Fluoridated water, golf performance training, forced repetitions, sunshine and skin diseases, lipoic acid and aging

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A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

…fluoride has been added to the U.S. water supply for more than 50 years to prevent dental decay? What you may be surprised to learn is that studies have found no difference in rates of tooth decay in countries that use fluoridated water, compared with those that don’t. It turns out that any benefit of fluoride in preventing the spread of cavities results from a topical application -- not from ingesting it.

    Tap WaterSwallowing fluoride used in tap water, toothpaste, processed foods, or beverages is not a wise practice. This toxic chemical:

  • Accumulates in your bones (making them brittle and more easily fractured), and in your pineal gland, which may inhibit the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate the onset of puberty;
  • Damages tooth enamel (known as dental fluorosis) and may lower fertility rates;
  • Has been found to increase the uptake of aluminum into the brain and lead into the blood;
  • Inhibits antibodies from forming in the blood;
  • Confuses the immune system, causing it to attack the body’s tissues. This can increase the growth rate of tumors in people prone to cancer.

Recognizing this very poor risk-to-benefit ratio, many European countries have banned fluoride altogether. Yet, here in the United States, fluoride is added liberally to water supplies, and is even sold as “nursery water” to give to babies.
(Mercola.com ehealthy news)

…15 trained golfers participated in a study to determine the effect of an eight-week strength training program on swing mechanics and golf performance? The subjects performed a golf specific training program three to four days per week. Pre and post-training testing included strength, flexibility, balance, swing mechanics and golf performance. The end results were a 5.2 percent improvement in club head velocity. In addition, the researchers noted improvement in ball velocity (5 percent), carry distance (7.7 percent) and total distance (6.8 percent). These results are very impressive considering that this was a home-based program. Subjects were guided initially through the exercises in person, and were contacted biweekly to asses their progress. Although lack of guidance and motivation is a limitation, some individuals have greater compliance because they can train at home.
(Journal Strength Conditioning Research 2007; 21(3): 860-869)

…performing forced repetitions doesn’t aid in increasing strength? Performing repetitions beyond the point of failure in a set to “force” your muscles beyond what they’re capable of is a common practice. Researchers at the School of Human Movement Studies at Charles Hurt University used 22 subjects in a recent study to help determine if forced reps are useful. The researchers found an absence of strength or power gains when the number of forced reps were increased, and the training volume was held constant. They also found that increasing the number of forced reps and the training volume did not enhance strength or power. The results indicate the lack of effect with the number of forced reps cannot be explained by increased training volume.
(Journal Strength Conditioning Research 2007; 21(3): 841-847)

Sunshine…sunshine may be able to help fight skin diseases and cancer by attracting immune cells to the skin surface? Sunshine causes the skin to produce vitamin D3, and immune cells in the skin, known as dendritic cells, can convert vitamin D3 into its active form. The active vitamin D3 then causes T-cells to make surface changes that allow them to migrate to the uppermost layer of the skin. T-cells destroy damaged and infected cells, and also regulate other immune cells.
(Mercola.com ehealthy news)

…lipoic acid may be a key to slowing the aging process? A new study from the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI) at Oregon State University found that the powerful antioxidant appears to slow aging, improve blood flow, and improve immune function by boosting the natural defenses of the body to levels found in youth. "In particular, it appears to restore levels of glutathione, a protective antioxidant and detoxification compound, to those of a young animal," said Tory Hagel, a researcher at LPI and an associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at OSU. "It also acts as a strong anti-inflammatory agent, which is relevant to many degenerative diseases." LPI researchers found that lipoic acid's rejuvenating effect appears to be its capacity to reduce the decay of mitochondria in cells, by jumpstarting the aging body's lagging ability to produce glutathione. "We never really expected such a surprising range of benefits from one compound," said Hagen. "This is really unprecedented, and we're pretty excited about it."
(Newsmax.com Health Alerts)

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