| Article Summary:
Chitosan May Be Good For Something After All
Younger bodybuilders may not remember the debut of the supplement ingredient Chitosan, but older and more experienced bodybuilders certainly do.
Like all new ingredients to debut on the market, Chitosan was hailed and lauded as the "next big thing" - only to follow the same familiar path as many other ingredients, ultimately failing to live up to the hype, and quickly fading into irrelevance. Now, Chitosan is largely scorned as a fringe ingredient with limited application.
But a new single blind study has shown that while Chitosan may not be useful for fat loss - as was originally claimed - it can help with cholesterol.
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Researchers from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan had sixty high-cholesterol study participants divided into three groups of twenty, with twenty subjects assigned to a placebo group, a water-soluble treatment group or a water-insoluble treatment group.
The participants in the manipulation groups received either water-soluble oral chitosan or water-insoluble oral chitosan to be taken three times daily for duration of eight weeks.
Researchers measured serum levels, analyzed urine samples and collected dietary food intake logs, and found that in the water-soluble chitosan group, cholesterol levels dropped by 7.5% and 8.9% in the water-insoluble group in just 8 weeks compared to the placebo group.
So while chitosan still isn't the wonder-ingredient that some would have you believe, there is evidence that it can be helpful in maintaining a healthy cholesterol profile.
- Fang-Hsuean Liao, et al. Chitosan supplementation lowers serum lipids and maintains normal calcium, magnesium, and iron status in hyperlipidemic patients. Nutrition Research 27 (2007) 146- 151.
Fruits And Vegetables
Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are good for you - that much hasn't changed. But with the advance of medicine and nutrition and the marriage of the two, interdisciplinary studies are returning scientific scrutiny back to our foods, in the hopes of learning more about foods, the ultimate goal being the development of life-saving and life-enhancing medical treatments.
A study published in Nutrition Research examined the differences in bioavailability of various caretenoids from different fruits and vegetables. Using a variety of methods, researchers found that the fruit caretenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and b-cryptoxanthin had absorption ranges of 50-100%, while lutein from broccoli and spinach was less bioaccessable, with a range of 19%-38%.
It was also found that lower caretenoid absorption was correlated with high caretenoid concentrations. In other words, the more highly a food was concentrated, the lower the overall caretenoid absorption from that food.
This is an important study for bodybuilders, because it shows that the same vital nutrients are more efficiently delivered from some foods than others. Bodybuilders should continue to pay attention to these kinds of studies to ensure that the foods they eat are the most nutritive and most efficient at giving them the nutrients they need to prevent deficiency and build muscle.
- Orla F. O'Connell, et al. Xanthophyll caretenoids are more bioaccessible from fruits than dark green vegetables. Nutrition Research 27 (2007) 258- 264.
Will Glucosamine Work For You?
It seems that whenever someone complains of joint pain, the first advice given is: supplement with glucosamine.
While glucosamine works for the great majority of people who take it, the fact is that it doesn't work for everyone. So, the big question has always been: how can you know if glucosamine will work for you, BEFORE you shell out your cash and buy it? Now, researchers may have the answer.
Researchers recruited 39 study participants, all with knee pain, with the aim of developing a method to predict the response to glucosamine treatment.
Using a variety of testing methods, researchers took into account the participants age, BMI, self-reported pain scores, as well as their measurements for osteophytes in their lateral tibiofemoral joint (TFJ) and patellofemoral joint (PFJ).
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Researchers found that glucosamine treatment greatly increased functionality while reducing self-reported levels of pain. While researchers were unable to develop a precise method of predicting the success or failure of glucosamine treatment, they determined that glucosamine seemed to work better in people with lower BMI values and lower TFJ and PFJ osteophyte levels.
|(BMI) BODY MASS INDEX CALCULATOR|
The results of this study are useful to bodybuilders because bodybuilders may be able to increase the efficacy of glucosamine supplementation by lowering body fat percentage levels, leading to a better - although still inapplicable - BMI score.
Additionally, bodybuilders could benefit by testing TFJ and PFJ osteophyte levels prior to supplementation as a means of anticipating the possible benefits of supplementation.
- Alexander N Bennett, et al. Predictors of symptomatic response to glucosamine in knee osteoarthritis: an exploratory study. Br J Sports Med 2007;41:415-419.
Exercise And Your Brain
If you want to build muscle, you have to train all-out - only by training in this way can you generate the kind of intensity that forces your body to continually adapt and grow. But have you ever wondered what training does to your brain?
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A study from researchers at Michigan State University wanted to examine the effects of a single bout of high intensity exercise on brain function. To this end, researchers had 102 male and female athletes take a psychological test - the Immediate Post- Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) - before and after a high-intensity exercise session lasting 15 minutes in duration.
Researchers found that high-intensity exercise dramatically reduced immediate memory and recall, and caused short-term limits in attention to detail and an overall reduction in the ability to think logically about complex concepts.
So while high-intensity exercise is great for building muscle, it also takes its toll on your central nervous system - your brain and spinal cord.
1 of 3: The Central Nervous System (CNS):
The human central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. These lie in the midline of the body and are protected by the skull and vertebrae respectively.
This collection of billions of neurons is arguably the most complex object known.
The central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system comprise a primary division of controls that command all physical activities of a human.
Neurons of the central nervous system affect consciousness and mental activity while spinal extensions of central nervous system neuron pathways affect skeletal muscles and organs in the body.
This study is important for bodybuilders because it once again shows that training stresses affect the muscle and the mind, and that, like your muscles, your brain needs time to recover from intense training.
- Tracey Covassin, et al. Effects of a maximal exercise test on neurocognitive function. Br J Sports Med 2007;41:370-374.
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