Three Myths About Sparkling Water, Debunked

Americans spend $1.5 billion a year on sparkling water, but there are a few common myths about the bubbly beverage that don’t quite add up. Some say it’s bad for your bones, erodes your teeth, and that it might even dehydrate you. If you’re worried your favorite fizzy drink is actually unhealthy, here’s the mouth-tingling truth.

Source: Three Myths About Sparkling Water, Debunked

Keep in mind that citric acid naturally occurs in fruits, making it a “natural flavour”.

Scientists Create Injectable Foam To Repair Degenerating Bones

Researchers in France have developed a self-setting foam that can repair defects in bones and assist growth. Eventually, this advanced biomaterial could be used to quickly regenerate bone growth and treat degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.

Source: Scientists Create Injectable Foam To Repair Degenerating Bones

The first thought that popped into my head was: “Does this mean longer space time for astronauts?”  They go up, experience bone loss, come down get treated with this foam, recover, and then go back up…

 

12-Minute Daily Yoga Sessions Could Help Improve Your Bone Health

Knowing that more than 700,000 spinal fractures and more than 300,000 hip fractures occur annually in the United States, Dr. Fishman hoped that similar findings from a much larger study might convince doctors that this low-cost and less dangerous alternative to bone-loss drugs is worth pursuing.

Those medications can produce adverse side effects like gastrointestinal distress and fractures of the femur. Indeed, a recent study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging found that among 126,188 women found to have osteoporosis, all of whom had Medicare Part D drug coverage, only 28 percent started bone drug therapy within a year of diagnosis.

Many of those who avoided drugs were trying to avoid gastrointestinal problems.

On the other hand, yoga’s “side effects,” Dr. Fishman and colleagues wrote recently, “include better posture, improved balance, enhanced coordination, greater range of motion, higher strength, reduced levels of anxiety and better gait.”

Source: 12 Minutes of Yoga for Bone Health

I want to believe, but the study had no control group and the exercise is self reported.

How Drug Companies Seek To Exploit Rare DNA Mutations

Steven Pete can put his hand on a hot stove or step on a piece of glass and not feel a thing, all because of a quirk in his genes. Only a few dozen people in the world share Pete’s congenital insensitivity to pain. Drug companies see riches in his rare mutation. They also have their eye on people like Timothy Dreyer, 25, who has bones so dense he could walk away from accidents that would leave others with broken limbs. About 100 people have sclerosteosis, Dreyer’s condition.

Source: These Superhumans Are Real and Their DNA Could Be Worth Billions

I don’t have a problem with the pharmaceutical companies trying to maximize profits. Profits are necessary to help the market determine how to allocate resources. When a company makes “obscene” profits that is a signal to everyone else that resources should be taken from those enterprises incurring loses and invested in the more profitable ventures.

One the people whose mutation is highlighted in the article reminds me of a character from the book “The Girl Who Played with Fire“, the second part of the Millenium series by Stieg Larsson.  I haven’t seen the American version of the movie for the first book, but enjoyed the books & Swedish movies.

The Difference Between Sugar and Sugar Alcohols

For many decades, sugar alcohols have been popular alternatives to sugar.  They look and taste like sugar, but have fewer calories and fewer negative health effects.  In fact, many studies show that sugar alcohols can actually lead to health improvements.  This article takes a detailed look at sugar alcohols and their health effects.

Source: Sugar Alcohols: Good or Bad?

The article didn’t mention that most of them, with the exception of erythritol, have a laxative effect.  Lest we forget the gummy bears of doom

Study: Women With Eating Disorders End Up With Less Money

It’s long been known that eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are associated with other challenging health issues. Heart problems, osteoporosis, tooth decay, esophageal damage, pancreatitis and kidney failure, among many things, have been linked with eating disorders.

But now a new study has associated the conditions with long-term negative economic consequences, including lower earnings.

Source: Women with eating disorders earn less, study says

While I worry some will get self conscious, I hope this news reinforces the severity of eating disorders and that pursuing treatment is in a sufferers best interest.

If you read into the study, they discuss a bit about how people with eating disorders tend to be much higher on the “perfectionist” type spectrum than most.  Some of what may account for the difference between men and women is that because of society, etc, that perfectionism manifests differently in men versus women.  Still, it’d have been nice if the sample had the same number of men as women.

The Genetics of Being Injury-Prone

Injury is a fact of life for most athletes, but some professionals—and some weekend warriors, for that matter—just seem more injury-prone than others. But what is it about their bodies that makes the bones, tendons, and ligaments so much more likely to tear or strain—bad luck, or just poor preparation?

A growing body of research suggests another answer: that genetic makeup may play an important role in injury risk.

…the largest market for sports-injury genetic testing may be the general public. A growing number of companies like 23andMe, Pathway Genomics, DNAFit, and Stanford Sports Genetics offer genetic tests that can tell the average consumer about his or her risk for sports injuries, including ACL ruptures, stress fractures, osteoarthritis, and spinal-disc degeneration.

Source: The Genetics of Being Injury-Prone

On some levels, it’s no different than testing your VO2 max.  But there’s also the potential that genetic testing can be used against, like medical/health insurance.

At the end of the day, should the knowledge that your ligaments and tendons are more susceptible to injury than others?  I think not.

Vitamin C helps the body produce and repair collagen.  Oranges are high in vitamin C, and low in vitamin K.  Grapefruit is not recommended for medications in general – the “grapefruit effect” is well known.

Studies: Bones Weak, Forecast Calls for Increasing Fractures, Breaks, and Osteoporosis.

It’s another angle on the attack against our increasingly sedentary lifestyle:

Somewhere in a dense forest of ash and elm trees, a hunter readies his spear for the kill. He hurls his stone-tipped weapon at his prey, an unsuspecting white-tailed deer he has tracked since morning. The crude projectile pierces the animal’s hide, killing it and giving the hunter food to bring back to his family many miles away. Such was survival circa 5,000 B.C. in ancient North America.

But today, the average person barely has to lift a finger, let alone throw a spear to quell their appetite. The next meal is a mere online order away. And according to anthropologists, this convenient, sedentary way of life is making bones weak. Ahead, there’s a future of fractures, breaks, and osteoporosis. But for some anthropologists, the key to preventing aches in bones is by better understanding the skeletons of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Source: The Future Looks Bleak for Bones

It is amazing how researchers are able to ignore results from other fields. We know that bone density is not a good predictor for fractures. On the other hand, we know that dairy product consumption is correlated with higher density and fractures.  There is no consensus on how to explain that currently, but one interesting theory is that dairy products promote bone metabolism (hence the higher density) up to renewal exhaustion (hence the fractures).  I’d be interested to see how the theory holds up when they compare bone details between those who are and are not lactose intolerant.  It wouldn’t be hard, considering that an estimated 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant.

The diet of the forager doesn’t appear to have been considered either.  Calcium and vitamin K are not found in meat 😉

Individuals who are vitamin K deficient have repeatedly been shown to have a greater risk of fracture. In addition, for women who have passed through menopause and have started to experience unwanted bone loss, vitamin K has clearly been shown to help prevent future fractures.

Vitamin K is not evil – it’s in our best interest to balance intake with blood thinners.

Recipe: Tahini

Tahini can be convenient to buy at most grocery stores, but expensive.  It’s incredibly simple to make yourself.  Providing you have:

  • coffee/spice grinder
  • food processor
  • frying pan or microwave if toasting the seeds

Then hit the bulk foods section of your grocery store for some sesame seeds!  If there’s vitamin K in sesame seeds, it’s so low there’s no concern.  There’s some real benefit to eating sesame/tahini:

  • The copper in sesame seeds is good for Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Magnesium supports vascular and respiratory health
  • Calcium helps prevent colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS
  • Zinc for bone health
  • Phytosterols lower cholesterol

Additional tips:

  • It’s worth finding a store with a decent bulk foods section for various things – sugar, spices, nuts, oatmeal and such.  You can save a lot.
  • The nice part about tahini is that if the sesame and oil separates – just mix it up again.

When Life gives you tahini, make hummus! 🙂

Prunes: 5 Reasons to Eat More

Not a fan of prunes? You’re not alone. In fact, women ages 25 to 54 react so negatively to the idea of prunes that the California Prune Board pressured the Food and Drug Administration to change their name to the more appealing ‘dried plums’ (which they technically are), and it worked! Sales of this super-healthy purple fruit have hit new heights.

Beyond the benefits to your digestive tract, and the fact that they offer a sweet hit for only 30 calories, plums and prunes have many other wonderful health properties.

Source: 5 healthy reasons you need to eat more prunes

There’s a recipe at the end for plum-quinoa salad.

What the article doesn’t mention is that plums/prunes increase the absorption of iron.  Ladies, are you listening?  Because as prunes/plums are good for weight loss too.  But be aware that there is a reasonable amount of vitamin K in them, so mind how much you consume.  For more information on plums/prunes, see this link.