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REVIEW: Research Digest Research Digest (ERD)


Whether you’re a health/fitness professional or just interested science minded health buff, you know finding objective, balanced, accurate information on health/fitness/nutrition/supplements is both difficult and time consuming.  I know many rely on for their info, and I’ll be using the ERD as one resource for my information.


The ERD is easy to read on mobile devices

It’s a challenge even for yours truly to dig through piles of primary published studies, web sites I trust, and other resources,  to distill complex information into useful info for readers, so anything that can help me with that job is a winner in my view.

I received a copy of the ERD and was both impressed with the quality of the content and the layout and graphics, but the process to publication. The ERD is not one person, or a few people sitting around deciding what topic to push to increase sales of some product, but has a legit peer review-like process of editors (some of whom I know personally) to fact check for accuracy and objectivity.*

The ERD distills the latest research for people “in the biz” like me (possibly alerting me to something I need to dig further into) or those looking for an accurate source to rely on as supplement to

A resource that helps me save time, is well written, objective, accurate, puts things in the proper context, and involves a peer review process? I’m in. Highly recommended for anyone looking to save time and energy getting the latest info.

Get more info on the ERD HERE:

* = 5 researchers, 4 editors, and 7 reviewers.


Is Creatine Safe For Women?

Not as uncommon a question as the more informed here might think! But, you too may have been asked that Q, and here’s a short vid to refer them to if/when they ask.

The Science Of Bomb Proof Coffee

coffeeIn Part I of Bomb Proof Coffee, I cover what’s in it and why, as well as how to make it, doses, sources, etc in video form HERE. If you’re new to Bomb Proof Coffee you’ll want to watch those videos for all the info you need to get started. This article will add some of the supporting science on the ingredients in Bomb Proof Coffee.

The obvious first ingredient to cover is the coffee. Coffee just continues to show itself to a have a wide variety of health benefits for both the brain and body. Not surprisingly, not all coffee is created and the levels of beneficial compounds depends on the type of processing and other factors. As the coffee itself is not the main focus of Bomb Proof Coffee per se, the Life Extension has a good article HERE covering the topic and offers a coffee with especially high levels of beneficial compounds found in coffee that might make a good choice for the coffee used in Bomb Proof Coffee.


Cocoa (cacao) Beans On Natural Wooden TableCocoa (the main ingredients in chocolate),  is rich in various polyphenols (including flavonoids/flavanols) and other  bio active compounds such as  amines, alkaloids,   tyramine, magnesium, procyanidins, phenylethylamine, and N-acylethanolamines. Cocoa has been shown to  reduce blood pressure, improve insulin resistance and improved endothelial function. A meta analysis found that the highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease, and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with the lowest level of intake, an that’s despite the sugar and fat content of chocolate; reduced insulin resistance and reduced serum insulin levels were associated with the chocolate consumption. There are various studies that also suggest direct cognitive benefit of cocoa ingestion as well as neruo protection. The flavanol epicatechin is believed to be the main source of benefit, but there’s a wide range of compounds in cocoa and it’s highly likely there’s synergism between epicatechin and other flavanols as well as other compounds found in cocoa, many of which are still being elucidated. As mentioned via the vids on Bomb Proof Coffee, not all cocoa is created equal and the highest levels of beneficial compounds is found in cocoa that has not been “Dutch Processed” which is exposed to alkalization. The vast majority of cocoa sold commercially has been Dutch Processed/exposed to alkalization. The exact dose for optimal effects is unclear at this time and research is ongoing, but the dose recommended in Bomb Proof Coffee – if you’re using high quality cocoa that has not been exposed to alkalization – should have you covered well. See videos for more information on that. Cocoa, similar to coffee, is a highly complex  ingredient, which may have synergism when ingested together. Continue reading..

Dietary Guidelines on Fat Intake – were there ever any evidence to support the low-fat recommendation?

In an effort to slash heart disease, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans [1] have since 1977 been urging people to:

1. Reduce total fat consumption to 30% of total caloric intake.

2. Reduce saturated fat consumption to 10% of total energy intake.

Government issued dietary guidelines are highly authoritative and regarded by a majority as being backed by solid research. However, as it turns out, this is not the case…

Dietary recommendations regarding intake of total and saturated fat are highly controversial, and the debate is heating up. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of six studies that were available 1977, when the first version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans was published, shows: [2]

Continue reading..

What’s In Your Creatine? (Part III!)


Levels of creatine, organic contaminants and heavy metals in creatine dietary supplements
Food Chemistry. Volume 126, Issue 3, 1 June 2011, Pages 1232–1238


High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has been optimised for the analysis of the creatine content and possible organic contaminants in 33 samples of creatine supplements from the market. Creatinine resulted to be the major organic contaminant (44% of the samples over 100 mg/kg). About 15% of the samples had dihydro-1,3,5-triazine concentrations exceeding the detection limit of 4.5 mg/kg (maximum 8.0 mg/kg) and a dicyandiamide concentration over 50 mg/kg, while none of the samples were contaminated with thiourea. The heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead) content was also assessed by means of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Only mercury was present in detectable amounts (at levels lower than 1 mg/kg).


Click Pic To Enlarge



Research highlights

• A survey on quality of creatine supplements commercialised in Italy has been carried out.
• Creatinine resulted to be the major organic contaminant (44% of the samples over 100 mg/kg).
• 50% of the products exceeded the maximum level recommended by EFSA for organic contaminants.
• Among heavy metals, only mercury was present in detectable amounts (<1 mg/kg)

Full Paper, which is not free, is HERE

What’s In Your Creatine Part I HERE and part II HERE


Testosterone and Fat Loss – The Evidence

It is well documented that obesity may cause hypogonadism, and that hypogonadism may cause obesity [1-4] This has generated debate about what condition comes first; obesity or hypogonadism? And what should be the first point of intervention?

In this article I will summarize data from several reviews on the associations of hypogonadism and obesity [1-4], and make the case that these conditions create a self-perpetuating vicious circle. Once a vicious circle has been established, it doesn’t matter where one intervenes; one can either treat the obese condition or treat hypogonadism first. The critical issue is to break the vicious circle as soon as possible before irreversible health damage arises.

Nevertheless, as I will explain here, treating hypogonadism first with testosterone replacement therapy may prove to be a more effective strategy because it to a large extent “automatically” takes care of the excess body fat and metabolic derangements. In addition, treating hypogonadism first also confers psychological benefits that will help obese men become and stay more physically active.

Key Points [1-4]

• Traditional obesity treatments with diet and exercise programs are notorious for failing in long-term maintenance of weight loss due to lack of adherence. Anti-obesity drugs have limited efficacy and may not be without adverse effects.

• In the prospective Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS), non-obese men who became obese had a decline of testosterone levels comparable to that of 10 years of aging.

• Testosterone deficiency and obesity each contribute independently to a self-perpetuating vicious cycle.

• Long-term testosterone therapy in men with hypogonadism improves body composition, metabolic syndrome components and quality of life, and thereby can help break the vicious cycle.

• Treatment of hypogonadism with long-term testosterone therapy, with or without lifestyle modifications, effectively treats obesity by correcting testosterone deficiency; one physiological root cause of obesity.

• In contrast to the U-shaped curve for weight loss seen with traditional obesity treatments, which are characterized by weight loss and weight regain, treatment with testosterone therapy results in a continuous reduction in obesity parameters (waist circumference, weight and BMI) for >5 years, or until metabolic abnormalities return to healthy ranges.

• The significant effectiveness of testosterone therapy in combating obesity in hypogonadal men remains largely unknown to doctors. Educational efforts are therefore critical to bring research findings into clinical practice in order to improve patient care and health outcomes.

Continue reading..

Does Dieting Make People Fatter?

They answer, in many cases, is yes. I explore that issue in this vid. For those who want to get into the details of the topic, and excellent review paper is linked below.

How dieting makes the lean fatter: from a perspective
of body composition autoregulation through
adipostats and proteinstats awaiting discovery

A. G. Dulloo, J. Jacquet, J.-P. Montani and Y. Schutz
Department of Medicine, Division of
Physiology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland


Whether dieting makes people fatter has been a subject of considerable controversy
over the past 30 years. More recent analysis of several prospective studies suggest,
however, that it is dieting to lose weight in people who are in the healthy normal
range of body weight, rather than in those who are overweight or obese, that most
strongly and consistently predict future weight gain. This paper analyses the ongoing
arguments in the debate about whether repeated dieting to lose weight in normal-
weight people represents unsuccessful attempts to counter genetic and familial
predispositions to obesity, a psychosocial reaction to the fear of fatness or that
dieting per seconfers risks for fatness and hence a contributing factor to the obesity

Continue reading..

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