Did You Know...
A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.
...exercise induced endogenous hormone levels have been studied extensively? Researchers have examined how the different components of training, including sets, repetitions, load and rest intervals, affect serum levels of hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone and cortisol. Many studies have demonstrated there is an acute increase in serum levels of anabolic hormones after intense resistance exercise.
To be more specific, high intensity exercise coupled with short rest intervals that is performed with large muscle groups are associated with large rises in these hormones when compared to other training methods. Conversely, training small muscle groups like the biceps has been shown to have no effect on serum hormone levels. Because of the findings in many studies, training programs have been constructed to maximize the post-exercise rise in these hormones based on the assertion that exercise-induced increases in hormones like testosterone and GH will enhance muscle size and strength.
A study from the Kinesiology Dept. of McMaster University in Canada found that exercise- induced hormone levels had no effect on muscle size or strength after 15 weeks of resistance training.
There is evidence that a minimal basal level of testosterone is required to support strength and hypertrophy gains, which are otherwise attenuated. Therefore, the hormone-sensitive processes that underpin muscle anabolism at hypo- and supra-physiological hormone levels are not being activated appreciably by exercise-induced increases in hormone availability, or at least do not result in any measurable enhancement of strength or hypertrophy.
...in a major rice growing area of the Philippines, Dr. Loevinsohn from Imperial College, London, found that the onset of a massive epidemic of stroke and heart disease corresponded with the advent of the green agrarian revolution in 1970, when pesticide use rose by nearly 250 percent in the area? Dr. Loevinsohn believes that the full scale of deaths, largely confined to the farm worker sector of the population, and to the month of August which is the height of the spray season, has been hidden by the local doctors who misattributed these cardiac deaths to deaths of natural degeneration.
Just how many millions of other cardiac deaths from twentieth century toxic exposure have been misappropriated and scapegoated onto saturated fat? Ironically, governments and health authorities are advising us to switch to the so-called healthy eating of fruit and vegetables. But on average, each cropping cycle of vegetable or fruit is sprayed with pesticides, fungicides and herbicides 15 times before it reaches the shop shelf, whereas grassland pastures for producing meat and milk are rarely sprayed at all. Vegetarians are so intensively exposed to pesticide residues, that perceptive medical teams such as one led by Dr. David Ratner from the Central Emek Hospital, Afula, in Israel, have positively identified a novel, pesticide-produced neurological syndrome common to hospitalized vegetarians.
...there are many biological factors that are important for muscular hypertrophy like hormone levels, age, sex, muscle fiber type and diet, among others? These factors have been recognized as extremely important for the hypertrophic adaption to strength training. Many of these factors, however, are known to vary throughout the day. Can the daily differences in the above factors like hormone levels affect the adaptive response to strength training? What time of day is the best time to train?
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research set out to examine the effects of time-of-day-specific strength training on muscle hypertrophy maximal strength in men. The training group underwent a 10-week preparatory training regimen. Afterwards, the subjects were randomized to either a morning training group or an afternoon training group. The groups trained for another 10 weeks with training times between 07:00 and 09:00 hours and 17:00 and 19:00 hours in the morning group and the afternoon group respectively. Cross-sectional areas and volume of the quadriceps femoris were obtained by magnetic resonance imaging at weeks 0, 10 and 20. Maximum voluntary isometric strength during unilateral knee extensions and the half squat one repetition maximum were tested at weeks 0, 10 and 20.
The entire 20-week training period resulted in significant increases in maximum voluntary contraction and 1RM in both training groups. In this study, the magnitude of muscular hypertrophy and strength did not statistically differ between the morning or afternoon group. However, this study was of short duration and like most research concerning physical improvement through exercise, there needs to be more subjects over longer periods of time.
J Strength Cond Res 23(9):2451-2457
...celiac disease, also more commonly referred to as wheat or gluten intolerance, occurs when your body cannot digest gluten, a protein most commonly found in wheat, rye and barley? However, it's very important to realize that these are not the only culprits that can cause severe problems. Other grains such as oats and spelt also contain gluten, and gluten can be found in countless processed foods without being labeled as such.
The rising prevalence of celiac disease is clear evidence that we're simply not designed to consume such vast amounts of carbohydrates so many now indulge in. The vast majority of Americans consume far too much bread, cereal, pasta, corn (a grain, not a vegetable), rice, potatoes and junk food, with dire health consequences.
This even includes organic stone ground whole grains for those of you who eat only whole, natural foods. Obviously these are healthier for you, but ultimately they cause the same problems through two mechanisms: reaction to the protein gliadin in the wheat, and an adverse increase in insulin secretion.
When you consume carbohydrates, even whole grain, the result is a sharp spike in insulin, which has a whole host of problems in and of itself. The undigested gluten then triggers your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine, which can cause symptoms like diarrhea or constipation, nausea and abdominal pain. In more recent years, it's been shown that the condition can also cause a much wider array of symptoms that are not gastrointestinal in nature, further complicating proper diagnosis. Over time, your small intestine becomes increasingly damaged and less able to absorb nutrients such as iron and calcium. This in turn can lead to anemia, osteoporosis and other health problems.
The rapid increase in celiac disease and milder forms of gluten intolerance is no surprise considering the modern Western diet, which consists in large part of grain carbohydrates. Additionally, modern wheat is very different from the wheat your ancestors ate. The proportion of gluten protein in wheat has increased enormously as a result of hybridization.
Until the 19th century, wheat was also usually mixed with other grains, beans and nuts; pure wheat flour has been milled into refined white flour only during the last 200 years. The resulting high-gluten, refined grain diet most of you have eaten since infancy was simply not part of the diet of previous generations.