The condom’s tip is laced with Zanifil, a liquid gel that increases blood flow to the penis. In European clinical trials, subjects reported more enduring erections, as well as an increase in penis size.
Researchers found that painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen appear to decrease the effectiveness of a popular class of antidepressants that includes Prozac and Celexa.
Depressive symptoms—such as feeling down, crying more frequently than usual or having decreased appetite—in patients who took Celexa went away 55% of the time, but that rate dropped to 45% in individuals who reported they also had taken an anti-inflammatory.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are a widely used class of pain medicines and include aspirin and ibuprofen but not acetominephen [Tylenol].
It isn’t clear why NSAIDs suppress the effect of SSRIs, but it could be simply an interaction between the drugs where NSAIDs prevent SSRIs from reaching the brain, the researchers said.
Salmon contains a bioactive peptide that is similar to the human hormone calcitonin which is important for producing strong bones.
Calcitonin (CT) is a peptide hormone produced by the parafollicular cells of the thyroid gland in mammals and by the ultimobranchial gland of birds and fish. Salmon calcitonin (sCT), which is more potent and longer lasting than human CT, has been used widely for the treatment of osteoporosis, paget’s disease, hypercalcemic shock and chronic pain in terminal cancer patients. sCT is one of the many bioactive peptides that require C-terminal amidation for full biological activity.
While structurally related to the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, theanine only has weak affinity for the glutamate receptor on postsynaptic cells. Rather, its primary effect seems to increase the overall level of the brain inhibitory transmitter GABA.
L-Theanine may help the body’s immune response to infection by boosting the disease-fighting capacity of gamma delta T cells. The study, published in 2003 by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, included a four-week trial with 11 coffee drinkers and 10 tea drinkers, who consumed 600 milliliters of coffee or black tea daily. Blood sample analysis found the production of antibacterial proteins was up to five times higher in the tea drinkers, an indicator of a stronger immune response.
I looked at the paper cited in the above article, and how theanine bound to the 3 types of glutamate receptors
Theanine bound the three receptors, but its IC50 of theanine was 80- to 30,000-fold less than that of L-glutamic acid.
A number of articles mention that theanine increases alpha waves in the brain, which is one measure of relaxation. This article adds
The antioxidant activity of L-theanine has been studied in regard to its effect on the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. In vitro testing using malondialdehyde as a marker of lipid peroxidation demonstrated inhibition of LDL oxidation with theanine, although the effect was weaker than the potent antioxidant effect of green tea polyphenols.
Green tea also contains caffeine. I’m somewhat against caffeine in general because it’s mechanism is purely drug-like and your body gets tolerant to any drug over time. A number of sources suggest that tolerance to theanine builds up, so it looks like it’s not something you can benefit from if you drink green tea every day, but there might be occasional benefits from infrequent use.
Spinach for concentration & sluggishness - other folate sources
I thought it was interesting this article recommended high folate foods for when you feel sluggish or can’t concentrate.
Folic acid, or folate, helps your body to process and lower homocysteine levels,” says Dr. Dolgoff. “High levels of homocysteine are associated with damage to blood vessels, in addition to interfering with the flow of blood and nutrients to the brain. Impaired blood flow may leave you feeling sluggish or slow to process or recall information.”
Folate is a vitamin, and the idea of helping your body trying to do something it wants to do anyway is a good thing. Actually a better source of folate is calves liver. Asparagus and collard greens are also good sources. Oranges have about 1/6 th what you’d get in spinach, but that’s not bad.
Red Palm Oil - getting a good source and health benefits
So I’ve bought this product before. This red palm oil is made is way that as I see it it would be hard for lots of nutrients to escape or toxins to enter. You can typically get it at Whole Foods.
There are a lot of claims of health benefits which is not surprising given the high levels I’ve seen for vitamins and anti-oxidants, including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, vitamin-E, lycopene and other carotenoids.
It’s more saturated than olive oil, so it’s more stable for cooking.
It’s heart healthy, based on the studies I’ve seen.
So it’s another thing to consider in lieu of olive oil.
Coconut Oil - finding a good source and why that's important
So as a quick intro, coconut oil is heart healthy. The saturated fatty acid in coconut oil actually raises HDL and coconut increases metabolism and makes you lose weight. Because it contains MCFAs, it’s less likely to be disturbed by cooking than olive oil. It’s probably a better health choice than olive oil - at least olive oil as it’s conventionally produced (see prior post). So as a cooking oil - like to cook eggs in for example - it might be worth a try.
Anyway, the hard thing is finding a good source of coconut oil, which is what this post is about.
The techniques outlined in wikipedia to make coconut oil are a bit cringe-worthy, with all the bleaches and solvents added to food you actually consume. Dry processing is the standard, and it’s the worst.
Coconut oil can be extracted through “dry” or “wet” processing. Dry processing requires the meat to to be extracted from the shell and dried using fire, sunlight or kilns to create copra. The copra is pressed or dissolved with solvents, producing the coconut oil and a high protein, high fiber mash. The mash is of poor quality for human consumption and is instead fed to ruminants; there is no process to extract the protein from the mash. The preparation and storage of copra often occurs in unhygienic conditions which results in a poor quality oil that requires refining before consumption. A considerable portion of the oil extracted from copra is lost due to spoilage, consumption by insects and rodents, and during the extraction process.
All “wet” process involves raw coconut rather than dried copra, using the protein in the coconut to create an emulsion of the oil and water. The more problematic step is breaking up the emulsion to recover the oil. Originally this was done through lengthy boiling, but this produces a discolored oil and is not economical; modern techniques uses centrifuges and various pre-treatments including cold, heat, acids, salts, enzymes, electrolysis, shock waves, or some combination of them. Despite numerous variations and technologies, wet processing is less viable than dry processing due to a 10-15% lower yield, even compared to the losses due to spoilage and pests with dry processing. Wet processes also requires an expensive investment of equipment and energy, incurring high capital and operating costs.
Proper harvesting of the coconut (the age of a coconut can be 2 to 20 months when picked) makes a significant difference in the efficacy of the oil making process and the use of a centrifuge process makes the best final extracted product. Copra made from immature nuts is more difficult to work with and produces an inferior product with lower yields.Conventional coconut oil uses hexane to extract up to 10% more oil than just using rotary mills and expellers. The oil is then refined to remove certain free fatty acids, in order to reduce susceptibility rancidification.
I’d read about the problems with coconut oil here - using the so called copra process.
Copra is dried in a wood-fuelled kiln, or in the sun, over a period of a few days. …. Copra is bulked up at an export port and shipped to a large industrial oil mill — often in Europe or Asia. Unhygienic drying, humid tropical conditions, bulk shipping and long distances, result in lengthy delays and the growth of moulds on the copra. Sometimes this leads to aflatoxin contamination. Copra oil extraction requires large-scale, high-pressure, expensive, energy-intensive equipment. Unhygienic copra means that the resultant oil is normally of low quality with a Free Fatty Acid (FFA) level of 3% or more. (FFA is one measure of rancidity of oil). Thus copra oil requires refining, bleaching and deodorising (RBD) to create a commercially acceptable product. The refining process uses hydrochloric acid, solvents and steam to strip out the contamination. Some residual solvents remain in the oil. The process also removes the natural volatiles and anti-oxidants that give pure coconut oil its unique flavour and aroma. The total process from farm to refined oil can take many months. The residual copra-meal is only suitable as animal feed but, even here, care is required because it can be contaminated with carcinogenic aflatoxin.
This company seems to have found a pretty good solution.
“Direct Micro Expelling” is highly descriptive of the technology. It is:
• Direct — quick (oil produced within 1 hour of opening the nut) and efficient (OEE 85%)
• Micro — small scale (family farm size)
• Expelling — extraction of virgin oil and meal
The linked pdf shows a small scale organic process. It’s basically about taking out the meat, grating it, and putting it in a press. Old school. This is the kind of coconut oil you’d want to buy if you were in the market for it.
Olive Oil - more of a processed food than you think
Extra virgin olive oil is preferred because of its high phenol content. It contains:
protocatechuic acid, oleuropein, tyrosol, hydrotyrosol, dihydroxyphenylethanol, and other unique phenyl-ethyl alcohols as well as lignans and secoiridoids.
pinoresinol and acetoxypinoresinol-are key phenol components found in extra virgin olive oil.
The high phenol concentration in extra virgin olive oil results in three key health benefits. First is the ability of this rich phenol mixture to helps protect olive oil’s vitamin E. Especially during the process of heating-and even at low heating temperatures-these phenols help to stabilize the vitamin E present in extra virgin olive oil. Second is the ability of this phenol mixture to engage in free radical scavenging. Especially when it comes to the neutralization of free radicals like hydroxyl radical and superoxide anion radical, the rich phenol mixture in extra virgin olive oil is especially important. In fact, research studies have confirmed the ability of extra virgin olive oil’s phenols to help protect against free radical damage to LDL cholesterol as well as cellular DNA.
extra virgin olive oil is able to lower certain markers of inflammation (called TXB2 and LTB2) during a window of time 2-6 hours after consumption of the extra virgin oil where olive oil from later pressings is unable to do so.
Then I read this. Olive oil fraud in Italy is fairly common with products claiming to be extra virgin that are actually not.
most commercial olive oil is processed in a manner that damages its nutritional content, and this is only the beginning of the problems with it.
[On good small farms,] organic olives are picked by hand so as to not damage the skin or pulp. They are transported in well-aerated containers and milled within 48 hours of harvesting. Before milling, leaves and twigs are removed; the olives are washed, dried, and then crushed. The oil is separated from the olive paste without the use of heat, hot water, or solvents, and it is left unfiltered, as filtering also removes many nutrients. The first pressing produces the best extra virgin oil.
[In modern factories] olives are machine harvested along with leaves and twigs. Olives that have dropped on the ground are often mixed with the good ones. They are shipped in all kinds of containers, many of which are poorly ventilated, and heaped in large piles. (Here, olives are stored for too long and often become moldy.) The oil is then extracted in a continuous centrifuge while hot water is used to help separate out the oil. Antioxidant polyphenols are soluble in water and are washed away in this process, thereby lowering the shelf life and the nutritional quality of the oil. Italy alone produces 800,000 cubic meters of waste water per year from this process. Because substantial amounts of antioxidants are washed away, factory produced olive oil has a short shelf life of only months, whereas real olive oil lasts for two to three years.
the term “extra virgin” has no official meaning in the United States. The U.S. is not a member of the International Olive Oil Council. So olive oil sold here can be labeled “extra virgin” without meeting the accepted international standards. …
Investigators have gathered evidence indicating that the biggest olive oil brands in Italy, Bertolli, Sasso, and Cirio, have for years been systematically diluting their extra virgin olive oil with cheap, highly- refined hazelnut oil imported from Turkey. Despite the fact that details of this scandal have been published in Merum, a Swiss-German magazine, and in Italian journals such as Agra Trade, and the newspaper Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, this information has been successfully suppressed and is known to only a handful of people. International arrest warrants have been issued and seized documents indicate that at least 10,000 tons of hazelnut oil is involved. As much as 20% refined hazelnut oil can be added to olive oil and still be undetectable to the consumer.
In 1996, a study by the FDA found that 96% of the olive oils they tested, while being labeled 100% olive oil, had been diluted with other oils. A recent study in Italy found that only 40% of the olive oil brands labeled “extra virgin” actually met those standards.
Italy produces 400,000 tons of olive oil for domestic consumption, but 750,000 tons are sold. The difference is made up with highly refined, nut and seed oils. Less strict guidelines make the situation even worse in the United States. Like in Italy, more oil is “produced” in California than there are olives available. The difference is made up with less expensive oils such as corn, soy, and sunflower. The problem is these other oils have been refined. The high temperatures of the refining process change the molecular structure of the oils, making them toxic.
Apparently you can eat raw, unsalted olives, but they are hard to find.
I’ve talked to some people who have been to Italy and Spain and say the olive oil there can actually be green in color because if it’s made naturally and not processed, and that it tastes so much better made by hand.
What’s the upshot? First I think you have to look at the ingredients on your olive oil. Second, olive oil is not as healthy as you think, and you might be better off with avocados or some other form of healthy fat.
In terms of a cooking oil, there are alternatives, and I’ll do a post on that later. Of course I would be interested to buy olive oils that are made in a way that is more health conscious, and I’ll post if I find something like that.
if muscular signals from the face to the brain are dampened, you’re less able to read emotions.
With Botox, a person can respond otherwise normally to an emotional event, e.g. a sad movie scene, but will have less movement in the facial muscles that have been injected, and therefore less feedback about such facial expressivity
Chronic stress appears to hasten the shriveling of the tips of the bundles of genes inside cells [telomeres], which shortens their life span and speeds the body’s deterioration, according to a small, first-of-its-kind study involving mothers caring for chronically ill children.
"This is a real landmark observation," said Robert M. Sapolsky of Stanford University
Epel and her colleagues studied 39 women ages 20 to 50 who had been experiencing grinding stress for years because they were caring for a child suffering from a serious chronic illness, such as autism or cerebral palsy, and 19 other very similar women whose children were healthy.
The researchers examined structures inside cells called telomeres. Telomeres are the caps at the ends of chromosomes — the molecules that carry genes. Every time a cell divides, telomeres get shorter. In the natural aging process, the telomeres eventually get so short that cells can no longer divide, and they then die.
As more and more cells reach the end of their telomeres and die, the inexorable process produces the effects of aging — muscles weaken, skin wrinkles, eyesight and hearing fade, organs fail, and thinking abilities diminish.
The researchers also measured levels of an enzyme called telomerase, which helps rebuild telomeres to stave off this process. Telomerase levels naturally decline with age.
The researchers examined structures inside cells called telomeres. Telomeres are the caps at the ends of chromosomes — the molecules that carry genes. Every time a cell divides, telomeres get shorter. In the natural aging process, the telomeres eventually get so short that cells can no longer divide, and they then die.
As more and more cells reach the end of their telomeres and die, the inexorable process produces the effects of aging — muscles weaken, skin wrinkles, eyesight and hearing fade, organs fail, and thinking abilities diminish.
The researchers also measured levels of an enzyme called telomerase, which helps rebuild telomeres to stave off this process. Telomerase levels naturally decline with age.
OK, this is an old article, but it’s one more reason to destress!
A major new analysis challenges the long-held idea that obese people who carry their extra weight mainly around the middle — those with an “apple” shape — are at greater risk for heart disease than “pears,” whose fat tends to cluster on their thighs and buttocks.
The new report, published online on March 11 in The Lancet, pooled data from 58 studies about more than 220,000 people,mean age of 58. During the time they were followed, more than 14,000 suffered a heart attack or stroke. Conventional risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and smoking were accurate predictors of a heart attack or stroke, but additional information about weight or body shape (ascertained by measuring waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio) did not improve the ability to predict risk.
What is being said here, in my opinion, is that there are some people who are pear shaped or fat - and for whatever reason they are actually quite healthy - and don’t have any of the above risk factors for heart disease. So despite being fat or pear shaped, they have low blood pressure, cholesterol, no diabetes, etc.
Researchers from the University of Arizona swabbed shopping cart handles in four states looking for bacterial contamination. Of the 85 carts examined, 72 percent turned out to have a marker for fecal bacteria.
The researchers took a closer look at the samples from 36 carts and discovered Escherichia coli, more commonly known as E. coli
, on 50 percent of them — along with a host of other types of bacteria.
reusable shopping bags that aren’t regularly washed turn into bacterial swamps. “It’s like wearing the same underwear every day,” Gerba said.
While there may, indeed, be bacteria on shopping cart handles, they can also be found on doorknobs, countertops and a host of other items we touch every day, Fishman said. “My guess is that there are more bacteria on a car seat than on a shopping cart,” he added.
What to make of this?
As this article says
Microbes can live on household surfaces for hundreds of years. The good news, however, is that most don’t. Some well-known viruses, like HIV, live only a few seconds.
Each square centimeter of skin alone harbors about 100,000 bacteria. And a single sneeze can spray droplets infested with bacteria and viruses as far as 3 feet.
Still you’re likely not breathing in all the bacteria that you are touching. As this site says
Bacteria can enter through an opening in the skin, such as a scratch or cut.
That site talks about the ways bacteria enter your skin - usually you have to have some some of cut or irritation - or be in water.
Most skin infections develop when staph bacteria enter your body through a cut or other break in your skin. Having eczema, psoriasis, irritation after shaving, or any condition that makes your skin more sensitive increases your risk of infection.
Still the article above referenced ecoli
The bottom line to me - seems to be - be really careful if you have any cuts on your hands when touching surfaces that might contain bacteria.
It does appear to be an argument in favor of washing your hands after shopping, although I’m not yet convinced there is a huge risk.
One more thing to be careful of....what's in the cushions, the floor and the carpet?
Just read this…
Study Documents PBDE Flame Retardant Levels in Children
Mexican-American children in California had levels 7 times higher than their counterparts in Mexico
“PBDEs are persistent pollutants that have been used in many consumer products and household materials, including foam padding in furniture, carpets, baby products, and in transportation, including automobiles,” explains study co-author Asa Bradman of CERCH. “These products tend to have long lifespans, and the flame retardants are not chemically bound to the materials they’re used with. As polyurethane foam and other materials containing the flame retardants age and degrade, they can release PBDEs into people’s homes in the form of dust. And scientists know that when you have persistent pollutants in dust, they get into children. In some ways, PBDEs are like lead in this regard: although we don’t put lead in paint anymore, many houses still have lead in their paint.”
California’s unique flammability standards, outlined in Technical Bulletin 117, resulted in the addition of millions of pounds of flame retardants to the polyurethane foam used in upholstered furniture, carpet pads, and infant products including car seats and portable crib mattresses. These standards may have had the unintended consequence of causing California homes to have the highest levels of PBDE flame retardants in the nation.
Published studies express concern because exposure to PBDEs impairs development of the nervous system. PBDEs have also been shown to have hormone-disrupting effects, in particular, on estrogen and thyroid hormones. PBDEs may possess liver toxicity,
So I’m really only beginning to understand the health consequences of common household items. It’s moderately disheartening that you can fill your body with organic produce and be littered with environmental toxins simply because they’re in your furniture padding, your rug, and your car. My preference tends towards wood floors or solid floors - as they are less dusty, but even there I think you have to worry about sealants.
Consider housecleaning with a high efficiency vacuum. These are expensive but filter our dust much better than conventional vacuum cleaners. About 80% to 90% of PBDE exposure of Americans is thought to come from household dust contamination.
The site also talks about how PDBEs are in plastic casing.
To me this suggests a market for non-chemically produced cushions and pillows. For example I just found a site with pillows made out of buckwheat hulls. Since buckwheat hulls come directly from food, it seems unlikely that they’d contain toxins. This is also the case for millet hulls. Organic cotton pillows would be another alternative.
The next problem is the carpet. Organic cotton rugs are available.
The next problem is plastic casing I consider that to be less of an issue these, as I write this on a computer built from titanium, and I increasingly watch tv on a computer.
In 2009, nearly a quarter of strains tested in a nationwide surveillance project of gonorrhea were resistant to penicillin, tetracycline, fluoroquinolones, or a combination of these antibiotics that are typically used to treat the STD. And early data from 2010 indicate resistance to another type of antibiotic, cephalosporin, is emerging. That’s concerning because cephalosporins are the only class of antibiotic left that doctors recommend to treat the disease.
If resistance to cephalosporins develops, gonorrhea could develop into a superbug, and have a catastrophic effect on our ability to control the disease in the country, researchers say. A superbug is a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics and is very difficult to kill.
So lamb has won praise because lambs can’t eat grains, so for those who like grass fed beef, lamb is one place where you can be reasonably sure you’re not getting a grain fed product (which produces lots of health problems). However, it turns out there is good lamb and even better lamb. Even better lamb is pastured.
In our own nutritional profile of lamb, we use a conservative average estimate of 40 milligrams of omega-3s per ounce of roasted lamb loin. That’s 50% of the omega-3s in an ounce of baked cod fish or broiled tuna, and 67% of the amount in an ounce of sesame seeds.
In research comparing indoor feeding on hay and nutrient concentrates with outdoor pasture feeding, pasture-fed lamb was found to contain significantly lower levels of trans fatty acids with the exception of a single trans fatty acid called vaccenic acid. Trans fats are a type of dietary fat that we want to avoid in large amounts due to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but vaccenic acid is one specific type of trans fat that we do not want to avoid since it’s the building block for a cardioprotective fatty acid called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid).
This is important because some might think it’s easy to be less selective about lamb since lamb is not always grass fed, so pay up for the good stuff if you can afford it and it’s available.
There is some misinformation out there about choline. This helps clear it up:
The authors[of a recent paper] argue that dietary choline, found mostly as phosphatidylcholine, enters the intestine where our gut bacteria convert it to free choline and then to trimethylamine, a gas that smells like rotting fish. Then our livers detoxify the trimethylamine to an odorless product called trimethylamine oxide (TMAO). While this prevents us from walking around smelling like we’ve been swimming in a barrel full of fermenting cod livers, the authors argue that TMAO fills our arteries with plaque.
They also showed that feeding mice phosphatidylcholine did in fact produce TMAO
There’s just one major problem with this hypothesis. Studies in humans have shown that neither phosphatidylcholine nor choline-rich foods produce detectable increases in trimethylamine.
Everything I’ve seen suggests choline is really good for you and your heart, and it’s kind of baffling to see studies that overlook basic facts - especially when they’re picked up by so called leading alternative health sites.
Cancer, Nutrition, and trying to predict health trends
The fact is science is often years behind common sense.
In the mid-1930s, smoking was becoming so common and lung cancer so prevalent that it was often impossible to definitively discern a statistical link between the two. Researchers wondered whether the intersection of the two phenomena was causal or accidental.
You have to use your common sense to predict what science will find and discover in the future. It’s not hard. Our bodies were evolutionarily designed to eat certain foods and lo and behold we’re increasingly finding that those foods are good for us (fruits, veggies, grass fed meats + fish), and we’ll likely continue to find good things.
In contrast, we’ll probably continue to find more bad things and more problems with milk, soy and a lot of these “newer” foods that we only started eating in the last 10,000 years.
More on how conventionally produced beef and chicken are breeding grounds for bactera
A piece of research (PDF) [was] released Friday morning in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases
A team of researchers from Arizona bought meat and poultry in five cities across the United States, tested them for bacteria, and found this: 47 percent of the samples contained the very common pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, and 96 percent of those isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotic. Of more concern: 52 percent of those staph isolates were resistant to at least three antibiotics that are commonly used in both veterinary and human medicine.
That is, roughly one in four packages of meat and poultry from across the United States contained multidrug resistant staph.
Among the types of meat tested, turkey carried the most resistance, with 77 percent of the meat samples showing at least some; that was followed by pork (42 percent), chicken (41 percent) and beef (37 percent). Interestingly, it wasn’t all the same staph. Though there was a great diversity of staph types, each animal species seemed to carry mostly one sequence type or strain of staph: ST1 in pigs, ST5 in chickens and ST398 in turkey. (More on that below.)
We found that each of the meat and poultry types had their own distinctive staph on them. That provides strong evidence that food animals were the primary source of the resistant staph. The source wasn’t human contamination of the meat at slaughter, or when it was packaged for retail sale.”
hat surveillance system doesn’t look for MRSA, and in the past few years, because of those pig findings, there has been a lot of pressure to add MRSA to the list.
But even if we did perform nationwide testing for MRSA in meat, that would not have found the multi-drug resistant strains revealed in Price’s work today — because most of them were not MRSA.
More from the original study:
A new multidrug-resistant S. aureus strain, ST398,has emerged that predominantly colonizes people working in food animal production. First discovered in 2003, ST398 now makes up a substantial proportion of the community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) cases in the Netherlands. Multiple studies have demonstrated the high prevalence of multidrug-resistant S. aureus, including ST398, among intensively raised swine in the European Union, Canada, and the United States, but few studies have been conducted to measure its prevalence in US food products.
All isolates were screened against antibiotics that are commonly used to treat severe MRSA infections. We identiﬁed 1 vancomycin-intermediate-resistant isolate and 1 daptomycinresistant isolate. Vancomycin, daptomycin, and their analogs were never approved for US food animal production; therefore, these ﬁndings were unexpected and may suggest origins other than US food animals.
European and North American studies indicate that ST398 can successfully colonize and infect humans.
Conventional concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) provide all the necessary components for the emergence and proliferation of multidrug-resistant zoonotic pathogens. In the United States, billions of food animals are raised in densely stocked CAFOs, where antibiotics are routinely administered in feed and water for extended periods to healthy animals.
I like how the study concludes that current conditions for raising animals are really ideal for producing drug resistant strains of bacteria. This is ridiculously scary. On the one hand, it’s a reason to eat more grass fed meat and pastured poultry. On the other hand, it’s arguable that more regular is needed for conventional farming methods.
The Average American is sleep deprived - and their performance is impaired
This is a great study where subjects’ sleep was restricted to 3,5,7, or 9 hours. P.V.T. is a measure of how much your performance is impaired by lack of sleep.
in the seven-hour group, their response time on the P.V.T. slowed and continued to do so for three days, before stabilizing at lower levels than when they started. Americans average 6.9 hours on weeknights, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Which means that, whether we like it or not, we are not thinking as clearly as we could be.
some people who need eight hours will immediately feel the wallop of one four-hour night, while other eight-hour sleepers can handle several four-hour nights before their performance deteriorates. (But deteriorate it will.) There is a small portion of the population — he estimates it at around 5 percent or even less — who, for what researchers think may be genetic reasons, can maintain their performance with five or fewer hours of sleep. (There is also a small percentage who require 9 or 10 hours.)
it looks as though there’s a more sinister aspect to sitting, too. Several strands of evidence suggest that there’s a “physiology of inactivity”: that when you spend long periods sitting, your body actually does things that are bad for you. As an example, consider lipoprotein lipase. This is a molecule that plays a central role in how the body processes fats; it’s produced by many tissues, including muscles. Low levels of lipoprotein lipase are associated with a variety of health problems, including heart disease. Studies in rats show that leg muscles only produce this molecule when they are actively being flexed (for example, when the animal is standing up and ambling about). The implication is that when you sit, a crucial part of your metabolism slows down. Nor is lipoprotein lipase the only molecule affected by muscular inactivity. Actively contracting muscles produce a whole suite of substances that have a beneficial effect on how the body uses and stores sugars and fats.
One study found that a woman’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome increased 26% for every extra hour of sitting. Prolonged sitting in an upright position can place strain on the back resulting in chronic pain. Blood clots are another risk of being inactive.
The chair is a bit like wheat, actually: a relative novelty to which we aren’t physiologically adapted that has become a cultural staple nonetheless.
Acutely, sitting weakens our muscles, especially in the legs and the hips. When you sit, your glutes are totally inactive. They aren’t being used. They’re stretched out. It’s just one big static stretch, all day long, which weakens them. Strong, engaged glutes are required for effective, natural movement. Running, walking, lifting weights – if you’re doing any of this with weak, inactive glutes from excessive sitting, you’re an injury waiting to happen. Sitting also causes permanent hip flexion. It shortens your hip flexors and makes them tight. Without good hip mobility and strength, your ability to perform the compound lower body lifts, let alone just walk around and perform day-to-day motions, is going to be severely compromised.
Standing in one place is hard work. To stand, you have to tense your leg muscles, and engage the muscles of your back and shoulders; while standing, you often shift from leg to leg. All of this burns energy.
Working in a standing position on a regular basis can cause sore feet, swelling of the legs, varicose veins, general muscular fatigue, low back pain, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and other health problems. These are common complaints among sales people, machine operators, assembly-line workers and others whose jobs require prolonged standing.
But most knowledge workers don’t have to stand in one position all day. Jamis at 37 Signals says it gives him greater clarity of thought.
I noticed an immediate increase in my ability to focus on a problem for longer, and with greater clarity. When I was blocked by some problem, I was able to just walk away from the desk, whereas before the effort of getting up from my chair often made me prefer to just sit and stew in my frustration.
I have to wonder if variety is the way to go - sometimes work sitting, sometimes standing.
Tributyltin compounds are moderately to highly persistent organic pollutants that bioconcentrate up the marine predators’ food chain. One common example is leaching of TBT from marine paints into the aquatic environment, causing irreversible damage to the aquatic life. Tributyltin has also been linked to obesity in humans, as it triggers genes that cause the growth of fat cells.
The article notes that TBTs are used to make PVC plastic, and caused mice to be 15% fatter.
Another interesting thing to note from the article was that infant obesity is up 74% - and the article cites environmental chemicals as a likely cause of that change.
These chemicals called “obesogens” accumulate higher up in the food chain. One researcher had people swap out canned foods and grain fed meats for free range, hormone free meats. Subjects on average lost 15 pounds with this change.
It recommends buying fresh, non-canned food that’s organic, avoiding plastics when possible - and not microwaving them, cutting back on cleaning products with fragrances (I’d advise being careful about those ingredients in general), filtering tap water.
Their last recommendation was interesting to me. They suggest removing your shoes before you enter your house, because things from outdoors like pesticides and other cancer causing substances may enter. Interesting. Ideally you would live in a neighborhood where these things would not be outside … but I can see the point.
The link to this article was posted by @britta_aragon via @safecosmetics.
Corn can disrupt your hormones and decrease fertility
Corn has an endocrine disruptors (e.g. leukotoxin diols) that may be worsened in GM versions of corn:
Central Iowa Farmer Jerry Rosman also had trouble with pigs and cows becoming sterile. Some of his pigs even had false pregnancies or gave birth to bags of water. After months of investigations and testing, he finally traced the problem to GM corn feed.
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine accidentally discovered that rats raised on corncob bedding “neither breed nor exhibit reproductive behavior.” Tests on the corn material revealed two compounds that stopped the sexual cycle in females “at concentrations approximately two-hundredfold lower than classical phytoestrogens.” One compound also curtailed male sexual behavior and both substances contributed to the growth of breast and prostate cancer cell cultures. Researchers found that the amount of the substances varied with GM corn varieties.
Of course you have to wonder what the consequence is of eating meat from animals that have been eating GM grains and soy as well, and milk from cows fed GM foods - I have to wonder what fat soluble hormones and other fats they’ll produce in response to these changes.
Soy is not a health food - the link to digestive problems, hormonal malfunctions, impaired blood flow, diabetes, more. Also, Asians eat less soy than you think
Soy is one of those foods we only started eating recently. In contrast to fruits and vegetables and grass fed meats and wild fish that we’ve been eating for millions of years, soy has lots of things in that are relatively foreign to our body. In general when you put foreign things in your body, the effects are negative. In contrast, evolution has made it such that we benefit from many things we are used to getting from more traditional foods. Research on soy is slowly building - we probably don’t know all the ways in which it is bad, but here is some of what we’ve already learned.
Soybeans also contain potent enzyme inhibitors. These inhibitors block uptake of trypsin and other enzymes that the body needs for protein digestion. Normal cooking does not deactivate these harmful “antinutrients,” that can cause serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and can lead to chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake.
They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.
Fitzpatrick estimated that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at least five birth control pills per day. Scientists have known for years that soy-based formula can cause thyroid problems in babies.
Approximately 25 per cent of bottle-fed children in the US receive soy-based formula - a much higher percentage than in other parts of the Western world.
Red blood cell clumping
Beyond these, soybeans also contain hemagglutinin, a clot promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together. These clustered blood cells are unable to properly absorb oxygen for distribution to the body’s tissues, and cannot help in maintaining good cardiac health.
Thyroid issues & Diabetes
Scientists have known for years that the isoflavones in soy products can depress thyroid function and cause goiters in otherwise healthy children and adults. A combined research team of Cornell University Medical College and Long Island Community Hospital medical experts have found that children who develop Type1 diabetes are twice as likely to have been fed soy formulas as those fed all other foods This confirms concerns based on animal studies raised in the 1980’s and 1990s by Health Canada researcher Dr Fraser Scott and led to the American Academy of Pediatrics issuing their warning to pediatricians against any use of soy based formulas.
Milk Soy Protein Intolerance is commonly acknowledged and diagnosed by both pediatricians and family physicians. In the medical field the occurrence is also known as eosinophilic gastroenteritis or protein intolerance. MSPI is diagnosed through the history of an infant who displays irritable, colic-like behavior, poor growth, and abnormal stools, some of which visibly show blood. Confirmation of the diagnosis is made by a biopsy of the intestinal tissue showing an increased amount of eosinophilic cells, eroded intestinal villi, and hemorrhagic tissue. An increase in the level of eosinophilic cells may also correlate with an allergic response of the intestinal tissues due to the introduction of an allergic compound. Many physicians request that parents alter the infant’s formula, or the mother’s diet (for breastfed infants) prior to having a gastroenterologist perform an invasive biopsy, then if the symptoms diminish, or even cease, the diagnosis of MSPI is assumed.
Experts at England’s Loughborough and Oxford Universities researched the impact of soy consumption in 719 senior citizens on the Indonesian island of Java, the Daily Mail reported Saturday. Researchers determined people who ate soy at least twice a day had 20 percent less memory function that those who ate it significantly less.
Male Fertility Declines
Dr. Chavarro and colleagues studied 100 men whose partners were having trouble getting pregnant. Semen analyses showed that the men with the highest levels of soy food intake-approximately a half serving per day-had 41 million sperm per milliliter fewer than men who did not consume any soy-that’s 41 million fewer sperm per milliliter on just one-half cup of soy food per day! The researchers used a questionnaire listing 15 soy-based foods to determine soy consumption over the preceding three months.”
upset stomach, bad skin, neurological problems, and more…
consuming upwards of 100 grams of soy each day started to have deleterious effects on the men. They suffered from myriad gastrointestinal, cognitive, emotional and endocrine distress and other symptoms of consumption of toxic levels of soy. In 2008, prisoners began contacting the Weston A. Price Foundation – a not-for-profit that champions real food – detailing serious health effects of the soy-centered diet. They suffered from diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, heart palpitations, acne, insomnia, anxiety, depression and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Hexane is a neurotoxin that is also a petroleum byproduct of gasoline refining. It is listed as a hazardous air pollutant with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The US Food and Drug Administration does not set a maximum residue level for hexane in soy food and does not require food manufacturers to test for hexane residues in their products. However, they do impose a limit of 5 parts per million (ppm) in fish protein isolate and a limit of 25 ppm in hop extract and spice resins. The investigation found 21 ppm in soy meal and more recent research has found amounts of up to 50 ppm.
More on sterility:
It’s possible that genetically modified soy is worse. Here are hamster and rat experiments that suggest just that…
From the 2nd generation of hamsters on a diet of GM soy, there were 40 pups of which 25% died, whereas the number was 52 from those hamsters on a normal hamster diet, and 78 from the hamsters on a diet of normal soy. Of Group Four, all the hamsters lost the ability to reproduce with the exception of one female. The female produced 16 pups, of which ?th died. Of the 3rd generation hamsters on GM soy (Group three), many of the animals were sterile.
In a study using hamsters and rats, Russian Dr. Irina Ermakova, carried out experiments in 2005 whereby half the babies from mother rats died from GM soy died within 3 weeks.
In short, nearly the entire third generation of GM soy eaters were sterile!
In the GM soy-fed groups they also found an unusually high prevalence of an otherwise extremely rare phenomenon – hair growing inside the animals’ mouths. (You can see the images here.)
Please remember humans have MUCH longer life spans than rats and that GMO foods were only introduced in 1996. This is LESS than one generation.
For example, back in 2005, Dr. Irina Ermakova, one of the senior scientists with the Russian National Academy of Sciences, reported that more than 50 percent of the babies from mother rats that were fed GM soy died within three weeks, compared to a 10 percent death rate among the controls.
Again, that’s a death rate five times higher than normal
after Ermakova’s feeding trials, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55%.
This is a big deal. Sadly the study won’t be published ‘til July so I can’t link to it.
So there really isn’t good data on all this affects humans. We really don’t know if we’ll be sterile in the first generation, if our fertility is impaired early on as is the case with rats. Here’s some fun info though, from what human studies we do have…
Soy is linked with autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism and the development of goiter and a slew of other issues which negatively affect the endocrine and reproductive systems in particular. Indeed, recent research has indicated that soy lowers sperm count and the FDA lists close to 300 studies illustrating the negative effects of soy.
Here is just a sampling of the health effects that have been linked to soy consumption: Breast cancerBrain damageInfant abnormalitiesKidney stonesImmune system impairmentDanger during pregnancy and nursing Soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, Soy contains goitrogens Goitrogens are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function. Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle. Although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy. Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese - Soybeans are processed (by acid washing) in aluminum tanks, which can leach high levels of aluminum into the final soy product. Soy formula has up to 80 times higher manganese than is found in human breast milk.
Fermented soy isn’t so bad in comparison (i.e. soy sauce, miso soup, tempeh, natto), but it’s still undesirable, in that it addresses only some of the problems associated with soy.
the act of fermenting soybeans does deactivate both trypsin inhibitors and hemagglutinin, precipitation and cooking do not. Even though these enzyme inhibitors are reduced in levels within precipitated soy products like tofu, they are not altogether eliminated. Only after a long period of fermentation (as in the creation of miso or tempeh) are the phytate and “antinutrient” levels of soybeans reduced, making their nourishment available to the human digestive system. The high levels of harmful substances remaining in precipitated soy products leave their nutritional value questionable at best, and in the least, potentially harmful.”
contrary to what the industry may claim soy has never been a staple in Asia. A study of the history of soy use in Asia shows that the poor used it during times of extreme food shortage, and only then the soybeans were carefully prepared (e.g. by lengthy fermentation) to destroy the soy toxins. Yes, the Asians understood soy all right!
Perhaps the best survey of what types/quantities of soy eaten in Asia comes from data from a validated, semi quantitative food frequency questionnaire that surveyed 1242 men and 3596 women who participated in an annual health check-up program in Takayama City, Japan. This survey identified that the soy products consumed were tofu (plain, fried, deep-fried, or dried), miso, fermented soybeans, soymilk, and boiled soybeans. The estimated amount of soy protein consumed from these sources was 8.00 ± 4.95 g/day for men and 6.88 ± 4.06 g/day for women (Nagata C, Takatsuka N, Kurisu Y, Shimizu H; J Nutr 1998, 128:209-13).
So if Asians don’t each much soy, you can’t really say it’s responsible for much of their good health. Asian good health is probably due to increased seafood and vegetable consumption, and it’s more likely the case that they don’t hurt themselves up with too much soy.
Some say soy is not as bad for your heart as milk is (that’s true). It’s not as bad for your heart as meat from cows that stuffed with corn, grains and other foods those cows weren’t meant to eat. That’s true too. However, that doesn’t make soy a good food choice - and it doesn’t remove the other problems associated with soy. Soy is not the only protein source, and comparing it to other, less desirable protein sources does not make it a good choice.
Blueberries combat diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer
In a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 32 obese, insulin-resistant (pre-diabetic) adult men and women drank smoothies made with freeze-dried blueberry powder for six weeks. A placebo control group consumed smoothies without blueberry extracts.
With no changes in body weight or composition compared to controls, the blueberry group showed a statistically significant and much greater improvement in insulin sensitivity (22.2% plus or minus 5.8%) versus the placebo arm (4.9% plus or minus 4.5%).
Another study examined 48 individuals afflicted with metabolic syndrome, the constellation of pathologies that includes high blood pressure, central obesity (around the abdomen), elevated blood glucose, insulin resistance, and unfavorable lipid profiles (high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol). In this randomized, controlled trial, participants consumed a freeze-dried blueberry drink or an equal amount of fluids. After eight weeks, the blueberry group experienced greater decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, compared with the control group. The test group also exhibited lower levels of oxidized LDL and other inflammatory markers associated with the metabolic syndrome.
Researchers have discovered that blueberry anthocyanins combat cancer development in three distinct ways:
They inhibit the creation of new blood vessels essential to tumor growth (angiogenesis).19
They impede the spread of tumor cells to different locations in the body (metastasis).19
They stimulate cellular maturation, or differentiation, into less injurious or malignant forms.19
Blueberries are one of the few foods that have a meaningfully positive effect on your brain. Foods that do this many good things are rare. Putting everything together it’s a pretty convincing argument to eat blueberries regularly.
Your body needs only 500 mg of sodium per day to function under normal circumstances. Endurance athletes need more and should consume fluids that contain sodium if they are exercising for two hours or more.
In some endurance athletes, measured sweat losses have exceeded 1.8 liter per hour and range from 0.5 to 2.5 liters per hour.
Research measured results have ranged from 230 to 1380 milligrams per liter or even higher.
You can certainly become depleted in one ironman (8-10 hours), and have low sodium despite eating a lot of salt on a regular basis.
Hyponatremia means a low concentration of sodium in the blood. When it occurs in triathletes, it usually happens during long or ultra-distance races in the heat but may occur anytime. It is estimated that approximately 30% of the finishers of the Hawaii Ironman are both hyponatremic and dehydrated
So how much sodium would an athlete or avid exerciser need? Assume someone works out 1 hour per day. That works out to 500 + 0.5 * 230 = 615 mg of sodium for some athletes and 500 + 2.5 * 1380 = 3950 mg of sodium for some athletes.
It’s a reasonable assumption that cavemen exercised at least an hour a day, getting food etc., so where did they get their sodium? Chicken breast and most fish have about 50-75mg of sodium per 100g serving. Salads have about 75mg per 100 gram serving. In short it’s hard to eat a lot of sodium naturally. One potentially better alternative might be swiss chard, which is relatively easy to buy, and has 200mg of sodium per 100g serving, and can be cooked for easier digestion. The obvious conclusion is that cavemen probably ate a lot of vegetables. Research suggests they ate 10-20 servings per day of fruits and vegetables.
If you don’t eat a lot of vegetables and you are an athlete your health alternatives are not that palatable. You could drink milk which has some health problems of its own.
One option might be to buy seaweed. Wakame seaweed, for example, has nearly 1 gram of sodium per 100 g serving. I found this source which lists nutritional information for certified organic seaweed that you can buy. I was thinking about mercury in sea vegetables. One linked study I saw showed about 0.004 to 0.04 PPM. This is about the same amount you’d find in a lot of fish, making it a bit less desirable to eat daily.
You could just slather salt on your food. One hazard of that is that sodium is likely not the only thing that gets depleted in exercise, but other things aren’t really that depleted, so it’s probably ok to add salt. Salt licks occur naturally - wild animals have access to them. Some cave men also lived near the sea and could likely get some salt that way. In short salt may well have been available to cave men as well. So if you’re going to add salt, what type of salt should you add? Sea salt is out because of mercury etc., as is industrial salt, because of chemical impurities. You could buy mined salt that hasn’t been processed. The risk when you ingest a lot of sodium is that you tend to flush out other minerals via urine, so extra vegetables is likely the best bet, followed by good, mined, non-processed salt.
As someone who prefers natural solutions, I would prefer that athletes eat more vegetables, but that isn’t always an option for some - simply because it’s hard to eat for some athletes to eat that many vegetables because they require calorically dense foods. The best solution as I see it is to reduce salt conception and increase vegetable consumption as much as possible, and supplement only if needed.
This goes right in line with my earlier post on milk and histamine. As I said in the earlier post, anything that elevates your histamine level (be it allergies or milk) makes your body feel stressed out over some perceived acute threat (and thus more stressed out and thus less able to cope with things on a regular basis, and thus depressed.)
Spring always brings a rash of sneezing, sniffling and stuffy noses. But can seasonal allergies be psychologically harmful?
A wave of emerging research suggests that may be the case. While there’s no firm evidence that allergies cause depression, large studies show that allergy sufferers do seem to be at higher risk of depression.
Animal studies have demonstrated that pectin and polyphenols, two substances found in apples, enhance lipid metabolism and reduce the production of molecules that cause inflammation.
160 females aged 45-65 years were randomly selected to receive either 75 grams of dried apples daily or dried prunes daily for a whole year. Their blood was examined in a laboratory at months 3, 6 and 12.
"Incredible changes in the apple-eating women happened by 6 months- they experienced a 23% decrease in LDL cholesterol (which is known as the "bad cholesterol). I never expected apple consumption to reduce bad cholesterol to this extent while increasing HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol by about 4%."
Although the apples added another 240 calories to the women’s daily food intake, they did not put any weight on, in fact they lost on average 3.3 pounds. "Reducing body weight is an added benefit to daily apple intake." Pectin, which is known to help make you feel full, may be a factor in the weight loss, the scientists believe.
Very few foods have a dramatic effect on the heart and cholesterol.
Quantifying the impact of eggs on cholesterol - how eggs are good for your heart
How much does dietary cholesterol impact your cholesterol number. Here’s one article that mentions that:
The 167 cholesterol feeding studies in over 3,500 subjects in the literature indicate that a 100 mg change in dietary cholesterol changes plasma total cholesterol by 2.2 mg/dL.
Does that mean eggs are bad for your heart. No, in fact, as this article says, eggs are a heart healthy food…
that’s right, I said eggs - the ultimate high cholesterol food. Remember, dietary cholesterol is only a small fraction of the cholesterol your body produces. Although eggs are rich in cholesterol, they also contain choline, a component of lecithin, which acts like a fat and cholesterol dissolver. Amazing - the ultimate high cholesterol food is actually a food that lowers cholesterol.
Artichokes help improve liver function. As this site says….
Decoctions of artichoke leaves have been used as blood cleansers, cholerics, to improve bile production and secretion and to detox the liver and the skin.
Current research is showing benefits to the liver from cynarin, a compound found in the artichoke’s leaves. Silymarin is another compound found in artichokes that has powerful anitoxidant properties and may help the liver regenerate healthy tissue.
The pleasant bitter taste of the artichoke is due mostly to a plant chemical called cynarin, which is found in highest concentration in the leaves of the plant.
In a 50-day double-blind study, thirty patients received 500 milligrams of pure cynarin per day and had anaverage 20 percent reduction in total cholesterol along with an average 15 percent reduction in triglycerides compared to a placebo group.
A 6 week double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial of 143 patients has demonstrated the effectiveness of artichoke leaf extract (ALE) for lowering LDL cholesterol. The decrease of total cholesterol in the group that received the extract was 18.5% compared to 8.6% in for the placebo group. LDL cholesterol decrease in the ALE group was 22.9% and 6.3% for placebo. LDL cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio showed a decrease of 20.2% in the ALE group and 7.2% in the placebo group.
In a trial involving 208 adults, results provide support for the notion that artichoke leaf extract has potential value in relieving irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. [IBS]
It is bifidogenic - meaning it promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract and reduces symptoms of IBS.
Very few foods have a dramatic impact on heart health - this is one of them. Not only that but very foods also impact the liver and the gut like this.
You actually can get large muscles from lifting light weights. Here's how:
It turns out that lifting a weight that’s 90% of the maximum weight you can lift until you can’t lift any more (failure) is less effective at muscle building than lifting a weight that’s 30% of the maximum weight you can lift until you can’t life any more (failure). It turns out you lift the lighter weight a lot more times and that builds more muscle. here is that study: via
We report for the first time that low-load high volume resistance exercise (30FAIL) is more effective at increasing muscle protein synthesis than high-load low volume resistance exercise (90FAIL). Specifically, the 30FAIL protocol induced similar increases in MYO protein synthesis to that induced by the 90FAIL protocol at 4 h post-exercise but this response was sustained at 24 h only in 30FAIL. … There were three groups: 90% 1RM to failure (90FAIL), 30% 1RM which matched the external work to the 90FAIL group (30WM), and 30% 1RM to failure (30FAIL).
The fact is that most people when lifting a light weight don’t lift it enough times to reach failure, so that’s probably why this study is a bit counter intuitive. The reality is if you push yourself to near failure any weight and rep combination, you’ll likely get results.
Why do some people who consume the same amount of food as others gain more weight? After assessing how much food each of his subjects needed to maintain their current weight, Dr. Levine then began to ply them with an extra 1,000 calories per day. Sure enough, some of his subjects packed on the pounds, while others gained little to no weight.
Then six years later, with the help of the motion-tracking underwear, they discovered the answer. “The people who didn’t gain weight were unconsciously moving around more,” Dr. Jensen says. They hadn’t started exercising more — that was prohibited by the study. Their bodies simply responded naturally by making more little movements than they had before the overfeeding began, like taking the stairs, trotting down the hall to the office water cooler, bustling about with chores at home or simply fidgeting. On average, the subjects who gained weight sat two hours more per day than those who hadn’t.
The conventional wisdom, though, is that if you watch your dietand get aerobic exercise at least a few times a week, you’ll effectively offset your sedentary time. A growing body of inactivity research, however, suggests that this advice makes scarcely more sense than the notion that you could counter a pack-a-day smoking habit by jogging.
This is your body on chairs: Electrical activity in the muscles drops — “the muscles go as silent as those of a dead horse,” Hamilton says — leading to a cascade of harmful metabolic effects. Your calorie-burning rate immediately plunges to about one per minute, a third of what it would be if you got up and walked. Insulin effectiveness drops within a single day, and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetesrises. So does the risk of being obese. The enzymes responsible for breaking down lipidsand triglycerides — for “vacuuming up fat out of the bloodstream,” as Hamilton puts it — plunge, which in turn causes the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol to fall.
In studies of rats who were forced to be inactive, for example, he discovered that the leg muscles responsible for standing almost immediately lost more than 75 percent of their ability to remove harmful lipo-proteins from the blood.
To show that the ill effects of sitting could have a rapid onset in humans too, Hamilton recruited 14 young, fit and thin volunteers and recorded a 40 percent reduction in insulin’s ability to uptake glucose in the subjects — after 24 hours of being sedentary.
Alpa Patel, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, tracked the health of 123,000 Americans between 1992 and 2006. The men in the study who spent six hours or more per day of their leisure time sitting had an overall death rate that was about 20 percent higher than the men who sat for three hours or less.
Alpa Patel, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, tracked the health of 123,000 Americans between 1992 and 2006. The men in the study who spent six hours or more per day of their leisure time sitting had an overall death rate that was about 20 percent higher than the men who sat for three hours or less. The death rate for women who sat for more than six hours a day was about 40 percent higher. Patel estimates that on average, people who sit too much shave a few years off of their lives.
Another study, published last year in the journal Circulation, looked at nearly 9,000 Australians and found that for each additional hour of television a person sat and watched per day, the risk of dying rose by 11 percent. The study author David Dunstan wanted to analyze whether the people who sat watching television had other unhealthful habits that caused them to die sooner. But after crunching the numbers, he reported that “age, sex, education, smoking, hypertension, waist circumference, body-mass index, glucose tolerance status and leisure-time exercise did not significantly modify the associations between television viewing and all-cause … mortality.”
Dr. Levine knows that we can’t all be farmers, so instead he is exploring ways for people to redesign their environments so that they encourage more movement. We visited a chairless first-grade classroom where the students spent part of each day crawling along mats labeled with vocabulary words and jumping between platforms while reciting math problems. We stopped by a human-resources staffing agency where many of the employees worked on the move at treadmill desks — a creation of Dr. Levine’s, later sold by a company called Steelcase.
OK, this is really cool - and interesting for anyone interested in fitness.
OK, so normally as you get older, your telomeres shorten and that causes a whole lot of aging related problems.
This is a small study, but it shows that telomere length is preserved - if you among those who do endurance exercise… and it’s related to your so-called VO2 max - which is basically an estimate of the most oxygen you can consume during exercise…it’s a measure of how hard you can push yourself doing a sprint in any number of different types of exercises.
This is interesting because a number of studies have demonstrated that doing short sprints is actually more effective than aerobic workouts in terms of cardiovascular benefits.
To me, this is an additional, important data point, that if you care about fitness, and you devote time to stay in shape, you really owe it to yourself to do some sort of sprint - it doesn’t matter whether you’re sprinting up stairs or running your fastest - it’s about getting your heart, lungs, body, and body overall to go as fast as it can.
Consistent aerobic conditioning will increase your max, but only by so much. French exercise physiologist Veronique Billat found that the fastest way to reach your potential is to run intervals at a speed that elicits your VO2 max, a pace known in lab circles as velocity.
I suspect that improved cardiovascular fitness is directly tied to mental acuity and mood, and to me this is one very important molecular marker that sprints are quite important.
So the next question is if you’re going to start doing sprints at a gym or on a track, how should you go about it? Wikipedia calls sprint training HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training):
Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 9–20 minutes. The original protocol set a 2:1 ratio for work to recovery periods. For example, a runner would alternate 15–20 seconds of hard sprinting with 10 seconds of jogging or walking.
A HIIT session consists of a warm up period of exercise, followed by six to ten repetitions of high intensity exercise, separated by medium intensity exercise, and ending with a period of cool down exercise. The high intensity exercise should be done at near maximum intensity. The medium exercise should be about 50% intensity. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise. The goal is to do at least six cycles, and to have the entire HIIT session last at least fifteen minutes and not more than twenty.
A study by Gibala et al. demonstrated 2.5 hours of sprint interval training produced similar biochemical muscle changes to 10.5 hours of endurance training and similar endurance performance benefits.
A recent study by Driller showed an 8.2 second improvement in 2000m rowing time following 4 weeks of HIIT in well-trained rowers. The interval training used by Driller and colleagues involved 8 x 2.5 minute work bouts at 90% of VO2max, with individualized recovery intervals between each work bout
Recently it has been shown that two weeks of HIIT can substantially improve insulin action in young healthy men. HIIT may therefore represent a viable method for prevention of type-2 diabetes.
So, if those are the basic parameters, what is optimal? As this site says,
elite athletes cannot sustain an all-out effort for more than 60 seconds, which means the average exerciser’s full speed limitations are probably closer to 15-30 seconds.
If the goal is to be able to increase your sprinting ability - and improve the lengths of your sprints, it seems to me that sprinting intervals should be as close to your max as possible for as long as you can sustain that maximum. The rest interval would be about half of that amount, but can vary.
As this article suggests, there may be other reasons to keep your sprint short.
Studies also show that shorter intervals don’t feel as physically demanding as long intervals — so you can get better results without feeling like you’re working harder.
The article mentions myoglobin which holds oxygen, which is used to burn fat during fast sprints.
Myoglobin holds enough oxygen to last for 5-15 seconds [Astrand, I., & Astrand, P-O. (1960). Myohemoglobin as an oxygen-store in man. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, 48, 454-460]
myoglobin is repeatedly used and reloaded during the work and recovery phases of interval exercise.
This is another reason why an all out sprint is limited in terms of time.
Interestingly this may also be related to how weight lifters typically limit their number of repetitions to about 8 reps. That’s the maximum “sprint” that a muscle can maintain. In this view point, myoglobin could almost be view as the lungs of the muscle, and that you are partly working to improve the respirative ability of muscles. In my view this is likely one reason why shorter sets work for muscular development. However it also suggests to me that some may be able to sustain a longer “sprint” and that may be effective, provided they work towards muscle exhaustion. Indeed other studies have shown that as long as the muscle reaches failure - or comes close, lower weights and higher reps may have more benefits. It just takes a lot longer to reach failure with lower weights.
So, with sprints the idea is that doing sprint training for 20 minutes provides the cardiovascular benefits of lifting a lower weight for much longer. Similarly with weight training doing 3 sets or sprints to failure provides the benefits of a much longer workout.
Indeed people who train for power lifting (low rep, high weight), also have longer telomeres than age matched controls.
As see it, any type of sprint, whether it’s on a track, on a rowing machine or stair climber, or on a set with heavy weight spurs more rapid gains in terms of growth in fitness than so called endurance workouts, and it appears they help make you more youthful as well. Telomeres are just a marker, so my guess is that those who sprint and lift have better skin, more energy etc. than people of a similar age who do not do those same activities.
For generations, mothers have given their children a warm glass of milk before bed as a way to help them fall asleep. As far back as 1934, this home remedy gained scientific validation when it was observed that people who ate milk and cornflakes were more likely to enjoy a full night of uninterrupted sleep.
In 1997, pediatric researchers added to the evidence by demonstrating that newborns given an infant formula containing milk fell asleep not solely due to nursing and being held, but owing specifically to something in milk itself.
In 2000, researchers identified what that “something” was. It turns out that nutrients found in cow’s milk called bioactive peptides (chains of amino acids) exert a sedative effect on the brain and induce sustained sleep patterns.
These bioactive milk peptides have since been shown to act on the brain’s GABA-A receptors, the same mechanism of action that makes the class of sedatives known as benzodiazepines so effective. The advantage of milk peptides, of course, is that they induce relaxation and sleep without the side effects associated with long-term benzodiazepine use.
In pre-clinical models, milk peptides markedly reduce anxiety and improve sleep in animals subjected to chronic stress.
In human studies, a proprietary bioactive milk peptide compound used widely in Europe has been shown to effectively induce relaxation, leading not only to deeper, more restorative sleep, but also to substantial improvements across a wide range of stress markers.
The article cited above goes on to talk about how their milk extract is marvelous, and how it succeeds in reducing stress in additional clinical trials.
Casein has been documented to break down in the stomach to produce the peptide casomorphin, an opioid that acts as a histamine releaser.
What are the effects of this histamine release?. It’s complicated because there are multiple receptors for it:H1,H2,H3,H4, each of which do something different when histamine is released and stimulates them:
[H1] Histamine heightens allergic reactions and those you experience during colds and allergies. It makes you more likely to cough and sneeze. On your skin it makes you more likely to have eczema and get hives and it makes insect bites more itchy. For your stomach, it heightens nausea and motion sickness. It also wakes the body up, perhaps to deal with these perceived problems.
[H2] Histamine dilates your blood vessels, and is involved in erections. It also inhibits part of your immune system (antibody synthesis, T-cell proliferation and cytokine production).
[H3] Makes you sleepy and lessens pain perception. So H1 makes you awake, but H3 makes you sleep, so for whatever reason milk’s action on the H3 histamine receptors appear to override its effects on H1 receptors.
[H4] Active in bone marrow and the immune system.
So how to make sense of these different ways in which Histamine acts? As this site says,
Histamine is an immune system mediator or, more simply, a chemical messenger that helps direct your body’s response to a foreign invader.
It essentially tells your body, get overly active in fighting off a perceived acute disease or threat of some sort - and get a little bit stressed out about it - and lower general immunity, relax with respect anything other than this acute problem, and go to sleep.
So histamine takes a small issue - whether it’s bee pollen or some other allergen, and makes your body perceive it to be a huge problem and totally focuses your body on defending itself from said problem. My guess is it does the same thing in your brain personality-wise. It makes you more likely to recognize something small as a major acute problem which must be dealt with immediately. In the absence of a perceived stress - which would probably be amplified by the histamine - it is likely sedative.
Milk is bad in other ways….
Milk contains a small amount of actual morphine - which in itself is interesting.
Casein breaks down down into a few things in your gut, one of which is BCM-7.
BCM-7 has been implicated in the development of both ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and diabetes mellitus type I (DM-I) (Elliott et al. 1999; Thorsdottir et al. 2000; McLachlan 2001; Laugesen and Elliott 2003; Tailford et al. 2003)
For IHD, BCM-7 could act on LDL through peroxidation of the lipids within LDL through a tyrosyl radical mechanism of action (Elliott at al. 1999; Heinecke et al. 1999).
For DM-I…BCM-7 suppresses immune defense mechanisms by inhibiting the incorporation of thymidine into lymphocyte DNA replication thereby inhibiting lymphocyte proliferation (Elitsur and Luk 1991). This generates an immune vulnerability (in the case of DMI) to a certain class of enteroviruses that are still being researched as they may have potential key roles in the damage done to pancreatic beta cells (Graves et al. 1997). Through BCM-7 compromising the immune system, the system is more vulnerable to all kinds of pathogenic infections.
BCM-7 acts on the mu-opioid receptor which in turn causes the release of histamine (Kostyra et al. 2004)
The suspected heart disease and diabetes mechanism has everything to do with the protein in milk (Casein which breaks down into BCM-7) and little to do with the saturated fat in the milk. More on that correlation.
Like heroin or codeine, casomorphins slow intestinal movements and have a decided antidiarrheal effect. The opiate effect may be why adults often find that cheese can be constipating, just as opiate painkillers are.
Studies involving large samples of patients with autism, schizophrenia, or mania found that over 90 % of those tested had high levels of the milk protein beta-casomorphine-7 in their blood and urine and defective enzymatic processes for digesting milk protein(24,25,27), and similarly for the corresponding enzyme needed to digest wheat gluten(24,26). Like casein, gluten breaks down into molecules with opioid traits, called gluteomorphine or gliadin. As with caseomorphin, it too can retain biological activity if the enzymes needed to digest it are not functioning properly..
In hydrolysed milk with variant A1 of beta-casein, BCM-7 level is 4-fold higher than in A2 milk. Variants A1 and A2 of beta-casein are common among many dairy cattle breeds. A1 is the most frequent in Holstein-Friesian (0.310–0.660), Ayrshire (0.432–0.720) and Red (0.710) cattle. In contrast, a high frequency of A2 is observed in Guernsey (0.880–0.970) and Jersey (0.490–0.721) cattle(92). In children with autism, most of whom have been found to have been exposed to high levels of toxic metals through vaccines, mother’s dental amalgams, or other sources; higher levels ofBCM-7 is found in the blood(24-26).
Epidemiological evidence from New Zealand claims that consumption of beta-casein A1 is associated with higher national mortality rates from ischaemic heart disease. It appears that the populations that consume milk containing high levels of beta-casein A2 have a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 1 diabetes.
A double blind study using a potent opiate antagonist, naltrexone (NAL), produced significant reduction in autistic symptomology among the 56% most responsive to opioid effects(28).
Of course you’ll get less heart disease in a population that drinks a form of milk with less beta-casein, but of course one might postulate that heart disease would be further reduced with casein and milk elimination.