Oct 2016

Supplements Target Ketogenesis and Metabolic Flexibility

Most readers who have heard of ketosis and ketogenesis likely associate the concepts with dieting and the works of Dr. Robert C. Atkins (Dr. Atkins’ Health Revolution, 1989; Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, 1992) that launched a bit of a movement in the 1990s. Much less well known is the role of ketosis in sports and the importance of being able to enter ketosis as an aspect of metabolic flexibility, meaning the ability to rapidly and easily shift between carbohydrates and fats as fuel substrates to match, on the one hand, dietary sources of calories and, on the other hand, particular physical demands for energy. In fact, the health implications of metabolic flexibility are significant and are related to the body’s degree of insulin sensitivity and thereby to the components of the metabolic syndrome.

Aug 2016

Aging and the Mitochondria

In aging and many disease states, the energy production capacity of the body’s cells is diminished. The mitochondria are the structures within the cell responsible for generating energy from oxygen and nutrients. If their number is reduced or their function is impaired, free radicals are produced and damaging toxins accumulate in the cells. These toxins further damage the mitochondria and impair other aspects of cellular function. Many of the most common health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, and many problems associated with aging, arise from problems in cellular energy production.

Jun 2016

Is the Metabolic Syndrome a Consequence of Aging?

Insulin ranks as one of the great discoveries of the Twentieth Century. Initially, it was thought of primarily in terms of providing an explanation and a solution to diabetes. Subsequent research reduced expectations that insulin was a “cure” to diabetes, yet broadened the range of conditions in which insulin appeared to be active. Similarly, organs beyond the pancreas became recognized as being linked to insulin’s activities. These included the muscles as repositories for glucose disposal after meals and even the bones as regulators of insulin’s actions. The concept of insulin resistance, meaning poor responses to insulin’s actions in peripheral tissues, emerged as a major explanation for a variety of conditions under the headings Syndrome X and metabolic syndrome. Just as insulin resistance is a major component in the course of diabetes type 2, it also now is linked to many other conditions.

Feb 2015

Caloric Restriction, Fasting and Nicotinamide Riboside

Attempts to extend normal life and to prolong maximum lifespan no doubt are as old as the human race. Many cultures have legends regarding the achievement of greatly extended lives, yet even in the realm of legend, techniques for such accomplishment are generally missing. Nevertheless, there are plenty historical records attesting that aside from deaths due to complications of childbirth, childhood diseases, famine, wars and plagues, a number individuals consuming diets and following habits that we recognize today lived not just the Biblical three score and ten years, but into their 80s and 90s. Many of the famous philosophers, playwrights and poets of Ancient Greece, for instance, still were productive into advanced years. Significantly missing is evidence of two types of longevity.

Mar 2014

Russian Tarragon & Bitter Melon: Creatine’s Overlooked Sidekicks

When it comes to sports performance supplements, there are few ingredients better known than creatine. Creatine helps to supply energy to cells, particularly in muscle, by assisting in the formation of the body’s energy currency, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

But athletes are often unaware that ATP generation requires creatine to first gain entry to muscle. Creatine floating around in the blood is useless if not absorbed by muscle tissue. Yet taken by itself (usually as creatine monohydrate), a significant portion ends-up being simply excreted, i.e., being useless. The reason: low insulin levels.