Thursday, December 5, 2019

NYT - Eating After You Exercise May Provide Added Fat-Burning Benefits

The New York Times published this article Nov 27. I appreciate several things about it. One, it is, in a roundabout way, chipping away at the myth that the cause of insulin resistance is carbs (too much fat in the diet is the actual cause of insulin resistance), and doing so in a respected and very public venue. (Insulin resistance is at the root of the many "post-industrial" health problems.) The underlying message here is better "control of your blood sugar", a primary critical health parameter.

The Article:

Eating After You Exercise May Provide Added Fat-Burning Benefits

Cyclists who had pedaled on an empty stomach incinerated about twice as much fat as those who had consumed a shake first.


Working out on an empty stomach could amplify the health benefits of the activity, according to a well-timed new study of the interplay of meal timing, metabolic health and moving. The study, which involved sedentary men and moderate cycling, suggests that whether and when we eat may affect how exercise affects us.
In general, any exercise improves our health. But a wealth of recent science and personal experience indicate that different people can respond to similar exercise routines in different ways. Even if everyone completes the same amount of exercise, some people become more fit than others, or lose more weight, or gain greater control of their blood sugar.
Most exercise scientists believe that our genetics, diets, physiques, temperaments and other subtle aspects of our lives act in concert to shape how our bodies react to exercise.
But some researchers suspect meal timing matters as well. Working muscles need fuel during exercise, mostly in the form of sugar (glucose) or fat. That fuel can come from our most recent meal, once its component sugars and fats reach our bloodstreams, or from our bodies’ stores of fats and sugars. We all have such stores, especially of fat, some of it residing in our muscles and marbling them like pricey sirloin.

This muscle fat becomes problematic if we accumulate too much of it. Fatty muscles do not respond well to the hormone insulin, which directs sugar from the blood into the muscles. As a result, excess fat can contribute to insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels and increased risks for Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions.

So, researchers at the University of Bath in England and other institutions began to wonder whether meal timing might influence how much muscle fat we burn during exercise, which would then affect the long-term metabolic consequences of exercise and help to explain, in part, why some people get more out of exercise than others.
To look into those issues, they recruited 30 overweight, sedentary men. (They plan to do a follow-up study with women.) The researchers tested the men’s fitness and insulin sensitivity and then divided them into three groups.
One, as a control, continued their usual lives. The other two groups started supervised exercise in the morning three times a week, riding stationary bicycles at a moderate pace while wearing monitors and masks that tracked their heart rates and the amount of fat and sugar they burned. The researchers also asked them periodically how they felt while riding.
One exercise group also downed a vanilla-flavored shake two hours before their ride (with no other breakfast) while the other group swallowed a similar-tasting placebo drink, containing water, flavoring and no calories. In other words, the placebo group rode on an empty stomach, but did not know it.
After exercise, each rider received the drink he had not previously swallowed. The riders who had fasted got the shake and the other group the placebo.
This routine continued for six weeks. Afterward, the scientists crunched numbers and turned up some telling differences between the groups. As expected, the control group’s fitness and insulin sensitivity remained unbudged, while the men in both exercise groups had improved their fitness and narrowed their waistlines, although few had lost weight.
The riders who had pedaled on an empty stomach, however, had incinerated about twice as much fat during each ride as the men who consumed the shake first. The riders all had burned about the same number of calories while pedaling, but more of those calories came from fat when the men did not eat first.
Those riders also showed greater improvements in insulin sensitivity at the end of the study and had developed higher levels of certain proteins in their muscles that influence how well muscle cells respond to insulin and use blood sugar.
On the whole, these findings suggest that “you can probably get more out of your workout without increasing its intensity or duration by exercising before breakfast,” says Javier Gonzalez, a professor of physiology and nutrition at the University of Bath, who oversaw the new study, which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The reasons for this extra metabolic boost are complex but most likely involve slimming of muscle fat, he says. The fasted riders’ bodies had to turn to internal energy stores for fuel, including fat from their muscles. (Interestingly, the fasted riders did not feel as if their workouts were more draining than the other group, according to everyone’s subjective ratings of their exertions.)
This study looked primarily at insulin sensitivity, though, and not other aspects of exercise and metabolism, including weight loss. (Other research by some of the same investigators have looked at how eating before exercise may affect appetite.) The researchers also cannot tell whether skipping lunch before an early-evening workout would have the same effects, although it seems likely, Dr. Gonzalez says.
“We believe that the key is the fasting period, rather than the time of day,” he says.
So, if you hope to use exercise to keep you healthy in the coming holiday period, you might try to get up and out early or after not eating for hours. But, Dr. Gonzalez says, if your schedule or preferences prevent you from exercising in the morning or on an empty stomach, do not sweat it.
“Any physical activity,” he says, whenever you can fit it in, “is better than none.”
A version of this article appears in print on Dec. 3, 2019, Section D, Page 4 of the New York edition with the headline: Skip Breakfast Before the Gym.

an unusual description of wholeness

by Jordan Peterson a clinical psychologist, professor of psychology, and psychological theoretician.

It reminds me of a well known Freud quote: ""the goal of psychoanalysis is to bring someone from the state of abject despair into the realm of common misery". I've always thought he may have had tongue in cheek saying it, but it also points the way one can be wholly in the world as it is, and be OK with it. That does not mean there are no longer ideals to fight for, rather to have them in the context of "this whole thing is bigger than us, there's only so much that can be done, and I'm OK with that".

The ground plane for wholeness perspective for me is "it created us, we did not create it".

Here's the vid:

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Got floaters? (in your eye) - A natural cure

Pineapple! Can it be that easy? Here's an eye doc talking about the study that shows pineapple cures eye floaters:

Yep. Fruit is good for us! Who knew?  :>)

I eat pineapple frequently when I find good quality. Been doing it for years. Wondered where those pesky floaters got off to:)

Monday, November 18, 2019

Hypothesis - the significance of the plant to animal ratio in nature

In terms of biomass the plant kingdom far far outweighs the animal kingdom.

So what does that have to do with anything? Hypothesis: it has everything to do with the pre-agricultural conditions our biology and instinctual "drives" evolved in, the relative scarcity of energy (food calories) in those pre-agricultural conditions, and our subsequent instinctual proclivity toward finding and consuming higher sources of energy where choices were available.

Hypothesis: our biology and instincts evolved pre-agriculturally where early human population density was a function of the certain conducive conditions, namely relatively warm climates, and the highest density (on earth) of all life forms. Under those conditions the most available calories were (by far) plant based. Therefore the most efficient conversion of calories to energy (least effort spent obtaining) came from plant foods.

The "paleo diet" view that most calories came from animal sources of calories is being contested (and overturned) by archaeological anthropologists who instead of looking at surviving tools measure composition types of biological evidence. In the evolutionary expansion of human habitat from rainforest to colder grassy savanna the plant to animal biomass ratio was still heavily weighted to plants. Humans hunted more, but most calories continued to come from plants.

Even with more advanced tool making capability (clothes to keep warm), human population densities continued to cluster to "conducive conditions". I think of this as a "treeline effect" metaphor, where we see a transition to tundra above a certain high elevation. Locations on the planet are more or less "conducive" to density and variety of life forms based mostly on temperature, and resultant availability of food (calories). Our species has evolved primarily toward those more "conducive" conditions that are characterized by plants being the more available and efficient sources of calories.

Consequently we see in studies of pre-industrial cultures that average levels of longevity and health comport closely with the ratio of plants to animal in the diet. More plants equals greater average levels of longevity and health.

Finally, "our subsequent instinctual proclivity toward finding and consuming higher sources of energy where choices were available" (as mentioned earlier), goes a long way to explaining our collective "post-industrial dietary stupidity" in regards to the toxic crap we invent in laboratories and manufacture in factory conditions, and then market and sell as "food". This includes BTW the factory "farming" of animals (hard to call that abhorrent process "farming").

So...we are "driven" by instinct (or call it our "unconscious mind") to consume the most calorically dense substances we can wrap our lips around. And now we have the technology to manufacture exactly those substances. We have an inherent soft spot for science fiction also...the one from the 50's about "meal in a pill" has been particularly collectively self destructive. Current "food science for profit" has leveraged our instinct for high calorie substances to the hilt. And now the shaft is in so deep we don't even know it's there.

Time to wake up.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The nutrient package in food is already perfect

One of the topics Dr. Doug Graham speaks about frequently is the symmetries found in nature versus the asymmetries of questionable logic introduced with technology. Here he addresses the notion that artificial concentration of nutrients is a good idea.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

DR. MICHAEL GREGER - HOW NOT TO DIET: The Science Of Healthy Weight Loss

Dr. Michael Greger in conversation with Brian Rose of London Real.  Dr. Greger is an unusual combination of infectious enthusiasm and expert scientific perspective. Here he recounts the story of how he came to be that person, and the very significant work he's been doing since.

Friday, October 25, 2019

The epidemic of chronic disease and understanding epigenetics

Dr. Kent L. Thornburg gives a TEDx Talk on he epidemic of chronic disease and understanding epigenetics, and challenges us with this question:

When will we decide to eliminate chronic disease?

And Dr. Thornburg is a pretty impressive guy, perhaps we should hear what he has to say. He received his PhD in Developmental Physiology and studied Cardiovascular Physiology as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Postdoctoral Fellow at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). He participates in co-funded projects with scientists in England, New Zealand, France, Finland and Australia. He serves regularly on advisory panels at the NIH, the American Heart Association and the Children’s Heart Foundation and recently served as Co-Chair of the task force to determine the 10-year vision of the developmental origins of health and disease for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

I enjoyed Dr. Thornburg's talk, I hope you do too.