I have put the articles “We Are What We Absorb” Part I & II into a PDF doc people can down load free (hit the cover picture below to download) for those who want them as a single doc to share. etc. Enjoy!
In 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 (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.
After my review of the popular coffee concoction making the rounds with generally unsupported claims, I was asked what would I recommend for a “bio active” coffee that really delivered as promised. The result is Bomb Proof Coffee. Part I covers what’s in Bomb Proof Coffee and why those ingredients used, and Part II covers how to make it, doses, sources, etc. If you try it, make sure to report back with your experience! If you want to know the science behind Bomb Proof Coffee, the full write up is HERE.
Part I, what’s in BombProof Coffee and why:
Part II, how to make BombProof Coffee, doses, and sources:
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 BrinkZone.com for their info, and I’ll be using the ERD as one resource for my information.
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 BrinkZone.com.
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.
This is a topic so large it could take stacks of text books (and it does!) and many semesters in college and years of research afterward, so an exhaustive review is both beyond the scope of this article and my brain!
There’s a few key areas however I plan to address in this article people will find helpful to making smart decisions the over hyped ads for protein, amino acids, and peptides don’t cover. For the most part, I recommend whole protein sources, such as whey, eggs, lean meats, fish etc. in terms of dietary protein* intakes, but some individual amino acids can be of benefit in specific applications. Those applications may be sports performance related, general health, or medical, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Back In The Day…
Back in the day when I was taking my first nutrition courses and reading what research existed - right after the Pleistocene era – the mantra of nutrition was that digested proteins were broken down into individual amino acids during digestion and absorbed, and that was that. As with virtually all overly simplified models generated from the early research examining human nutrition and physiology, it was wrong. To this day however, there are still those who believe it, but I digress. However, most know that ingested proteins are broken down primarily into small peptides and individual amino acids. The fact is, to this day, human digestion, absorption, and utilization of nutrients we ingest is still being elucidated with more discoveries being made than most people realize or appreciate. It’s amazing to me however the number of people – some educated enough in the sciences to know better – who think digestion, absorption, and utilization of the food we eat can be summarized as “it get’s dumped into the acid in your stomach, then absorbed via voodoo, the end.” Human digestion, absorption, and utilization of the nutrients we ingest, is an incredibly complex process, that as previously mentioned, still being elucidated. If you want to get a glimpse of how complex, the Encyclopedia Britannica site has a nice write up on that, and remember: digestion, absorption, and utilization of protein is but one very small aspect of it.
As mentioned previously, there are benefits and potentially unique effects to using individual amino acids, but studies indicate peptides are better absorbed and or utilized than individual amino acids. What that suggests is, even if the goal is to derive benefits from a singe amino acid (e.g., Leucine, Glutamine, etc.), it’s likely best to get it in peptide form. For example, instead of taking L-leucine alone as the free amino acid, to increase intakes of L-leucine, ingesting a leucine rich peptide is likely to be the superior approach. The science and understanding of the value of peptides in human nutrition, be it for health, performance, increased muscle mass, etc., is an evolving area of research yielding useful findings, and still in it’s early stages in fact. Because this is such a wide-open and extensive topic, I’m going to stay focused on a few key issues, such as the value of using individual amino acids or “free” amino acids vs. peptides even if the goal is to increase levels of a specific amino acid.
Creatine is one of the few dietary supplements that have a very solid scientific support for its efficacy in increasing strength, explosive performance and muscle mass. So the question in not whether it is effective, but rather how to supplement it to reap maximal effectiveness?
There are several theories on how to take creatine; some say your should load and then lower the dose, while others say you can get good results by a low dosage regimen without loading. Yet others say you should cycle the creatine and take breaks from it in between cycles. And then we have the issue of dosages and how to ingest it. In addition there is a lot of confusion about the myriad for creatine forms that claim to be superior over the golden standard creatine monohydrate. Are the new fancy creatine-super-duper formulations really worth their price? Let’s review it all here and see what the research is saying.
In this vid, I discuss the popular “Testosterone booster” supplement D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) and update my opinions of this general category of supplements.
Study mentioned in the vid:
D-Aspartic acid supplementation combined with 28 days of heavy resistance training has no effect on body composition, muscle strength, and serum hormones associated with the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in resistance-trained men
Department of Health, Exercise and Biochemical Nutrition Lab, Human Performance, and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, TX, USA
It was hypothesized that d-aspartic acid (D-ASP) supplementation would not increase endogenous testosterone levels or improve muscular performance associated with resistance training. Therefore, body composition, muscle strength, and serum hormone levels associated with the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis were studied after 28 days of resistance training and D-ASP supplementation. Resistance-trained men resistance trained 4 times/wk for 28 days while orally ingesting either 3 g of placebo or 3 g of D-ASP.
Data were analyzed with 2 × 2 analysis of variance (P < .05). Before and after resistance training and supplementation, body composition and muscle strength, serum gonadal hormones, and serum D-ASP and d-aspartate oxidase (DDO) were determined. Body composition and muscle strength were significantly increased in both groups in response to resistance training (P < .05) but not different from one another (P > .05). Total and free testosterone, luteinizing hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone, and estradiol were unchanged with resistance training and D-ASP supplementation (P > .05).
For serum D-ASP and DDO, D-ASP resulted in a slight increase compared with baseline levels (P > .05). For the D-ASP group, the levels of serum DDO were significantly increased compared with placebo (P < .05). [B]The gonadal hormones were unaffected by 28 days of D-ASP supplementation and not associated with the observed increases in muscle strength and mass.
Therefore, at the dose provided, D-ASP supplementation is ineffective in up-regulating the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis and has no anabolic or ergogenic effects in skeletal muscle.
“The human body is an infinitely complex, but wholly logical system” – Will Brink
Back in the day I wrote the first article on the value of omega-3 fatty acids (via fax oil) for health and fat loss in the major bodybuilding publications. In fact, my first article on the value of flax oil – a source of the Omega 3 lipid LNA – was rejected because the very idea of intentionally adding fat to lose fat and improve health was such a foreign concept at that time. Yes, we are talking pre Internet here! Lucky for me, another magazine – MuscleMag International – ran the article, and the rest is history. It’s safe to say I have been researching and writing about Essential fatty acids (EFA’s), the value of omega-3 fats, the importance of balancing fatty acid intakes, and so forth, for a extensive amount of time. I am also partially to blame for the overly simplistic view of these fatty acids that followed and hope to atone for that with this article.
Much of what we understood at that time, and is still being pushed to this day by some, was an overly simple and generalized view of the essential fatty acids (EFA’s) and their effects on human physiology. As time progressed, and additional research was published, the picture has become much more refined and accurate.
The old paradigm could be essentially summarized as “Omega-3 good, Omega-6 bad” and that was about it. Other than a few who have really taken the time to research the topic, a position that remains to this day. Per usual, such entrenched views tend to change very slowly.
How did that start? Early research found the Standard American diet (SAD) provides excessive intakes of omega-6 lipids and minimal omega-3 lipids which resulted in an elevated omega-6/omega-3 ratio. As science writer Monica Mollica put it so accurately in her recent article on BrinkZone.com, “In turn, an elevated omega-6/omega-3 ratio has been linked to a number of common chronic diseases, notably cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, cancer, and certain psychiatric diseases such as depression. The omega-6 fatty acid that has been vilified and blamed to give rise to these detrimental health outcomes is arachidonic acid (ARA).” Hence, we ended up with an “Omega-3 good, Omega-6 bad” model that attributed most of the negatives to ARA, with advice people should avoid ARA. Those concerned with their health increased their intake of omega-3 fats via fish, flax, supplements, etc., and reduced their intake of omega-6, to improve their 03/06 ratios.
All well and good, but it’s just not that simple as life rarely is, much less human biology. As Candice Pert Ph.D., discoverer of the opiate receptor said “Whenever something does not fit the reigning paradigm, the initial response in the mainstream is to deny the facts.” Such is the case with the “Omega-3 good, Omega-6 bad” model that some cling to in spite of the ever mounting data showing it to be an outdated model not supported by the modern data.
Book Review: The Skinny On Diet Supplements
By Rick Silverman M.D.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to have the inside scoop, the real deal, the down and dirty on any given issue, then Will Brink’s book, “The Skinny on Diet Supplements,” should be on your required reading list for nutritional supplement information. This book is an encyclopedia of dietary
supplements and their role in weight loss, looking at each item in an in-depth and organized way.
Each chapter focuses on a single supplement, cites what it’s supposed to do, and provides details of the science behind the product, including some dissection of that science. The next section looks at the “real world” chatter about the supplement, and that’s followed by the best feature of the book, Will Brink’s recommendations. This last feature is my favorite section in each chapter, because Will is not shy about saying what works and what doesn’t work. He isn’t beholden to any particular supplement or supplement company, so it doesn’t feel like you’re being sold a bill of goods. Rather, he cuts through the falsehoods put forth by the supplement industry, and where evidence supports the use of a product and that product has proven real world results, he tells you so. Where evidence or the real world comes up short, he tells you that.
EDITORS NOTE: I (Will) recently did a video on ARA which discusses a study that found ARA had positive effects on strength and muscle mass, but was not able to give details on the study at that time as it had yet to be published as an abstract or full paper. Finally, Monica now covers the meat of what most people really want to know about ARA: Can it increase strength and muscle mass as a supplement? The answer appears to be a solid yes. This excellent article below covers the recent study mentioned in my vid and write up on the study and gives the details, as well as a prior study. This is the must read article of the ARA series of articles on BrinkZone!
EDITORS NOTE II: The brand of ARA used in the studies covered in this article – the brand with longest track record and most extensive feedback by users – is X Factor by Molecular Nutrition. For supplement companies looking to carry ARA, the manufacturer of ARA is Cargill and the contact (wholesale inquiries only) is firstname.lastname@example.org
In part 1 I outlined the background on ARA and why it traditionally has been, and still is in certain circles is, deemed the “bad guy” fatty acid. Part 2 covered its safety aspects and presented research findings indicating, to the contrary of the “ARA is bad dogma”, potential health benefits of ARA supplementation. In this part I will present new research showing potential beneficial effects of ARA supplementation, in conjunction with resistance training, on physical performance, muscle growth and strength gains…
The impetus for human studies on the effect of ARA supplementation on muscle growth and strength gains came from early studies on isolated animal muscle and muscle cell culture.[1-6] It was found that an increase in ARA flux through the COX enzyme (either induced by stretch or ARA supplementation) promotes production of the prostaglandins PGF2-alpha and PGE2 in muscle tissue, and that PGF2-alpha potently stimulates muscle protein synthesis [2, 5, 6] while PGE2 stimulates muscle degradation.[1, 2]