Raw milk debate, raw milk controversy, Proscar side effects, MSG and obesity, nitric oxide

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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.

Furci… there is a war against the sale and consumption of raw milk? The government, along with big business, has taken away your basic constitutional right to choose what you want to consume, by claiming it's in the interest of public safety. However, is raw milk a danger to the public?

According to research conducted by Ted Beals, M.D., and published in the 2011 issue of Wise Traditions, you're more likely to get injured driving to the farm to pick up your raw milk, than becoming ill drinking it.

"From the perspective of a national public health professional looking at an estimated total of 48 million food-borne illnesses each year [from all foods] … there is no rational justification to focus national attention on raw milk, which may be associated with an average of 42 illnesses [at] maximum among the more than 9 million people (about 0.0005 percent) who have chosen to drink milk in its fresh unprocessed form."

… pharmaceuticals used to treat male pattern baldness (MPB), like Proscar (finasteride), work by decreasing serum levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT)? DHT has been called the most potent of all androgens (male sex hormones), and is the major factor in MPB. The current theory is that DHT binds to the hair follicle and prevents ribonucleic acid (RNA) from functioning. RNA is responsible for protein synthesis. In a nutshell, if the RNA doesn't function, the follicle cannot create protein and stunts hair growth. Decreasing DHT levels will prevent baldness, but is it worth the side effects? A study reported inThe Journal of Sexual Medicine conducted standardized interviews with 71 healthy men taking finasteride to prevent baldness; 94 percent of the participants developed low libido, 92 percent developed erectile dysfunction, 92 percent developed decreased arousal, and 69 percent developed problems with orgasm. So, if you're willing to give up your sex life to have a full head of hair, go ahead and take Proscar.

Furci… monosodium glutamate (MSG) may promote obesity?MSG is a widely used food additives. It is often present in processed foods, although it is frequently not clearly labeled. MSG is frequently seen hiding behind such innocent-sounding names like hydrolyzed protein, vegetable protein, soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, whey protein and natural flavoring, spices, enzymes, autolyzed yeast extract, stock and broth. If MSG was as benign as the food industry says it is, why do they have to disguise the name?

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers followed more than 10,000 adults in China for about five and a half years, on average. The researchers measured MSG intake directly by before-and-after weighing of products, such as bottles of soy sauce, to see how much people ate. They also asked people to estimate their intake over three 24-hour periods. Men and women who ate the most MSG (a median of 5 grams a day) were about 30 percent more likely to become overweight by the end of the study than those who ate the least amount of the flavoring (less than a half-gram a day), the researchers found. After excluding people who were overweight at the start of the study, the risk rose to 33 percent.

… your body temperature varies during the day? Researchers from Australia and New Zealand found that body temperature affects athletic performance. The purpose of their study was to investigate the effects of the circadian rhythm of cortisol and testosterone on power performance. They found that daily variations in body temperature, not testosterone or cortisol, were related to performance in the vertical jump, squat jumps, isometric pulls and max rep squats. If you're looking to match your workouts to the highest body temperature, make it late afternoon.

…nitric oxide (NO) products are pushed on unsuspecting customers using voodoo science? 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 '80s, they are 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

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