Supplementing melatonin might promote weight control— according to the results of a study on mice by Italian researchers. Lean and obese mice were given melatonin or a placebo in the drinking water for eight weeks. Melatonin reduced weight, fat storage area, and reverse fat tissue enlargement in the obese mice but not the lean mice. It worked by decreasing inflammation and normalizing adipokines, which are important fat signaling chemicals. A study on mice by Pengfei Xu and colleagues from Beijing Normal University in China found that melatonin altered the composition of microbes in the gut, which promoted fat loss. Melatonin supplements help promote sleep and weight control.
While living in the Western Culture carries many wonderful benefits as it pertains to the availability and abundance of our choices of food. Conversely, the modern Western diet consists largely of acid-forming high-protein, high-fat, and high-cholesterol animal products and a lack of base-forming intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. The resulting metabolic acidosis is associated with diseases such as obesity, diabetes, systemic hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis.
Who of us doesn't enjoy warm bread dipped in olive oil? It is not only enjoyable to the palate but has positive health benefits. Recent medical research has come to the rescue of the often times unfairly vilified dietary fat through reports of the positive health benefits of certain fats like olive oil. Olive oil, can help us fight stress, improve mood swings, decrease mental fatigue and can actually help us manage our weight. In addition to what has already been proven as to the benefits of olive oil, recent studies are providing evidence of the related benefits of olive oil on cardiorespiratory coordination and performance.
Smart watches, activity monitors and fitness trackers abound and are fun and informative gadgets to help track daily physical activity. You undoubtedly know more than one person who actively is counting their daily steps.
Current fitness trackers record activity in terms of the number of steps per day. The recommendation for 150 minutes of physical activity per week is generally consistent with activity monitor studies suggesting step counts of 7,000 to 8,000 per day. As activity monitors become more sophisticated and less expensive, there's growing interest in using them as a source of data on daily physical activity.
It is no secret that regular exercise is an important strategy to help prevent obesity. So much so that the diet industry is reported to be a 70.3 Billion dollar industry as people continue to search for that magic elixir or pill year in and year out. The promising news is that several studies reported blood levels of several hormones including catecholamines, glucagon, growth hormone, and cortisol are increased during exercise compared with levels in rest periods to continue to support exercise as an effective means to fat loss. When combined with exercise, dietary amino acid (AA) supplementation is an effective method for accelerating fat mobilization. Previous studies have reported that pre-ingestion of a single dose of a mixture of specific amino acids (AAs) enhanced lipolysis and hepatic ketogenesis during and after exercise by stimulating glucagon secretion.
You can run but you most likely can’t hide for long from the avalanche of contradictory and conflicting “expert” recommendations on proper protein consumption as plastered all over your various social media news feeds. Controversy abounds about the maximum amount of protein that can be utilized for lean tissue-building purposes in a single meal for those involved in regimented resistance training. It has been proposed that muscle protein synthesis is maximized in young adults with an intake of ~ 20–25 g of a high-quality protein; anything above this amount is believed to be oxidized for energy or transaminated to form urea and other organic acids. However, these findings are specific to the provision of fast-digesting proteins without the addition of other macronutrients. Consumption of slower-acting protein sources, particularly when consumed in combination with other macronutrients, would delay absorption and thus conceivably enhance the utilization of the constituent amino acids.
The desire to constantly push yourself to the next level compels and drives so many of us, in all facets of our lives be it professional, personal or recreational. As the Steve Jobs once said, “There is always one more thing to learn” and many of us take that to heart constantly looking for the latest trends in fitness to give us that edge to optimize and manifest the body and performance we desire. However, just because a trend is new doesn’t guarantee it is safe and or effective. Over the past decade, interest in high intensity interval training (HIIT) has increased considerably with a myriad of research to validate its efficacy. However, with increased intensity comes the potential for increased injury rates.
In a study published by researchers at Appalachian State University, it was shown that the squat and the deadlift produced more activity in the trunk muscles (abdominals, obliques, and lower back) than three stability ball exercises specifically targeting the same muscles. It was concluded that the stability ball exercises (quadruped, pelvic thrust, and ball back extension) did not provide enough stimulus for either increased strength or hypertrophy therefore questioning their role in a sports conditioning program. Squats and deadlifts, however, were found to provide the necessary stimulus for hypertrophy of the back extensors.
We are all juggling life responsibilities be it work, school, family, friends and recreation so much so that we often times relegate our recreation to the weekends. In an attempt to make up for not exercising all week we tend to overdo it placing ourselves at risk for injuries. Hamstring strain injuries are one of the most common types of non-contact injuries experienced during sports activities and exercise accounting for 12%–16% of injuries, with a reported re-injury rate as high as 22%–34%. These injuries typically occur during sports activities that involve rapid acceleration/deceleration and fast running like recreational weekend basketball, softball or football. A common culprit in these reported injuries is a lack of flexibility in the hamstrings which also result in major muscle imbalances, which can predispose us to muscle injuries like patellar tendinopathy, patellofemoral pain, and the development of low back pain. The eccentric contraction of the hamstrings that occurs during the late swing phase of running to decelerate knee extension has been reported to be associated with such injuries.
As parents, are the genetics we give to our kids or the lifestyle we live and model more responsible for their current and future health and well being? Do the choices we make and how we eat within our families set the tone for our kids future health and well being?