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AJCN Feb, 2012 and Exercise - Details

From Science 20 Jan 2012
1. pg 281 - Why exercise is close to the fountain of youth - Autophagy, Explaining Exercise, Ken Garber. Exercise has many benefits, but the mechanisms behind them remain murky. Because autophagy’s recycling of cellular contents helps cells meet energy demands, researchers wondered whether exercise triggers autophagy and if that could somehow account for exercise’s benefits. In the December issue of Autophagy, an Italian research team reported the first evidence that exercise induces autophagy in the skeletal muscles of mice. This week in Nature, other researchers confirm that observation and extend it much further, documenting that autophagy is required for exercise’s beneficial metabolic effects.
2. pg 263 - Trivializing science education - "When we teach children about aspects of science that the vast majority of them cannot yet grasp, then we have wasted valuable educational resources and produced nothing of lasting value. Perhaps less obvious, but to me at least as important, is the fact that we take all the enjoyment out of science when we do so...Tragically, we have managed to simultaneously trivialize and complicate science education. As a result, for far too many, science seems a game of recalling boring, incomprehensible facts—so much so that it may make little difference whether the factoids about science come from the periodic table or from a movie script. For my thoughts on how we can do better, stay tuned for next week's Editorial." - Bruce Alberts is Editor-in-Chief of Science.

And my choice of the most exciting articles in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) this month:

1. Sugar sweetened beverages increase fat storage harming muscles - The consumption of sucrose-sweetened soft drinks (SSSDs) has been associated with obesity, the metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disorders in observational and short-term intervention studies...Daily intake of SSSDs for 6 mo increases ectopic fat accumulation and lipids compared with milk, diet cola, and water. Thus, daily intake of SSSDs is likely to enhance the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

2. Less frequent eating predicts you will get fat - Conclusions: A lower eating frequency predicts a greater gain in adiposity in adolescent females. Intervention trials are needed to test if changing the frequency of eating can affect obesity risk.

3. New drug to treat obesity shows promise - Conclusion: Controlled-release phentermine/topiramate in conjunction with lifestyle modification may provide a well-tolerated and effective option for the sustained treatment of obesity complicated by cardiometabolic disease

4. Magnesium for cardiovascular health - Magnesium is a biologically active mineral found in foods rich in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and nuts. In westernized populations such as in the United States, magnesium intake is known to be inadequate (1). In experimental studies of animals, magnesium deficiency was shown to accelerate atherosclerosis and magnesium supplementation suppressed its development (2, 3)...a meta-analysis using data from 241,378 participants observed an inverse relation between dietary magnesium intake and stroke risk...An intake increment of 100 mg Mg/d was associated with an 8% reduction in risk of total stroke.

5. Fish oil supplementation enhances strength training - Conclusions: Strength training increased muscle strength in elderly women. The inclusion of 2g per day of Fish oil caused up to double the muscle strength and functional capacity.

6. Drinking RED wine is great for your health - Conclusion: The results suggest that the phenolic content of RW may modulate leukocyte adhesion molecules, whereas both ethanol and polyphenols of RW may modulate soluble inflammatory mediators in high-risk patients.

7. Cocoa, or anything rich in flavonoids, reduces heart disease death risk - Conclusions: Flavonoid consumption was associated with 20% lower risk of death from CVD. Most inverse associations appeared with intermediate intakes, suggesting that even relatively small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods may be beneficial.

8. Caffeinated beverages affect estradiol levels in women - Caffeine intake by women of childbearing age is common in the United States. Approximately 89% of women aged 18–34 y consume an average of 166 mg caffeine/d (equivalent to 1.5–2 cups caffeinated coffee) from a variety of sources ... Caffeine intake ≥200 mg/d was inversely associated with free estradiol concentrations among white women and positively associated among Asian women. Caffeinated soda intake and green tea intake ≥1 cup/d (1 cup = 240 mL) were positively associated with free estradiol concentrations among all races...

9. Sedentary behavior (1 vs 7 hours of TV/day) nearly doubles your risk of dying over 8.5 years - Conclusions: Time spent in sedentary behaviors was positively associated with mortality, and participation in high levels of moderate-vigorous physical activity did not fully mitigate health risks associated with prolonged time watching television.

10. Those with family history of colon cancer should have no more than 2 servings of alcohol per day - People consuming over 30g of alcohol daily (one drink is 14g) with a family history had twice the risk.

11. People low in omega-3 fats are likely to develop mental impairment, especially after depression - Conclusions: Total erythrocyte n−3 PUFA concentrations are positively associated with cognitive function, particularly immediate recall, in older people with previous depression. Lower concentrations of n−3 PUFAs or ALA in erythrocyte membranes may be good predictors for cognitive impairment in older people with previous recurrent depression.

12. The more 4-legged meat you eat prior to pregnancy, the higher your risk for gestational diabetes - So please consider the No Fours Diet.

13. Smaller portion sizes increase fruit and veggie intake - Conclusion: Serving smaller age-appropriate entrée portions may be one strategy to improve children's nutritional profile by decreasing intake of energy-dense foods and by promoting intake of fruit and vegetables served with the entree.

14. Longer exclusive breastfeeding improves cardiovascular fitness in children and adolescents.

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator

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"Food consists not just in piles of chemicals; it also comprises a set of social and ecological relationships, reaching back to the land and outward to other people." -Michael Pollan

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