Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hot peppers and health

A recent 2015 study by a team of Chinese researchers suggests that hot pepper consumption is linked to lower mortality rates, especially among people who don't drink.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Lighter Weights?

The NY Times has an interesting article about a study suggesting that lifting lighter weights (30 or 40 reps) can be just as heavy as lifting heavy weights. The important element appears to be lifting to the point at which the muscles become completely exhausted.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vegetarian Diets and Cholesterol

As 2015 meta-analysis by Wang and colleagues shows that a vegetarian diet helps reduce cholesterol levels, reducing all types of cholesterol (both good and bad). One interesting finding was that the effect was muted for obese people. From one key section of the discussion:

Studies have shown that a 1-mmol/L reduction in TC and LDL-C levels results in a 26.6% to 29.5% decrease for any cardiovascular disease–related event.40 The average reductions of TC and LDL-C concentrations following a vegetarian diet intervention included in this meta-analysis were 0.36 and 0.34 mmol/L, respectively, which would correspond to a decrease in cardiovascular disease risk of about 9.0% to 10.6%. 

Another 2016 "comprehensive meta-analysis reports a significant protective effect of a vegetarian diet versus the incidence and/or mortality from ischemic heart disease (−25%) and incidence from total cancer (−8%). Vegan diet conferred a significant reduced risk (−15%) of incidence from total cancer."

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Recommendations for Vegetarians

A Craig (2009) study has some good recommendations for vegetarians in terms of what supplements to take. He claims that should be particularly concerned about B-12, Vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Testosterone in men

Testosterone levels appear to be reduced in men due to:
  • high protein diets (especially vegetable protein vs. animal protein)
  • increased BMI
Levels appear to increase due to:
The relationship of soy and testosterone isn't clear. Soy is known to prevent prostate cancer. Some research suggests it doesn't affect T levels. Some research on rats shows it reduces T levels. One article links soy consumption with low T levels and erectile dysfunction.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Antioxidants, fruits and veggies: Are they really healthy?

-  Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality

- Vitamin E did not provide benefit in mortality compared with control treatment or significantly decrease risk of cardiovascular death or cerebrovascular accident. Beta carotene led to a small but significant increase in all-cause mortality and with a slight increase in cardiovascular death. 

- Beta carotene supplementation appeared to increase cancer incidence and cancer mortality among smokers, whereas vitamin E supplementation had no effect. Selenium supplementation might have anticarcinogenic effects in men.

- Pooled results from prospective cohort studies indicated that vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, α carotene, β carotene, β cryptoxanthin, and lycopene have little or no effect in preventing AMD.

Increased fruit and vegetable intake in the range commonly consumed is associated with a reduced risk of stroke. Our results provide strong support for the recommendations to consume more than five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, which is likely to cause a major reduction in strokes.

The risk of stroke was decreased by 11% (RR 95% CI: 0.89 [0.85 to 0.93]) for each additional portion per day of fruit, by 5% (RR: 0.95 [0.92 to 0.97]) for fruit and vegetables, and by 3% (RR: 0.97 [0.92 to 1.02]; NS) for vegetables. The association between fruit or fruit and vegetables and stroke was linear, suggesting a dose-response relationship.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Tea and coffee

I came across this nice overview of the health effects of tea and an overview of coffee, by the same author.