Brazzein, Cweet, coronary heart disease mortalities, omega-3 deficiencies, Wisconsin great place for men to live

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A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

…new research shows that mortality rates from coronary heart disease (CHD) in the U.S. may be rising? The findings indicate that decades of progress in reducing deaths from heart disease appear to be stalling, say Drs. Earl S. Ford (of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta) and Simon Capewell (of the University of Liverpool, in England). Their paper was published online in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology,” on Nov. 13, 2007.

Drs. Philip Greenland and Donald Lloyd-Jones (of the Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago) warn that “the ominous finding of a possible increase in the age-specific CHD death rate in young adults should not be ignored. It is time to stop giving the mixed message that 'we are wining the war on heart disease, but pay attention to your risk factors anyway.' The new data by Ford and Capewell suggest that the message should be immediately revised to: ‘We are now starting to lose the battle against heart disease.’”

…more than 2,000 scientific studies have demonstrated the wide range of problems associated with Omega-3 deficiencies? The American diet is almost devoid of Omega-3s, except for certain types of fish. These fish, like salmon, need to be wild caught, not farmed, in order to contain these essential fatty acids.

SalmonIn fact, researchers believe that about 60 percent of Americans are deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids, and about 20 percent have so little that test methods cannot even detect any in their blood.

The human brain is more than 60 percent structural fat. It’s not just any fat. It’s the fat that we no longer as a society eat because our food supply has been stripped of it. And to make matters worse, in place of these essential fatty acids we use trans fats and excessive amounts of vegetable oil, polyunsaturated fats. These polyunsaturated fats are high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which are also essential but detrimental in the amounts we consume them.

Symptoms of fatty acid deficiency include a variety of skin ailments like eczema, allergies, dandruff and lowered immunity.

…a new sweetener is going to hit the market? It is being touted as the first natural sweetener to rival its artificial counterparts. The new sweetener, brazzein, will be marketed as Cweet. Derived from a plant indigenous to Africa, brazzein is said to be 1,000 times sweeter than cane sugar. Researchers have long been aware of brazzein’s potential as a sweetener, but were unable to produce it on a mass scale. Due to a recent production breakthrough, Nutra Research Ingredients will be distributing Cweet world wide.

…Madison, Wisconsin is the best place to live for men? Carol Ann Shaheen used 10 different criteria including: economy, fitness facilities, air quality, medical care, life expectancy, education levels, household incomes, cost of living, quality of life and (most importantly) the ratio of single women to men. Cleveland, where I’m from, came in at number 77. Bakersfield, Calif., was ranked the worst place. Men’s Health, winter/spring 2008

…there is more and more evidence showing that if a healthy individual wants a strong core, instability exercises don’t cut it? Core stabilizer training has become extremely popular in the past few years. I am starting to see a trend toward the core being the “core” of training programs. This shouldn’t be the case, and there is a tremendous amount of data showing the benefits of basic weight training exercise. In this newly published study, researchers used 16 physically active subjects. The purpose was to compare the activation of various trunk muscles with selected weight training exercises (squat and deadlift) and Swiss ball unstable calisthenic-type movements (superman’s and side bridging). The researchers concluded it is unnecessary to incorporate unstable calisthenic-type exercise if one is performing exercises like the squat and deadlift. Basic heavy exercise is the key to a strong healthy core. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2007, 21(4), 1108-1112.


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