Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New strategies in sport nutrition to increase exercise performance.

New strategies in sport nutrition to increase exercise performance.

Close GL, Hamilton DL, Philp A, Burke LM, Morton JP.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2016 Sep;98:144-58.

Despite over 50 years of research, the field of sports nutrition continues to grow at a rapid rate. Whilst the traditional research focus was one that centred on strategies to maximise competition performance, emerging data in the last decade has demonstrated how both macronutrient and micronutrient availability can play a prominent role in regulating those cell signalling pathways that modulate skeletal muscle adaptations to endurance and resistance training.
Nonetheless, in the context of exercise performance, it is clear that carbohydrate (but not fat) still remains king and that carefully chosen ergogenic aids (e.g. caffeine, creatine, sodium bicarbonate, beta-alanine, nitrates) can all promote performance in the correct exercise setting.
In relation to exercise training, however, it is now thought that strategic periods of reduced carbohydrate and elevated dietary protein intake may enhance training adaptations whereas high carbohydrate availability and antioxidant supplementation may actually attenuate training adaptation.
Emerging evidence also suggests that vitamin D may play a regulatory role in muscle regeneration and subsequent hypertrophy following damaging forms of exercise.
Finally, novel compounds (albeit largely examined in rodent models) such as epicatechins, nicotinamide riboside, resveratrol, β-hydroxy β-methylbutyrate, phosphatidic acid and ursolic acid may also promote or attenuate skeletal muscle adaptations to endurance and strength training.
When taken together, it is clear that sports nutrition is very much at the heart of the Olympic motto, Citius, Altius, Fortius (faster, higher, stronger).

Monday, November 21, 2016

Exercise may not provide benefit over physical therapy after knee replacement

Exercise may not provide benefit over physical therapy after knee replacement

In a randomized trial of patients who underwent total knee replacement as a treatment for osteoarthritis, a group program of strengthening and aerobic exercises was not better at alleviating long-term knee pain or overcoming activity limitations compared with usual care, which included physical therapy.

Although most patients experienced less knee pain and improved physical function after undergoing total knee replacement, marked deficits in physical performance measures remained 12 months later.
The findings are published in Arthritis Care & Research.

Diet and exercise can improve kidney function in patients with fatty liver disease

Diet and exercise can improve kidney function in patients with fatty liver disease

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a potentially serious liver condition characterized by excess fat in the liver associated with inflammation and scarring. NASH may progress to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, and it can also compromise kidney function.

In a post hoc analysis of a large clinical trial, patients with biopsy-confirmed NASH who consumed a low-fat/low-calorie diet and participated in an exercise program often experienced reduced liver inflammation and scarring. Importantly, in patients whose liver disease improved, there was also an improvement in kidney function even after several adjustments by potential confounding factors such as diabetes, hypertension, concurrent medications and weight loss by itself.

“The exact mechanism to explain these findings have not yet been entirely elucidated; however, it may be a reflection of the improvement in oxidative stress, insulin sensitivity, inflammation, and vascular endothelial function and permeability that may contribute to positive changes in kidney function,” said Dr. Naga Chalasani, senior author of the Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics analysis.

Gut bacteria affect our metabolism

Gut bacteria affect our metabolism

Mice that receive gut bacteria transplants from overweight humans are known to gain more weight than mice transplanted with gut bacteria from normal weight subjects, even when the mice are fed the same diet. A study from the National Food Institute confirms this finding while seeking new perspectives on the reasons behind this link.

The human gut microbiota has repeatedly been linked to obesity.

In a new study, researchers from the National Food Institute transferred bacterial communities from 32 children and adolescents – half of which were owerweight and half within the normal weight range – into specially bred mice with no bacteria in their intestines. The researchers subsequently examined differences in weight gain and metabolism among the mice and compared these findings with the corresponding differences between the children, who had originally ‘donated’ the bacteria.
Same diet, different weight gain

”The study, in which we have used gut bacteria from children, confirms results from previous studies among adults, which have shown that mice colonized with gut bacteria from overweight people gain more weight than mice whose intestines are colonized by bacteria from people within the normal weight range – even though they eat the same diet,” Professor Tine Rask Licht from the National Food Institute explains.

The new study is based on a larger number of humans than previous similar studies. As such it is possible to compare each mouse with their ‘bacteria donor’ and to examine other differences between the donors which are potentially transferred to the mice. Additionally, the researchers have investigated how the spread of bacteria between individual mice affects their digestion/metabolism.
The study design is different than previous studies within this field and as such the researchers are able to obtain new observations related to the effect of gut microbes on host metabolism.
Bacterial composition affects metabolism

The National Food Institute study has measured a larger amount of unspent energy in faeces from mice with the smallest weight gain.

”The bacterial community in the intestine of mice with the smallest weight gain has been less capable of converting dietary fibre in the feed, which partly explains the difference in weight between the animals,” Tine Rask Licht says.

The study also shows that the gut bacterial composition affects a number of other measurements, which have to do with the ability of the mice to convert carbohydrates and fats, and which affect the development of diseases such as type 2 diabetes (e.g. levels of insulin and tryglycerides). However, it cannot be concluded that bacterial communities from the overweight children affects the mice in a specific direction e.g. in relation to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, the study shows that the spread of bacteria from mouse to mouse, which occurs e.g. through the keeper’s handling, is enough to affect the measurements – and this is a completely new observation.

When interpreting studies such as this one it is important to keep in mind that not all gut bacteria from humans are able to establish themselves in the mouse intestine.
”The larger number of human ’bacteria donors’ in our study has given us a unique opportunity to follow which of the human-derived bacteria that generally colonize the mouse gut, and which don’t. This provides important insights for future research,” Tine Rask Licht explains.
Read more

The study has been carried out in cooperation with the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at University of Copenhagen as well as Holbæk Hospital. The hospital has provided faecal samples from 32 Danes aged 6-17 years that have been transplanted into 64 mice.
Read about the study in a scientific article in The ISME Journal: Environmental spread of microbes impacts the development of metabolic phenotypes in mice transplanted with microbial communities from humans (http://www.nature.com/ismej/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/ismej2016151a.pdf). The Danish Council for Independent Research and Innovation Fund Denmark have partially funded the study, which is carried out a as a part of the Gut, Grain and Greens (3G – http://www.3g-center.dk/) research centre as well as the research projects BioChild (http://biochild.ku.dk/) and Target (http://metabol.ku.dk/research/research-project-sites/target/).

The National Food Institute’s Research Group for Gut Microbiology and Immunology studies the effects of diet and environment on the bacterial composition of the gut as well as how the microbial population affects the development of e.g. overweight and various diseases. Read more about the research group on the institute’s website (http://l.dtu.dk/m7tg). Also read the institute’s press release from 11 February 2016: Transition to family food determines infants’ gut bacteria



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Crawling is the new fitness fad

Danielle Johnson demonstrates how to crawl for exercise.On any given morning, as the sun peeks over the horizon, Danielle Johnson can be found crawling down the hallways of her Rochester, Minnesota, home.
It may sound bizarre, but Johnson crawls every day to strengthen her core muscle groups.
“You can crawl in many ways. You can crawl on your hands and knees. You can also prop up on your toes and just hover, one or two inches above the ground, which is really going to pull in those core muscles and work those muscles effectively,” said Johnson, a physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program.
“Then, as you start to move, you’re working on your shoulder girdle, you’re working on your hips,” she said. “If I could give one exercise to almost everybody, this would be it.


Danielle Johnson demonstrates how to crawl for exercise.

Crawling has been used as a physical therapy tool, Johnson said, and now it has been adopted for strengthening and fitness.


The idea of turning crawling like a baby into exercise has been championed by the training system Original Strength, which repurposes fundamental movements into a fitness regimen.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Skipping breakfast and not enough sleep can make children overweight


Mothers smoking in pregnancy, children skipping breakfast and not having a regular bedtime or sufficient sleep all appear to be important factors in predicting whether a child will become overweight or obese, according to new research led by UCL.

All three are early life factors which can be modified and the research highlights the possibility that prompt intervention could have an impact in curbing the growth in childhood overweight and obesity.
The paper, which was published in US journal Pediatrics, is the first research in the UK to look at the patterns of body mass index (BMI) weight development in the first 10 years of a child’s life and to examine the lifestyle factors that appear to predict weight gain.

Being overweight or obese is linked to a child having poorer mental health, which can extend into adolescence and adulthood. This poorer psychosocial well-being includes low self-esteem, unhappiness as well as risky behaviours such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.
The research is based on the Millennium Cohort Study, a study of children born into 19,244 families in the UK between September 2000 and January 2002. Data on weight and height was collected when the children were 3, 5, 7 and 11.

This research used observational information which does not allow firm cause and effect conclusions to be drawn. However the results are based on data from thousands of children and the researchers were able to take account of many of the influences on the development of a child’s weight.
“It is well known that children of overweight or obese mothers are more likely to be overweight themselves, probably reflecting the ‘obesogenic’ environment and perhaps a genetic predisposition to gain weight,” said Professor Yvonne Kelly (UCL Epidemiology and Public Health), who led the research.

“This study shows that disrupted routines, exemplified by irregular sleeping patterns and skipping breakfast, could influence weight gain through increased appetite and the consumption of energy-dense foods. These findings support the need for intervention strategies aimed at multiple spheres of influence on BMI growth.”

Smoking in pregnancy has been linked to a higher risk of a child being overweight, possibly due to a link between foetal tobacco exposure and infant motor co-ordination which could be a developmental pathway to BMI growth.

The study identified four patterns of weight development. The large majority of children, 83.3%, had a stable non-overweight BMI, while 13.1% had moderate increasing BMIs while 2.5% had steeply increasing BMIs. The smallest group, 0.6%, had BMIs in the obese range at the age of 3 but were similar to the stable group by the age of 7.

Girls were more likely to be in the “moderately increasing” group while Pakistani, Black Caribbean and Black African children were more likely to belong to the “high increasing” group.

The research also looked at other factors to see what influence, if any, they had on children’s weight.
After taking account of background factors, breastfeeding and the early introduction of solid food were not associated with children’s weight. Likewise, sugary drink consumption, fruit intake, TV viewing and sports participation were not strong predictors of unhealthy weight gain.
The study was supported by a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Is osteoarthritis a metabolic disorder?

Is osteoarthritis a metabolic disorder?

Br Med Bull. 2015 Sep;115(1):111-21. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldv028. Epub 2015 Jul 14.
Is osteoarthritis a metabolic disorder?

 Kluzek S1, Newton JL2, Arden NK3.

 Author information

1ARUK Sports, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK Oxford NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
2ARUK Sports, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK Oxford NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK The Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS), University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LD, UK julia.newton@ouh.nhs.uk.

3ARUK Sports, Exercise and Osteoarthritis Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK Oxford NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.



Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis (OA), even in non-weight bearing joints. High levels of adipose tissue-associated inflammation may explain this association.


Published evidence looking at the associations between components of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) and knee, hip or hand OA and the higher mortality described with knee OA.


Development of MetS and OA shares a relationship with adipose tissue-associated inflammation. This review supports this inflammatory pathway being part of the shared mechanism behind obesity as a risk factor for OA and the recently described OA-associated increased mortality.


In an era of an obesity epidemic, this review identifies a need for well-designed cohort studies assessing early metabolic changes in populations at high risk of OA and MetS, and to identify risk factors for increased mortality in patients with OA.