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For October 23, 2018

  • Use Sun Screen, Get Skin Cancer?
    Use Sun Screen, Get Skin Cancer?

    Sunscreens give false sense of security

    (MSNBC News, Aug. 3 1999) � In findings that will be debated from the sunny beaches of Maui to the snowy slopes of Aspen, new research shows that high-SPF sunscreens may have a deleterious effect � giving people a false sense of protection and causing them to stay out in the sun longer than they otherwise would.

    IN A NEW study of vacationers aged 18 to 24, those who sun-worshipped using SPF 30 spent 25 percent more time under the rays than those who used SPF 10. A sunscreen�s SPF, or sun-protection factor, indicates its ability to delay sunburn. SPF 30, for example, allows a person to stay in the sun, burn-free, 30-times longer than he or she would using no sunscreen.

    Sunscreens are promoted as a defense against skin cancer, too. However, a number of studies have linked the use of sunscreen with a rise in skin cancer that has occurred over the past few decades. An analysis of 16 epidemiological studies showed that in many cases, the more sunscreen a person used, the higher the chance he or she developed skin cancer, according to Dr. Marianne Berwick, an epidemiologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Epidemiological studies do not show cause and effect, only an association between two or more factors.

    �This does not mean that using sunscreen raises the risk of skin cancer,� she emphasized, � just that people who use a lot of sunscreen may have one or more other characteristics that raise their risk.� In general, the people most likely to consistently use sunscreen are those who are fair-skinned, for example, Berwick said. Such people, who are normally sun sensitive, may start to feel safe under a layer of lotion, she said, exposing themselves to more sun than they should.

    Melanoma cases have doubled in 20 years in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., melanoma diagnoses rose 2.7 percent each year from 1990 to 1996.


    In the new study, researchers led by Dr. Phillipe Autier divided the vacationers into two groups: 42 who were given five tubes of SPF 30 sunscreen, and 44 who were given SPF 10. None knew which SPF he or she had received, and the researchers provided no instructions on how to use the sunscreen. While on vacation, each subject kept a diary on sun exposure and sunscreen use.

    Autier, of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy, and colleagues found that while both groups spent about the same amount of time on vacation, the SPF 30 group averaged a total of 72.6 hours in the sun, compared with 58.2 hours in the SPF 10 group. Because the SPF 30 group had greater sun exposure, both groups reported the same number of skin-reddening or sunburn episodes � 159.

    The findings are reported in the August 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Despite the success of sunscreens in reducing skin cancer in animal experiments, they have yet to do the same in the general public, Autier�s team noted.

    In Autier�s study, participants used, on average, only 20 percent of the lotion they received. If they had applied the sunscreen properly, the researchers reported, the subjects would have gone through three to four times that amount. According to Berwick, fair-skinned, blue-eyed and light-haired people are at high risk of skin cancer and should minimize your time in the sun. Darker-skinned people, on the other hand, may be able to enjoy their time in the sun with more impunity than previously believed.


    The best strategy against skin cancer, said Dr. Frank Gasparro of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, is avoidance. �But since we can�t live in caves, coming out only at night, it�s very appealing to put our faith in something that can we can put on our skin.�

    Because childhood sun exposure is the primary risk factor for developing melanoma in adulthood, protecting kids from ultraviolet rays is particularly important, according to Karen Emmons, an associate professor of health and social behavior at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

    Day camps and child-care centers should provide kids with shaded play areas, she said, and parents should make sure children wear hats and avoid intense sunlight as much as possible.

    The Medical Tribune News Service contributed to this report.
  • Types of Exercise
    Types of Exercise

    From John Hopkins Health

    Fitness is most easily understood by examining its components--cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility.

    Cardiovascular endurance is the body's ability to do large muscle work, i.e. moving the body over a period of time. This ability is dependent on the cardiovascular system's ability to pump blood and deliver oxygen through your body. Cardiovascular endurance should be a central component of your overall fitness program. Improving cardiovascular endurance increases your supply of oxygen and energy to your body. It also decreases your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and other life-threatening diseases.

    When a heart is well-conditioned, it is like any other muscle--it becomes stronger and more efficient. A normal heart beats at a rate of approximately 70 beats per minute at rest or about 100,000 beats a day. The well-conditioned heart can actually beat as few as 40 times a minute at rest or approximately 50,000 beats per day. A well-conditioned heart conserves energy, and can supply oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body with half the effort.

    Strength is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to exert an amount of force, typically in a one-time burst of effort. Weight-lifting (or "resistance training") is a classic example of strength-training because it increases muscle strength and mass, as well as bone strength, by placing more strain on muscles and bones than they are used to. When you lift weights, muscles are forced to meet that challenge by generating more force-generating proteins to feed the "fibers" that grow during exercise.

    Most muscles have a combination of two types of fibers that are challenged during strength-training activities: Fast-twitch fibers provide the explosive force needed for weight-lifting or activities such as sprint racing. Slow-twitch fibers are for endurance, such as the ability for muscle to withstand fatigue. Most muscles have a 50-50 blend of fast-and slow-twitch fibers, but others have an advantage one way or the other. When you make muscles work harder, you actually tear these fibers. As they rebuild, they get stronger and bigger, resulting in harder, tighter and larger muscles.

    Muscle Endurance is the ability to resist fatigue and continue to exercise over long periods of time. While strength-training is needed to maintain muscle strength, endurance training is required to achieve stamina. Muscular endurance is the ability of muscles to continue working strong without rest, such as the ability of a quarterback to throw long pass after pass.

    Flexibility is the ability of joints and muscles to achieve a full range of motion. This results in the preventing injuries and helps keep your body feel comfortable after exercise. Despite popular opinion, there's no evidence that you should lose flexibility as you build muscle.

    Unfortunately, there is truth that the natural aging process can rob you of muscular strength, endurance and flexibility--if you don't maintain them. That's why a regular fitness regimen becomes increasingly important as you age.

  • Shaking the Salt Habit
    Shaking the Salt Habit

    Cooking Without Salt

    (By Chef Tom Ney, Prevention Magazine, August 1999) � First of all, remove the salt shaker from your dining table and your stove. Put them behind your spice shelf cabinet door (out of sight, out of mind). Now, get yourself down to your favorite supermarket and roam the aisles for about one hour. Explore all the low-salt and salt-free ingredients on the shelves.

    Scan the spice section for herb and spice mixtures that are salt-free. McCormick and Mrs. Dash are a couple that come to mind. Toss a small jar of mustard seed into your basket. Later, you will place the mustard seed in a good peppermill that stays on your stove, in place of the salt shaker. Whenever you get the urge to shake some salt into a pot or pan of cooking food, grind the mustard seed instead. I like to blend white mustard seed with brown mustard seed for the best flavor enhancement. (I recommend peppermills by Peugeot.)

    Back to the spice rack: Beware of general spice mixtures. Many, like lemon-pepper, chili powder and shrimp boil, contain large amounts of salt. Stock up on Italian herb seasoning and paprika instead. Celery and parsley flakes make great flavor enhancers for liquid dishes like soups and stews.

    Flavored vinegars or frozen lemon juice (Minute Maid squeeze bottles are a favorite) add a splash of zing to many dishes beyond salads. One of my favorite condiments for flavor is Dijon mustard. (Yes, I know it contains salt, but the little mustard you need to spark up saucy dishes is way better than shaking straight salt into the food).

    Don't pass up the canned vegetable aisle. There, you will find a huge variety of flavored tomato products in cans. Diced tomatoes and stewed tomatoes can each play a starring role in boosting both flavor and color, in the pot and on the plate. Around the corner you will find an endless array of salsas and picante sauces. Most will contribute low-fat flavor without a high-sodium sneak attack. A little salsa goes a long way, when it comes to flavor.

    I do a lot of broth cooking. If you don't have time to make your own, canned broth can be found in the soup aisle -- you will find plenty of canned broths with reduced salt or low salt. Flavor the broths with fresh garlic, fresh gingerroot or lemongrass, and cook with them like you would butter, oil or tomato sauce. While you are in the soup section, check out Healthy Request and Healthy Choice brand cooking soups.

    All the help you need to cook conveniently salt-free is right in your local supermarket. Start your hunt through the aisles today, and you'll be surprised how many low-salt treasures you'll find.

  • Fat Loss in a Bottle
    Fat Loss in a Bottle

    Here are some nutritional supplements on the market that can help your weight-loss process along.

    Originally featured in: Men's Fitness May, 1999

    It may sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, but thermogenesis could be the secret to losing your love handles.

    Literally meaning "the creation of heat," it involves cranking up the calorie- and fat-burning processes in your body. While exercise and diet are the keys, many of us are genetically limited as to how much fat we can burn.

    This is where modern science comes to the rescue: There are nutritional supplements on the market that can help the process along. The products discussed below won't work without a sound weight program and plenty of cardio, but they might be worth a try.

    Citrus aurantium

    This fruit, also called "bitter orange," contains a naturally occurring fat-burner called synephrine. Citrus aurantium can increase your body's ability to burn fat and may exert a mild hunger-suppressant effect. It has only recently been introduced in supplement form and should be widely available toward the end of the year.

    "Citrus aurantium is the ideal fat-loss aid for guys who have plateaued in their workout programs," says Douglas Kalman, RD, director of clinical research at Peak Wellness, a Greenwich, Connecticut�based health-care facility. The latest study performed at Peak Wellness on citrus aurantium showed no signs of potential side effects. Stay tuned.

    7-keto DHEA

    You've probably heard of DHEA, a hormone-replacement therapy that some guys use to gain muscle mass and lose body fat. Unfortunately, DHEA is not very effective in guys under 35, and it's associated with some nasty side effects, including prostate enlargement, acne and premature baldness.

    Earlier this year, an altered version of DHEA was introduced. It's called 7-keto DHEA, and research indicates that it works by preventing your metabolic rate from dropping when you're on a calorie-restrictive diet.

    Kalman believes 7-keto holds great promise. "When individuals diet to lose body fat, their progress stops after a period of a few weeks," he says. "This version of DHEA can prevent this without the hormone-like side effects."

    Caffeine and ephedra

    These two controversial stimulants are thermogenic on their own but have an even greater effect on fat loss when combined. They are added to several ready-made drinks or pills found in health-food stores, sometimes referred to by their respective herbal names, guarana and ma huang.

    The problem, again, is side effects. Overuse of caffeine and ephedra has been associated with increased heart rate, insomnia, nervousness and even death. "Scientific studies have shown that [the combination] works, but I'm not crazy about the potential for side effects," Kalman says. If you're on antidepressant medication, ephedra is not an option.


    A recent study demonstrated that as little as 6 grams of pyruvate per day can enhance fat loss and increase muscle mass in guys who exercise regularly and follow a reasonably low-fat diet.

    "I like this one because it basically has no side effects, it's all natural, and data shows pyruvate can not only effect fat loss, but can make you exercise harder and longer," says Kalman.


    Yohimbine is a natural substance derived from the bark of two African trees. It is a potent vasodilator that first became popular because it increases the blood supply to the penis. In fact, yohimbine was the pre-Viagra impotence treatment for millions of men around the world.

    Yohimbine also increases levels of norepinephrine, which has a marked effect on fat utilization by the body. However, it may cause stimulatory-type reactions such as dizziness, irritability, headaches, anxiety and increased heart rate.

    "The side effects are pretty common," says Kalman. "Also, it can have negative interactions with antidepressant medications." If yohimbine strikes your fancy, stick to the prescription brand Yocon, or make sure over-the-counter varieties declare that they are standardized for yohimbine activity. Ask your doctor before trying it.

  • Need Help for Hurting Joints?
    Need Help for Hurting Joints?

    (From "Ask Dr. Weil, August 13 1999)

    Question: I am a 54-year-old yoga teacher and vegetarian. I'm having lots of hip pain, especially at night. I haven't found a movement that relieves it. Any suggestions?

    Answer: I would recommend getting a diagnosis based on a physical exam and X-ray. One possibility is osteoarthritis, a common cause of age-related aches and pains. You're a yoga teacher, so it could also be bursitis.

    Bursitis is usually caused by repetitive overuse or injury to a joint which irritates the bursae, cushioning sacs between the bones. The result can be chronic aching in the outer area of your hip which can radiate down into the buttocks or the outside of your leg.

    Standard medical treatment calls for a steroid injection to relieve the inflammation, but I suggest you try other measures first. The following strategies should help:

    • Take niacinamide. Start with 500 mg twice a day, increasing the dose by 500 mg every three weeks to a maximum daily dose of 2,000 mg.
    • Take one to two grams of powdered ginger per day in capsules.
    • Try boswellia, an Ayurvedic herb. Follow instructions on the package.
    • Soak in hot water as often as possible, and use ice packs if the pain is acute.

    You may also want to follow the advice in "The Arthritis Cure" by Jason Theodosakis, M.D. (St.Martin's Press, 1998) regarding glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. Massage, acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation, and visualization may also offer relief.

    Finally, you could try DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), a solvent (found in most health food stores) that penetrates the skin and helps heal inflammation. Paint a 70 percent solution over the painful area with absorbent cotton. You may feel some warmth or stinging and may get an odd, garlicky taste in your mouth. Apply three times a day for three days. If your hip feels better, cut down to twice a day for three more days, then once a day for a final three days. If it doesn't help after three days, discontinue use.

    You might also want to take a break from yoga. Simple rest, to keep pressure off your hip, may turn out to be the best treatment of all.

    Copyright 1999 Asklepios Enterprises, Inc.

  • Dan Wirth - Part 2: Simple Guidelines for Effective Weight Training
    Dan Wirth - Part 2: Simple Guidelines for Effective Weight Training

    This is Part 2 of a 2 Part article. Part 1 ran on August 1st.

    What is weight training? - Machine or free weight implements that are pushed, pulled or lifted for the isolation of specific muscle groups. Machine exercises generally have a pre-set range of motion and require less balance and control so learning is faster. Free weights (dumbbell, barbells) are usually more advanced forms of training where virtually any movement can be done for overall development.

    Fundamental Guidelines

    • Frequency - 2 to 6 times per week
    • Duration - 20 to 130 minutes
    • 1RM - One repetition with maximum weight
    • Intensity - Relationship of weight used to your maximum strength level
    • Volume - Number of sets and repetitions performed

    Intensity and Volume Guidelines

    Phase Sets Reps Intensity of 1-Rep-Max (1RM)
    Endurance 2-4 15+ 50% or less
    Hypertrophy 3-5 8-12 60% to 70%
    Base Strength 3-5 6-8 70% to 80%
    Strength and Power 3-6 4-6 80% to 90%
    Max Power and Strength 3-6 1-3 90% to 100%

    Each Phase of training has a corresponding intensity and volume range. Training for endurance is much different than training for maximum power! You should spend the most time in the phase of training that most closely matches your goals. However, you will always want to spend some time in the other phases of training so that your progress doesn�t stagnate from a lack of variation. This is what periodization is all about! All Fitrex.com programs will follow a specific periodization �map� depending upon the emphasis of the program that you choose!

    Dan Wirth M.A., C.S.C.S.
    Fitness Director (Fitrex.com)
    Director of Strength and Conditioning
    The University of Arizona

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