EID MUBARAK.


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WISHING YOU  ALL.. ” EID MUBARAK.”

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Krill Oil versus Fish Oil Infographic.


The Lowdown on Krill Oil and Fish Oil: Which Omega-3 Supplement Should You Choose?

krill-oil-vs-fish-oil

If you’ve been following my site, you’re probably aware that I recommend consuming fish in moderation, and eating certain types that are less likely to be contaminated with mercury. Fish, despite its high levels of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, is now one of the most polluted foods today.

The National Resources Defense Council reports that predatory fish, such as large tuna, swordfish, shark, and mackerel, can have dangerous mercury concentrations in their bodies that are 10,000 times higher than those of their surrounding habitat.

Mercury works its way up the food chain, as large fish consume contaminated smaller fish. And Instead of dissolving or breaking down, mercury accumulates at ever-increasing levels.i

I sincerely believe that in order to stay safe from mercury, you must avoid regular fish consumption. I do highly recommend high-quality Alaskan wild salmon that is certified to be low or free of contaminants (including mercury) – but you should still eat this fish in moderation.

However, you must make sure to get enough omega-3s even without consuming fish. One supplement that many people opt for is fish oil, a product extracted from oily, deep-ocean-farmed or wild-caught fish.

But is fish oil really as safe and environment-friendly as manufacturers claim? Or does this supplement only add to the toxic burden inside your body?

The Truth About Fish Oil Supplements: Are You Consuming a Rancid Product?

I used to recommend taking a high-quality fish oil to enhance your intake of omega-3 fats. But eventually, I found a better solution. Fish oil is highly perishable because it lacks antioxidants. When fish oil turns rancid inside your body, it leads to free radical formation.

This is a major drawback of fish oil – as you increase your intake of omega-3 fats from fish oil consumption, you also increase your need for antioxidant protection.

What’s more, fish oil is often extracted from large, oily fish  – the same species that have high levels of methylmercury.

So even if you choose fish oil over fish, you are still at risk of mercury contamination.

The Environmental Effects of Overharvesting Fish

Fish oil may seem like a sustainable omega-3 source, but the truth is that it actually contributes to overharvesting – in fact, populations of top predator fish are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Ninety percent of large fish species consumed by humans and used for fish oil production, such as swordfish, tuna, cod, halibut, skate, marlin, and flounder, have been fished out since the advent of large scale industrial fishing in the 1950s. The depleting populations of these fish  may cause a shift in the entire ocean ecosystem.

What’s more, fish farming, which produces the majority of fish oil supplements, also severely affects the environment by polluting our oceans with large amounts of fish feed and fish waste.

Why Krill Oil Is a Smarter Choice Than Fish Oil

Krill oil comes from krill, a tiny shrimp-like creature that lives in the pristine waters of Antarctica. Krill feed on plankton floating on the ocean’s surface.

Krill oil contains high amounts of beneficial omega-3 fats EPA and DHA. But what sets it apart from fish oil is that its omega-3 fats are in a much more absorbable form that’s ready to be used by your body.

Here’s another reason to choose krill oil: it’s rich in antioxidants, meaning it will not become rancid inside your body and will not lead to free radical formation. One of the most powerful antioxidants in krill oil is astaxanthin, a unique marine-source flavonoid that bonds with EPA and DHA, making them more bioavailable.

Also, because krill is at the bottom of the food chain, it does not accumulate mercury, unlike large fish species.

There Is NO Danger of Overharvesting Krill

Because krill makes up the diet of whales, seals, and other marine creatures, many people are concerned that consuming krill oil is equal to “stealing” the natural food of these animals.

But this is not true at all.

Krill is actually the largest biomass on Earth, so there is a very large stock of renewable krill for both natural predators and humans.

In addition, krill harvesting is one of the most well-regulated industries today. There is even a precautionary catch limit set to ensure that there will be no overharvesting.

These facts make it clear that if you’re choosing between krill oil and fish oil, krill oil is the smarter and superior choice.

Learn More About Fish Oil and Krill Oil Through This Infographic

I have outlined the distinguishable characteristics of both krill and fish oil in my Fish Oil versus Krill Oil: 
The Cold, Hard Facts infographic. Here, you will discover:

  • The origins and nutritional content of krill oil and fish oil
  • Why krill oil harvesting is safer and more sustainable
  • How fish oil and krill oil production impact the environment

Hopefully, this informative infographic will help you decide which omega-3 supplement will suit you better.

A Word of Warning on Krill Oil and Fish Oil Supplements

Remember, though, that fish oil and krill oil are both not recommended for some people, such as those with a shellfish or seafood allergy. Those who have a blood coagulation disorder or are taking blood thinners should also refrain from taking these supplements.

The bottom line: always consult your healthcare provider before taking any type of supplement.


i http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/effects.asp

Source: mercola.com

 

 

Why You Need More Than Cardio.


Story at-a-glance

  • Cardio exercises alone are not enough to truly optimize your health. it is helpful to incorporate a form of strength training into your exercise regimen.
  • The surest way to build and maintain more muscle mass as you age is through strength training. Working your muscles is also key to firing up your metabolism.
  • Your muscles follow the ‘use it or lose it’ principle and profoundly impacts how many calories your body burns, how efficient you are at exercise, and how well your body will make it through the aging process.
  • There are easy ways to add strength training into your life without feeling like you have to force yourself at the gym to hoist the kind of barbells that professional weight lifters do.
    • If you are doing any form of exercise regularly, you are ahead of the pack, making a huge investment in your health guaranteed to produce sizable returns. A recent Gallup Poll indicated that only 14 percent of Americans exercise regularly.
    • So if you are among the 14 percent who do, you should applaud yourself for regularly investing in your health and fitness. Of those who do exercise, many do have a form of cardio they love—whether that’s hiking, jogging, walking, cycling or something else. But cardiovascular training alone is not enough.
    • Have you ever considered that you might be stuck in a cardio rut, ignoring your muscle strengthening needs? Cardio exercise is essential to keep your heart healthy and to maintain a healthy weight; but in order to be truly fit, you need also to incorporate a form of strength training.
    • Cardio is excellent for geting your heart fit, but if you also want to tone your body and improve your body composition—particularly, your ratio of fat to muscle—you need to work your muscles.
    • The surest way to build more muscle mass and retain muscle mass as you age is through strength training. Here’s why you shouldn’t overlook strength training and how you can start adding to your weekly exercise regimen.
    • When you increase the amount of muscle you have, not only do you boost your resting metabolic rate, you also strengthen and tone your body, protect your bones and joints as you age, and your body will be more effective and efficient at various everyday activities as well.
    • Your muscles obey the “use it or lose it” principle, and they have a profound impact in how many calories your body burns, how efficient you are at exercise, and how well your body will be protected as you age. Muscle can burn three to five times more calories at rest than fat does. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn—even when you’re staying perfectly still.
    • You can burn calories when you’re sitting at your desk, relaxing at home, or even sleeping. It’s called your resting metabolic rate (RMR), and you can increase it. You don’t need to invest much time, working with weights for as little as 20 minutes, two to three days a week, can be enough to crank up your resting metabolic rate over time.
    • Here are some easy ways to add strength training into your life without feeling like you have to go to the gym and hoist the type of big barbells that professional weight lifters do.
    • Jump up off the couch during commercials (even if you’ve DVR’d the show!) and use that time to do your strength training routine with hand weights or resistance bands. You will be surprised how much of your hour-long program is actually commercial ads, and the number of exercises and combinations you can do is almost endless!  In a one-hour TV show, you’ll probably get time to work each muscle group. Try a few shoulder presses, bicep curls, tricep presses, squats and lunges.
    • Shake up your strength training routine a bit, and work out with a kettlebell. A kettlebell is a cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. The kettlebell allows for ballistic movements and swinging motions you can’t do with traditional weights. Kettlebells can help you develop power in the hips, legs and glutes, the power generator for all athletics—when you jump, kick, throw or swing. You can ALSO work on strength, flexibility and stability for your back and your shoulders. The kettlebell also helps develop your wrist and forearm strength. Plus, your heart rate goes up.  It’s a trend worth trying, and if you do, it will likely produce a huge return on your investment.
    • Get outside or even go to the playground. Do pull-ups or use those monkey bars like you did when you were a child. You also can do squats and lunges anywhere, and there are many variations of both exercises. Try holding your body into the position of a chair, with your legs forming a 90-degree angle while your back is against the wall and hold a wall sit for a minute. Your legs will be burning. Try some calf raises in place, or walking lunges across the room.
    • Push-ups are also a powerful muscle-building exercise. Depending on your current strength level, start with five, and increase your personal number of reps each time. Go to failure, meaning continue to perform as many push-ups as you can until your muscles are exhausted. Start on your knees if needed and work up to doing them on your toes.  Pushups will work the shoulders, chest, arms and even abs (remember to keep them contracted with a long spine.)
    • The plank is positively one of my favorite core body exercises. A  BODY Plank works your abdominals and back muscles, improves your balance and requires no equipment, just your own body weight. With a strong core, you can improve your posture and sit and stand straighter, walk taller, and flatten your abs. A strong core is also necessary for power and stability in almost every sport or exercise, and can help reduce lower back pain.
    • Start in the standard push-up position: face down, hands shoulder-width apart directly below the shoulders, and balancing on your toes with your abs contracted. (To modify, you can start on your forearms instead of your hands and/or drop your knees to the mat.) The most important thing is to keep your body straight from head to heels (or knees if modifying). Maintain the position for 15-30 seconds by engaging the abdominal muscles and holding the position, being mindful not to let your chest or low back sag. (This is where a mirror comes in handy to check your form.) The more your core muscles improve, the longer you will be able to hold this position. Gradually increase your time up to a minute or so. To increase the difficulty, try lifting one leg, creating a balance challenge.
    • Plyometrics are explosive movements that develop muscular power. Plyometrics involve jumping exercises and it’s an efficient way to train your body because it encourages muscle development while it burns calories and raises your heart rate. Plyometrics also can significantly increase your endurance and speed with its explosive movement. Some plyometric exercises you can do include jumping rope, skipping, high knees, squat jumps, split lunge jumps and box jumps.
    • The various machines at gyms each feature a different muscle group and easily explain with diagrams how to use the equipment. Since a machine takes your muscles in a fixed path of movement, it’s often a safe place for beginners to start and help them get familiar with muscle’s range of motion. You also can ask people who work at your gym to show you how to properly use a piece of equipment. Don’t be discouraged by the unfamiliar. With a little sense of adventure and a desire for a strong body, you can be going from machine to machine in no time—working all of your muscle groups.
    • Most gyms have a variety of strength training classes, such as sculpting or conditioning classes; circuit classes; and boot camp workouts. In these classes you may use free weights, body bars, hand weights, medicine balls, resistance bands or other equipment. I will attest to the fact that this is how I do my strength training. I am addicted to teaching group fitness!
    • hand-weights

·         Use Hand Weights at Home.

·         Swing a Kettlebell.

·         Use Your Own Body Weight.

·         Try Plyometrics.

·         Try the Machines at the Gym.

·         Try a Strength Class at the Gym or a DVD.

As you strength train you will naturally get stronger and will find you are progressively increasing the weight you lift. You also will be amazed at how regular strength training can make you more conditioned and prepared for your cardio workouts. Your body will NOW crank out a few extra calories even when you are sitting at your desk!

Source: mercola.com

 

Would You Opt for an Exercise Pill?


Story at-a-glance

  • Research shows that mice injected with a certain protein underwent physiological changes usually associated with exercise, including increased metabolic rates and weight loss. This may lay the foundation for an “exercise pill”
  • According to recent statistics, 79 percent of American adults aged 18 and over do not meet federal recommendations for physical activity for either aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise
  • Compelling and ever-mounting research shows that the ideal form of exercise is short bursts of high intensity exercise. This can dramatically cut down the time you spend exercising while reaping greater results
  • For optimal health, you’d also be wise to incorporate aerobic, strength training, core exercises and stretching, for a well-rounded fitness program
  • exer-pill

Exercise is a key factor in achieving optimal health; it’s particularly important for controlling your blood sugar and normalizing your insulin levels.

I often recommend viewing exercise as a drug that needs to be properly prescribed and “taken” at a proper dosage. When done correctly, exercise can oftentimes act as a substitute for some of the most common drugs used today for things like diabetes, heart disease and depression.

Alas, a side effect of our modern quick fix culture is that many still wish for the benefits of exercise to be delivered in the form of a pill, and researchers are actually hard at work trying to concoct such a thing…

In fact, as reported by the featured article in The Atlantic,1 researchers at the Scripps Institute in Florida suggest2 we are “closer than ever to attaining this goal.”

“They found3 that mice injected with a protein called REV-ERB underwent physiological changes usually associated with exercise, including increased metabolic rates and weight loss. Even obese, inactive mice experienced these changes,” the featured article states.

Americans Don’t Move Enough; Could a Pill Help?

While data from the US Census Bureau’s American Time Use Survey4 (cited by the featured article) shows that Americans report exercising about three times more today than 40 years ago, averaging about two hours of exercise per week, Americans still fall far short in terms of getting the physical activity required for weight maintenance and optimal health.

For example, according to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention5 (CDC), the majority—79 percent—of American adults aged 18 and over do not meet federal recommendations for physical activity for either aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise, which include getting:

  • At least 2½ hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
  • Muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups, twice or more per week

Similarly, of the 450,000 respondents participating in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual CDC phone survey of adults, only 52 percent said they meet the aerobic activity guideline, and only 29 percent reported meeting the muscle-strengthening activity recommendation. Disturbingly, as reported in a previous article in USA Today,6 other studies suggest Americans are even more sedentary than what these statistics show:

“Scientists with the National Cancer Institute, using actual motion sensors, found that fewer than five percent of adults in the USA get at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity physical activity in bouts of at least 10 minutes.” [Emphasis mine]

When severe lack of exercise is combined with an unhealthy high-carb, processed food diet, you’re bound to end up with excess body fat… Indeed, as of 2009, nearly 27 percent of the US population fell into the obese category. And in a shocking health report card published in September 2012, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health7 predicted that half of all American adults will be obese by 2030 if we keep going the way we are.

Clearly, a great many people struggle with weight issues. But to think that an “exercise pill” will be able to save you from the hassle of having to break a sweat is just as delusional as believing that swallowing a pill will solve your weight loss challenge.

There is simply no way a pill will be able to stimulate your muscle to provide the complex physiology they need to provide you with optimal health. Aside from not being able to achieve its goal, you would have to address the inevitable side effects from seeking to fool your body with a pill.

Don’t Fall for Delusional Fantasies…

The featured article gets you to spin thoughts about “what you could do with two extra hours per week,” were you able to just pop a pill instead of hitting the gym:

“Moreover, we would not need to shoulder the burden of guilt that many of us experience due to insufficient exercise levels. No longer would we feel compelled to avoid looking in the mirror in the morning or avert our eyes as we drive past a health club teeming with fit and trim exercise enthusiasts. Such guilt cannot be good for us, likely elevating the levels of stress hormones in our bloodstreams and undermining the self-confidence we depend on in so many other spheres of life,” The Atlantic writes.

To make good use of a modern acronym: LOL! The article paints an even more utopian picture (or perhaps dystopian, depending how you look at it), completely void of biological reality, when it states:

“Despite No Child Left Behind and other federal legislation that sought to focus school curricula on reading, writing, and arithmetic, school children all over the country are still spending precious hours exercising during recess and gym, instead of hunkered down over their textbooks augmenting their vocabularies. Thanks to the exercise pill, our children will be able to devote all their time and attention to the part of the body that matters most, above the shoulders.”

At this point, you would be excused for thinking that I must be quoting something out of the satirical paper The Onion… Yet many probably do think this way, and only need a tiny bit of encouragement to fall for the fantasy, hook, line, and sinker. But believe me; you simply cannot fool your body in the long term. Even if you were to overlook the potential for side effects (and they will surely exist), would an exercise pill really work?

Taking a Pill Is Not Exercise

A pill may mimic a specific biological effect that exercise produces, such as increasing your metabolic rate, but it will never provide you with ALL the health effects exercise provides, which go far beyond any one effect. Exercise has countless effects on your body — not only on your muscle fibers but also on your brain, your immune system, your ability to fight cancerdepressionand much more. To “mimic” all of these benefits you would literally need handfuls of different pills — and even then they could never reproduce the synergistic benefits that exercise has on your body and mind.

For example, research published in the journal Cell Metabolism8 shows that when healthy but inactive people exercise intensely, even if the exercise is brief, it produces an immediate change in their DNA. While the underlying genetic code in the muscle remains unchanged, exercise causes important structural and chemical changes to the DNA molecules within the muscles, and this contraction-induced gene activation appears to be early events leading to the genetic reprogramming of muscle for strength, and to the structural and metabolic benefits of exercise.

Several of the genes affected by an acute bout of exercise are genes involved in fat metabolism. Specifically, the study suggests that when you exercise, your body almost immediately experiences genetic activation that increases the production of fat-busting proteins. Previous studies have identified and measured a wide variety of biochemical changes that occur during exercise. More than 20 different metabolites9 are affected by exercise, including compounds that help you burn calories and fat, and compounds that help stabilize your blood sugar. These biochemical changes create a positive feedback loop.

Will an exercise pill be able to affect all those metabolites?

Furthermore, one of the key health benefits of exercise is that it helps normalize your glucose and insulin levels by optimizing insulin receptor sensitivity. This is perhaps the most important factor for optimizing your overall health and preventing chronic disease. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend multiple hours in the gym each week. The most recent research shows that relatively short bursts of intense exercise—even if done only a total of a few minutes each week—can deliver many of the health and fitness benefits you get from doing hours of conventional exercise.

How to Optimize Results from Your Exercise

High intensity interval training (HIIT), which is a core component of my Peak Fitness program, is key for reaping optimal results from exercise. There are many versions of HIIT, but the core premise involves maximum exertion followed by a quick rest period for a set of intervals. My Peak Fitness routine uses a set of eight 30-second sprints, each followed by 90 seconds of recovery, as taught by Phil Campbell who is a pioneer in this field. Also, while I typically recommend using an elliptical machine or recumbent bike, it can be performed with virtually any type of exercise; with or without equipment.

Ideally, you’ll want to perform these exercises two or three times a week for a total of four minutes of intense exertion, especially if you are not doing strength training. You do not need to do them more often than that however. In fact, doing it more frequently than two or three times a week can be counterproductive, as your body needs to recover between sessions. If you want to do more, focus on making sure you’re really pushing yourself as hard as you can during those two or three weekly sessions, rather than increasing the frequency.

Intensity is indeed KEY for reaping all the benefits interval training can offer. To perform it correctly, you’ll want to raise your heart rate to your anaerobic threshold, and to do that, you have to give it your all for those 20 to 30 seconds. Here’s a summary of what a typical interval routine might look like using an elliptical:

  • Warm up for three minutes
  • Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. You should be gasping for breath and feel like you couldn’t possibly go on another few seconds. It is better to use lower resistance and higher repetitions to increase your heart rate
  • Recover for 90 seconds, still moving, but at slower pace and decreased resistance
  • Repeat the high intensity exercise and recovery seven more times

Aim for a Well-Rounded Fitness Program

While high intensity interval exercises accomplish greater benefits in a fraction of the time compared to slow, endurance-type exercises like jogging, I do not recommend limiting yourself to a few minutes of exercise per week. If that’s all you have for now, then by all means, do what you can. But ideally, to truly optimize your health, you’ll want to strive for a varied and well-rounded fitness program that incorporates other types of exercise as well. Without variety, your body will quickly adapt. As a general rule, as soon as an exercise becomes easy to complete, you need to increase the intensity and/or try another exercise to keep challenging your body.

I recommend incorporating the following types of exercise into your program:

  1. Interval (Anaerobic) Training: This is when you alternate short bursts of high-intensity exercise with gentle recovery periods.
  2. Strength Training: Rounding out your exercise program with a 1-set strength training routine will ensure that you’re really optimizing the possible health benefits of a regular exercise program. You can also “up” the intensity by slowing it down. For more information about using super slow weight training as a form of high intensity interval exercise, please see my interview with Dr. Doug McGuff.
  3. Avoid Sitting for More Than 10 Minutes. This is not intuitively obvious but emerging evidence clearly shows that even highly fit people who exceed the expert exercise recommendations are headed for premature death if they sit for long periods of time. My interview with NASA scientist Dr. Joan Vernikos goes into great detail why this is so, and what you can do about it. Personally, I usually set my timer for 10 minutes while sitting, and then stand up and do one legged squats, jump squats or lunges when the timer goes off. The key is that you need to be moving all day long, even in non-exercise activities.
  4. Core Exercises: Your body has 29 core muscles located mostly in your back, abdomen and pelvis. This group of muscles provides the foundation for movement throughout your entire body, and strengthening them can help protect and support your back, make your spine and body less prone to injury and help you gain greater balance and stability.

Foundation Training, created by Dr. Eric Goodman, is an integral first step of a larger program he calls “Modern Moveology,” which consists of a catalog of exercises. Postural exercises such as those taught in Foundation Training are critical not just for properly supporting your frame during daily activities, they also retrain your body so you can safely perform high-intensity exercises without risking injury.

Exercise programs like Pilates and yoga are also great for strengthening your core muscles, as are specific exercises you can learn from a personal trainer.

  1. Stretching: My favorite type of stretching is active isolated stretches developed by Aaron Mattes. With Active Isolated Stretching, you hold each stretch for only two seconds, which works with your body’s natural physiological makeup to improve circulation and increase the elasticity of muscle joints. This technique also allows your body to repair itself and prepare for daily activity. You can also use devices like the Power Plate to help you stretch.

Are You Stuck with Stubborn Pounds Despite Exercising?

As mentioned earlier, one of the key health benefits of exercise is that it helps normalize your glucose and insulin levels by optimizing insulin receptor sensitivity. This is perhaps the most important factor for optimizing your overall health and preventing chronic disease. A pill might be able to mimic a specific biological effect that exercise produces, such as increasing your metabolic rate, but it will never provide you with ALL the health effects exercise provides, as the sum is greater than the individual parts.

So, while I often recommend viewing exercise as a drug that needs to be properly prescribed and “taken” at a proper dosage, I stand firmly against any notion that you might be able to forgo physical exercise by taking a pill.

If you’re in the minority of people who exercise regularly yet are still struggling with your weight, it’s probably due to your diet. Diet actually accounts for 80 percent of the health benefits you reap from a healthy lifestyle, so along with exercising, make sure to address your diet as well.

Source: mercola.com

Dementia risk linked with blood sugar level.


A joint Group Health–University of Washington (UW) study in theNew England Journal of Medicinehas found that higher blood sugar levels are associated with higher dementia risk, even among people who do not have diabetes.

Image

Blood sugar levels averaged over a five-year period were associated with rising risks for developing dementia, in this report about more than 2,000 Group Health patients age 65 and older in the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study.

For example, in people without diabetes, risk for dementia was 18 percent higher for people with an average glucose level of 115 milligrams per deciliter compared to those with an average glucose level of 100 mg/dl. And in people with diabetes, whose blood sugar levels are generally higher, dementia risk was 40 percent higher for people with an average glucose level of 190 mg/dl compared to those with an average glucose level of 160 mg/dl.

“The most interesting finding was that every incrementally higher glucose level was associated with a higher risk of dementia in people who did not have diabetes,” said first author Paul K. Crane, MD, MPH, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the UW School of Medicine, Adjunct Associate Professor of Health Services at the UW School of Public Health, and Affiliate Investigator at Group Health Research Institute. “There was no threshold value for lower glucose values where risk leveled off.”

“One major strength of this research is that it is based on the ACT study, a longitudinal cohort study, where we follow people for many years as they lead their lives,” said senior author Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute who also has appointments at the UW Schools of Medicine and Public Health. “We combine information from people’s research visits every other year with data from their visits to Group Health providers whenever they receive care. And this gave us an average of 17 blood sugar measurements per person: very rich data.”

These measurements included blood glucose (some fasting, some not) and glycated hemoglobin (also known as HbA1c). Blood sugar levels rise and fall in peaks and valleys throughout each day, but glycated hemoglobin doesn’t vary as much over short intervals. Combining glucose and glycated hemoglobin measures into a composite measure required special statistical techniques, which Drs. Crane and Larson’s co-authors Rod Walker, MS, a biostatistician, and Rebecca Hubbard, PhD, an associate investigator, both from Group Health Research Institute, had developed. (Dr. Hubbard is also an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at the UW School of Public Health.) These sophisticated statistical models required specialized data on the relationships between glycated hemoglobin and glucose levels, and they used data generated by co-author David M. Nathan, MD, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

So should people try to eat less sugar—or foods with a lower “glycemic index”? Not necessarily, Dr. Crane said: “Your body turns your food into glucose, so your blood sugar levels depend not only on what you eat but also on your individual metabolism: how your body handles your food.” But he does suggest that taking walks couldn’t hurt: The ACT study has previously linked physical activity to later onset and reduced risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Furthermore, Dr. Crane emphasized that these results come from an observational study: “What we found was that people with higher levels of glucose had a higher risk of dementia, on average, than did people with lower levels of glucose,” he said. “While that is interesting and important, we have no data to suggest that people who make changes to lower their glucose improve their dementia risk. Those data would have to come from future studies with different study designs.”

More research is planned to delve into various possible mechanisms for the relationship between blood sugar and dementia. “This work is increasingly relevant,” Dr. Crane said, “because of the worldwide epidemics of dementia, obesity, and diabetes.”

Source: http://machineslikeus.com