Can creatine supplements reduce the calories used or slow metabolism? Some people think it does. That’s a recent question I received so I decided to answer it in this latest video.
If you’re following the health news, you know that vitamin D currently is in the media spotlight, and rightly so. Will Brink just did a great podcast “Vitamin D3 – scam or panacea?“, giving an overview on the importance vitamin D. In this article I will expand upon some key points taken up in the podcast, and back up the case with a solid reference list of recent studies on the topic. I will also present some revealing prevalence stats on vitamin D insufficiency, in order to convince you to get your blood levels checked to find out your vitamin D status.
Vitamin D is interesting for several reasons:
1. The role of vitamin D for health promotion has undergone a paradigm shift. While traditionally thought to only be important for development and maintenance of strong bones, an impressive body of scientific research has accumulated over the past decade, showing that adequate vitamin D levels are necessary to prevent many diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction, diabetes (both type-1 and type-2), the metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation, cancer, osteoporosis (including falls and fractures), muscle weakness, cognitive dysfunction and mental illness, autoimmune diseases (e.g. multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis), infectious diseases, as well as infertility and adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes [1-24].
Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency is associated with all-cause mortality , and supplementation has been shown to decrease mortality rates [25, 26]. It has been estimated that doubling vitamin D levels in the general population (from 21 ng/mL to 44 ng/mL) would reduce vitamin D-related disease mortality rate by 20%, and increase life expectancy with about 2 years .
2. Insufficient levels of vitamin D also have direct implications for fitness enthusiasts and athletic performance, due to the importance of vitamin D for muscle function (I will cover this in much more dept in an upcoming article) [28-39].
3. In contrast to other vitamins, vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency is very common (more on that below).
4. The vitamin D requirement for health promotion and protection against the mentioned diseases and muscle dysfunction is much higher than the dietary recommendations (RDA) for bone health [4, 40-45].
Having heard about all the vitamin D benefits you might wonder what is the optimal vitamin D level? How low is too low and how high is too high? How much vitamin D does one have to consume to reap all the benefits? Let’s find out…
Note From Will: Folks, I didn’t write this article. Dr. Lopez did. It’s an excellent review of the recent negative findings on fish oil that’s creating confusion for people. I have gotten many emails asking to clarify the issue, but Dr. Lopez’s article does it so well, I asked his permission to use it on the BrinkZone. Enjoy!
PS, Dr. Lopez will be a guest on BrinkZone Radio shortly to cover Vitamin D and other topics.
By Hector Lopez, MD, CSCS, FAAPMR
Recently, the media seems to have jumped all aboard the anti-fish oil bandwagon full stop.
A recent study published in September of 2012  stated that perhaps fish oil is not that good, and the media is already foaming at the mouth ready to start the finger shaking, and even stating that “the proof is in.” But, is that really so?
In the meantime, here is the video from ABC News to watch to give you an idea.
I have been asked for my professional opinion on the recent attention drawn to the September 2012 systematic review and meta-analysis published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Rizos EC et al . As you can imagine, the last couple of days have been very busy answering emails/calls from various stakeholders in the dietary supplement and omega-3 fish oil industries. The stakeholders range from friends and family to fellow scientists and colleagues, to high-level executives and principals of client companies. I have a few things to say about the manner (at times disingenuous) in which the meta-analysis has been misrepresented.
Multiple video segments from major media outlets have even quoted some of their experts as saying, “they would rather the public spend their money elsewhere as the proof is in with this study.” Perhaps the media would feel more at ease suggesting that the public consume another box of “whole-grain” yet low fiber, highly processed cereal, “natural fruit juice”, or better yet, “linoleate-rich vegetable oils full of omega-6 fatty acids” (hey they are polyunsaturated too, right)?
I don’t mind that the media shares their opinion, but at the very least, do what is possible to educate the very audience that they are obviously trying to persuade. I find it hard to believe the public would not be interested in some other material facts to allow consumers to make an informed decision, so here are my top 11 facts that the media ignored.
This show I cover whey protein. If you think you know whey… What makes
whey unique from ALL other proteins tested? What’s the major differences between isolates and concentrates you need to know? What about claims of “grass fed” whey being superior to others? How does whey impact your health?
That’s just tip of the iceberg of what I cover in this latest BrinkZone Radio show!
Listen to this show HERE
Part 1 of 3 on the deleterious effects of too much sitting
Are you struggling to lose that extra flab and all those nasty calories that seem to be glued to your waistline? Do you ever wonder why, despite your hard training and dieting, you still have those annoying love handles? Then maybe you should try to implement the NEAT way to fat loss…
If you are following the anti-aging media news, you’ve heard about the alleged benefits of calorie restriction (also known as food restriction or diet restriction). Studies in numerous species have demonstrated that reduction of calories 30-50% below ad libitum levels of a nutritious diet slows the aging process, increases lifespan, reduces the incidence and delays the onset of age-related diseases, improves stress resistance, and decelerates functional decline.
In a previous article http://www.brinkzone.com/general-health/calorie-restriction-vs-the-bodybuilding-lifestyle/ Will pointed out that practicing calorie restriction counters the bodybuilding lifestyle. Here I will explain that it not only counters the bodybuilding lifestyle, but also is makes it impossible to implement and reap the benefits of other healthy lifestyle habits, and in addition brings along several pitfalls and negative health consequences in humans.
While animal studies can and do shed light on what’s going on at mechanistic level, we have to be very careful and resist the temptation to extrapolate results from animal experiments to humans. Here I will make the case for that we can age gracefully and successfully and increase our health span and “youngevity” without having to starve ourselves for life.
The Facts on Waxy Maize, Vitargo, and other carb sources
As found on Muscular Development Magazine
© 2009 – 2012
A few years back a bunch of studies supported the concept that both the timing and type of carbohydrate athletes used could have positive effects – for both aerobic and anaerobic oriented athletes. Since then there has been a rush to find the “best” pre and post workout carb source. As is typical for the bodybuilding/fitness industry, a new “miracle” carb source burst onto the market almost monthly promising muscle growth second only to an Anadrol* enema, but I digress… The point being, there’s been a great deal of information, misinformation, and down right disinformation, regarding these “amazing miracle anabolic” carb sources. The pinnacle of which, is Waxy Maize Starch (WMS), but before we get to that, let’s back up a second to recap why the focus on these carb sources.
Been asked many times regarding vegetarian eating in terms of athletics/athletes, so here’s my take on the issue. I cover the topic in greater depth, using what exists for data (which as mentioned in the vid is limited), as well as “real world” experience, in the Body Building Revealed Program.
A simple but often unappreciated issue regarding creatine monohydrate is the benefit to pre dissolving it fully, which will greatly improve any stomach upset for those who experience it and may improve absorption for some users. This vid will help you get the most from your CM products! Also see updated comments below the vid
UPDATE TO THIS VID!
GETTING THE MOST FROM CREATINE (2014 FOLLOW UP!!!)
This simple vid I did showing pre mixing creatine a good idea, has gotten more traffic and discussion than any vid I have done, and still shows up regularly. So, let me explain with more details and self corrections from the criticisms I get gotten…
Yes, I may have over stated the importance of it in the vid, but, the fact is, creatine must be solubilized before it will get absorbed. There’s a number of papers confirming that unless there’s another route of absorption for CM I’m not aware of… It will either get solubilized in digestion or it can be done first in the glass.
People who get stomach problems from creatine have been told to pre solubilize their creatine for decades. For people who get stomach upset, non responders (approx 30% of users) they may get better responses from fully dissolving, but that’s hypothesis on my part.
I can say, thousands of people have reported the stomach issues and bloating they experienced were gone once they pre solubilized their creatine.
Clearly, some of the creatine not dissolved in the glass will be made soluble and absorbed and I should have been clearer about that in the vid, but it’s well established in human digestion that compounds with poor solubility are often poorly absorbed. It’s also going to be dose dependent (large amounts of CM are more likely to not get solubalized and absorbed, causing stomach issues, etc) while smaller amounts, less so.
At this point, I tell people If one has gotten good response from not fully dissolving, don’t sweat it, but it’s my opinion that fully dissolving *may* optimize absorption for some, reduces waste, may improve effects in non responders, and will reduce stomach discomfort in those who experience it with creatine.
It’s also going to be individual. Back when loading was all the rage, some got killer cramps, the runs, and a bloated stomach from those mega doses, some had no issues. That was due to the hypotonic effects of large doses of CM.
The End Of The Protein “Debate”?
Protein intakes – especially as it relates to strength athletes and those involved in regular resistance exercise – has been a hotly debated topic for decades. That’s due in large part to nutritional authorities simply ignoring the data… While the bulk of the data suggests strongly that there’s benefit to protein intakes well above the RDA for protein for those involved in resistance training looking to improve body composition, not all of the studies agree. Why?
The reason for that appears to be explained in the recent paper by Bosse and Dixon which covers the protein “spread” and “change” theories as it applies to the bulk of studies that examined the issue. This excellent review postulates the “spread” and “change” theories accounts for why some studies find clear benefit to higher protein intakes, while others failed to.
Although the bulk of the studies finds benefits to higher than “normal” protein intakes for those hitting the weights intensely, not all studies find the effect. This review examines why, and answers it. I highly recommend people read this paper, and stick it under the nose of the next person who tells you ‘there’s no benefits to additional protein,’ and I have posted the (provisional) abstract below with link to full study.
Finally, my article on protein myths, also explores some of the issues surrounding studies on the typical myths of protein and athletes, and there’s additional articles and vids covering the topic here on the BrinkZone.