July Fitness & Nutrition Bites
Sunday, August 1, 2010
LifeTime WeightLoss in Metabolism, Social_Support, Tom Nikkola, calcium

Here is the July list of some interesting, random health and fitness studies that have come out. They are topics that may not require a full article, but are still worth reviewing. Enjoy!

Omega-3s and Triglycerides: It’s well known that a high-carbohydrate diet can lead to increases in triglyceride levels, as well as other possible negative effects on health. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition(1), researchers showed that triglyceride levels can be reduced in those on a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet with as little as 1.24 grams per day of the long-chain omega-3s, DHA and EPA. That’s the equivalent of 2-3 fish oil softgels per day. While the fish oil likely can’t undo all the potential issues related to a long-term low-fat diet, in this study it showed at least triglyceride levels can be reduced, which is a significant marker for heart disease risk. Of  course, a better option is probably to get off the high-carbohydrate diet and still take the fish oil.

Cool Your Palms & Increase Your Strength: This is kind of off-topic, but interesting nonetheless. Researchers showed that cooling exercisers palms had a significant impact on strength, at least in the bench press, which was the exercise used in the testing. The study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise(2) was based on the fact that other research has also shown that local cooling has an ergogenic effect on strength. This study only related the temperature of the palm to chest strength, but it’s possible it could result in a positive effect for other upper body exercises.

Calcium and Body Fat: The results of a four-year study on 870 women showed that supplemental calcium seems to have an effect on limiting the development of trunk body fat. The results of this study are especially interesting because the supplemental calcium had a positive effect on body fat, whereas other studies using dairy calcium as a measure of calcium intake have not shown a positive effect on body fat regulation. This could be because supplemental calcium ensures a specific amount of calcium is taken in each day, or the fact that supplemental calcium requires no extra calories compared to taking in calcium by consuming dairy products.(3)

Live Longer With Friends: New research shows what many of us probably already know. People tend to live longer when they are involved in social relationships. The data from BYU showed that low social interaction is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, or being an alcoholic, or does more harm than not exercising, and can be twice as harmful as obesity. The full study is published in the journal PLoS Medicine.(4) The main point is if you want to live longer, building strong relationships with others is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re short on time, why not build relationships with people at Life Time (i.e. group fitness, TEAM, Run Club, etc.)? That way you can get in the exercise you need and build relationships with other health-conscious people!

Obese Men Twice as Likely to Die Premature: The International Congress on Obesity tracked the longevity of 5000 men from age 20 to 80. They found men who were obese at age 20 had twice the likelihood of premature death as those who were not obese. While the study did not provide additional detail about those who lost weight after they were previously obese, it provides more reason to get the weight off sooner than later. Not only is it a health concern, but it is associated with a significant increase in financial costs.(5)

In health,

Tom Nikkola


  1. Jimenez-Gomez Y, Marin C, Perez-Martinez P, Hartwich J, et al. A Low-Fat, High-Complex Carbohydrate Diet Supplemented with Long-Chain (n-3) Fatty Acids Alters the Postprandial Lipoprotein Profile in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome. J Nutr July 14,2010 doi:10.3945/jn.109.120816
  2. Kwon, Y, Robergs R, Kravitz L, Gurney B, Mermier C, Schneider S. Palm Cooling Delays Fatigue during High-Intensity Bench Press Exercise. Med & Sci Spor & Ex. 2010;42(8):1557-1565
  3. Zhou J, Zhao L, Watson P, Zhang Q, Lappe J. The effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on obesity in postmenopausal women: secondary analysis for a large-scale, placebo controlled, double-blind, 4-year longitudinal clinical trial. Nutrition & Metabolism 2010;7:62
  4. Brigham Young University. Stayin’ alive: That’s what friends are for. University News Release. July 27, 2010 (http://news.byu.edu/archive10-jul-relationships.aspx)
  5. International Association for the Study of Obesity. Lifelong Doubling in Death Risk for Men Who Are Obese at Age 20, Study Finds" ScienceDaily 14 July 2010. 1 August 2010 http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2010/07/100713091321.htm

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

Article originally appeared on LifeTime WeightLoss (http://www.lifetime-weightloss.com/).
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