Rare Genetic Mutation May Explain Some Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

Canadian scientists have uncovered a single genetic mutation that significantly heightens a person’s chance of developing a progressive and severe form of multiple sclerosis. While no single factor is responsible for causing the neurological disease, the discovery points to possible treatment options.

Source: Rare Genetic Mutation May Explain Some Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

That’s a very small sample size…

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When Muscle Soreness Helps Muscle Growth (And When It Doesn’t)

This has been one of those ideas floating around for years and I still see posts about people feeling as if they didn’t have a good workout if they don’t get DOMS or actually chasing DOMS.  That is, based on the belief that DOMS equals growth, DOMS becomes the end-goal.  When growth and progress should be the end goal.

This led me years ago to develop what I call the Blunt Force Trauma Theory of Hypertrophy.  Since you want to be sore, I will beat you with a hammer all over your body.  Growth should ensue.

Source: DOMS and Muscle Growth

While DOMS is associated with muscle growth and repair, it doesn’t track with any specific measure—you’ll have damage before you feel soreness, and you’ll feel better before the muscle is fully repaired, for example. And some people/some sports can build tons of muscle over time without ever getting sore.

Another thing the author mentioned that I want to highlight: DOMS comes with decreased strength. You don’t just crap out on workouts because they hurt, you actually have less strength—and this loss of strength persists even when the soreness is gone, for days or in extreme cases weeks. So if you’re sore a couple times a week, you’re probably always underperforming, and might be able to make bigger gains if you backed off a bit.

Got acne? Lay off the B12

Vitamin B12 tweaks how genes behave in the facial bacteria of some people who normally enjoy clear skin. The activity changes of the facial bacteria promote inflammation and lead to pimples.

By shedding light on one mechanism behind B12’s role in acne, the UCLA finding may identify drug targets that lead to new treatments for acne.

Source: Got acne? Lay off the B12

The link is not new.  A study as far back as 1979 noticed the link, and acne breakout is listed as a side effect of taking B12 as a medication, (though acne breakout is listed as “rare”).  This study is fascinating because it revealed the biochemical mechanism of this relationship. While this research may not be clinically relevant to everyone, people on B12 supplementation (whether pharmaceutical or dietary), could potentially benefit from this study.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is much more common than having too much B12 in your diet. The culprit is either b12 pills, or things like Redbull and 5 hour energy. Don’t stop eating a healthy diet because there is B12 in it.

About That Ultra-Endurance Event You’ve Been Meaning To Do

If you’re serious about fitness, you know the importance of training your muscles and your brain. Without the right prep, you won’t have the physical or mental endurance to finish, whether it’s a five-k or an Ironman. But it turns out that it may be just as important to train your gut—or suffer inflammatory consequences.

Source: Extreme Exercise Can Poison the Blood

I’d heard similar things about endurance events, like Ironman.  That the exertion can deplete the body such that these competitors are trimming years off their life.

One competitor told me about how they went swimming with friends after an event. The person decided they couldn’t participate because it was too soon after an event.  They were conscious of how little body fat/etc they had to draw on if they wanted to participate.

Typical American Diet Can Damage Immune System

…Many reports have observed that heavier patients appear more likely to come down with infections during a hospital stay, acquire weaker protection from vaccinations and, as with River, suffer more complications from the flu.

Weight alone may not be the entire explanation. A tantalizing line of evidence suggests that unhealthful foods — fatty, salty, sugary, processed foods — may disrupt the body’s defenses in a way that promotes inflammation, infection, autoimmune diseases and even illnesses like cancer.

Source: Typical American diet can damage immune system

I think it was QI (highly recommended) where I heard about the study into hereditary genetics, how what grandparents ate was believed to affect grandchildren.

Fish Oil Not So Perfect After All

Fish oil is now the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States, after vitamins and minerals, according to a recent report from the National Institutes of Health. At least 10 percent of Americans take fish oil regularly, most believing that the omega-3 fatty acids in the supplements will protect their cardiovascular health.

But there is one big problem: The vast majority of clinical trials involving fish oil have found no evidence that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.

…Dr. Stein also cautions that fish oil can be hazardous when combined with aspirin or other blood thinners. “Very frequently we find people taking aspirin or a ‘super aspirin’ and they’re taking fish oil, too, and they’re bruising very easily and having nosebleeds,” he said. “And then when we stop the fish oil, it gets better.”

Source: Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research

While it’s interesting that so many studies support that there’s no link between the health claims and fish oil extract, there’s only a passing mention of FDA review and support.  Nothing about if the supplement actually contains fish oil.  If other supplements are full of asparagus and lies

My stance remains firmly no-supplement.  Nothing is 100% safe, with farmed salmon getting dyed to resemble wild, or the known fraud in olive oil…  Doing the best you can is all you can hope for, and the field changes without your knowledge.

Health Benefits Of Diet And Exercise May Be Chemically/Lazily Obtainable

Dieting or hitting the treadmill no fun? You might be able to enjoy one of the health benefits without the hassle.

Exercising hard or not eating for a while can alter the immune system’s behaviour, suppressing some types of inflammatory response. That, in turn, seems to protect against Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and autoimmune conditions. But what triggers the change in the immune response has not been clear.

Source: No need to starve to get fasting’s immune benefits

While it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to chemically obtain the health benefits of dieting and working out anytime soon, the research is nudging us in that direction. Until then you’re still going to have to exercise… 😉

Silk: Enabling Implantable WiFi Devices

For a variety of medical reasons, it’s useful to implant devices inside the body. These devices may be needed to help regulate the cardiovascular system, or they can release drugs inside the body. Unfortunately, they’re also problematic. Once such a device has served its function, it must be removed, which necessitates another surgery. Plus, its presence can lead to complications such as infection, inflammation, and pain.

To address some of these problems, scientists have developed new kinds of circuitry that can safely dissolve in the body. While these water-soluble devices don’t need to be removed, they come with a new problem—they dissolve too quickly for many purposes. So a group of researchers have now reported that they’ve developed a new way to control how long the devices last. The researchers propose that dissolving devices could be encased in a material made from silk protein and magnesium. The advantage of this approach comes from a property of the silk: its crystallinity.

Source: A silk casing enables long-lasting, implantable Wi-Fi medical devices

Side effects may include:

  • Premonitions of danger
  • Women screaming
  • Sticking to walls
  • Getting swatted
  • Fear of being eaten alive by your partner after sex

Milk May Do a Body More Harm Than Good

Contrary to popular belief, drinking large amounts of milk each day does not lower a person’s risk of bone fractures and instead may be associated with a higher rate of death, according to a new study. This is counter-intuitive to what has long been championed by some doctors and nutritionists: A diet rich in milk products can build strong bones and reduce the likelihood of fractures for those at risk for age-related bone loss.

Source:

The article stresses at the end that this is correlation, not causation.  But they did say that eating yogurt or inferior curdled milk-based products such as cottage cheese did give the “positive benefits associated with milk,” without any of the excruciating bone fractures and premature death.

You do not need to eat dairy foods to get the calcium you need in your meal plan. Calcium is provided by a wide variety of foods, and in order to get 1,000 milligrams per day (the Dietary Reference Intake, or DRI for women and men 19-50 years of age), you could eat sardines, scallops or sesame seeds.  There’s plant sources but being spinach and such, the vitamin K content is a concern.  Lots of processed foods are calcium fortified because the food sources aren’t part of the typical diet, but the value is debatable.  For more information on calcium see this page.

For more information on vitamin D and how it functions, see this post.

Study: Junk Food Worse for Male …Mice

Stuffing down a burger and coke may be more harmful for men than women, if the results of a new mouse study apply to humans.

The detrimental impact of junk food seems to be connected to inflammation in the brains of male mice, with the brains of females protected by oestrogen, according to research published today in Cell Reports.

Source: Junk food diet worse for male brains

The article only covers that this has been seen in mice, and they hope this leads to confirm the issue exists for humans. And ladies: menopause means that protection is gone.

Even on cheat days, there’s better stuff to eat than junk food like: