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Aug 1

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Is a lectin-free diet beneficial? – Union Democrat

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: A friend of mine continues to speak highly about the health benefits of a diet where people eliminate lectins. She says it helped her lose weight and reduced her arthritis pain. What are lectins, and can a lectin-free diet cure autoimmune diseases and prevent other health problems?

ANSWER: Lectins are naturally occurring proteins that are found in all foods, but they are most concentrated in certain plants. Lectins serve a protective function for plants as they grow. They do not have nutritional value when consumed in foods.

Foods that contain high amounts of lectins include legumes, such as beans, lentils, peas and peanuts, as well as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, certain fruits, wheat and other grains.

While your diet can influence the way you feel, especially if you have a chronic condition, it is important to be aware of how elimination diets can negatively affect the body. This is particularly important if you are already on a restrictive diet.

Grains and legumes are a powerhouse of nutrients. They are rich in B vitamins, iron and fiber. These nutrients can be difficult to get if you are, say, gluten-free.

Despite many claims, no scientific evidence shows that eliminating dietary lectins will cure any medical disorders or conditions, including autoimmune diseases. Your friend may credit her weight loss success and better health to her diet, but I would question if she also eliminated other things that may have been contributing, such as limiting sugar, processed foods and excess salt.

Some research seems to indicate taking in large quantities of raw lectins could negatively affect health. But the amount you'd need to consume daily to get to that level is much higher than a typical diet would include. And other studies have shown that lectins break down when processed or cooked, so the risk of adverse health effects arising from lectin-rich foods that are not raw is not cause for concern.

In addition, most foods that contain lectins are recommended as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. A large body of scientific evidence clearly supports the benefits of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds.

The health benefits you receive from including those foods in your diet outweigh any perceived benefits from avoiding foods with lectins. With that in mind, a diet that avoids lectins is not one most dietitians would typically recommend.

If you have a medical concern triggering symptoms that seem to be related to the foods you eat, speak to your primary care provider about having a consultation with a dietitian. Likewise, if you are simply eating a diet that includes a variety of foods and you're having symptoms that make you feel unwell, it often can be difficult to pinpoint the specific source of the problem on your own. It could be a food allergy or a food intolerance, or it may not be related to your diet at all.

Thus, it is important to speak to your health care professional to review and sort out the cause of your symptoms. Some medical centers have dietitians who specialize in gastrointestinal issues, and those professionals can help in these cases. Take time to speak with a health care professional who can review your diet and offer suggestions for modifying it in a way that may ease your symptoms.

A dietitian may recommend, for example, a short-term elimination diet, excluding certain categories of foods that tend to cause allergic reactions most often. Once those foods have been taken out of a diet, then they can carefully be reintroduced to identify possible causes of food-related symptoms. Based on that or other evaluations, a dietitian can make recommendations that fit the situation.

Rather than using a generalized approach and trying to apply it to everyone such as avoiding all food with lectins a diet that's structured and overseen by a dietitian and based on scientific evidence can be customized to accommodate a person's sensitivities. That type of systematic approach typically yields better long-term results than just avoiding a certain kind of food or a food ingredient and hoping to feel better. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.N., Endocrinology/Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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2022 Mayo Clinic News Network. Visit newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Mayo Clinic Q and A: Is a lectin-free diet beneficial? - Union Democrat


Aug 1

Anti-aging face massage: Benefits, tools, and how to try – Medical News Today

Anti-aging face massage is a popular offering in many salons and spas. Advocates of the technique say it temporarily plumps the skin or that it can produce long-term changes in appearance.

A small number of studies have tested facial massage techniques and suggest that massage might improve blood flow, plump the skin, or subjectively improve the appearance of the skin.

However, studies on the topic have significant shortcomings, such as a low number of participants and no long-term follow-up. As a result, there is no conclusive scientific proof that facial massage works to significantly change the visible signs of aging on the skin.

Read on to learn more about anti-aging face massage, including types and techniques.

Some facial massage practitioners claim that massage may help reduce the signs of aging, either immediately or over time, with regular treatments. There is some evidence to support this claim, but it is weak.

For example, a 2018 study assessed the effects of massage rollers on the skin over 5 weeks. Researchers performed massage on the right cheek of 12 study participants. At the end of 5 weeks, there was greater vasodilation a measure of blood flow in only the right cheek.

This suggests that massage might help improve circulation. This could, in theory, promote the delivery of healthy nutrients to the skin, improve skin plumpness, or promote skin healing. However, the study was very small, so more research is necessary to confirm this.

A 2021 pilot study suggests that facial massage might offer the appearance of lifting in the cheeks. Drawing on CT scans of a cadaver and six volunteers, researchers concluded that massage could help improve facial mobility, potentially making the skin look younger or more lifted.

A 2022 study by some of the same authors used a similar CT scanning technique in five volunteers, who massaged their cheeks for 2 weeks. Researchers found that massage thinned the skin, helped lift the skin, and subjectively improved the skins appearance. Again, though, this was a very small study.

A 2017 study that used skin samples in a laboratory setting found that skin massage increased the expression of the decorin, fibrillin, tropoelastin, and procollagen-1 in the skin. These substances give skin structure and elasticity.

In the same study, researchers also tested an anti-aging cream along with massage on the skin of 20 white women aged 6575 years. They also tested the cream alone in a similar group of 22 others.

After 8 weeks, an evaluator who did not know which treatment each person had received rated their skin on various measures of aging and elasticity. The group that used the massage and cream had better results.

No single type of face massage is proven to work better than others when it comes to reducing the visible signs of aging. There are various approaches, including:

The only vital tools for a facial massage are a persons hands and a lotion or oil to reduce friction on the skin.

It is a good idea to choose oils that suit a persons skin type. For example, people who are concerned about acne can opt for noncomedogenic oils, such as jojoba oil. These are less likely to block pores.

People can use their fingers, thumbs, the heel of their hands, or a tool to massage the face. Some tools people may find helpful include:

There are many ways to massage the face. For beginners trying it at home, here are some steps to try:

People can finish their message with effleurage. If they wish, they can leave the oil on the skin to sink in or wash it off with a cleanser.

The risks of facial massage are very minimal. In some cases, a person may experience the following:

Other minimally-invasive treatments that may increase circulation and plump the skin include:

Anti-aging face massage may help promote better circulation, temporarily plump the skin, and offer a relaxing experience. However, scientific evidence for this so far is limited, and there are no long-term studies showing it creates significant changes to the appearance of the skin over time.

If people want to try an anti-aging face massage, they can use a noncomedogenic oil and their hands to gently manipulate the skin. Alternatively, there are various massage tools to choose from.

Facial massages are unlikely to be harmful, painful, or cause side effects, as long as a person does not apply too much pressure.

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Anti-aging face massage: Benefits, tools, and how to try - Medical News Today


Aug 1

Gluten and GERD: What’s the Relationship? – Healthline

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic disease in which stomach contents re-enter the esophagus and damage the lining of the esophagus.

This condition is common, affecting around 20% of people in the United States.

GERD can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, especially when left untreated. Fortunately, there are many medical and lifestyle interventions that can help you better manage your GERD symptoms.

In particular, the foods we eat have been linked to improving or worsening GERD symptoms. One ingredient that has been thought to worsen GERD symptoms is gluten, which is a protein found in wheat products.

This article discusses the relationship between GERD and gluten, including whether gluten actually worsens GERD symptoms, and provides helpful tips for managing your GERD.

The relationship between gluten and GERD isnt well understood, but some research shows a link between celiac disease an immune disorder affecting up to 1% of people that requires the complete avoidance of gluten and GERD.

However, celiac disease can be difficult to diagnose, so more people may have it than we think.

A recent clinical trial also suggests that there may also be a link between GERD and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), which might affect up to 13% of people.

In an older 2008 study, researchers investigated whether a gluten-free diet (GFD) would improve GERD symptoms in people with celiac disease compared with a control group of people without celiac disease.

After 6 months on a GFD, only 20% of celiac participants and 30% in the control group had a recurrence of GERD symptoms. Note that the participants also took proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) medications, which are standard treatments for GERD.

At 1 year, no additional people in the celiac group experienced GERD symptoms, but a total of 60% of participants in the control group did.

At 2 years, the celiac group continued to have no additional recurring GERD symptoms, but 85% of the control group had GERD symptoms.

These findings suggest that if you have celiac disease and GERD, following a gluten-free diet while taking PPI medications may help to manage GERD symptoms. Going gluten-free is less likely to help with GERD if you dont have celiac.

Another older study supports that idea.

The study found a strong correlation between untreated celiac disease and GERD symptoms: 30% of people with celiac reported moderate to severe GERD symptoms, compared with only 4.7% of people without celiac.

After adopting a GFD for three months or longer, participants with celiac disease saw significant improvements in their GERD symptoms.

Some older studies have also found correlations between celiac disease, NCGS, and GERD. That said, other studies found no correlations between celiac disease and GERD, so more research is needed.

Some people with GERD who have either NCGS or no formal diagnoses may still benefit from a gluten-free diet.

Even though theres a lack of research on the link between NCGS and GERD, some people with NCGS experience symptoms like reflux after eating gluten.

A recent study analyzed the effects of a dietitian-monitored GFD in people who had symptoms consistent with celiac disease, including reflux and GERD, but for whom blood tests didnt show the markers necessary for a formal diagnosis.

Many of the participants showed improvement after following the GFD, leading researchers to suggest that they may have had whats called seronegative celiac disease meaning, celiac disease that isnt detected by a blood test.

Therefore, some people with GERD symptoms who dont have a diagnosis of celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity may still benefit from limiting or avoiding gluten.

If youre considering a GFD to help with your GERD symptoms, its a good idea to work with a registered dietitian to make sure youre not missing out on important nutrients.

The mechanism behind how celiac disease affects GERD symptoms isnt well-established.

Its thought that certain symptoms of celiac disease may contribute to the development of GERD, such as:

These symptoms may increase stomach acid entering the esophagus, causing GERD symptoms. This likely means that its not gluten itself causing GERD for people with celiac disease, but the symptoms of their celiac.

Beyond this, no studies have found that following a GFD provides any symptom relief for people with GERD but not celiac disease or NCGS. Thus, a GFD is unnecessary for most people with GERD.

In fact, while a GFD can be healthy and is medically necessary for some people, a poorly-planned GFD may increase the risk of:

Plus, a GFD can be expensive to follow long term, and since its somewhat restrictive, it can affect your social life and relationship with food.

There are many useful nutrition and lifestyle tips that may help reduce your GERD symptoms, such as:

While lifestyle modifications can help reduce symptoms of GERD, its important to work closely with a healthcare provider who can provide personalized recommendations.

If symptoms worsen, they may recommend more invasive interventions, such as surgery.

Here are some questions people often ask about gluten and GERD.

To date, there is no evidence that following a gluten-free diet will help with acid reflux.

However, if you have celiac disease, following a gluten-free diet is necessary to manage that condition, and it may also reduce your acid reflux or GERD symptoms.

There is currently no evidence that gluten negatively affects the esophagus in people who dont have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

However, if you have celiac disease or NCGS, gluten may interfere with the small intestine and lead to digestive issues.

One small study also found changes in the mucosal lining of the esophagus in people with celiac disease, and a recent clinical trial found high rates of esophageal lining damage in people with NCGS.

Some research suggests that certain foods may irritate and weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, which normally prevents stomach acid from re-entering the stomach.

Common triggers include high fat foods, acidic foods (like tomatoes, oranges, and vinegars), chocolate, carbonated beverages, alcohol, caffeine, herbs and spices (like mint, chili pepper, black pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg), and spicy foods.

That said, not everyone will need to limit or reduce these foods. If you suspect a food is making your GERD worse, try eliminating it for 24 weeks. If symptoms dont improve, then you can reintroduce it back into your diet.

The relationship between GERD and gluten is not well-established.

There is some research that links celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity with increased risks of GERD and worsened symptoms, but this is likely a side effect of the condition rather than gluten being the main culprit.

Therefore, unless you have celiac disease or NCGS, there is no need to eliminate gluten from your diet to manage your GERD symptoms.

Instead, other lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, maintaining a moderate weight, and changing some eating practices may help.

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Gluten and GERD: What's the Relationship? - Healthline


Aug 1

How to tell if you have rheumatoid arthritis – Medical News Today

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in a persons joints. The condition is chronic and progressive and can be disabling. Symptoms develop over time, with early signs including fatigue, joint tenderness, and pain.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, 1.5 million people in the United States have RA. Biological females are three times more likely than biological males to develop RA.

This article looks at the early signs that a person might have RA. It also discusses later stage symptoms and when to speak with a doctor.

If a person has an autoimmune disease, such as RA, their immune system mistakes the bodys cells for foreign invading cells. Their immune system then releases inflammatory chemicals to attack them.

If someone has RA, their immune system attacks the tissue called synovium. This tissue lines the joints and produces fluid that helps them move smoothly.

RA most commonly affects the joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. It causes the lining of the joints to become inflamed, which can damage their tissues. The damage that RA causes can lead to a person developing long lasting or chronic pain. It may also cause deformities and a lack of balance.

RA may also affect other tissues in a persons body, including organs such as the heart, eyes, and lungs.

A person can develop RA at any stage in their life. However, the condition most commonly develops between the ages of 30 and 50 years old.

People with early stage RA may not see redness and swelling in their joints. However, they may experience some joint tenderness and pain. A general feeling of stiffness throughout the body in the morning may suggest a person has RA.

Someone with early stage RA may also experience fatigue. Fatigue can be both mental and physical and can cause a person to feel extremely tired, preventing them from performing their usual daily tasks.

The inflammation that comes with RA may cause a person to develop a fever. A person has a fever if their body temperature rises above the typical range of 98100F (36.737.7C). Fever is a common sign of inflammation in people with autoimmune diseases.

A person may also experience weight loss due to the inflammation from RA. In addition, someone with fatigue and fever may experience appetite loss, which can contribute to weight loss.

As the inflammatory process of RA progresses, symptoms can worsen. A person may experience more extreme fatigue and continue to have fevers and lose weight.

Common symptoms of RA include the below.

Joint pain and stiffness is the most common symptom of RA. The persons joints may become red, warm, swollen, and tender to touch.

Joint stiffness is often at its worst in the morning. It can last for several hours or the entire day, depending on the severity of the disease.

RA tends to cause pain and stiffness in the hands and feet first. However, a person may experience these symptoms in the knees or shoulders.

RA will often affect both sides of a persons body. In fact, finding symmetrical symptoms across the joints is key to how doctors diagnose RA.

RA can cause damage to a persons ligaments and tendons. This can make it more difficult for them to achieve a typical range of motion in the joints. This can result in a person being unable to bend or straighten certain joints.

This can have a negative effect on their quality of life, as it may restrict them from doing things they were once able to do.

Inflammation from RA can cause nerve compression, which can affect the nerves around the joints. This can cause a person to develop damaged nerves, called peripheral neuropathy.

This nerve damage can cause a loss of sensation, and people may experience numbness or a tingling sensation in their hands and feet.

Rheumatoid nodules are lumps that develop under a persons skin. They are a common symptom of RA.

These lumps often appear next to the joints that the RA is affecting. However, rheumatoid nodules do not require treatment and are not contagious or dangerous. They can sometimes indicate that a person could make improvements to how they manage their RA.

RA mostly affects a persons joints. However, the disease can also affect other parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, and eyes.

This can cause a variety of other symptoms, including the following.

RA can affect a persons eyes. This can cause them to have dry eyes, the most common type of eye involvement in RA. People with RA can also experience increased sensitivity to light and trouble seeing clearly.

They may also experience eye pain and redness of the eye when RA inflammation affects the eye tissues, such as the iris or the uvea. This involvement is called iritis or uveitis, respectively.

RA can cause a person to have a dry mouth and inflamed gums.

People may also develop irritated gums or a gum infection.

According to a 2020 meta-analysis of 18 studies, up to 19.5% of people with RA may also have Sjgrens disease. This is a chronic autoimmune disorder affecting the moisture-producing glands, including those in the mouth.

RA can cause damage to a persons lungs, particularly in the form of interstitial lung disease, an umbrella term for a group of conditions that cause inflammation and scarring in the lungs.

This can cause the person to experience shortness of breath and may lead to chronic lung disease.

Inflammation can affect a persons blood vessels.

This can cause damage to their skin and nerves, resulting from inflammation of the veins, arterioles, and venules. The latter involvement can develop as a peripheral neuropathy.

A person with RA may also have anemia or a lower than expected red blood cell count due to the chronic inflammation.

A person with RA may experience inflammation of the heart. This can damage the heart muscle and the surrounding areas.

The chronic inflammation that RA causes can also increase the risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD).

The inflammation affects the lipid profile of people with RA, contributing to the onset of CAD. People with RA are almost twice as likely to experience heart conditions, such as angina and congestive heart failure, as those without.

Some people with RA experience weight loss.

However, others may find that painful joints make it hard to exercise.

This can cause the person to gain weight. People who maintain a moderate weight can reduce their risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

To treat RA effectively, it is important that a person gets an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible. If they experience symptoms of RA, they should seek medical help.

If a doctor suspects RA, they may arrange for the person to consult a rheumatologist, a doctor with specialized training in treating arthritis.

A doctor will first ask about the persons medical history before discussing joint symptoms. They will want to know about any pain, tenderness, stiffness, and any mobility difficulties they might be experiencing.

The doctor may also want to know about any family history of autoimmune diseases.

They will then carry out a thorough physical examination, documenting vital signs, examining joints, and looking for tenderness, swelling, or warmth of the joints. The doctor may also order blood and imaging tests to support the suspected diagnosis.

RA is a chronic autoimmune condition.

If a person has RA, their immune system confuses the bodys own cells for foreign invading pathogens. This causes the immune system to attack its own cells.

The immune system will also attack synovium, the tissue that lines the joints and produces fluid that helps them move smoothly.

RA tends to affect the joints in the hands, wrists, and knees.

Common symptoms of RA include swelling and pain in the joints, fatigue, fever, decreased function of joints, and compromised mobility.

Anyone who thinks they may have RA should consult with a doctor as soon as possible.

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How to tell if you have rheumatoid arthritis - Medical News Today


Jul 16

Educational Programs Can Improve Long-Term Success of Weight Loss Surgery – Endocrinology Network

Participation in postoperative educational programs was associated with better weight loss outcomes among patients with obesity who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), according to a new study.

An analysis of data from the Bariatric Surgery Observation Study (BAROBS), results of the study demonstrate those with more frequent attendence to postoperative educational programs experienced a greater degree of total weight loss and a greater percent of excess weight lost, and lower levels of weight regain 10-15 years after surgery.

The most novel findings in our study conclude that frequent attendees to the educational programs have improved weight loss compared to the infrequent attendees and tend to have less weight regain more than 10years after surgery, wrote investigators.

As with most cardiometabolic disorders, optimized patient education has been demonstrated to have a substantial impact on a diseases prognosis. With this in mind, a team of investigators from the institutions across Norway designed their study as an analysis of data from the BAROBS study, which is a retrospective, multicenter, cross-sectional study assessing long-term effects of RYGB performed from 2003-2009 in a trio of hospitals in Norway.

As part of BAROBS, participants were offered the opportunity to participate in a group-based educational program lasting 2-3 years after surgery, which was aimed at preparing patients for life after surgery and providing them with skills for improving lifestyle post-procedure. For the purpose of analysis, patients were categorized based on whether or not they chose the response they attended the group sessions as often as possible in a questionnaire, with those choosing this answer considered frequent attendees and other considered infrequent attendees.

From BAROBS, investigators obtained data related to 546 patients providing 10-15 years of follow-up after surgery, with information from clinical exams, blood tests, and a survey covering questions regarding lifestyle, social, physical, and mental health topics. After exclusion of those with missing data or who underwent revisional procedures, investigators identified 497 patients for inclusion in their analyses.

At baseline, the 497-patient cohort had a mean age of 39.88.8 years, and a mean BMI of 44.45.4 kg/m2. The mean time to follow-up of the cohort was 14019.1 months. Of the 497 patients included in the study, 58.8% (n=292)were considered frequent attendees in the education program, with 82.5% of these being women.

Upon analysis, a total weight loss of 23.211.6% was observed among those classified as frequent attendees and 19.512.6% among infrequent attendees 10-15 years after RYGB (P <.001). Further analysis demonstrated those considered frequent attendees of the educational program had a greater percentage of excess with loss compared to those considered infrequent attendees (55.728.9% vs 46.031.1%; P <.001) during the same time period.

Results also suggested weight regain in percent of maximal weight loss was lower among frequent attendees than infrequent attendees (32.132.8% vs 38.440.0%; P=.052). Investigators noted additional analyses found no difference between the groups in compliance to physical activity recommendations or to a multivitamin regimen.

This study, The LongTerm Impact ofPostoperative Educational Programs onWeight Loss After RouxenY Gastric Bypass, was published in Obesity Surgery.

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Educational Programs Can Improve Long-Term Success of Weight Loss Surgery - Endocrinology Network


Jul 16

Could the ‘Anti-hunger’ Molecule Be the Miracle Weight Loss Cure of the Future? – HealthNews

Obesity is a growing epidemic. More than 4 in 10 people in the United States are classified as obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Research notes that since 1980 the prevalence of obesity has doubled in more than 70 countries and has continuously increased in most others.

The rising pandemic of obesity is a major public health crisis. Obesity is linked with several chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Furthermore, it costs billions of dollars in healthcare spending.

People who are overweight or obese are often advised to decrease their calorie intake and increase their energy expenditure to lose weight. This calorie deficit can be achieved by modifying the diet and undertaking more physical activity.

Exercise and physical activity that moves the body is essential for overall health. Guidelines recommend that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, plus 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity.

Besides supporting health, exercise increases the body's energy needs. Burning calories may directly affect body weight and fat loss, and it can increase muscle mass and metabolism. Exercise also helps balance hormones that can affect body weight like cortisol, insulin, thyroid hormones, testosterone, and progesterone.

But new research shows that exercise may also have other biochemical benefits that help combat obesity and its related conditions.

A recent study led by scientists from Stanford University School of Medicine and Baylor University has found that a naturally occurring molecule may help to reduce hunger and promote weight loss.

New research found that exercise induces a molecule that suppresses appetite.

The molecule is called lac-phe, and its levels increase significantly directly following exercise. The compound could check appetite, which could reduce obesity and overweight in the long term.

The team sets out to understand how exercise affects body weight and blood sugar control. They wanted to look at the specific molecules and biological pathways involved. They used something called a "metabolomics" approach to look at molecules that appeared or disappeared in the blood of experimental mice before and after they exercised on a treadmill. In other words, the natural ebb and flow of the body's chemicals during exercise.

The scientists used a mass spectrometer machine to identify the presence of various molecules in tissues or blood samples based on their weights. They could track the concentration of various molecules, which allowed them to see how exercise caused them to rise or fall by comparing data from before and after exercise.

They identified that a molecule measuring 236 on the mass spectrometer had the largest changes in concentration. This is how they identified the spike in lac-phe.

It was then important to understand if the spike only appeared in mice or was it universal across species. The team also needed to determine if the spike was caused by exercise or could be due to something else, such as stress.

To find further answers, the team then turned to racehorses. The scientists visited a racing track and obtained blood samples from horses. They then ran another mass spectrometry experiment and were excited to find the same spike in the unknown molecule with a mass of 236.

At this point, the team considered independent research that was also being undertaken at Stanford University. Genetics researchers measured how different molecules increased in human participants during and following exercise. The results also revealed spikes in a molecule with a mass of 236.

Furthermore, the genetics team had analyzed its chemical formula, finding it was a combination of lactate and phenylalanine.

So, it seems that lac-phe appears post-exercise in the same way in mice, racehorses, and humans.

Lac-phe is a molecule that combines lactate and phenylalanine, hence the name.

Lactate or lactic acid is an organic acid that the body produces during anaerobic respiration, meaning in the absence of oxygen. As the body breaks down glucose to generate cellular energy (ATP), it produces lactate.

If you've ever sprinted or exercised intensely, you'll recall the burning, uncomfortable sensation in your muscles. That's the effect of lactate.

Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid and a building block of protein. It occurs naturally in the body, in many protein-rich foods, and the artificial sweetener aspartame.

As you exercise, you generate lactate. This spike triggers a protein called CNDP2 to combine with the lactate and form lac-phe. CNDP2 exists in numerous cells and is highly active in immune cells.

When obese mice were treated with lac-phe, it reduced their appetites by around 30%. In turn, this reduces their body weight and fat and improves their glucose tolerance. The authors noted that these effects were similar to a reversal of diabetes.

However, mice that lacked the CNDP2 gene were unable to produce lac-phe. Therefore, they didn't lose as much weight on the exercise plan as the control mice.

The scientists surmise that the lac-phe pathway could be responsible for approximately 25% of the weight loss effects of exercise.

The results of the research improve the understanding of how exercise can affect hunger and may indirectly affect weight beyond burning calories. However, although these findings are exciting, it's still early days, and more research is required to explore these mechanisms further.

The next big challenge is to see if the discovery can be translated into medications that could control appetite. Firstly though, scientists must further discern how lac-phe affects hunger signals and identify the brain receptors involved in this process.

If scientists can fully comprehend the processes involved in exercise and appetite suppression, they are one step closer to helping people improve their health and tackling the obesity epidemic.

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Could the 'Anti-hunger' Molecule Be the Miracle Weight Loss Cure of the Future? - HealthNews


Jul 16

Best Pre-Workout Meal What to Eat Before Training Fitness Volt – Fitness Volt

Building muscle, getting stronger, and training for better sports performance all require a lot of time and energy. You need to pay your dues in the gym in sweat!

Because of this, it makes sense to try and get the most out of your workouts. An extra rep here, another set there, or more weight on the bar means faster progress toward your goals.

While your motivation, determination, and training program will all have a big impact on the quality of your workout, what you eat before hitting the gym can also influence your performance (1).

Like a racing car, your body works best when it gets the right kind of fuel.

To that end, in this article, were going to talk about the importance of pre-workout nutrition and what to eat before training.

Your body is loaded with energy body fat. Fat is your primary source of fuel during aerobic activities such as low-intensity cardio. Youre also mostly burning fat during the inactive parts of your day, e.g. while working, watching TV, or sleeping.

Fat is so abundant that even very lean people can go for several weeks without eating. Thats good news if you are stranded on a desert island with no food. But, of course, long-term starvation is not a healthy weight loss method!

However, intense exercise uses a different type of fuel glycogen. Glycogen is stored glucose chemically bonded to several molecules of water. We get glucose by eating carbohydrates.

Your glycogen stores are much more limited that your fat stores, and you only have enough glycogen to fuel a few hours of intense exercise. Glycogen is stored in your muscles and your liver.

When you do intense training, like lifting weights, your body uses the glycogen in your muscles for energy. So, if you do squats, the glycogen in your legs is used for fuel. Conversely, if you do bench presses, the glycogen in your pecs, triceps, and deltoids is broken down and used for energy.

Once your glycogen stores are depleted, youll need to rest and eat to replenish them. Trying to train before glycogen replenishment is complete could undermine the intensity and duration of future workouts. In simple terms, youd be starting with only partially full fuel tanks.

If your glycogen levels are lower than usual, youll feel weak and sluggish and wont be able to train as hard or as long as you might otherwise wish.

So, the aim of your pre-workout meal is to maximize glycogen storage so you have plenty of fuel to power you through your workout.

Ideally, you should start the refueling process shortly after finishing your last workout. That means that your pre-workout meal should top off your glycogen stores to make sure you start your training fully loaded with fuel.

Because its glycogen that you need to power you through your workout, the first thing to include in your pre-workout meal is carbohydrates(2). Carbs are broken down into glucose and then converted into glycogen.

Good sources of pre-workout carbs include:

The best pre-workout carbs are low in fiber. Fiber, which is indigestible plant material, contains no calories and delays the conversion of carbs into glucose by keeping food in your stomach for longer. Thats good for satiety and weight loss but not very helpful for providing your muscles with fast-acting energy.

Protein can also be helpful in pre-workout meals. Consuming protein before training can help minimize muscle catabolism (breakdown) and increase post-exercise protein synthesis (3). While some muscle breakdown is unavoidable, the less you experience, the faster youll recover between workouts.

Good sources of protein include:

Related: 40 Great Protein-Packed Foods

The final food group, fat, should NOT make up a large part of your pre-workout meal. Like fiber, fat is a gastric inhibitor and delays digestion, meaning it keeps food in your stomach for longer. As such, you should seek out lean proteins and not add extra fats, even healthy varieties like olive oil, to your pre-workout meals.

Regarding meal size, that really depends on how many calories you eat per day, your current body composition goal (get lean, build muscle, or maintain your current weight), and your ability to digest your meals. Bigger is not always better.

20-30 grams of protein and 75-100 grams of carbs should be sufficient, providing you with between 400-600 calories. This should be more than enough energy to get you through your workout but still be digested by the time you start training.

Ideally, there should be enough time between your pre-training meal and your workout for the food to digest more-or-less fully. You want your stomach to be empty and the nutrients to reach your muscles before you start your first set. Training with a stomach full of partially digested food can be very uncomfortable and also defeats the point of eating a pre-workout meal.

As people tend to digest food at differing speeds, determining when to eat your pre-workout meal may take some experimentation. For example, you may feel ready to go after just an hour or so or need two to three hours for your food to digest. The size of your meal also matters, and a big meal will take longer to digest than a pre-workout snack.

If in doubt, err on the side of caution and leave 2-3 hours between eating and training. That way, you are less likely to feel sick during your workout.

So, for plenty of training energy, you need to eat a meal that consists of carbs, protein, and little fat roughly 2-3 hours before your workout. This will give the meal enough time to digest and for the nutrients to reach your muscles.

Good examples of pre-workout meals include:

If you train early in the morning, you may not have time to eat a meal before your workout. In this case, you will need to fuel up by eating a high-carb meal the night before. You can also boost your glycogen levels by consuming fast-acting carbs shortly before your workout, e.g., as you drive to the gym.

Your body digests fluids faster than liquids, so a pre-workout shake or smoothie is a good option. Just blend a ripe banana with some yogurt, milk, and protein powder, and youll be good to go. Alternatively, you can chug down a high-carb sports drink such as Gatorade, which contains glucose and other fast-acting sugars.

If none of that is possible, you could just take a shot of pre-workout. Although you wont be getting any carbs or protein, you will get a dose of caffeine and other energizers and stimulators which could help power you through your gym session. However, this is not an ideal solution as youll still be running on empty, and your workout will be very depleting.

Fasted workouts are popular for fat loss and weight control. With fasted workouts, you skip your pre-workout meal entirely and dont eat anything before training. The idea is that your body is more likely to burn fat for fuel when your glycogen stores are partially depleted.

Research on fasted exercise is inconclusive, and while some studies suggest it increases fat oxidation, others found no significant difference (4). However, anecdotally, it seems that doing cardio on an empty stomach may enhance fat burning.

However, fasted strength training is probably not a good idea. Remember, glycogen is your primary source of energy during high-intensity bodybuilding workouts. If glycogen levels are low, your strength and work capacity will deteriorate faster. This could make your workouts less effective.

So, while its probably okay to do fasted low and moderate-intensity cardio, fasted strength training is not a good idea for most people.

Its often said that you are what you eat. Your diet provides the energy for your workouts and meal timing matters. Ideally, you should try and eat carbs and protein 2-3 hours before training. This ensures that your glycogen stores are full, so youll have all the energy you need to power through your workout.

If thats not possible, maybe because you train early in the morning, consume some fast-acting carbs on your way to the gym, such as a glucose-based drink.

And while you can do fasted workouts, theyre generally best left for cardio, where fat is your main energy source. Fasted strength training may mean you cannot train as hard or as long as usual, reducing workout productivity.

1 PubMed: Effect of Meal Frequency and Timing on Physical Performancehttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9155497/

2 PubMed: Role of Carbohydrate In Exercisehttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6571232/

3 PubMed: Stimulation of Net Muscle Protein Synthesis by Whey Protein Ingestion Before and After Exercisehttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16896166/

4 PubMed: Exercise Training and Fasting: Current Insightshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6983467/

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Jul 16

7-Minute Workouts and Short Training Sessions Can Improve Fitness – Men’s Health

Weve long been on the bandwagon when it comes to touting the benefits of short workouts.

Quick-hitting training sessions, such as the ones provided in The Mens Health 7-Minute Workouts for Fat Burn program will enable you to maximize your exercise time, using movements that can help you make strides toward a more athletic physique and serve as a building block toward more sustainable long-term fitness goals.

You might still be skeptical about just how much you can accomplish in such a short period of time. Sure, a few minutes is better than nothingbut what progress can you actually make in under 10 minutes? Are these legitimate muscle-building sessions or are simply a last resort when you can't fit anything else into your schedule?

The bottom line is this: Dont underestimate the effectiveness of these 7-minute workouts. They are efficient, and they can target areas you may not think you could hit in such an abbreviated period of time. Even more importantly, quick-hit programs such as the ones in the 7-Minute Workouts for Fat Burn program can provide a solid foundation for more advanced programs over time.

Men's Health 7-Minute Workouts for Fat Burn

$26.95

But if youre still unsure of just how you can get fit in just seven minutes, here are three ways in which a little bit of time can go a long way to help you to get and stay fit.

In this fast-paced, multitasking world, short, no-nonsense workouts might feel like a modern adaptation to extreme circumstances and schedules. But the concept of quick, effective training is far from new.

Low-volume, high-effort workouts have been around since the Golden Era of bodybuilding. One of the OGs from the 60s and 70s, Mike Mentzer, was famous for his short workouts. For Mentzer and his heavy duty program, all it took was just a set or two of all-out efforts per each muscle group just three times a week to get in a full workout. And this is the man who nearly defeated Arnold Schwarzenegger on a bodybuilding stage, so you know it was effective.

Mentzer is one of several examples of the effectiveness short workouts can have on building strength and size. Other athletes have spread their workouts a few minutes at a time over the course of the day to put in the work. And there's plenty of research that supports the idea that these training types can be nearly as effective for building muscle and strength as your traditional high-volume training program.

Although shorter workouts may not be recommended for elite athletes and military personnel, seven-minute workouts are the perfect solution for the everyday athlete with goals like looking leaner and staying fit, energetic, and injury-free day in and day out.

Need to get in and out of the gym? Research has shown that once you eliminate the distractionsthat means your phone, trips to the water fountain, longer rest periods, and even standing in front of the TVa full strength-building workout can be achieved in less than 15 minutes. So youre on the right track here.

AleksandarGeorgievGetty Images

We cant stress this enough: Your training goals should be focused on fat loss, not weight loss. To keep your training healthy, you should be less concerned about what number is on the scale. What we want to achieve is a sustainable fat loss, or more specifically, body recomposition, which you'll see when you lose fat while retaining (or even gaining) muscle mass.

However, weve also been brainwashed into thinking that in order to achieve this goal, fat loss methods require long, repetitive (i.e., boring) bouts on the elliptical, treadmill, or other cardio machines. Were here to tell you thats not always the case. More is not always better. Science backs this up: Research published in the American Journal of Human Biology in 2016 convincingly demonstrated that a persons body can only burn so many calories per day, and that after that upper limit is reached, the capacity to burn calories is reduced to near zero.

For fat loss goals, seven minutes is actually a better method than long, drawn out sessions. Over a longer period of time, seven minute session should be enough to fine-tune your metabolism, which will spur muscle growth. Keep progressing to the point in which you can do multiple seven-minute workouts in a day becomes the norm, increasing your metabolism even morecontributing to further fat loss. And itll get you moving a lot more than you'd think possible in such a short amount of time.

No matter how effective you utilize your training time, however, its all for nothing if youre not spot on with your nutrition. Without careful attention to diet, exercise is ineffective for fat loss. No ifs, ands, or buts.

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Having problems with pullups or mastering an even tougher move like a handstand? Heres an opportunityjust seven minutesin which you can work solely on the mechanics of any exercise you may be struggling to complete in longer training sessions. What makes this such a great opportunity to better your technique is that youre moving at a not-so-rapid pace but instead one that keeps you moving and improving while getting stronger and technically sound.

Strength expert Pavel Tsatsouline refers to it as greasing the groove, which means practicing a skill well-below maximal practice levels in the short term that over time will prepare you for an all-out max effort. This is the best way to learn and enhance a new skillset.

One example may be using shorter rep counts, or even spreading your practice with the difficult movement throughout the day. Less fatigue equals less breakdown which results in more reps over time and more gains without the soreness or fatigue.

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7-Minute Workouts and Short Training Sessions Can Improve Fitness - Men's Health


Jul 16

I want the body of a 20 year-old when Im 60 heres my simple weight loss secrets, reveals MasterChefs G… – The Sun

TUCKING into delicious meal after delicious meal on MasterChef, it is no wonder Gregg Wallace ballooned to more than 16st.

But while much of the grub put a smile on his face, what it was doing to his waistline was making him miserable.

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The 57-year-old, who also presents the BBCs Eat Well For Less?, lost four stone by ditching fast food, embracing home cooking, drinking less and exercising regularly.

Gregg who has joined forces with The Sun in an exclusive two-part series to help YOU eat healthily this summer confesses: Some people say, Im overweight and Im happy. Well I was overweight and I wasnt happy.

And I say to those people, If you could take a pill right now and be three stone lighter, would you take it? And of course they would.

The trouble is, people think weight loss is going to be difficult, because theyve tried it previously and theyve tried a really restrictive diet that is uncomfortable.

They didnt like doing it, they felt hungry doing it, they wanted to know when it was going to be over and hated every second.

Diets like this dont work. I know, because Ive been there.

Of his own weight loss, he says: It honestly wasnt a struggle.

He is now aiming for the body of a 20-year-old.

Gregg, who is 5ft 8in and at his heaviest weighed 16st 7lb, says: My motivation at the start was, I just want to look better on the telly.

But now its, How fit can I actually get? Can I actually have the body of a 20-year-old at 60?.

Ive done everything. Ive done fasting, no carbs, low fat. You name it, I tried it.

And yes, you can lose weight short-term. But its really uncomfortable and you wont keep it up because youre horribly hungry and miserable all the time.

I learnt that its far better to wean yourself off the crap diet slowly and cook proper, healthy meals, as you are far more likely to succeed and enjoy the change.

Im not talking about lettuce leaves here, Im taking about foods you want to eat.

It was in 2017, after being told by his doctor that his weight could give him a heart attack, that Gregg decided to change his lifestyle.

Three years later he had lost four stone and revealed a super-toned body and six-pack to his thousands of Instagram followers.

Two years on from that infamous topless picture, Gregg says he loves showing off his body and has no plans to stop, despite what others might think.

He says: Some people told me not to (share the topless picture) but I just thought Sod it, Im going to do it. I think its good to celebrate success when you have improved your health so dramatically.

It got huge hits online and people got really inspired by it.

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Ive done a few now and Im going to do it every birthday to chart my success, because Im really proud of how I look at my age.

Im approaching 60 and I know for sure Ive been scared of my age before and scared for my health. But now Im embracing ageing.

Key to any success is not only losing weight, but keeping it off.

I'm really proud of how I look for my age

Gregg has managed it with healthy eating and regular gruelling workouts.

His sessions with a personal trainer involve chin-ups, bench presses, kettlebells and hundreds of press-ups.

He says: I cannot begin to tell you the confidence boost its given me being a slimmer, fitter version of myself

I feel more attractive, Im nicer to be around and, lets be honest, my wife Anna is 22 years younger than me and while I cant change my age, at least I can change what I look like.

Gregg met Anna seven years ago on Twitter and since then the pair have had son Syd, now three.

He credits his Italian wife with teaching him how to cook healthy food.

He says: Anna and I bond over food. Its our thing and we are both really anti posh food.

Tasty, simple food is what we are all about. People assume I eat fancy stuff all the time.

I like the Michelin dining experience but it quickly gets boring.

Everyone assumes I drink champagne, only eat organic and love people who used to be lawyers who now make disgusting cheese in Gloucestershire, and I dont.

I like supermarkets, simple meals and branded foods.

Gregg also thanks his healthier lifestyle for making him a better parent. He says: I cant imagine being a new dad in my 50s overweight.

Syd looks on me as the play machine, Im the only one who is strong and fit enough to do aeroplanes with him.

That makes me really happy.

People do judge you becoming an older dad, but Im fitter and healthier in my late 50s than when I was in my 30s, when I had my son Tom and daughter Libby.

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Gregg and his long-term co-presenter John Torode received MBEs for their charity work and services to food in the Queens Birthday Honours List in June an honour that Gregg says he is ludicrously proud of.

He adds: To go from a council estate with no education and leaving home at 15 to be recognised by her majesty the Queen is one of the proudest moments of my life. Im chuffed to bits.

And he credits John, 56, for helping him get there.

He says: I love John Torode. He recently said we are incredibly different and thats what makes us work so well together, and Id agree.

People dont understand why we havent been to each others houses, but we speak on the phone all the time and spend long days together, we are very, very close and Im so proud of that relationship.

Gregg, who has set up a successful diet and exercise platform ShowMe.Fit, also says he has noticed that John is transforming his appearance, too.

He adds: I have to say, John is looking really good recently. I havent asked him how hes doing it because I dont want to impose what I do on him, but whatever hes doing he looks great.

Whether we like it or not we work in an image-conscious industry and I do often think, Would I still be in work if I was overweight?.

The way Gregg is going, that is a question he will never have to worry about.

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I want the body of a 20 year-old when Im 60 heres my simple weight loss secrets, reveals MasterChefs G... - The Sun


Jul 16

Looking at the Main Types of Emphysema – Healthline

There are different kinds of lung diseases, including emphysema, and there are also a few different types of emphysema.

Emphysema is a chronic and progressive lung disease caused by exposure to substances that damage the lungs, most often cigarette smoke. Other causes include air pollution, fumes and dusts at the workplace, and rarely, an inherited form of emphysema related to alpha 1-antitrypsin (AA1) deficiency.

Emphysema damages the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs, making it harder to breathe. The sacs may be collapsed, overinflated, or narrowed. Once the air sacs are damaged, they cannot be fixed.

There are different types of emphysema, and knowing more about the condition can help you better understand it.

Emphysema, also called pulmonary emphysema, is a progressive lung disease. Its a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Its hallmarks are continued respiratory symptoms and impaired airflow. Symptoms can include cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and sputum production.

There are three types of emphysema:

There are three main types of emphysema, and each one tends to be expressed in its own way:

Most people with emphysema have symptoms that are vague and nonspecific, like shortness of breath or cough (with or without sputum). As the disease progresses, these symptoms get worse, and wheezing occurs.

As the disease continues to get worse, there may be significant weight loss because of systemic inflammation and the fact that the person is working so hard to breathe, theyre burning many calories.

In addition to the different types of emphysema, there are different stages of the disease (sometimes this is merely referred to as stages of COPD). This is called the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) system. It divides it up into four different stages:

Treatment typically depends on specific symptoms, severity of symptoms, and the stage.

Emphysema is caused by exposure to gases and substances that irritate and damage the lungs. The exposure is chronic and considerable, over a period of time. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of emphysema. Other causes include:

Risk factors can also include secondhand smoke, lung infections, allergies, and low birth weight.

If you have symptoms of emphysema, a complete health history will be taken by a medical professional, as well as a physical exam. Your doctor will ask whether you smoke and if you work around or live near hazardous substances that may affect your breathing.

A healthcare professional may order some tests to help assess lung function and get a better idea of whats going on with your lungs. These tests measure how your lungs exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. They may also order imaging tests to see your lung structure. Tests that help in the diagnosis of emphysema can include:

Your healthcare professional will likely order a combination of tests, because no singular tst may be able to firmly diagnose the disease and associated issues.

There is no cure for emphysema. No treatment is known to stop or reverse the disease process, but there are ways to manage symptoms and help to slow disease progression. Treatment and management can also help improve quality of life.

Treatment options include:

Lifestyle changes can include:

If your emphysema co-occurs with other diseases, talk with your healthcare team about how to improve overall health and ease symptoms.

Emphysema is a chronic and progressive lung disease that is a form of COPD. COPD and/or emphysema usually occur with other conditions, which may affect the disease course or progression. While there is no cure for emphysema, there are ways to treat and manage the disease to slow progression, ease symptoms, and improve quality of life.

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