Since the term “antioxidants” made the leap from the realm of biochemistry labs and into the public consciousness in the 1990s, Americans have come to believe that more is better when it comes to consuming the substance that comes in things like acai berries, green tea and leafy veggies.
A provocative new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature raises important questions about that assumption.
The article gives the test example, and conditions someone might get similar exposure. Basically, places with heavy air pollution. Ultrafine particles (UFP) are probably both the least well-studied and least regulated form of air pollution. Likely because they’re somewhat tricky to reliably measure at all in an uncontrolled environment, let alone measured by a means that can be deployed for routine large-scale monitoring. There’s a small pile of studies showing that they do have health effects, though no one seems to know exactly what the mechanisms or dose-response curves are, or how the short-term effects translate into identifiable disease etiologies. For example, there are studies in both rats and humans consistent with the presence of UFP inhibiting the exercise-stimulated production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurological growth factor that is believed to play a key role in multiple psychiatric disorders and even some forms of obesity. There are other studies showing other effects – those were just the ones that particularly came to mind.
Although modern diesel engines are far cleaner than the classic models, they are known to produce considerable amounts of UFP pollution. Gasoline engines and various other technologies (laser printers / photocopiers, various forms of precision machining…) aren’t entirely innocent, either.
I’d heard that most of the breathing masks available on the shelf would not provide much if any protection. You need something with a good seal, so no beards. Lumbersexual is not a thing…
I have yet to do a polar bear swim. This year, it was a polar bear swim or a cyclocross race… I chose the race. The local pool is pretty cold as it is, and lately I’m not tolerating the temperature as well as I have – I must have done 100 meters (25m lengths sadly, I miss 50’s when I can’t swim open water).
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.
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.