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Ageless Forever Anti-Aging News Blog

Nitrate supplementation – ramp up the less well-known NO pathway to boost performance and health

 

Nitric oxide (NO) boosting “pre-workout” supplements based on L-arginine have been – and still are – quite popular among many fitness enthusiasts and athletes. While it’s true that arginine is a nitric oxide (NO) precursor and NO is a potent vasodilator [1, 2], most studies in healthy adults have not unequivocally supported the marketing hype that arginine supplementation increases muscle blood flow and/or performance [3-5]. In my previous article “The Arginine Paradox” I explained why.
 
In this article I will cover the less well known, albeit highly significant, NO generating process, the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway. This new NO producing pathway holds a lot of promise and supplements that target it will probably replace the current arginine based NO boosters in the near future[6, 7].
 
The nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway is especially interesting in that it not only has performance enhancing effects in healthy folks – as well as in people with risk factors – but also offers cardiovascular protection, regardless of baseline health status [7-10].
 
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Testosterone Treatment and Hormonophobia – Cardiovascular risk, the Media, and the Authorities

 
One of the most controversial and debated issue related to testosterone replacement therapy is its effects on cardiovascular risk and related clinical outcomes.
 
In this video presentation, Dr. Morgentaler clarifies misperceptions of testosterone replacement therapy and cardiovascular disease risk, which have created unwarranted concerns and distorted public discussion of testosterone replacement therapy as a medical treatment.
 
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Video Summary of Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Cardiovascular Risk

One of the most controversial and debated issue related to testosterone replacement therapy is its effects on cardiovascular risk and related clinical outcomes.
 
In the February 2015 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings a comprehensive medical review paper, written by Dr. Abraham Morgentaler and his coauthors of the Androgen Study Group – www.AndrogenStudyGroup.org - was published.[1]
 
The aim of the review was to analyze all available studies on testosterone replacement therapy and cardiovascular effects, and to clarify the grossly misleading conclusions from two recent studies that caused a tremendous media scare.
 
In this 8 minute video, Dr. Morgentaler presents the key results from this comprehensive analysis…
 
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Red Meat and Health - have we been blaming the wrong thing?

 
Frequent consumption of red meant and processed meats has been shown in population studies to be associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes [1-3]. It has also been suggested that eating meat increases all-cause mortality [4]. Hence, a high meat intake (regardless of its fat quantity and quality) is generally perceived to be unhealthy and something that should be avoided. 
 
However, although there are many studies documenting these associations, results are not always consistent and there are many important methodological issues which weaken the conclusions (more on that in a bit). In the same way as the putative health risks of red meat consumption is investigated, its documented health benefits (which I will cover below) are equally as important and must be given a fair chance in the establishment of dietary recommendations related to red meat consumption. 
 
In this article I will therefore cover both sides of the red meat debate, and after having taken all the available scientific data into consideration, present a more balanced view about the “meat is bad” dogma…
 
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The Arginine Paradox - do L-arginine based NO boosters really work?

 

Some of the most popular supplements today are the so called pre-workout nitric oxide (NO) boosters [1, 2]. These contain a panoply of ingredients, but one the main ones is arginine. The rationale goes that L-arginine is a nitric oxide (NO) precursor and NO is a potent vasodilator [3, 4]. Theoretically this would increase blood flow and nutrient/oxygen delivery to exercising muscles and thereby boost performance, as well as recovery. 
 
While it is true that L-arginine supplementation may be beneficial for various clinical populations (see below), studies in healthy adults have not unequivocally supported the marketing hype surrounding arginine supplementation and nitric oxide boosters [1, 5, 6]. Why? Let's take a look under the hood...
 
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Health Consequences of Subclinical Testosterone Deficiency - riskier than previously thought

 
In discussions about diagnosis and health consequences of hypogonadism, aka testosterone deficiency, the prime focus is given to testosterone levels and signs/symptoms.[1-3] However, emerging research has identified a less clinically evident gonadal dysfunction called “subclinical” hypogonadism (or “compensated” hypogonadism).[4, 5]
 
Subclinical hypogonadism is characterized by normal testosterone levels in the presence of elevated LH level. As testosterone levels are not markedly reduced in subclinical hypogonadism, intuitively one may think it does not confer negative health consequences.
 
However, a recent study by Corona et al., which specifically was conducted to investigate the potential health ramifications of subclinical hypogonadism, shows that it should not be neglected. Surprisingly, subclinical hypogonadism is associated with an almost 10-fold increased risk of cardiovascular mortality, which is comparable to that for overt hypogonadism! [6]
 
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Testosterone Therapy and Cardiovascular Risk - Advances and Controversies

One of the most debated issues related to testosterone therapy is its effects on cardiovascular risk and clinical events, like for example heart attack.
 
January 27th, 2015 a comprehensive medical review paper was published, addressing the controversial topic of testosterone therapy and cardiovascular risk.[65] It was written by the Androgen Study Group academicians and published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
 
Here I summarizes key conclusions from this milestone medical review.
 
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Dietary Guidelines on Fat Intake - has there ever been any evidence to support the low-fat recommendation?

In an effort to slash heart disease, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans [1] have since 1977 been urging people to: 
 
1. Reduce total fat consumption to 30% of total caloric intake.
 
2. Reduce saturated fat consumption to 10% of total energy intake.
 
Government issued dietary guidelines are highly authoritative and regarded by a majority as being backed by solid research. However, as it turns out, this is not the case… 
 
Dietary recommendations regarding intake of total and saturated fat are highly controversial, and the debate is heating up. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of six studies that were available 1977, when the first version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans was published, shows: [2]
 
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Testosterone, Mortality and Longevity

Population studies show that men with low or low-normal testosterone levels are at an increased risk of mortality compared to those with higher levels, and that cardiovascular disease accounts for the greater proportion of deaths in men with low testosterone.[1] 
 
Here I summarize a medical review paper which addressed the following two questions: [1]
 
1.  Is testosterone deficiency directly involved in the pathogenesis of these conditions or is it merely a biomarker of ill health and the severity of underlying disease processes?
 
2.  Does testosterone replacement therapy retard disease progression and ultimately enhance the clinical prognosis and survival?
 
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