Are Calcium Supplements Safe?

 

Death in a bottle?

Death in a bottle?

Monica is a smart and media-savvy nutritionist who brought me on board as a blogger at NutritionData many years ago. Click the link below for her surprising conclusion on calcium supplementation.

Monica writes:

“The National Osteoporosis Foundation published a new report this week, insisting that calcium supplements are safe for your heart. Two weeks ago, Johns Hopkins cardiologist Erin Michos published a paper saying the opposite.

She claims that the NOF review (which was funded by a pharmaceutical company that makes calcium supplements) omitted certain studies (such as the ones she included in her own review) that might have changed the conclusion.

These are just the latest two volleys in a five-year-long tennis match between experts on whether you should or shouldn’t take calcium supplements.  And you thought politics was divisive.”

Source: Calcium Supplements: Safe or Not?

Guess What? I Was Right After All

Reviewers at London Metropolitan University wondered if carbohydrate restriction was a legitimate approach to controlling diabetes. No surprise to me, they conclude that it is:

“A carbohydrate restricted diet can provide a safe and effective solution for improving diabetes management and should have a place within the diabetic guidelines. The diet was effective in reducing postprandial hyperglycemia and glycaemic variability resulting in low levels of glycaemia without the risk of hypoglycaemia. The ability of the diet to reduce the symptoms of dyslipidemia is of particular importance and when compared to the traditional low fat diet for weight loss, the low carbohydrate diet was comparable and in some instances better. There were significant reductions or cessation of diabetic medication reported throughout the literature alongside a reduction in the psychological aspects of living with a long-term disease. It is possible that the current dietary advice may actually accelerate beta cell exhaustion with elevated blood glucose diminishing the islet cells ability to produce insulin.”

Action Plan. But it’s expensive: around $17.

No degludec up in here!

Front cover

What’s More Important For Longevity: Level of Fitness Or Minutes of Exercise Per Week?

She can increase intensity by increasing the weight of those dumbbells

She can increase intensity by increasing the weight of those dumbbells

You’ve heard that “sitting is the new smoking,” right?

Regular physical activity prevents disease and prolongs life. But if you nevertheless still spend to much time sitting around either at work or home, the sitting tends to counteract the benefits of your exercise.

A new study says that your fitness level is more important for long-term health than the number of hours you exercise. Fitness level in this context was cardiorespiratory fitness, probably measured by a maximal-effort treadmill or bicycle test.

Some of your fitness level is inherited, but you can also improve your fitness with the proper intensity or duration of exercise. Rather than exercise longer, I prefer more intensity. Just strolling around the mall at 2 mph for two hours isn’t going to improve fitness in most folks.

From MNT:

“The team conducted a cross-sectional study of 495 women and 379 men from Norway aged between 70-77 years. Sedentary time and physical activity were assessed by accelerometers, while cardiorespiratory fitness was determined by peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) – the measurement of the volume of oxygen that the body can utilize during physical exertion.

Researchers compared different levels of activity with fitness levels and cardiovascular risk factor clusters. A cardiovascular risk factor cluster was defined as the presence of three to five risk factors for heart disease.

These risk factors included: elevated waist circumference, elevated blood triglycerides or reduced “good” cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or treatment for hypertension, and elevated fasting blood sugar levels – combined symptoms commonly referred to as metabolic syndrome.

High cardiorespiratory fitness reduced risk of heart diseaseFindings – published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings – showed that when compared with women and men who were the least sedentary, women and men from the most sedentary group were 83 percent and 63 percent more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors from extended time sitting, respectively.

However, when the team took participants’ level of fitness into consideration – measured by having high age-specific cardiorespiratory fitness – they found that the fittest 40 percent had a decreased likelihood of cardiovascular risk factors from prolonged sitting.This finding held true even though the fittest participants spent between 12-13 hours per day sedentary and did not meet current moderate to vigorous physical activity guidelines.”

Source: Fitness, not physical activity, mitigates negative effects of prolonged sitting – Medical News Today

PS: If you’re new to exercise, I teach you how to get started in my books.

Soft Drinks Raise Risk of T2 Diabetes and LADA

I enjoy an aspartame-flavored Fresca now and then

I enjoy an aspartame-flavored Fresca now and then

LADA is latent autoimmune diabetes in adults.

This new study is out of Sweden. The potential disease-inducing soft drink dose was 400 ml or 13.5 fl oz per day. In the U.S., a typical soda can is 10 fl oz or 355 ml. Surprisingly, artificially-sweetened soft drinks were just as guilty as regular beverages.

From MNT:

“The study included 2,874 Swedish adults, of whom 1,136 had type 2 diabetes, 357 had LADA, and 1,137 were healthy controls.

The team analyzed the self-reported dietary data of each adult, looking specifically at the number of soft drinks consumed up to 1 year before a diabetes diagnosis. Participants’ insulin resistance levels, beta cell function, and autoimmune response were also measured.

The researchers found that adults who reported drinking at least two 200-milliliter servings of soft drinks a day – whether they contained sugar or artificial sweetener – were twice as likely to develop LADA and 2.4 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared with those who consumed fewer than two soft drinks daily.

What is more, adults who consumed five 200-milliliter servings of soft drinks daily were found to be at 3.5 times greater risk of LADA and 10.5 times greater risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of whether the drinks were sugary or artificially sweetened.”

Source: Diabetes risk doubles with more than two soft drinks daily – Medical News Today

QOTD: Michael Nehls on Ancestral Lifestyle

Lean and muscular

Which is lean and muscular?

“A lifestyle that encompasses 12+ hours intermittent fasting overnight, a nutrient-rich, low-glycemic diet and regular physical exercise almost inevitably leads to a body composition close to that of our foraging ancestors: lean and muscular. Unfortunately, the behavioural trend goes in the other direction, where obesity and “age-related” muscle loss is becoming a major health issue.”

Source: Unified theory of Alzheimer’s disease (UTAD): implications for prevention and curative therapy

Check Out DietDoctor’s Improved Low-Carb Recipe Collection

That's a guacamole deviled egg

That’s a guacamole deviled egg

They’ve always been good recipes—accompanied by all-important nutrient analysis—but they’re even better now. They’re not necessarily paleo-compliant, but many of them are.

From DietDoctor:

“Our low-carb recipe site is probably already the most popular one in the world, with over 100,000 daily pageviews, several hundred recipes and gorgeous images. Now we’re adding even more great functions.You can now change the number of servings for recipes – the ingredient amount will correspond to the number of servings – and you can now also choose between the US or the metric measurement systems for ingredients. All to make it simpler to use our recipes.

We’ve also added a function for members so that it is now possible to save your personal favorite recipes. To activate the latter feature you need to be logged in, so that your selections can be saved for later.”

Source: The World’s Best Low-Carb Recipes Just Got Better – Diet Doctor

Does Exercise Really Prevent T2 Diabetes?

Hop on and ride, ride, ride to prevent diabetes

Hop on and ride, ride, ride to prevent diabetes

Even if you have T2 diabetes already, share this post with someone who has prediabetes or risk of getting diabetes. You could save a life and prevent a lot of hassle.

“A new study, published this week in the journal Diabetologia, takes a deeper look at the role of exercise in the development of type 2 diabetes. It is the most in-depth study to examine exercise independent from other influential factors, such as diet. The conclusions from the report are clear: “This research shows that some physical activity is good, but more is better.” (says study co-author Dr. Soren Brage)

Currently, physical activity guidelines in the U.S. and the United Kingdom recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week; this could include cycling, walking, or sports. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fewer than 50 percent of American adults meet these recommendations.

The current study was a result of collaborative work between two institutions – University College London and the University of Cambridge, both of which are based in the U.K. Data from more than 1 million people was collated. In all, the team analyzed 23 studies from the U.S., Asia, Australia, and Europe.”

***

“According to the analysis, cycling or walking briskly for 150 minutes each week cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 26 percent.

Those who exercise moderately or vigorously for an hour each day reduced their risk by 40 percent. At the other end of the scale, for those who did not manage to reach the 150 minute target, any amount of physical activity they carried out still reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes, but to a lesser extent.”

Source: Exercise vs. diabetes: New level of detail uncovered – Medical News Today

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you want to start an exercise program, my books will get you started.

Living at Higher Altitude May Prolong Life

Adult life is a battle against gravity. Eventually we all lose.

Adult life is a battle against gravity. Eventually we all lose.

From P.D. Mangan:

“Death rates from both of these cancers [breast in women, colon in men] were about half as high at an altitude of greater than 1000 meters (3300 feet).  The study also found about a 30% reduction in deaths from coronary artery disease at >1000 meters.

This accords well with a number of other studies. For example, “Lower Mortality From Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke at Higher Altitudes in Switzerland“. This study found 22% less heart disease death for every +1000 meters in altitude, and 12% less stroke death.

Association Between Alzheimer Dementia Mortality Rate and Altitude in California Counties“: This study found about half the death rate from Alzheimer’s at an altitude of 1600 meters vs that at sea level.

There’s less diabetes at high altitude.”

Source: Higher Altitude Means Much Lower Death Rates – Rogue Health and Fitness

RTWT.

Considering Weight Training? P.D. Mangan Lists the Essentials for Effectiveness

No evidence of anabolic steroids here. Primarily estrogen.

She won’t be at your home gym

I am a huge advocate of weight training (aka resistance or strength training).

Folks new to weight training, or simply thinking about starting a program, are often intimidated by the jargon and contradictory information available. P.D. Mangan clears up a lot of the confusion in a brief article.

I quote:

“Misconceptions and wrong ideas abound in weight training, probably because so many enthusiastic amateurs are involved in it. In this article, I’ll try to clear up some of the misconceptions with a look at at science-based weight training.

In recent articles, we saw that brief workouts, at 15 minutes, done infrequently, at twice a week, can produce significant strength gains. We saw that compound lifts, not isolation lifts, are the most effective strength exercises, and are essential for the serious strength trainer. And we saw that hard weight lifting causes muscle damage, which necessitates recovery time.

Here I’ll focus on what science has to say about additional aspects of weight lifting (resistance training). These come from “Evidence-Based Resistance Training Recommendations” by Fisher et al.”

Source: Science-Based Weight Training – Rogue Health and Fitness

New study suggests “Only drink water when thirsty” 

Be cautious when you approach this watering hole

Be cautious when you approach this watering hole

 

Many folks find it difficult to drink the usual recommended eight 8-oz glasses of water daily. That makes me wonder if there’s an underlying evolutionary mechanism at play, and maybe we don’t need that much water. Drinking untreated water exposes us to disease-causing organisms. The more water, the more pathogens.

I quote MNT:

“But how much water do we need to drink on a daily basis?

While you may have heard that eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day – known as the “8×8 rule” – is the aim, there is no scientific evidence that pinpoints precisely how much fluid is the optimal amount.

Based on studies to date, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommend that women should aim to drink around 2.2 liters of total beverages daily (around 9 cups), while men should aim to consume around 3 liters of total beverages daily (around 13 cups).

However, contrary to these recommendations and the so-called 8×8 rule, the new study suggests we should only drink when we are thirsty, after discovering a mechanism that makes drinking excess water challenging.”

Source: ‘Only drink water when thirsty,’ study suggests – Medical News Today