Nutrition

A recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed how researchers at the University of Michigan have found a new potential benefit of a molecule in green tea, preventing the misfolding of specific proteins in the brain. Faculty member Mi Hee Lim and an interdisciplinary team of researchers used green tea extract to control the generation of metal associated amyloid aggregates associated with Alzheimer’s disease in the lab. The specific molecule in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, also…
Nitrates, such as beetroot juice and sodium nitrate, improve endurance, according to a metanalysis by researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia. The study pooled the results of 17 studies that administered nitrates for one to 15 days. Nitrates had a small but significant effect on endurance performance. Beetroot juice contains nitrate that the blood vessels use to produce nitric oxide, a critical chemical that promotes blood flow, improves sexual performance and enhances energy levels. The capacity of the…
Capsaicin is an important ingredient in many weight loss supplements. It is a red chili pepper used to make paprika, which is a spice in chili and Mexican food. The capsaicin in these foods provides the hot, steamy flavor that people like about those foods. Several studies found that capsaicin decreased fat cell content and increased gene activity associated with fat metabolism and cellular heat generation (thermogenesis). A study from the Netherlands showed that weight loss diets supplemented with capsaicin…
Leucine is a key amino acid for stimulating muscle protein synthesis. In addition to supplying protein building blocks, leucine is a signaling chemical that triggers a protein synthesis pathway called mTOR. Protein high in leucine triggers protein synthesis, even in the absence of muscle tension and exercise. This is particularly important in older adults, who lose muscle mass with age and are typically inactive. The maximum beneficial amount of protein in a single meal for promoting muscle protein synthesis is…
High blood levels of amino acids are important for promoting muscle protein synthesis and preventing protein breakdown. Blood amino acids increase after a high-protein meal, which enhances protein metabolism for several hours. A review of literature by researchers from McMaster University in Canada concluded that protein supplements enhance the effects of weight training. This was true even in people who habitually consumed low levels of protein. Of particular interest to bodybuilders, high calorie meals combined with high protein intake increased…
What is Garcinia Cambogia extract? Garcinia Cambogia is a small, pumpkin shaped fruit, sometimes called tamarind. Though native to Indonesia, it is also grown in India, Southeast Asia, and West and Central Africa. It has long been used in traditional South Asian dishes, including curries and chutneys. Many also use the fruit for curing fish and preservation. This plant offers one of the least expensive herbal supplements on the market. The ingredient from the rind of the fruit could hasten…
Lower levels of testosterone and free testosterone were linked to increased body fat, body mass index (proportion of weight to height) and waist to hip ratio. Margaret Gates from the New England Research Institutes and colleagues compared hormone levels and body composition in 821 men ages 30 to 79. The researchers also found that higher levels of estrogen were linked to a higher percent of fat and trunk fat. Long term studies of these men showed that baseline levels of…
Low testosterone levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and premature death. A study from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan showed that induced testosterone deficiency in mice caused fatty liver, reduced blood triglycerides and increased small density LDL, which promotes heart disease. Fatty liver disease, called hepatic steatosis, is due to excessive amounts of triglycerides (fats) collecting in the liver cells. In humans, it is linked to obesity, diabetes and alcoholism. Preventive methods…
The amino acid leucine is an important nutrient that promotes protein synthesis. Leucine activates the mTOR pathway, which triggers muscle growth and serves as a building block for muscle protein synthesis. A study from Hubei University of Chinese medicine in Wuhan City, China found that leucine supplements increased bodyweight and improved blood sugar regulation in rats consuming high fat diets for 24 weeks. In humans, supplementing four grams of leucine per day stimulates the mTOR pathway and increases muscle protein…
Glycemic index, a measure of how fast your body absorbs carbohydrate foods and increases blood sugar, has been the buzzword among nutritional researchers for more than a decade. Toavoid heart disease and obesity, nutrition experts counsel people to avoid high glycemic index foods like jam and white bread, and emphasize lower glycemic index foods such as whole grain bread and wild rice. A literature review by Julie Jones from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota concluded that little evidence…
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