Archive for October, 2009

Plant Foods for Preserving Muscle Mass

Posted in General, Nutrition on October 30th, 2009 by marie – Be the first to comment

By Rosalie Marion Bliss, May 23, 2008

Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that are key to good health. Now, a newly released study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists suggests plant foods also may help preserve muscle mass in older men and women.

The study was led by physician and nutrition specialist Bess Dawson-Hughes at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Mass.

The typical American diet is rich in protein, cereal grains and other acid-producing foods. In general, such diets generate tiny amounts of acid each day. With aging, a mild but slowly increasing metabolic “acidosis” develops, according to the researchers.

Acidosis appears to trigger a muscle-wasting response. So the researchers looked at links between measures of lean body mass and diets relatively high in potassium-rich, alkaline-residue producing fruits and vegetables. Such diets could help neutralize acidosis. Foods can be considered alkaline or acidic based on the residues they produce in the body, rather than whether they are alkaline or acidic themselves. For example, acidic grapefruits are metabolized to alkaline residues.

The researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis on a subset of nearly 400 male and female volunteers aged 65 or older who had completed a three-year osteoporosis intervention trial. The volunteers’ physical activity, height and weight, and percentage of lean body mass were measured at the start of the study and at three years. Their urinary potassium was measured at the start of the study, and their dietary data was collected at 18 months.

Based on regression models, volunteers whose diets were rich in potassium could expect to have 3.6 more pounds of lean tissue mass than volunteers with half the higher potassium intake. That almost offsets the 4.4 pounds of lean tissue that is typically lost in a decade in healthy men and women aged 65 and above, according to authors. The study was published in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Sarcopenia, or loss of muscle mass, can lead to falls due to weakened leg muscles. The authors encourage future studies that look into the effects of increasing overall intake of foods that metabolize to alkaline residues on muscle mass and functionality.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific research agency.

Photo by Peggy Greb

Study Compares Year-Long Effectiveness of Four Weight Loss Plans

Posted in Weight Loss - Weight Gain on October 29th, 2009 by marie – Be the first to comment

The very low carbohydrate diet known as the Atkins diet may contribute to greater weight loss than higher carbohydrate plans without negative effects such as increased cholesterol.

Christopher Gardner, Ph.D., and colleagues at Stanford University conducted an NCCAM-funded study of 311 pre-menopausal women, all of whom were overweight or obese. Each woman was randomly assigned to one of four diets. Each of the diets used were selected for their different levels of carbohydrate consumption:

Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet is very low in carbohydrate consumption: less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day and increasing to 50 grams per day.

Zone Diet
The Zone diet is designed so that a person’s daily calorie consumption is comprised of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat.

The LEARN diet (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships, and Nutrition) instructs participants to get 55 to 60 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, and not more than 10 percent from saturated fat. This diet is based on the USDA food pyramid.

Ornish Diet
The Ornish diet’s primary guideline states that participants should not get more than 10 percent of their calories from fat.

Participants in each group received books that accompanied their assigned diet plan, and attended hour long classes with a registered dietitian once a week for the first 8 weeks. Data on the participants was collected at the beginning of the study, and at 2, 6, and 12 months. The researchers recorded body mass index (BMI), percent body fat, waist-hip ratio. as well as metabolic measures such as, insulin, cholesterol, glucose, triglyceride, and blood pressure levels.

The Atkins diet group reported the most weight loss at 12 months with an average loss of 4.7 kilograms, or just over 10 pounds. They also had more favorable overall metabolic effects. Average weight loss across all four groups ranged from 3.5 to 10.4 pounds. The authors note that “even modest reductions in excess weight have clinically significant effects on risk factors such as triglycerides and blood pressure.”

Source: (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) March 2007

Warning About Bodybuilding Products

Posted in Vitamins - Supplements on October 1st, 2009 by marie – Be the first to comment

On July 28, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a public health advisory warning people to stop using any body building products that claim to contain steroids or steroid-like substances.

Many of these bodybuilding products are labeled as dietary supplements, but they are NOT dietary supplements. They are unapproved drugs, and misbranded drugs – the labeling is misleading and does not provide adequate directions for use!! They contain synthetic steroids or steroid-like active ingredients.

These body building products are sold online and in retail stores and are promoted as anabolic (promoting muscle building) and/or being similar to anabolic steroids (such as testosterone) for increasing muscle mass and strength. Be aware that these products have not been reviewed or approved by the FDA and are potentially harmful to your health.

A few examples of the body building products with names and ingredients which FDA has safety concerns are:

  • TREN-Xtreme: 19-Norandrosta-4,9-diene-3,17 dione, marketed as “similar to Trenbolone”
  • MASS Xtreme: 17a-methyl-etioallocholan-2-ene-17b-ol, marketed as “similar to Methyl Testosterone”
  • ESTRO Xtreme: 4-hydroxyandrostenedione (4-OHA)
  • AH-89-Xtreme: 5a-androstano[3,2-c]pyrazole-3-one-17ß-ol-THP-ether, marketed as “similar to Stanozolol”
  • HMG Xtreme: 2a,3a-epithio-17a-methyl-17ß-hydroxy-5a-etioallocholane
  • MMA-3 Xtreme: Androsta-1,4-dien-3,17-dione, marketed as “similar to Boldenone (Equipoise)”
  • VNS-9 Xtreme: 17a-methyl-4-chloro-androsta-1,4-diene-3ß,17ß-diol, marketed as “similar to Turinabol”
  • TT-40-Xtreme: 1-androsterone, marketed as “very similar to 1-Testosterone” and “converts to 1-Testosterone”

Many of these products make claims about the ability of the active ingredients to enhance or diminish androgen, estrogen, or progestin-like effects in the body.

These products may be associated with:

  • Serious liver injury.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Stroke.
  • Pulmonary embolism – blockage of an artery in the lung.

In addition, anabolic steroids may cause other serious long-term adverse health consequences in men, women, and children. These include:

  • Shrinkage of the testes
  • Male infertility
  • Masculinization of women
  • Breast enlargement in males
  • Short stature in children
  • Adverse effects on blood lipid levels
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke

Stop Immediatley!!
If you have been taking one of these bodybuilding products, the FDA recommends that you stop immediatley. You should also consult with your doctor if you are experiencing

  • Nausea
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
  • Brown and/or discolored urine

The FDA cautions that athletes taking these products may test positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

For more information or to report serious adverse events or problems associated with these products, go to the FDA web page at and look for the link to MedWatch. You can report a serious problem by calling 1-800-332-1088, or fax 1-800-FDA-0178.