Tout dans la vie est une question d'équilibre d'où la nécessité de garder un esprit sain dans un corps sain.


Everything in life is a matter of balance therefore one needs to keep a healthy mind in a healthy body.


E. do REGO

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Question of Nutrition, Vol. 7 by Dr. Jonny Bowden

Is Canola a Con?


A: You mean "con-ola"?

The fact that everyone thinks canola oil is the second coming of the Messiah is a triumph of marketing over fact, right up there with the idea that Mona Vie is worth 40 bucks a bottle and goji berries cure cancer and grow hair.

Canola oil is from the rapeseed plant found in Canada, and was renamed for its country of origin because they rightly figured no one would buy anything called rapeseed oil. Fred Pescatore, MD, author of The Hamptons Diet and one of the best nutritionists I know, calls canola "can-ugly" oil.

Is Canola a Con

"The modern methods for processing canola oil are what make it ugly," he says. The oil is removed from the seed with high-temperature mechanical pressing and solvent extraction, after which it's further refined, bleached and degummed, each step of which requires exposure to high temperature and chemicals.

Unrefined rapeseed oil is about 10% omega-3's, which easily become disgusting smelling and rancid under the high heat. This smelly mess has to be deodorized and the deodorizing process, according to Pescatore and others, turns a large percentage of the omega-3's into trans-fats.

And this is the "healthy" stuff they replaced saturated fat with?

Even if this weren't the case — and it is — canola would be a bad choice for cooking because you should never heat the omega-3's to cooking temperature. "The canola oil commonly found in supermarkets has been refined, heated, and damaged beyond repair," says Pescatore. "Even some of the most sophisticated health writers still report about this product as if it were healthful, while nothing could be further from the truth."

If you really want an earful, check out the seminal piece on canola oil on the Weston A. Price website, co-written by Weston A. Price Foundation president Sally Falloon with one of the great lipid biochemists of our time, Mary Enig, Ph.D. It's called "The Great Con-ola."

"I would never use this oil," concludes Pescatore.

I agree.

The Truth About Blood Type Diets


A: The answer is absolutely... maybe.

I wish I could give you the flip answer I used to give a few years ago when asked about this: "Diets based on your blood type are nutritional astrology!" But the truth is I'm not as sure as I once was that it's all hokum, though the way many people interpret it is pretty much bullshit.

Is Canola a Con

Here's the theory in a nutshell: There's a chemical reaction between your blood and the foods you eat caused by a diverse group of proteins in foods called lectins. According to Peter D'Adamo, author of Eat Right for your Type, when you eat a food containing lectins that are incompatible with your blood type, the lectins target an organ and begin to agglutinate blood cells. It's not life threatening, but it can make you feel crummy.

According to Michael Lam, MD, MPH, 95% of the lectins you absorb from your diet are sloughed off by the body, but about 5% aren't. Those that aren't sloughed off make it into your bloodstream and cause various reactions in different organs.

If you've never heard of any of this stuff, here's the Readers Digest version:

Of course it's more complicated than that, but that's the basics. There has been some research — notably by Laura Power, Ph.D. — on the influence of blood type on diet, and it does seem that blood type may be one contributing factor in determining which foods work best for any given person. But there are more than a few caveats.

First, there are a lot more than the four blood types you read about in the popular blood type diet books. In fact, there are about 20 different subtypes just among people with type A blood alone! These subtypes may have important differences, and may not all react to food in the same way.

The second problem is that blood type is one factor of many. For example, I've seen more than a few type A's who feel like crap on a vegetarian diet. And though your "type" may thrive on dairy, you might be lactose intolerant, making the whole point moot.

Third of all, people who really use blood type as a serious diagnostic and nutritional planning tool do a lot more than figure out your type. Naturopathic physician Dekker Weiss, NMD, a big blood type supporter, told me that he does all kinds of ancillary tests besides blood tests to determine how to personalize the diet for best results.

My personal opinion is that just using the four blood types as a basis for an entire diet is pretty flimsy, and I think that even most blood type supporters would agree with me. Even D'Adamo, who popularized the whole shebang, offers an intensive seminar for health professionals to show you how to use it properly.

And Laura Power, who did the research I mentioned, has recently built on the blood type data to create what she calls eight "Biotypes."

Meanwhile, I try my own personal "What's your sign?" party trick with blood types all the time. If someone's a big meat eater and tells you he feels great on the stuff, there's a good chance he's a type O. Works every time.

Stress Fighter, Fatigue Killer


A: It's pretty good stuff, actually.

Rhodiola rosea is a plant that grows in really cold climates, like the Alps and Iceland. It's known as an "adaptagenic," which means it can bring you up if you're down and down if you're up, much like the thermostat does with the temperature in your house. It's used for improving mood, reducing stress, and fighting fatigue.

And the research on it is pretty good.

A 2002 review published by the prestigious American Botanical Council concluded that numerous studies of rhodiola show that it helps prevent fatigue and reduce stress. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, it also enhances immune function and increases sexual energy.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study investigated the effect of rhodiola on physical capacity, muscle strength, speed of limb movement, reaction time, and attention in healthy volunteers. The results documented that rhodiola can improve endurance exercise capacity. (Int. J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab; 14(3): 298-307, 2004).

Another study tested the effect of rhodiola in 40 foreign students during a stressful exam period. The most significant improvement was seen in physical fitness, mental fatigue, and neuromotor tests. There was also a significant improvement in general well-being in the rhodiola group.

So no, it's not hype at all. And best of all, you can try it pretty safely since it has virtually no side effects and there are currently no contraindications with prescription meds. The staid Physicians Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines says, "Rhodiola may be helpful in relieving mental and physical fatigue and improving endurance exercise performance and general well-being."

Recommended dose is 50-200mg per day. Just make sure to buy it from a reputable source, not from some clown in an infomercial.



A: Lo Han (not to be confused with the supremely self-involved actress) is the common name for a sweetener extracted from the Luo Han Guo plant found in the mountains of southern China. It's also known as Luo Han Guo and Luo Han Kuo.

Lo Han has a vanishingly low glycemic impact, is way sweeter than sugar — about 250 times sweeter — and can be used with both hot and cold foods, so you can cook and bake with it or add it to coffee or tea.

If you want to try it, Jarrow Formulas makes a nice product called Lo Han Sweet. It has about two calories per serving (about half a teaspoon).

From Hungry to Horny


A: Oh dude, do I wish.

Is Canola a Con

Beer Bellies and Bad Foods


A: Are there foods that cause fat to accumulate on the belly? Yes: foods with too many calories and too much sugar.

Does that clear it up for you?

Okay, seriously, it's a good question and here's the answer: When you drive insulin levels up high as you do with high-sugar foods or high intakes of processed "CC's" (crappy carbs — it's a technical term), you increase the chances of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance nearly always goes hand-in-hand with a big fat belly.

In fact, the "low-tech" test for insulin resistance is this: If you walk towards a wall, does your belly hit the wall before you do? A guy with a waist over 40 inches and a woman with a waist over 35 inches nearly always have insulin resistance. You bring insulin resistance down with a low-carb diet.

Now obviously, it's not just sugar and carbs that make you fat, but they do send insulin — also known as the "fat storage hormone" — into overdrive.

You could eat 10,000 calories a day from coconut oil and you'd be fat as a horse, even though there aren't any any carbs in it. And you could conceivably be fat as a tub and carry most of that fat on your back or your thighs, hips, and butt. Still, if I were trying to avoid a spare tire around the middle, the first place I'd look to cut would be sugar and processed carbs.

As for beer bellies: Although a lot of beers don't have a ton of carbs, the belief is that beer may contain estrogenic compounds that cause the fat to accumulate on your body in a pattern that makes you look like Rosie O'Donnell — or Rosie Greer.

In any case, if you're putting away a six-pack every night, just from a calorie point of view it's going to create fat storage. Remember, they didn't start calling it "beer belly" because the term "steak belly" was already taken.

About the Author

Is Canola a Con

© 1998 — 2009 Testosterone, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Viande rouge, gros titres, petite confusion par Christian Lamontagne

30 mars 2009

Viande rouge, gros titres, petite confusion

Vous l'avez probablement vu et entendu partout la semaine dernière : manger beaucoup de viande rouge fait augmenter le risque de mourir. Mais la grosseur des titres était beaucoup plus impressionnante que le nombre de décès évités si on en mangeait moins : 11 sur 100 chez les hommes et 16 sur 100 chez les femmes. Évidemment, les chiffres ont une certaine importance si vous faites partie des 11 et des 16. Mais ce n'est pas moi qui dis que l'augmentation du risque est « modeste », ce sont les chercheurs eux-mêmes.
Parce que si vous êtes un gros mangeur de viande rouge, votre risque de mourir entre 50 ans et 71 ans n’augmente en fait que de 4 %. Vous voyez, on peut faire dire beaucoup de choses aux chiffres.

Mon arrière-grand-mère, qui faisait partie de la bonne société de Québec à la fin du XIXe siècle, ne mangeait que de la viande. Les légumes, pensait-elle, étaient des aliments de « pauvres ». Elle est morte dans d'atroces douleurs d'un empoisonnement sanguin consécutif à une insuffisance rénale, probablement liée à son alimentation. Mais elle serait bien étonnée si elle revenait aujourd'hui, car pour continuer à faire partie de la bonne société, elle devrait changer son alimentation du tout au tout : les légumes sont un aliment de riches.

C'est une autre conclusion que l'on aurait pu tirer de cette recherche, dont on a parlé dans le monde entier. En effet, les gens qui mangent plus de légumes et de fruits sont aussi plus éduqués et probablement aussi plus riches (ce que les chercheurs, étonnamment, n'ont pas du tout mesuré) que les gens qui en mangent moins.

Mais voici deux autres observations, plus étonnantes encore, tirées de la même étude : les fumeurs qui mangent beaucoup de viande rouge meurent moins de maladies cardiovasculaires que les non-fumeurs gros mangeurs de viande rouge. Est-ce la cigarette qui les protège? Les hommes qui mangent peu de viande rouge boivent près de deux fois plus d'alcool et meurent jusqu'à 50 % moins vite que les gros mangeurs de viande. Est-ce l'alcool qui les protège? La réponse à ces deux questions est probablement négative, mais les chercheurs ne semblent pas avoir écarté cette possibilité.

En fait, pour être juste avec les chercheurs, ceux-ci savent bien qu'il y a d'autres facteurs en jeu.

Ils soulignent que les gens qui consomment plus de viande rouge sont aussi plus gros, fument davantage, mangent plus gras et plus sucré, consomment moins de fruits, de légumes et de fibres, qu'ils sont moins actifs physiquement et moins éduqués. Ça commence à faire beaucoup de variables dans le portrait. Il y a donc un certain risque de confusion. Surtout quand on lit que la catégorie « viande blanche » inclut le poisson! Les journalistes qui ont fait ou repris la nouvelle d'une agence de presse ne semblent pas avoir remarqué cette subtilité lorsqu'ils ont écrit que « manger de la viande blanche semble réduire [le risque de décès] ». Et cette interprétation douteuse a fait le tour du monde.

Mais pour l'essentiel, la cause semble entendue : manger beaucoup de viande rouge est, à long terme, plutôt un peu mauvais pour la santé en général et particulièrement pour la santé du côlon.

Comme vous le sentez probablement au ton ironique que j'emploie, je suis exaspéré des gros titres qui n'arrêtent pas d'attirer notre attention sur ceci ou cela, tandis qu'il y a toujours des dizaines de facteurs en jeu, qu'on peut étudier jusqu'à l'absurdité. Après avoir analysé les données de 545 653 personnes durant 10 ans, la conclusion des chercheurs est qu'il faudrait analyser la relation entre les diverses catégories de viande et les causes particulières de mortalité! Je suggère que l'on compare les différences de mortalité entre les amateurs de pot-au-feu de haut de ronde et ceux qui préfèrent le rôti de boeuf au four. On s'en reparle dans 50 ans. Et n'oubliez pas de bien noter le nombre de fois où vous en consommez. Ça pourrait fausser les données et on sera obligé de tout reprendre.

Et si on regardait les choses par le gros bout de la lorgnette plutôt que par le microscope? Si on regardait le contexte pour comprendre l'importance toute relative de la viande rouge dans votre espérance de vie? Vous ne mangez peut-être jamais de viande rouge, mais si vous ne faites pas d'exercice physique, que vous êtes isolé, malheureux et pauvre, sans reconnaissance sociale, que vous habitez une maison de chambres collée sur une autoroute dans un quartier laid et surpeuplé, et que vous passez vos « vacances » devant la télé à Balconville, je ne donne pas cher de votre régime. C'est l'addition qui compte. L'addition dans le temps et dans le nombre de circonstances adverses.

Dans la vraie vie, on ne se sépare pas en petits morceaux : on additionne tout. Il n'est pas inutile d'étudier les petits morceaux, on apprend quelle est la tendance approximative de leur petit effet approximatif. Mais on ne doit jamais oublier la relation entre le petit morceau et tout le reste qui est bien plus grand.

La prochaine fois que vous verrez un gros titre qui parle d'un petit morceau, ne vous laissez pas être totalement absorbé par le petit morceau. Ce qui vous fera mourir ne se résume pas à la viande rouge, même s'il est recommandé d'en consommer avec modération.

Pour aller jusqu'au bout
Meat Intake and Mortality, A Prospective Study of Over Half a Million People, Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(6):562-571.
La recherche originale complète, accessible gratuitement (ce qui est encore rare). Pour lecteurs avertis. Vous risquez de ne pas y comprendre grand-chose, mais les trois lignes de la conclusion du résumé (l'abstract) sont claires.

Functional Ab Training for Bodybuilders by Kevin Weiss

I was seven years old the first time I saw a picture of a bodybuilder. One of my classmates had a copy of the 1978 Guinness Book of World Records. As we rode the noisy bus home from our school in rural northern Alberta, he handed it to me.

"Look at that!"

The book was open to a picture of a guy in what looked to be his underwear, with this caption: "World's most perfectly developed man." I stared at the picture in awe.

Growing up on a farm, I'd seen a lot of physically powerful men with broad backs, Popeye forearms, and barrel chests, which of course this bodybuilder had in exaggerated quantities. What got my attention was his incongruously small, concave waist, with snake-like muscles running across it. I'd never seen a midsection like that. Where I grew up, the strongest men had thick waists that grew rounder as they got older, a product of the massive home-cooked meals that fueled the grueling physical labor they performed.

Then and there, I decided I would somehow, someday, look like that man with the memorable physique and unpronounceable name.

That was 31 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. The biggest difference between then and now is the fact I'm joined by millions of people chasing that chiseled waistline. You couldn't possibly count all the gyms, all the infomercial products, all the websites offering you the roadmap to ripped abs.

Beyond the gadgets are the endless articles on functional core training. Don't get me wrong; I'm in favor of functional training. But as a professional bodybuilder, I'm interested in form first, and function second. Go ahead, tell me I'm me vain. I don't mind because it's true. The functional benefits that come with my style of mid-body training are a bonus. I don't care if saying as much mobilizes an army of personal trainers to jump off their balance boards and Bosu balls and come after me with their Bodyblades.

I'll say it loud and say it proud: I train my abs for show.

Functional Ab Training

Where Form Meets Function

Whether you're training your abs for function or form, you should know how the muscles of your midsection work. Without that knowledge, it's difficult to train them properly and efficiently. This subject is typically covered by people with a lot more letters after their names, so I'll keep it simple.

Your abdominal muscles perform three basic functions:

So when I put together a strategy to achieve maximum abdominal development and clarity, it has to ...

I doubt if #1 and #3 are a surprise to anyone reading this. But #2 is often overlooked. Without being able to maintain an isometric contraction for a long period of time, you end up being the guy who has perfect abs when he poses, but a gut that sticks out like the Octomom's when he's relaxed. Training your abs for isometric endurance keeps your abs "popping" even when you seem to be relaxed. It's obviously important to me, as a competitive bodybuilder, to be able to hold my gut in between poses. But it also comes in handy for you when you're hanging out on the beach and trying to catch the eye of someone who's a bit out of your league.

It's also important for me — and probably for you — to do this as efficiently as possible. I'm a very busy guy. Besides working 10 to 12 hours a day on my business, I usually do one or two shows a years that require me to train eight to 10 hours per week.

On top of those time and energy constraints, I don't particularly enjoy training abs, and I hate doing cardio. So I do my ab training in a circuit fashion, which not only saves time but also creates an oxygen debt, which reduces the amount of cardio I have to do to get into contest condition.

Here's an example of one of my circuits.

1A) One-leg hip extension with cross-knee drive from plank position

10 to 15 reps per side

This is a great three-for-one exercise. It works the anti-rotation function of the obliques, forces all the abdominal muscles to hold a difficult isometric contraction, and produces as much oxygen debt as you could hope for. It's the ab-training equivalent of a subprime mortgage.

You can do it with your feet on a bench ...

Or, if that's not challenging enough, you can put your feet on a Swiss ball:

1B) Seated bicycle abs

15 to 30 seconds in each direction

This one works the rotation/anti-rotation functions of the obliques, with a mild isometric contraction of the rectus abdominis. You can hold your hands in two different positions, as I show in the video — at your sides, or overhead:

1C) 45-degree V-up with a reach

8 to 15 reps

This is a pretty straightforward flexion exercise for the rectus and obliques:

1D) Ab rollout

8 to 15 reps

Rollouts hit the rectus hard by challenging your ab muscles as they extend. I show this one two different ways — using a Swiss ball or ab wheel:

1E) Vacuum hold

30 to 60+ seconds

Vacuums are the ultimate isometric, anti-gut-bulge exercise, and they couldn't be simpler to perform — suck your gut in and hold it in, while continuing to breathe steadily:

Final Thoughts

In a typical workout, I'll do a circuit like this four to six times, resting as required in between circuits. Or I'll create two or three different circuits and rotate through them two or three times in a workout. I do these ab circuits three to four times a week when I'm getting ready for a contest.

I keep constant tension on my abs throughout these exercises, and I do each movement deliberately, with as little momentum as possible.

The great thing about these circuits is that, with a little imagination, the exercise combinations are endless. Just remember to cover all the functions of your abdominal muscles in each circuit, and the form will take of itself.

About the Author

Functional Ab Training

© 1998 — 2009 Testosterone, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Thank You for Guzzling Corn Syrup

The bullshit about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is getting pretty thick. Health care professionals have cautioned us against over-consumption of the stuff, and the corporate public-relations jackals have swooped in to do damage control.

"It's made from corn," they say. "It's nutritionally the same as sugar."

This reminds me of that classic film, Thank You for Smoking, and it only goes to prove that you can support any claim, no matter how ludicrous, if you massage the data enough.

If the warm and fuzzy reassurances of the corn syrup industry have left you unconvinced that their gloopy crap is good for you or your family, then read on. I'm going to lay down the hard facts. HFCS may be sweeter than sugar, but when it comes to your health, it's not so freakin' sweet. At all.

Guzzling Corn Syrup

HFCS is the enemy of abs.

Fact #1: HFCS Isn't the Only Problem Sugar.

Any sugar that contains fructose is especially problematic from a health perspective. Despite its name, HFCS isn't as "high-fructose" as you might think. Depending on the type, it's generally 42 to 55 percent fructose.[3] The former is common to solid foods, and the latter to beverages. Just as the PR jackals claim, it's chemically similar to table sugar, which is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose.

Guzzling Corn Syrup

Sucrose is very similar to corn syrup.

Although these sugars don't have the extremely high glycemic index of raw glucose, they do cause a combination of hyper-insulinemia and aberrant intracellular metabolism, which in turn creates the double-whammy of lipogenesis (fat creation) and glycation (gummed up body proteins). More on all this later. For now, it's enough to know that fructose-containing sugars are not so good.

Fact #2: The source of the sugar makes all the difference.

With the faster gastric emptying [7, 9] and greater blood sugar swings compared to solid meals, liquids are themselves a consideration. Although the literature isn't unanimous on this, simply drinking one's calories creates a positive energy balance.[8] That is, anyone who drinks his calories in fluid form is less likely to down-compensate his intake in later meals.

The natural regulation of daily energy intake gets disrupted. Although this can be used to one's advantage (e.g. bulking), it can also be bad. Whatever you might have heard, all calories are not created equal: carbohydrates as a class are more "fattening" than proteins.[6, 16, 17]

Sure, you can find data that HFCS beverages are not different in satiety value than sucrose drinks, or even milk, [23] but we really need to consider the type of nutrients in those drinks. If they all similarly create positive energy balance, I think I'll choose nutrient-rich milk.

Straight liquid carbs like high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose solutions are digested and metabolized in a particular way, and they're the number one choice of thirsty Americans. Sports supplement drinks and popular beverages are loaded with them. We've all read labels that say, "contains less than 5 percent juice." This is marketing-speak for "fake."

Fact #3: Metabolic mayhem ensues after HFCS ingestion.

Let me ask you this: where in nature could our hunter-gatherer ancestors quickly guzzle down 100 grams of sugar? You guessed it, nowhere. It just ain't natural. It astounds me that the human body can even deal with a Super Big Gulp. And actually, it doesn't deal with it very well.

Guzzling Corn Syrup

The modern-day hunter-gatherer returns with his quarry.

When a human being quickly introduces that much sugar, his body does what it must: turn it into triglycerides (fat). I've seen some disturbing blood work after ingestion of a fat-free, high-fructose meal, in which the subjects' blood values looked like they had just wolfed down some fried chicken. How can this be?

Fructose really turns up the lipogenesis by bypassing the most important regulatory enzyme in our carbohydrate biochemistry, PFK-1. This supplies our bodies with a bountiful supply of acetyl-CoA and glycerol, the building blocks of fat.[5]

Guzzling Corn Syrup

Fructose in the cellular metabolism: follow the yellow fat road.

Fact #4: Fructose gums up your tissues.

Compared to glucose (which you hardly ever find all by itself in the diet), fructose has a much greater tendency to glycate (or glycosylate if you prefer) surrounding proteins. [12, 21] You've probably heard of glycosylation before. Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is a common marker of past glucose tolerance, used to test diabetics.

Glycosylation is more than an indicator of someone's blood sugars running high, however. As a broader phenomenon, it's been linked to disrupted cell function and aging.[12, 13] I used to think fructose appearance in the bloodstream was inconsequential (the liver converts most of it to glucose), but in today's HFCS and sucrose-crazy environment, that little 4-8 mg/dl rise in blood fructose day-in and day-out could become an issue. I don't want my DNA or collagen damaged by glycosylation.[12]

Fact #5: Fructose is a big problem if you have metabolic syndrome.

Fructose ingestion is especially problematic for the 10 to 30 percent of the population (and 6 percent of college students) who are already insulin-resistant due to metabolic syndrome.[14, 15] This is a collection of visceral fat accumulation, high triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol, low HDL, high blood pressure, and poor glucose tolerance.

It can creep up on middle-aged guys especially. Their central body fat (visceral fat behind the abs) has a higher turnover rate, which lends some extra fatty acids to the new "building blocks" made available by ingested fructose.[11] The end result is even greater lipogenesis, taking place in an individual who already has surplus fat stored in the worst possible place. Fat begets fat. It's a vicious cycle, which needs to be turned around by sugar reduction, exercise, and medical intervention.

Fact #6: HFCS is fattening, and it's everywhere.

From both a biochemical standpoint, as we've discussed, and from an epidemiological standpoint (obesity trends mirroring HFCS introduction in the food supply), high-fructose corn syrup appears to be a problem.[5, 18]

Epidemiological evidence is not cause-and-effect, of course (a fact the news media overlooks at times), but the HFCS-obesity relationship is suspicious indeed. HFCS consumption has grown 10-fold in recent decades to a whopping 9% of the U.S. calorie intake.[4, 5] And we all know what's happened to the obesity numbers in that time period.

I can barely comprehend that nearly one in ten things Americans now ingest is HFCS. My "health food" granola bars are jam-packed with it. I even tasted some sweetness in some chicken breasts my wife bought. I looked at the label, and you can guess what I found on the ingredients list. HFCS in Chicken breasts! Is nothing sacred?!

But there's more to corn syrup making people fat than just the fact that people eat more of it than ever. We have the uncontrolled glycolytic inundation that we discussed earlier, and here's another fact: fructose actually induces lipogenic enzymes.

According to one study, "long-term absorption of fructose... causes enzyme adaptations that increase lipogenesis and VLDL secretion, leading to triglyceridemia, decreased glucose tolerance, and hyperinsulinemia."[19]

That's right, exposure to fructose prepares the body to do the last thing you want it to do: convert that fructose into fat and store it.

And although there's reason to believe that trained individuals with partly depleted glycogen stores have some capacity to resist fructose's lipogenic effects,[2] even exercise doesn't look like perfect protection, at least in rats: "we conclude that hepatic lipogenic enzyme induction by high carbohydrate meal feeding may be inhibited by exercise training [but] that a fructose-rich diet may attenuate this training-induced down-regulation."[10]

Just say no.

In sum, when something looks like a health problem, and acts like a health problem, guess what? It's a health problem, and public relations be damned. I hope this article has helped you cut through the confusion. Share these facts with your family the next time you see a commercial thanking you for guzzling corn syrup. Corporations have to realize that there are thinking men and women in this world who see their bullshit for what it is, and can answer them back appropriately.

Guzzling Corn Syrup

About the Author

Dr. Lonnie Lowery is an exercise physiologist and nutritionist who has presented information on high-fructose corn syrup and obesity in both medical settings and on the Internet. He co-hosts podcasts at Iron Radio and can be contacted by e-mail.


1. Abraha, A., et al. Acute effect of fructose on postprandial lipaemia in diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. British Journal of Nutrition (1998), 80, 169—175.

2. Acheson, K., et al. Glycogen storage capacity and de novo lipogenesis during massive carbohydrate overfeeding in man. Am J Clin Nutr 1988 Aug;48(2):240-7

3. Anderson, H. Much ado about high-fructose corn syrup in beverages: the meat of the matter. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;86:1577— 8.

4. Bantle, J., et al. Effects of dietary fructose on plasma lipids in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2000 Nov; 72(5): 1128-34.

5. Bray, G., et al. Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;79(4):537-43.

6. Buchholz AC, Schoeller DA. Is a calorie a calorie? Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 May;79(5):899S-906S.

7. Clarkston, W., et al. Evidence for the anorexia of aging: gastrointestinal transit and hunger in healthy elderly vs. young adults. Am J Physiol. 1997 Jan;272(1 Pt 2):R243-8.

8. DellaValle, D., et al. Does the consumption of caloric and non-caloric beverages with a meal affect energy intake? Appetite. 2005 Apr;44(2):187-93

9. Edelbroek M., et al. Gastric emptying and intragastric distribution of oil in the presence of a liquid or a solid meal. J Nucl Med 33(7): 1283-90.

10. Fiebig, R., et al. Exercise training down-regulates hepatic lipogenic enzymes in meal-fed rats: fructose versus complex carbohydrate diets. J Nutr 128(5): 810-817.

11. Fried S, Rao S. Sugars, hypertriglyceridemia, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2003 78(4): 873S-880S

12. Gaby, A., Adverse effects of dietary fructose. Alt Med Rev. 2005 10(4): 294-306.

13. Hipkiss, A. Dietary restriction, glycolysis, hormesis and ageing. Biogerontology. 2006 Sep 13; [Epub ahead of print]

14. Huang, T., et al. Overweight and Components of the Metabolic Syndrome in College Students. Diabetes Care 2004; 27:3000-3001.

15. Israili, Z., et al. Metabolic syndrome: treatment of hypertensive patients. Am J Ther. 2007 Jul-Aug;14(4):386-402.

16. Krieger, J., et al. Effects of variation in protein and carbohydrate intake on body mass and composition during energy restriction: a meta-regression. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):260-74.

17. Layman, D., et al. (2003). A reduced ratio of dietary carbohydrate to protein improves body composition and blood lipid profiles during weight loss in adult women. J Nutr 133(2): 411-417.

18. Lowery, L. High-fructose corn syrup and the obesity epidemic. Robinson Memorial Hospital Medical Grand Rounds. January 16, 2008, Ravenna, OH, USA.

19. Mayes, P. Intermediary metabolism of fructose. Am J Clin Nutr 1993 Nov;58(5 Suppl):754S-765S fructose lipogenic

20. Phillips, S., et al. Increments in skeletal muscle GLUT-1 and GLUT-4 after endurance training in humans. Am J Physiol. 1996 Mar;270(3 Pt 1):E456-62.

21. Schalkwijk, C., et al. Fructose-mediated non-enzymatic glycation: sweet coupling or bad modification. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews 20(5): 369-382.

22. Smutok, M., et al. (1994). Effects of exercise training modality on glucose tolerance in men with abnormal glucose regulation. Int J Sports Med 15(6): 283-289.

23. Soenen S, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. No differences in satiety or energy intake after high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, or milk preloads. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;86(6):1586-94

24. Tougas, G., et al. Assessment of gastric emptying using a low fat meal: establishment of international control values. Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Jun;95(6):1456-62.

© 1998 — 2009 Testosterone, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GVT Revisited by TC

Can simply employing German Volume Training on a couple of exercises a week be the key to effective workouts? TC presents his case below.

Way back in 1995 or so, a fresh-faced Canadian strength coach named Charles Poliquin, wearing the native moose fur and antler hat that is emblematic of his countrymen, gave me an article (written on maple leaves) about something called "German Volume Training."

I cast aside my initial perceptions and read the article. It was good.

I ran it in the very next issue of Muscle Media 2000, the iconic but long-defunct bodybuilding magazine.

The article created a huge stir. The concept was easy to digest and it was wickedly effective at putting on muscle, fast.

The goal of the program was simply to perform 10 sets of 10 of a given exercise.

GVT Revisited

Charles Poliquin, seen here attending to one of his athletes, popularized GVT.

Let's say your first movement is the bench press. You'd want to pick a weight that you could do approximately 20 times. For most people, this would be about 60% of their 1RM.

You begin by doing 10 reps with that weight. Rest 60 seconds and perform another 10 reps. Continue in this manner, without changing the weight, until you've performed 10 sets.

Keep in mind, however, that if you actually complete 10 sets of 10, you chose a weight that was too light.

Ideally, a 10-set progression would look something like this:

Once you did achieve 10 sets of 10, however, you'd increase the weight the next workout.

Poliquin recommended that you use the method for only one exercise per body part. For instance, if you were working chest, you might do 10 sets of 10 of bench press, followed by perhaps some incline dumbbell presses and flies done with a more conventional sets and rep scheme, i.e., 3 sets of 10 reps.

The program has been tried by tens of thousands of weightlifters, bodybuilders, and athletes, almost always to great effect.

Even though it is, by weightlifting standards, an "old" program, it's still worth doing. Testosterone Muscle contributor Christian Thibaudeau refers to GVT this way:

"GVT is kinda like an old girlfriend that you can go back to for a booty call when you're not in a relationship. It's not new, it's much less sexy than it first was, but it still gets the job done.

"Just because a program is not the 'flavor of the month' anymore doesn't mean that it lost any of its luster."

Poliquin explained that the program works because of the law of repeated efforts. In other words, you do enough reps of an exercise, even at a weight that's submaximal, you iz gonna grow.

Bodybuilder Scott Abel, while not specifically addressing GVT, explained the phenomenon in terms of "total units of power demand."

Let's assume you just did 10 deadlifts with 225 pounds. You probably lifted the weight 2 feet, and you probably did each rep in about .8 seconds. If you take the formula for power (power equals force times distance, divided by time, or P=Fd/t), the total units of power produced in one rep is 562.5, which, if multiplied by 10 (the number of reps in the set), is 5,625 units of power generated.

Contrast that with a near-max set of 365, done for 2 sets, but at a substantially slower rep speed, around 2 seconds. The total units of power generated for that set is only 730!

I don't want to get too "mathy" on you, but consider that in a typical set of GVT, 10 sets of 10 using a weight of 225 pounds would generate an incredible 56,250 units of power!

GVT Revisited

Contrast that with a typical pyramid-scheme deadlift workout, where you might start with 10 reps with 135 and gradually climax, four or five sets later, with a set of 2 reps at 365. The total units of power generated would probably be about a fifth — and I'm being charitable — of the GVT-style 10 sets of 10.

Granted, units of power generated isn't the end-all and be-all concerning hypertrophy, but it's definitely a factor.

When Scott Abel first presented these numbers, he was making the case that "max loads have little to do with how much weight is on the bar. Max loads are relative only to performance of those loads."

As such, our main take-home point was that the more power units generated, the greater the adaptive demand and response.

Of course, this applies mostly to hypertrophy, and not necessarily strength.

But even though I've been trying to present a case for GVT, my goal isn't necessarily to convince you to train entirely this way.

Remember a few months ago, when Biotest revealed its "Third Law of Muscle"?

In case you don't remember, here it is:

Our point was this: if you follow the third law (in conjunction with laws one and two, which consist of a good program and allowing adequate rest), you can blow almost everything else and still make good gains. Yeah, that's right, we believe that if you follow the three rules, you can virtually spend all day eating crap food and boozing and womanizing and Lord knows what else you do, and still make gains.

Granted, there's a limit to how much abuse your body will tolerate, but our point remains: if you fulfill your body's nutritional needs before, during, and after the workout period, you'll make gains. You'll win the physique battle.

Well, I've got a similar concept that can be applied to training, and it involves GVT. It's something I've been trying on a number of guinea pigs, each of whom seems to be getting suspiciously bigger.

Here's the deal:

So I've come up with a simple remedy. Keep doing your current program — whatever it is — but with this simple change:

Sure, throw in your usual leg extension or leg press finishers, I don't care. It's all good.

But adding in this simple protocol will fix what ails you. Everyone knows squats and deadlifts are hugely effective in packing on muscle, but most people do three or four sets in a pyramid fashion, and sadly, according to Abel, they don't generate enough power units to cause an adaptive response.

Poliquin himself approved the approach I laid out to him, offering the following support/explanation:

"Most people fail to make gains because of not doing enough 'most bang for your buck' exercises, i.e., the exercises that recruit the most motor units.

"An exercise is only as good as the time it takes you to adapt to it. Provided you use enough load for enough time, all exercises can build muscle. It's just that some are better at it than others. It has to do with what the German strength physiologists call the scale of motor-unit recruitment.

"For example, cam exercises for a given number of reps recruit less motor units than a pulley exercise. And that pulley exercise recruits less motor units than a dumbbell exercise.

"The more you stick to what we were designed for as animals — lifting rocks, carrying carcasses, and generally just fighting against gravity — then the better off you are.

"What that means is using free weights over machines. Large compound movements for multiple sets should do the trick, as in German Volume Training. You cannot beat deadlifts and squats for that manner, plus they are associated with greater production of anabolic hormones."

What Poliquin is suggesting, of course, is that the cumulative effect of adding these two movements, done GVT-style, is total body growth.

Adding GVT-style squats and deadlifts will thus turn any lackluster, no-effects program into an effective one, and a good one into a great one.

© 1998 — 2009 Testosterone, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vivre en santé

Vieillir en santé



L’andropause désigne les symptômes qui accompagnent la baisse de production de testostérone chez l’homme vieillissant. Est-elle un dysfonctionnement ou une phase normale de la vie?



La sexualité se transforme avec l’âge, mais peut demeurer satisfaisante.

La ménopause et les problèmes sexuels