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’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.

Testosterone protects against heart disease

Low testosterone levels are associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, diabetes, abdominal fat deposition and abnormal blood lipid levels. Cytokins, which cause inflammation in the arteries, are the latest suspected cause of heart disease. British researchers suggest testosterone suppresses cytokins and also boosts the immune system, thereby preventing heart disease. (J Endocrinol, 178: 373-380, 2003)

High Blood Pressure and Memory

High blood pressure is defined as a reading equal to or higher than 140/90 or taking medication for high blood pressure. According to research published in the Aug. 25 print issue of Neurology; high blood pressure is linked to memory problems in people over 45.

The study found that people with high diastolic blood pressure, which is the bottom number of a blood pressure reading, were more likely to have cognitive impairment, or problems with their memory and thinking skills, than people with normal diastolic readings.

For every 10 point increase in the reading, a person?s risk for cognitive problems was 7 percent higher. The results were adjusting for other factors that could affect cognitive abilities like age, smoking status, exercise level, education, diabetes, or high cholesterol.

The study involved nearly 20,000 people 45 and older across the country that participated in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke Study and had never had a stroke or mini-stroke. A total of 1,505 of the participants, or 7.6 percent, had cognitive problems, and 9,844, or 49.6 percent, were taking medication for high blood pressure.

“It’s possible that by preventing or treating high blood pressure, we could potentially prevent cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to dementia,” said Dr. Georgios Tsivgoulis of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, one of the study authors. Health Alerts 10/25/09

Creatine, the oldest health care in the world, more Vitamin D, 4 things for your health

I this installment of Did you know… I cover an array of topics beginning with the following:

Did you know…

…creatine is perhaps the most researched supplement on the planet? Yet new data on the benefits of supplementing with this incredible substance is still mounting. Canadian researchers compared the changes in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) amounts in two groups of subjects. All the subjects performed at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity three to five times per week for eight weeks. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: one supplementing with creatine, the other, an isocaloric placeo. Muscle biopsies were taken before and after the training period and analyzed for IGF-1 content. The creatine group had a 24% higher level of IGF-1. The creatine group also had a 23% higher increase in type II muscle fibers. These findings were independent of dietary guidelines. (Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 2008; 18(4))

What does this mean for the average Joe? It means if you supplement with creatine, you?ll not only get the well known ?volumizing? effect, but more muscle fibers.

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