Research Recap – Sept 2015

As scientists dig deeper into the importance of our microbiome, new research looking at the beneficial bacteria in our gut, and the usefulness of a probiotic supplement, continues to surface. For instance, there appears to be a correlation with gut bugs and heart biomarkers (HDL & Triglycerides), that are improved with a probiotic supplement.

Likewise, the overuse of ‘ANTI’ biotics continues to be associated with an increased risk of disease. A Daanish study determined that those who filled 2-4 prescriptions over 13 year had a 23% higher risk of diabetes. And those who filled five or more….a 53% higher risk!

Not surprisingly, we also see new evidence that the beneficial bacteria in other areas of our body has a direct impact on the strength of our immune system. With the bacteria on our skin and in our sinuses protecting us from infection.

Suggesting that it’s probably time to lay off the ‘ANTI’ bacterial soap, and maybe the Neti Pot?


Other than that, September was filled with plenty of headline worthy studies. Including interesting new research on activity breaks, sleep, hunter-gatherers, and omega-3’s.


Higher triglycerides in kids that drink sugar-sweetened beverages, compared to those that don’t. Real shocker here!

Mediterranean diet plus olive oil fairs better than Mediterranean diet plus nuts and seeds for breast cancer prevention (by 68%). In other words, olive oil is good for you; and likely a better choice than nuts and seeds. Forget about the Mediterranean diet and make sure you’re flavoring your salads with it.

Debated putting this one in (as it’s ridiculous), but Cochrane review found that people ate 15-25% less total calories when the food and drink containers were smaller. I don’t know why people are still paying for this type of research. Stop eating the wrong foods, and you can eat til you’re satiated!

Foods high in anthocyanins (like berries and bright coloured vegetables – purple potatoes) appear to have a protective effect against colon cancer.

Humans appear to have gone through some sort of genetic adaptation that permits a slightly higher carbohydrate tolerance. However, the only genetic variant that seems to be plausible is a fructose transporter that gives us the ability to consume more domesticated fruits. Provided of course, that you’re lean, insulin sensitive, and exercising regularly.

Plant proteins are still NOT equivalent to animal proteins. Especially when it comes to muscle development.

Sugar sweetened beverages really are as bad as they’re portrayed. This meta-analysis found that consuming 1-2 servings a day has been linked to a 26% greater risk of type 2 diabetes, and a 35% greater risk of heart attack or fatal heart disease

Researchers continue to find that those with Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity may need to go beyond ‘going gluten-free.’

If you’re still thinking eating like a hunter-gatherer means ‘meat-only,’ here’s some new evidence that we’ve been incorporating plants and their roots 400,000 years earlier than originally thought – approximately 3.8 million years ago.

Meta-analysis from Europe finds higher fish intake associated with lower (16-25%) depression. Omega 3’s anyone?


Ketone drink solution preserved muscle glycogen during 1hr of cycling at 75% intensity. You know my views here, but thought I’d share. The ‘carb-up to out-last’ advice appears to be dwindling.

A high level of physical fitness increases the volume of critical sections of the brain. Slowing the decline of skills like problem solving and reasoning.

Activity breaks from sedentary behavior continue to show promise for improving glycemic control.

Impairments in vascular health from chronic sitting can be improved when followed by a 10-min walk.

Anthropologists identify proof of ‘ambush’ hunting over 1 million years ago. Perhaps suggesting less ‘persistent hunting’ than the cardio crowd like’s to suggest?

Finland study finds low levels of activity, weaker physical fitness and excess body fat associated with arterial stiffness in 6-8 years old!


Rosacea may be a genetic adaptation to a lack of UV light. Time to move warm, or hit the tanning bed for a few?

Fidgeting may help improve the desk job environment. I’d still opt for the standing/walking breaks, but maybe add an espresso shot to your next sitting session.

Late day caffeine messes with your circadian clock. Told ya so!

Extra short (<6) or extra long (>10) durations of sleep associated with inflammation.

Australian study finds women TWICE as likely to suffer from insomnia compared to men.

Sleep not only helps with information retention, but it may also strengthen our immunological memories of previously encountered pathogens. Better sleep = stronger immune system!

Short sleepers (<6hrs) 4 times more likely to catch a cold than those getting 7+ hours per night.

Health and Longevity

Exposure to farm dust helps protects against respiratory problems (allergies and asthma) in the future.

More evidence that weight-loss doesn’t equal health-gain. Bariatric surgery patients commonly deficient in nutrients; which shouldn’t really come as a shocker, as there’s no improvement in food QUALITY.

Insulin resistance can develop faster than you think. These men ate a junk food diet for 1 week, and some showed signs in 2-3 days.


Probiotic supplement improves dairy protein tolerance in allergic infants, by shifting gut bacteria and facilitating butyrate production.

Higher cognitive decline (and dementia) in elderly individuals with inadequate vitamin D levels.

Resveratrol (found in red wine) appears to improve several biomarkers for Alzheimer’s, as it can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and affect the Central Nervous System.

Two new reviews add to the pile of evidence showing that calcium supplementation alone is pretty much useless for bone density and fracture risk.

New evidence in Genome Biology adds to the claim that we should be avoiding omega-6 polyunsaturated fats as much as we’re prioritizing omega-3’s. The study is specific to those with a pre-existing gastrointestinal problem (Chron’s), but it’s relevant to everyone’s gut health.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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