Supplements

What are they? The most popular amino acid supplement comprises the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): valine, leucine and isoleucine. These three amino acids make up one-third of muscle proteins. What do they do? The theory behind BCAA supplements is that they can help prevent the break down of muscle tissue during intense exercise. They are converted into two other amino acids – glutamine and alanine – which are released in large quantities during intense aerobic exercise. Also they can be…
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone that is produced primarily by the adrenal glands and is found naturally in the human body. It is an important base from which other key substances, including the hormones testosterone, progesterone, and corticosterone, can be derived, either directly or indirectly. The amount of DHEA produced by the body declines with age, particularly after age forty. Research indicates that taking DHEA supplements may help to prevent cancer, arterial disease, multiple sclerosis, and alzheimer’s disease; may be…
Amino acids are important for muscle growth because they serve as the building blocks for protein synthesis. The amino acid leucine is particularly important because it serves as a key chemical for turning on the mTOR biochemical pathway of protein synthesis. A University of Illinois study using rats showed that the leucine content of various food proteins was the most important factor determining the food’s effect on protein synthesis. They examined the effects of wheat, soy, egg and whey protein,…
Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid found in the muscles of the body. Because it can readily pass the blood-brain barrier, it is known as brain fuel. In the brain, glutamine is converted into glutamic acid, which is essential for cerebral function, and vice versa. It also increases the amount of GABA, which is needed to sustain proper brain function and mental activity. It assists in maintaining the proper acid/alkaline balance in the body, and is the basis…
A report published in the journal evidence based complementary and alternative medicine documents a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial which determined that supplementation with resveratrol was associated with a reduction in a number of factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The trial enrolled 66 type II diabetic men and women residing in Iran, a country that has a high prevalence of diabetes. Participants were supplemented with 1 gram resveratrol or a placebo daily for 45 days. At the study’s conclusion,…
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports an association between the use of drugs that inhibit excess stomach acid and deficient levels of vitamin B12. The current study compared 25,956 men and women diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency over a four and a half year period with 184,199 subjects who were not deficient. Pharmacy records provided information concerning patients who were dispensed two year or greater supplies of proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) or histamine 2 receptor blocking drugs. Subjects…
Millions of Americans take glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to reduce joint pain. However, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons does not recommend them. Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia found no improvement in knee joint pain following two years supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin. There was, however, a reduction in joint space narrowing, which indicates some improvement in joint health. The study showed that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements did not reduce knee pain after two years. (Annals of…
Beta-Hydroxy Beta-Methylbutyrate, derived from the amino acid leucine, is a popular supplement with bodybuilders for building muscle mass and decreasing fat. Several studies showed that the supplement is safe and effective for increasing lean tissue and strength and preventing tissue breakdown after intense training. Other studies have not found any benefits. A review of literature by Alexis Ortiz from Texas Women’s University concluded that HMB benefits some people more than others. It works best in people without a history of…
Most research supports the ability of vitamin D-3 supplementation to boost testosterone levels. New research adds to the benefits of this potent form of the sunshine vitamin, demonstrating that it may also protect your muscles from breakdown (catabolism) from intense training. In addition, it may help you recover more quickly from intense training. Vitamin D-3 appears to protect muscle breakdown from exercise by reducing an inflammatory protein known as TNF-alpha. Athletes with lower vitamin D levels are more susceptible to…
Whey protein supplements promote metabolic health. A review of literature by Australian scientists showed that whey protein supplements improve blood sugar and insulin regulation, control appetite, moderate bodyweight and body composition, promote thermogenesis, reduce inflammation, enhance blood vessel health and improve blood fats. A review of literature by Australian researchers concluded that whey protein, rather than casein or mixed dairy protein, improves metabolic health and reduces the risk of heart disease. Drink a whey protein shake after you work out.…
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