Your Road to Wellness

Muscles

Osteoarthritis in women associated with deposits in Arteries

Posted by on Asthma, Calories, Eating, Energy, Exercise, General Health, General Health, Health Risk, Heart disease, Muscles, Nervous System, Research, Wellness, Women, Womens health | 0 comments

Research sometimes find interesting connections we usually don’t think about.

A study including 3278 women found an association between plaque in the carotid artery and osteoarthritis in the knee and hands in women (Hoeven TA, et.al., 2013).

We know that inflammation is involved in osteoarthritis, even if it is less severe than in rheumatoid arthritis.

We also know that inflammation increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. Inflammation is an important factor in depositing cholesterol and fat into the inner lining of the vascular wall.

 

Another interesting connection found lower magnesium levels in rheumatoid arthritis patients compared to controls (Chavan VU, et.al., 2015).

Lower magnesium levels were also correlated with higher cholesterol and LDL, the so called bad cholesterol, and higher magnesium levels with better HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. This was in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Magnesium has also been found to be inversely associated with osteoarthritis documented on x-rays and joint space narrowing (Zeng C, et.al., 2015).

Glucosamine sulfate another nutritional substance has been used to treat osteoarthritis for many years.

When osteoarthritic chondrocytes (cartilage cells) and glucosamine sulfate were tested in different ways in a culture, it was found that glucosamine sulfate reduced the synthesis of proinflammatory mediators (Largo R, et.al., 2003).

Taking magnesium and glucosamine sulfate could according to this possibly benefit both your cardiovascular system and your joints.

The best form of magnesium is an amino acid chelate like magnesium glycinate.

The most common form of magnesium is magnesium oxide, but that is a gastrointestinal irritant and can give you diarrhea when taken in higher amounts.

 

REFERENCE

Chavan, V. U., Ramavataram, D. V. S. S., Patel, P. A., & Rupani, M. P. (2015). Evaluation of serum magnesium, lipid profile and various biochemical parameters as risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR, 9(4), BC01.

Hoeven, T. A., Kavousi, M., Clockaerts, S., Kerkhof, H. J., van Meurs, J. B., Franco, O., … & Bierma-Zeinstra, S. (2012). Association of atherosclerosis with presence and progression of osteoarthritis: the Rotterdam Study. Annals of the rheumatic diseases, annrheumdis-2011.

Largo R, Alvarez-Soria MA, Díez-Ortego I, Calvo E, Sánchez-Pernaute O, Egido J, Herrero-Beaumont G. Glucosamine inhibits IL-1beta-induced NFkappaB activation in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes.Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2003 Apr;11(4):290-8.

Zeng C, Li H, Wei J, Yang T, Deng ZH, Yang Y, Zhang Y, Yang TB, Lei GH. Association between Dietary Magnesium Intake and Radiographic Knee Osteoarthritis. PLoS One. 2015 May 26;10(5):e0127666.

 

 

 

 

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What could your legs and brain have in common?

Posted by on Brain, Muscles | 0 comments


Strange questions, but recent research has found that as your legs get in better shape, so does your brain.
In this research 324 healthy female twins were tested at the start of the study and again10 years later (Steves CJ, et al. 2015).

A lot of things were checked and even MRI were utilized.
The conclusion of the study was that leg power predicts both cognitive aging and brain structure.

Muscle fitness, in this case leg power, is protective of brain function and also helps to maintain the size of your brain.

Exercising your legs is something you can do anywhere, you don’t even have to use any equipment.

Just by using your own body weight, you can easily give your legs a good workout.

 

I recently designed a program called Exercise for Maximum Benefits spending Minimum Time” where I explain how you can implement the principles of high intensity short interval training in such a way that you can do these exercises anywhere, even at work.

Steves CJ1, Mehta MM, Jackson SH, Spector TD. Kicking Back Cognitive Ageing: Leg Power Predicts Cognitive Ageing after Ten Years in Older Female Twins. Gerontology. 2015 Nov 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Do you have to be in good shape to tolerate high-intensity short interval training?

Posted by on Body fat, Exercise, General Health, Get in shape, Intensity Training, Muscles, Sports performance, Tennis, Vigorous Activity | 0 comments

Running on treadmillHigh/intensity short/interval training is a type of exercise that stresses the body hard for a very short period of time. In other words, it is hard exercise, but you don’t have to spend much time doing it.
That you don’t have to spend much time exercising appeals to most people, but you may wonder if you can tolerate it. Is it safe to exercise this way if you are not in great shape?

The reviewed research should answer that question, but make up your own mind after reading this.

It may surprise you that anybody would even try this with people in the shape that they were. The researchers took patients with signs of chronic heart failure and had one group do high/intensity short/interval training, and had another group do the regular continuous aerobic exercise training(Koufaki P et al. 2014).

The program lasted for 6 months and the participants were tested for cardiorespiratory fitness at the start and at the end.

Peak oxygen uptake, sit to stand and gait speed improved equality in both groups, no difference in results.

The researchers concluded that the training adaptations were achieved in the high intensity short interval training group despite a significant reduced time commitment  and reduced work volume when compared to continuous aerobic exercise training.

There is really no reason to waist time exercising for a long period of time unless you enjoy the exercise itself. The high intensity training was also tolerated well.

Maybe it should not be a surprise that people with heart failure can exercise like this.
Years ago people were advised not to do any exercise after they had a heart attack, believing exercise would increase their risk for another heart attack. That has been changed because we know better now, that exercise is one of the things that will help prevent heart problems.

 

 

 

 
Koufaki P1, Mercer TH, George KP, Nolan J. Low-volume high-intensity interval training vs continuous aerobic cycling in patients with chronic heart failure: a pragmatic randomised clinical trial of feasibility and effectiveness. J Rehabil Med. 2014 Apr;46(4):348-56. doi: 10.2340/16501977-1278.

A benefit of exercise you may not be aware of.

Posted by on Anti-aging, Energy, Exercise, Exercise, General Health, Get in shape, Inflammation, Inflammation, C-reactive protein, Inflammatory factor, Intensity Training, Muscles, The Learn to Eat Plan, Wellness | 0 comments

Jogging together - sport young coupleAs we get older inflammation usually increases. You don’t necessarily have to get increased inflammation as you age, but that’s what’s been observed in a lot of people. You probably know that inflammation is a risk factor for most chronic diseases, it can also make you more uncomfortable because it can contribute to pain.

It would be great if you had a way to reduce inflammation without taking any medication. In fact there are ways you can do that, and instead of side effects you even get a lot of additional benefits.

Exercise is one of the things that can reduce inflammation. That is exactly what the reviewed study investigated, by looking at data from a lot of research on this specific topic(Woods JA, et al. 2012). Data on the participants activity level, as well as measurements of several inflammatory markers, were used.

As you may have guessed, exercise was found to reduce some of these inflammatory markers, especially highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).

One of the studies they looked at also investigated the effects of antioxidants on inflammation. They found that the participants who took antioxidants had reduced inflammation, even if they did not exercise(Colbert LH, et al. 2004).

The logical thing would be to both exercise and take antioxidants.

The most effective antioxidant the body makes is glutathione, but the problem is that it  produces less of it as we get older, when we actually need more.

You can read more about this by clicking here.

 

 

 

Colbert LH1, Visser M, Simonsick EM, Tracy RP, Newman AB, Kritchevsky SB, Pahor M, Taaffe DR, Brach J, Rubin S, Harris TB. Physical activity, exercise, and inflammatory markers in older adults: findings from the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Jul;52(7):1098-104.
Woods JA1, Wilund KR, Martin SA, Kistler BM. Exercise, inflammation and aging. Aging Dis. 2012 Feb;3(1):130-40. Epub 2011 Oct 29.

 

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Muscle mass affects insulin sensitivity.

Posted by on Health, Insulin resistance, Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, Muscles | 0 comments

Insulin resistance is a condition present before the onset of type 2 diabetes. Too little physical activity and a diet consisting of high glycemic index foods, which are foods that cause the blood sugar to raise rapidly and high, can contribute to insulin resistance.

Muscles use glucose as fuel to produce energy. The research reviewed evaluated if an increase in muscle mass is associated with improved glucose regulation (Srikanthan P, Karlamangla AS. 2011). Data from 13,644 participants were evaluated to assess insulin resistance, prevalence of transitional/pre- or overt diabetes and prevalence of overt diabetes.

The researchers concluded that higher muscle mass is associated with better insulin sensitivity and a lower risk of diabetes.

Having higher muscle mass would also be beneficial as we get older since it can help us be more functional.

If you are not already doing so, add some resistance training to your regime.

 

 

Srikanthan P, Karlamangla AS. Relative muscle mass is inversely associated with insulin resistance and prediabetes. Findings from the third national health and nutrition examination survey. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Sep;96(9):2898-903. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

Surprising benefit of omega 3 fatty acids

Posted by on Fish Oil, Health, Muscles, Omega-3, fish oil | 0 comments

Loss of muscle mass as we get older is a common problem for many.

Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to stimulate protein anabolism (construction of protein) in animals, but it has not been known if omega 3 fatty acids are able to do the same in humans.

The study reviewed evaluated that by giving either omega 3 fatty acids or corn oil for 8 weeks to healthy older adults (Smith GI, et al. 2011).

Corn oil supplementation had no effect on the muscle protein synthesis (building of protein and tissue). What was interesting however was that the omega 3 fatty acids did stimulate the muscle protein synthesis. The dosage used in this study was 1.86g of EPA and 1.5g of DHA daily. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the active ingredients in omega 3 fish oil.

Exercise is of course important if you want to avoid losing muscle mass as you get older.

To take the amount of EPA, DHA used daily in this study you have to take a lot of ordinary fish oil capsules. You can avoid this by using a formula that has higher amount of EPA, DHA per capsule.

The “Better Fish Oil” is such a formula. To read more about the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, click here.

 

 

Smith GI, Atherton P, Reeds DN, Mohammed BS, Rankin D, Rennie MJ, Mittendorfer B. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):402-12. Epub 2010 Dec 15.