| Article Summary:
Bodybuilders train hard, and while the muscles are the target of set after set of gut-busting heavy weight, it's often the joints that end up taking at least some of the brunt of the hard work.
For sore joints or, in the worst case, arthritis, conventional treatments have been the use of ibuprofen or another NSAID, or the use of well-known joint support supplements like glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate or MSM.
Now there's another ingredient that's proving to be powerful in helping treat sore or arthritic joints: pycnogenol.
In a recent double-blind, placebo controlled random study, researchers gave either a placebo or pycnogenol to study participants (n=50) and obtained reports on pain and stiffness at 60 and 90 days.
The researchers found that at 90 days of the study, participants receiving the pycnogenol reported up to 49% reduction in self-reports of stiffness and pain in their joints, as well as a massive increase in physical function improvements, compared to almost no changes in the placebo group.
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So while glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM supplements have a proven track record, bodybuilders now have another supplement at their disposal to help offset the effects of heavy training on joints: pycnogenol.
Farid, R., et al. Pycnogenol supplementation reduces pain and stiffness and improves physical function in adults with knee osteoarthritis. Nutrition Research 27 (2007) 692 - 697.
Trying To Lose Weight?
Weight loss is a huge industry in America. It's estimated that at any given time more than 120 million Americans are on one form of diet or another. Among the diets on the market, the Atkins diet and others like it that emphasize low-carb intake are extremely popular. Even bodybuilders utilize low-carbohydrate dieting strategies, to reduce or eliminate water retention and trigger fat burning to get that extra-lean look.
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Unfortunately, however, low-carb intake has the undesirable effect of triggering the inflammatory response. In a new study researchers wanted to examine the effects of consuming eggs on levels of adiponectin - a marker of insulin sensitivity and inflammation.
Researchers had twenty overweight males either consume eggs or a placebo for twelve weeks while eating a carbohydrate restricted diet. At the end of the study researchers found that in the group that consumed eggs, inflammatory response was dramatically reduced. Scientists think that these results were caused by HDL raising cholesterol and the presence of lutein - an antioxidant that mediates some inflammatory processes.
So the moral of the story is this: if you're going to restrict your carbohydrate intake, be sure to consume plenty of eggs as this may help offset the inflammation that can accompany carbohydrate restriction.
Joseph C Ratliff, et al. Eggs modulate the inflammatory response to carbohydrate restricted diets in overweight men. Nutrition & Metabolism 2008, 5:6.
Garlic And Antioxidants
It's no secret that garlic is good for you - it contains allicin - an antibiotic and antiviral powerhouse that helps keep you healthy. And, it's also no secret that antioxidants are good for you - they scavenge your body for free radicals (Reactive Oxygen Species) that can cause oxidative damage to your organs, tissues and DNA, potentially resulting in cancers and other illnesses like premature aging.
But what impact do garlic and antioxidants have on blood pressure and nitric oxide production?
Researchers had twenty five (n=25) male participants in the trial and found that while vitamins C and E had marginal effects on blood pressure and increased nitric oxide production by negligible amounts, the combination of garlic and antioxidants significantly lowered blood pressure and increased nitric oxide production by up to 3 times!
Blood pressure is a concern for all bodybuilders, and nitric oxide production is essential for good muscle function and muscle growth. Consuming garlic and antioxidants in combination may be a natural and inexpensive way to build some muscle while staying healthy.
Click To Enlarge.
What Impact Do Garlic And Antioxidants
Have On Blood Pressure And Nitric Oxide Production?
Adam S. Mousa. Cellular effects of garlic supplements and antioxidant vitamins in lowering marginally high blood pressure in humans: pilot study. Nutrition Research 27 (2007) 119 - 123.
As our understanding of human genetics and nutrition continue to advance, there's a lot of progress being made in the field of gene specific nutrition.
That is, simply, the emerging field of nutrition that brings together advances and understanding in the field of genetics and advances and understanding in the field of human nutrition. By bringing these two fields together and relating their respective discoveries, were finding more and more that developing a gene specific nutrition plan is the best possible way to give your body what it really needs.
Researchers exploring the issue of nutrition and genetics recently conducted a study where 93 healthy adults consumed a low carbohydrate diet, and 70 adults consumed a low fat diet.
Using various statistical methods, researchers ranked 23 specific genes identified to play some role in food intake, energy balance and fatty tissue regulation and ranked them in the order in which these genes were likely to influence body fat percentages in the study subjects.
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Researchers found that different genetic mechanisms are involved in and influence fat restriction and carbohydrate restriction and that differences in genes may explain individual responses to fat restricted and carbohydrate restricted diets and why either fat restricted or carbohydrate diets work more for some than others.
Richard L Seip. Physiogenomic comparison of human fat loss in response to diets restrictive of carbohydrate or fat. Nutrition & Metabolism 2008, 5:4.
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