before the workouts... what? Oh, you suspect that this could hamper their sales? Well, I guess you could be right.

That's it for this installment of "On Short Notice"!  If you still have to kill some time before you start into the weekend, I suggest you take a peek at one of the following Facebook news:
  • I hope you did not already forget that. The isoleucine-containing peptides in hydro-whey can also ramp up GLUT-4 expression and increase skeletal muscle glucose uptake - a true repartitioning effect (learn more)
    Endurance boosting effects of hydro whey -- Whey protein hydrolysate aka "low molecular weight whey" has superior effects on the endurance of rodents compared to regular whey isolate (read more)
  • Influenza: marketing vaccine by marketing disease -- Young Harvard scientists speaks out about the hilariousness of the flu vaccine (learn more)
  • Further evidence androgens program fat-cells-to-be to become bone, not fat -- "[O]ur results suggest androgens promote an osteogenic gene program at the expense of adipocyte differentiation." (read more)
  • Metabolic IN-flexibility is a characteristic feature of PCOS in women -- That's corroborated by both insulin resistance and androgen excess (learn more)
    If that's still not enough to satisfy your cravings, just "like" the SuppVersity on Facebook and keep on par with the latest news of which I am sure there will be more to come before the next full article is going to be published tomorrow.

    • Belsare PV, Watve MG, Ghaskadbi SS, Bhat DS, Yajnik CS, Jog M. Metabolic syndrome: aggression control mechanisms gone out of control. Med Hypotheses. 2010 Mar;74(3):578-89.
    • Darvakh H, Nikbakht M, Shakerian S, Mousavian AS.  Effect of Circadian Rhythm on Peak of Maximal Fat Oxidation on Non-Athletic. Zahedan J Res Med Sci. 2013; 15 [epub ahead of print].
    • Ormsbee MJ, Thomas DD, Mandler WK, Ward EG, Kinsey AW, Panton LB, Scheett TP, Hooshmand S, Simonavice E, Kim JS. The effects of pre- and post-exercise consumption of multi-ingredient performance supplements on cardiovascular health and body fat in trained men after six weeks of resistance training: a stratified, randomized, double-blind study. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 May 16;10(1):39.
    • Robertsen S, Grimnes G, Melbye H. Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration and symptoms of respiratory tract infection in a Norwegian population: the Tromsø Study. Public Health Nutr. 2013 May 9:1-7.  
    • Teas J, Vena S, Cone DL, Irhimeh M. The consumption of seaweed as a protective factor in the etiology of breast cancer: proof of principle. J Appl Phycol. 2013 Jun;25(3):771-779.