Interesting Health Studies & Announcements for Better Health

Interesting Health Studies

Applying Research to your Goals through Science

Every month, we get at least five or six medical or nutrition journals mailed to us at fitFLEX. While we appreciate the plethora of information that is laid at our fingertips, often it can become redundant reading or just too much. In order to spare you the anguish of reading each journal from cover to cover, we have summarized what we feel are applicable and/or interesting research studies and announcements which may help you in the quest for better health, a leaner body or just to feel better.

From The World Of Who Would-Have-Thunk It

Androstenedione, testosterone and estrogen's little brother, has been found to cause priapism. Priapism is a rare condition that is characterized by persistent painful erections that are unassociated with sexual stimulation or desire. In other words, it just occurs and won't go away. Androstenedione ("andro") is often purported to be a sexual stimulant ". A few years back, Will Brink and Carlon M. CoWer, MD discussed the possibility that since andro is a direct testosterone precursor, in the right individual it may bolster feelings of sexual desire and aggression. Well, we know from animal and human research that andro has a half-life of about 90 to 110 minutes and that it can bolster testosterone levels. As we also know, the male hormone testosterone is responsible for many things, such as sexual interest and muscle mass. Well, in the current study, it is now associated with painful erections.

The FDA Says

On September 5th, 2000 the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was authorizing health claims for plant sterols and plant stanols. Both sterols and stanols are present in small quantities in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes and other plant sources. Over the years, research has revealed that plant sterol and/or plant stanol esters may help to reduce the risk of heart disease. The FDA claims that 1.3 grams per day of plant sterol or 3.4 grams per day of plant stanol esters in the diet will significantly reduce cholesterol. Expect to see both foods and dietary supplements that contain sterols and/or stanol esters to make claims about lowering your risk of heart disease. An interesting note is that the FDA is pushing this through the governmental process in response to petitions submitted by both Lipton and McNeil Consumer Healthcare. Whose interest is at mind, the food and drug companies or the consumer?

Can Overeating Different Types Of Sugar Influence Body Fat?

For years, people have been saying those who eat extra sugar will gain fat, but does the type of sugar that you ingest make a difference? The Dunn Clinical Nutrition Center in the United Kingdom attempted to answer this question. The researchers took both lean and obese women and overfed them with glucose, fructose, sucrose or fat to see basically where the extra calories went in the body.

Each subject was overfed by 50 percent and total energy expenditure was also documented. It was determined that just by overeating, each person burned eight percent more calories throughout the day. Keep in mind, if you eat 50 percent more calories than you need and only bum an extra few percent, you still have an extra 42 percent of calories that has to go somewhere. That somewhere is bodyfat. Energy expenditure was elevated in the lean women who overrate fat, whereas nothing occurred in the obese women. This means that lean women may be a little more adept at burning extra fat that they eat, whereas overweight females are not. Interestingly enough, there was no difference between the lean or obese women with respect to where the extra calories where burned from. When the women overrate the simple carbohydrates (glucose, fructose and sucrose) 74 percent of them were burned (oxidized).

When all of the data was pooled, the researchers determined that overeating simple carbohydrates or fat would result in 12 percent of the extra energy being stored as glycogen (sugar molecules within the muscle and liver) and 88 percent as fat. In other words, eating extra sugar and extra fat beyond your daily needs, will result in padded storage.

Powerlifters Who Use Steroids Die

Whoa, do steroids cause death? No, but it may have gotten your attention! A recent Finnish study determined that elite power-lifters who have used steroids (high doses) had a four time greater death rate compared to population controls. In other words, the study determined that there is a causal relationship (an association) between steroid abuse and premature death.

Treating Anabolic Steroid Abuse

Anabolic steroids are either testosterone or derivatives of testosterone. In any event, these agents, when injected or ingested result in greater circulating levels of testosterone. When there are elevated levels of testosterone (way beyond normal ranges), the body responds by shutting down its own production of testosterone. When a steroid user ceases to use steroids, the body may turn on its own production of natural testosterone, resulting in a condition of hypogo-nadotrophic hypogonadism. There are many pharmacologic methods of "turning back on" the production of natural testosterone. One such method was recently validated in a clinical evaluation. Competitive bodybuilders often use weekly injections of the female hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (11CC). HCG will stimulate luteinizing hormone, which ultimately results in the retum of normal testosterone production. The journal, Postgraduate Medicine, appears to endorse the use of HCG to treat hypogonadism induced by steroid use.

Eat Air, Lose Weight?

Previous research has documented that increasing the volume of food by adding water can lead to reductions in energy intake throughout the day. One way of thinking about this is regarding the energy density of food. To determine the density, you locate the total grams (weight) of the food and divide that by how many calories are in a serving. An example of energy density is, a food bar weighs 78 grams and is 180 calories, the density equals 0.43, whereas if a food bar weighs 78 grams and is 300 calories, the density is 0.26. The greater the density (0.43), the more satiating the food.

A recent study evaluated incorporating a "pre-load" shake that varied in volume (serving size) to determine how the volume of food would effect later meal intake. The researchers gave shakes that were either 10, 15 or 20 ounces. The shakes were identical in caloric content, but differed by the amount of air that was incorporated into each drink. After many days of testing, it was determined that drinking a 15 or 20- ounce drink prior to a meal will result in a 12 percent reduction in food intake. Try drinking a very large glass of water or having a soup prior to a meal and you may eat less, thus make weight loss or control an easier feat."

It is the goal of this monthly update to provide you with useful, amusing research that can be applied to life. Good nutrition and sound training coupled with quality rest and being educated about the decisions that you make are the keys to success.

Related Articles