1. Should You Avoid Soy Protein?
For years, bodybuilders have been told to avoid soy protein. Critics of soy protein claim that not only is soy protein an "inferior" protein source compared to whey protein and other proteins, but that it also may exert estrogenic activity in males and interfere with testosterone activity and hormone regulation.
While little research supports these claims, this hasn't stopped the critics from blasting soy protein at every available opportunity.
New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition aimed to examine the effects of soy protein varying in isoflavone content on serum lipids in young healthy male study subjects.
Thirty-five males (average age of 27 years old) were given a milk protein isolate protein drink, a soy protein drink low in isoflavone concentration, and a highly concentrated soy protein isoflavone drink. Each type of drink was used by participants for a period of 57 days, with a 4 week rest period between drink types.
Before, during and after the study, participants provided blood samples, and LDL and HDL levels were measured. Urine samples were also analyzed.
Researchers found that while the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol wasn't altered by the milk protein drink, the ratio was significantly lower when subjects consumed the soy protein drink.
As a result, researchers concluded that soy protein is effective at lowering serum lipids and that this makes your cardiovascular system healthier and may lower your cardiovascular disease risk.
This study is just another study that refutes the position held by soy protein critics. The fact is, soy protein is a great protein source that has benefits that other protein types lack. Used with reason within the context of a high-protein diet, soy protein is effective and safe.
Brianne L McVeigh, Barbara L Dillingham, Johanna W Lampe, and Alison M Duncan. Effect of soy protein varying in isoflavone content on serum lipids in healthy young men. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:244 -51.
2. Can Whole Grains And Fiber Reduce Inflammation?
Recently, inflammation has finally emerged as an important bodybuilding issue and is now getting the attention it deserves. Much research has already been done on various aspects of the inflammatory process, but the effects of diet on homocysteine and the subsequent effects on inflammation has so far remained unexplored.
New research aimed to examine the effects of eating whole grains, bran and wheat germ on homocysteine and inflammation.
To this end, researchers conducted a cross sectional study and examined two previous studies - the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS, 1986) and the Nurses Health Study II (NHSII, 1989).
By using the data from these studies and employing various statistical analyses, researchers discovered that homocysteine and levels of the inflammatory chemical Interleukin-6 were inversely associated with whole grain, bran and wheat germ intake. Researchers also discovered that whole grain, bran and wheat germ intake was associated with beneficial changes in glycemic control.
This study is especially important for bodybuilders. Although a reduced risk of heart disease and improved glycemic control is critical for good health and good results in the gym, the effects of whole grains, bran and wheat germ in inflammation and IL-6 present yet another opportunity to help control the exercise-induced inflammatory cascade that can destroy muscle tissue if left unchecked.
The take-home message from this study is clear: bodybuilders should aim to eat whole grains and wheat germ whenever possible and consume fiber. Not only will these foods improve glycemic control (thereby helping to control insulin and make it easier to stay lean) but also prevent extended inflammation and catabolism.
Majken K Jensen, Pauline Koh-Banerjee, Mary Franz, Laura Sampson, Morten GrÃ¸nbÃ¦k, and Eric B Rimm. Whole grains, bran, and germ in relation to homocysteine and markers of glycemic control, lipids, and inflammation. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:275- 83.
3. This Is Your Brain... On Green Tea.
Bodybuilders have known for years that green tea possesses a wide range of health benefits. Chief amongst these benefits is the high ability of green tea to fight harmful free radicals called oxidants that can damage organs, tissues and DNA and can promote inflammation and muscle wasting.
Although much has been made of the antioxidant abilities of green tea, there hasn't been much in the way of research regarding the effects of green tea on brain function. Until now.
- Green Tea Extract. - Started By noimpossibility
"So how long does it rly take to go into effect and how much of a difference does it make in weight loss, metabolism acceleration? Is it worth buying while cutting?"
- Is green tea GOOD for the liver? - Started By bigkarl
"I'm worried about my liver due to me being overweight, and the several different medications I'm on. I am a big tea drinker, so I was wondering if all the green tea I drink is harmful or beneficial?"
- Green tea in protein shake. - Started By kwickez
"I searched to see if anyone else did this and the answer seems to be no. I wanted to add more green tea in my diet but I hate the taste."
A study by Japanese researchers aimed to examine the effects of green tea on human cognition to test the idea that green tea may have beneficial effects on brain function and thinking abilities for human subjects.
Researchers analyzed cross-sectional data from a study involving geriatric participants aged 70 years old or greater. The study participants completed a green tea intake questionnaire and were tested for mental competency.
Researchers found that mental function was better and more efficient in subjects who consumed high quantities of green tea daily. This led researchers to conclude that there is a positive association between green tea intake and a lower prevalence of cognitive impairment.
So how does this study apply to bodybuilders?
While the participants in the study were geriatric and while no indication of their physical activity levels were indicated, the results of the study are relevant for bodybuilders because brain function is essential for healthy central nervous system and healthy skeletal muscle system function.
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.
Your brain is the organ that is responsible for the generation and transmission of signals that ultimately tell your muscles to contract to do work like lifting heavy weights. And, higher order mental processes like cognition are absolutely critical for establishing the mind-muscle connection that you need to build muscle quickly and efficiently.
By showing that green tea consumption is positively linked with lower rates of cognitive decline, this study suggests that green tea may exert a neuroprotective effect, allowing the brain to function better and longer.
Shinichi Kuriyama, Atsushi Hozawa, Kaori Ohmori, Taichi Shimazu, Toshifumi Matsui, Satoru Ebihara, Shuichi Awata, Ryoichi Nagatomi, Hiroyuki Arai, and Ichiro Tsuji. Green tea consumption and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study from the Tsurugaya Project. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:355- 61.
4. Probiotics: The Truth...
Probiotics have become popular in the last several years and much has been made about these beneficial live bacteria strains. In fact, so much attention has been given to Probiotics that consumers are responding - and food and supplement companies have made probiotic enriched foods and probiotic supplements to meet the demand.
The research on probiotics shows that they are highly beneficial and help improve health by promoting the fermentation of fiber, by preventing the uptake of fats by adipose tissue sites, by competing with harmful bacteria for nutrients and by stimulating the immune system.
|ADIPOCYTES - FAT CELLS
Click Text For Info.
As beneficial as probiotics can potentially be, the advertisements fail to mention two critical facts:
- Probiotics are effective only if they can survive destruction and reach their destination intact.
- And even if probiotics do reach their destination, they may not exert any beneficial effects.
Unfortunately, for all of the hype surrounding the benefits of probiotics, the emerging research is showing that probiotics are effective and beneficial only in human subjects who have intestinal microflora imbalance. The research does not show any benefit for people who eat clean, whole-food diets.
For bodybuilders, the message is clear: while a lot of hype has been swirling around these probiotic enriched foods and supplements and their supposed health benefits, these products are not really worth the high cost if you're already eating a whole food-based diet and using intestinal health supporting supplements like multivitamins and glutamine.
L. Miles. Are probiotics beneficial for health? British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin,32, 2-5.2007.
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