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Friday, 29 August 2008

Dr Greger talk

Went to a nutrition talk by Dr Greger (vegan MD & nutrition specialist). It was about the latest nutritional research over the last 24 months (06-08). He now recommends DHA (an essential fatty acid) for all people as well as flax & D vitamins. I've actually got a CD of all the research he used in his presentation so if you need any articles about DHA, vit D or latest developments in vegan nutrition over the last 2 years let me know & I'll try & dig them up.

The downside of losing fat quickly

OK we all know that losing fat is a good thing. But let's look at the
way we lose it. On the internet these days we can see all these "lose
20 pounds in 2 weeks" ultraspeed fat loss plans etc etc. I've always
argued that slow weight loss is the ideal goal, why... because as you
lose weight you learn about what certain foods do to your body, you
relearn how to eat properly. If you do find some miracle system that
does work, say a heavy training schedule & dietary system you go on
for month, & you achieve your goals, then what? You can't stay on an
ultra-gruelling diet & training plan forever, you'll overtrain, get
sick & not do so well at all, but what do you eat, have you learnt to
pre-pack food to take along to places where you might not find healthy
choices, have you learnt that you might be ok to eat bread AM, but in
the evening maybe it bloats you a bit & you tend to add more fat?
Have you learnt to prepare a selection of healthy meals over several
months & learnt to appreciate the new textures & flavours
available...basically you haven't got the support system in place to
keep the weight off, you've got no idea what to eat, how to train &
what to do to keep that weight off. A slower introduction to a diet
allows you to learn as you go along, so you can slowly increase the
good & decrease the bad in your diet, so by the time you reach your
goal you will have all the tools already in place to keep to that fat
level, it will already be habit! .... That was my main argument for a
slow fat loss, rather than a quick fat loss program (a well as the
fact that often quick 'fat loss' involves lean muscle loss as well in
many cases). But I have come across another rather interesting reason
to keep fat loss slow & that is 'organochlorines'. Organochlorines
are fat soluble products that are toxic to humans, we all ingest them.
As the body doesn't like them floating about they are either excreted
or stored in fat, strangely the preferred choice appears to be storing
in fat, so obviously someone with more fat stores more of these toxic
substances. Now suppose you lose a lot of fat, very quickly? Yep, a
lot of these toxins are simply dumped into the body & you can suffer
thyroid problems, skin problems, organ problems etc etc, all the
things that make dieting & reaching & maintaining your goals harder.
By dieting more slowly you actually release these chemicals at a
manageable rate, so you will not get the extreme toxicity effects that
can be associated with quick fat loss systems. I'll put the research
below for you to look at for yourself, I'll also put up a related
piece of research about athletes, lean sedentary people & fat peoples
organochlorine levels that shows that athletes have lower levels than
either lean sedentary or fat people (lean sedentary have less than fat
people, but not as low levels as athletes).
Hopefully those of you who's goals involve fat loss who are slowly
slimming down can take some comfort in the fact that you're doing
things the best way for overall health.


Obes Rev. 2003 Feb;4(1):17-24.
Energy balance and pollution by organochlorines and polychlorinated
biphenyls.Pelletier C, Imbeault P, Tremblay A.
Division of Kinesiology, PEPS, Laval University, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada.

Organochlorines are fat-soluble chemical compounds resistant to
degradation, so they are stored in the adipose tissue of practically
every organism on the planet, including humans. Accumulation of these
compounds in the body seems to be related to fat mass, obese
individuals having a higher plasma organochlorine concentration than
lean subjects. During body weight loss, lipid mobilization and a
decrease in fat mass result in increased concentrations of
organochlorines in plasma and adipose tissue. Organochlorines may have
adverse health effects. For example, they have been associated with
altered immune and thyroid functions and with some types of cancer. As
these compounds may reach their target organs whilst in the
circulation, their increase in plasma during weight loss might be
associated with some physiological changes occurring during weight
loss. Relationships have indeed been reported among weight
loss-induced increase in plasma organochlorine concentration and
decreased triiodothyronine (T3) concentration, resting metabolic rate,
and skeletal muscle markers for fat oxidation. Although further
studies are needed to assess the causality of these relationships,
they raise concern about some potential undesirable effects of weight
loss. Indeed, the effects of organochlorines on energy balance could
complicate body weight loss and even favour weight regain. These
notions lend support for weight-loss strategies favouring a moderate
weight loss, which would reduce risks for cardiovascular diseases,
diabetes and hypertension, without resulting in a substantial release
of organochlorines.


Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Dec;34(12):1971-5. Links
Plasma organochlorine concentrations in endurance athletes and obese
individuals.Pelletier C, Després JP, Tremblay A.
Physical Activity Sciences Laboratory and Division of Kinesiology,
PEPS and Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Laval University,
Ste-Foy (Québec), Canada.

PURPOSE: Organochlorines are lipophilic compounds that are ingested
with food and that accumulate in adipose tissue. Their plasma
concentrations were compared in three groups of individuals with
different body fatness characteristics: endurance athletes, lean
sedentary subjects, and obese individuals. METHODS: The relationship
between body fat mass and total plasma organochlorine concentration
adjusted for age was analyzed by pooling data of sedentary lean and
obese subjects. The regression equation derived from this analysis was
also used to predict residual scores of total organochlorine
concentrations in trained individuals, which were compared to measured
values in these subjects. RESULTS: Plasma organochlorine
concentrations tended to be lower in athletes in comparison with
values measured among lean sedentary individuals. Their concentrations
were higher in obese individuals than in lean sedentary subjects and
athletes. Total plasma organochlorine concentration was positively
associated to body fat mass in the sedentary group (lean and obese
combined, reference population). CONCLUSION: Large adipose tissue
compartment such as observed in obese individuals is associated with
increased levels of circulating organochlorines, whereas leaner
sedentary and trained persons have a lower plasma concentration of
these compounds.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

weightlifter dislocates shoulder

Watch this & cringe!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Strength or cardio for health

The argument between high intensity work & aerobics still rages as to which does the best job for weight loss, but here’s a new twist.

If you do duration training or weights which do you think will lower your ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood? Do you think it will be the duration training, an activity that due to its low intensity causes the burning of fat as its primary fuel source? Or do you believe it will be resistance training, an activity that burns primary carbs as fuel as it is so intense?

OK you know it’s going to be controversial, so I’ll get straight to it:
A study released July 08 entitled “Acute exercise-induced changes in basal VLDL-triglyceride kinetics leading to hypotriglyceridemia manifest more readily after resistance than endurance exercise.” Has the conclusion that while resistance training lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol & speeds up its removal from the blood, duration exercise does virtually nothing to the ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood...that’s right NOTHING!

I was pretty shocked by this as I honestly expected duration to come out the winner by a mile.

This is only one study & I’d like more done on the subject, but the message has to be considered that maybe, from the point of view of cholesterol control duration isn’t the way to go, while weights & maybe interval work cardio should be considered as doing a better job of lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Of course anyone starting an exercise program with cholesterol issues should consult a medical professional first & for goodness sake start off light & short, then slowly increase duration & intensity of your sessions in the gym as your conditions improve – I’d also consider a dietary overhaul as well if you really want to beat cholesterol back down to healthy levels.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Nutrition talk Brighton UK 28 August

Here's something everyone interested in nutrition should be coming along to. I've seen Doctor Greger talk before & he's good, using peer-reviewed research to draw conclusions. If you can't get to Brighton, keep an eye for him around your area (or contact him & organise a talk in your local area!). He's well worth hearing!
I've put the details below
Have a good day
The Latest In Human Nutrition
Learn about the latest cutting-edge nutrition research, focusing on studies published in the last year.
Dr. Greger offers practical advice on how best to feed ourselves and our families to prevent, treat, and even reverse chronic disease.
Thursday, 28 August 2008, 7.30 - 9.30pm
The Brighthelm Centre
North Road, Brighton BN1 1YD
Entry £5.00 includes
wine and tasty super-nutritious snacks
To reserve a place call:
01273 626987 / 07905685765
or email
Michael Greger, M.D., is Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. An internationally recognized lecturer, he has presented at the Conference on World Affairs and the National Institutes of Health, testified before the U.S. Congress, and was invited as an expert witness in defence of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "beef defamation" trial. Dr. Greger is founding member of the College of Lifestyle Medicine and a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture, where he returned to teach human nutrition, and the Tufts University School of Medicine.