Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Analyze a bodybuilding supplement ad

In a previous post, I wrote that no company, university, or hospital has yet determined how exactly myostatin inhibits muscle growth. Nor have they discovered how to stop the action of myostatin protein in humans.

Yet certain bodybuilding supplement companies say that they know how to do all that. Look at this ad here. That page is a good example of how supplement marketers make their ads.

That website, btw, is dedicated to selling supplements. Like bodybuilding magazines are just brochures to peddle supplements, websites are now dedicated to selling supplements under a guise of authority. Is it or At the front page, there is this illusion that one can choose to enter either the "supersite" or the "store." This puts the mind to rest that they're not just out for your money. Then enter the "site" and all the articles and links point to...the "store" you actively chose not to enter.

Many supplement companies came out and directly stated that products that affect myostatin are actually not possible currently.

But then there are other supplement companies who are so patently dishonest, they contribute to the impression that all people within the "fitness industry" are bunch of con artists, like many in the weight-loss industry, the diet pill peddlers and the like.

Usually a supplement ad will say something that sounds scientific, or verifiable, substantiated with evidence.

Regardless, the subject of the ad, their product, has nothing to do with the scientific details that are mentioned in the ad.
Myostim - the first generation of the new age

Once we had found a compound that bound myostatin we had to develop a delivery system to get it into muscle. At the same time we wanted to make sure that all of the synergistic pathways of muscle synthesis were properly supported. After all, muscle development requires that many things come together at once.

Unlike other supplements, which may work fast, but with results that taper off over time, the action of myostatin control is gradual but consistent. In fact, research studies have shown that as long as myostatin is under positive control, animals NEVER PLATEAU!

Bahahaha! Notice how they never state explicitly that their product does anything at all. Notice that they are talking about research in lab animals.

If someone told you this garbage to your face, it would be told by no more than a con-artist. One who lacks shame.

What's in that ad is like saying:
Let me tell you about Einstein's Theory of Relativity. E = mc^2. Wow! Awesome!

Now, the exciting part is actually having a time machine using Einstein's equations! First I had to come up with a way to power the vehicle. Next, I would have to determine how my face wouldn't peel off my skull while flying at the speed of light. Can you believe how amazing it would be for you to travel back to the time of Jesus? To the age of the dinosaurs? Rowwrrr! Pack your bags! You're going and I've got your ticket!

Only $1Billion $1Million add to cart

After sometime reading through these ads, one just finds that almost all bodybuilding supplements are marketed in exactly the same way. Creatine does have some evidence, but they never advertise for creatine; only the the novel, sensational, the obscure that most haven't learned about yet. Nitric oxide this, human growth hormone that...blah blah blah

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Most Important Exercise Tip

I usually don't see any point to reprinting other articles within a blog post but this article is spot-on, explaining clearly one major reason why people exercise and keep doing it.
The Most Important Exercise Tip

By Robin Lloyd
Special to LiveScience
posted: 30 May 2006

They lack six-pack abs. They could lose a few. Yet they're happy, body and soul. How are such people possible in body-centric America?

They exercise. They work out. It's part of their routine. Maybe not as often as they would like or think they should, but they do something.

Sure there are the long-term benefits like lowering your blood pressure, improved strength and endurance, a trimmer physique and the confidence that follows, increasing mental alertness, and reducing your odds of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. But exercise simply makes you feel good.

It is no sure-fire happy pill, and some say it has to be intense, or anaerobic (involving short energy bursts that cause the body to run out temporarily of oxygen), to bring on the psychological boost, but it is a part of the feel-good equation, experts say.

The problem with the perfect workout

Many Americans forget or ignore both the short- and long-term benefits and avoid exercise due to a sedentary lifestyle, allowing a "perfect" workout to be the enemy of one that is "good enough," and boredom due to repeating the same exercise routine over and over, says Debbie Mandel, author of "Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul" (Busy Bee Group, 2003).

Two primary chemicals involved in making exercise feel good are cortisol and endorphins.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the body under stress, such as anger, anxiety or fear, and it ultimately inflames and damages our organs. Exercise burns cortisol, and thereby makes us healthier and happier, Mandel says.

Endorphins are morphine-like hormone molecules that enter the brain's neurons and park on receptors that normally send pain-signaling molecules back to other parts of the brain. Some say endorphins are even more powerful and yield a more euphoric feeling than opiate drugs such as morphine and opium, which park on the same receptors when introduced to the body.

Exercise stimulates the brain's pituitary gland to release endorphins, an abbreviation for endogenous (meaning "produced within") morphine, in the bloodstream.

Get started

Even with a stagnant gym membership or so-so discipline, individual episodes of intense exercise provides psychological boosts aside from the harder-to-see, harder-to-acquire physical and disease-fighting benefits of exercise.

A single exercise session lasting 20 or 30 minutes at 80 percent of your capacity brings on pain-relieving endorphins, according to work by Robert G. McMurray of the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mandel agrees that even one session makes you feel better and clears your head. "Once you make a commitment to exercise then you are motivated to keep feeling good every day. After about two weeks of exercise you stay on course," she said in a recent email interview.

Mandel says you can ensure a psychological reward if you tailor your workout level to your stress level. "If you are highly stressed, you need to do a more intense workout which means longer than 30 minutes; if you are less stressed, then 30 minutes should suffice," she says.

Heavy lifting

Some scientists say the feel-good benefits vary with the type of exercise. Research by Ed Pierce, now at Bridgewater College, and his colleagues shows that moderate exercise and light weightlifting or other resistance training, while critical for overall health, fail to bring on endorphins.

Alan Goldfarb of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro also says endorphins are only associated with heavy weightlifting or any kind of exercise during which you sprint (such as during running, biking, swimming).

Some experts say that tolerance to endorphins increases over time, but Mandel also says this varies with the person.

"Mostly, you get a consistent high from a workout to music and a workout that you enjoy," she says. "It is important to realize that routine deadens the heart, and you have to change up your exercise regimen. The body always adapts and you need to challenge it. So, vary the intensity, cross train, take dance classes, try a new sport, use a personal trainer for a few sessions, etc. Keep it fresh, and you will get that high!"

To those who don't get much regular physical activity, the people who don the sweats and run at dawn when it's freezing outside or who head to the gym before work, must look nuts. They must have superhuman willpower and motivation. What they have is a habit, one that offers many health benefits and is self-reinforcing.

The author is right. When you go the gym, you don't see things like in the movie Dodgeball, where everyone already looks "perfect." You see people of all shapes and sizes and ages; people enjoying themselves.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's good to keep muscle as one ages

These two relatively recent stories got my attention

81-Year-Old Jumps In Pond, Pulls Woman From Submerged Car

An 81-year-old security guard in Volusia County, Fla., is being credited with saving a woman's life by jumping into a retention pond and pulling her out of a sinking sedan, according to a Local 6 News report. Frank Cappel, who is a security guard at the Hawaiian Tropic tanning labs in Ormond Beach, Fla., said he noticed a woman drive her vehicle into the water and he ran to help. Cappel wrestled the 200-pound woman out of the vehicle.

U.S. tourist kills mugger with bare hands
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - An American tourist who watched as a U.S. military veteran in his 70s used his bare hands to kill an armed assailant in Costa Rica said she thought the attempted robbery was a joke — until the masked attacker held a gun to her head.

28 February 2007
A 100-YEAR-OLD man fought off three teenage muggers after being surrounded at a bus stop.
Buster Martin, who still works five days a week as a car washer and mechanic, was followed by the gang when he left a pub..."I pushed one and kung-fu kicked the other one between the legs. They ran off scared after I did that and I still had all my money."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Essential Fatty Acids

Fats usually get a bad rap, are relegated to a "bad" status. Nevertheless they are necessary; the brain does not function normally without essential fatty acids. A simple way of obtaining these, in terms of supplements, is through fish oil.

Nutrients we need include essential amino acids. Glucose is necessary too, all the time, to feed the brain (but carbs are not called "essential").

There are necessary fats. There are good fats and bad fats. Good fats include essential fatty acids that must be consumed in our diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are part of a healthful diet and are required for good cardiovascular health and brain and nerve function. ("Essential oils" are not the same thing as essential fatty acids; consumption of tea tree oil has recently been linked to gynecomastia or man-boobs)

Linolenic acid (linolenate) and Linoleic acid or (linoleate) are essential. They were deemed "essential" because they are necessary at certain, specific stages of development.

The recommended daily value for omega-3 fatty acids is 2 grams, or 2000 milligrams per day (too much is not a good thing either).

According to Dr. Brenda Watson, the average person in America actually gets about 0.2 grams, or 200 milligrams per day, or
of the recommended daily value. link

Many who train with weights commonly focus on protein and carbs in their nutrition.

But like essential amino acids, there are also essential fats that are necessary for normal brain, heart, and vascular function and development.

Lately, food retailers are putting omega-3 fatty acids into many foods, even orange juice and bread. But these contain only trace amounts and would require eating too much bread or drinking too much juice to get what one needs.

I once read a blip in Men's Health that said that fish oil may contain mercury, so take flaxseed oil instead. But then two months later the magazine had another article stating that taking flaxseed oil hasn't been proven to be nearly as beneficial as taking fish oil. Great, now what?

Dining Dilemma: A new study suggests that a federal advisory urging pregnant women to restrict their seafood intake could do more harm than good. But what about the risks of fish-borne mercury?

Fish during pregnancy may boost kids' IQ

Fish oil capsules, two of them, contain all the fatty acids required for one day. One with breakfast and one with dinner is good, based on trial and error.

Strive to supplement your essential fatty acids so that you get the minimum requirement and you will notice a difference. These nutrients are necessary for normal function. Humans evolved eating the harvest of seafood provided from living within intertidal regions. This tradition allowed humans reliable and sufficient nutrition before the inception of agriculture. Humans subsequently left the African continent, migrating across the globe.

Taking fish oil capsules are easier for me than eating a lot of fish (ie wild salmon). I decided it's better to just take the fish oil caplets and get nutrients my body must have, despite the possible risk from mercury.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mmm, sweaty! Women aroused by male scent

WASHINGTON - For women, apparently there’s nothing like the smell of a man’s sweat.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley said women who sniffed a chemical found in male sweat experienced elevated levels of an important hormone, along with higher sexual arousal, faster heart rate and other effects.

They said the study, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, represents the first direct evidence that people secrete a scent that influences the hormones of the opposite sex.


The study focused on androstadienone, considered a male chemical signal. Previous research had established that a whiff of it affected women’s mood, sexual and physiological arousal and brain activation. Its impact on hormones was less clear.

Every year in Men's Health there is at least one article about "what smells sexy on a man" and reports that women enjoy apparently the smell of his sweat more than his cologne. Now there's evidence for it. You don't even need to buy anything to get the "Axe effect."

I should note that in the articles the author usually makes certain to distinguish between "sweat" and "body odor."

Another hurdle to exercise: embarrassment
Fear of looking fat, silly prevents many people from breaking a sweat

Whatever you focus on or whatever you are thinking about affects the way you feel.

If you focus on the bad, the unpleasant, the gloomy, you start to physically feel bad.

If you focus on good things, take inventory for why you're grateful, think of happy or funny times, you will feel that way too.

Want a good workout? You better believe it
People who think of activities as exercise gain more benefitsPeople who think they're getting a good workout obtain more benefits than those who perform the exact same activities but don't think what they are doing is exercise, according to the findings of a study by Harvard researchers. These results support the idea that the benefits of exercise may involve a placebo effect.

Most of the noisy, seemingly incessant inner dialogue that goes on in our heads is just a hindrance from living in the present with awareness.

The consciousness of "self" is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action

*This is actually a Zen or Chan maxim which means to "be in the moment" and NOT be distracted by your own thought process. The Zen quote is: "If you seek it, you will NOT find it". The "Western" counterpart to this is the term "Being in the Zone".

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fat-blocking pill will be sold over the counter

FDA allows nonprescription sale of lower-dose version of Xenical

WASHINGTON - Dieters got a new tool Wednesday to help them take off the extra pounds — the first government-approved nonprescription diet pill.

The Food and Drug Administration said the fat-blocking weight-loss pill orlistat, which has been available by prescription, can be sold in a reduced-strength version over the counter.

The drug is intended for people 18 and older to use along with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet and exercise.

Dr. Charles Ganley, FDA’s director of nonprescription products, stressed that the drug is intended for use along with diet and exercise programs.

“Using this drug alone is unlikely to be beneficial,” Ganley said at a telebriefing. ...

Ganley said in trials, for every five pounds people lost through diet and exercise, those using orlistat lost an additional two to three pounds.


"We know that being overweight has many adverse consequences, including an increase in the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "OTC orlistat, along with diet and exercise, may aid overweight adults who seek to lose excess weight to improve their health." link


The way orlistat works to prevent weight gain or promote weight loss is to inhibit enzymes that would otherwise facilitate absorption of fat in the gastrointestinal duct. As reported, the drug can stop as much as 20 to 30 percent of dietary fat from being absorbed.

Because fat-soluble nutrients need fat as carrier to get into human body, the diet drug inevitably blocks absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, K, E, and other fat soluble nutrients. For this reason, the consumers of orlistat are suggested to take a multivitamins at bedtime to compensate the loss of nutrients due to the use of the diet drug.


The worse part is this: studies showed the weight loss effect diminished and lost weight came back after use of the drug was discontinued. Those who want to keep the pounds off need to keep taking the pill. But that is not advisable because the long term adverse effects of this diet drug remain unknown.

Considering the fact that the drug prevents absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, potentially leading to malnutrition, it is unreasonable for one to continue the dieting regimen beyond six months. What does that mean is, you may have to lose the regained weight again later.

The side-effects of using orlistat, prescription or TOC, include gas with discharge, oily discharge, increased number of bowel movements, oily spotting, oily or fatty stools, urgent need to have a bowel movement and inability to control bowel movements. About 50 percent of patients on the drug experienced some side-effects and seven percent lost bowel control. For this reason, one may have to take another drug to get the side-effect under control. link at

CSPI Picks the Best and Worst Fast Foods

Burger King Sweeps the Worst ... but Also Has Two Bests

Fast-food menus are getting better ... and worse, says the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).


Burger King Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shake. It looks like an ordinary shake. But thanks to the ice cream, a medium (22 oz.) has 760 calories and 29 grams of heart-breaking fat (1 ½ days’ worth). A large (32 oz.) crams in 1,200 calories and 42 grams of saturated plus trans fat—the kind that cause old-fashioned heart attacks. Burger King managed to design a drink that is worse for your heart than even the worst burgers.

Wow, having one of Burger King's ice cream shakes is like eating a stick of butter and cup of sugar. It's kind of funny at how ridiculously bad it is, kinda' sad too.