Friday, September 26, 2008

The REAL Effects of Alcohol On Your Body | Supertraining

The REAL Effects of Alcohol On Your Body | Supertraining
But what you didn’t know is that only about 5% of the calories from alcohol are stored as fat!

Then it hit me as it should hit you right about now…

The effects of alcohol on the body are far more damaging than can be predicted by the number of empty calories in some alcoholic beverage.

The truth is…

1- Alcohol really affects the amount of fat your body can and will burn for energy!

In a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Research [4] they concluded that just a mere 24g of alcohol consumption showed whole-body lipid oxidation ( the rate at which your body burns fat) decreased by a whopping 73%!

When alcohol goes thru the liver, the by-product is called Acetate. It would appear that acetate puts the proverbial brakes on fat burning.

Your body can use many types of fuel. Protein, carbohydrates and fat. In many cases, the fuel used is dictated by it’s availability.

Trouble is…

Your body tends to use whatever you feed it for fuel right? As your acetate levels increase, your body burns more acetate as fuel.

What this means is…

Fat burning takes a back seat!

What it all boils down to is this…

a) You consume a couple of alcoholic drinks or more. b) Your liver metabolizes that into acetate. c) Your body uses the acetate for fat as fuel.

2- Increase in appetite

In another American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, there was evidence to suggest that consumption of alcohol lead to an increase in appetite over that of any other carbohydrate type drink.

Researchers over in the Research Department of Human Nutrition and Center for Advanced Food Studies in Denmark [8] concluded that consumption of alcoholic beverages, and wine in particular, may enhance total energy intake at a meal relative to a soft drink, when served with no restriction.

3- Decrease in Testosterone and an Increase in Cortisol

A study of 8 healthy male volunteers observed that after drinking alcohol, the effects of a significant decrease in testosterone and an increase in cortisol (a muscle destroying hormone) lasted up to 24 hours!

The only real question to ask yourself is this…

If you are serious about building muscle and burning fat, you want all the free testosterone levels you can get and you want to reduce cortisol in any way you can. That means go lite on the drinking because it does affect your hormones.

What more…

Is that the effects were even worse if you exercise before drinking. This means that if you are going out and will be drinking more than a small amount of alcohol, you might as well skip the gym.

Not shocking is a study done by the Department of Radiology, Sahlgrenska Hospital, Goteborg, Sweden [2] that determined increased waist to hip ratio of alcoholics may include not only changes in adipose tissue, but also in muscle tissue distribution.

In layman’s terms.. that means more fat around the waist and less overall muscle mass.

4- Decrease in vitamin and mineral absorption

When you consume large quantities of alcohol, your liver is busy converting the alcohol to acetate and any vitamins and minerals that it might process are taken up by the detoxification process.

Alcohol interferes with the metabolism of most vitamins, and with the absorption of many nutrients. Alcohol stimulates both urinary calcium and magnesium excretion.

This just means that you’ll get less of a benefit from the “healthy” meal you may be consuming.

Food in the stomach will compete with ethanol for absorption into the blood stream. It is well known that alcohol competes and influences the processing of nutrients in the body.

5- Decrease in protein synthesis of type II fibers

This means the actual building of muscle is slowed down by 20%+ or more. This included a 35% decrease in muscle insulin-like growth factor-I (GF-I).

6- Dehydration

A common side effect of alcohol is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic. Drinks containing 4% alcohol tend to delay the recovery process.

Considering how important water is to muscle building and general health, it’s clear that dehydration can put a damper on your progress. After alcohol consumption the first thing you might want to do is drink coffee. But that’s a diuretic as well. How to avoid dehydration? Drink more water.

7- Sleep

Alcohol consumption, especially at the times when you would normally sleep, can have effects on the quality of sleep. Clearly high quality sleep is extremely important to the rebuilding and growth process of muscle. Without proper rest and recovery, your gains will be affected.

Alcohol consumption can induce sleep disorders by disrupting the sequence and duration of sleep states and by altering total sleep time as well as the time required to fall asleep.

8- The next day

A rather obvious conclusion but if you plan on drinking on a Friday night in excess then the leg workout you thought of doing on Saturday morning won’t be top notch. It takes a bit to recover, your body to detoxify and for you mentally to be prepared to workout.

Not to mention you need energy for the workout ahead.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Science Pal: Missing link found between circadian clock and metabolism

Science Pal: Missing link found between circadian clock and metabolism

Missing link found between circadian clock and metabolism

Two new research studies have discovered a long sought molecular link between our metabolism and components of the internal clock that drives circadian rhythms, keeping us to a roughly 24-hour schedule. The findings appear in the July 25th issue of the journal Cell, a publication of Cell Press.

The missing link is a well–studied mammalian protein called SIRT1, which was previously known to be switched on and off in accordance with cells' metabolic state and is perhaps best known for its potential life-extending properties.

"We all have noticed in an intuitive manner that the body requires more energy at certain times of day," said Paolo Sassone-Corsi of University of California, Irvine. "That's why we have lunch or dinner—there is a cyclicity in feeding behavior and energy requirement. That suggests there must be a link between the clock and metabolism. Now, in SIRT1, we have found a molecular connection between the circadian machinery and metabolism."

" While it remains a matter of speculation, the findings suggest that drugs that inhibit or activate SIRT1 might have an effect on the clock," added Gad Asher of University of Geneva in Switzerland, noting that such treatments might be a help to people suffering from circadian sleep disturbances. That idea could be easily tested by giving mice resveratrol, a SIRT1-boosting ingredient found in red wine, and examining its effects on clock function, he added.

Although still a matter of some debate, SIRT1 and its equivalent proteins in other organisms (known collectively as Sirtuins) have been shown to prolong life span. Studies have also implicated the protein in the life-extending effects of a calorie restricted diet in some, though not all, organisms.

So wake/sleep cycles, metabolism, and longevity are related. somehow. Very interesting stuff.

ScienceDirect - Nutrition : Body fat distribution, insulin resistance, and metabolic diseases

ScienceDirect - Nutrition : Body fat distribution, insulin resistance, and metabolic diseases
Body fat distribution, insulin resistance, and metabolic diseases

Per Björntorp MD, PhDCorresponding Author Contact Information
From the Department of Heart and Lung Diseases, Sahlgren's Hospital, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden

Accepted 19 February 1997. ;
Available online 5 February 1998.

Purchase the full-text article

References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.


Obesity has now developed into a world-wide epidemic and is associated with large economic costs and prevalent diseases, particularly with central body fat distribution. Insulin resistance almost invariably occurs, and might be a major trigger for disease-generating mechanisms either directly or via generation of other disease precursors (“risk factors”).

The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis seems to be hypersensitive in abdominal obesity, a statement supported by increased responses to challenges from the adrenals to central regulatory centers. Furthermore, the feedback control by central glucocorticoid receptors is blunted, probably a secondary, functional consequence of an elevated HPA axis activity, because the receptor gene appears normal. Secretion of sex steroid and growth hormones is diminished, which might be a consequence of elevated HPA axis activity. Hyperandrogenicity in women is probably of adrenal origin and another consequence of the sensitivity of the HPA axis.

The endocrine abnormalities thus are periodically elevated cortisol and androgen (women) concentrations, as well as low secretions of gender-specific steroid and growth hormones. Since elevated cortisol, and low sex-steroid and growth hormone secretions, probably direct storage fat to visceral depots, the multiple endocrine abnormalities probably cause enlargement of these depots. Furthermore, these hormonal abnormalities most likely at least contribute to the creation of insulin resistance with additional effects of elevated fatty acids from central fat depots, which are sensitive to lipid mobilization agents.

This chain of events indicates the central role of the hypersensitive HPA axis. Known causes of sensitization of this axis have been identified in subjects with abdominal obesity, including depression, anxiety, alcohol, and smoking. A common cause of HPA axis activation is perceived stress, with a depressive, defeatist, or “helplessness” reaction. In subjects with abdominal preponderance of body fat stores a number of psychosocial and socioeconomic handicaps have been identified, hypothetically predisposing to such reactions. In a primate model (monkeys), mild psychosocial stress is followed by identical psychological, endocrine, anthropometric, and metabolic abnormalities as in humans with abdominal preponderance of body fat stores, including early signs of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These findings strongly support the interpretation that a stress reaction activating the HPA axis is involved also in the human syndrome.

Interventions with normalization of the endocrine perturbations are followed by clear improvements of the multiple abnormalities in both clinical, experimental, cellular and molecular studies, suggesting that the pathogenesis of abdominal preponderance of body fat and its endocrine, anthropometric and metabolic abnormalities are indeed consequences of the endocrine abnormalities identified.

Author Keywords: abdominal obesity; cortisol; sex steroids; growth hormone; metabolism; psychosocial factors; socioeconomic factors

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eating veggies shrinks the brain-Health/Sci-The Times of India

Eating veggies shrinks the brain-Health/Sci-The Times of India

MELBOURNE: Scientists have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain-with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.

Vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system. Yeast extracts are one of the few vegetarian foods which provide good levels of the vitamin.

The link was discovered by Oxford University scientists who used memory tests, physical checks and brain scans to examine 107 people between the ages of 61 and 87.

When the volunteers were retested five years later the medics found those with the lowest levels of vitamin B12 were also the most likely to have brain shrinkage. It confirms earlier research showing a link between brain atrophy and low levels of B12.

Brain scans of more than 1,800 people found that people who downed 14 drinks or more a week had 1.6% more brain shrinkage than teetotallers. Women in their seventies were the most at risk.

Beer does less damage than wine according to a study in Alcohol and Alcoholism.

Researchers found that the hippocampus-the part of the brain that stores memories - was 10% smaller in beer drinkers than those who stuck to wine.

And being overweight or obese is linked to brain loss, Swedish researchers discovered. Scans of around 300 women found that those with brain shrink had an average body mass index of 27 And for every one point increase in their BMI the loss rose by 13 to 16%.

Hyperinsulinemia causes activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in humans

Hyperinsulinemia causes activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in humans:

"Hyperinsulinemia causes activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in humans
B Fruehwald-Schultes, W Kern, J Born, H L Fehm and A Peters

Departments of Internal Medicine I and Clinical Neuroendocrinology, University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany

Correspondence to: B Fruehwald-Schultes, Medical University Luebeck, Department of Internal Medicine I, Ratzeburger Allee 160, D-23538 Luebeck, Germany. E-mail:

OBJECTIVE: Hyperactivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is frequently found in hyperinsulinemic subjects, such as patients with diabetes or abdominal obesity. Here, the question has been posed as to whether hyperinsulinemia increases HPA secretory activity."

CONCLUSION: Data indicate that hyperinsulinemia acutely increases HPA secretory activity in healthy men. This finding appears to be relevant to the pathogenesis of many clinical abnormalities associated which diabetes and abdominal adiposity, often referred to as the metabolic syndrome.

Also see the following about how the HPA access affects affect...

Hypothalamus-Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) Axis

Ned Kalin, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, in the same symposium, reviewed the literature suggesting that exposure to stress can lead to the development of psychopathology as well as other medical disorders.[6-8] He emphasized the role that cortisol, the major stress hormone released with activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, may play in the development of a variety of medical illnesses, from diabetes to depression. It may also play a role in the memory dysfunction associated with chronic stress. The effect of cortisol on brain function is thought to be mediated through the mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors.

Dr. Kalin suggested that the overactivity of the HPA axis in depression, which results in damage to the central nervous system,[9] could be treated with agents that antagonize brain glucocorticoid receptors. Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) is a neuropeptide in the brain that is released by the hypothalamus that not only regulates the stress-induced activation of the HPA axis, but also mediates the behavioral and autonomic changes associated with stress-related illnesses including anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and even cardiovascular disease.

They mention cortisol as activating the HPA axis. Cortisol is increased by smoking and coffee. So smoking, carbs and coffee could lead to depression, anxiety, diabetes and heart disease.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

CEO: Fannie/Freddie Bailout Makes America 'More Communist than China'

CEO: Fannie/Freddie Bailout Makes America 'More Communist than China'

Rogers Holdings chief tells CNBC Europe U.S. brand of socialism is meant only for the rich.

By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
9/8/2008 5:24:06 PM

Has America created its own variety of communism with the U.S. Treasury Department’s bailout of two beleaguered government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE)? According to Rogers Holding CEO Jim Rogers, the answer is yes.

“America is more communist than China is right now,” Rogers told CNBC Europe’s “Squawk Box Europe” September 8. “You can at least have a free market in housing and a lot of other things in China. And you can see that this is welfare for the rich. This is socialism for the rich. It’s bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters."

Rogers, known for launching the Quantum Fund with left-wing heavyweight George Soros, said the bailout was not benefiting homeowners or helping average citizens improve their standing for a home mortgage.

“It’s not bailing out the homeowners who are in trouble, by the way,” Rogers said. “It’s not bailing out people who want a mortgage – it’s just bailing out financial institutions. This is not my idea of the way things are supposed to be, but if that’s what America wants, you know, it can elect people who are going to do it. I think it’s a mistake.”

The Rogers Holdings CEO had little confidence that Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, Ill., or Republican vice-presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, would be able to do anything to steer Fannie or Freddie on a more stable path.

“This is a big huge mess and neither one of them has a clue as to what to do next year,” Rogers said. “Bank stocks around the world are going through the roof, that’s because they’ve all been bailed out. You don’t see the homeowners in Kansas going through the roof because they’re not being bailed out.”

Rogers had previously called for Fannie and Freddie to be allowed to go bankrupt. “They should not be bailed out,” he told “Worldwide Exchange” July 15. “This is outrageous. Who are these people who are taking our money and doing this and ruining America?”

“Let the patient go bankrupt,” he said. “We have courts in America; they will be reorganized.”

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “wove a mantle of invincibility” through lobbying according to a September 8 Wall Street Journal “Deal Journal” blog post. According to the Journal’s Heidi N. Moore, the mortgage giants had $170 million in lobbying bills in the past decade and spent $3.5 million on lobbying just in this year’s first quarter, spreading their largesse among 42 outside lobbying firms.

Earlier on September 8, CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer called the bailout “a homerun plan” on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”