Government’s intrusion into health care has long been frowned upon.

“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”

— Thomas Jefferson

Natural remedy for arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative arthritis, can be painful and debilitating. It?s caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage. OA is the most common form of arthritis out of over 100 different types, and affects nearly 27 million people. With one third of people over 65 being diagnosed with OA, tradition treatments, as with western medicine in general, address only the symptoms. More and more people, in an effort to try and prevent as well as treat the disease, are turning to alternative methods.

Natural eggshell membrane (NEM) is an alternative dietary supplement that contains hyaluronic acid, chondroitin, and glucosamine. NEM was investigated for its effects and safety for pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis of the knee in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Sixty-seven study participants took 500 mg of NEM daily for eight weeks. They were evaluated at 10, 30 and 60 days for joint pain.

After 60 days, 32 percent of the NEM group had more than a 50 percent reduction in pain. Their stiffness also continued to get better, with an average 27 percent reduction compared to the placebo group. By the end of the trial natural eggshell membrane had reduced stiffness by half for the majority of the patients.

In a related study in which researchers evaluated the use of eggshell membrane extract in people who had joint and connective tissue disorders, 39 patients received 500 mg once daily for four weeks. After seven days, patients reported a 27.8% improvement in flexibility. After 30 days, the participants reported a 72.8% reduction in general pain, a 43.7% increase in flexibility, and a 75.9% reduction in pain associated with range of motion. As with the above study of eggshell membrane extract for osteoarthritis, the patients in this study tolerated the supplement well.

2009 Top 25 Fitness Gift Guide

Are you looking for some exciting, useful gifts for this Christmas Season? Well, look no further than ObsessionFitness.com’s Holiday Fitness Gift Guide.

Obsession Fitness has whittled their list down to the top 25 exercise programs, equipment, and accessories. For your convenience they’ve categorized these gifts into four price ranges; gifts under $50.00, gifts under $100.00, gifts under $500.00, and gifts over $500.00.

Here’s a few samples:
Under $50.00
The SurfShelf ? Treadmill Laptop Holder and Shelf

Under $100.00
Joist Mount Chin Up Bar

Peddling nitric oxide products with voodoo science

Nitric oxide (NO) is a very powerful chemical that among many functions, regulates blood flow. NO dilates blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, and allows blood to flow more freely. It?s this increase in blood flow that has lead many in the supplement industry to infer a better delivery of nutrients to muscle cells, which they equate to more muscle. That is one hell of a stretch and just doesn?t hold water.

The NO supplements of today are the same as the arginine products of the eighties, their just marketing them differently. Unfortunately, for NO proponents the level of arginine in the blood has little to do with NO production, and consequently has nothing to do with increasing blood flow. If we could increase NO production through diet or supplements, because of the decrease in blood pressure that occurs with higher NO levels, we would have had anecdotal reports of lower blood pressure and syncope. These types of reports have not occurred, nor have they been found in research.

Need some evidence? Read Robinson et al

Partial reps are equal to full range of motion reps.

Most experts have long held that partial repetitions provide no benefit to the serious weightlifter. This was not the finding of a study done at the University of Southern Mississippi compared using partial range of motion (ROM) repetitions and full ROM repetitions in the development of strength in untrained males. As far as the development of maximal strength was concerned, partial and mixed repetitions were found to be equally as effective as full repetitions.

This study was conducted over 10 weeks and used the bench press as criterion for measurement. Fifty six subjects were divided into three groups: the first group used three full ROM sets; the second group used three partial ROM sets; the third group used a combination. The researchers found no differences between the three groups. However, they do point out that this study does suggest partial reps can be a benefit to a person?s maximal strength. (J strength Cond Res 18(3), 518-521, 2004)

Does this mean partial reps should be the major component of a strength training routine? Absolutely not. As with all studies concerning progressive resistance training, there were too few subjects, and the length of time involved was too short in duration. However, this study does find support in using partial reps in addition to a traditional strength training program. This is especially true for power lifters and other athletes who need to ?lock a weight out? at the top portion of the lift.

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