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For January 23, 2018

  • New Diet Drug Is No Cure-All
    New Diet Drug Is No Cure-All

    (Medical Tribune, July 30 1999) - Recent information in the news has suggested that a new medicine has been approved that lets you eat all the fat you want and still lose weight!

    Orlistat, sold under the brand name Xenical, acts in the intestinal tract to stop the gut from absorbing part of dietary fat. Like other diet drugs, it must be used along with changes in eating habits and physical activity. It has been used in Sweden as a "reminder" to teach people to limit dietary fat � if fat consumption goes too high, a person gets a stomach ache and diarrhea.

    While studies have shown that the medicine can promote weight loss of 5 to 10 percent, a commitment to re-learning how to make good food choices is vital, or weight will be regained. Besides, fat consumption is not the whole problem. Americans have decreased fat consumption, yet obesity has increased because calorie consumption from other sources has increased and physical activity levels remain low.

    People who turn to food for emotional reasons will continue to do so despite this medicine until the basic misuse of food is treated. In blocking fat absorption, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and beta-carotene are also impaired, so it is important to take a multivitamin with beta-carotene each day at least two hours away from the medication.

    So the lesson is, don't rely on a wonder drug to lose weight. Stick to the basic principles of eating right and exercising and you will have much greater success!

    Source: American Institute for Cancer Research.

  • No-Guilt Chocolate Cake Recipie
    No-Guilt Chocolate Cake Recipie

    Cocoa Angel Food Cake

    (Prevention, September 1999) - Lose weight and have your cake, too -- as long as it's an angel food cake. Angel cakes are low in calories because they're made from egg whites and no added fat. This chocolate version is a delicious departure from the usual.

    Times: Standing: 30 min.; Prep: 20 min.; Baking: 30 min.; Cooling: 1 1/2 hr.
    Per serving:
    Calories: 121
    Fat: 0.6 g. (4% of calories)
    Fiber: 2.5 g.
    Cholesterol: 0 mg.
    Sodium: 76 mg.
    Makes: 12 servings


    1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 egg whites)
    3/4 cup sifted whole-wheat pastry flour or sifted unbleached flour
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 tsp cream of tartar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup honey
    Fresh fruit (such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or peaches)


    Place the egg whites in a 5- or 6-quart bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, sift the flour and cocoa powder together 4 times; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and vanilla. Then beat on medium speed until the egg whites form soft peaks. Add the honey, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue beating on medium speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks but are not dry.

    Sift 1/4 of the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold in using a wire whisk or large spatula. Repeat sifting and folding in the flour 3 more times.

    Spoon the batter into an ungreased 10" tube pan with a removable bottom. Use a thin knife to cut through the batter to remove any large air pockets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert the pan onto a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours. Then remove the cake from the pan. Slice and serve with the fresh fruit.

    Chef's note: To differently flavor this cocoa cake, use 1 teaspoon of a flavor extract (such as almond, cherry, peppermint or orange) instead of the vanilla.

  • Notes On Nutrition And Supplements
    Notes On Nutrition And Supplements


    • ** When using a thermogenic product (such as Ripped Fuel, Hydroxycut, EPH 833, etc.) to stimulate fat loss, be sure to take in sufficient amounts of protein�at least 20 grams every 3 hours�to prevent your body from cannibalizing muscle tissue. The easiest, most effective way to do this is with a low-fat protein powder or MRP.
    • *** If you frequently experience painful muscle cramps during or after your training, then you should try taking 1 or 2 grams of the amino acid taurine approximately 2 hours prior to training�it has powerful and proven anti-cramping properties.
    • *** As far as thermogenics or so-called fat-burners are concerned, ephedrine is still the king of the hill, but when you�re deciding on your weightloss supplementation program don�t overlook hydroxycitric acid (HCA).
    • HCA is derived from the tamarind fruit and seems to work by inhibiting excess carbohydrates from being stored as bodyfat. MuscleTech�s Hydroxycut is a popular product containing HCA.

    • *** The chemistry of 19-norandrostenedione is telling. Basically, 19-norandrostenedione is structurally identical to a testosterone molecule right up the chain with two key exceptions: first, it is missing the hydrogen atom in the 17th position and second, it also lacks a carbon atom in the 19th position.
    • What happens is that when the liver processes the norandrostenedione molecule it adds a hydrogen atom in the 17th position. The liver, however, has no mechanism for adding the carbon atom in the 19th position.

      What results is virtually a testosterone molecule missing the carbon atom. This molecule has the anabolic properties of testosterone (it may in fact have 2 or 3 times the anabolic effect of testosterone) without the level of androgenic side effects typically seen with extended testosterone use.

    • *** If you�re looking to drop fat and get lean, you�ll benefit from 3-5 cardiovascular training sessions per week. Ideally, each session should be 30-45 minutes in duration.
    • For fat burning, it�s actually more beneficial to train at a consistent level of intensity throughout the session rather than using some sort of interval training (as with some of the machines which stimulate a series of inclines and declines).

      It�s also crucial for you to do your cardio training on an empty stomach�otherwise you�ll simply be burning up glycogen stores (sugar rather than fat). First thing in the morning is the best time for cardio training. If this isn�t possible, at least try not to eat for 3 or 4 hours prior to your cardio session�that way you�ll be primarily burning fat stores.

  • New Drug Fights Osteoporosis
    New Drug Fights Osteoporosis

    Raloxifene regrows thinning bone

    (MSNBC News, Aug. 17 1999) � It is dramatically good news for the 22 million American women at risk for fractures from the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis � a drug that actually regrows bone.

    "WOMEN WHO ALREADY have osteoporosis can take a treatment that will markedly reduce their risk of fractures � reduce that fracture risk by 40 percent," said Dr. Bruce Ettinger of Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research in Oakland, Calif. "So even women in their late 60s who already have fractures can get a tremendous benefit for their health." The findings in the largest study to date of the drug raloxifene were published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. The research was funded by Eli Lilly and Co. of Indianapolis, which sells the drug as Evista.

    The news comes only a month after data from the same women revealed that raloxifene appears to lower breast cancer risk by 70 percent. That is a major advantage for postmenopausal women who fear using estrogen for its bone-strengthening benefits because it slightly increases breast-cancer risk with long-term use.

    The drug is already on the market to prevent osteoporosis and it will now join the three other drugs that can treat the disease. Ettinger said the four approved osteoporosis drugs should not be considered competitors, because their benefits and limitations are so different. Doctors say each drug carries risks and benefits, but with the growing number of treatments, almost everyone should get help.

    "We can approach the patient with many choices," explained Dr. Joseph Lane of New York's Hospital for Special Surgery, "There is usually one drug or more than one drug that we can use."

    The four approved osteoporosis drugs are:

    • Alendronate, marketed as Fosamax, is the strongest bone builder and the only drug shown to protect against hip fractures. But it offers no other health benefits and causes many women stomach upsets severe enough to discourage them from taking it.
    • Estrogen, which is almost equal to alendronate as a bone-builder, and research suggests it also protects against heart disease and even mental decline for women past menopause. It relieves menopause's hot flashes and night sweats, but it commonly causes breast tenderness and a resumption of menstrual bleeding, unacceptable to many women.
    • Raloxifene, which has about two-thirds the bone-building power of alendronate but does not relieve menopausal symptoms and may worsen some, such as leg swelling. But it seems to lower "bad" cholesterol levels in the blood and is well tolerated.
    • Calcitonin, marketed as Calcimar, which is the least powerful of the bone-boosters but is offered in an easy-to-take nasal spray.

    Osteoporosis strikes women four times as often as men, usually after menopause. Women with thinning bones can suffer compression fractures in the spine that make them shorter and hunched over � and they are at great risk for debilitating hip fractures if they fall. "One in 20 women in the hospital are recovering from a hip fracture," said Lane. "It leads to profound loss of function."

    As important as treatment is, doctors say it is crucial for women in their 30s, 40s and 50s to start thinking about getting lots of calcium in their diets and taking other steps to prevent osteoporosis. "I think it is actually critical to start as soon as possible," said Lane. "Once you start losing bone we can replace it, but when we replace it we never rebuild the architecture the way God gave it to you and it is always weaker."

    A $150 test called a bone scan is an important way to make sure your bones are not getting weaker. If it shows a woman's bones are weakening, doctors can start her on one of the drug regimens. Four months ago when a bone scan revealed that Anna Borruso, a patient at the Hospital for Special Surgery, was starting to get osteoporosis, her doctor put her on Evista. When she suffered a bad fall, it was not nearly as bad as it could have been. "I was elated that I did not break my arm or my hip or my ribs," Borruso said.

    Doctors say the new drugs could give similar protection to millions of women � sharply reducing one of the worst dangers of aging.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Tae-Bo Takes Off, But Is It For You?
    Tae-Bo Takes Off, But Is It For You?

    Some experts concerned about safety of kickboxing

    (MSNBC Health, 1999) � As fitness crazes go, Tae-Bo has hit the top of the charts. Americans are flocking to their gyms for this combination of Tae Kwon Do and boxing put to music � a kind of martial arts aerobics. Classes also go by such names as kickboxing and Tae boxing, and all promise a super-charged, 500- to 800-calorie per hour, fat-burning, punch and kick-filled workout. But is this latest fitness fad safe?

    TAE-BO was originated by Billy Blanks, a seven-time world karate champion, a star of martial arts films and physical trainer. In 1989, Blanks opened the World Training Center in Sherman Oaks, Calif., where he teaches Tae-Bo. Blanks� ubiquitous infomercials, as well as his Web site, are full of endorsements from celebrities and just plain folks, raving about their new-found strength, weight loss and fitness.

    �General Hospital� star Real Andrews is a Tae-Bo devotee and former nationally-ranked Canadian sprinter who announced in early May that he�ll be participating in next October�s Hawaii Ironman. He credits Blanks with giving him the strength and discipline to take on the challenge of the 2.4-mile swim/112-mile bike/26.2-mile running race. Responding to Blanks� success, other fitness clubs quickly jumped on the bandwagon with their own version of the exercise. And classes continue to be booked up nationwide.

    But the popularity of this latest fitness trend has caught the eye of a number of exercise science experts, who warn that while classes can offer a good, safe workout, there are a number of potential problems, including dangerously crowded conditions and little individual attention given to participants. It�s a recipe, these experts say, that can lead to injuries, especially for those who aren�t already fit.

    The American Council on Exercise (ACE), which calls itself the nation�s �workout watchdog,� sets standards for fitness professionals and conducts research and testing on fitness products and trends. ACE is in the process of coming out with a �position stance� on what constitutes a safe martial arts aerobics class. �ACE is concerned about these martial arts aerobic classes,� says spokesman and chief exercise physiologist Richard Cotton. �For some people, the variety of movements are OK. For others, it�s not good. It takes a solid foundation of flexibility, strength and endurance to do the workout and keep it low risk.�

    What also bothers critics is that students at a wide variety of skill levels are often in the same classes, trying to perform the same demanding routine. Blanks offers beginner classes, as do some clubs. And Blanks urges people to always consult a physician prior to exercise. �Every person is different and Billy Blanks cautions students throughout the video and classes to be self-aware, to stop activity at the first sign of discomfort and pain, and walk in place,� his spokesperson says.


    Some martial arts experts say they are frustrated that the elaborate, complicated kicks and punches they spend months or years teaching their students are taught in minutes in some classes, often with little critiquing. Melanie Murphy has studied martial arts since 1975 and teaches self-defense at her school, Way of the Crane. She�s upset at the quick-fix mindset offered by martial arts aerobics classes.

    �It takes me a year to teach a roundhouse kick,� Murphy says. She sent several of her students to a nearby kickboxing aerobics class. They reported that the class was dangerously crowded, there were no instructions or directions given and they weren�t able to do the moves correctly at the speed the class was taught. �If you want to learn kickboxing, you need to go through weeks and weeks of learning,� says Marc Rabinoff, a professor of exercise science at Metropolitan State College in Denver. �It�s done deliberately, with supervision and small classes.�

    But �if you are in good shape, if you�ve done kickboxing and know aerobics, this could be a good alternative for you, if you have someone standing there letting you know you�re doing it right,� adds Rabinoff, a former college gymnast who sits on several national committees that set design standards for fitness equipment. ACE agrees. �The high intensity levels that make these classes difficult for novices is also what makes them an effective, rewarding exercise for the very fit,� the group�s Web site says.


    Tim Rochford is writing the ACE manual on kickboxing fitness. A fourth-degree blackbelt in karate and former amateur kickboxer, Rochford travels the country certifying instructors in his own martial arts workout (The Martial Fitness Workout) and is himself certified by ACE. He also says many martial arts aerobics classes ask people to go beyond their physical capabilities.

    �Height is the main thing. A lot of people don�t have the flexibility to throw high kicks and retain their balance,� says Rochford. �And when you lose balance, you are susceptible to injury � pulling your hamstring, falling, damaging joints. When students do side kicks that are too high, the upper body leans over too far and they lose balance. That can place a lot of stress on the knee joint or base leg.�

    Many of these injuries will show up over a period of time, says Rochford, and are caused by the stress of doing movements incorrectly and placing too much stress on joints that haven�t yet adapted. For students in aerobic kickboxing classes using punching bags with little or no instruction in how to properly punch, the trauma, says Rochford, could show up in the form of joint inflammation in the elbows, thumbs, wrists, fingers and shoulders.

    Rochford�s courses are aimed at a variety of skill levels, from beginners in 30-minute classes to advanced courses for very fit athletes that run over an hour. He urges health clubs to create six-week long orientation classes to teach form slowly and get students comfortable in the movement patterns. Then students can progress to a beginner-level class.


    Another concern that some experts have is a lack of certified instructors with a knowledge of biomechanics and exercise science. And with crowded classes, this becomes even more critical. �How can one instructor with no biomechanical knowledge correct mechanics on 30 to 40 people in a class that�s moving too fast?� asks Jeff Guerra, a physical therapist and strength and conditioning specialist at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, where national, world and Olympic-class athletes training in Boulder go for injury rehabilitation.

    When choosing an instructor, experts advise observing a class and talking with others who have taken it. Does the instructor pay attention and offer suggestions/instruction to each participant? Is the instructor aware of the skill level of each participant in the class? Also, find out if the instructor is certified by ACE or another national certification organization, like the American College of Sports Medicine.

    Exercise experts also have expressed concerns over kickboxing-style workout tapes, again pointing to lack of professional supervision. �Mechanically they�re very difficult to learn in the length of time of the tape,� says Rabinoff. �And if you do them wrong, how would you know if you�re in your own bedroom?�

    On the other hand, Tae-Bo students like John Williams, 33, say they like to use the tapes to supplement classes. �I bought the videos because they allow me to do it at my own pace and learn the kicks. The class is at a much more advanced pace than the videos.�

  • How To Win The Battle Of The Bulge
    How To Win The Battle Of The Bulge


    Despite the daily medical warnings about the possible health effects of excess bodyfat, Americans are mostly concerned with their cosmetic appearance, especially the abdominal area. This preoccupation with the old spare tire has lead to the boom in the sale of the many abdominal exercise contraptions that promise to give you washboard abs. Still, Americans have gained an average of 10 pounds in the last decade--so much for the abs of steel.

    What we are learning about losing visceral abdominal fat (VAT), or the old spare tire, is that it is easier to put on than get off. Studies have shown using obese women that for every kg of bodyfat lost, there is a 2-3% reduction in VAT when they used dieting alone. The role of exercise alone is conflicting as VAT in women appears to be resistant to exercise-induced weight loss, while significant results have been seen in men who exercise. The combination of diet and exercise was not different to that of diet alone in either men or women.

    Dietary supplements may be able to enhance a person's ability to lose weight. Nothing is better to help with taking off pounds than diet supplements containing ephedrine and caffeine. The combination of these two compounds helps increase metabolism and decrease appetite. It also increases fat loss and decreases muscle loss. These compounds can reduce lipogenesis, which further prevents fat accumulation. One added benefit of these compounds is that they help maintain serum HDL levels during weight loss.Although some reports on the safety of these two compounds have been the subject of controversy, ephedrine has been used safely for more than 5,000 years as a herbal dietary supplement. When used responsibly, these two compounds are safe and efficacious allies in helping people lose weight in combination with exercise and diet.

    Since the FDA-approved weight loss drugs Fen-Phen and Redux have been voluntarily recalled due to their causing heart-valve defects and pulmonary hypertension, overweight people need a safe and natural alternative to aid in weight loss. As the best way to lose weight is to avoid consuming excess calories and keeping active, supplementation with thermogenic herbs will help ensure that the body turns up the metabolism to help burn away those excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat.

    Ross R., Effects of diet and exercise-induced weight loss on visceral adipose tissue in men and women, Sports Med1997; 24; 55-64.


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