Fitness Factoids: Volume 68

B-Vitamins IB-vitaminsmprove Cognitive Function

Homocysteine is an amino acid that has been associated with being an independent risk factor for heart disease. Typically when a person has elevated levels of Homocysteine in the blood they also tend to have lower levels of the b-vitamins B6, B12, and folate. As we age blood levels of Homocysteine tend to increase while blood levels of b-vitamins tend to decrease which can lead to heart disease and decreased cognitive function from the accumulation of beta amyloid proteins in the brain. According to a new study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience supplementing with folate, B6, and B12 has the ability to improve cognitive function and reduce Homocysteine levels in middle aged and elderly individuals. The study gave cognitive aptitude tests and took biomarkers from 104 individuals who were then split into two groups. Group one served as the control, while group two received supplemental folate, B6, and B12. After a 12 week period the subjects were reevaluated at it was found that the supplemental group had decreased blood levels of Homocysteine, elevated blood levels of b-vitamins, and improved cognitive performance compared to the control. Researchers are now recommending that all middle aged and elderly individuals supplement with b-vitamins to reduce risk of both heart disease and cognitive decline.




tvWatching Too Much TV Leads to Premature Death

There’s bad news for anyone who was planning to spend their long holiday weekend binge watching Netflix and giving their couch cushions all they can handle for a solid three days. According to new research published by the Journal of the American Heart Association too much time spent watching TV increases the likely hood of premature death nearly twice as much as other sedentary activities. For the study researchers tracked 13,248 generally healthy graduates from a Spanish University over the course of 8 years. During that period 97 deaths occurred and researchers determined that those who reported spending three or more hours each day watching TV were twice as likely to die from any cause. However, it’s not all bad news. Researchers did determine that other sedentary activites like sitting at the computer did not appear to increase the likelihood of death. So, while watching the entire new season of Orange Is The New Black at one sitting might be off the table, you are free to spend as much time as you want Facebook stalking your ex while you not-so-secretly hope that you’ll find a picture that shows they’ve gained somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty pounds.



Aspirin Reducaspirines Risk of Developing Pancreatic Cancer

Although it seems nearly impossible to find someone who hasn’t been impacted directly or indirectly by various types of cancer, certain cancers such as pancreatic cancer are particularly deadly. Pancreatic cancer is an especially deadly and aggressive form of cancer that typically has survival rates of five years or less following diagnosis. A new study conducted by researchers at Yale University has discovered that taking aspirin may be able to reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by as much as 60% according to a study published in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. For the study researchers tracked 390 recently diagnosed patients and 690 healthy patients who served as the control over the course of four years to determine the impact that anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin can have on the spread and development of the disease. At the conclusion of the study researchers determined that those who took a daily aspirin regimen were nearly 50% less likely to develop cancer, and those who admitted to taking daily aspirin for 10 years or more had had up to a 60% reduction in risk. Researchers attribute their findings to the ability of aspirin to decrease systemic inflammation which has been shown to damage cells and lead to the development of cancerous and precancerous cells in the body.




almodsAlmonds Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

The benefits of consuming copious amounts of healthy fats in our diets from whole food sources such as almonds has become increasingly popular recently as people discover the truth about the cause of weight gain, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Now, a new study conducted by researchers at Aston University has found that regular consumption of almonds may be able to independently lower risk factors for the development of heart disease. For the study researchers took two groups of middle aged men; one of which was listed as healthy, while the other suffered from mild symptoms of cardiovascular disease, and gave them 50g of almonds daily to test the impact of this super food and its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease. A third group also served as a control and continued normal dietary practices. At the conclusion of the study researchers found that the almond groups had lowered their blood pressure and showed elevated amounts of heart healthy antioxidants in their blood. The control group showed no improvement. The data suggests that someone looking to reduce their risk of developing heart disease can do so by simply adding a handful of almonds to their daily diet.




geneticsGreat Training Can’t Defeat Greater Genetics

A new study conducted on sprinters by Grand Valley State University has found something that the bodybuilding community has known for a very long time – it all starts with great genetics. Researchers at the University studied 26 Olympians including fifteen gold medalists and the eight fastest runners in history. They found in their data, without exception, that elite level sprinters outperformed their competition even if their competitors had received more formal training. They identified being born with elite genetics as the primary predictor of success, and that nearly every athlete displayed exceptional ability before receiving and formal coaching instruction. The data collected shows a clear connection that can be transferred from the track to the gym – even the most advanced training and nutrition cannot beat the hand that mother nature deals to a select few.



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