Friday, January 20, 2018

Everywhere the modern western diet has been adopted the rates of chronic disease have skyrocketed: obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, kidney disease, you name it.  70% of US medical costs go to treating chronic disease that can be prevented with diet and exercise.  Why has this happened? Because there is no money in treating disease that can be prevented and treated by diet and exercise, and because Big Soda & Big Food have corrupted nutrition science all over the world.  We have been horribly mislead about what is a healthy diet for almost 50 years, ever since the US government told us not to eat fat and to make grains the base of our food pyramid.

New York Times: In Asia’s Fattest Country Nutritionists Take $ From Food Giants

Remember when the tobacco company ads had doctors recommending Camel cigarettes?  It’s just as bad now.  The Russels Blog is a tremendous resource documenting how nutrition science has been corrupted.  A few recent articles:

How America’s Soda Industry Conquered China’s Public Health Agency

Coke’s Covering Up Payments to CDC & NIH





Wednesday January 18, 2018

Running the Numbers

Excellent article by Lon Kilgore on the misuse of statistics in contemporary published science, confirming the old saying, “Liars figure, and figures  lie,” or as British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli said, “There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”


“Before conducting an experiment, every scientist should consult a professional statistician. After conducting an experiment, every scientist should consult a professional statistician.”
Those were the words of advice from statistics professor James Schwenke on the first and last day of every statistics course I took during my master’s and doctoral studies.
He was not wrong.

Sir David Spiegelhalter, president of the Royal Statistical Society, acknowledged and even highlighted these problems in his address to the society in June 2017. He also included this assessment of the veracity of modern research:
“Because stories have gone through so many filters that encourage distortion and selection, the very fact that I am hearing a claim based on statistics is reason to disbelieve it.”

Notice  We are hosting a Powerlifting meet this Saturday, so workouts will be in weightlifting area.

Powerlifting Meet details:

Sanction #: GA-2017-10
Lis Saunders – 404-919-1414 or [email protected]


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet

The Sugary Abatross


Dr. David Ludwig, an endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital:

“We generally think that weight gain is the unavoidable consequence of consuming too many calories, with fat cells being the passive recipients of that excess,” he wrote in his 2016 book “Always Hungry.” “But fat cells do nothing of consequence without specific instructions—certainly not calorie storage and release, their most critical functions.”

The chief instructor? Insulin, Ludwig wrote.

“Insulin’s effects on calorie storage are so potent that we can consider it the ultimate fat cell fertilizer,” he wrote, describing a study in which rats given insulin infusions gained more weight than their counterpart control rats.

“Even when their food was restricted to that of the control animals, they still became fatter,” Ludwig wrote. “If too much insulin drives fat cells to increase in size and number, what drives the pancreas to produce too much insulin? Carbohydrate, specifically sugar and the highly processed starches that quickly digest into sugar.”

Along with a team of six other researchers, Ludwig conducted a similar study with human subjects, in which the researchers studied the effects of a 60, 40 and 10 percent carbohydrate diet—each containing the same number of calories—on 32 18-to-40-year-old men and women with body-mass indexes of 27 (obese) or higher over a seven-month period.

“We found that the participants burned about 325 calories a day more on the low-carbohydrate compared to the high-carbohydrate diet,” Ludwig reported. “The high-carbohydrate diet also had the worst effect on major heart disease risk factors, including insulin resistance, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol. These results … indicate that all calories are not alike to the body. The type of calories going into the body affects the number of calories going out.”

In other words:

“You cannot exercise away a bad diet,”


A Tsunami Of Chronic Preventable Disease Is Coming

An article in the CrossFit Journal by Jason Cooper, and ICU nurse, discusses the case of a 21 year old female at death’s door from diabetes, which he argues is preventable with diet and exercise.  But there is no profit for Big Pharma or in standard medical practice for preventing a disease that rakes in billions ($20B estimated sales of insulin alone by 2020)

“Cooper, you are getting a patient from the ER,” the charge nurse said.

“Cool. What do we have?”

“Twenty-one-year-old female in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). She’s critical.”

“Shit. Seriously, man?”

No Dying—Today

The patient arrived tachypneic and tachycardic, and she was the color of skim milk.

Tachypnea is a respiratory rate over 20 breaths per minute, the norm being 12-20. Tachycardia is any heart rate over 100 beats per minute, while the expected rate is 60-100.

She was breathing 30 times per minute, and her heart rate was 135,

Her blood pH was 6.8. Most humans would not be speaking with a pH of 6.8. Most would be intubated on a ventilator. The normal range is 7.35-7.45 to maintain organ function—higher or lower and the body goes into distress. Her blood was far too acidic.

Her blood glucose was 675 mg/dL, which is 554 mg/dL over normal.

Please don’t code. Please. Please, God, help me stop this.

A “code” is short for a “code blue,” which is applied to any event that leads to respiratory arrest or cardiac arrest. This young lady was about to experience both, resulting in CPR. Her gray pallor and all her other clinical symptoms let me know she was close to coding.



Monday, July 17, 2017 HDL, Acne, & Artificial Sweeteners

From Mark’s Daily Apple, Mark Sisson answers questions about Artificial Sweeteners & Weight Gain.


Let’s look at the various sweeteners.

Does aspartame induce an insulin response? No:

What about sucralose (Splenda)? Nope:

As for the others, a review of in vivo studies concluded that “low-energy sweeteners” do not have any effects on insulin or appetite hormones.

Yet, observational studies continue to find links between artificial sweeteners and obesity. Maybe it’s reverse causality—being overweight causes diet soda consumption. Overweight people are more likely to drink diet soda because they think it’ll help them lose weight, and intent to lose weight does predict artificial sweetener usage. But this 2016 study attempted to minimize the effect of reverse causality, and they still found strong links between artificial sweetener consumption and the risk of abdominal obesity. Those who drank the most diet soda had the biggest bellies.

And we know how bad Splenda can be for the gut biome, which plays its own role in the risk of obesity.

It’s hard to say, but I err on the side of “avoid”—even if the reason has nothing to do with insulin or appetite.

What’s easier to say is that the non-caloric-yet-natural sweeteners, like stevia or monk fruit, are better choices. Take stevia, for example. In one study where it was compared to sugar or Splenda, stevia actually reduced postprandial insulin levels, and those who ate the stevia didn’t increase calories to make up for the missing sugar calories.

All that said, there’s one surefire way non-caloric sweeteners—even natural ones—can compromise fat loss and and stimulate appetite: by compelling you to eat treats you’d otherwise shun.

Say you eat a good Primal dinner. You’re done. You’re quite full. You’d never consider tucking into a sugary bar of milk chocolate—unless it was sweetened by stevia or monk fruit or one of the sugar alcohols.

Before you know it, you’ve eaten an entire sugar-free chocolate bar that you would have ignored if it had sugar. You’ve just tacked on a few hundred calories to your total, all thanks to the stevia.

That’s it for today, folks. Take care and be well.



Sunday, July 16, 2017

From Time Magazine

Why Weight Training Is Ridiculously Good For You

For many, weight training calls to mind bodybuilders pumping iron in pursuit of beefy biceps and bulging pecs. But experts say it’s well past time to discard those antiquated notions of what resistance training can do for your physique and health. Modern exercise science shows that working with weights—whether that weight is a light dumbbell or your own body—may be the best exercise for lifelong physical function and fitness.

“To me, resistance training is the most important form of training for overall health and wellness,” says Brad Schoenfeld, an assistant professor of exercise science at New York City’s Lehman College. During the past decade, Schoenfeld has published more than 30 academic papers on every aspect of resistance training—from the biomechanics of the push-up to the body’s nutrient needsfollowing a hard lift. Many people think of weight training as exercise that augments muscle size and strength, which is certainly true. But Schoenfeld says the “load” that this form of training puts on bones and their supporting muscles, tendons and ligaments is probably a bigger deal when it comes to health and physical function.

“We talk about bone resorption, which is a decrease in bone tissue over time,” he says. When you’re young, bone resorption is balanced and in some cases exceeded by new bone tissue generation. But later in life, bone tissue losses accelerate and outpace the creation of new bone. That acceleration is especially pronounced among people who are sedentary and women who have reached or passed menopause, Schoenfeld says. This loss of bone tissue leads to the weakness and postural problems that plague many older adults.

MORE: This Is The Best Workout For Women

“Resistance training counteracts all those bone losses and postural deficits,” he says. Through a process known as bone remodeling, strength training stimulates the development of bone osteoblasts: cells that build bones back up. While you can achieve some of these bone benefits through aerobic exercise, especially in your lower body, resistance training is really the best way to maintain and enhance total-body bone strength.

More research links resistance training with improved insulin sensitivity among people with diabetes and prediabetes. One study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that twice-weekly training sessions helped control insulin swings (and body weight) among older men with type-2 diabetes. “Muscle is very metabolically active, and it uses glucose, or blood sugar, for energy,” says Mark Peterson, an assistant professor of physical medicine at the University of Michigan.

During a bout of resistance training, your muscles are rapidly using glucose, and this energy consumption continues even after you’ve finished exercising, Peterson says. For anyone at risk for metabolic conditions—type-2 diabetes, but also high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome—strength training is among the most-effective remedies, he says.

Strength training also seems to be a potent antidote to inflammation, a major risk factor for heart disease and other conditions, says Schoenfeld. A 2010 studyfrom the University of Connecticut linked regular resistance training with inflammation-quelling shifts in the body’s levels of cytokines, a type of immune system protein. Another study from Mayo Clinic found that when overweight women did twice-weekly resistance training sessions, they had significant drops in several markers of inflammation.

More research has linked strength training to improved focus and cognitive function, better balance, less anxiety and greater well-being.

Some of the latest and most surprising research is in the realm of “light-load training,” or lifting very small weights. “It used to be thought that you needed to lift heavy loads in order to build muscle and achieve a lot of these benefits,” Schoenfeld says. “That’s what I was taught in grad school and undergrad, but now it looks like that’s completely untrue.”

MORE: Why Men Have More Body Image Issues Than Ever

He says lifting “almost to failure”—or until your muscles are near the point of giving out—is the real key, regardless of how much weight you’re using. “This is a huge boon to adherence, because many older adults or those with injuries or joint issues may not be able to lift heavy loads,” he says.

If all that isn’t convincing enough to turn you onto weights, perhaps this is: maintaining strength later in life “seems to be one of the best predictors of survival,” says Peterson. “When we add strength…almost every health outcome improves.”

“It used to be we thought of strength training as something for athletes,” he adds, “but now we recognize it as a seminal part of general health and well-being at all ages.”


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Why Strength Training Depends on More Than Muscle

A recent study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has given new meaning to the concept of brain power by suggesting that physical strength might stem as much from exercising the nervous system as the muscles it controls.

Over the past few years, researchers have found evidence that lifting more repetitions of lighter weight can build muscle mass just as well as fewer reps of heavier weight. Even so, those who train with heavier weight still see greater gains in strength than those who lift lighter loads.

But if strength differs even when muscle mass does not, what explains the disparity?  Nathaniel Jenkins and his colleagues may have uncovered some answers by measuring how the brain and motor neurons – cells that send electrical signals to muscle – adapt to high- vs. low-load weight training. Their study suggests that high-load training better conditions the nervous system to transmit electrical signals from the brain to muscles, increasing the force those muscles can produce to a greater extent than does low-load training.

Muscles contract when they receive electrical signals that originate in the brain’s neuron-rich motor cortex. Those signals descend from the cortex to the spinal tract, speeding through the spine while jumping to other motor neurons that then excite muscle fibers.

Jenkins found evidence that the nervous system activates more of those motor neurons – or excites them more frequently – when subjected to high-load training. That increased excitation could account for the greater strength gains despite comparable growth in muscle mass.

“If you’re trying to increase strength – whether you’re Joe Shmoe, a weekend warrior, a gym rat or an athlete – training with high loads is going to result in greater strength adaptations,” said Jenkins, an assistant professor of exercise physiology at Oklahoma State University who conducted the research for his dissertation at Nebraska.

The dissertation randomly assigned 26 men to train for six weeks on a leg-extension machine loaded with either 80 or 30 percent of the maximum weight they could lift. Three times per week, the participants lifted until they could not complete another repetition. Jenkins was able to replicate the findings of several previous studies, seeing similar growth in muscle between the two groups but a larger strength increase – roughly 10 pounds’ worth – in the high-load group.

But the researchers also supplied an electric current to the nerve that stimulates the quadriceps muscles used in leg extensions. Even at full effort, most people do not generate 100 percent of the force their muscles can physiologically produce, Jenkins said. By comparing the force of a participant’s “hardest” unassisted kick with the maximum force they can generate when aided by electric current, scientists can determine how much of that capacity a person has reached – a measure known as voluntary activation.When adjusting for baseline scores, the researchers found that the voluntary activation of the low-load group increased from 90.07 to 90.22 percent – 0.15 percent – over a three-week span. The high-load group saw their voluntary activation jump from 90.94 to 93.29 percent, a rise of 2.35 percent.

“During a maximal contraction, it would be advantageous if we are activating – or more fully activating – more motor units,” Jenkins said. “The result of that should be greater voluntary force production – an increase in strength. That’s consistent with what we’re seeing.”

Jenkins also tested his hypothesis another way, asking participants from both groups to kick out at 10-percent intervals of their baseline strength – from 10 percent all the way up to 100 percent – after three and six weeks. If high-load training does improve muscle efficiency better than low-load training, he reasoned, then high-load lifters should also use a smaller proportion of their strength – that is, exhibit lower voluntary activation – when lifting the same relative weight.

That’s what the data generally showed. Voluntary activation in the low-load group did decrease slightly, from an average of about 56 percent at baseline to 54.71 percent after six weeks. But it decreased more in the high-load group, dropping from about 57 to 49.43 percent.

“If we see a decrease in voluntary activation at these sub-maximal force levels, that suggests that these guys are more efficient,” Jenkins said. “They are able to produce the same force, but they activate fewer motor units to do it.”

Placing electrodes on the participants to record the electrical signatures of their quadriceps reinforced those results. High-load training led to a substantially larger drop in electrical activity after six weeks, the study reported, and that activity was lower across most levels of exertion.

“From a practical standpoint, that should make the activities of daily living easier,” Jenkins said. “If I’m lifting sub-maximal loads, I should be able to do more repetitions with fewer motor units active, so maybe I fatigue a little bit slower.”

Jenkins maintained that low-load training remains a viable option for those looking to simply build mass or avoid putting extreme stress on joints, a priority for older adults and people rehabbing from injury. Still, he said, the new study lends even greater credence to the notion that when it comes to building strength – especially amid a busy schedule – heavier is better.

“I don’t think anybody would argue (with the idea) that high-load training is more efficient,” Jenkins said. “It’s more time-efficient. We’re seeing greater strength adaptations. And now we’re seeing greater neural adaptations.”

Jenkins detailed his findings in the journal Frontiers in Physiology. He authored the paper with former doctoral adviser Joel Cramer, associate professor of nutrition and health sciences; Terry Housh, professor of nutrition and health sciences; Nebraska doctoral students Amelia Miramonti, Ethan Hill, Cory Smith; and doctoral graduate Kristen Cochrane-Snyman, now at California State Polytechnic University.

Explore further: Lower more than you lift—benefits for experienced resistance-trainers

More information: Nathaniel D. M. Jenkins et al, Greater Neural Adaptations following High- vs. Low-Load Resistance Training, Frontiers in Physiology (2017). DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00331