Health News 2005 Archive

All article links on this page are health news from 2005. All links will open a new window in your browser so please disable pop-up blockers.

Just say NO to fructose-sweetened drinks!

You've seen those flavored waters out on the market, lately? Taste delicious and so good for you, too? Be careful not too drink too many... it might cause you to gain more body fat! That's what a recent study at the University of Cincinnati suggests. Research results on mice who consumed beverages spiked with fructose-whether it was water or some other type of drink-show that the subjects may have consumed less calories but gained more body fat. Scientists hope to begin a study on humans to see if high-fructose corn syrup in soft drinks might be directly linked to high rates of obesity in humans. Check out these articles for more information on the study:

"Fructose in Soft Drinks Linked to Body Fat Increase" "Consuming Fructose-Sweetened Beverages Increases Body Adiposity in Mice" by Hella Jurgens et al, Obesity Research, 07/05 (requires subscription to Obesity Research magazine.)

A New Exercise Formula

Most fitness experts agree that moderate daily physical activity for about 30 minutes is a reasonable goal for most people to maintain a healthy weight and cardiovascular health. However, fitness researchers at Harvard are recommending a new way to measure whether you are getting enough-and the right kind-of exercise.

This fitness research shows that Metabolic Equivalents-or METS- are now being used effectively to help people calculate their physical activity. An MET is the amount of energy used when the body is at rest for one minute.

For example, a 40 year old woman has an exercise capacity of 9.5. Walking very fast or jogging would be a good activity for her to do.

It is difficult to measure METS. Many exercise gyms that you find in health clubs or gyms have MET read-outs but not many people know what they mean.

Check out the MET chart and article from the Harvard School of Public Health.

A new NEAT way to increase Thermogenesis

Everyday activities that are not “exercise-related” can contribute to prevention of obesity. Fitness researchers at the Mayo Clinic did a recent study of 20 volunteers that showed obese people in the study moved less than their lean counterparts. The difference in movement added up to 350 calories per day, which can mean more pounds gained over time.

The movement wasn’t part of an exercise regimen; it was actually just moving around more, like pacing instead of standing, tapping your foot, drumming your fingers. By incorporating more movement into your day, you increase NEAT, or “non-exercise related thermogenesis”. For each NEAT point, you burn 50 calories. Some examples of increased daily activity include walking up the stairs instead of using the elevator, or parking farther away from the store when you do your errands.

Click here for full text about this fitness and nutrition research study.

Lose Fat, Build Muscle Mass...with CLA,study reveals

The good news is that it is possible to lose weight by taking a pill, a study from Norway suggests. Overweight people who took 3.5 grams of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) every day for 2 years lost up to 4 pounds of weight the first year they took it. By continuing to take it the second year, they did not regain the lost pounds. What is even more interesting is that they lost 7-9% of their body fat but saw lean body mass increase by 1-2%.

The bad news is that CLA is a fatty acid found in beef and dairy products. It also has trans fat, which has been shown in nutrition research to increase LDL or “bad” cholesterol. In the study, LDL went up temporarily but then was reduced due to the loss of body fat. Doctors in the study recommend that CLA be used in combination with exercise and healthy diet. You are likely to see even better results than what the study found.

Fitness and nutrition research results and CLA study, click here.

Nutrition Research Could Show New Ways to Treat or Prevent Headache

Doctors studying people who suffer from migraines and headaches have a “brain sensitivity” that is caused by a tendency to overreact to stress. It has been shown that their brains are consistently low on energy. Nutrition research completed by doctors have revealed alternative treatments with vitamins and minerals that could be effective alternatives to over-the counter headache medications.

Specific vitamins and minerals release energy from carbohydrates, which reduces brain sensitivity. They include:

  • 400 mg daily of Riboflavin (Vitamin B)
  • 800 mg of magnesium or calcium-magnesium combination
  • 300 mg of Co-enzyme Q10

Natural and alternative treatments include:

  • 75 mg of Petasites, an extract from the root of Butterbur, prevents spasms of blood vessels in your head and also curbs inflammation inside the blood vessels.This treatment cut incidence of migraine attacks almost in half. (Neurology)
  • Botox injected into numerous sites in scalp and neck every 2-3 months seems to block pain signals to the brain.
  • Acupuncture has been used but it is unknown how it works. Caution should be used when choosing an acupuncturist. Find one that specializes in treating headache pain and ask for recommendations from people you trust.

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