Friday, September 30, 2011

Intrinsic Aerobic Exercise Capacity Linked to Longevity

Aerobic exercise capacity has proven to be a good indicator of health. A recent paper in Circulation Research whose authors include researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's KG Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine uses a rat model to show that innate exercise capacity can be linked to longevity.
Low aerobic exercise capacity is a strong predictor of premature morbidity and mortality in both healthy adults and people with cardiovascular disease. In the elderly, poor performance on treadmill- or extended walking tests indicates proximity to future health decline. In order to test the association between aerobic exercise capacity and survivability, a rat model was made through artificial selective breeding.

Laboratory rats of widely varying genetic backgrounds were bred for low or high intrinsic treadmill running capacity. Rats from multiple generations were followed for survivability and assessed for age-related declines in cardiovascular fitness, such as peak oxygen uptake, myocardial function, endurance performance and change in body mass. We found that the average lifespan of rats with innate low exercise capacity was 28-45% shorter than for rats with an inborn high exercise capacity. Likewise, the peak oxygen uptake measured across adulthood was a reliable predictor of lifespan.

As they transitioned to old age, rats with an inborn low capacity for exercise had worse cardiac health by multiple measures (left ventricular myocardial and cardiomyocyte morphology, mean blood pressure, and intracellular calcium handling in both systole and diastole). Moreover, rats with high innate exercise capacities had better sustained physical activity levels, energy expenditures, and lean body mass with age than their low-capacity cohorts.

Since the rats came from a wide variety of backgrounds, the results provide strong evidence that innate capacity for exercise can be linked to longevity, thus aerobic exercise capacity can prove useful in future exploration of the mechanisms behind cardiovascular disease.

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Fatty acid test: Why some harm health, but others help

A major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other health- and life-threatening conditions, obesity is epidemic in the United States and other developed nations where it's fueled in large part by excessive consumption of a fat-rich "Western diet."

But not all fats are equal. Animal-derived saturated fats like lard and butter are strongly linked to adverse health effects, but unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from plants and cold-water fish like salmon and mackerel are not. In fact, the latter are known to produce beneficial health effects and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

For biomedical investigators, the enduring question has been why saturated and unsaturated fatty acids produce such diametrically opposed health effects. Now, in a paper published in the September 30 issue of the journal Cell, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues offer an explanation, and a framework that could lead to dietary supplements designed to treat obesity at the molecular level.

"These findings not only explain the long-standing enigma regarding the differential health effects of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids," said senior author Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology in UC San Diego's Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, "they also provide improved tools and a mechanistic framework for the potential development of dietary supplements to treat obesity, estimated to be worth billions of dollars per year."

Senior author Karin, first author Ryan G. Holzer, PhD, formerly a graduate student in Karin's lab and now at the Mayo Clinic, and colleagues began with the observation that saturated fatty acids, such as palmitic acid, are potent activators of Jun kinases (JNK), key regulatory molecules implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and atherosclerosis. However, unsaturated fatty acids such as palmitoleic acid (POA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) not only do not activate JNK, but actually block JNK activation by palmitic acid.

Palmitic acid and POA differ in molecular structure by the presence of a single unsaturated bond (the absence of two hydrogen atoms) in POA. Cellular membrane fluidity is decreased upon incorporation of saturated fatty acids, which possess rigid hydrocarbon tails, but increased by the incorporation of unsaturated fatty acids with "bent" hydrocarbon tails.

Postulating that the membrane is the only cellular structure that can discriminate between all of these fatty acids, the scientists searched for membrane-associated protein kinases that could account for the differential effects on JNK activity. They ultimately identified c-Src, a membrane-associated tyrosine kinase, as the molecule responsible for activation of JNK by palmitic acid and other saturated fatty acids. They also discovered that saturated fatty acids "push" c-Src into membrane sub-domains of reduced fluidity and increased rigidity, where it accumulates in an activated form that eventually leads to JNK activation.

By contrast, POA and EPA prevent these changes in the membrane distribution of c-Src and – by blocking c-Src aggregation – they inhibit its activation by saturated fatty acids.
Most of the research was conducted using cultured cells (fibroblasts) treated with individual or combined fatty acids, but the scientists also fed mice a high-fat diet (in which 60 percent of the calories were fat-derived) and reported similar c-Src accumulation within membrane subdomains of increased rigidity and JNK activation.

Currently, polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as EPA and structurally-related omega-3 fatty acids are used in the treatment of hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol levels) and may be effective in the treatment or prevention of type 2 diabetes. Karin said understanding how EPA works could lead to the identification of even more potent EPA-like molecules.

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Lift weights, eat mustard, build muscles?

New research in the FASEB Journal suggests that rats fed homobrassinolide, found in the mustard plant, produced an anabolic effect, and increased appetite and muscle mass, as well as the number and size of muscle fibers

New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that rats fed homobrassinolide, found in the mustard plant, produced an anabolic effect, and increased appetite and muscle mass, as well as the number and size of muscle fibers.

Bethesda, MD—If you are looking to lean out, add muscle mass, and get ripped, a new research report published in The FASEB Journal ( suggests that you might want to look to your garden for a little help. That's because scientists have found that when a specific plant steroid was given orally to rats, it triggered a response similar to anabolic steroids, with minimal side effects. In addition, the research found that the stimulatory effect of homobrassinolide (a type of brassinosteroid found in plants) on protein synthesis in muscle cells led to increases in lean body mass, muscle mass and physical performance.

"We hope that one day brassinosteroids may provide an effective, natural, and safe alternative for age- and disease-associated muscle loss, or be used to improve endurance and physical performance," said Slavko Komarnytsky, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Plants for Human Health Institute, FBNS at North Carolina State University in Kannapolis, N.C. "Because some plants we eat contain these compounds, like mustards, in the future we may be able to breed or engineer these plants for higher brassinosteroid content, thus producing functional foods that can treat or prevent diseases and increase physical performance."

To make this discovery, Komarnytsky and colleagues exposed rat skeletal muscle cells to different amounts of homobrassinolide and measured protein synthesis in cell culture. The result was increased protein synthesis and decreased protein degradation in these cells. Healthy rats then received oral administration of homobrassinolide daily for 24 days. Changes in body weight, food consumption, and body composition were measured. Rats receiving homobrassinolide gained more weight and slightly increased their food intake. Body composition was measured using dual-emission X-ray absorptiometry analysis and showed increased lean body mass in treated animals over those who were not treated. This study was repeated in rats fed high protein diet and similar results were observed. Additionally, researchers used surgically castrated peri-pubertal rat models to examine the ability of homobrassinolide to restore androgen-dependent tissues after androgen deprivation following castration. Results showed increased grip strength and an increase in the number and size of muscle fibers crucial for increased physical performance.

"The temptation is to see this discovery as another quick fix to help you go from fat to fit," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "and to a very small degree, this may be true. In reality, however, this study identifies an important drug target for a wide range of conditions that cause muscle wasting."

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Overweight Mothers Increase Asthma Risk For Their Children

The children of mothers who overweight or obese when they become pregnant are more likely to have asthma or wheezing as teenagers according to a team of researchers including Swatee Patel from the University of Greenwich.

A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that there was an increased risk of 20 to 30 per cent, compared with women who have a healthy pre-pregnancy weight

Swatee Patel, Principal Lecturer in Statistics in the University of Greenwich's School of Health & Social Care, analysed data from almost 7,000 15 and 16-year-olds born in northern Finland.

The study also suggested that the heavier the women, the greater the risk of wheezing and asthma-like symptoms. Those with a history of allergies also have a much higher risk of their children having chest problems.

Swatee Patel says: "Our research has shown that overweight or obese women, who become pregnant are more likely to have children who suffer from asthma or wheeze in their teenage years. The heaviest mothers were 47 per cent more likely to have children with severe wheezing compared to normal weight mothers. Our findings suggest that being overweight may interfere with normal fetal development as a result of disrupted metabolic or hormonal activity. This could partly contribute towards the rising rates of chronic asthma suffered by children. These new findings add to a long list of damaging effects of obesity, not only in the mothers but in their children."

The mothers were questioned when they were 12 weeks pregnant about their lifestyle, social background, and educational achievements. Medical data on height and weight before pregnancy was also examined.

The study was carried out with colleagues from Imperial College London, and institutions in Finland including the National Public Health Institute, University of Oulu and the University Hospital of Oulu.
Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

New Steps To Fight Childhood Obesity Taken By CDC

A new effort to address childhood obesity using successful elements of both primary care and public health was launched today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A four-year Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project, supported by $25 million in funding awards made available through the Affordable Care Act, will enable the project to build on existing community efforts and work to identify effective health care and community strategies to support children's healthy eating and active living and help combat childhood obesity.

The project aims to target children between the ages of 2 to 12 years covered by the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

CHIP provides low cost health insurance to more than 7 million children from working families. Although childhood obesity rates are high overall, those for minority and low-income communities in particular are even higher. Many diseases linked to childhood obesity can be prevented, such as type 2 diabetes, asthma and heart disease.

Childhood obesity can be overcome by using innovative approaches to reach low-income and minority families; these strategies include combining changes in preventive care at doctor visits with supportive changes in schools, child care centers, and community venues such as retail food stores and parks. Community health workers will provide the link between families and resources in their communities. Their task will be to inform and educate those that are hard-to-reach, those with limited English proficiency and minority communities about disease prevention, including obesity, health insurance enrollment opportunities, and disease management.

As a whole, the grantees' work will be based on improvement strategies for children's health behaviors by involving the children themselves, their parents and other family members as well as the communities in which they live.

CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH stated:

"Over the last three decades, obesity rates among children and adolescents have nearly tripled. Obese children are more likely to have asthma, depression, diabetes, and other serious and costly health problems. This project will help figure out ways our children can grow up to lead long, healthy and productive lives."

For identifying effective childhood obesity prevention strategies, the project grantees have included three research facilities at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, the San Diego State University and the Massachusetts State Department of Public Health. Each facility will receive funding of approximately $6.2 million over a four-year period.

The University of Houston, appointed to be the evaluation center, will receive about $4.2 million over the four-year period to determine successful strategies and share lessons and successes.

The CDC will evaluate the findings and provide recommendations for successful strategies at the end of the project in September 2015 in order to prevent obesity among underserved children throughout the United States.

Written by Petra Rattue

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Additives Meant To Protect Vitamin C Actually Cause More Harm

Anti-caking agents in powdered products may hasten degradation of vitamin C instead of doing what they are supposed to do: protect the nutrient from moisture.

Lisa Mauer, a Purdue University professor of food science; Lynne Taylor, a professor of industrial and physical pharmacy; and graduate student Rebecca Lipasek study deliquescence, a reaction in which humidity causes a crystalline solid to dissolve. They wanted to understand how anti-caking agents protect substances such as vitamin C from humidity.

In Mauer's laboratory, different anti-caking agents were blended with powdered sodium ascorbate, a common form of vitamin C, and were exposed to different relative humidities. Normally, sodium ascorbate deliquesces, or dissolves, at 86 percent relative humidity and is stable below that level. Some anti-caking agents, however, caused the degradation to begin at lower humidity levels.

"The additives that the food industry puts in to make these powders more stable didn't help the vitamin C, and in some cases actually made things worse," Lipasek said.

Once vitamin C changes chemically, it no longer holds its nutritional value.

The findings suggest that foods made with powdered vitamin C may lose the vitamin's nutrients at a lower humidity than once thought. The team's findings were published in the current issue of the Journal of Food Science.

A variety of anti-caking agents were studied.

"Some of the agents act like little raincoats, covering the particles and protecting them from moisture. Others will absorb the water themselves, keeping it away from the vitamin C particles," Mauer said. "I really thought some of those anti-caking agents would help, but they didn't."

The problem, according to the research, is the chemical properties of the anti-caking agents themselves.

The water-repellent agents, which act like raincoats, are mobile, Lipasek said. When they move around, they clump together and leave some of the vitamin C uncovered. When that happens, moisture is able to reach and degrade the exposed vitamin C.

The moisture-absorbing agents, which absorb the water at a lower humidity than vitamin C, may be absorbing so much moisture that they become saturated. When that occurs, Mauer said, the pH level around the vitamin C can change, or water can move and interact with the vitamin C. Both of these scenarios could lead to further reactions that lower the humidity at which vitamin C deliquesces and changes from solid to liquid. Once the vitamin C dissolves, it is unstable.

Next, Mauer and Lipasek plan to test more complex blends that contain more ingredients along with vitamin C. They also plan to determine how much water is necessary to destabilize vitamin C and how temperature affects the destabilization of vitamin C with anti-caking agents.


Effects of Anti-caking Agents and Relative Humidity on the Physical and Chemical Stability of Powdered Vitamin C

Rebecca A. Lipasek, Lynne S. Taylor, and Lisa J. Mauer

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is widely used by the food industry in the powder form for both its nutritional and functional properties. However, vitamin C is deliquescent, and deliquescence has been linked to physical and chemical instabilities. Anti-caking agents are often added to powder systems to delay or prevent caking, but little is known about their effect on the chemical stability of powders. In this study, various anti-caking agents (calcium phosphate, calcium silicate, calcium stearate, corn starch, and silicon dioxide) were combined with sodium ascorbate at 2% and 50% w/w ratios and stored at various relative humidities (23%, 43%, 64%, 75%, 85%, and 98% RHs). Chemical and physical stability and moisture sorption were monitored over time. Additionally, saturated solution samples were stored at various pHs to deter mine the effect of surface pH and dissolution on the vitamin degradation rate. Storage RH, time, and anti-caking agent type and ratio all significantly affected (P < 0.05) moisture sorption and vitamin C stability. Silicon dioxide and calcium silicate (50% w/w) and calcium stearate (at both ratios) were the only anti-caking agents to improve the physical stability of powdered sodium ascorbate while none of the anti-caking agents improved its chemical stability. However, cornstarch and calcium stearate had the least adverse effect on chemical stability. Dissolution rate and pH were also important factors affecting the chemical and physical stability of the powders. Therefore, monitoring storage environmental conditions and anti-caking agent usage are important for understanding the stability of vitamin C.

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Oral Steroids Linked To Severe Vitamin D Deficiency In Nationwide Study

People taking oral steroids are twice as likely as the general population to have severe vitamin D deficiency, according to a study of more than 31,000 children and adults by scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Their findings, in the September 28 online edition of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggest that physicians should more diligently monitor vitamin D levels in patients being treated with oral steroids.

"When doctors write that prescription for steroids and they're sending the patients for lab tests, they should also get the vitamin D level measured," said study lead author Amy Skversky, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of pediatrics at Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein.

The severe vitamin D deficiency assessed in this study (defined as levels below 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood) is known to be associated with osteomalacia (softening of the bones), rickets (softening of bones in children) and clinical myopathy (muscle weakness). While there is much debate on the issue, vitamin D levels between 20 and 50 ng/ml are generally considered adequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals. Steroids have been shown to cause vitamin D deficiency, possibly by increasing levels of an enzyme that inactivates the vitamin.

Smaller studies involving people often prescribed steroids (i.e., children with asthma and patients with Crohn's disease and lupus) have found significantly reduced vitamin D levels in these patients. To further assess this association between steroid use and vitamin D levels, the Einstein researchers carried out the first-ever study of a large, nationally representative sample of people.

The researchers examined data collected from participants who had participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2006. About one percent of the participants answered "yes" when asked if they had used oral steroids during the previous 30 days.

Eleven percent of the self-reported steroid users had severely low vitamin D levels compared with a severe vitamin D deficiency of 5 percent for people not taking steroids a two-fold increased risk for severe vitamin D deficiency. The risk was particularly pronounced for steroid users under 18, who were 14 times more likely to have a severe vitamin D deficiency compared with young non-steroid users. (Participants who reported using inhaled steroids were not included in the steroid-user group.)

The paper is titled "Association of Glucocorticoid Use and Low 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES): 2001 - 2006." Co-authors include senior author Michal Melamed, M.D., M.H.S., Matthew Abramowitz, M.D., M.S., and Frederick Kaskel, M.D., Ph.D., all at Einstein; and Juhi Kumar, M.D., M.P.H. at Weill Cornell Medical Center. This research was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Institutes of Health and National Center for Research Resources, both part of the National Institutes of Health.

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Link Found Between Vitamin D Deficiency And Changes Of Airway In Children With Severe Asthma

According to findings published online ahead of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine's print edition, London researchers discovered that lower vitamin D levels in the blood could be associated with poorer lung function in children suffering from severe therapy-resistant asthma (STRA) and worse symptoms compared to children with moderate asthma. The study provides significant new evidence for potential STRA treatments. 

Findings revealed that lower levels of vitamin D might cause structural changes in the airway muscles, making breathing more difficult in children with STRA.

Asthma can usually be successfully treated with low doses of corticosteroids in most children, however, approximately 5 to 10% of asthmatic children do not respond to standard treatment. Children with severe therapy-resistant asthma, or STRA, suffer more asthma episodes and asthma-related illnesses and therefore require more healthcare services compared to those children who respond to treatment.

Atul Gupta, MRCPCH, M.D., a researcher from Royal Brompton Hospital and the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) at Imperial College and King's College London explained:

"This study clearly demonstrates that low levels of vitamin D are associated with poorer lung function, increased use of medication, worse symptoms and an increase in the mass of airway smooth muscle in children with STRA. It is therefore plausible that the link between airway smooth muscle mass and lung function in severe asthma may be partly explained by low levels of vitamin D."

This is the first study examining the relationship between vitamin D and the pathophysiology of children with STRA. Earlier studies of asthmatic children have already been linked to increases in airway smooth muscle mass with poorer lung function whilst in vitro studies have proven the existence of a link between vitamin D levels and the proliferation of airway smooth muscle.

Dr. Gupta clarified:

"Little is known about vitamin D status and its effect on asthma pathophysiology in these patients. For our study, we hypothesized that children with STRA would have lower levels of vitamin D than moderate asthmatics, and that lower levels of vitamin D would be associated with worse lung function and changes in the airway muscle tissue."

For the study researchers enlisted a total of 86 children; 36 children suffered from STRA, 26 had moderate asthma and 24 were non-asthmatic. They measured the relationships between vitamin D levels and lung function, medication usage and symptom exacerbations and examined tissue samples from children's airways in the STRA group to assess structural changes in the airway's smooth muscle.

Findings of the study revealed that children in the STRA group had significantly lower vitamin D levels, more exacerbations, increased use of asthma medications and poorer lung function compared with children from the two other groups. The researchers also discovered an increase in airway muscle tissue in the STRA group.

Dr. Gupta commented that:

"the results of this study suggest that lower levels of vitamin D in children with STRA contribute to an increase in airway smooth muscle mass, which could make breathing more difficult and cause a worsening of asthma symptoms."

He added:

"Our results suggest that detecting vitamin D deficiency in children with STRA, and then treating that deficiency may help prevent or reduce the structural changes that occur in the airway smooth muscle, which in turn may help reduce asthma-related symptoms and improve overall lung function."

According to Gupta the findings suggest new treatment strategies for children suffering from difficult-to-treat asthma but before any widespread treatment recommendations can be made, he said: "The determination of the exact mechanism between low vitamin D and airway changes that occur in STRA will require intervention studies. Hopefully, the results of this and future studies will help determine a new course of therapy that will be effective in treating these children."

Written by Petra Rattue
Copyright: Medical News Today

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

18 Million People In The United States Are Sensitive To Gluten

It is estimated that around 18 million people in the United States are sensitive or allergic to gluten to some degree. Gluten is the "gluey" protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It is hard to digest and can cause a variety of digestive ailments and discomfort.

For the three million people with celiac disease which can be life threatening, their autoimmune dysfunction is treated by eliminating gluten. With so many people suffering in one way or another, awareness of problem is becoming more high profile. Sales of gluten free products are soaring despite the products generally being more costly and the economy still weak. Generally rice, corn, potato, soy and other flours are used as a replacement for wheat in bread, pastry, cookies etc. but small production quantities and slightly more involved cooking techniques keep the prices elevated above mass produced wheat products.

Celebrities including 2011 U.S. Open champion Novak Djokovic, Chelsea Clinton and TV host Elisabeth Hasselbeck are increasing getting behind the campaign to make gluten free products more widely available. Raising awareness about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity helps to drive product demand and even a person who has mild wind or bloating might benefit from cutting out or simply cutting down their gluten intake.

In one example of the increasing demand, Los Angeles based voice actor Nancy Truman found herself in a new role as a full time baker of gluten free products after she began cooking for herself to cut out the gluten that was giving her digestive difficulties.

Truman went into business partnership with her neighbor to Waylynn Lucas, one of Los Angeles' most celebrated pastry chefs, who is also a fan of her gluten-free goodies. They opened a new coffee shop called Fonuts which aims to sell healthier treats such as doughnuts that are baked not fried. Gluten-free alternatives make up more than half of their sales.

Its hard to avoid gluten and the traditional popularity of wheat is partly down to the ease of cooking with it due to the 'gluey' gluten that holds, breads, pastries and pastas together with more vigor. It can even be found in some lipsticks, MacDonald's French fries, some medicines and of course beer being generally made from barely is another product that contains gluten.

Euromonitor International predicts 2011 gluten-free sales of $1.31 billion in the United States and $2.67 billion worldwide. Sales have more than doubled since 2005 and charted to reach nearly $1.7 billion in the United States and $3.38 billion globally by 2015.

Ewa Hudson, Euromonitor International's head of health and wellness research confirms :

"Consumers do feel some sort of reward when they eat gluten-free products. They don't feel bloated. They don't have belly aches. This usually encourages them to repeat the purchase,"

For those who have been suffering from gluten intolerance for many years, the difficulties of finding tasty products while avoiding the wheat staple, might be coming to an end. Although Europe and Australia are ahead in terms of testing for celiac disease and general awareness of gluten intolerance some big US companies have finally woken up to consumer demand.

These include :

- General Mills changing recipes for Chex breakfast cereals, Betty Crocker cake and brownie mixes and Bisquick pancake mix.

- The brewer Anheuser Busch Inbev SA now has a gluten free beer called Redbridge available in major supermarkets.

- China Bistro has a gluten free menu

- Subway is starting to test gluten free menus in Texas and Oregon

Other celebrities jumping on the bandwagon include Oprah Winfrey and Gwyneth Paltrow and critics have started to point out that gluten free is becoming a fad to some extent. Alessio Fasano medical director of University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research thinks that around half the gluten free sales are not for medical reasons. However with athletes using gluten free diets for enhance performance, it would seem that almost anyone can benefit from increased energy levels by giving their body a break from digesting the "gluey" gluten.

Rupert Shepherd reporting for Medical News

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Exercising During Pregnancy Protects Offspring Against Long-Term Neurodegenerative Diseases

If you are pregnant, here's another reason to work out: you will reduce the chances of your new baby developing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, later in life. A new research report published online in The FASEB Journal shows that mice bred to develop a neurodegenerative disease roughly equivalent to Alzheimer's disease showed fewer signs of the disease and greater brain plasticity later in life when their mothers exercised regularly than those whose mothers did not exercise.

"This research provides an experimental rationale for the effects of beneficial behavioral stimuli experienced by the pregnant mother affecting the disease status of an as yet-unborn child. Epigenetic alterations (alterations in gene and protein expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence) provide a most probable mechanism by which mothers could have transferred their own behavioral experience to their progeny," said Kathy Keyvani, M.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Institute of Pathology and Neuropathology at the University Hospital Essen in Essen, Germany. "A better understanding of the underlying pathways may provide novel treatment and/or prevention strategies for Alzheimer's disease and bring more insight into the fascinating link between brain and behavior."

To make this discovery, Keyvani and colleagues mated male mice that express a mutant form of the APP gene found in some Alzheimer's patients with healthy female wild-type mice. After weaning, healthy and "Alzheimer-diseased" offspring were kept in standard cages for five months. Mouse brains were examined for signs of disease shortly thereafter. The "Alzheimer-diseased" mice whose mothers ran on a exercise wheel during pregnancy had fewer Beta-amyloid plaques, smaller plaque size, less inflammation, less oxidative stress, and a better functioning vascular network than those whose mothers did not run. Additionally, the mice whose mothers ran on the wheel also showed an up-regulation of plasticity-related molecules, which are indicators for more and better connections between the nerve cells.

"No one is resistant to the health benefits of exercise," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "and this research confirms that reasonable workouts can have a lifetime of benefits for your offspring. Whether you work out at home or go to the gym, you should do it for the sake of your health and that of your offspring."

Please join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Most Boys Simply Want an Average Physique

Male bodies are increasingly objectified by mass media. Consider Michael 'The Situation' Sorrentino, a cast member of MTV's Jersey Shore reality show, who garnered fame by flashing his chiseled abs before cameras.
Such objectification should send young men running to gyms or fretting before mirrors, right? Not quite. A new study from Concordia University and the University of Manitoba, published in the journal Men and Masculinities, found most boys simply want an average physique.

"Not all boys aspire to have lean, muscular or idealized male bodies that are commonplace in popular culture," says Moss E. Norman, who led the study as a post-doctoral fellow at Concordia's Simone de Beauvoir Institute.

"In many cases, boys who took part in our study were staunchly critical of idealized male images," he continues. "They found it problematic, feminine or vain to be overly concerned with appearances. Sculpted bodies were seen as unnatural, the product of steroids or zealous weight-lifting."

A total of 32 Toronto-area boys, aged 13 to 15, were recruited from a community centre and private school to participate in this research. While the sample group was small, the study lasted nine months and included four in-depth interviews and 19 focus groups.

Discussions centered on male bodies, health, diet and physical activity. Participants were asked to comment on popular culture images, such as the animated character Homer Simpson, shirtless models featured in Bowflex home gym commercials and cut athletes from Ultimate Fighting Championships.
"One of the surprises from this study was how comfortable boys were in expressing, analyzing and comparing bodies -- their own, their peers' and those ideals depicted by media," says Norman, who is now a professor at the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management.
"Although they felt pressure to be fit, they displayed a distant, disinterested and cool relationship to their bodies," he adds. "Some participants also admitted to desiring particular masculine ideals and working on their bodies to achieve such idealized forms."

Some body concerns

This study builds on previous research that found boys can face the same anxieties, fears and body image disorders experienced by girls and women. Common body concerns among boys who took part in this particular study included height, muscularity, obesity, skin complexion and style.

"Being overweight was seen as undesirable and associated with a sedentary, immoral lifestyle," says Norman. "

The majority of participants viewed sports as a fun and masculine way to build muscle, while managing calories and body fat. "They felt sports could naturally produce a healthier, fitter and more attractive man," says Norman. "Sports are used to deflect, obscure and erase their bodily anxieties and desires."

Most teenaged boys, Norman concludes, simply want an average physique that doesn't stand out: "Any bodies that fell outside that norm were labeled unnatural, unhealthy or just too much. Boys want a body that's neither too fat nor too skinny; too tall nor too short; too muscular nor too weak."

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Cell dysfunction linked to obesity and metabolic disorders

By measuring the radioactive isotope carbon-14, scientists at Karolinska Institutet have revealed an association between lipid cell dysfunction and diseases such as obesity, diabetes and blood lipid disorders. The study, which is presented in the journal Nature, can lead to new approaches to combating metabolic diseases.

The results show that fat cells in overweight people have a higher capacity for storing fats but a lower capacity for ridding themselves of them.

"One might intuitively think that this was the case," says Peter Arner, who led the study together with Kirsty Spalding. "But this is the first time that someone has demonstrated that the metabolism of fat in the fat cells differs between healthy and obese individuals. This paves the way for new research fields and therapies that affect the storage and release of fat from fat cells."

The researchers used tissue samples from almost 100 people, ranging in weight from slim to massively obese. By ascertaining the age of the fat in the fat cells, they were able to draw conclusions on how the fat is stored and removed from the fat mass over time. The method for determining the age of the fat in fat cells is based on the incorporation of radioactive carbon-14 from the atmosphere into the body. Cold War nuclear testing caused a sharp increase in atmospheric carbon-14, which has gradually declined since testing stopped.

"We can use measurements of carbon-14 in fat against known levels of 14C in the atmosphere to date stamp the fat," says Dr Spalding, the developer of the method for examining fat tissue and other biological samples.

The researchers concluded that the fat stored in the fat cells of healthy people is renewed on average six times during the ten years of a fat-cell's lifespan. On the other hand, people with a preliminary stage of type II diabetes (insulin resistance) showed a reduced ability to rid their fat cells of fat.
This also applied to people with familial combined hyperlipidemia, a common form of congenital blood lipid disorder associated with a high risk of coronary artery disease. These people, however, also displayed a reduced ability to store fat in their fat cells. When the metabolism is upset in this way, it could mean that the concentration of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood rises.


Publication: 'Dynamics of human adipose lipid turnover in health and metabolic disease', Peter Arner, Samuel Bernard, Mehran Salehpour, Göran Possnert, Jakob Liebl, Peter Steier, Bruce A. Buchholz, Mats Eriksson, Erik Arner, Hans Hauner, Thomas Skurk, Mikael Rydén, Keith N. Frayn, Kirsty L. Spalding, Nature, AOP 25 September 2011, DOI: 10.1038/nature10426.

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Rhode Island Hospital researchers find possible cardiovascular risk with NSAID use

Study in animal models calls attention to potential risk; may warrant clinical trials

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A new study from Rhode Island Hospital researchers suggests that controlling cholesterol may be important for heart health in patients who are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen. The findings are based on a study on the safety of NSAID medications in clinically relevant animal models when high cholesterol is a factor. The study is published in the current issue of the journal Surgery.

NSAIDs are among the most widely-used drugs today for the treatment of post-operative pain, inflammatory conditions and fever. Despite that, the factors that affect their cardiovascular safety are not well understood and some studies suggest that there may be an increased incidence of cardiovascular complications such as heart attack or death.

This study, led by principal investigator Frank Sellke, M.D., chief of cardiothoracic surgery and research at Rhode Island Hospital, developed an animal model of hypercholesterolemia in swine to investigate the formation of collateral vessels and other effects in the heart, and the safety of NSAID and other medications.

Through their study, Sellke says, "We found that a high-cholesterol diet reduced blood flow to the heart muscle in our animal models with chronic heart disease when given daily naproxen. We also found reduced levels of prostacyclin, a compound that dilates blood vessels and prevents blood clots. These findings suggest that there may be a stronger risk of negative effects on the heart in patients who have high cholesterol levels and are taking NSAIDs as a form of pain or inflammation relief."
The researchers compared two groups within the animal model, one with a normal diet, and one group that received a diet high in cholesterol, and both groups received daily naproxen. The animals also underwent surgery to simulate coronary artery disease, which affects many human patients who take NSAIDs. Several differences were found between the two groups.

Compared to animals with normal cholesterol, the high-cholesterol animals treated with naproxen had lower blood flow to the heart, decreased levels of prostacyclin, and decreased levels of several proteins that promote cardiac cell survival. In addition, previous studies by the group showed that while naproxen helped increased blood flow in the hearts of animals with normal cholesterol, this effect was not seen in animals with high cholesterol.

Sellke says, "These results show that high blood cholesterol levels change the way naproxen affects the heart, and alters blood flow to the heart. This 'myocardial perfusion' may be one predictor of angina frequency and quality of life in patients with chronic ischemia. Thus, these findings may have important implications for cardiac patients taking NSAIDs."

First author Louis Chu, M.D., who worked with Sellke on the study, adds, "Our study indicates that physicians should be aware that cholesterol control may be especially important if patients are taking NSAID medications such as naproxen."

Sellke adds, "While the results of these animal experiments are interesting and may provide information regarding the effect of a high fat diet on the response to naproxen and other similar medications, one cannot make definitive statements on the effect of these medications on patients without first doing clinical studies."


The study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Other researchers involved in the study with Sellke and Chu include Antonio Lassaletta, M.D., Jun Feng, M.D., Ph.D., Robert Heinl, Yuhong Liu, M.D., and Eric Sellke of Rhode Island Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Michael Robich, M.D., and Shu Hua Xu, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Overweight Linked To Higher Pain Levels

Obese individuals experience higher levels of pain than those of normal weight - researchers explained at the EFIC Congress in Hamburg, Germany. They added that obese patients may require stonger pain killers than those who are not overweight.

(EFIC stands for European Federation of IASP® Chapters. A multidisciplinary professional organization in the field of pain research and medicine.)

Several studies presented at the Congress have revealed that obesity is a contributory factor to greater levels of chronic pain.

Dr. Sharron Dolan, from Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, and team wondered why obese rats had a higher incidence of chronic painful conditions, such as migraine, osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal conditions, and alterations in pain sensitivity? They set out to discover the mechanism behind the unanswered questions. Numerous testing procedures were performed on rats that were fattened, as well as normal weight rats - first without any inflammation, then in response to inflammatory stimulation.

Obese rats had higher pain sensitivity and more inflammation

Dr. Dolan explained to the Congress:

"Following administration of an inflammatory agent to the paw, obese rats were significantly more sensitive to mechanical and thermal stimulation of the inflamed paw, and displayed great paw oedema compared to lean rats (stressing that these results were a huge step forward).

The increased hyperalgesia and peripheral inflammation observed in obese rats fits well with the hypothesis that obesity is a chronic low-grade inflammatory disorder, producing a state where responses to subsequent inflammatory challenge are potentiated.

These alterations may underlie the increased susceptibility of obese individuals to develop chronic inflammatory pain conditions. It might signal the need for more aggressive analgesic treatment regimes in these individuals."

Obese people have a greater chance of having pain

Karine Ferreira, from the State Cancer Institute of the Medical School of the University of São Paulo, explained:

"Obesity is clearly associated with chronic pain in humans. Well-fed individuals, whose body mass index (BMI) lies between 35 and 39.9, are more likely to report pain."

Ferreira reported on key discoveries of a recent investigation in which her team analyzed the relationship between pain and obesity in over 2,400 adults. Almost a third of the participants - 29.2% - had reported pain during the previous three months. The mean BMI was 25.3.

Those with normal weight were more likely to report head and neck pain (48.9%) and headache (54.1%) than other BMI categories. Those who were in obese class I (30.5%) and class III (28.6%) were more likely to suffer from pain in their legs and feet. Participants in obese class II were more likely to report pain in multiple places. It was seen that respondents with obese class III reported higher pain levels that interfered with walking ability than those with normal weight.

Weight classifications and frequency of pain according to category

According to the BMI category, the frequency of pain was:
  • Underweight - BMI under 18.5 kg/m2 - 21.8% of patients reported pain within 3 months
  • Normal weight - BMI 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2 - 26.5%
  • Overweight - BMI 25 to 29.9 kg/m2 - 30.7%
  • Obese class I - BMI 30 to 34.9 kg/m2 - 36.3%
  • Obese class II - BMI 35 to 39.9 kg/m2 - 49.1%
  • Obese class III - BMI 40 and more kg/m2 - 28.7%
Written by Grace Rattue

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

Monday, September 26, 2011

Coffee Lowers Depression Risk In Older Females

The more coffee an older woman drinks the lower her risk of depression is, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health reported in Archives of Internal Medicine. The researchers stressed that theirs was an observational study, and can only suggest the possibility of coffee's protective effect, rather that prove that it reduces depression risk.

The authors explained that about 80% of caffeine consumption worldwide is in the form of coffee - it is the most commonly used CNS (central nervous system) stimulant.

Previous studies have looked at associations between coffee drinking and depression risk - one prospective study among young adult males suggested coffee consumption might be linked to depression risk. Depression is often a long-term (chronic) condition that has a tendency to come back, it affects twice as many females as males. Experts say that about 1 in every 5 women in the United States will suffer from depression at some point in their lives.

The authors wrote that:

"(the) identification of risk factors for depression among women and the development of new preventive strategies are, therefore, a public health priority."

Michel Lucas, Ph.D., R.D. and team set out to determine whether the consumption of coffee or some drinks containing caffeine might be linked to depression risk.

They gathered data on 50,737 women, average age 63 years; none of them had depression when the study began. They had all participated in the Nurses' Health Study. They were prospectively followed up until June 2006. Questionnaires had asked them what their caffeine consumption was from 1980 to 2004. The researchers had data on how often they consumed caffeinated and non-caffeinated coffee, nonherbal tea, caffeinated sodas (sugared or low calorie), all types of caffeine-free soft drinks, and chocolate during a twelve month period before filling in each questionnaire.

In this study, depression was defined as having a diagnosis of clinical depression and being prescribed regular antidepressants during the previous two years.

They analyzed the cumulative consumption over a period and then looked at a two-year latency period. For example, caffeine consumption data from 1980 through 1994 were used to predict clinical depression rates from 1996 through 1998.

They identified 2,607 new diagnoses of depression during the 10-year follow up period 1996-2006.

Below are some highlighted data from their findings:
  • Women who consumed two to three cups of caffeinated coffee per day were 15% less likely to develop depression compared to those who drank a maximum of one cup of caffeinated coffee per week
  • Women who drank at least 4 cups per day had a 20% lower risk than the maximum 1 cup per week females
  • Those who consumed at least 550mg per day of caffeine had a 20% lower risk of developing depression compared to the women whose daily consumption was 100mg or less per day
  • The consumption of decaffeinated coffee had no impact on depression risk
The authors wrote:

"In this large prospective cohort of older women free of clinical depression or severe depressive symptoms at baseline, risk of depression decreased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing consumption of caffeinated coffee."

They added:

"(this observational study) cannot prove that caffeine or caffeinated coffee reduces the risk of depression but only suggests the possibility of such a protective effect."

Further studies are required to confirm their findings, as well as to determine what impact regular caffeine consumption might have on the general population, and whether it could be used to treat depression.

Caffeine's effect on some animals

Most humans can drink caffeine relatively safely. However, it is very toxic to some animals, such as birds and dogs. Caffeine can have some weird effects on spiders, as can be seen in the picture below.

Caffeine effect on spider
The spider on caffeine makes a pretty useless web

Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at

City Cycling May Damage Lungs

Commuters who regularly cycle through major cities like London every day inhale more carbon than pedestrians, and this may cause damage to their lungs, according to new research from the UK that was presented on Sunday at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Amsterdam. The researchers say planners should think about this when devising city cycling routes.

Because of fossil fuel combustion, there are large amounts of black carbon particles (soot) in the air, which can end up in people's lungs when they breathe it in.

More and more studies are showing that inhaling black carbon particles can affect health and lead to heart attacks and reduced lung function.

Professor Jonathan Grigg from Barts and the London School of Medicine and colleagues wanted to test the idea that the way a person commutes to work in a large city affects their exposure to black carbon; more specifically that a cyclist has a higher personal exposure than a pedestrian.

To test their hypothesis, they compared the lung dose of black carbon in healthy volunteers by sampling their airway macrophages - immune system cells that sit on the surfaces of the lower airways and ingest foreign substances.

The volunteers, all regular urban commuters, were five healthy cyclists that regularly used their bikes to get to work in London and five healthy pedestrians. None of them were smokers, and their ages ranged from 18 to 40 years.

They gave sputum samples from which the researchers were able to test the amount of black carbon in their airway macrophages.

Although only a small sample, the results showed that the cyclists had 2.3 times more black carbon in their lungs than the pedestrians. The results were statistically significant (the probability that this finding would occur by chance was less than 1 in 100).

One of Grigg's colleagues on the study, Dr Chinedu Nwokoro, an active cyclist who also works in London, said:

"The results of this study have shown that cycling in a large European city increases exposure to black carbon."

Nwokoro said this could be due a number of reasons, such as cyclists breathe faster and more deeply than pedestrians and do this while being much closer to the exhaust fumes of cars and other road vehicles.

"Our data strongly suggest that personal exposure to black carbon should be considered when planning cycling routes," said Nwokoro, who also pointed out:

"Whether cycling by healthy individuals is in itself associated with adverse health effects is currently being assessed in a larger ongoing study."

Written by Catharine Paddock PhD
Copyright: Medical News Today

Please Join Us @

Fat Loss Tips and Tricks Facebook

Ketogenic Diet Tips and Tricks Facebook


If you require assistance with setting up a diet and exercise program, please contact me at