Monday, July 30, 2012

smoothie thar flaten belly

6 drinks that shrink your belly

Published July 13, 2012
| Prevention Magazine
That ice-cold lemonade may hit the spot on a 90-degree day, but it’s not doing your waistline any favors. A 20-ounce Minute Maid Lemonade contains 250 calories and 68 g of sugar. Fortunately, there are plenty of refreshing summer drinks that you can drink without guilt—and they may actually help you lose weight. Here are six ways to quench your thirst without packing on pounds.
6 Super Smoothie Recipes
Flat Belly Drink: Flavored Water
Staying hydrated is important when you’re trying to lose weight. Drinking plenty of water helps your body maintain proper fluid balance, stops water retention (a big cause of bloated bellies), and even increases the feeling of fullness so you eat less overall. But if plain water bores you, spruce it up with fresh herbs, citrus fruits, and other low-cal flavor enhancers (sliced cucumbers work well too) to encourage you to drink up. Try our Sassy Water recipe from the Flat Belly Diet!
Get the full Sassy Water Recipe
Flat Belly Drink: Watermelon Smoothie
As long as they’re made without sugary mixers like sherbet, smoothies are a guilt-free way to hydrate—and watermelon is a terrific, low-cal smoothie base. Not only is it a natural hydrator because of its water content, watermelon is also loaded with nutrients, including cancer-fighting lycopene, as well as an amino acid known as arginine. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that arginine can decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass, so whip up this 56-calorie metabolism booster and sip away!
Try This Watermelon Smoothie Recipe
Flat Belly Drink: Iced Peppermint Tea
This minty thirst quencher is super refreshing on a hot summer day, but it’s also a super-effective belly flattener. Peppermint helps your stomach process fat, ensuring even high-fat foods like burgers and steaks are digested quickly, which helps prevent bloat.
7 Healing Herbal Teas
Flat Belly Drink: Pineapple Frappe
This blended pineapple drink tastes like a beach vacation in a glass—and it packs in two belly-flattening ingredients. A tablespoon of flaxseed oil adds monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), proven belly flatteners, and pineapple itself contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps break down protein, ease digestion, and banish bloat.
Try This Pineapple Smoothie Recipe
Flat Belly Drink: Green Tea
Besides reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease, green tea benefits the whole body and contains catechins, antioxidants that studies show can help reduce belly fat. If you sip green tea before a workout, these compounds can also increase your fat burn during aerobic exercise.
Discover dozens of other foods that can help blast belly fat in The Flat Belly Diet Cookbook!
Flat Belly Drink: Dark Chocolate Shake
Really? Yes, really. Chocolate—especially the dark kind—helps you slim you down because it decreases appetite and lessens food cravings overall. However, at nearly 400 calories, this shake is more of a meal than a snack. Try it for a quick breakfast to keep your appetite tamed for hours.
Get The Belly-Flattening Smoothie

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

light lifting, big muscles

Light lifting, big muscles?

Study runs contrary to common wisdom and finds that substantial growth can come without all the grunting and bulging associated with heavy weights. The key? Repetitions.

By James Fell, Special to Tribune Newspapers

7:19 PM CDT, July 25, 2012

Click here to find out more!

Attention fans of heavy lifting: Grab your torches and pitchforks! Someone is questioning your long-held beliefs told by preachers of the hard-core gospel and published ad nauseam in magazines with the word "muscle" in the title.
Here goes: Lifting near your maximum weight is not necessary to build muscle mass and gain strength.
"Consistent practice combined with good nutrition and practicing good form and working to fatigue — no matter what the load — is what makes up the majority of results," says Stuart Phillips, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
It's that "no matter what the load" part that has people up in bulging, veiny arms. "Load" is how heavy the weight is, and "heavy = huge" has been preached since Schwarzenegger wore short pants.
"At the risk of inviting death threats," Phillips told me, "I think a lot of the variables in a resistance training program — rest, sets, loads and other variables — are largely redundant in their capacity to bring about strength and (bigger muscles)." More important to Phillips is that you, "Get to the weight room, consistently practice, work to fatigue — this is 80 percent of the job."
And Phillips has some science to back up his claims.
The study
Phillips and his team studied 18 college-age men for 10 weeks. Published in April in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the research examined the results on three weight-lifting routines:
Three sets at 30 percent of maximum (with 100 percent being the maximum amount of weight they could lift for one repetition).
One set of 80 percent of maximum.
Three sets of 80 percent of maximum.
The study focused on leg-extension exercises, and participants were allocated to two of the three routines (a different routine for each leg). The findings fly in the face of current recommendations and state that the lighter-weight routine had the same muscle growth results as the three sets of heavy weights routine. It also showed that the number of sets is important, because lifting three sets to fatigue at the lighter load made muscles bigger than did a single set of much heavier weight.
How is this possible? Traditional thinking is that only heavy lifting works the larger, "fast-twitch" muscle fibers that are more responsive to gaining size, and that lighter weights only engage the smaller "slow-twitch" fibers that are for muscular endurance.
But Phillips says traditional thinking isn't on target. His main reason: fatigue. Even with lighter weights, when you do enough reps to tire the muscle — so that no further lifts can be made while maintaining good form — then both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers are recruited and muscles grow in size.
Size vs. strength
But though your muscle grows and you do get stronger with the lower-weight routine, your muscles won't be as strong as those of people doing the heavier-lifting routine, the study showed.
Ten weeks into these routines, when strength was measured by seeing how much a test subject could lift for one rep, those lifting light weights to fatigue were 20 percent stronger, but those lifting heavier weights were almost 40 percent stronger. Those doing the single-set routine were about 30 percent stronger.
No small potatoes.
Phillips suggests the difference lies in neural adaptations that enable these greater strength capabilities, perhaps coupled with extra confidence from having practiced with heavier weights.
And the proof was in subsequent isometric testing — where test subjects tested their strength against a fixed resistance, so without any movement. The results were just a few percentage points apart.
Phillips sees isometrics as a truer measure of strength gains because none of the participants was practiced at it.
The most important disclaimer to make in all of this is to reveal that these participants, while recreationally active, did not engage in regular weight lifting over the last year. They were "untrained" subjects.
"We'll have to do another study with trained subjects or I'll never hear the end of it," Phillips said. However, as people do become trained, even with intense efforts, strength and size results slow down dramatically.
Not everyone's sold
"When you're just starting off, almost everything should work," said William Kraemer, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut and editor of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Kraemer says there is a lot of literature to support the model of lighter weights for improving endurance, heavier for gaining size, and heaviest for strength. He also promised new studies coming soon to back this up further.
Kraemer also disagrees with Phillips that it's possible for lighter lifting — even to fatigue — to stimulate all of the muscle. "It's because of the basic size principle. The more weight you lift, the more motor units are recruited. You're also better training connective tissues: bones and ligaments."
I mentioned that most people just aren't willing to work that hard, but Kraemer doesn't like "better than nothing" thinking. He's sees it as "betraying the optimal for the minimal."
Plus, "strength gains are the money-maker with the general population," extols Boston-based Eric Cressey, a sought-after strength coach who trains professional and Olympic athletes.
"Strength is a crucial foundation for power, which is what we lose as we get older." He sees the value in a lighter approach for novice populations, but says lighter loads also can raise potential for over-use injuries. At lighter loads, you must increase repetitions to achieve fatigue, and this can lead to strains. (Phillips counters that heavy loads come with their own dangers of injury, especially for older populations.)
The size plateau
In the end: "Few experienced lifters can make gains for more than a few years without anabolic steroids," says Phillips. "Everybody has a genetic plateau."
"Everything works, nothing works forever," Cressey said. (He's also a competitive power lifter and holds several state, national and world records.)
And though, for now, high-intensity lifting is the default recommendation by most trainers, the heavy versus light argument is far from over.
Kraemer is in favor of starting light to develop comfort, but insists on the need for progression. Regular heavy training is critical for long-term success, he maintains.
Phillips, on the other hand, wants weight lifting more inclusive, so that even the novice and the nervous can get substantial health, strength (and vanity) benefits from it without having to go too far from their comfort zone.
Either way, lifting can do a body good. You win no matter how heavy you go.
Fell is a certified strength and conditioning specialist

Friday, July 27, 2012

first person cured of hiv

Berlin Patient, first person cured of HIV, may soon have company

By Erin Loury

Los Angeles Times

2:26 PM PDT, July 27, 2012

Washington, D.C.


The Berlin Patient, the only person considered cured of HIV, may soon have some company.
Researchers at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., made presentations Thursday on two HIV-positive men from Boston who developed lymphoma. In both cases, their treatment included a bone marrow transplant, which results in a new immune system. The bone marrow donors did not have HIV.
The patients were conditioned for their transplants with a reduced-intensity protocol that allowed them to maintain enough strength to continue taking antiretroviral drugs to keep their HIV in check. These drugs are usually too toxic for HIV-positive cancer patients to handle.
So far, it appears that their new immune systems have remained HIV-free. Seventeen months after the transplants, researchers could not detect any HIV genetic material in the patients’ blood. They say the credit for this goes to the antiretroviral drugs the patients are taking.
Still unclear is whether the virus still lurks in the patients’ tissues. “It is possible that there is still other residual HIV material, “said study author Dr. Timothy Henrich of Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital. If doctors became convinced that all trace of the virus is gone, the patients could stop taking the antiretroviral drugs and be considered cured.
But they’re not there yet.
“We’re being very carful to refer to our patients as not being functionally cured,” said study author Daniel Kuritzkes, also of Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Only when these patients can successfully stop their medication can they be considered cured of HIV.
The only person in that category right now is the Berlin Patient, a.k.a. Timothy Brown. He had a bone marrow transplant to treat acute myeloid leukemia. In his case, the bone marrow donor was not only HIV-negative, but had a rare genetic mutation that blocks HIV from entering cells. That effectively makes Brown immune to the virus, and his body has remained HIV-free even without taking antiretroviral drugs.
The two patients in Boston received their bone marrow transplants from people who did not have the rare genetic variant, which is why they are still taking their drugs.
Researchers are working on potential cures that involve transferring that genetic mutation to HIV-positive patients without taking on the significant risks of a bone marrow transplant.
Another study presented Thursday reported on 12 French HIV-positive patients who received early treatment and have acquired an ability to naturally control HIV. These patients offer hope that it may be possible to “functionally” cure the disease – enabling people to tolerate HIV without completing ridding their bodies of the virus.
The patients started taking antiretroviral medication within 10 weeks of their HIV infections and stopped about three years later. Now, nearly seven years after ending treatment, these patients still have very low levels of the virus in their bodies. They appear similar to a small group of people known as “elite controllers” who naturally suppress HIV to low levels and do not get sick from the virus.
Reservoirs of dormant HIV can occur throughout the body. This sleeping HIV can periodically wake up and re-infect a person, which is why people with HIV usually have to take medication for life.
The French patients still have very low reservoirs of virus in their bodies, and researchers wondered if their ability to manage the virus related to how these remaining patches of HIV were distributed among a type of white blood cells called memory T cells. Pockets of HIV usually build up in long-lived types of memory T cells. However, researchers found that this rare cohort had dormant HIV primarily in shorter-lived memory T cells – similar to elite controllers – so their infected cells don’t persist as long.
The results provide further evidence that antiretroviral therapy should be started soon after infection, researchers said.
To wipe out all traces of HIV, scientists must find a way to wake up reservoirs of sleeping virus and target them with drugs. Jerome Zack, director of the UCLA Center for AIDS Research, made a presentation about this approach.
Zack and his colleagues outfitted little lipid bubbles called liposomes with antibodies that specifically match up with CD4 cells, the type of white blood cell that HIV usually attacks. The liposomes deliver two drugs to the cell – one, called bryostatin, switches on cell activity, and the other, a protease inhibitor, prevents HIV virus from assembling more virus once it starts to reproduce.
These liposomes didn’t target or otherwise activate another type of white blood cells called CD8 cells. As a result, the treatment didn’t trigger toxic inflammation. However, scientists still need to figure out how to design liposomes that identify only the CD4 cells that are infected with dormant HIV.
Bryostatin is a useful molecule, but also exorbitantly expensive – a single gram can cost $1 million.
Zack and his colleagues published a paper in Nature Medicine last week that described a number of synthetic products that mimic bryostatin, and cost only about $2,000 per gram to manufacture. Zack said that a few of these compounds also outperform their natural counterpart in switching on latent HIV while triggering less inflammation.

Monday, July 23, 2012

milk doesn't do a body good

5 ways milk doesn't do a body good
Got milk? Not so fast. The All-American beverage of choice is high in calories, saturated fat, and unnatural chemicals that can cause a range of health problems
Published July 19, 2012, at 7:42 AM
According to The Department of Agriculture people should drink three 8-ounce glasses of milk per day, which weighs in at around 1.5 pounds. Photo: ThinkStock/
Milk was once christened "nature's perfect food," says Mark Bittman at The New York Times. The Department of Agriculture recommends three 8-ounce glasses of the stuff a day (which equals about 1.5 pounds). After all: It builds strong bones, is packed with nutrients, and helps kids grow taller. But drinking dairy can be problematic, and its most notorious ingredient, lactose, is indigestible by a significant percentage of Americans. Here, five reasons milk actually doesn't do a body good:
1. It's high in calories and saturated fat
Ounce for ounce, milk has about "the same calorie load as soda," Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, tells The New York Times. Lactose is still a sugar, and contributes about 55 percent of skim milk's calories. Plus, milk and other dairy products are big sources of saturated fat, "and there are very credible links between dairy consumption and both Type 1 diabetes and the most dangerous form of prostate cancer." One serving of 2 percent milk has even been found to have the same saturated fat count as a serving of french fries.
2. A lot of people can't drink it
In the United States, as many as 50 million people are lactose intolerant: Roughly 90 percent of Asian-Americans can't drink milk, and 75 percent of all African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Jewish-Americans are similarly lactose intolerant. Recent studies suggest soy milk might not be much better: An article published in the Journal of Dentistry suggests that soy milk encourages bacteria in our mouth to produce five to six times more acid than usual, leading to plaque, tooth decay, and cavities.
3. Milk is often full of chemicals
"Commercial milk is disgusting," says Deborah Dunham at Blisstree. The mass-produced stuff is filled with growth hormones and antibiotics used to make cows lactate unnaturally. These additives may make the milk appear white and creamy-looking, but "all of this has been blamed for skin problems, acne, allergies, inflammation of the body," and much more. "Not to mention the fact that drinking cow's milk is simply unnatural — no other species drinks milk from another species except us."
4. Many people are allergic
Sure, the peanut allergy is the number one food allergy in the country. But did you know that the second most common type is "milk allergy"? It affects an estimated 3 million children in the United States. Like peanut allergy, the severity of milk allergy can range from mild reactions to being life-threatening.
5. You don't need milk for strong bones
"You don't need milk, or large amounts of calcium, for bone integrity, says the Times' Bittman. Not only are fracture rates the highest in milk-drinking countries, but it turns out that the biggest two factors contributing to bone strength are "lifelong exercise and vitamin D, which you could get from sunshine." All of this isn't to say that milk doesn't have its health benefits, says Adam Dachis at Lifehacker. But now there seems to be a likelihood that "dairy is a food you should eat because you enjoy it and not for its claims of better health."

Friday, July 13, 2012

'Beige Fat' Cells Could Help Fight Obesity

Newly Identified 'Beige Fat' Cells Could Help Fight Obesity
Newly Discovered Fat Appears to Burn Calories, Researchers Say
Looking to slim down? Then beige is your color, at least as far as fat is concerned.
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have isolated a new type of energy-burning cell known as "beige fat," which they say may have therapeutic potential for aiding weight loss and treating obesity in adults.
According to a new report published in the journal Cell, beige fat is scattered in pea-size deposits beneath the skin near the collarbone and along the spine. But rather than storing excess calories in the form of jiggly thighs and a jelly belly as blubbery-and-prolific white fat does, this type of fat is a calorie burner.
Sweating and Freezing
"During exercise, muscles release the hormone irisin, which then converts ordinary white fat cells into beige ones – and those beige cells burn up extra calories," explains Bruce Spiegelman, the senior author of the paper.
It's long been known that the calories burned during exercise exceed the number used during the actual activity. Beige fat could be responsible for torching these extra calories. However, because the muscles also release irisin when the body is cold, Spiegelman speculates that the beige fat mechanism might have evolved as a response to shivering, which, like exercise, is a neuromuscular activity.
Spiegelman doesn't necessarily believe the conversion of cells to beige is permanent. "It's an adaptive process," he says. "They probably increase or decrease depending on physiological conditions such as age, sex and obesity."
This could be why more brown fat and perhaps more beige fat is present in people who are fit and physically active versus those who are slothful couch potatoes. An attractive hypothesis to be sure, but Spiegelman cautions there's not yet enough evidence to prove it.
Beige Versus Brown
Beige fat appears to be genetically distinct from "brown fat" another type of fat found in small amounts in the necks and collarbones of adults and in larger amounts in rodents and human infants. It's distinct from the white fat that plagues anyone who struggles to lose weight. Both brown and beige fat have an abundance of mitochondria, the tiny power plants of the cell that convert food into energy and generate heat. Both types contain iron, which gives them their distinctive brown and beige hues.
But the two fats differ in a number of ways. One key difference is that brown fat cells express high levels of UCP1, a protein required by mitochondria that burns calories and generates heat, whereas beige cells normally express low levels of it. Beige cells can, however, turn on high levels of UCP1 in response to cold or the release of irisin, enabling beige fat to burn calories nearly as effectively as brown fat. Also, brown fat cells appear to arise from stem cells precursors that also produce muscle cells, while beige fat forms within deposits of white fat cells from beige cell precursors.
The discovery of irisin, and its ability to transform white fat to brown fat was originally announced in another paper by Spiegelman that his team published earlier this year. This latest Cell report confirms that irisin specifically stimulates white fat to produce beige fat.
Dr. Dazid Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, said the existence of a middle ground between white and brown fat makes sense.
We already knew that exercise could induce a transformation of white fat to brown," he said. "This simply characterizes the intermediate state. The functional significance of this 'beige fat' appears to be what we already knew: exercise, and cold, can raise energy expenditure in part through the activation of brown fat."
The hope, of course, is that the beige fat cells might one day lead to new treatments for obesity and diabetes. Dana-Farber has licensed both discoveries to Ember Therapeutics, a biotech company founded by Spiegelman. Keith Ayoob, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said that this research will be crucial in determining whether anything useful can come from this discovery.
"We need to know more about how much is there, why some people may have a greater or lesser proportion of it, and to see if it can be of use in helping people lose weight," Ayoob said. "There may be a way -- probably via a drug -- to stimulate either the production of beige or brown fat over white fat, or to increase fat breakdown.
Would such a drug be a good idea? Katz said he remains skeptical, saying that he believes the finding means "that the quest for a magical means of tickling both brown and beige fat into burning more calories ... without the ... inconvenience of actually exercising or eating better will continue in earnest.
"To date, our efforts to tickle the metabolic engine in this selective manner have reaped a whirlwind of unintended consequences, and frankly, I see that peril around this corner as well."
As for using cold and shivering as an alternative to exercise – some diet gurus are already recommending this – Spiegelman says forget about it.
"Anyone can write a book to say it works, but this demands serious research and clinical trials," he said. "We've never done the experiments before, and it would be a pretty uncomfortable therapy, so realistically I don't think it's a good road to travel down."