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July 2010

Fuel Usage During Exercise

Fuel Usage During Exercise
By Yuri Elkaim

The type of substrate (fuel) and the rate at which it is
utilized during exercise is largely dependent on the intensity
and duration of the exercise. During strenuous exercise there is
an obligatory demand for carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation that must
be met; fat oxidation cannot substitute. In contrast, there is
an increase in fat oxidation during prolonged moderate intensity
exercise as carbohydrate fuels are depleted. Fats are also more
dominant in long duration exercise since fat oxidation requires
more oxygen than does carbohydrate oxidation.

Fuel Selection During Exercise

Again, fats are the primary source of fuel for muscle during
low-intensity exercise (70% of VO2max). Proteins contribute less
than 2% of the substrate used during exercise of less than one
hour’s duration but may increase up to 5-15% during the final
minutes of exercise lasting 3-5 hours.

At about 40% of VO2max there is a “crossover point” where
carbohydrate becomes more dominant than fat in supplying fuel to
the muscle. This shift to CHO metabolism is caused by two
factors: the recruitment of fast twitch fibers (which are better
equipped to metabolize CHOs) and increasing levels of
epinephrine in the blood (which contribute to glycogen
breakdown). This shift can also be seen when examining the
contribution of fat oxidation at various exercise intensities.
At 20%, 50%, 80%, and 100% of VO2max, fat oxidation yields 175
kcal/min, 250 kcal/min, 200 kcal/min, and 25 kcal/min,
respectively. As such, someone looking to burn more fat during
exercise would want to hover in the 50% to 80% VO2max range.

As the duration of exercise increases, there is a greater
contribution from fat and less from carbohydrate. This is the
result of increased levels of blood lipase, an enzyme that helps
break down fat, during low-intensity longer duration exercise.

Muscle Glycogen Utilization

At the onset of most types of exercise, and for the entire
duration of very strenuous exercise, muscle glycogen is the
primary carbohydrate fuel for muscular work. The intensity of
exercise determines the rate at which muscle glycogen is used as
a fuel. The heavier the exercise, the faster glycogen is broken
down. Furthermore, studies have shown that glycogen is depleted
faster from fast-twitch fibers, especially during interval type
work .

Historically, it has been thought that increased epinephrine
levels in the blood were responsible for the initiation of
glycogenolysis (glycogen breakdown). However, other research has
shown that the breakdown is also triggered within the muscle
itself as a result of increased Calcium ions .

Maintenance of Normal Blood Glucose Levels During Exercise

As glycogen, and thus glucose, is the primary fuel sources
during most exercise, it is needs to be remembered that glucose
plays a primary role in supplying our vital organs with energy.
As such, the body has many systems in place to maintain adequate
levels of glucose in the blood during times of inadequate
carbohydrate intake (starvation/fasting) and accelerated glucose
removal from the blood (exercise). Blood glucose concentration
is maintained through four different processes:

• Mobilization of glucose from liver glycogen stores

• Mobilization of fats to spare blood glucose

• Synthesis of new glucose in the liver from amino acids,
lactic acid, and glycerol

• Blocking of glucose entry into the cell to force the
substitution of fat as a fuel.

These processes are controlled by several “slow” and “fasting”
acting hormones such as thyroxine, cortisol, growth hormone,
epinephrine/norepinephrine and insulin/glucagon. Maintaining
normal blood glucose concentrations is a major task when you
consider that the liver may only have 80g of glucose before
exercise begins, and the rate of blood glucose oxidation
approaches 1g/min in heavy exercise or in prolonged (>3 hours)
moderate intensity exercise.

Carbohydrate Replenishment and Diets

This is one of the main reasons why it is recommended to
replenish glucose and glycogen levels during activities such as
soccer games, marathons, triathlons, 3-5 set tennis match, and
so forth. Each of these sporting activities require moderate to
high levels of exertion for extended periods of time and thus
fuel replenish, mainly via sports drinks, is essential in
maintaining physical performance and skill execution.

The effect of carbohydrate intake and diet composition on
performance has been heavily studied. The vast majority of
studies show that a high carbohydrate diet is essential for
those who engage in intense or long duration exercise. For
instance, one study had trained subjects run a 30 km race twice,
once following a high carbohydrate (CHO) diet and the other time
after a mixed diet. The initial muscle glycogen level was
3.5g/100g of muscle following the CHO diet and 1.7g/100g of
muscle during following the mixed diet. The best performance of
all subjects occurred during the high CHO diet. Although the
starting pace was not faster, the additional CHO allowed them to
maintain the pace for a longer period of time .

Bear in mind that substrates and hormones can interact and
alter certain processes. This is commonly seen when a high
glycemix index CHO food is ingested just prior to exercise. In
this case, the resulting spike in blood glucose elicits a rise
in insulin levels. As a result, fat mobilization is reduced (due
to insulin’s anabolic effect on fats) forcing the muscle to use
additional muscle glycogen. This is not desired if you are
looking to sustain a given exercise intensity for prolonged
periods of time.

Putting It All Together

The common misconception is that to lose weight you must stay
in your “fat burning zone”. Eventhough there is some truth to
this statement, it is inaccurate in the sense that losing weight
is about burning as many calories as possible. As such,
exercising at a higher intensity for moderate durations would be
most effective in burning calories. It is important to remember
that a calorie is a calorie regardless of its source and since 1
lb of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories, calorie-reducing
exercise regimens are most suitable for those looking to lose

Such exercise programs can take the form of interval work,
where a bout of high-intensity exercise is combined with a bout
of low-intensity. This type of training of has been shown to
elevate the body’s metabolism for up to 16 hours post-exercise.
It also fosters the maintenance of lean body mass while
stimulating the release of lipase – a good thing since
maintaining muscle and losing fat should be the goal. Having
said this, I would also recommend implementing longer duration
low-intensity exercise as well for it’s aforementioned benefits
on fat oxidation. However, ensure to keep the intensity in the
50-80% VO2max range for best results!


Essen et al. (1978). Glycogen depletion of different fiber
types in human skeletal muscle during intermittent and
continuous exercise. Acta Physiologica Scandinavia, 103: 446-55.

Hultman et al. (1967). Physiological role of muscle glycogen in
man with special reference to exercise. In Circulation Research
XX and XXI, ed. C.B. Chapman, 1-99 and 1-114. New York: The
American Heart Association.

Karlsson, J. & Saltin, B. (1971). Diet, muscle glycogen and
endurance performance. Journal of Applied Phsyiology, 31:

About the Author: Yuri is the owner of Total Wellness
Consulting and creator of the only 12 week body shaping fitness
program designed for Ipod/Mp3 players. Please visit for more info


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Lung Cancer and Pneumonectomy: The Procedure Explained

Lung Cancer and Pneumonectomy: The Procedure Explained
By Elizabeth L Perkins

Lung cancer (LC) is treatable as long as the disease is
detected early enough. As the cancerous cells spread beyond the
lungs to other areas of your body, the condition becomes
systemic. At late stages, it becomes more difficult to treat

Treatment for LC is typically done through chemotherapy,
radiation therapy, and surgery. The form of treatment used is
dependent on the location of the tumor and how far the abnormal
growth has spread. Surgery involves the removal of a portion of
the lung, or the entire organ. This latter operation is called a

This article will provide an introduction to the procedure,
including how your doctor decides when it is necessary. We'll
also describe the steps involved with preparing you for the
operation as well as what occurs during surgery.

Deciding When A Pneumonectomy Is Appropriate

Because this approach requires the removal of an entire lung,
your physician will want to ensure your body will be able to
tolerate its loss. The function of your healthy lung must be
sufficient in order to compensate.

Pneumonectomies are done to resolve non-small cell lung cancer
when the disease has spread beyond a single lobe. This can occur
if the growth is large, or has simply crossed from one lobe into
another. In such cases, a lobectomy cannot remove the entire
portion of cancerous tissue. The entire organ must be extracted.

Preparation For Surgery

Several days prior to undergoing a pneumonectomy, your doctor
will order a series of tests. There are multiple purposes for
these tests. First, as noted earlier, your physician will want
to make certain you can survive without the affected lung.
Second, he or she will want to verify the cancer has not
metastasized to other areas in your body (e.g. brain, liver,
bones, etc.). Surgery is rarely the initial form of treatment
when LC has spread that far.

If you're taking anticoagulants or other medications that
increase the chances of bleeding, your doctor will suggest
stopping them. Smoking, too, is discouraged in the days leading
up to the operation.

You'll be asked to avoid eating and drinking during the evening
prior to undergoing surgery. The following morning, you'll be
connected to a heart monitor and other equipment so the surgical
team can monitor your vital signs. Once you have signed the
consent form, the surgeon will prepare to perform the procedure.

The Procedure - Step By Step

A general anesthesia is administered by the surgical facility's
anesthesiologist. Once you have fallen asleep, a tube is
inserted into your mouth and passed down your esophagus. The
purpose of this tube is to help you breath during the operation.

The surgeon will make an incision into the side of your chest
that houses the diseased lung. Once this incision has been made,
your ribs will be separated in order to provide access. In some
cases, the surgeon will cut away and remove a portion of the rib
to gain more working space.

Once your ribs have been separated, the affected lung is
collapsed. The arteries that feed blood to the organ are tied
off, as is the bronchus. Once these paths have been closed, the
surgeon will sever the diseased lung's connections and remove
the organ through the incision. After he or she verifies there
is no bleeding, the entry site is closed.

Recovery Following A Pneumonectomy

Immediately following the pneumonectomy, you'll be transferred
to the surgical facility's ICU. Most patients can be transferred
to a standard recovery room the next day; some will need to
spend several days in the ICU. Over the following seven to ten
days, the nurses and hospital staff will work to encourage your
activity. This improves your strength and lowers the likelihood
of clotting. You will eventually be released from the facility
to complete your recovery at home.

Even though a pneumonectomy has traditionally been an invasive
procedure for addressing lung cancer, surgeons are beginning to
use minimally invasive techniques. These techniques lower the
risk of infection while shortening the patient's recovery time.
Ask your doctor whether this approach is available and suitable
for your condition.

About the Author: Find out more information about the
proceedure at


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What is Belly Fat Saying About You?

What is Belly Fat Saying About You?
By Jim Michels

Are you carrying extra inches around your mid-section? You're
not alone. As men age their waist size tends to increase. Excess
belly fat is unhealthy as well as unattractive. Below we will

•Key factors that increase belly fat

•Health risks belly fat pose for men

•Steps to shed belly weight

As men age, key hormones such as testosterone decline which
cause a decrease in metabolism and an increase in a sedentary
lifestyle because of a loss of motivation. The result is the
male body accumulating fat, primarily belly fat. Fat contains an
enzyme called aromatase which converts testosterone to estrogen
which can further accelerate increased body fat. As the level of
testosterone drops further, the issue becomes more pronounced.

The drop in testosterone and the increase in estrogen add to
the symptoms of andropause—sometimes referred to as male
menopause. Unhealthy hormone levels are unhealthy for the body
in general and in particular for the prostate, heart and brain.

Why is Belly Fat a Specific Concern?

Gaining fat in the belly region, as opposed to other regions in
the body, places a man at a greater risk for serious health
problems. The following health risks may occur with excess body

•Heart disease


•Specific types of cancer

•Type 2 diabetes

•Insulin resistance

•High triglycerides

•Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good,"

Getting Rid of Belly Fat

Whether you're trying to get rid of belly fat or decrease fat
from another part of your body, the basics of weight-loss remain
unchanged with one addition.

•Reduce calories mainly refined carbohydrates. Decrease portion
sizes and increase the amount of low-calorie, healthy foods in
your daily diet.

•Increase physical activity. The Department of Health and Human
Services recommends adults get a minimum of two hours and 30
minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or one hour and 15
minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, in addition to strength

•The addition: Building on the above information, you may want
to investigate the possibility that you have low testosterone
levels and the possible treatment options available for low
testosterone levels.

Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy/Male Hormone Replacement
Therapy Right for You?

Before prescribing male hormone replacement therapy in general
and testosterone replacement therapy in particular, a physical
exam and a series of blood tests, including a PSA
(protein-specific antigen) test, must be performed to measure
testosterone levels. If you are suffering from low testosterone
levels, your physician can discuss the various treatment
options. Many insurance companies cover the costs of andropause
treatment, and male menopause treatment is often available for
purchase with a tax advantaged flexible savings account.

Male hormone replacement therapy and testosterone replacement
are effective low testosterone treatment options for men with
andropause. If you have any symptoms associated with andropause,
such as low energy, irritability, hot flashes, abdominal weight
gain, loss of muscle strength, loss of sex drive and the
inability to maintain an erection, talk to your doctor. The
sooner you speak with a physician and get checked for low
testosterone levels, the sooner you can begin feeling like
yourself again.

About the Author: Jim Michels is an expert on how to treat low
testosterone andropause symptoms. His company focuses on male menopause and andropause and
specializes in treating male menopause symptoms through male
hormone replacement therapy, testosterone replacement and low
testosterone treatment.


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Signs Of Borderline Personality Disorder In Women

Signs Of Borderline Personality Disorder In Women
By Heathertf Eaton

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a very serious matter.
The term borderline has been thrown around a lot lately and it
is important to always see a trained and licensed therapist who
specializes in BPD before trying to self diagnose or diagnose
other friends you know with this troublesome malady.

A lady with borderline personality disorder can typically have
the vast majority of her relationships be chaotic and unstable.
A common theme in the lives of ladies with this illness is low
self-esteem, frequent outbursts of anger and frustration, and
impulsive behavior. All of the signs of borderline personality
disorder in women begin fairly early in adulthood.

Common signs of this mental illness in women include the fear
of being left alone or abandoned by those they love or in
relationships. This fear of abandonment is a common theme in
their life even when the abandonment is not a real threat or
even a possibility. Loved ones can tell a lady with this
disorder that they love them and will not leave them but the
person suffering from BPD still fixates on the perceived

Another sign of borderline personality disorder in ladies is
that they tend to become dependent on others, often time this
dependency combined with the fear of abandonment leads ladies to
have erratic behavior and often times abandoning or ending
relationships before there is a possibility for themselves to be

Typically those who are diagnosed with this type of mental
illness have at least five of the following signs of borderline
personality disorder.

BPD in women trait number one: She makes frantic efforts to
avoid real or imagined abandonment.

Borderline personality disorder trait number two: Women with
this disorder have a pattern of difficult relationships with the
common theme of these relationships being erratic emotional
extremes of either intense love and admiration or hatred of the
person in the relationship.

Trait number three: Ladies with BPD often have an unstable
self-image and are unsure of their own identities.

Trait number four: Women with BPD have a tendency to act
impulsively in ways that are self-damaging, these include
spending sprees, sex with many partners, alcohol abuse, drug
abuse, reckless driving and binge eating.

BPD in ladies trait number five: Women diagnosed with difficult
malady often have long-term feelings of emptiness and

Signs of borderline personality disorder in women trait number
six: They often have frequent emotional outbursts and intense
mood swings that can go from feeling depressed here to bowl and
anxious to happy and euphoric in a very short matter of time.
Sometimes these outbursts only last a few hours at a time, but
others can go on for days.

Trait number seven is one to really watch out for: Women with
borderline personality disorder often have suicidal thoughts or
make threats of committing suicide to the people in their lives.

Borderline personality disorder in women trait number eight:
Ladies with BPD often have inappropriate and extremely fierce
anger and rage and have problems controlling their anger, rage
and violence.

About the Author: For more information on Borderline
Personality Disorder please visit


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Selecting A Golf Club

Selecting A Golf Club
By Idle Tom

Amateur golfers know just how important it is to own the best
golf club driver. In golf you want to hit the ball long and
hard. As the driver is the longest of the golf clubs and it is
also the most expensive.

The best Golf Drivers

All golf club drivers has different features. Most amateur
golfers like clubs with bigger heads as they are easier to
control. Professionals and low par handicapped players typically
prefer the ones that with titanium heads that give greater
distance and accuracy- if you manage to actually hit the ball.

Mastering the art of using the golf club driver requires great
patience. Long hours are spent by good golfers in the driving
ranges to ensure they achieve an excellent shot. Inconsistency
and unreliability are the worst enemies of a golf player. With
the long golf club driver, an improper swing may have a bad
impact in getting a good score. By practicing non stop with the
golf equipment the golfer will be able to master the proper
stance and stroke the driver was developed for.

Getting the best golf club is important

Every golfer is wants to whack the ball as far as they can
towards the green. Being the primary stroke its vital that
golfers are consistenly practicing a solid stroke in a
comfortable manner. It is also important that they will have to
choose their golf club driver with care to ensure that they will
achieve their correct ball placement. Learning how to strike it
perfectly can only be achieved by consistent practice and it
takes time and effort to perfect the use of the golf club

Selecting a club driver includes determining the proper
handling needed. Master golfers generally like lofts twix nine
and ten degrees. A golf club driver lofts determine the spinning
rate of the ball. Balls with a higher spin rate avoids friction
in the air, thus travel further.

The golf club shafts are needed to check when buying a new golf
club driver. Shafts that are normally used are made of steel or
graphite (better but pricey). Titanium is the preferred shafts
of the professionals. A driver shaft determines how hard a ball
is whacked the moment the head hits the ball. Titanium shafts
that are flexible and hard will give a good kick to the ball.
Many amateurs dont like it as it is very difficult to control
and to master. Once mastered, the ball will fly away further.

The best golf driver will be effective when applied by the best
golfer. A driver is used to propel the golfball over gigantic
distances, it is seldom used by beginners or novice golfers. It
is best used immediately by a novice so as to get accustomed to
stroking the ball far into the golf fields. Top players like
Tiger Woods have used found a good golf club driver as essential
in a lot of occasions. It may be difficult to handle the
beginning but the end result when it is perfected can give the
player a very good result.

Getting an expensive but sweet golf club driver is an important
decision. The central objective of golf, as I'm sure you know,
is to finish the golf course with a lesser number of strokes. A
good driver will get your balls further, a good player with a
good driver can even get the tournament for you.

About the Author: Tom loves golf, and loves selecting golf
clubs. His favourite company are lind golf, and they offer a
good compromise between cost and quality. You can get a coupon
for 10% off lind at


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Prevent Injuries While Marathon Training

Prevent Injuries While Marathon Training
By John Hopple

Injury prevention is a very serious issue for those who run
regularly, especially those who are in training for a particular
race or event. In these cases injury prevention is not only
important because it helps the runner to avoid a painful injury
and potentially long recovery period but it is also critical
because an injury can disrupt the training schedule and result
in the runner not being properly prepared for the race or event.
This article will provide some basic tips for runners which will
help them to prevent injuries.

Well designed equipment which also fits properly can go a long
way towards injury prevention for runners. One of the most
important pieces of equipment for runners is their running
shoes. Running shoes should fit properly, not be overly worn and
should also ideally be designed to accommodate the runner's
style of running. Additionally, running shoes should be replaced
regularly to prevent injuries which may result from the running
shoe being overly worn out. A good recommendation for how often
to replace a pair of running shoes is every 300-500 miles.
Runners should keep a detailed training log with a section for
accumulated miles since the runner started wearing a new pair of
running shoes. This will allow the runner to easily determine
when they have reached the 300-500 mile range on a particular
pair of running shoes and are likely to be in need of a new pair
in the near future.

Stretching regularly can also help runners to avoid injuries.
One worthwhile recommendation for stretching is to stretch
during and after a run. Many novice runners make the common
mistake of thinking they should stretch before their run but
this is not necessarily true. Runners who stretch before they
run are stretching cold muscles which are not as pliable as
muscles which have been warmed up with a short jog. For example
if you are planning to go for a five mile run, you might want to
consider jogging an easy one half mile or a mile before you
stretch to give your muscles ample time to warm up and be more
receptive to stretching. It is also a good idea to stretch after
you have completed your run. This will help your muscles to cool
down properly and will aid in the recovery process of the
muscles. This is important because the muscles can tighten
considerably during the course of the run. Stretching them
afterwards will help to prevent a long term shortening of the

Nutrition is another aspect that a lot people forget. Eating a
diet of 60% carbohydrates 40% protein and 10% fats will help the
body recover properly. Eating a lot fruits and vegetables will
feed the body nutrients it needs to take the pounding day in and
day out. Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink right after a
run. It has the perfect 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrates and
protein that have been proven to increase the recovery rate.
Soon after your run it is also important to get in a meal with a
lot carbos like pasta and breads will also help with recovery
and in turn prevent injuries.

The last component to help prevent injuries is to take in a lot
of water throughout the day. Normally you should way yourself
before you run to get your starting weight. When you are done
running weigh yourself again. The weight that you lost is how
much water you lost. obviously during the summer you will lose
more water, but its important year round. Try to take liquids
with you on a run so you do not have to bloat yourself after the
run. Normally bring a water bottle or a device called a camelbak
that you can put around your waist to carry your fluid. If you
do not keep on top of the water issue your muscles will be more
tired and more apt to be pulled or strain.

About the Author: John Hopple is the owner of a website that shares marathon
running tips.


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Fight Inflammation, Fever, And More With Herbal Blue Cohosh

Fight Inflammation, Fever, And More With Herbal Blue Cohosh
By Darrell Miller

Blue cohosh is one of the oldest indigenous plants that can be
found in America.  Blue cohosh is a woodland herb that is slowly
becoming endangered because of over harvesting.  A small plant
that rarely grows more than two and a half feet in height, it
can be found blooming in early April on wooded slopes.  It was
used by Native Americans to treat rheumatism, colic, cramps,
epilepsy, and fevers.  This herb also aided in childbirth and
acted as a contraceptive.  Blue cohosh was adopted by early
settlers for both delivery and to help reduce fevers.  The dried
root was considered to be an official herb, found in the United
States Pharmacopoeia from 1882 to 1905, where it was recognized
for its abilities to induce labor and menstruation.

Blue cohosh is also known as Caulophyllum thalictroides, blue
ginseng, papoose root, yellow ginseng, blueberry root, and beech
drops.  This herb has been used to stimulate menstrual flow,
induce labor, and for rheumatism, cramps, and epilepsy.  

The chemical caulosaponin is found in blue cohosh.  It is this
chemical that induces uterine contractions and should be used
only under medical supervision.  Additionally, a study that was
published in the Journal of Reproduction and Fertility found
that blue cohosh is responsible for inhibiting ovulation in

Blue cohosh is recommended by herbalists for irregular
menstrual cycles, inflammation of the uterus, and to stop false
labor pains.  This herb has also been used as an antispasmodic
and to relieve muscle cramps.  Scientific studies have validated
these uses, especially the herb’s estrogenic and antispasmodic
properties.  The hormone and menses-regulating powers have been
shown to work best when the herb is combined with pennyroyal.
Some studies have found that blue cohosh may also stimulate the
immune system.  This herb helps with cases of toxemia and has
also been found useful in reducing emotional and nervous

In short, the rhizome of blue cohosh is used to provide
alterative, anthelmintic, antispasmodid, diuretic, emmenagogue,
estrogenic, expectorant, and oxytocic properties.  The primary
nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorine, iron,
magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium,
silicon, sodium, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E, and zinc.
Primarily, blue cohosh is very beneficial in dealing with pain
in childbirth, cramps, epilepsy, and estrogen deficiency,
absence of menstruation, urinary problems, and uterine problems.

Additionally, this herb has been shown to be extremely helpful
in treating high blood pressure, bronchitis, colic, convulsions,
cystitis, diabetes, edema, heart palpitations, excessive mucus,
neuralgia, spasms, vaginitis, vaginal discharge, and whooping
cough.  For more information on the many beneficial effects of
blue cohosh, please contact a representative from your local
health food store. 

Blue cohosh’s use in cultural and traditional settings is
somewhat different from the concepts that are accepted by
current Western medicine.  It is advisable to consult with a
primary health care professional when considering the use of
herbal supplements.  It may also be advantageous to consult with
a practitioner that is trained in the uses of herbal
supplements. It is important to note that one should always
purchase herbal supplements from a reliable source in order to
guarantee safety and efficiency.  

Blue Cohosh is available in capsule or tablet forms at your
local or internet health food store.  Look for blue Cohosh in
name brands like Natures Answer and Solaray to ensure that you
receive a quality product that is pure.  

*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration. Blue Cohosh is not intended to
diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with
your professional health care provider before changing any
medication or adding Vitamins to medications.

About the Author: More information on blue Cohosh is available
at VitaNet ®, LLC Health Food Store.


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Antibiotics In Food May Have Deadly Consequences

Antibiotic Resistance Is A Deadly Reality



Imagine this happening to you: Your son Billy*, a normally healthy child, has suddenly come down with a terrible cough and fever. You take him to the doctor who diagnoses it as bacterial pneumonia and prescribes an antibiotic to treat the disease. But Billy doesn't get better. Instead his fever gets worse, he can't breathe and now he coughs up blood. The prescribed medication is not helping. And worst of all, the infection is spreading. Quickly. Soon it will reach the brain. If this bacteria isn't destroyed, the illness will progress to the deadly disease known as bacterial meningitis. How could this have happened? Why aren't the medications working? What could have possibly gone so terribly wrong?

There has been a growing chorus of voices among consumers and the scientific community who have expressed concerns about the dangers that antibiotic use in livestock may pose to human health. Last week the USDA testified before a House committee admitting that there is a link between antibiotic use in farm animals and antimicrobial resistance not only in humans but also livestock (1).

This is an alarming admission considering how much we Americans depend on meat as part of our regular diet. In the 2001- 2002 USDA fact book it was reported that since the 1950s meat consumption by Americans has been steadily increasing (2). Thus, adding antibiotics to food and water of livestock which will later be consumed by humans is going to affect the long term health of human beings. This article will look at the problems surrounding the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in farm animals and their potential danger to humans.


What Are Antibiotics and Why Are They Important?

Antibiotics are agents which kill or prevent the growth of bacteria. Although many ancient cultures  combated illness with the use of plants possessing antimicrobial properties, it wasn't until the late nineteenth century that Western biologists pursued antibiotic research as a formal discipline (3). Since the early 20th century, the pharmaceutical industry has developed over 120 antibiotics (3) which are used by humans and animals.


Why Are Antibiotics Administered To Non-infected Livestock?

To be fair, antibiotic use in livestock is not the only culprit in antibiotic resistance, improper use of human medication by human patients is also a major contributing factor. However, in agriculture it is common practice to administer antibiotics to livestock that are not even sick. Non-therapeutic use of antibiotics by agriculturalists include promoting the growth of larger animals, mass treatment of disease or disease prevention (4).

In a 2001 report by The Union of Concerned Scientists, it was estimated that as much as 24,600,000 pounds of antimicrobial drugs are administered for non-therapeutic purposes (5). Though these practices are common to megafarming operations where thousands of animals are housed in close confinement where disease maybe quickly transmitted among the livestock, some smaller farms also use antibiotics as feed additives for their animals (6).

(The image "Angus cattle grazing" via wikipedia)

Farming is a business and as in any business, the objective is to maximize profits and minimize losses. On the outset it seems logical to give antibiotics to all of the animals before they become sick because a contagious disease could cost thousands of dollars in veterinary bills or culled livestock.

Yet, administering antibiotics as a preventative measure is different than vaccinations wherein weakened or dead pathogens are injected into the animal to stimulate the development of antibodies that will protect the host from a live pathogen. In the former case drug compounds are administered to the livestock which may not have the desired effect of keeping the animal healthy (antimicrobial resistance would not be a desired effect); by contrast, the latter uses pathogens or their products with the intent to bolster the host's immune system.

Antibiotics are also used as growth promoters (4,7,8). But a side effect to this practice is that intestinal bacteria are developing resistance to the drugs (9) ultimately compromising the health of the livestock and human consumers. In light of these facts, the practicality of the continued use of antibiotics as growth promoters should be re-evaluated.


How Do Bacteria Become Resistant To Antibiotics? 

Bacteria can transfer genetic material in a number of ways including conjugation (direct cell-to-cell contact) (10), binary fission (cell division) (11), transduction (virus assists in transfer of genetic material from one bacterium to another) (11), and transformation (uptake of genetic material into the cell from another cell which can occur when a bacterium dies and its DNA is taken up by neighboring bacteria) (11).

When bacteria are exposed to a harmful substance (in this case antibiotics), the susceptible members of the population will be killed off. But occasionally there will be a bacterium that possesses a natural mechanism to remove the drug from the cell body or otherwise render it ineffective (4).

This is a biological advantage for the surviving bacterium because it can survive in an environment which is now hostile to nonresistant members. When the resistant bacterium asexually reproduces via binary fission, the daughter cell will have the same resistance as the parent cell. This scenario becomes even more serious if several bacteria in the initial population possess this resistance and pass it on through binary fission or other mechanisms.

Furthermore, bacteria reproduce exponentially i.e. cell doubling meaning that if environmental conditions are favorable (e.g. competing bacteria populations are absent, and food is abundant, etc.) large bacteria populations can be established in a matter of days. Then if the resistant bacteria come into contact with non resistant bacteria and exchange genetic information with them, the resistant population is likely to increase. This is one mechanism whereby drug resistant bacteria can become the dominant microbial population in the host organism.

One of the problems caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria is not so much that no drug will be able to kill the harmful microorganism, but that the host would not survive the treatment (4). In other words, even if the medications prescribed by the treating physician to combat an incredibly resistant bacterial infection kills the disease causing bacteria, the human patient would die in the process. I doubt that anyone would deem that to be a successful and desired outcome. 

As it stands the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has compiled a list of bacteria and other drug resistant pathogens (12). On that list are fourteen bacteria and three non bacterial pathogens all of which pose a threat to human health. Interestingly, Streptococcus pneumoniae, tuberculosis and Salmonella Typhi- three bacteria species that plagued humanity for many centuries prior to the introduction of antibiotics- are now becoming resistant to the very drugs that physicians use to combat them (12).

Life is a continual process of change, in biology we are familiar with the "arms race" between organisms that invade a host body and do harm by their presence, and the defenses that the host develops to protect itself from such invasion.

We have been given natural defenses (antibodies, killer cells, etc.) that are very effective in their role of protecting the body, and have been blessed by God Who has given humans the ability to adapt to environmental change (in this case microbial invasion).

But we also rely on medicines to keep us healthy. Drug resistant bacteria are merely changing to protect themselves from the dangers posed by compounds that would destroy them.

Please retweet this post because humans should not provide any help to bacteria in this classic dance especially when the price of doing so is deadly to our species. Antimicrobial resistance is a very serious problem.



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Article Sources

1. "Antibiotics in livestock affect humans, USDA testifies".

2. Profiling Food Consumption in America. Agriculture Factbook 2001-2002/chapter2.

 3. Antibiotic.

4. Hawkeye, Peter M. The origins and molecular basis of antibiotic resistance. British Medical Journal 1998 September 5; 317(7159): 657-660.

5. Hogging It!: Estimates of Antimicrobial Abuse in Livestock (2001). Union of Concerned Scientists.

 6. Debate Over Antibiotics in Livestock Feed. Center for Rural Affairs.

7. Dibner, J.J and Richards, J.D. 2005. Antibiotic Growth Promoters in Agriculture: History and Mode of Action. Poultry Science.

8. Hughes, Peter and Heritage, John. Antibiotic Growth-Promoters in Food Animals.

9. Wegener, Henrick C. et al. Use of Antimicrobial Growth Promoters in Food Animals and Enterococcus faecium Resistance to Therapeutic Antimicrobial Drugs in Europe. Emerging Infectious Diseases.

 10. An Introduction to Genetic Analysis. 2000. W.H. Freeman and Company.

 11. Bacterial Reproduction.

 12. Diseases/Pathogens Associated with Microbial Resistance. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

* Billy is a fictional person not representative of an actual person living or dead



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6 Ways That People Typically Do Too Much Of A Good Thing – And How To Fix It

6 Ways That People Typically Do Too Much Of A Good Thing – And
How To Fix It
By Chris McCombs

Training smart is all about moderation. A lot of people hear a
good piece of advice, and take it to the extreme, thus
eliminating any benefit that piece of advice might have had in
the first place. Here are a few examples of doing this kind of
activity, and what you should do instead to get to your fitness
goals faster.

1. Eating Tons of Protein

There’s no denying that your muscles need protein in order to
get larger. But it’s fairly easy to go overboard in this regard.
In fact, you down a ton of eggs, take protein supplements, and
eat a bunch of fish, most of the protein is actually going to
just get converted into fat. You should take it easy, and only
really eat about a gram of protein per pound of body weight.

2. Focusing Mostly on Cardio

A smart exercise program has to be about balance. If you do
nothing but cardio, or almost nothing but cardio, your body will
turn to your muscles for fuel, and your muscles will shrink. And
you need your muscles to keep your metabolism up. Cardio is
certainly important if you looking to lose weight, but doing
only cardio will get your frustrated with your routine fast. If
you are serious about losing the flab, pick up some weights.

3. Overtraining

In our country, where the majority are overweight, this might
be considered a small problem when you look at the big picture.
But it does happen to the occasional over zealous exerciser.
Just remember the old mantra “your muscles grow outside of the
gym, not inside of it.” What that means is that if you really
workout hard, you don’t give your muscles a chance to rest and

4. Taking Long Breaks Between Sets

Workouts are divided up into sets for a reason. You have to
take small breaks in between each set in order to get enough
strength to do enough weight training. But muscles can recover
remarkably fast, and need less time you think to be good to go
for the next set. Having a relatively short rest time can even
increase your testosterone production, which will help build
muscle, and maintain your core temperature, which will help you
burn fat.

5. Using a Lot of Machines

Superficially, using weight-training machines seem almost
exactly the same as exercising with free weights. I mean, your
muscles experience the same amount of resistance, so it works
them the same amount, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Weight machines can even fail to work certain muscles,
specifically, the “stabilizer muscles” that always get worked
when using free-weights. When you use weight machines, you hit a
plateau fairly quickly, but free weights, if you are training
with proper technique, will almost always help you keep

6. Doing Stretches in the Middle of a Workout

Stretching before a workout is good, because it gets you loose.
And stretching after a workout is good, because it helps clear
your muscles of lactic acid. But taking a break to stretch in
the middle of the workout can actually temporarily make you
weaker. So save the stretching for before or after.

About the Author: Chris McCombs is an Orange County fitness
trainer. He can be reached through his website at


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Deciding On Liposuction

Deciding On Liposuction
By Michelle Bery

We’ve all been there – we’ve been eating a healthy diet,
drinking plenty of water, and exercising on a regular basis; we
feel great, but we just can’t get rid of certain trouble spots,
no matter how hard we try. At this point, because of the
availability of surgical procedures, many of us turn to
liposuction to reduce the areas that dissatisfy us. Yet, as with
any surgery, there is much to know about liposuction before
making the decision to go ahead with it.

Liposuction is a surgical procedure in which tiny incisions are
made around a site on the body that is storing excess fat.
Through these incisions, tubes are inserted that literally
vacuum the fat from the body. This is not a passive procedure,
however, as the surgeon must plunge the tubes into the fat to be
sure to get the most results and keep the look of the area even
and consistent throughout. The result of all this pushing and
prodding, of course, is pain. The recovery from liposuction
generally depends on the body area on which you had the
procedure. You will often feel sore for quite some time.
Additionally, post-surgery liposuction patients are required to
wear a compression garment as part of their recovery. If you are
considering liposuction, it is imperative that you understand
the details of the procedure, including post-surgical care.

But most importantly, it is absolutely critical that you choose
a reputable surgeon to perform your liposuction. This should
include the research of the surgeon in question including
background, experience, and any patient complaints that may have
been lodged against him/her. Get referrals and speak with other
liposuction patients about their experience with the surgeon and
the results of their surgery as compared to their expectations.
Most of all, you should be comfortable with the surgeon who will
perform your liposuction; you should feel that all of your
questions are being answered and that you have been treated with

Price should also be a consideration so as to determine if you
need financing for the procedure. Price should not be considered
when weighing an experienced, reputable surgeon against one that
is fairly unknown. In this particular situation, getting the
cheaper price possibly at the cost of your safety is not worth

Finally, is important to remember that liposuction will not
take the place of proper diet and exercise. There is no magic
bullet to having a lean, healthy body. And if you have
liposuction performed and continue to eat poorly and live a
sedentary lifestyle, you will find the fat that you had
surgically removed has just come back in another location. Do
right by your body and live a healthy, active lifestyle; in many
cases, this may be all you need!

About the Author: For easy to understand, in depth information
about liposuction visit our ezGuide 2


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