Archive for February, 2011

Glucosamine with Chondroitin

Glucosamine with ChondroitinGlucosamine with Chondroitin is an excellent supplement for joint health. Its function is to draw fluid into the joint and lubricate it. Please check with your doctor if you are currently on any medications before taking it.

Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) occur naturally in the body. The glucosamine used in supplements is typically derived from the shells of crabs although a corn source is also available.

Glucosamine is available in a variety of chemical forms, such as glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate. These vary in terms of the amount of actual glucosamine available for use in the body from an equal weight of each form (See ConsumerTipâ„¢ for Glucosamine for more information).

Chondroitin sulfate is generally derived from cow cartilage, but porcine (pig) and even chicken cartilage has been used and algae are another potential source. MSM is synthetically produced.

What Glucosamine and Chondroitin does

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements are used to slow the progression of osteoarthritis the deterioration of cartilage between joint bones and to reduce the associated pain. Glucosamine is thought to promote the formation and repair of cartilage. Chondroitin is believed to promote water retention and elasticity in cartilage and inhibit enzymes that break down cartilage. In veterinary medicine, glucosamine and chondroitin, often in combination, are commonly used in the treatment of degenerative joint disease typically in older dogs and cats as well as in horses.

What MSM does for you Joints

MSM is used primarily for treating pain associated with osteoarthritis and has been proposed for treating other conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of the bladder wall (interstitial cystitis), snoring, muscle spasm, and cancer.

All of these uses for MSM, including those for arthritis, are based on limited research, so its effectiveness hasn’t been well established.

Many additional claims are found on MSM products, including skin-softening and nail-strengthening effects, but none of these are well supported by research. As a veterinary medicine, MSM is used to treat muscle and tendon soreness and inflammation in horses.

The mechanism by which MSM may work isn’t well understood, although it’s known to contribute sulfur to the body, which can then be used to synthesize certain amino acids (building blocks for proteins), and it can act as an antioxidant. MSM is also used in veterinary medicine to treat pain and inflammation, but its effectiveness has not been well studied.

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High Fructose Corn Syrup and You

High Fructose Corn Syrup and You

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a man-made ingredient that can be found in nearly every variety of processed or packaged foods. This syrup, which is made from cornstarch, has been treated with an enzyme that converts some of the glucose in the molecule to fructose, which is sweeter. Because of its ability to preserve and extend processed foods’ shelf life, and being a cheaper additive than sugar, it has become a very popular ingredient by food manufacturers. HFCS has been blamed as one of the culprits in the growing obesity epidemic.

High Fructose Corn Syrup Study

A 2008 study in humans analyzed the circulating levels of glucose, insulin, leptin, ghrelin, and triacylglycerol during a 24 hour period after consuming drinks containing HFCS or sucrose. The researchers concluded that the consumption of HFCS or sucrose did not yield differing metabolic effects.

In a 2007 study, rats were fed a diet high in fat and HFCS and kept relatively sedentary for 16 weeks in an attempt to emulate the diet and lifestyle of many Americans. The rats were not forced to eat, but were able to eat as much as they wanted; they consumed a large amount of food, and the researcher, Dr. Tetri, stated that there is evidence that fructose suppresses the sensation of fullness. Within four weeks, the rats showed early signs of fatty liver disease and type II diabetes. An equivalent diet using sucrose instead of HFCS was not tested.

Shapiro fed rats a high-fructose diet for six months and compared them to rats that had been fed a fructose-free diet. Although the rats that had consumed high levels of fructose showed no change in weight, when compared to the rats that had consumed a fructose-free diet, levels of leptin in the blood of rats fed a high-fructose diet indicated the development of leptin resistance. When the rats were switched to a high-fat diet, the leptin-resistant rats, those fed a high-fructose diet, gained more weight than those who had not developed the resistance and had been fed a fructose-free diet.

Problem of High Fructose Corn Syrup

The real problem with High Fructose Corn Syrup is that it is cheap to make and is a great filler and sweetner for manufacturers. I would bet that if you look right now in your cupboards and pantry you will find lots of products that contain High Fructose Corn syrup including:

  • Most Cereals
  • Most pop and sodas
  • Bread Products including Subway
  • Candy
  • Pop Tarts
  • Cold Medicine
  • Energy Drinks
  • Almost all sweetened mass produced products

In a 2004 commentary in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Popkin and two co-authors noted that the sharp rise in high fructose corn syrup consumption in the United States since 1970 mirrored the rise in the nation’s obesity rate.

“When we wrote the article six or seven years ago, we speculated high-fructose corn syrup might be worse” than sugar, Popkin said. “It was picked up by the blog world, and it became folklore that high fructose was poison.”

In the years since, research has shown that the body metabolizes high-fructose corn syrup differently from sugar. Some studies indicate that the syrup can have damaging effects on the kidney and liver. But strictly in terms of calories and, by extension, obesity, he said, the products are equally bad.

High Fructose Corn Syrup – Whats next?

The problem is that there has not really been a backlash like we saw a couple of years ago with the Trans Fats and the banning of them all over the place. I predict that High Fructose Corn Syrup as it becomes more of a news story will come back as a big issue for the public though.

Let’s hope the high fructose corn syrup in all of these products disappears soon.

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Dean Karnazes Running Across America

Dean Karnazes Running Across America

Dean Karnazes Run Across America

This is one of those inspiring crazy stories about just how hard people can work. Dean Karnazes is an ultramarathoner, you know the guys that run up to 100 miles in one day. Anyway Dan is going to run across America in 75 days from Los Angeles to New York. The run is sponsored by the Regis and Kelly morning show but the real work is being done by Dean Karnazes.

Run Across America

This endeavour is amazing and the fact is that dean is running not just for the achievement but also for a couple of charities and the bringing of these charities into the public eye, specifically childhood obesity. As a father of two you can imagine how great and important that I think that this issue is.

Dean will be running for 12-14 hours a day, sleeping 5-6 hours a day and running 40-50 miles a day. I could not do this once let alone do it for 75 days.

Lets all cheer on Dean Karnazes and help in any way we can for this great run!

You can follow his progress on the Live with Regis and Kelly site

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