Tuesday, August 14, 2018

5 Protein Myths Sabotaging Your Gains

If you’ve spent enough time in the gym, the chances are you’ve come across countless myths and bro-science claims that have significantly shaped your training and diet habits. While some myths are harmless, others can profoundly impact your gains. When it comes to protein facts, there seems to be no shortage of misinformation. So let’s take a look at five of the most common protein myths and see if they hold up to the latest research.

Myth 1: Protein Must Be Consumed Immediately After Training
Urban legend has it that if you miss the “anabolic window” by not chugging protein 30 minutes after your last rep, you can kiss your gains goodbye. The theory is that there is a limited duration after training when the muscle’s sensitivity to accepting protein for repair and recovery is elevated. While this is true, we now know this window of opportunity is much longer than we initially thought. In fact, it lasts up to several hours after finishing your training session. While consuming protein post-workout is essential to maximize muscle protein synthesis, what’s as important for muscle growth and repair is the total amount of protein you consume throughout the day.

Myth 2: The Body Cannot Utilize More Than 30 Grams of Protein at Once
This myth stems from research showing that muscle protein synthesis is maximized by consuming 20 to 30 grams of protein, while an increase has no additional benefits. Because of this, it was assumed the body could not process more than 30 grams of protein at once. However, a recent study had subjects consume 70 grams of protein in one sitting and found it improved whole-body protein synthesis by reducing muscle protein breakdown. The body can utilize more than 30 grams of protein at once, but it will not stimulate MPS (muscle protein synthesis) to a greater degree than a 20- to 30-gram serving containing 2.5 to 3 grams of leucine. A serving of more than 30 grams would, however, improve whole-body protein synthesis (not the same as MPS).

Myth 3: High-Protein Diets Wreak Havoc on The Kidneys
This myth is based on the theory that when you add more protein to your diet, the kidneys are forced to work harder to get rid of the extra nitrogen produced by its breakdown, which could cause kidney damage. However, no proof exists that consuming amounts of protein many times higher than the RDA has any ill effects on renal function in otherwise healthy individuals. In fact, a recent study conducted at Nova Southeastern University had subjects consume 3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (three times the suggested RDA) daily for six months, and found no harmful effects on measures of blood lipids or liver and kidney function.

Myth 4: Too Much Protein Makes You Fat
Supplementing with protein does not make you fat; consuming more calories than you burn does, regardless of the macronutrient. Contrary to popular belief, it has been shown that people who eat a high-protein diet lose body fat. These effects are due to protein’s ability to promote a feeling of fullness and burn more calories during digestion (thermic effect of food).

Myth 5: High-Protein Diets Cause Osteoporosis
Not long ago, it was thought that the increase in calcium excretion from high-protein diets was detrimental to bone health. Recent studies suggest otherwise. Diets high in protein have been shown to increase calcium absorption and to have no adverse impact on net stores of bone calcium. A case in point is a 2003 study that demonstrated that individuals with chronic low protein intake were at higher risk for lower bone density and more bone loss.
So there you have it: The five most popular protein supplement myths have been debunked. My intention here is not to promote higher protein use: your protein requirement is what it is, and I do not recommend taking any more than is needed. Your body cannot store amino acids for future use, so excess protein gets converted to glucose that is burned off as energy if your body needs it. Otherwise, its converted to fatty acids and stored as adipose tissue. So, forget these myths; calculate your protein requirements and then follow a diet plan that gives you maximum gains for the effort you put in at the gym.

Mark Glazier is a supplement guru who has dedicated the last 25 years to studying and developing sports supplements as a formulator, manufacturer and brand owner. As CEO and founder of NutraBio Labs, Glazier has been at the forefront of honest supplementation and started the full label transparency movement 18 years ago. He has built a reputation as a consumer advocate exposing supplement scams and outright lies that have plagued the industry for decades. Glazier takes a no-bull approach to supplements, revealing how to really get the most out of every ingredient that you put into your body to ensure that you are making real muscle gains and cutting out the crap that doesn’t work.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Success of blood test for autism affirmed

One year after researchers published their work on a physiological test for autism, a follow-up study confirms its exceptional success in assessing whether a child is on the autism spectrum. A physiological test that supports a clinician's diagnostic process has the potential to lower the age at which children are diagnosed, leading to earlier treatment. Results of the study, which uses an algorithm to predict if a child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on metabolites in a blood sample, published online today, appear in the June edition of Bioengineering & Translational Medicine.
"We looked at groups of children with ASD independent from our previous study and had similar success. We are able to predict with 88 percent accuracy whether children have autism," said Juergen Hahn, lead author, systems biologist, professor, head of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Department of Biomedical Engineering, and member of the Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS). "This is extremely promising."
It is estimated that approximately 1.7 percent of all children are diagnosed with ASD, characterized as "a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier diagnosis is generally acknowledged to lead to better outcomes as children engage in early intervention services, and an ASD diagnosis is possible at 18-24 months of age. However, because diagnosis depends solely on clinical observations, most children are not diagnosed with ASD until after 4 years of age.
Rather than search for a sole indicator of ASD, the approach Hahn developed uses big data techniques to search for patterns in metabolites relevant to two connected cellular pathways (a series of interactions between molecules that control cell function) with suspected links to ASD.
"Juergen's work in developing a physiological test for autism is an example of how the interdisciplinary life science-engineering interface at Rensselaer brings new perspectives and solutions to improve human health," said Deepak Vashishth, CBIS director. "This is a great result from the larger emphasis on Alzheimer's and neurodegenerative diseases at CBIS, where our work joins multiple approaches to develop better diagnostic tools and biomanufacture new therapeutics."
The initial success in 2017 analyzed data from a group of 149 people, about half of whom had been previously diagnosed with ASD. For each member of the group, Hahn obtained data on 24 metabolites related to the two cellular pathways -- the methionine cycle and the transsulfuration pathway. Deliberately omitting data from one individual in the group, Hahn subjected the remaining dataset to advanced analysis techniques and used results to generate a predictive algorithm. The algorithm then made a prediction about the data from the omitted individual. Hahn cross-validated the results, swapping a different individual out of the group and repeating the process for all 149 participants. His method correctly identified 96.1 percent of all typically developing participants and 97.6 percent of the ASD cohort.
The results were impressive and created, said Hahn, a new goal: "Can we replicate this?"
The new study applies Hahn's approach to an independent dataset. To avoid the lengthy process of gathering new data through clinical trials, Hahn and his team searched for existing datasets that included the metabolites he had analyzed in the original study. The researchers identified appropriate data from three different studies that included a total of 154 children with autism conducted by researchers at the Arkansas Children's Research Institute. The data included only 22 of the 24 metabolites he used to create the original predictive algorithm, however Hahn determined the available information would be sufficient for the test.
The team used their approach to recreate the predictive algorithm, this time using data of the 22 metabolites from the original group of 149 children. The algorithm was then applied to the new group of 154 children for testing purposes. When the predictive algorithm was applied to each individual, it correctly predicted autism with 88 percent accuracy.
Hahn said the difference between the original accuracy rate and that of the new study can likely be attributed to several factors, the most important being that two of the metabolites were unavailable in the second dataset. Each of the two metabolites had been strong indicators in the previous study.
Overall, the second study validates the original results, and provides insights into several variants on the approach.
"The most meaningful result is the high degree of accuracy we are able to obtain using this approach on data collected years apart from the original dataset," said Hahn. "This is an approach that we would like to see move forward into clinical trials and ultimately into a commercially available test."
Hahn was joined on the research by Rensselaer doctoral students Troy Vargason and Daniel P. Howsmon; Robert A. Rubin of Whittier College; Leanna Delhey, Marie Tippett, Shannon Rose, and Sirish C. Bennuri of the Arkansas Children's Research Institute and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; John C. Slattery, Stepan Melnyk, and S. Jill James of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; and Richard E. Frye of Phoenix Children's Hospital. The research was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health.
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Obesity alone does not increase risk of death

Researchers at York University's Faculty of Health have found that patients who have metabolic healthy obesity, but no other metabolic risk factors, do not have an increased rate of mortality.
The results of this study could impact how we think about obesity and health, says Jennifer Kuk, associate professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, who led the research team at York University.
"This is in contrast with most of the literature and we think this is because most studies have defined metabolic healthy obesity as having up to one metabolic risk factor," says Kuk. "This is clearly problematic, as hypertension alone increases your mortality risk and past literature would have called these patients with obesity and hypertension, 'healthy'. This is likely why most studies have reported that 'healthy' obesity is still related with higher mortality risk."
Kuk's study showed that unlike dyslipidemia, hypertension or diabetes alone, which are related with a high mortality risk, this isn't the case for obesity alone.
The study followed 54,089 men and women from five cohort studies who were categorized as having obesity alone or clustered with a metabolic factor, or elevated glucose, blood pressure or lipids alone or clustered with obesity or another metabolic factor. Researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors.
Current weight management guidelines suggest that anyone with a BMI over 30 kg/m2 should lose weight. This implies that if you have obesity, even without any other risk factors, it makes you unhealthy. Researchers found that 1 out of 20 individuals with obesity had no other metabolic abnormalities.
"We're showing that individuals with metabolically healthy obesity are actually not at an elevated mortality rate. We found that a person of normal weight with no other metabolic risk factors is just as likely to die as the person with obesity and no other risk factors," says Kuk. "This means that hundreds of thousands of people in North America alone with metabolically healthy obesity will be told to lose weight when it's questionable how much benefit they'll actually receive."
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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Do arthritis treatments provide mental health benefits?

Drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis may impact mental health by improving pain and stiffness and by targeting inflammatory processes common to arthritis and depression; however, a recent review of published studies demonstrates that relying on rheumatoid arthritis therapies alone may not meaningfully improve patients' mental health.
The findings, which are published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, indicate that providing dedicated mental health care is essential to help arthritis patients with depression and other mental conditions.
"This review summarises the findings from over 70 clinical trials to examine the association between different rheumatoid arthritis treatments and mental health outcomes," said lead author Dr. Faith Matcham, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London.
"Our findings suggest that otherwise effective pharmacotherapy alone is unlikely to have an impact on mental health outcomes for the majority of rheumatoid arthritis patients. Optimal mental health outcomes may be achieved through providing integrated psychological support alongside routine care."
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Materials provided by WileyNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. Faith Matcham, James Galloway, Matthew Hotopf, Emmert Roberts, Ian C Scott, Sophia Steer, Sam Norton. The impact of targeted Rheumatoid Arthritis pharmacological treatment on mental health: A systematic review and network meta-analysisArthritis & Rheumatology, 2018; DOI: 10.1002/art.40565

Different outdoor professions carry different risks for skin cancer

One of the main risk factors for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), the most common cancer worldwide, is solar ultraviolet radiation. A new Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology study has found that different outdoor professions carry different risks for NMSC.
In the study of 563 participants (47% women) consisting of 348 outdoor workers (39% farmer, 35% gardener, 26% mountain guides) and 215 indoor workers, NMSC was diagnosed in 33.3% of mountain guides, 27.4% of farmers, 19.5% of gardeners and in 5.6% of indoor workers.
Significant differences were seen between the outdoor professions with mountain guides at the highest risk. Substantial differences between the professions were also seen in skin cancer screening rates (indoor worker 61.4%, mountain guides 57.8%, farmers 31.9%, gardeners 27.6%), daily ultraviolet radiation exposure during work, and protective behavior such as sunscreen use during work.
The findings suggest that tailoring prevention efforts to different professions based on their individual needs could help lower the global burden of NMSC.
"Altitude and number of hours working outside seem to make the difference," said lead author Dr. Alexander Zink, of the Technical University of Munich, in Germany. "Adjust your sun protection accordingly!"
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More breast cancers found with combined digital screening

A combination of digital mammography and tomosynthesis detects 90 percent more breast cancers than digital mammography alone, according to a study appearing online in the journal Radiology.
Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is an imaging technology that uses a series of low-dose mammographic exposures to provide a 3-D reconstruction of the breast. In studies comparing both technologies on the same women, DBT has proven to be more sensitive than digital mammography in detecting cancers. Despite DBT's superior sensitivity, some groups caution that it could detect cancers that will never be clinically relevant -- a phenomenon known as overdiagnosis.
To learn more about DBT's impact on sensitivity and recall rate, or the rate at which women are called back for additional screening based on suspicious results, researchers compared results between 9,777 women randomized to undergo digital mammography and DBT and 9,783 randomized to have digital mammography alone.
The combination of digital mammography and DBT detected 8.6 cancers per 1,000 cases, a rate almost twice that of the 4.5 per 1,000 detected by mammography alone. The recall rate was 3.5 percent in both groups. DBT alone detected 72 of 80 cancers found in the DBT and digital mammography group. The greater detection rate for combined digital mammography and DBT was notable for small and medium invasive cancers, but not for large ones.
"Tomosynthesis and digital mammography is much more sensitive than digital mammography," said the study's principal investigator, Pierpaolo Pattacini, M.D., radiologist and director of the Radiology Department at AUSL Reggio Emilia in Reggio Emilia, Italy. "The vast majority of the advantage is due to tomosynthesis alone."
While DBT's higher sensitivity would seem to make it a logical choice for breast cancer screening programs, coauthor Paolo Giorgi Rossi, Ph.D., director of the Epidemiology Unit at AUSL Reggio Emilia said that more research is needed to weigh the benefits of improvements in prognosis and reductions in breast cancer-related mortality from DBT against any undesired effects.
"If these small cancers would never become life-threatening, then we are increasing overdiagnosis and not impacting mortality," he said. "Thus, we need to have a measure of the impact of this higher detection rate on the incidence of advanced cancers and interval cancers in the following years."
The additional reading time DBT would require from breast imagers is another aspect of the technology that requires consideration, according to Dr. Giorgi Rossi.
"For publicly-funded screening programs, this increased reading time would be a big issue, destroying their sustainability," he said. "Implementing tomosynthesis in public screening programs would require rethinking protocols and reading technologies to reduce or eliminate the extra costs."
The new research represents a preliminary analysis from the Reggio Emilia Tomosynthesis trial (RETomo), a larger study in which researchers will be looking at interval cancers, or those detected between screening exams, and cumulative incidence of advanced cancers. To have more precise and reliable estimates of these outcomes, the researchers are promoting a network of ongoing trials on tomosynthesis with similar study design across Europe.
"Once we have this evidence, the consequences for screening could be even larger than a simple shift from digital mammography to tomosynthesis," Dr. Giorgi Rossi said. "For example, it could be appropriate to adopt longer intervals between screenings."
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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Combating the deadly gastrointestinal infection C. diff

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and Harvard University have discovered how the Clostridium difficile toxin B (TcdB) recognizes the human Frizzled protein, the receptor it uses to invade intestinal cells and lead to deadly gastrointestinal infections. The findings, published today in Science, could pave the way for new C. diff antitoxins and also show potential for the development of novel anti-cancer drugs.
In a C. diff infection (CDI), TcdB targets colonic epithelia and binds to what are called Frizzled (FZD) receptors. Researchers in the labs of Rongsheng Jin, PhD, professor of physiology & biophysics from the UCI School of Medicine, and Min Dong, PhD, from Boston Children's Hospital -- Harvard Medical School, found that during this binding process, the toxin locks certain lipid molecules in FZD, which block critical Wnt signaling that regulates renewal of colonic stem cells and differentiation of the colonic epithelium.
"This toxin is indeed very smart. It takes advantage of an important lipid that FZD uses for its own function, to improve its binding affinity and specificity to FZD," said Jin, "However, the need for this lipid also exposes a vulnerability of TcdB that could be exploited to develop antitoxins that block toxin-receptor recognition."
Jin and Dong believe that the novel FZD-antagonizing mechanism exploited by toxin B could be used to turn this deadly toxin into a potential pharmacological tool for research and therapeutic applications, including anti-cancer drugs.
The team's preliminary data show that a non-toxic fragment of TcdB that they identified could significantly inhibit the growth of some cancer cells with dysregulation in Wnt signaling. A patent application has been filed.
Clostridium difficile, also called "C. diff," causes severe gastrointestinal tract infections and tops the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's list of urgent drug-resistant threats. Clostridium difficile infection has become the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and gastroenteritis-associated death in developed countries, accounting for half-million cases and 29,000 deaths annually in the United States. It is classified as one of the top three "urgent threats" by the CDC.
The research was funded with National Institute of Health grants R01AI091823, R01AI125704, and R21AI123920 to Jin, and R01 NS080833 and R01 AI132387 to Dong.
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Materials provided by University of California - IrvineNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. Peng Chen, Liang Tao, Tianyu Wang, Jie Zhang, Aina He, Kwok-ho Lam, Zheng Liu, Xi He, Kay Perry, Min Dong, Rongsheng Jin. Structural basis for recognition of frizzled proteins byClostridium difficiletoxin BScience, 2018; 360 (6389): 664 DOI: 10.1126/science.aar1999