Trend Watch, May 2017
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The 1-Minute Workout
Canadian fitness researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, have discovered what may be the most efficient aerobic workout yet. One minute of going up and down stairs as fast and as safely as possible, three times per week, produces fitness improvement similar to much longer but more leisurely workouts. You need to warm up and cool down by walking for a couple of minutes before and after, so each workout will take a bit more than one minute, but still, it’s hard to beat. “Stair climbing is a form of exercise anyone can do in their own home, after work, or during the lunch hour,” says lead researcher Martin Gibala, PhD. So much for excuses.
That’s the daily dose of EPA and DHA, the main healthy fats in fish oil, which can improve the health and lifespan of postmenopausal women, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology. In the study, researchers tracked 6,500 women for 15 years.
Meet the Supplement OWL
No, supplements aren’t flying around at night. The OWL is the Online Wellness Library, a one-stop source of information about thousands of supplements. More specifically, it’s a registry of supplement products, initiated by the Council for Responsible Nutrition for businesses, consumers, and government regulators. Information in OWL is provided by supplement manufacturers on a voluntary basis and includes product images and label information, ingredient lists, dosage forms, product claims, and contact information. To check it out, visit supplementowl.org.
That’s how many Americans are trying to lose weight, according to the latest analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That’s down from 53 percent seeking weight loss a few years ago. Being heavier is becoming more socially acceptable.
Statin Users Need More Vitamin D
Studies with a total of 646 men and women have found that blood levels of vitamin D tend to be lower among those taking statin drugs for cholesterol. This held true even when people took vitamin D supplements. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, concluded that blood levels of vitamin D among statin users who took supplements increased 21 percent less than levels in those who supplemented but didn’t take statin drugs. So higher dosages of the vitamin may be needed to compensate for the influence of statins. To check levels and response to supplements, vitamin D blood tests are available from any doctor, or through the Vitamin D Council: vitamindcouncil.org.
Pycnogenol helps women’s hearts
Italian researchers have discovered that Pycnogenol, an extract of French maritime pine bark found in many supplements, reduces risk for heart disease among women approaching menopause. After women took the supplements for eight weeks, their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar reached healthier levels, while chronic inflammation dropped by 60 percent. In the study, published in an Italian journal, symptoms related to menopause also improved. The dose of Pycnogenol was 100 mg per day.
Want to be a Citizen Climate Researcher?
The GLOBE Observer App from NASA enables anyone with a smartphone to contribute to climate research by observing and reporting data about clouds. Satellites observe only from above, and cloud data from the ground, gathered by many citizen researchers around the world, gives scientists additional valuable information. To learn more and get the app, visit observer.globe.gov.
Astaxanthin Shopping Tip
In supplements, astaxanthin-the nutrient that gives salmon its pink color-can be derived from algae (same place the salmon get it), or it can be synthetic. Studies showing astaxanthin benefits, including energy for sports and improved heart, brain, skin, and eye health, have demonstrated results only with natural, algae-derived astaxanthin. When choosing astaxanthin products, a seal from the Natural Algae Astaxanthin Association (NAXA) indicates that the product has been verified as natural astaxanthin.
10 a day
That’s a good goal for daily servings of vegetables and fruits to reduce risks for heart problems, stroke, and other age-related diseases, according to research by the Imperial College London in the United Kingdom. Scientists evaluated data that tracked 2 million people.