Thursday, August 11, 2011

DrMirkin's eZine: Endurance sports prolong lives, more . . .

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
August 14, 2011

Ultra Endurance Sports Prolong Lives

Tour de France Cyclists live 17 percent longer than
people who do not participate in strenuous exercise
(International Journal of Sports Medicine, August 2011).
The authors studied 834 cyclists who rode in the Tour de
France between the years 1930 and 1964. These cyclists
train by riding intensely for more than five hours a day,
and then race more than 100 miles a day for three weeks.
The cyclists in the study lived an average of 81.5 years,
compared to 73.5 years for the general population. This
supports other studies that show that endurance exercisers
live more than 12 years longer than those who do not exercise
(British Journal of Sports Medicine, March 2008)
The leading theory is that exercise prolongs life
and prevents heart attacks and cancers by causing the body
to dispose of free radicals with increased production of
antioxidants. Exercise speeds up the reactions that turn food
into energy, so exercise actually increases the production of
free radicals. The body responds to this increased production
of free radicals during exercise by producing tremendous
amounts of antioxidants that sop up the free radicals and
render them harmless.
Most cells in your body have mitochondria, very small
energy-producing chambers that number anywhere from a few to
thousands in each cell. As you age, mitochondria in muscles
decrease in number and size. This interferes with your body's
ability to burn sugar efficiently for energy, so more free
radicals are produced. Anything that increases the number and
size of mitochondria helps to protect you from free radicals.
Exercising helps to prevent loss of mitochondria and even
makes them larger (Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews,
April, 2007).
* Mitochondria convert molecules from the sugar in your food
into other molecules to release energy to power most cells in
your body.
* They do this by shuffling electrons from one molecule to
* As electrons are shuffled to produce energy, extra
electrons accumulate inside mitochondria.
* Free electrons must attach immediately to something.
* They can attach to hydrogen atoms to form water and become
harmless, or
* They can attach to oxygen atoms to form free radicals that
can damage cells.
* Free radicals attach to your DNA (genetic material) in
cells to damage the cells, causing them to act differently
than they are supposed to.
* The DNA in cells tells the cell what to do.
* If your DNA is functioning properly, it directs the cell to
divide a certain number of times and then die, called
* If your DNA is damaged, the cells can become defective and
go on to live forever to become cancers.
* Cells with damaged DNA also can cause heart attacks and
other life-shortening conditions.


Reports from

Knee replacements

Hot tubs, whirlpools and swimming pools



Dear Dr. Mirkin: Can overweight diabetic men regain their

Yes! Overweight diabetics significantly improved their
ability to make love (erectile function, sexual desire, and
urinary symptoms) after they lost five to ten percent of
their weight in eight weeks (Journal of Sexual Medicine,
August 07, 2011). One year later, they were still able to
make love. At the same time, they lowered their cholesterol,
blood sugar, insulin sensitivity, and lipid profile, with
* A LOW CALORIE DIET: Liquid meal-replacement consumed twice
daily and one small, nutritionally balanced meal, providing a
total energy of about 900 kcal/day.
reduce energy intake by about 600 kcal/day
All diabetics should: *lose weight; *exercise; *get
blood vitamin D3 levels above 75 nmol/L; *avoid red meat,
sugared drinks and all foods with added sugar; and *eat large
amounts of fruits and vegetables.
More than 50 percent of men over 50 have difficulty
maintaining an erection, and 80 percent of men over 75 years
are impotent. Diabetes is twice as likely to cause impotence
as obesity, smoking, or high blood pressure (Archives of
Internal Medicine, Jan 23, 2006).


Dear Dr. Mirkin: Can chewing food a long time help you eat

Chewing food 40 times instead of the average of 15
times causes people to eat 12 percent fewer calories,
according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition (published online July 20, 2011). Those who chewed
their food longer had lower blood levels of ghrelin, a
hormone that makes you hungry; and higher levels of CCK, a
hormone that reduces hunger. However, they had the same blood
sugar and insulin levels.
A 12 percent reduction of calories could cause a
person to lose almost 25 pounds in a year.


Recipe of the Week:

Gabe's Famous Eggplant, Bean and Tomato Casserole

You'll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in
The Good Food Book


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