Thanks for visiting! My goal here is to discuss the latest scientific research to separate the good from all that "guff" in nutritional sciences and all aspects of human health. Because the more you Know, well...the more you Know!

Looking for a specific post? You can browse the Most Read Posts, the Blog Archives, or use the Search function in top left of this page. Thanks for your support and stay healthy!

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Cosmetic Chemicals Wrecking Havoc in Mammals

A new study highlighting the toxic chemicals in cosmetic products has found the negative effects go far beyond just those who apply them to their own skin. The study, points to a growing body of research supporting claims that compounds from such products are ending up in marine creatures such as otters and dolphins, that come into contact with such pollution.


Olive Oil Offers Protection from Air Pollution

According to a new study from the US Environment Protection Agency, dietary supplementation with olive oil may protect blood vessels from the deleterious effects of air pollution.

It's known that exposure to air pollution, and the tiny, microscopic particles from burning fuel in cars and other vehicles in particular, can affect the function of cells lining blood vessels (the endothelium) leading to endothelial dysfunction, which in turn could detrimentally affect cardiovascular health.


Is Coffee the Next Superfood?

According to a recent study from Harvard, researchers said drinkers of both fully caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee saw a lower risk of cardiovascular and neurological diseases, type-2 diabetes and even suicide.

The reason for this may be the
bioactive compounds in coffee, which have previously been shown to help reduce both insulin resistance and systematic inflammation.


Grape Seed Extract Reduces High Blood Pressure

So, it feels like it's been such a long time since I've been able to find some time to write about new studies. Well, I've had some time over the weekend to bang out a few posts and scheduled them over the couple weeks. So to kick off my first post of December (now that we're already halfway through it), I'll start by discussing a study that showed a grape seed extract reduced systolic blood pressure (BP) in middle aged adults.

I should point out that this study is a good lead into the webinar I'll be conducting later this week for healthfood retailers in Canada. Last note before discussing the study is that you'll notice I've started a monthly poll above. Please vote on the question to help me better understand the values and opinions of my readership and some of this may help me in my future product development projects.

...and now for the study...


Magnesium and Metabolic Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis

I've covered this at least a couple times before, so this new study is just more confirmation--strengthening the evidence. In fact, this new study was a meta-analysis and systematic review, which adds a lot of weight behind magnesium's metabolic benefits.

The authors of this new meta-analysis looked at eight papers that provided data on almost 3500 individuals with and without metabolic syndrome (MetS). After analyzing the pooled data, the numbers suggest that higher intakes of magnesium were associated with about a 20% reduced risk of MetS.


Krill Oil's Immune Benefits

A new krill oil study suggests that supplementation may strengthen immune function of healthy exercising adults. For this study, researchers recruited 37 healthy men and women with an average age of just under 26 y/o, who were then randomly assigned to either the placebo or experimental group (2 g/day of krill oil) for 6 weeks. All of the participants performed a simulated cycling time trial before and after the six week intervention period.


Winter Weather for Weight Loss & Health

Now you Know how she stays so slim.
I've previously written about brown fat (brown adipose tissue, or BAT), and this also receives considerable discussion in my book LIFE: The Epic Story of Our Mitochondria. We also know (and I've discussed in other posts in this blog) that we can influence white fat (white adipose tissue, or WAT) to turn brown(ish)...something that's been referred to as "beige fat."

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If you’re Canadian of legal voting age and haven’t yet voted in this federal election, stop reading and please vote! Come back to this post and blog after you’ve exercised your democratic right and privilege.  :)
If you're unsure what party to vote for, please use this handy online quiz: https://canada.isidewith.com/ 

This new study looked at something new, although I'm surprised it's not something that's been studied extensively in the past. In this study, the researchers sought to determine if exposure to cold can influence the "browning" of WAT. Previous studies have shown that activity of brown fat is increased by a cold environment (activity of brown fat follows a cyclical pattern, reaching a high in winter when exposed to cold temperatures), while little is known of the response of WAT to the cold.


Excessive Iodine Linked to Thyroid Disease in Lactating Women

Iodine is an essential mineral for the synthesis of thyroid hormones required for normal growth – so obviously critical for the development of newborns. Deficiency during this period can cause growth delay, impaired hearing and reduced cognitive function.

Globally, 1.9 billion people have iodine deficiency, and is the most preventable cause of intellectual disability. Therefore, pregnant and lactating women are encouraged to increase their intake to compensate for loss through breastfeeding.

WHO (World Health Organization) recommends a daily intake of 250 μg/d for lactating women. This helps ensure both mother and child get enough, while the Universal Salt Iodization (USI) programme has also sought to control such deficiency in the general population.

However, according to researchers from China, few have delved into the possible adverse effects of over consumption of this trace element. Building on Korean research a few years back, the scientists looked at 343 healthy lactating women living in areas of China with either low, adequate or excessive iodine water content.


Is Only Krill Oil Sustainable?

Over one third (or 3.5 million tonnes) of fish stocks destined for fish oil supplements are ‘poorly managed’, a sustainability report of 24 fisheries has found. The report from NGO Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) rated 24 ‘reduction fisheries’ – stocks turned into fishmeal and fish oil – according to quality of management and status of the target stock using its public database of
fishery information, FishSource.

For many years I've been arguing that krill oil is far more sustainable than fish oil--providing evidence--and this is just another study that confirms it. In fact, this study went so far as to say the only fishery that received an "A" grade was an MSC-certified krill fishery, meaning the stocks were in ‘very good condition’.

Without going into the boring details of this study, it's important to separate fact from marketing BS. I know some highly respected fish oil brands that have gone on a very misleading anti-krill campaign, which in the end, only puts more negative pressure on fish oil stocks and fisheries, exacerbating the problem. To conclude this post, I'd lik to share with you a rebuttal I put together for the industry that exposes the lies put out by one particular brand, who I won't mention by name...


Microbiome of Children vs. Adults

The intestinal microbiome of children has distinct differences compared to that of the adult microbiome, says a new study. Now we already know that Bifidobacteria are found in greater proportions in children (which this study confirmed), but there are a number of other interesting findings that I'd like to share with you today.


Giving to Charity Makes You Happy

So a couple weeks ago, I was fortunate and honoured to be a part of MitoCanada's charity event. I was able to sell a few books, and donated the proceeds to this wonderful organization.

What's great about this is that new research shows that giving to others not only makes us happier but can help lower our blood pressure. I'll talk about this new research in a minute, but first want to further support MitoCanada... with your help.

We are currently in the middle of Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week, which runs from September 20 through to 26 (this Saturday). If you purchase a book through the following link, I am donating the proceeds from every sale to MitoCanada.

All sales through the link above from September 20th through to 26th will be counted (unfortunately sales through any other site cannot be tracked so be sure to use the link above).

If there was ever a time you thought you'd like to buy my book and read it, now is probably the best time. Please spread the work and forward this page to your friends and family and help me support MitoCanada and their mission to raise awareness around mitochondrial disease, mitochondrial dysfunction, and support relevant research in the area.

Now for that new study...


Chocolate Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk

If your a subscriber, you may know one of my vices is good dark chocolate. You'll also know that it has many health benefits and among them is cardiovascular health benefits. So while this study is not new, I like to take any opportunity I can to share my excitement when I come across another chocolate study. For some of the others I've covered, click on the "chocolate" label below, or see some of the links posts below under Related posts.


Fermented Foods & Social Anxiety

A batch of our homemade kombucha
--the 'fairy-mother' (a.k.a. Erin) produces this.

Newer research suggests that a diet rich in fermented foods and beverages may be associated with social anxiety in young adults, especially those who are highly neurotic (which adds weight to the gut-brain axis)

The study included 710 students enrolled in introductory college courses in psychology. The
participants completed questionnaires about fermented food consumption, neuroticism, and social anxiety.


Painkiller Overdose a Leading Cause of Death

As if we didn't know this already, from all the media reports on painkiller abuse and overdoses. Nonetheless, this is a study that deserves some attention to illustrate the magnitude of the problem, which finds that drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States and are now the leading cause of deaths from injury in the US.


B Vitamins for Cataracts

Increased dietary intakes of B vitamins are associated with reduced incidence and decreased risks of developing different forms of cataracts in older people, says new data from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) Research Group.


How to Speed Up the Brain's Visual Processing

I realized I had a number of studies I wanted to share with you from back in June that I just didn't have time to write about. So although the next few studies are maybe a little old (by a couple months), I'm sure you'll still find them not only A) interesting, but B) since these were not picked up by mass media, they'll also seem fresh and new...or at least we can pretend.  :)


Exercise May REVERSE Alzheimer's Disease

New research recently discussed at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference a few weeks ago showed that being physically active not only reduces cognitive decline and improves neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia, but may actually reduce the level of biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD), including amyloid and tau protein.

The first study I'll discuss today showed that older adults with mild to moderate AD who had at least 80% adherence to an aerobic exercise program and maintained at least 70% of their maximum heart rate (the "high exercise" group, which was prescribed 1 hour of aerobic exercise three times a week for 16 weeks) had a statistically significant advantage on the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) over a control group.


Teen Cannabis Use Lacks Long-Term Consequences

Cannabis use has not only been proven to be safe, but also multitudes of order less damaging to society and personal health than alcohol and tobacco. The only real controversy--in my opinion--is with respect to long-term consequences from usage in teenage years. This study adds some more evidence that cannabis use in teenagers is safe and lacks long-term consequences, very similar to another study I covered a few months back (click HERE for that study).

However, even though this was a well-designed study that overcame many of the limitations of prior studies, I urge caution in allowing teenagers to use cannabis freely--there's just too much conflicting information at this time. As for adults, those who know me will know I'm a big advocate, and based on its safety profile and medicinal benefits, I say most adults can use it freely as desired.

Now let's take a closer look at this current study...


Smoking (Tobacco) & Menopausal Hot Flashes

A newly published study has not only confirmed that smoking tobacco exacerbates menopausal hot flashes, but has also revealed that quitting can ameliorate hot flashes. Here is what the results showed:


Carotenoids, Macular Pigments, and Contrast Sensitivity

Although every sense is important, most would agree that vision is at the top of the list. Unfortunately, many of us don't consider taking preventative approaches to protecting eye health until it's too late. Why that's unfortunate is that we now have significant amounts of nutritional studies that show that specific ingredients and supplements can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD, which is the leading cause of blindness). As such, today I share with you a newly published study that showed some interesting data that adds to our knowledge base.


Asthma Medication May Make Asthma Worse

Inhaled corticosteroids cannot adequately protect children with asthma from high levels of air pollution, according to a newly published study. In fact, the results show that they may actually exacerbate the effects of air pollutants!


Antibiotics Linked to Arthritis in Kids

Recent evidence has linked childhood antibiotic use and microbiome disturbance to autoimmune conditions. This study tested the hypothesis that antibiotic exposure was associated with newly diagnosed juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).


Cannabis Effective for Diabetic Neuropathy

Another positive study on the medicinal benefits of cannabis. This time it showed that inhaled cannabis can blunt the pain of diabetic neuropathy without seriously impairing cognitive function.

The study appears to be the first randomized controlled trial of inhaled cannabis for diabetic neuropathy pain, and is quickly becoming an increasingly common condition (given the increasing prevalence of diabetes). This study is welcome news since currently approved medications don't provide adequate relief to most patients with this condition.


Smoke from Wildfires Linked to Heart Attacks

Here's some info for all those in Western Canada and the US, as they struggle to contain the ongoing wildfires. A newly published study shows exposure to PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter) was associated with an upswing in out-of-hospital heart attacks in men and ischemic heart disease (IHD) events in women.


Antidepressants Linked to Birth Defects

Hot off the heals of Wednesday's post linking antidepressants to brain bleeding, this new study found a risk for birth defects in women taking two types of antidepressants, confirming earlier reports.

Specifically, the study of nearly 28,000 women confirmed birth defects associated with fluoxetine and paroxetine. On a positive note, most other antidepressants were not linked to an increased risk of birth defects.


Antidepressants With NSAIDs Linked to Brain Bleeding

Although antidepressants and NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs) are each known to be associated with an increased risk for abnormal gastrointestinal bleeding, neither has been linked independently with an increased risk for bleeding in the brain. This newly published study looked to investigate this, and for this study, researchers analyzed data from the Korean nationwide health insurance database of 4,145,226 people who were treated with antidepressants with and without NSAIDs.


Statin Use for Cholesterol Linked to Aggression

The bad news for statins just keeps coming...

Low cholesterol levels have been linked with aggression and to violent death/non-illness mortality, such as deaths from suicide, homicide, and accidents, in multiple observational studies. Efforts to lower cholesterol in animal models, such as monkeys, have also shown the animals behave more aggressively with lowered cholesterol levels. Case reports of individuals with aggression/irritability with statins have been documented.

This time, a new study examined the effects of statins (which are the most prescribed drugs on the planet, and used to reduce cholesterol levels) on levels of aggression.


Cranberry Juice and Cardiovascular Health

A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled examined how consumption of the polyphenol-rich cranberry juice affected cardiometabolic risk factors. The researchers found that cranberry juice can improve several risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adults--including circulating fasting serum triglycerides (TGs), C-reactive protein (CRP), and glucose, insulin resistance, and diastolic blood pressure.

"These findings suggest that polyphenols help to protect our bodies, and may be adept at keeping a large number of ailments at bay," said the study's co-author. "Among the commonly consumed fruits in our diets, cranberries boast some of the highest levels of polyphenols--more than apples, blueberries, grapes or cherries."


Olive Leaf Extract and Cardiovascular Health

According to a new study on olive leaf extract (OLE), it appears these supplements could improve vascular functions and reduce inflammatory cytokines linked to heart disease. The randomised, double-blind placebo controlled, cross over trial, looked at the absorption and metabolism of polyphenols from OLE, and measured the physiological outcomes of supplementation.


Statins, Obesity, and Diabetic Complications

Numerous studies have now linked statin use (for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease) among healthy adults to an increased risk for diabetes, but now this new study also link it to a higher risk of diabetic complications and overweight/obesity

"Whereas the increased risk of diabetes with statins is well-known, the increased risk of diabetic complications has not been previously described," write the authors.


Toxic Cleaners Linked to Acute Respiratory Problems

Again, here is a study that I want to share, fully knowing that I'm mostly preaching to the choir (but please pass this on to the unconverted). This study showed that fumes from cleaning products used at work can make existing asthma worse.


A Daily Sugary Drink Can Lead to a Fatty Liver

I don't usually schedule posts for a Sunday, but there always a first for everything... :)

Today's study for discussion is a recently published study that showed consuming a sugar-sweetened drink on a daily basis may increase the risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Data from more than 2,500 men and women has suggested that people who reported drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage per day saw a higher prevalence of NAFLD compared to people who said they drank no sugar-sweetened beverages.


Eating Eggs Reduce Diabetes Risk

This has been the longest hiatus I've taken from writing a new post in the history of this blog. Not because there weren't any interesting studies to cover, but because my schedule has just been overly busy. Anyway, before I get back into the swing of things, I've noticed a memo posted on the wall of a recent visit to walk-in medical clinic that said something to the effect of "please limit your discussion to one complaint per visit." Then after my partner said she noticed a similar notice at her doctor's office, I had to write about this to blow of some steam.

Isn't this the most obvious sign that many doctors really do not understand the human body?! It's actually kind of depressing and upsetting at the same time. Think about it... even kids know that the body is all interconnected, starting with the old song "the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone..." If people are limited to just one complaint per visit, how is the doctor supposed to see the overall symptom picture? It's like looking at a single piece of a jigsaw puzzle and trying to guess the picture. You really need to see all pieces and put them together relative to each other to see the picture. I can't believe this is how conventional medical is done these days. It's crazy! These doctors who post things like this need to go back to elementary school.

Please, if you see this at your doctor's office, challenge it!

Now, the study I'll cover today showed that eating four eggs a week could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in men. It revealed that middle aged and older men who ate approximately four eggs per week had a 38% lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) than those who only ate approximately one egg weekly. The association persisted even after factors such as physical exercise, body mass index, smoking and the consumption of fruits and vegetables were taken into consideration.


Vitamin B3 Rescues Failing Mitochondrial Function

A recent study found that only a single dose of a unique no-flush form of vitamin B3 (called nicotinamide riboside, or NR) may significantly increases levels of NAD+. For those who may not know the importance of NAD biology, I would suggest you read more about in my book, Life: The Epic Story of Our Mitochondria. In the meantime, you'll want to know that NAD+ is key to cellular energy metabolism and mitochondrial function.

This is the first study to show that NR supplementation can increase NAD+ in humans, which confirms the results seen in animal studies. What this means is that the benefits in animals seen with increased levels of NAD+ are highly likely to be seen in humans as well.


Chocolate-Lovers, May I Have Your Attention

Researchers behind a new chocolate study have concluded that dark chocolate containing only moderate amounts (60%) of cacao have an acute stimulating effect on the human brain.

This new study shows it can increase attention in an acute (immediate) manner. The results were obtained by using electroencephalography, or EEG technology, which takes images of the brain (a measure of brain activity) while performing a cognitive task


Creatine & CoQ10 Combo Delays Cognitive Decline

This is about a week old now, but if you still haven't seen (or even heard) Elon Musk's launch of Tesla Energy and the PowerWall, I highly recommend you view it... witness the dawn of a new era, and the beginning of the end of fossil fuel dependance. Even more impressive is the media coverage that lays out the real benefits of this technology, but this video gives you a general sense of what it's all about.

Now back to the regular program... here are two nutrients I discussed in my book (Life), and this study shows it can reduce the cognitive decline seen in Parkinson's patients. In this study, researchers sought to investigate the effect of creatine and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) combination therapy on mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Parkinson's disease (PD; PD-MCI)


Statin Intolerance can be Resolved by Vitamin D

A popular post on this blog has been a study I covered back in 2011, which showed vitamin D supplementation reduced muscle pain and inflammation induced by statin medications (click HERE for that post). In that post, I already explained that cholesterol is the precursor to vitamin D, so logically, if we're reducing cholesterol, we're inducing a state of vitamin D deficiency--which in turn leads to at least some of the adverse effects experienced by patients using these statin drugs.

We know that low serum vitamin D levels can cause myalgia (muscle pain), myositis (inflammed muscles), myopathy (muscle disorders), and myonecrosis (muscle cell death). 

Now here's another study that adds more weight and confirmation that supplementing with vitamin D can resolve these drug-induced problems.


May the (Proton Motive) Force be with You

This is the first May 4th (the unofficial Star Wars holiday) since the launch of my book (Life), and if you've read it, you'll know I start the book with references to the "Midi-chlorians"--the source of the Force, in the Star Wars story.


Newly Discovered Mechanism of Action for Probiotics

A new research study on the popular probiotic strain called Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG shows that probiotic bacteria may work by a mechanism not previously known. While evidence of the benefits of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) for intestinal problems , respiratory infections and eczema have previously been identified by scientists, the key mechanism underlying this effect has been unclear.


Probiotics Help You Forget

An old boss once jokingly told me that "the secret to happiness is 1) lots of money, and 2) a bad memory." I joked back... "well, then I'm halfway to happiness and just need that money to start rolling in!"

We all know that dwelling on previous negative experiences (known as rumination) can activate negative dysfunctional patterns of thinking, which are triggered by subtle changes in mood (known as cognitive reactivity), is one of the most predictive risk factors of depression. This newly published study examined the effects of supplementation with a multispecies probiotic product on rumination and cognitive reactivity.


Pesticides Increase Risk of Heart Attacks

Happy Earth Day! As such, I'll discuss another recent study related to the environment. A month ago I covered a ground-breaking study that showed the use of common pesticides/herbicides cause pathogenic bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance (click HERE for that discussion). Now this new study shows that pesticide exposure could contribute to an increased risk for heart attacks and inflammation in obese premenopausal women.

This study on women demonstrated that endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and not necessarily obesity itself, could play a role in the later development of heart conditions.


Marijuana Use Lacks Long-Term Negative Consequences

Well, it's April 20th, a celebratory or sacred day for those who are pro-marijuana (whether for recreational, medical, or spiritual use). So as appropriate for this day, I share with you a new study that contradicts the long-held belief that marijuana use during our teen years has long-lasting negative cognitive health effects.


Chemical Exposure May Lead to Early Menopause in Women

A recent study has shown (again) that women who have the highest levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) from a wide variety of common household and personal-care products enter menopause anywhere from 1.9 to 3.8 years earlier than those who have lower levels of EDC.

"Even menopause a few years earlier than usual could have a significant effect on bone health, on cardiovascular health, on memory and quality of life for women in general," said the senior author. "But I think the bigger question--and one that warrants further research--is what's happening at the other end of the ovarian health spectrum. Is the age at which we get pregnant shifting earlier as well, so there are other events on the spectrum that we need to address?"


New Study on Kimchi

A new study has shown that consuming fermented kimchi (a source of lactobacilli bacteria), may alter the intestinal microbiome (composition of bacterial populations in the gut) and affect metabolic pathways for obese women.

In this eight-week study, daily kimchi consumption was associated with a significant reduction in the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes in obese women (this ratio is reportedly a good biomarker for obesity).


Common Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance in Disease-Causing Bacteria

As we gear up for Earth Hour tomorrow, here is a study that also hits close to home for anyone concerned with the environment--and this study has a strong link to human and animal health as well (redundant to mention since we can't have one without the other...human health and environmental health go hand-in-hand).

This new study, the first of its kind, has found that commonly used herbicides can cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. The researchers point out that these chemicals have never been tested for this type of effect on bacteria.

The research team, investigated what happens various disease-causing bacteria when they are exposed to common herbicides like Roundup, Kamba and 2,4-D.


High Temperature Cooking Linked to Alzheimer's

We're halfway through this month and it's looking like this could be the best month for website traffic in the 4 years this blog has been running! So once again, thank you everyone for your support! As long as you keep reading and sharing, I'll keep writing.  :)

Also need to say "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" Appropriately, I'll be celebrating with my favourite beer, Guinness
...but NOT deep-fried pub-grub most will eating with their green beers today.

Reason? According to a recently published study, large intakes of foods cooked at high temperatures could increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, which reflects a similar study I covered about a year ago (click HERE for that one). Using dietary data from cohort studies, the researchers behind this study estimated the presence of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in national diets and compared them to Alzheimer’s rates.


Hey Maaaan... You Wanna Do Some Acid?

Happy Friday the 13th! You probably remember we had one last month, and looking forward, there's another one before this year comes to a close.That means a full 25% of months this year have its 13th day fall on a Friday. Now, as you contemplate that...

Here's an interesting study on LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, and other psychedelic substances, which (yet again) has failed to show a link with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or behaviours. In fact, the researcher behind this study found that use of psychedelics was linked to a decrease in inpatient psychiatric treatment.

These findings add to a growing body of evidence indicating that psychedelic drugs may not only be safe but actually therapeutic when it comes to mental health.

Of course, I am in no way advocating that we all just go out and start using these regularly, but I wanted to share this study with you as another example of how far government propaganda has gone in brainwashing their citizens into believing these are 100% bad substances. Anyone who thinks for themselves will know that's just not true.


Red Wine to Prevent Memory Loss

Here is another study, following the study I discussed on Monday, to show that resveratrol could help prevent age-related decline in memory. The well-known compound is found in the skin of red grapes, red wine, peanuts, and some berries. A number of previous studies have already suggested resveratrol having potential for lowering cholesterol and the risk of coronary heart disease, and controlling blood glucose.


Compound Found in Grapes/Wine Can Help You Burn Fat

A new study suggests drinking wine could help people burn more fat. The researchers believe ellagic acid, a compound found in fruit and vegetables, was responsible for the slowing the growth of fat cells. It also boosted the metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells. The finding is significant because the chemical could help find a way to reduce harmful fat in the livers of overweight people (and therefore improve liver function), using a diet with common foods such as grapes.


Infertility Reversed in Mitochondrially-Related Obesity

If you've read my book published a few months ago (LIFE: The Epic Story of Our Mitochondria), you'll remember reading about the importance of mitochondrial health and function in age-related female infertility. Now, here's study that shows how the mitochondria are involved and affected in obesity-related female infertility (and hot on the heels of my last post, which was also on female infertility).


Coeliac Could be a Common Cause of Infertility

While there are many causes of female infertility, a newly published study suggests that women who don't have an identifiable reason for their failure to conceive should be screened for coeliac disease.

There is a lack of definitive evidence to say that celiac disease causes infertility, but there are many anecdotal experiences where women with infertility have conceived after being diagnosed with coeliac disease and put on a gluten-free diet.


Kidney Stones Linked to Higher Risk for Arterial Calcification

So last week I posted the study on vitamin K2 showing the potential to reverse arterial calcification. Here is a newly published related study. I should point out that back in 2011, I discussed the potential role of vitamin K in preventing calcium kidney stones (click HERE for that study), and now this study adds considerably more evidence to that train of thought.


Exercise Benefits Mitochondria in Diabetics

Here's a study somewhat related to the last one I discussed. The notion that mitochondria contribute to obesity-induced insulin resistance is not new, but there is debate around this since a mechanism hasn't been confirmed--only theorized. Therefore, the researchers behind this study determined if obese (BMI=33 kg/m(2)), insulin-resistant women with polycystic ovary syndrome had aberrant skeletal muscle mitochondrial physiology compared to lean, insulin-sensitive women (BMI=23 kg/m(2)).


Aerobic Activity Preserves Muscle Mitochondria

Maintenance of musculoskeletal function in older adults is critically important for preserving cardiorespiratory function and health span . Aerobic endurance training (ET) improves skeletal muscle metabolic function including age-related declines in mitochondrial function in the muscle . To further understand the underlying mechanism of enhanced muscle function with ET, researchers behind this study profiled the gene transcription patterns (mRNA levels) and determined the pathways associated with skeletal muscle aging in a cross-sectional study involving vastus lateralis muscle biopsy samples of four subgroups (young and old, trained, and untrained).


K2´s Reversal of Arterial Calcification Finally Published

Well, I was hoping I could be more consistent in my posts this year, but with almost 3 weeks of work-related travel...well, that explains the 3 week gap since my last post. So let's pick things back up and feed that brain of yours with the "Know, L. edge."  :)

It's been almost 3 years now since I discussed the preliminary results of a study that suggested MK-7 (a form of vitamin K2) can reverse preexisting calcification in the arteries--considered by some to be the Holy Grail of cardiology. HERE is that study.


Let's Get Physical

We all know that a large chuck of the adult population isfar too sedentary, and research has shown that even modest amounts of physical activity can provide significant health benefits. Another study has similar results, but gives insight to how little is actually needed by sedentary adults.

The current guideline is 150 minutes or more of moderate activity each week (just over 20 minutes daily). Although the 150-minute goal is still ideal, the authors say, it may be a barrier to the most sedentary and to some older people. In fact, it may take far less than 150 minutes to achieve a significant reduction in mortality risk in sedentary people, they wrote.


Health Benefits of Hypoxia

We know that mitochondria utilize most of the oxygen we absorb from the air to produce ATP via oxidative phosphorylation (energy production that is coupled to the electron transport chain). Hypoxia (low oxygen levels) undoubtedly induces reduced energy production via decreased mitochondrial metabolic activity or altered mitochondrial biogenesis.


Statins Linked to Cataracts and Eye Surgery

Here's more reason to urge caution if looking to use statin medications to address high cholesterol levels. Analyses of two distinct cohorts, one from Canada and another from the US, both suggest that statin therapy significantly elevates the risk of developing cataracts (severe enough to warrant surgery). These studies add to growing list of studies that link this class of drugs to various health conditions, and the second post I've made on this specific connection (click HERE to read that one).


Alpha-Lipoic Acid Helps Restore Brain Metabolism

Here's a short post to end the week. This study examined the progress of a hypometabolic state (reduced energy production) inherent in brain aging with a rat model. Dynamic microPET scanning demonstrated a significant decline in brain glucose uptake at old ages, which was associated with a decrease in the expression of insulin-sensitive neuronal glucose transporters and of microvascular endothelium.


Avoiding Air Pollution for Cardiovascular Benefits

"Air pollution should be viewed as one of several major modifiable risk factors in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease," contends a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) position paper published about a month ago.

The document primarily explores the mechanisms and relationships between ambient air pollution and CVD, but it ends with some advice on how physicians should counsel high-risk patients to minimize exposure to air pollution.
On detailing not only the main air pollutants that contribute to both short- and long-term mortality risk but also the mechanisms through which air pollutants contribute to different pathological processes, including inflammation and atherosclerosis, the authors emphasize that air pollution is not confined to the outdoors. Indeed, we know that many times indoor air quality is worse than the outdoors.

In a detailed "Societal and Personal Advice" section of the report, the panel focused on strategies aimed at reducing exposure to air pollution outdoors. For example, it said to:


Cannabis for Cancer Therapy

Well, here's a topic that's receiving so much more attention as medical marijuana becomes more widely acceptable and numerous States in the US have legalized recreational use (about time, IMO).

This new study suggests that cannabinoids may be useful as anticancer agents (just to be clear, this is not the first study to show this). According to the authors of this study, “Numerous reports highlighting potent activity in vitro and in in vivo models have established it as a potential anticancer therapeutic agent in a number of cancer types."


Metabolism and the Evolution of the Human Brain

Well, happy belated New Year! Hope it's started off on the right foot for everyone. For this blog, December was a slower month, as expected, but earlier this week, we had a record-breaking day with almost 2000 pageviews! So definitely off to a good start for traffic at this site--and thanks always to my subscribers and visitors for your support.

So to get things rolling again here, let's start with a study that looked at how a change in metabolism helped the human brain evolve, and this relates to mitochondrial energy production, ketogenesis, and the like, so read on!