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Working out when it’s Hot Hot Hot!

Posted by bmagnus On June - 7 - 2010Comments Off on Working out when it’s Hot Hot Hot!

Here in Fabulous Las Vegas we are experiencing record-setting heat. It was 110 F yesterday and today is expected to be just as hot. It’s hard to get motivated to do much of anything in weather like this, but here’s some ideas to keep you going when you work out.

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Aging From a Machine

Posted by moddoctor On September - 22 - 20082 COMMENTS

UV exposure is an interesting issue. People like the look of a tan and the glow that comes with it. Unfortunately tanning is frought with risk. The tanning industry would like us to believe that tanning can be done completely safely in the comfort of a tanning bed that you pay $10 or whatever per session for. The realities are that three sessions per week is as much as hazard as laying the real sun for the same period of time. UV accelerates skin aging and damages the DNA of skin cells in a way that can lead to cancer. UV is also essential for the synthesis of Vitamin D in the body, but it’s argued than any level of UV exposure is too much. What’s a rational person looking to age against the machine to do?

The current issue of Pigment Cell and Melanoma takes a look at tanning as it relates to skin cancer. This paper digs into the social aspects of tanning beds and the industry that drives it. The paper even contends that the tanning industry ginned up the controversies about Vitamin D and makes the point that oral supplementation is just as effective as successful. This article discusses in detail the hows of cell mutation caused by ultraviolet light. Finally, a third article analyzes existing data connecting tanning beds directly to melanoma formation.

I’m still very torn on the Vitamin-D issue. I have difficulty believing that oral supplements can ever be as effective as the more natural sun exposure route at treating deficiency, but there are very real risks to sun exposure.

Sunscreen up those faces, though. A little exposure to nature sunlight is unlikely to be a total aging and cancer disaster. Baking in a tanning bed is a sure fire to be aged by the machine rather than aging against it.

Tomatoes Reduce Sunburn and Aging

Posted by moddoctor On April - 30 - 20081 COMMENT

The Universities of Newcastle and Manchester have released the results of an interesting study that looks at elements of the Mediterranean diet. Two groups of patients were used, one adding extra olive oil to their diet and the other added oil oil plus 5 tablespoons of standard tomato paste. While the study was small, the results revealed that those eating more tomato showed greater resistance to injury from UV light (ie. sunburn) as well as significantly increased amounts of procollagen in their skin. The increase in procollagen suggests that some reversal of prior collagen loss may occur as well.

This is just one more reason to eat lots of tomatoes, though since lycopene has long been considered one of the strongest anti-oxidants.

Living in Las Vegas where the UV index is always very high, I’m not quite ready to resort to the 5 tablespoons of tomato paste used in the study but it’s definitely worth considering. I do think that those who insist on indoor tanning would be well advised to maximize the tomatoes in their diets, though.

Fat plastics

Posted by moddoctor On January - 21 - 20083 COMMENTS

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times wrote an excellent summary piece on the dangers of plastic water bottles. These can be as subtle as heavy metals leaching out of reused bottle water bottles to endocrine disrupting compounds found in otherwise seemingly benign polycarbonate bottles.

Officially, polycarbonate bottles are completely benign with their major contaminant being bisphenol-A. Of course, that’s the official word. Bisphenol-A is a know agonist for estrogen receptors which means that it can in adequate concentrations activate the receptors. The implications are significant. Activating or blocking receptors can interfere with the normal actions of estrogen in females or stimulate estrogen like responses in males and children. Not good, right? It’s worrisome enough that the city of San Francisco banned products for children and infants that contained bisphenol-A in 2006. It does look like they repealed this ban, though.

So what does this matter for adults? This is one of those ongoing scientific arguments. Literature suggests that in-utero exposure to bisphenol-A increasing the lifetime risk of obesity. The chemical industry has spent a lot of money trying to quash this and self described non-partisan think tanks have pumped out paper after paper. The scientific community continues to come up with small study after small study that points to bisphenol-A being less that fully benign. Canada has labeled the compound: inherently toxic. What’s the truth?

Well, for sure bisphenol-A can speed development of fat cells. Exposure to bisphenol-A can speed growth and puberty as well as increase body weight in mice. Whether these are at concentrations similar to what one gets from bottled water is really unknown. Whether the same can be noted in humans is also unknown.

The take home, very likely is to use non-plastics for your water bottle filled from a home reverse osmosis filter. Of course, realistically, most of us will shrug off the risk and use cheap water bottle bought from the warehouse store. It’s not like we haven’t been warned, but like so many things it’s calculating the risks versus convenience.