Mitochondria are the ‘energy powerhouse of the cell’ that convert the foods we eat to usable energy our body uses to fuel life sustaining reactions within cells, our daily activities and athletic performance 1-4. While energy production capability and muscle performance might seem to be more relevant to sports, it also equally important for achievement and maintenance of health throughout the life span. In this article I will describe how chronological aging affects our mitochondria, its implications and the ins-and-outs of a new type of supplements marketed at “exercise mimetics”.
Testosterone deficiency and treatment is a very misunderstood and controversial topic among scientists, regulatory agencies (such as the FDA and EMA) and doctors, as well as the popular media.
On October 1, 2015, an international expert consensus conference about testosterone deficiency and its treatment was held in Prague, sponsored by King’s College London and the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male (ISSAM). The impetus for this meeting was to address the widespread misinformation and confusion about testosterone deficiency and testosterone therapy.
The ultimate goal of this consensus conference was to document what is true or untrue about testosterone deficiency and testosterone therapy, to the best degree possible based on existing scientific and clinical evidence.
There were 18 experts from 11 countries on 4 continents. Specialties included urology, endocrinology, internal medicine, diabetology, and basic science research. Experts were invited on the basis of extensive clinical experience with testosterone deficiency and its treatment and/or research experience.
The final consensus on several key issues related to testosterone therapy was published in the form of 9 resolutions – i.e. facts – coupled with expert comments , which I summarize here….
January 7th 2016, the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/
One would expect this to be a state-of-the art document with practical hands-on advice that will help people make better food choices and eat healthier. Not so! If you think the new Dietary Guidelines will tell you everything you need to know about what to eat and what not to eat, you will be greatly disappointed.
I would like to applaud the commentary by Dr. Katz “2015 Dietary Guidelines: A Plate Full of Politics”. Dr. Katz is the director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, and president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. His summary of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines is “a national embarrassment”.
In this article I will point our some issues that Dr. Katz raised, as well as add my own reflections based on available scientific evidence. To make up for the glaring void of food recommendations, I will end with a practical list of foods you want to eat more of and those to avoid…
Krill oil is becoming increasingly popular, and many people use it as an alternative to fish oil, since both provide the long-chain “marine” omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
In addition, krill oil has some unique properties, and marketing claims about krill oil’s purported superiority over fish oil abound, centering on the following:
- Krill oil provides some of the EPA and DHA in phospholipid form, which has been suggested to be absorbed more effectively.
- Krill oil contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid with health promoting effects.
- Krill oil contains the essential nutrient choline.
- There are supposedly fewer contaminants in krill oil than fish oil.
- Krill oil supposedly does not cause any fishy burping or other gastro-intestinal side effects.
In this article I will summarize the research on each of these points, and critically evaluate the related marketing claims…
In the United States, cardiovascular diseases account for about 1 of every 3 deaths. The cornerstone in heart disease treatment is reducing elevations of LDL, popularly known as the “bad cholesterol” (see table below “What do the terms mean?”) [2, 3], primarily with statins, the most widely used cholesterol/ heart disease drug.
However, when one looks at the aggregate effectiveness of statin treatment in all studies, morbidity and mortality rates among statin-treated patients still remain approximately two thirds to three quarters of those found in patients randomized to placebo.[5, 6] In the “Treating to New Targets” study there were still 80% cases of cardiovascular disease, despite intensive treatment with high-dose statins.
Thus, many patients – even those treated aggressively with statins to meet LDL goals – have residual cardiovascular risk.[8-13] This remaining risk is associated with low levels of HDL, increased levels of triglycerides, and elevated numbers of small, dense, atherogenic LDL particles [8, 10, 11, 14-17] and other common metabolic abnormalities that you will find out about in this article…
Clinical practice guidelines rely heavily on results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs), which is the gold standard for medical research. RCTs produce evidence considered to be of the highest quality. Because RCTs are resource intensive and costly, they are typically of relatively short duration, commonly lasting for around one year.
Currently there are only a few RCTs investigating the effects of testosterone therapy for a duration of 3 years [1-4], and medical societies have long been urging for more long-term trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of testosterone therapy.[5-7]
On August 11th 2015 a notable 3-year long RCT was published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), which attracted a lot of attention. While interpreted by many as showing that testosterone therapy does not confer any benefits on atherosclerosis, sexual function and quality of life, a closer look at the raw data actually shows two important positive results…
Due to lack of consistent clear-cut guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of testosterone deficiency, there is a lot of confusion among both health professionals and suffering men. The multiple different testosterone preparations available further add to the complexity of testosterone treatment.
This editorial presents the intriguing results from a notable study that analyzed effects of testosterone therapy with seven different testosterone preparations, in symptomatic men who had previously been denied treatment because of “normal” baseline testosterone levels. The results are quite provocative and highlight several important practical issues relating to diagnosis and treatment of testosterone deficiency…
The potential benefits and risks of artificial sweeteners and diet sodas are hotly debated. Critics state that artificial sweeteners and diet sodas are fueling obesity [1, 2], increasing the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease [2, 3], and of causing metabolic derangements.
A popular argument against consumption of sweet-tasting but non-caloric or reduced-calorie food and beverages is that this interferes with appetite and physiological energy intake regulation.
Find out what latest research shows…
A pervasive dieting mantra is that a cumulative reduction of caloric intake of 3,500 will result in a weight loss of 1 pound. This dieting rule popularly states “because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, if you cut 500 calories from your diet each day, or burn 500 calories extra per day from exercising (or a combination thereof) you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories) and 52 pounds in a year.
This simple weight loss rule continues to be cited on weight loss websites as well as authoritative nutrition textbooks [1, 2], scientific articles [3-6], and expert guidelines. It is even common among health care professionals to believe in the 3,500 calorie rule , and the Patient Page on “Healthy weight loss” at The Journal of the American Medical Association website states in the first sentence on “What you need to know about weight loss” that… “A total of 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of body weight. This means if you decrease (or increase) your intake by 500 calories daily, you will lose (or gain) 1 pound per week (500 calories per day × 7 days = 3,500 calories).” 
However, is this really true? Most people who have ever been on a diet are probably skeptical. And rightly so. In this article I will highlight what’s wrong with the 3,500 calorie rule and present a more accurate calculator that you can use to more precisely predict how much weight loss you can except in real life from a given daily calorie reduction.
A key hallmark of aging is a progressive loss of muscle mass, which occurs independently of health status. Exercise and nutrition are the two main anabolic stimuli for muscle growth and its maintenance throughout the life course.[2-11]
It is clear that maintaining high physical activity and exercise levels throughout ones lifespan reduces aging related loss of muscle mass and function, compared with living a sedentary life.[12-19] However, even active older adults and master elite athletes still experience some loss of muscle and physical performance with advancing age.[8, 13, 20]
When it comes to nutrition, high protein intake [2, 3, 10, 21] and creatine supplementation [4-8, 22] are two of the best documented interventions, which together with resistance exercise training, result in greater increases muscle mass and strength in both young [21-23] and older people [2-8, 10], and prevent its loss with aging. Here I will present the relatively unknown effects of fish oil (most well-known for its cardiovascular health promoting effects) on muscle growth (anabolism) and its possible contribution to prevention of aging related loss of muscle mass and function…