Applied Bodybuilding Research - 9-28-04!

Can fish oil and soy protein prevent alzhemiers, more on creatine serum, prostate cancer and nutrition, do you need saled dressing and more...
Note: Do YOU know of new studies that have come out recently & we don't have them? Send me an E-mail!

Fish Oil And Soy Protein: Can They Prevent Alzheimer's?

Health professionals have for years been encouraging increased consumption of fish oils and soy protein. Fish oils, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA, are known to increase neural efficiency and promote lipid oxidization. Soy proteins, rich in DHA and isoflavones are known to prevent catabolism and fight a number of cancers.

A recent study conducted on mice by US researchers has shown that diets high in DHA may protect the brain from the damage inflicted by alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative condition resulting from the build up of amyloidal plaques, and results in memory loss and dementia.

Source: Cole, et al. Neuron.

The "deluge of disappointment" continues for creatine serum?

Despite mounting scientific evidence to the contrary, those who manufacture creatine serum continue to insist that it is an effective ergogenic aide for muscle building and increasing athletic performance.

Not surprisingly, widespread confusion has continued to persist as marketing supplement companies and the scientific community have jousted back and forth - the marketing companies battling for money, and the scientific community battling for truth.

Yet another study confirms it: creatine monohydrate is superior to creatine serum for increasing athletic performance.

The study by researchers in New Zealand examined the effects of creatine monohydrate powder and a widely available creatine serum formulation on the athletic performance of cyclists.

The research found that while creatine monohydrate powder supplementation favorably increased performance, creatine serum had no effect on performance.

Source: Gill ND, Hall RD, Blazevich AJ. Creatine serum is not as effective as creatine powder for improving cycle sprint performance in competitive male team-sport athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2004 May;18(2):272-5.

Prostate cancer and nutrition?

Millions of men around the world suffer from prostate cancer. In fact, prostate cancer is a leading cause of death in men over the age of sixty.

Current medical procedure emphasizes treatment, often resulting in prostate cancer surgery (a removal of the infected prostate tissue) and a marked decrease in quality of life.

While the current medical system continues to be reactive, science is turning its eyes in an attempt to determine if the condition is preventable.

Australian researchers conducted a population base case-control study involving 858 men. The diet of each participant diet was assessed using 121-item food questionnaire. The results were stunning.

It was found that an inverse relationship between allium vegetable intake and prostate cancer existed, with a strength of 0.7. Tomato based foods came in at 0.8, and vegetables as a group registered at 0.7. All scores had a possible score of 1.0 - a perfect correlation.

That vegetable intake was almost perfectly inversely correlated with prostate cancer occurrence is remarkable, and creates the need for increased vegetable intake in the North American diet in light of the fact that prostate cancer levels in North America are the highest of any rates in the world.

The study concluded that tomatoes and allium vegetables might reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Check out the Nutrient Database for more info.

Source: Cancer Causes and Control 15:11-20, 2004.

Salad dressing? it makes more difference than you may think?

Some people like salad, others hate it. Regardless of your preference, salad is good for you and should be consumed by every health-conscious person for this reason. But consuming endless plates of salad is not enough. New research shows that it is the method of consumption that will determine salads effects on your health.

New research from Iowa State University has shown that the absorption of carotenoids is influenced by the consumption of salad dressing. Some dressings allow for carotenoids to be better absorbed, while others can hinder absorption.

Vinaigrette dressings - fat based dressings - were shown to substantially increase carotenoid absorption while non-fat dressings were shown to inhibit absorption rates to negligible levels.

Increasing absorption levels through salad dressing selection can effectively result in a reduction in ones mandatory salad consumption. Consumed incorrectly, one will have to consume more salad than necessary.

Source: Brown MJ, Ferruzzi MG, Nguyen ML, Cooper DA, Eldridge AL, Schwartz SJ, White WS. Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Aug;80(2):396-403.

Muscle Relaxants - Hyped up and overpriced pain killers?

Chances are good that, at some point, you have experienced back pain. This pain could have been the result of improper posture, weak abdominal strength, or overexertion.

Most of us have experienced back pain of one kind or another, and have sought to eliminate, or at the very least, minimize this pain. Some have turned to exercise and therapy, while others have turned to over the counter muscle relaxants.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation undoubtedly require more self-determination and commitment than taking a pill. This explains why so many turn to muscle relaxants to sooth the pain. But is this an effective strategy?

No, so says new research.

A study by researchers in North Carolina has shown that although most commonly prescribed by doctors as "treatment", muscle relaxants did not accelerate recovery of injury and were not associated with functional improvement of the problem area.

This study demonstrates that muscle relaxants are little more than targeted pain killers and should not be a substitute for physical rehabilitation and exercise.

Source: Bernstein E, Carey TS, Garrett JM. The use of muscle relaxant medications in acute low back pain. Spine. 2004 Jun 15;29(12):1346-51.

Are you dependant on bodybuilding? Idiotic study award?

Every once in a while a study comes along that surprises us - not because it is well done, but because it lacks anything resembling sense and is, to put it mildly, incredibly stupid, insulting, biased, and totally unworthy of consideration.

A study at the University of Liverpool by people claiming to have doctorate degrees has qualified as the first recipient of the prestigious idiotic study award.

The study sought to evaluate how "dependant" bodybuilders were upon the lifestyle, as an evaluation of three categories: social dependence, training dependence and mastery dependence. That is: how dependant bodybuilders were on the social aspect of the lifestyle, how dependant they were on the training aspect of the lifestyle, and how dependant they were on mastering the aspects of the bodybuilding lifestyle.

The researchers concluded that competitive bodybuilders are more "dependant" upon the lifestyle than non-competitive bodybuilders. While rare cases of dependence are sure to exist, does it follow that all members of the bodybuilding sub-culture are hopelessly addicted - dependant like drug users - upon bodybuilding? It doesn't look like it occurred to the researchers that bodybuilders bodybuild? because they LIKE IT.

Studies like this leave a bad taste in our mouths. Academia has for years attempted to pigeon-hole bodybuilders as narcissistic and psychiatrically neurotic. Often, the scientists in question haven't the slightest clue about the dedication that is required to live the bodybuilders lifestyle successfully.

Instead of living the lifestyle, these people instead invent derogatory terminology such as "bodybuilding dependant" and "the Adonis complex" to demean that whatever issues are outside of their understanding. This kind of quack science is irresponsible and unacceptable.

Researcher bias in this case has resulted in a flawed study that has measured motivation for a certain activity rather than the implied drug-like "dependence." These researchers should examine their obvious case of "publishing dependence" - i.e. the need to publish ANYTHING regardless of basis - in order to bring home a paycheck - rather than attempting to hide their own ignorance on an important issue by pointing the finger at a sub-culture of society.

The researchers also should examine their own case of "sedentary dependence" - being dependant upon a lifestyle of inactivity - and their own subsequent feelings of guilt and inadequacy. To us, this study seems to be more about a group of scientists trying to justify their sedentary lifestyles in the face of clear alternatives, and reacting to the feelings of inadequacy that follow, than it does about identifying possibly real psychiatric phenomenon in the bodybuilding subculture.

This arrogant and flawed study is a well-deserving recipient of the "Idiotic study award."

Source: Smith D, Hale B. Validity and factor structure of the bodybuilding dependence scale. Br J Sports Med. 2004 Apr;38(2):177-81.

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