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Best Vitamin D Product

Vitamin D could be one of the most important vitamins that almost no one gets enough of.  The optimal version of Vitamin D is sunlight, 15-30 minutes a day with more than 70% of your body exposed (basically a bathing suit, or running with your shirt off…yes, obviously much easier for guys).

But for these winter months, you’ll want to take a good D-3 (cholecalciferol) supplement to maintain your 25-OH blood levels.  Thankfully this is the cheapest supplement you will ever buy!

My favorite is Now Foods 2000IU Vitamin D-3 (and if you want to take one pill a day, 5000 IU)

http://www.nowfoods.com/Products/ProductsbyCategory/Category/M095342.htm?cat=Vitamins%2c%20Vity%20Award%20Winner

You can purchase this at Amazon (5000 IU or 2000 IU) or VitaGlo.com for extremely low prices, and could be the best thing you do for your health.

I’ll write up a longer post on Vitamin D in the near future explaining why it’s so great.

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Best Omega-3 Fish Oil Products

I’ll try to order these in terms of cost, convenience and quality factored in.  Also an explanation of what you’re looking for:

What to look for:

– Minimum per capsule:  300mg EPA / 200 DHA.  You want to consume approximately 1 gram of EACH per day…so about 4-5 capsules.  Sometimes quite a bit more depending on your diet.

– Optimal:  Enteric Coated (dissolves in the intestines, not the stomach), or Krill Oil (will list below)

1.  Costo:  Kirkland Signature Enteric Coated Fish Oil

2.  Trader Joes:  Omega-3 Fish Oil (they have odorless version as well with 100mg more EPA)

3.  NOW Foods (favorite brand in general):

a)  Lemon Flavored Fish Oil:  http://nowfoods.com/Products/ProductsbyCategory/Category/M095357.htm?cat=Nutritional%20Oils (most economical, but you need to probably put on some food every day, daily dose works though due to high concentration)

Cheap place to order:  http://www.vitaglo.com/1660.html

b)  Super EPA/DHA:  http://nowfoods.com/Products/ProductsbyCategory/Category/M078161.htm?cat=Nutritional%20Oils

Cheap place to order:  http://www.vitaglo.com/1683.html

c)  Krill Oil (best version, most expensive):  http://nowfoods.com/Products/ProductsbyCategory/Category/078346.htm?cat=Nutritional%20Oils

Cheap place to order:  http://www.vitaglo.com/1627.html

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Russian develops antioxidant to be fountain of youth

http://inhumanexperiment.blogspot.com/2010/09/russian-scientist-claims-to-have-found.html

This is pretty amazing in some sense, a Russian scientist claims to have develop an antioxidant that actually prolongs lifespan.  The reason this is different is because it targets the mitochondria (the furnaces inside your cells) and all other antioxidants don’t reach that deeply within the cell.

Clinical trials on humans are underway, and if everything goes smoothly, the drug will be out in a few years. After successful results from animal studies using eye drops, Skulachev tried it on his own cataract. After six months, his cataract was gone.

So what’s the catch here? Well, looking at the lifespan data from mice, they’re not talking about an increase in maximum lifespan but in median lifespan. The oldest mice receiving the drug did not live longer than the oldest mice in the control group, they just had a squared mortality curve. In other words, the mice that got SkQ1 made it to old age more often than the control mice.

I’m pretty sure though that is one of the reasons though that there was a lot of hype around alpha lipoic acid back in the today, because 1)  it’s an insulin mimetic and 2) it worked at the mitochondrial level in addition to recycling Vitamin C & E.  Lastly but not least, it’s water and fat soluble.  Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? 🙂

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Brain needs downtime, try nature

Just read an interesting article by Matt Richtel in the New York Times.   Basically it’s saying that the brain needs downtime, and thus exercising with music deprives your brain of this time.

It’s 1 p.m. on a Thursday and Dianne Bates, 40, juggles three screens. She listens to a few songs on her iPod, then taps out a quick e-mail on her iPhone and turns her attention to the high-definition television. Just another day at the gym…

But scientists point to an unanticipated side effect: when people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas. Ms. Bates, for example, might be clearer-headed if she went for a run outside, away from her devices, research suggests.

However, researchers were quick to caution that the benefits of exercise are not outweighed by the brain downtime, so they said that if music gets you going and motivates you to push yourself, then by all means, keep it up:

Some researchers say that whatever downside there is to not resting the brain, it pales in comparison to the benefits technology can bring in motivating people to sweat.

“Exercise needs to be part of our lives in the sedentary world we’re immersed in. Anything that helps us move is beneficial,” said John J. Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and author of “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.”

But all things being equal, Mr. Ratey said, he would prefer to see people do their workouts away from their devices: “There is more bang for your buck doing it outside, for your mood and working memory.”

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Dairy linked to Ovarian Cancer

The study below indicates again that the milk most American’s eat:  pasteurized (loses all enzymes and good bacteria) is probably not good for them since it’s acid forming and insulin generating.  My advice, stick to yogurt and raw cheese 🙂  (and eat lots of vegetables to counteract acid forming nature).

Keep in mind, this study is epidemiological, which is the weakest kind of study.  They basically just analyzed a bunch of data instead of monitoring this exact causation potential….

Ovarian cancer is more common in northern Europe than in Asian populations and the consummation of milk products may be the reason. Studies have found that there is a higher risk of ovarian cancer in women who consume lactose (sugar in milk). This was the conclusion of a study published in 2004 that tracked 80,326 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study. A Swedish study of 61,084 women found that high intakes of lactose and dairy products, particularly milk, are associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Source
A prospective study of dietary lactose and ovarian cancer
Fairfield KM, Hunter DJ, Colditz GA, Fuchs CS, Cramer DW, Speizer FE, Willett WC, Hankinson SE.
Department of medicine , Brigham and Women’s hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston , MA, USA. fairfk@mmc.org
Int J Cancer 2004 Jun 10;110(2):271-7
PMID: 15069693 [PubMed) – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Sugar – Fructose – damages health without excess calories

Really interesting article on how bad sugar is for you, and its roots in our evolution:

  • Sugar damages our health in ways that have nothing to do with extra calories.
  • Sugar’s power over us began during a time of starvation, when the ability to get fat off of sugar was a survival tool for our ancestors.
  • Sugar may be just as bad as alcoholism when it comes to liver health.

http://news.discovery.com/human/sugar-fructose-obesity-diabetes.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1

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Fruit and Vegetables Contain Methanol

I came across this snippet that I found fascinating on Dr. Mercola’s site.  The focus of the article was if there are really any health benefits to alcohol consumption.  However, he explained how the naturally occurring methanol in fruits is bound to their pectin and thus never get absorbed, while the alcohol we drink (which is ethanol and gets converted to free form methanol) and wreak havoc on the body over time:

Fresh fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of naturally-occurring methanol, and the artificial sweetener aspartame converts into methanol in your body.

Normally this is not a problem as the methanol is typically bound to pectin, and since your body has no enzyme to metabolize that bond it is simply excreted in your stool and none of the methanol is absorbed into your body.

However, the problem occurs when you can or bottle fruit- or vegetable juice, as the methanol tends to then dissociate from the pectin into free methanol, which you do absorb.

The methanol you absorb readily passes the blood brain barrier where it can be  converted to form formaldehyde, which is a potent toxin that actually causes most of the damage.

There is definitely a pattern for these things in nature where they are bound to something else that either makes it harmless to us for consumption or makes it much more absorbent in our guts.

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Exercises to build the V taper of your back and abs

One of my readers sent me an email today asking the following question:

What muscle is it that creates the v around your waist line? And what is the best excersie to make it more defined?

The V usually refers to your back muscles actually, meaning, you need to have a wide upper back that tapers down into your narrow waist.

So, to make your lats bigger, the back muscle behind/under your arm pit, you do pullups (start using weights as soon as possible, and mix close grip chin ups with pull ups), and dumbbell rows.  Another compound exercises that hits these is deadlifts.

As for your abs and obliques, you should be doing heavy exercises such as squats and deadlifts to build up your core (yes, they do more for your core than any other puny exercises), but to augment those, you would do planks, side planks (try to do them rep style), and medicine ball twists with a partner.  Another great exercises for helping define the abs is push up rows.  In this exercise, you put dumbbells in your hands and get in a push up position.  You then row one dumbbell at a time, making sure to not let your torso twist.  The closer your feet are, the harder this exercise will be.

Lastly, the best exercises to date I’ve found for building the V is…believe it or not…weighted pushups.  Meaning, you put a plate on your back and do push ups, that simple.  It’s forces you to properly contract and roll your lats during the press, and I can say, this has been by and far the quickest exercise to make my V shape stick out.

Enjoy!