Even More Evidence BMI Isn’t a Good Measure of Health

We already knew BMI isn’t a great measure of whether a person is fat or not, but now a study confirms that it’s not a good measure of health either.

Source: Even More Evidence BMI Isn’t a Good Measure of Health

It’s weird that BMI has stuck around so prominently. It’s a crude, blunt instrument that people think is precise. The only inputs in the equation are height and weight so it’s essentially meaningless.

The FDA Just Lost a Lawsuit That Could Change How Drugs Are Regulated

A small drug company has won an early fight in its case against the FDA, which will allow it to promote its fish-oil pill for treatments not explicitly approved by the agency. The federal case has huge implications for the future of prescription drugs in the US and could weaken the FDA’s power to regulate how drugs are marketed.

Source: The FDA Just Lost a Lawsuit That Could Change How Drugs Are Regulated

The ruling has nothing to do with consumer focused advertising. It has to do with informing and promoting off label uses of the drug to doctors. Pharmaceutical companies are free to share any research with doctors that support uses of the drug not specifically approved by the FDA.

Also, the ruling is incredibly specific to Amarin and outlines exactly what is a truthful and non-misleading in the context of Vascepa only. So in response to the article headline, yes this could change how the FDA regulates drugs but in reality it hasn’t and won’t.

What on Earth is Fake Cream Made Out Of?

It’s very easy to test, if you know someone who is lactose intolerant… 😉

The cream inside your Twinkie is not the same thing as the cream inside that eclair at the fancy French bakery—we know that, because real cream goes bad after a while, and can’t sit on shelves for months. So what’s really inside that Twinkie? (And are you sure you really want to know the answer?)

Source: What on Earth is Fake Cream Made Out Of?

Real buttercream frosting is just sugar and lard and vanilla, so I was expecting something along the lines of chemical fat.

Most People Have Cholesterol All Wrong

Do you know which foods contain good cholesterol, and which contain bad cholesterol? If you think you do, ha! That’s a trick question! Cholesterol in our food doesn’t come in “good” and “bad” varieties, but cholesterol readings from blood tests do, and the two aren’t as closely connected as we used to think.

Source: Most People Have Cholesterol All Wrong

HDL is the one you want to be high; you want LDL to be low.

My doctor told me that my levels were a tad high, but the ratio mattered more.  The best part?  No cholesterol medication suggestion from the doctor.  It really does pay to eat better and look after yourself.

Related: The Dangerous Power of Health Media: 28,000 Quit Statins After Scare Documentary

The Only Three Things Everybody Agrees on When It Comes to Nutrition

There’s not much agreement about nutrition. On many topics—fat, salt, and carbs to name a few—government guidelines will say one thing, but fans of paleo or vegan or fad diets will insist that the opposite is true. Pretty soon you just don’t know what to think about eggs or white bread or low-fat salad dressing.

But there’s at least a little good news. Most people agree on three basic things: sugar, trans fat, and vegetables. From stodgy mainstream government guidelines, to sometimes-controversial movements like Paleo, to decidedly non-scientific folks like the Food Babe, these are the things almost everyone’s on board with. While I’m sure there is somebody out there who will disagree (and they will probably show up in the comments of this post), these three statements are as close to consensus as you can hope to get.

Source: The Only Three Things Everybody Agrees on When It Comes to Nutrition

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.

The Man Who Ate 25 Eggs a Day (Or, Why Cholesterol’s Not All Bad)

Each morning at the retirement community, the healthy 88-year-old man received a delivery of 25 soft-boiled eggs, which he would consume during his day. This had been his way for many years. He’d had one experience of chest pain that might have been angina, but aside from that, he had a healthy cardiovascular system. He recognized that his only problem was psychological: “Eating these eggs ruins my life, but I can’t help it.

I think of the Eggman, a brief case report from 1991 in the New England Journal of Medicine, whenever “news” of cholesterol’s unsuitability as a one-size-fits-all biomarker resurfaces, as it does every few years and did again just last month.

Source: The Man Who Ate 25 Eggs a Day (Or, Why Cholesterol’s Not All Bad)

Just 25 eggs? My man can eat 50…

The article paints an interesting picture of the state of health care with relation to pharmaceuticals and doctor education.  It’s along the lines of a recent post suggesting caution about trusting a physicians recommendation – they are only human.  I had a similar experience with a previous doctor pushing for cholesterol medication, and subsequently encountered other family members with similar experiences.  My most recent test demonstrated a dramatic improvement in my HDL & LDL levels, though as the article points out – these aren’t considered to be truly indicative of cardiovascular health.  But everyone is different, so you’re best to find out for yourself.

FYI: Bodybuilders and powerlifters routinely, especially when adding weight, eat a dozen or more eggs/day. From a $/gram of protein and $/calories perspective, eggs are fantastic. Even from a macronutrient perspective, eggs are quite good for you- depending on size, you get 60-80 calories, 5-7 grams of protein, and 5-7 grams of fat, to no carbohydrates.

Fueling and Training for Endurance Events

Knowing you’re able to ride as long as your route, riding mates or imagination requires is a very powerful feeling. Conversely, feeling dread about passing the one-hour, two-hour or three-hour point will limit your training and fitness gains, and ultimately your enjoyment.

Here’s how to break through these self-imposed endurance ceilings that are keeping you from making the most…

Source: How to increase cycling endurance

My favorite quote would be:

…consuming 15g honey or glucose taken every 10 miles during a 64km ride improves performance compared to water alone.

Imperial or metric? I can’t decide! 🙂

10 miles is 16 KM – they’re advocating every quarter of the distance.  What constitutes honey isn’t addressed in the article – honey is determined by having pollen in it, which can trigger allergic reactions for some and you’d have to investigate your store bought “honey” because they’re filtering a lot of pollen out these days.

I don’t think I could consume honey, which gets into the next point not raised by the article – try what they suggest but everyone is different so it’s up to you to figure out what actually works best.  But I do agree with the recommendation to have water with electrolytes in it – currently I’m using Nuun’s tabs, but have used a combination of Nuuns and Heed.

It was triathlon training that brought it to my attention that eating a good breakfast is a good idea, but requires you to eat early so you’re not bogged down, trying to swim/run/cycle/etc with all that in your tummy.  Lots I know get up around 3 or 4 in the morning on race day to eat, and then go back to bed for a couple of hours until the event.

It’s only the last three paragraphs that address endurance training.  It doesn’t come overnight, and it takes time.  I’ve yet to get into heart rate as a training tool – whatever minus your age is too generalized to be of value.  If your rate is high, but you can still talk?  Then you’re OK at that level.