Health Study: Soda Makes You Fat

Health, Nutrition, Study, Weight Loss No Comments »

A six-month Danish study compared the effects of drinking soda to the effects of milk, diet soda, or water.

After the six months, the soda group was significantly higher in:

The study’s conclusion says: Daily intake of sugar-sweetened beverages for 6 months increases ectopic fat accumulation and lipids compared with milk, diet cola, and water. Thus, daily intake of soda is likely to enhance the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

If you’re interested in the study, here is the citation:

Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb;95(2):283-9. Epub 2011 Dec 28.
Sucrose-sweetened beverages increase fat storage in the liver, muscle, and visceral fat depot: a 6-mo randomized intervention study.
Maersk M, Belza A, Stødkilde-Jørgensen H, Ringgaard S, Chabanova E, Thomsen H, Pedersen SB, Astrup A, Richelsen B.
Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine MEA, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.

Another interesting soda study: Kids And Soft Drinks

Want To Lose Fat? Don’t Ignore Your Muscles!

Exercise, Health, Weight Loss 1 Comment »

Most of the fat loss exercise programs you see in the media are making a big mistake…

They ignore the most IMPORTANT thing for fat loss:

your muscles.

In fact, most of the cardio-centric magazine routines you read will actually cause you to lose muscle, which makes burning off fat much, much harder than it should be.

(Metabolic muscle tissue = much easier fat loss)

Most people don’t even think about muscle during a fat loss program – but YOU should!

Here are five reasons muscle will help you lose more fat:

1. Having more muscle means you’ll burn more calories during your workout.

With more muscle you’ll burn more during any type of workout: yoga, cardio, weightlifting, walking, whatever.  You’ll get a lot more bang for your buck whenever you’re moving.

2. Working your muscles also means you’ll burn more calories when you’re NOT working out

Ask an exercise scientist how many Calories a pound of muscle burns per day and you’ll probably hear “A pound of muscle burns 50 Calories a day”

Actually, studies have shown a burn from anywhere between 35 and 65 Calories per day, so 50 is a good average.

That means if you add two pounds of lean, toned muscle to your body, you’ll burn an extra 700 Calories a week.

It might not sound like much, but 700 Calories a week means a pound of fat burned every 5 weeks, or… more than 10 extra pounds lost in a year.

 3. Muscle is what gives your body its shape.

Muscle is the difference between having a butt and having a booty.

Without muscle your body will be flat, flabby, and squishy.  Having muscle is what gives your body the lean, fit look.

4.  Training your muscles (instead of just cardio) is more fun…

…and if your workout plan is more stimulating, you’ll stick with it longer.

Plus, training more athletically will improve “neuromuscular efficiency,” which means you’ll be using more muscle in everything you do.  So, to go back to point #1 above, you’ll burn more calories with more muscle, but if you can activate even MORE muscle, you’ll burn even MORE calories.

5. Tone.

“Tone” is so overused I hate to even bring it up.  First, let me say that there’s no such thing as a “toning” workout with just light weights.

The way to get toned muscles is to have some muscle shape (#3 above) and less body fat.

Tone actually refers to your nervous system’s link to your muscles.  If there’s a high electrical potential in the nerves leading to a muscle it is more ready to flex than if there’s low potential.  This is tone.

Take the butt as an example: someone can be thin and flabby at the same time – they’ll have kind of a droopy butt despite not being overweight.

Now take someone who has some butt muscles and they’re primed from deep squats, jumps, sprints, etc – the butt muscles will be lifted and shaped.

So to make “tone” work for you, lose fat and train like an athlete.

The bottom line is that if you want to burn more fat and look great, train your muscles, don’t break them down with hours on a cardio machine.

(I’ve written about the benefits of lean muscle before, check it out here: Get Some Firmness On Your Frame)

Startling Facts About Sugar!

Health, Nutrition No Comments »

Did you know…

  • In 1850 sugar consumption was just 20 lbs per person per year; in 2007 the average person ate 160 lbs per person per year
  • The average person in the USA eats 6 oz or 1/3 lb of sugar per day
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is the #1 source of calories in the American diet
  • Increases in chronic disease, including cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease directly correlate with HFCS hitting the market in the 1970’s
  • The average American eats 4,000 lbs of sugar in a lifetime (imagine a dump truck full!)
  • Ninety cents of every grocery dollar is spent on processed food full of HFCS
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup is metabolized into fat faster than other sugars
  • HFCS has significant traces of the neurotoxin mercury

Here is some more info from Wold Fitness about sugar:

99 Ways Sugar Is Poisoning You

The Sweetest Scam Of All Time

Sugar Cravings Taking Over Your Brain!

Household Uses For Soda (Besides Drinking It!)

Health, Nutrition No Comments »

Soda makes people fat.  I thought everyone already knew that, but a Dutch study published less than 2 weeks ago (abstract) found that drinking soda leads to enhanced risk for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

But besides making people fat, soda can really tear you up inside.  To illustrate, here are 34 ways you can use soda around the house.  Read them and then decide if something that melts rust off of chrome is really something you want going into your body…


1. Clean Car Battery Terminals. There’s acid in almost all carbonated drinks. And that helps strip corrosion from car battery terminals. Pour some soda over the battery terminals and let it sit for a while. Wipe off the residue with a wet cloth.

2. Clean Your Dirty Toilet Bowl. Got bad stains, a date coming over in an hour and no toilet cleaner? Pour a can of soda into the bowl. Let it sit for an hour to let the phosphoric acid work on the stains, then brush to loosen the dirt and flush clean.

3. Remove Rust Spots From Chrome. If you have an older car that has real chrome trim, chances are there are some small, and some not so small, rust spots developing on the chrome. Take some crumpled aluminum foil, dip it in some cola and rub the rust off the affected area.

4. Remove Rust Stains in Your Tub. Remember how the phosphoric acid worked to clean the toilet bowl? The same acid will remove rust stains in your tub. Soak a sponge (preferably one with an abrasive side), in some cola and go to work on the stain.

5. Clean Grout. Got some mold and mildew ruining the look of your shower? Soak a sponge with Coke and work it into the grout. Rinse with water.

6. Remove Grease From Clothes. Been working on the car all weekend and greased up more than just the engine? Pouring a can of cola into your washer, along with your regular detergent, is said to help loosen and wash away those grease stains.

7. Remove Milk Stains From Clothes. Got milk? Soak the stain with Coke for about five minutes, then wash normally. It should get the stain out.

8. Remove Blood Stains From Clothes. Ruin your favorite shirt when you nicked yourself shaving? If you soak the stain with cola for five minutes then wash in your machine, the blood should come out. Even dried blood that’s been there for a while.

9. Clean Coins. Got a thing for shiny pennies? Collecting state quarters and want them to sparkle? Place your coins in a small dish and soak in Coke for a few hours. Rinse and wipe to a bright shine.

10. Clean Grease From Glass. Even Eyeglasses. That same handy phosphoric acid removes grease and grime from glass. Even dried hairspray from mirrors. Just rinse thoroughly with water after.

11. Clean Oil Stains From Garage Floor or Driveway. Pour soda over the stain, let it soak in for a while, then scrub and rinse off with a hose.

12. Clean Burnt Pans. Forget a pot on the stove and now whatever was in it is seared to the bottom? If scrubbing won’t get it off, try this: boil some Coke in the pot and the burnt-on mess should lift right out.


13. Loosen Clogged Drains. If your sink is draining slowly and you don’t have any drain cleaner in the house, pour a 2-liter bottle of cola down the drain and let the acids go to work on the clog.

14. Loosen Rusted Nuts and Bolts. Soak a rag in cola and wrap it around the rusted-on bolt for a few minutes. The acids and carbonation will help loosen it.

15. Make Flowers Last Longer. Got your girl some flowers and you want them to survive through the week? Pour about 1/4 cup of clear soda, like Sprite or 7-Up into a vase full of water. Sugar helps them last longer.

16. Strip Paint From Metal Patio Furniture. Want to refinish some outdoor furniture? Do it the right way and strip off the old paint first. To make it easier, soak a towel in Coke. Let it sit on the furniture for about a week, adding more Coke whenever the towel starts to dry out. The paint should strip off easily.

17. Kill Slugs and Snails. If these pests are invading your lawn and garden, pour a little Coke into shallow dishes or jar lids and spread them throughout your yard. The sugar attracts them, and, just like you remember from when you were a kid, the acid kills them.

18. Greener Lawn. It’s rumored that spraying Coke on your grass will keep your lawn greener into the fall months.


19. Relieve Nausea or an Upset Stomach. According to The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, the syrup in Coca-Cola can be used to cure upset stomachs. Just let leave the can or bottle open for about 30 minutes first, until the soda goes flat. The carbonation could have an adverse effect on your stomach.

20. Prevent Diarrhea. Also found in The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, if you’re traveling through a country with a questionable water and/or food supply, drinking coke could keep you from making constant “runs for the border”. The acids in the soda help reduce the amount of E. Coli bacteria in your intestines. This inhibits the production of toxins that can cause diarrhea.

21. Relieve Constipation. If you are, as the Germans say, Farfrompoopin, the caffeine from a can of coke can have a laxative effect. Much like that morning latte.

22. Stop an Asthma Attack. Just as an asthma attack comes on, down a couple of cans of coke. Some sources say the caffeine can help prevent an asthma attack.

23. Ease a Sore Throat. By gargling with soda you can loosen the phlegm causing the irritation.

24. Stop a Jellyfish Sting From Stinging. The acids in cola seem to neutralize the venom in the sting. And pouring Coke over the wound is better than having your buddy pee on it.

25. Get Gum Out of a Kid’s Hair.  Come to the rescue with your can of Coke. Soak the kid’s hair for a few minutes, then rinse. The gum should come right out.

26. Strip Dye From Hair. If your girl comes over crying that her new dye job turned her hair green, wash her hair with Diet Coke. Apparently Diet Coke has the ability to strip and/or fade bad dye jobs.

27. Get Rid of Skunk Odor. Pissed off Pepè Le Pew and now you aren’t allowed in the house? Sponge down with some cola and hose yourself off. Again, those handy acids work to neutralize the stink.

28. Use As a Moisturizer. Mixing a capful of cola with unscented lotion is said to enhance the moisturizing effects.

29. Keep People From Slipping on Slick Floors. If you’re having an outdoor get together and you’re worried about guests slipping on your back patio, try this old stagehand trick: use a mop to spread a thin layer of Coke on the slippery surface. It’ll dry slightly sticky and tacky.


30. Give Your Hair Shine. Pour a can of coke over your head, work it into your hair, then rinse. It’s said your hair will be incredibly shiny. And impervious to slugs and snails.

31. Mousse Alternative. Mix equal parts coke and water in a spray bottle and mix well. After you shower, spray a light coat of the mixture into your hair, then style. (I’m sure having sugar in your hair all day won’t attract flies or be uncomfortable at all.)

32. Prevent Flatulence. Adding a can of coke to a pot of pinto beans when cooking is supposed to neutralize the gas-causing compounds.

33. Get a Darker Tan. There are those who say rubbing plain coke all over your body gives you a deeper tan. (There’s caramel coloring in there, but I question the evenness of the result, and how long it will last.)

34. Shell Hard Boiled Eggs. Apparently, if you soak hard boiled eggs in Coke the shells will dissolve, eliminating the need to actually have to peel them.

Study Time: Show Kids The Exercise Cost Of Soda And They Will Stay Away

Health, Study 1 Comment »

This is pretty cool: When Calorie information for sugar sweetened beverages (soda) is displayed in convenience stores, kids aged 12-18 years buy less of them.

A study in the American Journal of Public Health tracked buying behaviors of adolescents in low-income areas.  They put up one of three different posters in corner stores.  The posters were randomly chosen out of these three options:

(1) Absolute caloric count. Ex: This soda has 300 Calories

(2) Percentage of total recommended daily intakeEx: This drink has 12% of your daily Calorie need

(3) Physical activity equivalentEx: This one said they’d need to run for 50 minutes to burn off the Calories in the drink

The researchers found that sales of sugar-sweetened beverages dropped by 40% with any of the three posters.

The best-performing poster was the physical activity equivalent poster – it reduced drink purchases by 50%.

Food and Drug Administration officials are publishing regulations for restaurants to put Calorie information next to food items on the menu.  This study shows that providing ANY information is better than providing none, when it comes to making healthier choices.

Here’s my reference (do I get bonus points that it was released 2 days ago?):

Sara N. Bleich, Bradley J. Herring, Desmond D. Flagg, and Tiffany L. Gary-Webb (2011). Reduction in Purchases of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among Low-Income Black Adolescents After Exposure to Caloric Information. American Journal of Public Health. e-View Ahead of Print.
doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300350

And, as usual, here’s a link to the abstract: Posters Reduce Pop Sales

Reasons Besides Weight Loss To Cut Out Wheat And Grains

Health, Weight Loss 2 Comments »

One of the best and fastest ways to lose weight is to totally cut wheat and grains out from your diet.  But cutting out grains has lots of very surprising health benefits.

So if someone joins bootcamp with high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high inflammation, low HDL, high triglycerides, high LDL, and a lower belly bulge. Eliminate all grains and in 90 days they have lost 20 pounds of fat, blood sugars normalize, triglycerides drop dramatically, HDL goes up, LDL goes down, and c-reactive proteins (inflammation markers) drop.

If that’s not enough benefits for you… here’s some more!

Improve Rheumatiod Arthritis Symptoms: This is a big one for me personally. Get rid of grains and painful thumbs, fingers, wrists, and ankles clear up remarkably fast (getting rid of dairy and sugar will help too). Lots of people have found that once the conditions are gone, one serving of wheat will give them a painful throbbing in their joints that lasts for hours. No grains, no pains :)

- Reduction or Elimination of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

- Reduction or Elimination of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

- Improved Mood: Getting rid of grains will make you happier and will stabilize your moods. Did you know that wheat is a cause of a type of schizophrenia and bipolar illness?

Cut out wheat and you’ll cut out mood swings.

(More info on nutrition and mental well being: End Emotional Eating, Sugar Cravings Taking Over Your Brain, and Natural Nutrition To Fight Depression And Anxiety)

Fix Ulcerative Colitis: The stomach pain, gut cramping, and diarrhea from ulcerative colitis can be eliminated by cutting out wheat. Ulcerative colitis sufferers are negative for the antibodies for celiac disease and almost all their symptoms come from eating grains.

Higher Libido For Both Men And Women: Cutting out grains will improve sex hormones and endothelial response. (Endothelial cells are what line the inside of blood vessels. Improving endothelial response will result in increased bloodflow to genitals)

Clearer Skin: Eliminating wheat helps clear up eczema, acne, rashes, itching, and bags under your eyes. Sounds good to me!

People with celiac disease can DIE from eating wheat. What else do you eat regularly that can make you so sick and do so much damage to your body?

Cut out grains today and stick with it for at least two weeks. You’ll be so amazed at how much better you feel that you’ll never want to go back.

Study: Injury Rates In Gymnastics

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This was originally an email I wrote for a group of sports parents…

Silver State Gymnastics does a phenomenal job of keeping our young gymnasts healthy. Coach Dave focuses on the skills and conditioning levels necessary for being a top performer without pushing too far, too fast.

That said, gymnastics IS a sport, and injuries can happen. For small tweaks and strains, use the Rest/Ice/Compress/Elevate formula (Gymnastics R.I.C.E).

For anything bigger, go and see a qualified doctor. Leaving injuries untreated not only makes the injury worse, it can lead to more injuries.

A survey study was done on level 4 to level 10 gymnasts in the Seattle area.

It covered 96 athletes competing at the club level.

Acute injury rates were 1.3 injuries per 1000 hours training if looked at across the board. For gymnasts aged 10-17, the injury rate was 3-fold greater than athletes aged 7-9 years.

This increase in injury rate may be due to more complex skills, to small injuries stacking up, or to many other factors.

The majority of injuries occurred in practice, but the injury rate was higher during meets.

Most injuries occurred in:

  • Floor 32.1%
  • Beam 20.7%
  • Bars 17%

The most commonly injured body parts were:

  • Foot 21%
  • Ankle 19.3%
  • Knee 14%
  • Wrist 8.8%

Overuse injury rates were 1.8 per 1000 hours.

During their gymnastic careers, concussions occurred in 30.2% of gymnasts, and stress fractures (mostly low back and foot) occurred in 16.7% of gymnasts.

To prevent injuries, first you need to find a great coach (if you’re at Silver State Gymnastics you have this covered :)). Next, focus on proper mechanics of landing after a skill. Then conditioning.

As a parent, making sure your young athlete has plenty of rest and eats properly will go a long way towards preventing injuries and healing them faster if they happen.

The study referenced is:

Clin J Sport Med. 2011 Nov;21(6):486-92.
Survey of injuries in Seattle area levels 4 to 10 female club gymnasts.
O’Kane JW, Levy MR, Pietila KE, Caine DJ, Schiff MA.

Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, University of Washington Sports Medicine Clinic, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA



Natural Nutrition To Fight Depression And Anxiety

Health, Nutrition, Strategies 4 Comments »


Mental illness has become an extremely profitable business in the United States.  Annual sales of anti-depressants keeps growing and growing.

In fact, major depression is expected to become the secondmost cause of disability worldwide by 2020.

Anxiety, panic, and depression steal from the experience of life and cast a dark cloud over everything.

Eating clean and exercising definitely help to fight both depression and anxiety, but sometimes you need a little bit extra to balance things out.

That’s where natural supplements come in.  Below is a list of nutrients that will help you take control:

1.  A low carbohydrate diet, with no grains or sugars.  (For more info on sugar check out these blog posts: Sugar Cravings Taking Over Your Brain and 99 Ways Sugar Is Poisoning You)

2.  Plenty of water.  A dehydrated brain doesn’t work right.

3.  B-complex supplementation.  The B vitamins all work together, if you’re missing just one, none of them work.

4.  Full-spectrum Sea Salts.  Sea salts are full of the trace minerals you need to keep yourself in balance.  I personally like to get a salt from a different area every time I need some more.  This week it might be Celtic salts, next week Himalayan salts.  Doing this helps me be sure that I’m getting a wide variety of trace minerals.

5.  Magnesium.  Try to get 600-800mg a day.  Magnesium glycinate is very easily absorbed by your body.  Since magnesium can be taken in through your skin, Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) baths or magnesium oils can be a good magnesium boost when you’re feeling down or overworked.

6.  Zinc.  Zinc can be rough on an empty stomach, so I take my zinc and magnesium right after breakfast.  If I’m feeling beat down from tough workouts or super-stressed, I take a second dose after dinner.

7.  L-tryptophan.  This amino acid is what people talk about in turkey dinners – it doesn’t make  you sleepy, don’t worry :).  Typtophan is useful for fighting off both depression and anxiety and is a direct precursor to serotonin.

A good way to take tryptophan is 500mg on an empty stomach and note how you are feeling.  If you don’t improve your sense of general well-being within a half hour, take 500mg more, and continue.  When you start feeling better, that is your dose.  (Note: Do NOT take is you are also taking anti-depressants.  Talk to your doctor first)

8.  Theanine.  This amino acid is useful for combating anxiety paired with mind racing and physical tension.  Begin with a low amount on an empty stomach and find your personal prescription the same way you did with L-typtophan in #7.

Theanine can be found in black and green tea and is the precursor to the calming neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid.

Theanine shows positive effects on both serotoning and dopamine.  Small doses can raise your energy, while larger amounts are very relaxing.

More benefits include lowering high blood pressure (maybe through the calming effect) as well as being neuroprotective against alzheimer’s and dementia.

9.  Gamma-aminobutyric acid.  This is the neurotransmitter supported with theanine.  It can also be taken as a supplement itself.  It is used by naturopaths for issues with anxiety, physical tension, and racing thoughts.

10.  L-tyrosine.  This amino acid becomes norepinephrine and dopamine – both neurotransmitters linked to depression.

Figure out the dose the way you would with theanine or tryptophan.

Tyrosine is stimulating and so you shouldn’t take it if you have a problem responding to stress, it might set you off.  Also, since tyrosine is a precursor to melanin (skin pigment), so you shouldn’t take it if you have melanoma.

Don’t use tyrosine if anxiety is your problem, only for depression.

11.  Taurine.  Famous for being an ingredient in the energy drink Red Bull, tyrosine is good for fighting anxiety related problems.  It helps take care of nervousness without being sedating.

Taurine is an antioxidant, helps support bile functions, and helps take care of the electrical system in your brain and heart.

Work out your dosage the way you would with other amino acids (small amounts on an empty stomach).  Very high doses might have a diuretic effect (you’ll pee more), but aren’t toxic.

12.  DL-phenylalanine.  Another amino acid precursor to tyrosine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and endorphins.  Read about tyrosine above, DL-phenylalanine has the same warnings.

DL-phenylalanine is very helpful people with strong addictions towards pleasure seeking.  (Ever seek pleasure or comfort from foods?  Check out these posts: End Emotional Eating and Do You Use Food As A Reward?)

13.  Sunshine or Light Boxes.  I prefer sunshine :)

Using a light box for 15-30 minutes in the morning can shut down melatoning production during the day, which lessens fatigue and depression as well as raising serotonin levels.

Spend as much time outdoors as you can without burning to get the most you can out of “light nutrients.”

Oh, and don’t wear sunglasses when you walk on your lunch break.

14.  Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is another supplement I take daily.  Deficiencies in vitamin D can lead to not only depression and anxiety, but a whole host of other health problems.  (A lack of vitamin D has been shown to be a big cancer risk)

15.  Fish Oil/Omega 3s.  Fish oil helps you with EVERYTHING.  Depression, anxiety, weight loss, you name it, fish oil can help.

There you have it, 15 natural supplements to help fight depression and anxiety.

Long term, your best defense against both depression and anxiety are a healthy low-carb diet, exercise, and a strong social support network – your family and friends.

Science: Omega-3s And Heart Disease

Health, Nutrition, Study No Comments »

A study published in Circulation looked at the impact of fish oil and fish consumption on heart disease risk.

The researchers did a review study because observational evidence showed that consuming omega-3 fatty acids lowered risk coronary heart disease and lowered blood triglycerides.

What Are Omega-3s?

I covered the basics of Omega-3s in this post: The Story Of Omega-3s

Fish and other marine life (such as krill) are great sources of omega-3 (or n-3) fatty acids.  These fats are called omega-3s  because the first of several double bonds occur three carbon atoms away from the end of the molecule’s carbon chain.

The three omega-3 fatty acids are alpha linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexenoic acid (DHA).

These fatty acids can’t be made in the body and are considered essential fatty acids that must be consumed in the diet.

Omega-3s And Triglycerides

Omega-3s will definitely help lower triglycerides (How To Lower Triglycerides 93.5% In 21 Days!).

In this study, they report that plant sources of omega-3s do NOT have the same triglyceride lowering effects as animal-based sources (fish and krill oil).


They then list five things that omega-3s help with in regards to cholesterol and triglycerides:

  1. Slows Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL) triglyceride synthesis
  2. Decreases apoprotein B synthesis (apoprotein B is a part of “bad” cholesterol)
  3. Helps break down Low Density Lipoproteins (destroys bad cholesterol)
  4. Slows the manufacture of bad cholesterol
  5. Slows fat release into the blood stream after eating

Fish oil also reduces platelet build up at the same time it lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides…

What does this mean?  Simply that omega-3 supplementation will reduce plaque build up in your blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and your risk for heart disease.

Plus, the report says that diabetics taking fish oil could improve their blood vessels elasticity without negatively affecting their fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, or blood pressure. Pretty cool stuff!

Omega-3s And High Blood Pressure

Turns out that omega-3s lower blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure, but don’t lower you any further if you are at normal pressure already.

This goes along with my theory that there’s nothing magical about fish oil, it just allows you body to achieve its natural healthy state.  (Though if you look at most people today, that IS a magical benefit!)

Omega-3s And Blood Clots

Can omega-3s help prevent blood clots?  As someone with a family history of blood clots, this topic is of special interest to me…

Omega-3s affect the cellular responses in platelets, monocytes (type of white blood cell), and endothelial cells (lining of blood vessels) – all in a good way!

You may have heard that aspirin is prescribed to help prevent blood clots – well, this report states that when bleeding times are measured, the effects of fish oil are about the same as those of aspirin.

Taking an omega-3 supplement will reduce your risk of thrombosis (clots inside your blood vessels), so if the thought of a blood clot has ever worried you, take some krill oil and have some peace of mind.

Omega-3s And Immune Response

This review didn’t go in depth into omega-3s and immune response, mostly just that it looks promising and needs more research.

I reported on another study that looked at krill oil’s effects on inflammation: The Effect Of Krill Oil On Inflammation And Arthritis

Fish Intake And Coronary Heart Disease

Studies of the Inuit people highlighted their lower coronary mortality compared with their counterparts in areas that didn’t eat as much fish and other marine life.

The Eskimos’ diet included a much, much higher intake of omega-3 from sources such as seal and whale that resulted in the Inuit having lower blood cholesterol, lower triglycerides, lower LDL-C (bad cholesterol), lower VLDL cholesterol (very bad cholesterol), increased HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), increased bleeding times (less risk of blood clots), and lower rates of coronary heart disease.

And in the Diet and Reinfarction Trial, men who were instructed to eat more fish after a myocardial infarction had a 29% decline in mortality rates.

Omega-3s And Sudden Death

The Diet And Reinfarction Trial created interest in the link between increased omega-3 consumption and decreased mortality rates.

A study was done comparing rates of sudden death (from cardiovascular problems) in people who ate a diet rich in omega-3s and in a group following a more standard diet.

The results speak for themselves: The group following a standard diet had 8 deaths, the group consuming more omega-3s had… none!

Another study from the Pacific Northwest found that patients who had a sudden cardiac arrest consumed much lower amounts of omega-3s than their age and sex matches in the community.  The data shows that eating fatty fish (a rich source of omega-3s) is associated with a 50% reduction in the risk for primary cardiac arrest (heart attack).

Omega-3 Conclusion

The heart-healthy benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids are indisputable. Plus they support a healthy immune system, pain-free joints, brain and nerve health, and have anti-inflammatory properties.  The research proves that we can all benefit from consuming foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

Unfortunately, the best natural dietary sources of Omega 3s – fatty fish – are frequently contaminated with heavy metals and pesticides, making it difficult to safely achieve a consumption high enough to make a difference. Therefore, supplementing your diet with pure, highly refined omega-3s is the best way to protect your health.

Krill oil provides the best quality source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, especially when concentrated and refined to be as pure as possible.  Prograde Nutrition makes an easy-to-swallow soft gelatin capsule that contains no contaminants and will not upset your stomach or give you “fish burps.”

Prograde Icon krill oil will supply you with the essential omega-3s that support your health, in a convenient supplement form and from the most trustworthy sources available.

Click here to learn more about krill oil:

Icon Essential Omega-3s <= highest quality source

And here is the review study referenced in this post:

Circulation. 1996;94:2337-2340
Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Lipids, and Coronary Heart Disease
Neil J. Stone, MD
From the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association

Study Review: Yo Yo Dieting Doesn’t Lower Cancer Risk

Health, Nutrition, Study, Weight Loss No Comments »

“Yo yo dieting” is the phrase used to describe the results of typical starvation diets: whatever weight you lose, you gain it (or more!) back as soon as you start eating normally.

A study from Colorado State University looked at yo yo diets – they called it Weight Cycling – and found that dropping a lot of weight and then gaining it back is no protection against cancer risk.

Here’s the citation if you want to read the study yourself:

Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Nov;4(11):1736-42. Epub 2011 Oct 7.
Weight cycling and cancer: weighing the evidence of intermittent caloric restriction and cancer risk.
Thompson HJ, McTiernan A.
Cancer Prevention Laboratory, Colorado State University

The abstract concludes: “Collectively, the data argue against weight cycling and indicate that the objective of energy balance-based approaches to reduce cancer risk should be to strive to prevent adult weight gain and maintain body weight within the normal range defined by body mass index.”

I repeat, to reduce cancer risk strive to prevent weight gain!

It’s like the classic advice that the best way to lose weight is to not gain it in the first place.

So instead of crash dieting, the best way to protect your health is to focus on finding a healthy way to eat that will lower your body weight into a healthy range and allow you to keep it there, without yo-yoing up and down.