Thursday, September 29, 2011

DrMirkin's eZine: How exercise affects brain, enlarged prostates, more . . .

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
October 2, 2011

Exercise Increases Mitochondria in Brain Cells

Exercise increases the size and number of mitochondria
in the brains of mice (American Journal of Physiology,
September 2011). The mice ran on a treadmill for an hour a
day, six days a week, for eight weeks.
This could explain how exercise improves memory, treats
depression, and makes people feel better and helps them to think
more clearly. Until now, the leading theory to explain how
exercise improves memory and treats depression was that exercise
causes the brain to release endorphins, morphine-like compounds
that can improve mood (Journal of Applied Physiology May 1982).
However, endorphins would not explain the improvement in memory
and brain function associated with a regular exercise program.
Mitochondria are tiny chambers in cells that turn food
into energy more efficiently than any other process in your
body. Scientists have known for years that exercise enlarges
and increases the number of mitochondria in muscle cells, to
increase strength, speed and endurance; but this is the first
research paper to offer a plausible explanation why exercise
improves memory and relieves depression.
The increase in brain mitochondria could also explain
how training for sports increases endurance by making the brain
resistant to fatigue. It also could explain how exercise
treats mental disorders, delays aging, and improves certain
types of nerve damage.


Reports from

Support stockings

Chronic vaginitis

Aspirin before exercise


Enlarged Prostate? Saw Palmetto Doesn't Help

The largest and longest trial ever shows that saw palmetto
is no more effective than a placebo in treating men's lower
urinary tract symptoms (JAMA, September 27, 2011). The supplement
did not improve quality of life, nighttime urination, sexual
function or incontinence. Men spend an average of $30/month, totaling
more than $700 million a year for this ineffective supplement.
SYMPTOMS OF ENLARGED PROSTATE: Men with enlargement of
the prostate can suffer from difficulty starting their stream,
dribbling, burning on urination, inability to empty the bladder,
getting up at night frequently to urinate, and burning, pain or
urgency when the bladder is full.
INCIDENCE: Fifty percent of North American men suffer
symptoms of prostate enlargement by age 50, and 75 percent by
age 80.
CAUSE: Nobody really knows what causes a prostate to
enlarge and block urinary flow. The REDUCE trial showed that
inflammation is probably the leading cause (European Urology,
December, 2008). Inflammation means that your immunity, which is
supposed to kill germs, is attacking your own body to cause pain
and swelling. Many doctors feel that a hidden infection causes
prostate enlargement, but nobody has consistently found any
specific germ in the prostates of men with prostate enlargement.
Some men are cured by taking long-term antibiotics, but many men
are not. As of today, many men continue to have symptoms in
spite of having taken the best treatments available today.
TREATMENTS: Muscle relaxants help a little but cure
nothing and lose their effect as soon as the patient stops
taking them. Some men benefit from surgical procedures, but many
men continue to have symptoms after surgery.
A review of 23 studies shows that long-term use of
finasteride (which blocks dihydrotestosterone) improves urinary
tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia, and
reduces further prostate growth (Cochrane Database of Systematic
Reviews, October, 2010). This treatment is based on the theory
that the prostate converts the male hormone, testosterone, to
dihydrotestosterone, which causes the prostate to grow.


Big Tobacco Hid Cancer Studies

In 1998, a legal settlement forced the release of dozens
of previously unexamined tobacco industry documents that
revealed that the tobacco industry knew of the potential lung
cancer risk from radioactivity from tobacco as early as the late
1950s. This week, a study from UCLA shows that more than forty
years ago, tobacco companies deliberately prevented the release
of findings about radioactivity in tobacco (Nicotine & Tobacco
Research, published online September 27, 2011).
Hrayr S. Karagueuzian, the first author of the study
states: "They knew that the cigarette smoke was radioactive way
back then and that it could potentially result in cancer, and
they deliberately kept that information under wraps,"
Science Daily (September 28, 2011) interviewed the
authors and quoted them as saying: "Radioactive polonium-210 was
found in all commercially available domestic and foreign
cigarette brands. It is absorbed by tobacco leaves through
naturally occurring radon gas in the atmosphere and through
high-phosphate chemical fertilizers used by tobacco growers. The
substance is eventually inhaled by smokers into the lungs. The
estimated radiation absorbed dose by regular smokers over a 20-
or 25-year period equaled 40 to 50 rads, which is equal to 120
to 138 deaths per 1,000 regular smokers over a 25-year period."
"Despite the potential risk of lung cancer, tobacco
companies declined to adopt a technique discovered in 1959 and
then another developed in 1980 that could have helped eliminate
polonium-210 from tobacco, the researchers said. The 1980
technique, known as an acid-wash, was found to be highly
effective in removing the radioisotope from tobacco plants,
where it forms a water-insoluble complex with the sticky, hair-
like structures called trichomes that cover the leaves."
"The industry was concerned that the acid media would
ionize the nicotine, making it more difficult to be absorbed
into the brains of smokers and depriving them of that instant
nicotine rush that fuels their addiction."


Recipe of the Week:

Red Pepper Stew

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


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