24
Oct

1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes by 2050


That is a crazy, scary statistic for all sorts of reasons… when you think of the cost of treating all those people and the lost productivity, the numbers will be staggering- well, the numbers are already staggering at 1 in 10 but as it moves toward 2 in 10 we will really feel the economic impact. Unless Americans wake up to the reality that they cannot continue on this course of “food entitlement” our society will be crushed by the weight of health care costs. By food entitlement, I mean the attitude that we are entitled to eat as much as we want, anytime we want, with no consequences. With 70% of the adult population overweight or obese, we need to remind people that being overweight is not normal even though most people are. It won’t be politically correct, but it will need to be done if we are going to avoid a epidemic of diabetes and all the other diseases that come with it. From MSNBC-

In the United States, 1 in 3 people will have Type 2 diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The projections, released today, are alarming to U.S. health officials, who say the numbers highlight the need for interventions to keep the number of new cases from climbing.
Currently, 1 in 10 Americans has Type 2 diabetes. But if new cases develop as projected, its prevalence could double or triple over the next 40 years, said Ann Albright, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the CDC.
“We can’t have that, it’s unsustainable,” Albright told MyHealthNewsDaily.

22
Oct

Aspirin may reduce colon cancer risk


MSNBC has an article up on a new study that shows a daily aspirin can significantly cut your chances of developing colon cancer. That is great news since colon cancer is the #2 cause of cancer deaths. People that are sensitive to aspirin do need to be careful since it is not risk free. But, for many people, this is a very cheap and safe thing to add to your daily regimen.

LONDON — A low dose of aspirin may reduce colon cancer cases by a quarter and deaths by a third, a new study found.

But experts say aspirin’s side effects of bleeding and stomach problems are too worrying for people who aren’t at high risk of the disease to start taking the drug for that reason alone.

Previous studies have found a daily dose of at least 500 milligrams of aspirin could prevent colon cancer, but the adverse effects of such a high dose outweighed the benefits. Now, researchers say a low dose, equivalent to a baby or regular aspirin, also appears to work.

European researchers looked at the 20-year results of four trials with more than 14,000 people that were originally done to study aspirin’s use in preventing strokes. They found people taking baby or regular aspirin pills daily for about six years reduced their colon cancer risk by 24 percent and that deaths from the disease dropped by 35 percent. That was compared to those who took a dummy pill or nothing. There seemed to be no advantage to taking more aspirin than a baby-sized dose.

17
Oct

OTC Pain Meds can be dangerous to athletes


This is a good reminder to be careful of what you take and how much you take. There are no completely safe pain meds (ibuprofen, Aleve, etc.) I suffer from chronic back pain from an injury many years ago so I take Aleve daily but I am very careful to not take more than the recommended daily dose. If you have questions on what you can take and how much, ask a doctor. Self-medicating can be very dangerous because as the article explains, there are always other factors. Be careful- From MSNBC:

When used properly, over-the-counter pain medications can be a godsend. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can tame many pains. And non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen can reduce pain and swelling in the first few days following an acute injury like an ankle sprain. The trouble comes, doctors say, when people, like Ehret, misuse these drugs. “A couple of ibuprofens really helped, so I figured more was better,” Ehret says. Indeed, many runners treat anti-inflammatory drugs like “vitamin I,” says pharmacologist Joe Graedon, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy  book series. “They think, I’m putting my body through a lot, so I’ll just dose up on ibuprofen, without appreciating how potentially dangerous this drug can be.”

…Runners may think that as long as they don’t go overboard like Ehret, they’ll be safe. But experts say the benefits of popping even one pill before a 10K don’t outweigh the risks. NSAIDs inhibit prostaglandins, hormones that help normalize blood flow to the kidneys. Mix an NSAID with physical exertion and dehydration, and you can overwhelm your kidneys.

What’s more, NSAIDs can bump up your blood pressure, and when you add this to the natural rise that occurs when you exercise, “suddenly you have two things increasing your blood pressure,” Graedon says. If you already have high blood pressure, “you could have a mini stroke or a heart attack,” he says. NSAIDs also block an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX) that normally protects the heart, and this might explain why many NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, may raise the risk of heart attack.

Some forms of COX also protect the stomach lining from digestive acids, so when an NSAID blocks this enzyme, you may experience nausea, diarrhea, intestinal bleeding, and cramps. When used during a marathon or ultra, NSAIDs also seem to boost the risk of hyponatremia, an electrolyte imbalance that can cause the brain to swell.

16
Sep

Milk- great for after training recovery


Got Milk?

Got Milk?

An article over at MSNBC corroborates what a lot of athletes already know- milk is a great cheap post training supplement. The high dollar drinks are simply taking what is already in milk and selling it to you at a higher price. Granted, they often have higher levels of protein per ounce, but still, they are usually 10x more expensive than milk. So, get in the habit of drinking a glass of low fat milk after you get done at the gym to replenish nutrients and protein and your body will love you for it.

In a study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism in June, researchers found people who drank milk after training were able to exercise longer in their next session than people who had sports drinks or water.

“It’s the form of the carbohydrate and the nutrients in milk that is most important,” said Emma Cockburn, a lecturer in sports coaching at Northumbria University in northeast England who led the study, which was partially paid for by the dairy industry.

Cockburn advised athletes to drink milk immediately after working out. “The damage caused by exercise leads to a breakdown of the protein structures in your muscles, but that doesn’t happen until 24 to 48 hours later,” she said. If athletes drink milk right after training, then by the time it is digested, the milk’s nutrients are ready to be absorbed by the muscles that have been hurt.

…Milk also may help athletes shed fat and build muscle. In a small Canadian study, experts found women who drank milk after lifting weights gained about 4.4 pounds (2 kilos) of muscle and lost about the same amount of body fat. Women who drank sports drinks put on about 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilos) of muscle but didn’t lose any body fat.

“It may be that some of the components of milk — the protein, the vitamin D and the calcium — act in a synergistic fashion to promote fat loss,” said Stuart Phillips, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University who led the research. Phillips has advised the Canadian Olympic Association about milk and the dairy industry paid for part of his research.

08
Sep

Most people think they are better looking than average


Hmmm, why doesn’t this surprise me?  I think one reason is that with so many people being extremely overweight, it is easy for people to look around and think that they look better than most other people. At any rate, it is a pretty interesting glimpse into the human psyche. Read it all here-

We’re   fatter than we’ve ever been;  at the same time, our idea of the “ideal” body has gone from lean to impossibly leaner. Still, we’re pretty damn pleased with the way we look, a new survey suggests.

In an msnbc.com/ELLE magazine survey, about 60 percent of men and women alike said they were pretty satisfied with the way they look, thank you very much — even though many of them admit that they wouldn’t exactly call their bodies “ideal.” (It’s worth noting that’s about the same percentage of Americans who are overweight.)

In fact, most of us think we’re better-looking than average — between a 6 and a 7 on a 10-point scale — according to the online survey of nearly 26,000 msnbc.com and ELLE.com readers, ranging in age from 18 to 75. The survey was conducted by UCLA and California State University, Los Angeles, researchers.

The under-30s are an especially confident group: 28 percent of young women and 30 percent of young men rate themselves between an 8 and a 10.

26
Aug

High Intensity Training Techniques


1 leg squat 2

From Andrew over at MPF-

What’s a complex? Two or more exercises, back to back (choose bang-for-your-buckers, no filler isolation moves!), done back to back for a set number of reps, sometimes timed, with the same resistance–bodyweight, barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, your dog. Then you have a timed rest period; then you repeat ad vomitissumus. If you’re using a barbell, you never put it down. If you’re using a dumbbell, you never put it down. If you’re using a kettlebell, that’s right, you never put it down. At this moment, I’m still holding the barbell, dumbbell, and kettlebell I was using this morning. Very tough.


This is just a form of super-sets but very effective. We do a similar workout for legs that includes-

Leg Press- 315lbs x 20 reps

Hack Squat machine- 225lbs x 20 reps

Regular Barbell Squats- 135lbs x 10 reps

One leg Bench Squats- 10 reps per leg

If you do these back to back with no rest in between for 3 supersets (or whatever you want to call them) you will walk out of the gym (maybe) with your legs shaking and your stomach ready to throw up. Just try it.

26
Aug

Effects of Even Brief Overeating Hard to Overcome


This is a very interesting study- It basically shows that overeating and lack of exercise have long term effects even after people clean up their diet and resume exercising. Psychologically, it becomes easier to see why many people seem to struggle with permanent weight loss. In the US where practically everyone overeats significantly, you can see what a problem this creates. I suspect that once people get used to overeating, it is very hard for them to ever return to a diet that actually allows them to lose all the weight they have gained.

The article doesn’t say what kind of exercise the people engaged in but my experience is that high intensity resistance weight training does exactly the opposite of what this experiment showed and physiologically changes a persons metabolism.

The effects of a sedentary, gluttonous lifestyle are hard to shake, even after the person has become an upstanding, healthy individual, a new Swedish study suggests.

Researchers found that even a short period of overeating and a lack of exercise can have lasting effects on a person’s physiology and make it harder to lose weight and keep it off.

Eighteen healthy people of normal weight were given the arduous task of limiting their physical activity (to no more than 5,000 steps a day) and increasing their food intake for four weeks. The participants in this so-called intervention group ate 70 percent more food, for a total of about 5,753 calories a day, over the study period.

However, one year after the study period, those individuals still had more body fat than they did at the study’s start.

21
Aug

5 Salads that are worse than a Whopper


Good Salad

Good Salad

Salad sounds so healthy… but really, it all depends on what is on the salad. If it is lettuce, bacon and ranch dressing, you might as well get the Whopper. Pretty much any creamy dressing is going to be extremely high in fat and sodium- and BTW, no one uses one serving of dressing on a salad. Most people use 3 or 4 servings. The general rule of thumb is that if it is creamy, it is because it is made from fat. This just shows how important it is to check the nutritional info on the restaurants website because their marketing dept has been working overtime to convince people that their offerings are healthy. So, with that in mind, here is the worst salad you can buy at a chain restaurant in America-

T.G.I. Friday’s Santa Fe Chopped Salad
1,800 calories
Calorie equivalent: Burger King Double Whopper, Medium Fries and Small Chocolate Shake (1,800 calories)

This is the worst salad in America. T.G.I. Friday’s doesn’t reveal full nutritional information, so we don’t know how much salt or fat this monstrous dish packs. Here’s a hint: Never, ever order a Mexican-themed salad, no matter where you’re eating. As in this case, they’re usually huge dishes of heavy burrito toppings on a bed of lettuce leaves. The only salad you’re safe to order at Friday’s is the Cobb.

Check out the other “bad salads” here-

14
Aug

Would you like Lipitor with your burger?


Giant Burger...

Giant Burger...

Here is a crazy concept… hand out free anti-cholesterol statin drugs with high fat fast foods. I guess the idea is that since you won’t get people to quit eating unhealthy food, you might as well give them the magic pill to partially counteract the effects. At that point, why don’t they just mix it into the hamburgers. The idea of encouraging people to eat unhealthy foods by lowering the risk with drugs just seems crazy to me. If you have to take a drug to keep something you eat from killing you, it seems like common sense would tell you not to eat it. But as the saying goes- “common sense is not all that common”. From MSNBC-

Fast food outlets should hand out free cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to their customers to “neutralize” the heart risks of eating fatty foods like burgers and fries, British scientists suggested on Thursday.

But a few experts say you might want to ask your server to hold the statin at this point.

In a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, scientists from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London calculated that the reduction in heart disease risk offered by a statin could offset the increase in risk from eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake.

“Statins don’t cut out all of the unhealthy effects of a burger and fries. It’s better to avoid fatty food altogether. But we’ve worked out that in terms of your likelihood of having a heart attack, taking a statin can reduce your risk to more or less the same degree as a fast food meal increases it,” said Dr. Darrel Francis, who led the research team.

…”Although no substitute for systematic lifestyle improvements, including healthy diet, regular exercise, weight loss, and smoking cessation, complimentary statin packets would add, at little cost, one positive choice to a panoply of negative ones,” the scientists write in their paper.

30
Jul

Natural Cures for Depression, Insomnia and others


It is well know that many of our modern ailments are self-inflicted and caused by the high stress culture we live in. Add in poor diet and lack of exercise and you have the perfect storm. But many of those symptoms can be alleviated with natural remedies.

Take for instance depression. New studies show that massage therapy is equally effective as anti-depressants at relieving symptoms. There is little doubt that acupuncture is a very effective way to treat certain types of chronic pain without taking drugs. Green tea and cocoa are both excellent helping with arthritis and hypertension.

You can read the whole article over at MSNBC-