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

Friday, November 30, 2012

How the Frequency Progression Works

Here’s one truism we can all agree on: your body doesn’t want to build muscle unless it’s absolutely necessary. A muscle must be challenged to work harder so your physiology has no choice but to manufacture new muscle tissue to adapt to the demand.
Exercise variety is important and necessary to offset overuse injuries, but merely switching from a standing barbell curl to a dumbbell hammer curl won’t do anything to spark new growth in your biceps. This is true for training any muscle group.
You might get sore when you switch to a new exercise, but that’s mainly because the muscle is being challenged in a different way: it doesn’t mean the muscle has to grow to meet the demand. A better strategy is to find a free weight or body weight exercise that you like, and increase the frequency of training that movement over the course of 4-6 weeks.
Frequency Progression
What it’s best for: muscle growth
Explanation: we all know that increasing the load of a movement is great for building strength, and some muscle growth will follow. However, I’ve found that the fastest growth occurs when you significantly increase the weekly training volume for that muscle group.
Let’s take two guys (Jim and Tim) that perform the pull-up, as an example. Jim weighs 180 pounds and does the pull-up twice per week for 6×4 with an extra 30 pounds of weight attached to a chin/dip belt. You can calculate his weekly training volume with this equation: load x total reps = volume. Since his load is 210 pounds and his total reps are 48, his weekly volume is 10,080.
He’s been feeling pretty strong so the following week he adds 10 more pounds to the chin/dip belt. Now his weekly training volume for the pull-up is 10,560 (220 pounds x 48 reps).
In other words, Jim’s weekly training volume increased 5%.
Tim weighs 210 pounds and has been doing a body weight pull-up for 6×4 twice per week. Therefore, his weekly volume was the same as Jim’s first week: 10,080. Tim has been feeling strong too, but instead of adding an extra 10 pounds to a chin/dip belt he decides to add an extra pull-up workout, thus increasing his training frequency to three times per week. So if we plug in the numbers for Tim’s second week we get a volume of 15,120 (210 pounds x 72 reps).
In other words, by simply adding one extra body weight pull-up workout Tim increased his training volume by 50%!
So which method do you think would send a stronger signal for new muscle growth: a 5% increase in weekly volume or a 50% increase? Yep, you know the answer.
The irony is that it’s easier to add an extra pull-up workout than it is to strain like hell with more load to achieve the same 6×4 workout.
Now, I must state that for maximal strength gains you must focus on adding load to your workouts. But when fast muscle growth is the goal it makes perfect sense to increase the frequency for that movement because it results in a significantly higher weekly volume.
Exceptions to the frequency progression are a barbell squat, bench press and deadlift. However, use the frequency progression for any upper body lift or single-leg exercise and you will build new muscle more quickly.
How to use it: add one extra workout per week for the lagging body part. Perform around 25 total reps with a load that allows 6-8 reps per set. Keep adding one extra workout for that movement for 4-6 weeks straight.

Stay Focused,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Interview with Ross Enamait about Achieving a High Standard of Fitness

Allow me to introduce you to Ross Enamait, who is a coach to professional fighters and has been a hardcore athlete for most of his life. I’ve admired Ross for a number of reasons, but I think one of his finest qualities is his old school nature combined with a talent for innovation.
Ross Enamait
Ross Enamait – Founder of
Not too long ago, I decided I wanted to get to know him a little better. So, I sent off a list of interview questions to see what he’s all about. I’ve followed Ross on and off over the years, but honestly, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. What I did know is that whatever it amounted to, it’d be good. Ross is one of those guys who has been around the block a few times. He knows his craft better than most athletes and fitness trainees ever will because he’s been training and coaching with extraordinary success for a long time.
It comes as no surprise that this is one of the best interviews I’ve ever featured here on Physical Living. If you want to get a glimpse into the reality behind what it takes to achieve a high standard of fitness, you will enjoy this interview. Ross pulls no punches. He’s got nothing up his sleeve. And if you follow his advice, you too can achieve a high standard of fitness.
And if you get just one key insight from this interview, then it’ll have been worth it. And I’d be willing to wager that you’ll a lot more than that.
Let’s dive right in.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself including your background in athletics and fitness and also what you do today?
I’ve been involved in athletics my entire life. I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t somehow involved in a competitive sport. I started as a young child and continued through college and beyond. I did however suffer several hand fractures as a boxer so I eventually transitioned to coaching. I now train professional fighters. I’ve done so for many years and have what I consider to be the best job in the world.
OK, I’ve seen you use barbells, dumbbells, sandbags, kegs, weighted vests, ab wheels, jump ropes, resistance bands, and practically every other type of home gym equipment you can think of – and then some. But what’s the deal – no shake weight?
The shake weight symbolizes everything that is wrong with the fitness industry today. It’s a product that is more gimmicky than anything I’ve ever seen. Yet despite the countless parodies and jokes, I read that the shake weight brought in more than 40 million dollars in revenue in less than a year. Such a financial success shows that the consumer is both misinformed and desperate to improve.
Makers of products like these are only concerned with their bottom line. The goal isn’t to improve people’s lives, but rather to see how much revenue can be generated in a short period of time.
The take home lesson from the shake weight is simple. Consumers must do their homework. Be a skeptic and don’t be so impulsive. If what is being advertised sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Instant gratification doesn’t exist in the world of health and fitness. If you wish to improve, patience, diligence, and consistency are more important than anything.
What are some of your favorite training tools and why?
I can’t pinpoint a single tool as I have worked with so many different things over the years. I have used free weights, odd objects, bodyweight exercise, medicine balls, large tires, sledgehammers, resistance bands, and weighted vests, just to name a few. I also have loads of homemade contraptions that I’ve put together over the years. Each tool is potentially valuable depending on what you are trying to develop. To label a tool or group of tools as personal favorites wouldn’t be accurate for me. My own preferences vary from time to time depending on the goals that I’m working to achieve.
You and I both know that you can’t buy fitness. That said, for someone who’s interested in outfitting a home gym with limited funds and/or limited space, what do you think would be the best overall investment(s)?
I’m not a fan of generalizations so I can’t make a universal recommendation regarding which tools an individual should purchase for a home gym. An individual could do quite well with nothing but his own bodyweight. Perhaps then a pull-up bar is one worthwhile suggestion.
Ross EnamaitThere are also plenty of inexpensive options that an individual could add to spice up his home-based training. One example that I recently posted to my Youtube channel shows how a simple pair of furniture sliders can provide a full body workout.
Clearly, the sliders are just one of many options but they’re a prime example of how you can do well with little or nothing in terms of equipment.
In summary, I’d first consider the goals and needs of the individual. For example, a competitive boxer would probably want his own heavy bag. A powerlifter would prefer a barbell. The tools that make sense for the individual depend on what he is trying to develop. For the non-competitive crowd, I would start with a simple set-up. Don’t be fooled to believe that you need an elaborate home gym to progress. You can start with little or nothing and eventually acquire additional tools over time. You’ll also see that there are plenty of homemade options that require little or no craftsmanship. A homemade sandbag is a prime example. Such a tool is easy to construct and can provide a tremendous full body workout.
What is one piece of equipment that most people don’t have or use, but you think would be a great addition for many people?
As with the previous question, it is difficult to pinpoint a single piece of equipment. Using myself as an example, I have put together many homemade tools that have been quite valuable. I couldn’t say that one ranks above all others however. The value of a particular tool will vary depending on the needs of the individual.
One of the problems with the industry today is that generalizations are often pushed towards specific populations. It is important to remember that training is an individualized process. No two people are the same. We are all unique in terms of goals, past experiences, strengths and weaknesses, interests, and more. There isn’t a single tool or style that should be applied to the masses. There are even times when I have athletes who compete in the same sport doing entirely different things in the gym. The fact that two athletes compete in the same sport doesn’t mean they have the same needs. A trainer must evaluate each athlete individually. Cater the training based on the uniqueness of the individual, as opposed to telling everyone to blindly follow the same road.
Note From John: Here are some more budget training ideas from one of Ross’s videos.
You have a knack for creating do-it-yourself solutions when a training tool either isn’t meeting your needs or you don’t want to pay almost $200 for what amounts to a couple of straps and handles (I won’t mention names!). What are the benefits of building your own equipment and what are some of the more popular/useful options out there that someone could consider? If you’ve got some tutorials, please include some links, too.
There are two potentially key benefits to constructing your own equipment. First would be building a piece of equipment that doesn’t have a commercial counterpart. And second would be to build a tool at a fraction of the cost of the commercial option. I can provide an example for each.
In early 2011, I built a hamstring training tool that I hadn’t seen previously. The design that I built in 2011 was actually a modification to a previous idea that I built in 2010. In each case, I started with a general idea and searched for commercial options. When I saw that none were available, I took matters into my own hands and constructed it myself. The inexpensive tool that came as a result of my brainstorming has proved to be one of my favorite hamstring exercises. You can see a video demonstration of the tool at the 5:15 mark within the following video:
As for the second potentially useful reason for building equipment, there are significant cost savings in many cases. For example, consider the high price of many commercial sandbags. I have used homemade sandbags for 15+ years now. They work just as well at a fraction of the cost. I’ve also built several rugged suspension trainers for approximately $20 each. They too work as well as any commercial option.
It is also worth noting that homemade equipment can actually be stronger than some of the commercial options. My homemade dip belt is stronger than anything I’ve ever seen on the market. I built it for a fraction of the cost. The chain used for my belt is much stronger and thicker than anything you will find at the sporting goods store.
Building something doesn’t mean you are somehow doing yourself a disservice. In many cases, you may actually be creating a stronger and safer tool.
As for tutorials, my Youtube channel is filled with homemade equipment ideas. You will find several within:
Note from John: I’ve been a subscriber for years, and you should be, too!
What is the value of bodyweight training, and how do you think this method fits into the overall picture when it comes to fitness training and strength and conditioning? Is it merely a good supplement to equipment-based exercise, or can it be used as a stand alone training modality?
The possibilities for bodyweight training are endless. There are loads of athletes who have thrived on nothing but bodyweight exercise.
Ross EnamaitIt is worth noting though that different people have different interpretations of what constitutes bodyweight training. Some consider bodyweight exercise to mean exercise that is devoid of any equipment. Personally, I’m not too concerned about precise definitions. If a simple piece of equipment can enhance a bodyweight movement, I’m all for it.  For example, I will often add a weighted vest to a traditional bodyweight exercise. I will also use bodyweight-based tools such as a suspension trainer, an ab wheel, a pull-up bar, furniture sliders, and so on.
With such an approach, numerous progressions and variations become available to you. There is always a way to take a common exercise and make it more difficult. There is always a challenging progression or variation that you can work towards achieving.
One of the classic downfalls to bodyweight training comes from those individuals who aren’t knowledgeable on the subject. Many people think of bodyweight exercise as nothing more than squats, pushups, and pull-ups. Their interpretation of a bodyweight progression is to perform more reps. And while performing higher reps can be useful at times, there are many other ways to progress with bodyweight exercise.
In summary, bodyweight exercise itself isn’t limited, but in many cases knowledge in regards to the modality is often what limits this style of training. With some creativity, you can take bodyweight exercise to levels that many individuals will only dream of achieving.
What are some of the unique advantages and challenges that come with bodyweight training and what are some of your go-to exercises?
The greatest advantage is that you are your own gym. You can train almost anywhere. In the time it takes to drive to a gym, it would be possible to achieve a quality bodyweight routine at home with little or no equipment. Such convenience can be extremely useful to the busy, working adult.
I also enjoy the creativity that comes along with bodyweight exercise. Unlike free weights where you just add more weight, bodyweight exercise often requires a more creative approach to making an exercise more difficult. I welcome and enjoy the unique challenge that comes as a result.
As for go to exercises, I’ve always enjoyed handstand pushups. I’m also a big fan of the pull-up bar and dip bar. I often add significant loads to each. From a conditioning standpoint, burpees are certainly a favorite. I also enjoy running steep hills, which could certainly be viewed as a bodyweight exercise.
Ross EnamaitNo doubt because of your boxing background, you’re a big fan of the jump rope. What are some of the things that most people don’t know about jump rope training, but should? Also, what are some things you can do with a jump rope that people in the non-boxing world wouldn’t necessarily know about? Do they fill a certain need when it comes to training goals that most other tools just can’t?
The jump rope is obviously a useful conditioning tool. What makes it unique however is that while you are conditioning yourself, you are also targeting additional objectives. Few tools offer so many simultaneous advantages. As you are conditioning yourself, you are also improving qualities such as footwork, coordination, rhythm, and mental focus. Each turn of the rope requires concentration and coordination. You are thinking and reacting constantly throughout the session. This becomes particularly true as you quickly switch between different turning styles and patterns.
In addition to the obvious physical benefits, the rope is also fun to use. There are always new and difficult turning styles that you can progress towards. Ropes are also inexpensive and make for an ideal indoor conditioning tool. You can use it year round regardless of the weather.
Note From John: Here’s some footage of Ross training with the jump rope, including some training progressions.
And what about sandbags – why is this such a prominent training tool in your collection, and what advantages does this have over other training tools?
Sandbags are valuable for many reasons. First, they are inexpensive and easy to use. Perhaps more importantly though, sandbags can be used to improve several objectives. Whether your goals are strength, power, endurance, or a combination of each, there is a sandbag option available to you.
As for application, sandbags can be used to replicate many lifts, but also allow for exercises that wouldn’t otherwise be possible with conventional tools. Carrying, shouldering, and loading a heavy sandbag are a few examples. Not only are you contending with the awkward nature of the bag, you are working with a movement that can’t be performed with a dumbbell or barbell.
The strength developed through heavy sandbag training is particularly useful for anyone involved in a contact sport such as wrestling, rugby, or MMA. This unique type of strength that comes from sandbags isn’t easy to describe to someone who hasn’t trained with them before. Those who put their hands on a heavy sandbag for the first time are usually in for a rude awakening.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see new and experienced trainees making in their fitness program?
Two of the most common problems that I see are paralysis by analysis and program jumping. With the first, individuals drive themselves crazy by analyzing every detail of training. As a result, they don’t get anything done. At times, it can be useful to think less and do more. No one starts with a perfect plan. Training is like many things in life. You learn by doing.
Program jumping is another common problem where individuals hop from one program to the next. These people don’t exhibit the patience that is necessary to bring about true, meaningful results. They become impatient after a few weeks and quickly move on to a new flavor of the month.
It is important to realize that results take time. You don’t need a fancy or elaborate plan to improve. The fundamentals work well if you work with them consistently. It is not an overnight process though. Real results require a significant investment in time. There are no shortcuts to the top. If you are not patient with your development, do not expect to achieve anything significant.
How would you get a beginner or intermediate trainee who has been struggling to take it to the next level on the right path towards improvement? What steps would you suggest?
If an individual is struggling to improve, he needs to evaluate his own commitment. I don’t sugarcoat anything. Getting stronger or better conditioned isn’t a complex process. Gains will come if you work hard in the gym and live a clean lifestyle outside of it.
Most people who have trained for a significant amount of time without improvements aren’t working as hard as they think. Not everyone has the same interpretation of what constitutes hard work. If an individual isn’t willing to put in the work, I won’t waste my time with them.
At some point, we must all ask ourselves how bad we want to improve. How much are we willing to sacrifice to reach the next level? This type of question isn’t answered in one day. You must be willing to answer the question day after day through action. Verbal statements don’t mean anything to me. You need to show me that you are willing to work.
Those who reach the top didn’t fall there. They climbed up the ladder one arduous step at a time. It is a long and strenuous journey. Whoever said it would be easy was lying.
I’ve seen footage of you doing triple-clap pushups and full-extension ab wheel rollouts while wearing 3 weight vests, among many other impressing feats of strength and athleticism. Firstly, is there anything you can’t do? And in all seriousness, what advice would you give to someone who wants to work towards a high standard of fitness and achieve extraordinary success?
Ross EnamaitFirst, thank you for the kind words. As for what I can or can’t do, it is important to realize that I have been training consistently for over 20 years now. When you see me or anyone else perform a challenging exercise, you only see the end result. Years of diligent training often came before the execution of a particular lift or movement. Things don’t necessarily come easy for me, but I do work extremely hard. I approach training with the mindset that if I set out to accomplish a challenging goal or feat, it is only a matter of time until I get it done.
I’m not a big fan of being realistic. I’d rather be a bit crazy in terms of what I think I can accomplish. Life is a lot more fun to live when you stop listening to the critics who want you to fail just like they did. I love being told that I can’t do something. It only makes me work harder to accomplish what others didn’t think was possible.
In summary, those who wish to succeed need to believe in themselves and display a ridiculous work ethic. When in doubt, outwork everyone else. Such an approach may sound a bit crude, but it has always worked well for me.
If you could sum of the major tenets of your training philosophy, what would they be?
The primary principle that defines my style is to focus on the uniqueness of the individual. What makes sense for one athlete may not make sense for another. Respect and accept each person as a unique individual. Don’t try to force generic principles down the throats of each person you train. Get to know the athletes. Find out what makes them tick. Find out where they are trying to go. Find out what has been holding them back. Address their specific needs and view their case as a unique problem that requires a unique solution.
I do know that one of the theme’s of your training philosophy is consistent, hard work, and you tend to lean more towards the hardcore type of coaches out there (no offense to cardio kickboxing instructors). Apart from sound program design and intelligent training, what are some of the other things you do to make sure you can perform at your peak – active recovery, specific nutrition strategies, rest and recovery, etc.?
I don’t do anything too fancy to foster recovery. Proper planning is more important than any recovery strategy. For example, if you try to hit a new PR with your deadlift every day of the week, it isn’t going to matter how much sleep you receive at night. You aren’t going to recover properly from day to day. Knowing what you can and should handle is as important as anything. You need to be in tune with your body. Push it when it makes sense to push it, and know when to back off.
It is also worth noting that work capacity builds over the years. What I can handle today is much more than what I could handle ten years ago. My ability to handle more work isn’t based on what I eat or how I sleep. It’s a matter of consistent work that accumulates over the years.
Personally, I probably sleep less than most. I run a business and have two young kids. Does any parent to young children sleep 8 hours a night? I haven’t met one. I sleep when I can, eat as a clean as possible, and push myself in the gym. Sure there are days when I may be a bit tired, but that doesn’t mean I pack my bags and go home. I put in the work day after day, no matter how I feel.
I know what I want to achieve so I make the sacrifices that are necessary. Nothing worth having is easy to acquire. It is supposed to be hard.
Do you follow and recommend a specific nutritional approach, or do your recommendations vary from person to person? Regardless, what are some of the typical nutrition strategies that you employ for fueling better health and peak performance?
I do not follow any specific dietary plans. My nutritional beliefs are that of common sense. I’m not a fan of micro-managing the process of eating. I eat when I’m hungry and I don’t count calories or nutrient ratios. As for selections, I eat real food while steering clear of the man-made, processed junk that fills most supermarket shelves. The bulk of what I eat once flew, grew, swam, or walked. As for beverages, I drink loads of water and enjoy fresh raw milk.
It is also worth noting that I don’t beat myself up if I eat something such as a bowl of ice cream. Yes, I eat healthy for the most part, but I don’t live a life of deprivation. Life is already too short. It is okay to go out and enjoy yourself from time to time. I can always make up for it in the gym.
You often post inspirational stories to your blog, which is one of my favorite aspects of your site because I think it helps us get connected to the deeper reasons why we train and strive to improve ourselves. What drives you to excel on a daily basis, and what have you found is the key to your success in this area?
I am extremely passionate about my work and the betterment of my athletes. It is my passion that drives me. If you really want something, you figure out a way to get it done. I’m hungry to improve and I stay hungry. The last thing I want is to look back at my life and wish I had done more. Too many people live life as if there was a rewind button that will let them try again.
In addition, as a father, I want to be a positive role model to my children. I don’t want to be the guy who just tells his kids how to live. I prefer to lead by example. Actions are more powerful than words. How can I expect my kids to live a particular way if I’m not willing to do so myself?
Does your motivation come from within, or from others, or a combination of both? Something else?
I’m not a fan of motivational tricks. Passion is much more powerful. Too many people make the mistake of searching externally for motivation. True motivation comes from within. It starts with passion. Once you are passionate about achieving something, the motivation to pursue your passions will already be present. How could I not be motivated to achieve something that I am so passionate about?
Is there one particular inspirational story that really resonates with you, and just gets you every timethat you could share?
No, I can’t say that there is a single favorite. I don’t post inspirational stories with hopes that they will be compared to each other. What I do instead is post stories from people who have overcome every imaginable type of adversity. Whether it is old age, a disability, an injury, etc., I want to show people that there is always someone else who is worse off than you. And not only are they worse off, they continue to move forward regardless of the unfortunate hand that they’ve been dealt.
In summary, the true value of the inspirational section isn’t in a single story, but rather the diversity of the entire collection.
Where is the best place my readers can find more information about you and your work?
I update my blog regularly at and I have several tutorials posted to my Youtube channel at
Thank you again for the interview and best of luck with your own training.
No, thank you Ross for leading from the front and providing my readers with such an outstanding interview. This was truly a pleasure and I’m sure it’ll reach a lot of people.
Speaking of which, if YOU enjoyed this interview, then get on over there and subscribe to both Ross’s blog and his Youtube channel. But before you go, please share this interview if you think others may be interested in achieving a high standard of fitness.
Ok, OK! Just ONE more training video…
If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and tweeps:
Health-First Fitness Coach

Friday, November 23, 2012

Eat your cruciferous veggies


by Hesh Goldstein 

(NaturalNews) Before getting into why you should do this, let's lay out the playing field.

The team is made up of bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, and watercress.

First and foremost, cruciferous veggies contain lots of cancer-crushing compounds like isothiocyanates (ITCs). So, a simple thing like eating these guys raw can protect one from bladder cancer. Out of a random test of 1,400 people, the ones that ate the most ITCs in their diet were less prone to developing bladder cancer, with seniors and smokers getting
the best protection.

Broccoli sprouts, for example, are loaded with ITCs. There was a study done with rats that found that they more they ate the less likely they were to get bladder cancer and if the did, the cancer progressed very slowly.

Then, scientists discovered that the ITCs boosted the enzymes that protected the cells from oxidation. And we know that oxidation contributes to cancer. What happens is that the kidneys process the protective compounds and eventually flush them into the bladder, where they wait for you to go to the bathroom. This means that the ITCs spend lots of time in close contact with the bladder lining, where cancer is most likely to develop.

But cooked cruciferous veggies do not offer the same protection as raw because cooking can destroy the ITCs. What's good to do is to cut up a variety of these veggies, keep them in the fridge, and snack on them with a bit of hummus or tasty cole slaw.

Broccoli, again, could better your odds of beating breast cancer and radically cut your chance of getting it in the first place. This is what cruciferous veggies do best.

Also, broccoli, cabbage, watercress, kale, cauliflower and the other crucifers are rich in plant compounds called glucosinolates. The bacteria, in your gut, breaks them down into other substances likesulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol, and ITCs, to name a few.

What happens next is these compounds cause cancer cells to commit suicide. This process is known as apoptosis. They also help prevent cancerous changes in your cells and change the way your body uses estrogen, so that less of the hormone fuels cancer growth.

Okay, sulforaphane is an antioxidant that revs up an enzyme in the body that gets rid of dangerous toxins. Therefore, eating the cruciferous veggies rich in it links to lower cancer risk. The people that conduct the studies with sulforaphane, because of its slowing of the growth of breast cancer cells, are hopeful that one day it could prevent estrogen-positive breast cancer.

Then, indole-3-carbinol breaks down further into diindolymethane (DIM), which prohibits two proteins that help breast cancer and ovarian cancer spread through your body. One study found that treating cancer cells with DIM reduced their spread by 80 percent.

The experts say that this could make the current cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy more effective, since DIM could stop the cancer from spreading or at least slow it down. DIM also boosts immune function, which may prevent cancer from ever getting stated.

Personally, I cannot believe the "cancer business" would ever consider this because the compound could radically affect their profits.

There is new research that connects crucifers high in ITCs, particularly raw white turnips and bok choy (Chinese cabbage), to a lower risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Younger women benefitted as well, but for a different reason. Premenopausal women with certain types of genes faced a much higher risk of breast cancer than other women. But, if they ate cruciferous veggies, their risk dropped significantly.

You ladies that eat lots of things that had a face and a mother should take special care to pile on the crucifers. Grilling, pan-frying, smoking, barbecuing, and even broiling meat creates PAHs and HCAs, two carcinogens linked to breast cancer.
In one study, the more grilled, barbecued, or smoked meats women ate, the more likely they were to develop breast cancer. And God forbid they ate lots of meat but fewer fruits and vegetables, the cancer risk jumped even higher.

Oh yeah, an interesting note about barbecuing dead, rotting flesh - the fat from the dead whatever that drips down onto the charcoal instigates a chemical called benzoapryne that flows upward and covers the dead body. When you eat it it's as if you just smoked a carton of cigarettes at one time. Do you think that cancer could arise from this?

So, loading your plate with lots of fruits and veggies, particularly those rich in ITCs like crucifers, could possibly offset some of that risk if you are a meat-lover. White turnips, for example, are a great source. Raw, they contain an incredible 17 times more ITCs than bok choy.

Watercress comes in with a close second with 16 times more ITCs than bok choy.

Then there are Brussels sprouts. These along with broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower can all protect you from colon cancer. They all contain a natural plant compound called glucobrassicin, which breaks down in your belly into indole-3-carbinol (I3C).
Yeah, it's hard to pronounce but gets digested even further, eventually turning into DIM. Evidence shows that DIM is behind the cancer-protection afforded by brassicas.

Tumors develop for two reasons:

1. Damaged cells multiply uncontrollably, forming tumors.
2. Damaged cells stop responding to signals your body sends them, telling them to die.

Certain compounds, such as DIM, help damaged cells to die when they should, so they don't keep multiplying and turn cancerous. That's why experts now think that eating brassicas like broccoli and Brussels sprouts may prevent colon cancer from developing and even slow the growth of existing cancer. That, in turn, could make traditional treatments more effective. Best of all, DIM does this without causing side effects, unlike medications.

How you eat them matters, though. The amount of protection you get from food depends partly upon how you prepare it.

Crucifers can lose 30 to 60 percent of their cancer-fighting compounds during cooking, but different methods yield different results. One study found that cooking red cabbage over low heat on the stove or lightly steaming it actually increased the cancer-fighting power.

Raw, however, may be the way to go. Rats that ate raw fresh watercress, green cabbage, and broccoli for nearly four months had fewer colon cancer markers than rats on regular diets.

Juicing does not work according to the study as vegetable juice had no effect on cancer in an animal study, nor did supplements made from the protective compounds in the vegetables.

Simple cabbage has surprising healing properties that combat infectious skin problems, strengthen weak bones, and lessen arthritis pain because cabbage and other cruciferous veggies have two nutrients that improve osteoarthritis pain and keep the disease from getting worse.

*Vitamin C reacts with iron to build healthy joint cartilage and antioxidants like vitamin C also keep you from losing cartilage and slows the progression of osteoarthritis (OA). In one study, people who got lots of vitamin C were less likely to have knee pain or see their OA get worse, while those in another study had fewer and smaller bone marrow lesions, which are the markers of arthritis, joint pain, and worsening OA.

*Cabbage and its fellow crucifers are also chock-full of vitamin K, which regulates the growth of bone and cartilage. Seniors, for example, with higher blood levels of vitamin K had fewer signs of hand and knee OA, in one study. The researchers feel that too little vitamin K may lead to shrinking cartilage and the growth of bone spurs common in arthritis.

*If ever the time came that we could go back to manure as fertilizer, most of there afflictions could be alleviated. But since the Rockefellers control the petro-chemical fertilization, that chance is slim. Thousands of people are attesting to the fact that the organic sulfur crystals relieve one of this agonizing joint pain.

Besides building cartilage, vitamin C may directly affect your bone health. It is a key part of the proteins that form collagen, one of the building blocks of bone, ligaments, tendons, and teeth. Plus, it stimulates your body to make bone cells.
In postmenopausal women, higher vitamin C is associated with greater bone mineral density, an indicator of bone strength.

Vitamin K is essential in building osteocalcin, another major protein in bones. A shortage of vitamin K weakens your bones, and studies link low-K diets to lower bone mass density (BMD) and a higher risk of bone fracture.

If, however, you boost your vitamin K intake, it keeps you from losing calcium through urine, reduces the amount of bone your body breaks down, and increases the amount of bone in your body. In a 10-year study, women who got the least vitamin K in their diets were 30 percent more likely to fracture their hip, while other research found that men and women who got the most vitamin k were 65 percent less likely to fracture a hip.

As early as the 1930s, scientists realized vitamin C helped heal cold sores and other lesions caused by the Herpes simplex virus. Further research showed it could help heal outbreaks twice as fast as simply waiting, probably because it enhances your immune system and fights viruses.

When it comes to vitamin K, ordinary boiled cabbage is best. Just half a cup of cooked cabbage meets 100 percent of your daily K needs, not to mention almost half your vitamin C requirements, in only 17 calories.

If you want more vitamin C, start adding raw red cabbage to salads and cole slaws as a cup of chopped cabbage provides 85 percent of the day's vitamin C and about 40 percent of your vitamin K, all in only 28 calories.

Back to broccoli. It has two powerful cruciferous chemicals that can amp up your rundown immune system, to ward off viruses and keep you healthier throughout the year.

When you sit down to a meal with broccoli, cabbage, or kale, you are helping your immune system to fight off infections. DIM, one of the compounds formed when you digest these foods, pumps up your immune system by increasing cytokines, the proteins that help regulate immune cells, increase more macrophages, which are immune cells that help kill bacteria and tumor cells, and increase two-fold the number of white blood cells, which fight off infection by killing the bugs attacking your body.

Again, sulforaphane boosts the immune system as well. It increases the killer immune cells, helps produce more cytokines and lymphocytes, and stimulates other parts other parts of the immune system. What's more, certain crucifers like broccoli are excellent sources of vitamin C, another virus-busting nutrient. Try some broccoli or Brussels sprouts with a
meal to ward off a sickness instead of turning to synthetic meds.

Last but not least, cauliflower. Eating cauliflower at least once a week is effective in protection from deadly forms of prostate cancer. Crucifers are full of natural cancer-fighting compounds, including ITCs, indoles, and sulforaphane, which help protect the genetic material in your cells from damage.

What's more, broccoli is high in phenols, the plant substances that boost your immune system and stamp out dangerous compounds that can lead to cancerous changes in your body. Anyway, here are what crucifers like broccoli and cauliflower can do for your prostate.

They can evade aggressive cancers if eaten more than once a week and they can shrink prostate tumors. And if tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, they combine to create more of an impact because of the heavy natural cancer-fighting properties in them.

To gain optimum benefit you should eat about one-and-a-half cups of broccoli daily, along with two-and-a-half-cups of fresh tomatoes, or one cup of tomato sauce, or half a cup of tomato paste.

To be and stay healthy, it may be necessary to alter the way you eat.

First, you need to severely minimize your flesh intake. Next, you should eat as much organically grown produce as possible and eliminate all GMOs (bear in mind all flesh foods the walk or crawl are fed GMOs in their feed).

If you sprinkle some curry on your cauliflower it does wonders. PEITC, a compound in cruciferous veggies, and curcumin, a compound in curry seasoning, can stop new prostate tumors from developing and stop existing ones from spreading.

Then chew or chop your veggies because the PEITC and other ITCs form when the plant's cells get crushed up during chewing or chopping. Be sure to chew the crucifers thoroughly so they turn to saliva in your mouth and you wind up drinking them. That way you'll get the most prostate protection.

Last but not least, did you ever see Technicolor cauliflower?

You can now buy cauliflower in purple, orange and green. For real! The purple one are loaded with anthocyanin, the same phytochemical found in red grapes and red wine; the orange ones are loaded with beta carotene to the tune of about 25 times more than the white; and the green take the cake with more vitamins C and A.

Bon appetit!


Rien ne vaut le miel pour soigner la toux infantile ! -

miel et touxNos parents ou grands-parents nous ont souvent donné une bonne cuillère de miel ou préparé une tisane avec du miel, quand enfant, nous avions la toux. Sur le site Creapharma on appelle ce genre de préparations des remèdes de grand-mère (on parle aussi parfois de traitements naturels ou remèdes à faire soi-même). L'image de ce remède "maison" est parfois négative aux yeux de la science et de son objectivité scientifique. Deux études ont toutefois démontré le contraire. Chez les enfants, le miel est même plus efficace que les médicaments classiques comme le dextrométorphane (pour soigner une toux sèche).

L'utilisation du miel en cas de toux chez les enfants est aussi une réelle alternative pour nos lecteurs canadiens. Dans ce pays (selon nos informations) les antitussifs sont contre-indiqués chez les enfants de moins de 6 ans (en France ils sont contre-indiqués chez les moins de 2 ans et aux Etats-Unis chez les moins de 4 ans). 
Etude israélienne
La première étude est israélienne, elle est parue dans l'édition de septembre 2012 de la revue scientifique Pediatrics. Ce travail de recherche a porté sur 300 enfants de 1 à 5 ans qui souffraient de toux. Les chercheurs ont donné à un groupe d'enfants une cuillère de miel avant de dormir et à l'autre groupe une cuillère d'une substance de même texture mais qui n'était pas du miel (sirop de datte). Dans les deux groupes les enfants ont vu leurs symptômes ainsi que la qualité du sommeil s'améliorer. Toutefois, selon les parents qui ont attribué une note sur une échelle de 1 à 7 en fonction des symptômes, le groupe qui a pris du miel obtenait une note en moyenne d'un point supérieur au groupe placebo (sirop de datte).  
Selon ces chercheurs, le miel est extrêmement riche en antioxydants grâce à ses composants comme la vitamine C ou les flavonoïdes.  Le miel a aussi une action anti-infectieuse (on sait que la toux sèche est souvent d'origine virale ou bactérienne). Une autre propriété intéressante du miel est sa capacité presque mécanique à faire saliver l'enfant, cela permet de mieux lubrifier les voies respiratoires supérieures (pharynx, larynx, bouche) et s'avère particulièrement efficace en cas de toux sèche.
Etude américaine
Une autre étude  américaine, réalisée par l'Université de Pennsylvanie en 2007/2008, parue dans la revue scientifique Archives of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, avait montré que le miel était plus efficace que le dextrométhorphane (une substance très utilisée en sirop contre la toux sèche).
Cette étude a porté sur 3 groupes d'enfants: avec du miel (de sarrasin), du dextrométorphane ou un placebo. Le miel et le dextrométorphane ont obtenu des résultats supérieurs sur la fréquence et la gravité de la toux. L'étude a aussi montré que le miel avait un effet sensiblement meilleur sur la toux que le dextrométorphane.
Les chercheurs ont également montré que le miel était mieux supporté chez les enfants, en particulier la nuit. Selon ces chercheurs  le bon goût du miel et son pouvoir lénifiant permettent d'augmenter la sécrétion de mucus au niveau des voies respiratoires.  L'enfant va voir sa toux diminuer et la qualité de son sommeil s'améliorera.
Vive le miel !
Le miel est reconnu par l'Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS) pour son pouvoir émollient (calmant), antimicrobien et antioxydant pour soulager une gorge irritée.  Son bas coût et le fait qu'on puisse l'acheter mondialement dans de très nombreux commerces en fait une substance de premier choix en cas de toux ou de maux de gorge.
Les parents devraient donc davantage penser au miel (et aussi aux plantes médicinales comme le thym, lire tisane de thym) lorsqu' un enfant souffre de toux.
Attention toutefois de ne pas en abuser, car le miel est calorique (riche en sucres). Les enfants en surpoids ne devront pas consommer trop de miel ou seulement en cas de toux, éviter d'utiliser du miel tout l'hiver par exemple.
De plus il ne faut pas donner de miel chez les enfants de moins d'un an, ces derniers ont un système immunitaire incomplet et ne sont donc pas protégés contre la bactérie Clostridium botulinum (pouvant se trouver dans le miel), ce microbe peut provoquer le botulisme infantile potentiellement mortel. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Truth about the Bench Press for Sports Performance

by Nick Tumminello
Date Released : 20 Nov 2012
Learning Objectives:
  1. Discover why the bench press may not contribute significantly to improved athletic performance.
  2. Learn why the force generation and muscle activation patterns are different when performing the bench press vs. performing the common upright pressing actions of sport.
  3. Understand the difference between “Specific” (Functional) exercises vs. “General” exercises, and how both types of exercises can have positive functional performance benefits.
  4. Learn 3 functional alternatives to the bench press to improve upright (standing) pushing strength.
The bench press is widely considered one of the “BIG” lifts. It has reached a credibility status that provokes many lifters to include it in their exercise program as a staple exercise.

The bench press is a lift many enjoy and it is also a must-do for power lifters since it is 1/3 of their entire sport. Additionally, while competing in a combine – an event where college football players perform physical and mental tests in front of coaches, managers, and scouts - the bench press is a required test, which calls on the athlete to train with the bench press in order to prepare.

This article will explain why the bench press is one of the most over-emphasized and misunderstood exercises in the world of sports performance training because the benefits are very limited when it comes to improving the standing pushing actions needed for optimal sports performance. This article will also detail 3 bench press alternative exercises, which can be applied in training routines to improve performance.

Let’s be clear…

This article is not recommending any exerciser to stop using the bench press, especially if you enjoy using it!

This article is simply sharing a particular training approach, which utilizes exercises other than the bench press to prepare for the standing pushing forces needed in sport. It is also about providing some new insights on the bench press so one can better understand how it could best fit into an individualized sports strength program.

How Can You Challenge the Bench Press? 

How can you challenge the bench press when it has helped so many high school, college, and pro athletes? The bench press is an exercise that has not been challenged or analyzed below the surface by most. Perhaps this is because it has a great history in weight lifting, or because the bench press has been widely accepted for a significant amount of time, dating back to the 1930's.

That being said, the bench press is an exercise that has aided in athletic performance from high school to pro sports. However, there are numerous other contributing factors that have a much larger impact on athletic success. Listed below are a couple of the contributing factors to athletic success:

The high school athlete on nature’s steroids

High school males, ages 12-17, will likely get bigger and stronger no matter what they do (or don’t do) in their strength training routine because they have the anabolic advantage. When teenaged boys go through puberty (especially the later stages), they experience what is called the “strength spurt” in which their body drastically increases testosterone production, bone thickness, muscle mass and motor unit recruitment while decreasing body fat. Within a few years, this happens rapidly.

A good strength program can certainly teach teenagers good lifting habits and help them to build a solid work ethic. A resistance-training program can in fact accelerate their strength gains. However, it’s likely that any good strength-training stimulus will have the similar effects for the teenager experiencing this “strength spurt” filled with nature’s steroids.

Best at the sport, not best in the gym
Field, court and combat athletes (from high school to pro) excel at their sport because they are the best at playing their sport, not because they are the best in the gym.
The NFL combine results are proof of this. Out of the “Top 5 bench press records in NFL Combine history,” which actually consist of 8 players, only 1 athlete, Brodrick Bunkley (Florida State, 2006), experienced success in his sport. The other players either went undrafted, remain bench players, or displayed a poorer performance compared to their teammates.

The 2008 article titled, “Few recent combine stars have become productive NFL players” stated that:

Seventeen of the 128 very best combine performers since 2000 went undrafted. Twelve of them never played in an NFL game. Forty-three weren't in the NFL last season. Ninety-five have started fewer than half of their potential regular-season games since they shined at the combine.
In addition, out of the “10 Greatest Scouting Combine Performances in NFL History,” only half of the names on the list excelled in the NFL.

All of these athletes had some “raw” physical ability. The thing that separated the NFL heros from the other players was their ability to use their physical talent as a platform to express their skill to perform during the game.

In other words, physical ability, for example the amount that one can bench press, is irrelevant if you are not skilled at your sport.

What Strength & Conditioning Can and Can’t Do for an Athlete 

It’s for the above undeniable realities that make it completely unrealistic to credit any particular workout program, much less a specific exercise like the bench press, for the success any athletes achieves.

Put simply, strength and conditioning helps to give you the physical platform (i.e. fitness) to do what you already know how to do (i.e. perform your sport). Even teams that do not excel are including strength and conditioning in their workout routines. However, a player who can run fast is not beneficial if they are running to the wrong spot on the field, and a player’s strength does not help if they are pushing the opponent in the wrong direction.

If there is any credit to be given to a strength and conditioning program, it is for aiding in injury prevention and simply helping an athlete to get more gas in the tank (the conditioning) to express their skill throughout the entire competition.

Does the Bench Press Improve Standing Pushing Strength?

In 2007, Coach Juan Carlos Santana and Dr. Stuart McGill conducted a study titled,  "A kinetic and electromyographic comparison of the standing cable press and bench press."

“This study compared the single arm standing cable press (SASCP) and the traditional bench press (BP) to better understand the biomechanical limitations of pushing from a standing position together with the activation amplitudes of trunk and shoulder muscles."
Here are 2 findings from the study that are relevant to this article:

  1. “Pushing forces from a standing position under ideal mechanical conditions are limited to 40.8% of the subject's body weight.”
  2. “Our EMG findings show that SCP (standing cable press) performance is limited by the activation and neuromuscular coordination of torso muscles, not maximal muscle activation of the chest and shoulder muscles."
Both of these results reveal what we may have discovered already

First, unless a field, court or combat athlete is training for a combine, or any competition that includes the bench press, it is unneccesary to focus on maximal bench press strength. The principles of mathematics and physics make it impossible for anyone to come close to matching the bench press type of pushing force from a standing position, regardless of the stance the exercise is performed in.

Secondly, the limiting factor when pushing from a standing position is the stiffness of the torso muscles to maintain body position and to coordinate the hips and shoulders, while stabilizing the forces that the extremities (arms and legs) create. In other words, the standing pushing action is more of a total body exercise, whereas the bench press is more of an upper-body exercise.

Note: Although powerlifters use their hips and lower back to aid in their bench press, they are lying down and have their shoulders anchored on the bench.

Specific (Functional) vs. General Exercises

For the purposes of this article, the exercises can be classified as either "specific/functional" or "general". These terms are not an official classification of the exercises, however it is important to focus on the concepts rather than the terms. A combination of both functional and general exercises can be utilized in a sports performance workout in order to ensure that the program is fully comprehensive. Both types of exercises can contribute to improved performance.

General Exercises

"General" exercises, such as the bench press, incline press, and dumbbell press can be performed to indirectly help performance by increasing muscle mass, motor unit recruitment, bone density and connective tissue health. Exercises in this classification tend to involve more use of machines, or fixed exercises, to perform the exercise and isolate muscle groups.

Specific (Functional) Exercises

"Specific" exercises, such as those shown in the pictures below, can enhance the specific force development patterns involved in standing pushing movements, and improve the neuromuscular coordination involved with performing those patterns. These exercises mimic the specific movement of the skill required in the sport and most often incorporate total body strength movement, rather than an isolated strength movement.

According to Dr. Everett Harman in the Essentials of Strength & Conditioning, the reference book for the NSCA,"The concept of specificity, widely recognized in the field of resistance training, holds that training is most effective when resistance exercises are similar to the sport activity in which improvement is sought (the target activity)."

"The simplest and most straight forward way to implement the principle of specificity is to select exercise similar to the target activity with regard to the joints about which movement occurs and the direction of the movements. In addition, joints ranges of motion in the training should be at least as great as those in the target activity."

3 Functional Pushing Exercises for Athletes

Below are 3 “functional” pushing exercises, which incorporate a total body training stimulus and can train an athlete more effectively for a standing pushing motion, as compared to the bench press.

One Arm Push-Up

The one arm push-up is often considered the king of upper-body pushing exercises for sport. Although it is not performed from a standing position, it has a heavy involvement of the core, hips and lower body.

The one armed push-up promotes unilateral strength, recruits left/right side muscle balance and significant core activation. Generally speaking, a larger athlete that completes 4-6+ full range one arm push-up reps is performing exceptionally well. For a smaller athlete, completing at least 7-10+ one arm push-ups is excellent.

Push Up
Push Up
Figure 1 - One arm push-up.

Once the client has become proficient at completing one arm push-ups from the floor, they can progress to using a weighted vest and/or the foot elevated version as demonstrated here:

Push Up
Figure 2 - One Arm Push-up - Feet Elevated (progression). 

Standing One Arm Cable Press

The standing one arm cable press is a training option for clients who are unable to perform a one arm push-up and is also a great complement to the one arm push-up.

If the client can perform the cable press exercise with correct form, it is beneficial to utilize a weight that provides enough of an overload to serve a strength routine.

Cable Press
Cable Press
Figure 3 - One Arm Cable Press

Angled Barbell Press

The Angled Barbell press (specifically the Landmine press in the photo below) is a complement to one arm push-ups or standing cable presses because the pushing angle can be performed in various angles.

Often times in sport, the athlete is required to push in various directions. Rather than pushing straight ahead, they may need to push slightly upward - for example, to control your opponent’s shoulders in MMA or to get underneath someone's shoulder pads in Football. This is a great exercise to improve strength while performing those actions.

Barbell Press
Barbell Press
Figure 4 - Angled Barbell Press (Landmine Press)


The bench press can help athletes as a general strengthening exercise and when applied properly, has many benefits. However, it is not a significant contributing factor to improving sports performance and athletic success. The majority of athletes possessing the top NFL Combine bench press results have not demonstrated to perform as top athletes in their sport, therefore, one can assume there are other significant contributors to success. Studies conducted by JC Santana and Dr. Stuart McGill have highlighted the important role that the torso and other muscles have when performing standing pushing motions similar to the movements required in sport. This indicates that athletes may greatly benefit when including "specific/functional" exercises such as one arm push-ups, one arm cable presses and angled barbell press in their strength routine to complement the "general" exercises, such as the bench press.

Below is a sample of how one can incorporate both general and specific exercises into a fully comprehensive, upper-body pushing strength workout to improve an athlete’s performance:

    1. One Arm Push-Ups  5 x 3 reps (per arm)
    2. Angled Barbell press  4 x 6-8 reps (per arm)
    3. Bench Press  4 x 6-10 reps
    4. Cable Flys  3 x 10-15 reps
Note: These exercises could (and should) be integrated with exercises that incorporate additional muscles and alternate movement patterns. To include all of these scenarios along with warm up and cool down protocols is far beyond the scope of this article.


1. A kinetic and electromyographic comparison of the standing cable press and bench press. Santana JC, Vera-Garcia FJ, McGill SM. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Nov;21(4):1271-7.

2. Essentials of Strength & Conditioning, By NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Human Kinetics, 2008

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Resveratrol helps fight prostate cancer

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer 

(NaturalNews) The cardiovascular "super-nutrient" resveratrol, which is prominently found in grape skins and red wine, may also play an important role in mitigating prostate cancer. A new study out of Missouri links the compound to spurring a critical uptick in the production of special proteins that target malignant cancer cells, which could eventually render the nutrient a powerful, natural weapon in the fight against cancer.

For their research, Michael Nicholl, an assistant professor of surgical oncology at the University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine, and his colleagues examined how prostate tumor cells respond to resveratrol. Since it is already known that resveratrol helps boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy in treating various forms of prostate cancer, the team decided to investigate whether or not a similar benefit could be observed for the nutrient's use in conjunction with radiation therapy.

Nicholl and his team discovered that resveratrol boosts production of two naturally-occurring proteins known as perforin and granzyme B, which together target harmful cancer cells throughout the body. Prostate tumor cells naturally contain these two proteins, but resveratrol helps prostate cancer cells to produce even more of them, which in effect can greatly improve cancer patients' chances of eradicating their malignant cancer cells and moving on to full recovery.

"It is critical that both proteins, perforin and granzyme B, are present in order to kill the tumor cells, and we found that the resveratrol helped to increase their activity in prostate tumor cells," said Nicholl about the findings. "Following the resveratrol-radiation treatment, we realized that we were able to kill many more tumor cells when compared with treating the tumor with radiation alone. It's important to note that this killed all types of prostate tumor cells, including aggressive tumor cells."

Similar research published last year in the journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences found that resveratrol is also a powerful "chemosensitizer," which means it helps cancer tumors respond more effectively to chemotherapy treatment. According to that study, resveratrol effectively modulates cell signaling molecules, which can help enhance the effectiveness of conventional cancer treatments.

Resveratrol fights cancer even without chemotherapy, radiation

By itself, resveratrol is also a proven anti-cancer nutrient with a powerful ability to fight cancer cells without the need for chemotherapy or radiation. Supplementing with resveratrol, which acts as a powerful antioxidant to rid the body of cancer-causing free radicals, can assist the body in maintaining homeostasis and also deter the onset of a host of debilitating diseases, especially when combined with other powerful disease-fighting agents such as turmeric (curcumin) and lycopene.

"A series of laboratory experiments suggests that resveratrol inhibits the development of cancer in animals and prevents the progression of cancer," writes Schuyler W. Lininger, Jr., D.C., in his bookThe Natural Pharmacy: Complete Home Reference to Natural Medicine. "In another set of animal studies, resveratrol was shown to inhibit both the acute and chronic phases of inflammation."

Sources for this article include:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Qui n'a pas encore sa vitamine D ?!

L'automne est bien installé et il est temps de commencer votre cure annuelle de vitamine D.

Plus de 8 Français sur 10 manquent de vitamine D, c'est-à-dire qu'ils ont moins de 30 ng de vitamine D par millilitre de sang. 50 % des Français sont même à moins de 20 ng/mL.

Une étude réalisée en région Rhône-Alpes et en Gironde entre février et avril 2009 auprès de 281 hommes âgés de 19 à 59 ans a trouvé que94 % d'entre eux manquent de vitamine D, plus d'un sur quatre (27 %) étant même en déficit sévère. Leur taux était inférieur à 12 ng/mL !

En particulier, les personnes de plus de 70 ans synthétisent 4 fois moins de vitamine D qu'une personne jeune, à exposition comparable, à cause du vieillissement de la peau. Une personne âgée sortant peu sera presque automatiquement carencée. De même, les enfants sont très souvent en déficit de vitamine D, parce que trop peu exposés au soleil.

C'est très ennuyeux.

En effet, les déficits en vitamine D sont liés à un grande variété de problèmes de santé :

- risque de fracture (1) ;

- risque de certains cancers (2) ;

- diabète et maladie de Parkinson (3) ;

- risque de décès précoce (4) ;

- risque de grippe (5) ;

- dépression (6).

Tous ces risques peuvent être facilement réduits : il suffirait d'informer la population que chacun doit prendre un peu de vitamine D, d'octobre à mars. Pour moi, le fait que les autorités restent silencieuses est un scandale de santé publique : en informant mieux la population, elles pourraient faire économiser des dizaines de milliards d'euros chaque année aux systèmes de santé, grâce à toutes les maladies qui seraient évitées.

Une telle campagne d'information permettrait surtout d'épargner à des centaines de milliers de personnes des traitements lourds, coûteux, pénibles, quand ils ne sont pas mutilants, pour des maladies qui auraient pu facilement être prévenues grâce à des apports adéquats en vitamine D.

C'est pourquoi, à notre échelle, nous entreprenons cette grande campagne d'information sur la vitamine D. J'appelle tous les lecteurs responsables de S&N non seulement à se prendre en main eux-mêmes, mais également à en parler à leur entourage en transférant largement ce message, et même à offrir partout autour d'eux de la vitamine D, un cadeau original, pas cher, et franchement utile.

La vérité sur les ampoules de vitamine D prescrites par les médecins

Contrairement à une idée fort répandue, vous n'avez pas besoin d'aller chez le médecin pour vous faire prescrire des ampoules de vitamine D.

Les ampoules de vitamine D prescrites par les médecins et vendues en pharmacie sont des doses massives de 100 000 , 200 000 Unités Internationales (UI), voire plus.

Il s'agit de doses thérapeutiques, c'est à dire à prendre en cas d'urgence, pour faire cesser des symptômes évidents de carence.

Mais cela revient à prendre un mois de soleil en pleine figure en l'espace de quelques minutes.
Non seulement ce n'est pas physiologique, car nous fabriquons un peu de vitamine-D3 chaque fois que nous nous exposons régulièrement au soleil, mais l'organisme peine à utiliser et stoker cette arrivée massive de vitamine D.

Moyens naturels d'avoir le bon niveau de vitamine D

En principe, la vitamine D est fabriquée naturellement par votre corps, sous l'effet des rayons UVB du soleil. Mais encore faudrait-il, pour en avoir assez, que vous vous exposiez tous les jours, y compris le torse, pendant au moins 30 minutes, et ce à la mi-journée.

Pour tous ceux d'entre nous qui vivent dans des régions froides ou pluvieuses, ou qui travaillent dans des bureaux, c'est un défi impossible à relever d'octobre à mars, au minimum. La prise de compléments est donc nécessaire, et elle devrait même être systématique chez les personnes de plus de 70 ans, dont la peau absorbe 4 fois moins les UVB que les autres, et qui ne synthétisent donc presque plus de vitamine D.

Mais même si vous êtes jeune et que vous vous êtes fortement exposé cet été, il faut savoir que les réserves que vous aviez constituées sont probablement déjà consommées aujourd'hui. En effet, votre corps en consomme 5000 UI (unités internationales) par jour, soit près de cinquante fois plus que ce qu'apporte votre alimentation.

Vous ne pouvez malheureusement même pas compter sur les aliments enrichis en vitamine D, y compris le lait : c'est un simple argument marketing pour vous les faire acheter, sans réel bienfait pour vous. Les aliments enrichis en vitamine D n'apportent qu'une petite proportion des doses officielles conseillée. En aucun cas ils n’ont d'effet sur les maladies susceptibles d’être améliorées par la vitamine D.

Quelle quantité ?

Vous devez viser un taux de vitamine D dans votre plasma supérieur à 30 ng/mL, le taux optimal se situant entre 30 et 60 ng/mL. (7)

Mais comme vous ne pouvez pas passer votre temps à vous faire des analyses sanguines, vous n'avez pas d'autre choix que de contrôler les quantités de vitamine D que vous absorbez.

Chez l’enfant en période de croissance, y compris l’adolescence, les besoins s’évaluent entre 600 à 1 500 UI par jour.

La même dose est recommandée chez l'adulte.

En revanche, après 60 ans, on conseille habituellement 1 000 à 1 500 unités par jour. (8) Cette supplémentation est indispensable du fait de la moindre capacité de la peau à synthétiser la vitamine D.

Depuis 2007 pour la femme enceinte et allaitante la société Canadienne recommande un apport oral de 2000 UI par jour.

Pour une personne adulte en bonne santé, une dose quotidienne de 600 à 1500 UI d'un complément de vitamine D par jour est conseillée, ce qui ne pose aucun problème si vous achetez un complément correctement dosé.*

A noter par ailleurs que vous n'avez strictement aucun risque d'intoxication à cette dose : selon le spécialiste mondial de la vitamine D, le Professeur Holick, « il faudrait probablement prendre entre 30 000 et 50 0000 UI par jour pendant une très longue période pour risquer d'être intoxiqué.

Quelle forme choisir ?

Il existe plusieurs formes de vitamine D dans le commerce. Mais une seule correspond à la vitamine D naturellement fabriquée par la peau : c'est la vitamine D3, ou cholécalciférol.

Il semble qu'elle possède une activité biologique supérieure car, lorsqu'on donne à des hommes une dose de 50 000 UI, le taux reste plus élevé dans le sang au bout de trois jours que lorsque ce sont d'autres formes de vitamine D, comme la D2.

Pour faciliter son absorption, vous devez consommer votre vitamine D3 avec de la graisse, donc au milieu d'un repas.

Toutefois, certains fabricants vendent la vitamine D3 directement sous forme huileuse. Je trouve personnellement que c'est le plus pratique :

  • Vous avez un petit flacon spécialement conçu pour être transportable sans risque de se casser, et que vous pouvez avoir en permanence dans le tiroir de votre bureau, votre sac-à-main, ou même votre poche.
  • Un seul flacon dure six mois, soit une saison entière de vitamine D (octobre à mars), pour une personne.
  • Il suffit d'en prendre une à trois gouttes, directement sur la langue, à n'importe quel moment de la journée (cela n'a pas de goût, sauf peut-être un léger goût d'orange).
  • Le flacon est muni d'une pipette qui vous permet de prendre très facilement vos gouttes, sans risque de surdosage.
  • Il n'y a pas à casser d'ampoule, ni à avaler de comprimé ou de gélule indigeste.
A ma connaissance, il y a deux marques en France qui commercialisent la vitamine D3 de cette façon : le laboratoire Lescuyer, et le laboratoire D-Plantes.

Point de vue qualité de la vitamine D3, c'est équivalent : il s'agit dans les deux cas d'une forme huileuse de cholécalciférol hautement assimilable et d'origine naturelle. Les flacons contiennent, dans les deux cas, 20mL de vitamine D3.

La différence est que, dans chaque goutte, vous avez 400 UI de vitamine D3 chez D-Plantes contre 100 UI chez Lescuyer.

Pour avoir 1200 UI par jour, vous devez donc prendre 12 gouttes du produit Lescuyer (cliquez ici) mais seulement 3 gouttes chez D-Plantes (cliquez ici).

Le flacon D-Plantes est un peu plus cher (23 euros contre 16 euros), mais vous n'aurez besoin d'en acheter qu'un seul pour 5 mois, contre quatre dans l'autre cas.

A noter que la vitamine D3 est, expérimentalement, un inhibiteur puissant des tumeurs. Elle peut « ordonner » à des cellules cancéreuses de se comporter à nouveau comme des cellules saines. Elle favorise leur suicide cellulaire et freine leur prolifération. (9)

Mais il existe d'autres formes de vitamine D3 disponibles dans le commerce, comme la vitamine D sous forme de comprimé (cliquez ici), la vitamine D3 Solgar en magasin bio, sous forme de softgels (sortes de gélules), et bien sûr les produits vendus en pharmacie.

C'est à vous de faire le choix.

A votre santé !

Jean-Marc Dupuis

PS : A noter qu'en prenant de la vitamine D, vous réduirez votre risque d'attraper la grippe cette année.
Dans l’hémisphère nord, la grippe sévit surtout d’octobre à mars, alors que dans l’hémisphère sud, elle se manifeste d’avril à septembre. Si l’on regarde les données concernant les épidémies de grippe aux États-Unis et en France de 1972 à 2008, on voit que le pic de l’épidémie est intervenu une fois en novembre, 4 fois en décembre, 5 fois en janvier, 12 fois en février et 4 fois en mars.

Ces épidémies coïncident avec les plus bas taux de vitamine D dans la population pendant ces périodes.

La vitamine D est un sujet si important que nous avons publié un dossier Santé Nature Innovation complet à ce sujet ce mois-ci. Vous le recevrez en prime si vous vous abonnez aujourd'hui. Pour commander directement Santé Nature Innovationcliquez ici.

Si vous souhaitez d'abord en savoir plus sur Santé Nature Innovation, cliquez ici


* En France, les autorités ont fixé arbitrairement les AJR (Apports Journaliers Recommandés), à 200 UI par jour, soit 5 microgrammes, mais ce chiffre ne repose sur aucune justification scientifique. Les études réalisées sur la vitamine D montrent un effet préventif à partir d'une dose d'au moins 1000 UI par jour (25 microgrammes). 


Sources : 

(1) Heike A. Prevention of Nonvertebral Fractures With Oral Vitamin D and Dose Dependency. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(6):551-561.

(2) Cancer Lett 2003 ; 192 : 145-149. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005 ; 97(3) : 199-209.

(3) Sur le diabète : Anastassios  G. Pittas, Jason Nelson, Joanna Mitri, William Hillmann, Cheryl Garganta, David Nathan, Frank Hu, Bess Dawson-Hughes ; Vitamin D Status and Progression to Diabetes in Patients at Risk for Diabetes : An Ancillary Analysis in the Diabetes Prevention Program Randomized Controlled Trial. American Diabetes Association, 71st Scientific Sessions.
Sur la maladie de Parkinson : Marian L. Evatt ; Mahlon R. DeLong ; Meena Kumari ; Peggy Auinger ; Michael P. McDermott ; vin Tangpricha ; High Prevalence of Hypovitaminosis D Status in Patients With Early Parkinson Disease. Arch Neurol, Mar 2011;68:314-319.

(4) Gillie O. Scotland's health deficit : An explanation and a plan. London : Health Research Forum Publishing, 2008.

(5) Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr 2010;91:1255-60.
(6) Bertone-Johnson ER, Powers DI, Spangler L, Brunner RL, Michael YL, Larson JC, Millen AE, Bueche MN, Salmoirago-Blotcher E, Liu S, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Ockene JK, Ockene I, Manson JE ; Vitamin D intake from foods and supplements and depressive symptoms in a diverse population of older women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug 24.

(7) Taux recommandé par

(8) Actu-match | mardi 31 juillet 2012

(9) Dossier spécial vitamine D, automne 2012, 


Voici quelques livres sélectionnés dans la bibliothèque de Jean-Marc Dupuis :

- Sur le cancer, Anticancer : Les gestes quotidiens pour la santé du corps et de l'esprit, de David Servan-Schreiber.
- Sur l'ostéoporose, Lait, mensonges et propagande, de Thierry Souccar.
- Sur le diabète, Nouveau régime IG Diabète, de Jacques Médart et Angélique Houlbert.
- Sur la maladie de Lyme, Maladie de Lyme : Mon parcours pour retrouver la santé, de Judith Albertat.
- Sur l'alimentation, Les surprenantes vertus du jeûne, de Sophie Lacoste.
- Sur le cancer et les maladies cardiovasculaires, Vitamine D : Mode d'emploi, du Dr Brigitte Houssin. 
- Sur l'amincissement, Le Nouveau régime Atkins, d'Eric Westman.
- Sur la maladie d'Alzheimer et le diabète, Boire mieux pour vivre vieux, du Pr Roger Corder.
- Sur la vivacité cérébrale, Un cerveau à 100%, d'Eric Braverman.
- Sur le cholestérol, Cholestérol, mensonges et propagande, de Michel de Lorgeril.
- Sur la fibromyalgie et les maladies chroniques, Les clés de l'alimentation santé : Intolérances alimentaires et inflammation chronique, du Dr Michel Lallement.