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While the world runs away with lightening fast progress in the fields of sports medicine, sports science and sports performance and recovery nutrition, this is the kind of lousy, unscientific advice (see picture below) that our cricketers dish out to their juniors. And, to think that the Indian cricket board is the richest board and some cricketers feature amongst the richest of athletes in the world.

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Imagine for a moment, that I came out with a book on how to win the world cup (of cricket)! I’d be a laughing stock in cricketing circles, wouldn’t I? However, the other way around is – most often than not – allowed. People in the fitness – sports world (athletes, fitness models and bodybuilders-strength athletes) are allowed to dispense unscientific and sometimes, even downright wrong advice on nutrition.

Keith Baar, PhD, a researcher of muscle physiology at the University of California, says, ‘everyone thinks that they are an expert in fitness if they are fit.’ Well, ain’t that the truth?! Interesting to note here that if you happen to don a visible set of six-pack abdominals, you are on your way to becoming a ‘guru’. Whatever you say, will be taken as gospel…

In effect, Dhoni says here that you can eat anything – provided it is during the first half of the day! According to him, ‘burning it off’ is all that matters! Whatever happened to the nutrients you need (as a sports person) to perform and to recover?! I feel sorry for gullible fans of his, who also happen to be budding cricketers and therefore, likely to slurp up every piece of (such!) advice that he dishes out…

If you were to argue that he is just talking about what he does, well, this quote of his is included in the THE OFFICIAL BCCI CRICKETER’S HANDBOOK, © 2017 GoSports Foundation. So, it is likely to be followed to the letter by his followers.

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I am sure you have seen advertisements (if you are in India) of this famous Bollywood actress having lost tons of weight using this amazing supplement containing G. cambogia). For those in the US, you must remember the Melissa McCarthy talking about her use of the magic pill on The Ellen Degeneres Show (http://www.fatfighterblogs.com/melissa-mccarthy-weight-los…/). So it is really that effective, as is claimed in the long, winding and apparently quite convincing article that goes with it?

Well, here’s my take it… Commercial products containing G. cambogia catapulted onto the market and have received considerable positive and negative media attention. It’s popularity and notoriety is confirmed by the more than 11 million links (2015) displayed when entering the search term ‘Garcinia cambogia‘ on Google®. Perhaps its most positive (and negative) connotation was with the television personality Dr Mehmet Oz. Dr Oz has been quoted as saying that G. cambogia is the “Holy Grail of Weight-Loss”. However, he was later reprimanded for such health claims by a senate subcomittee in the USA (2014). He was also subsequently sued (along with supplements manufacturer Lebrada) for such health claims (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Dr-Oz-sued-weight-loss-supplem…). There are some who fleetingly describe G. cambogia as one of ‘Dr Oz’s three biggest weight-loss lies’. It is evident that there is uncertainty about the use of this plant especially as more information becomes available.

SCIENCE

In scientific literature, the evidence that Garcinia cambogia causes weight loss, is lacking: Let us have a look at a few studies. Garcinia Cambogia Our Verdict

Here are a few examples:

  1. Heymsfield et al. carried out the first ever randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess G. cambogia for its alleged weight loss effects. Study subjects were between 18–65 years of age, with a BMI of between 27 and 38 kg/m2 and otherwise healthy. The study duration was 12 weeks. 135 patients were shortlisted and randomly assigned to receive 1,000 mg of G. cambogia extract or a placebo 3 times daily 30 minutes prior to meals; all were encouraged to eat a high-fibre, low-energy diet (1,200 kcal/day) and maintain their usual physical activity. The main outcomes used were changes in body weight and fat mass. The mean ± S.D. weight loss was 3.2 ± 3.3 kg for the treatment group compared with 4.1 ± 3.9 kg for the placebo group (p = 0.14). The mean ± S.D. reduction in fat mass was 1.44% ± 2.15% for the treatment group and 2.16% ± 2.06% for the placebo group (p = 0.08).  In effect, the researchers concluded that G. cambogia did not increase weight or fat loss beyond placebo use.
  2. Mattes and Bormann, in a study published in 2000, report the effects of G. cambogia on appetite, weight, and body composition. The study participants received 800 mg of G. cambogia or a placebo 3 times daily 30–60 minutes prior to meals in a double-blind manner and were instructed to eat a specific diet of 1,200 kcal/ day for 12 weeks. The investigators concluded that while G. cambogia does not appear to be an efficacious appetite suppressant, it may aid in weight loss. However, there were major shortcomings in the study: the average body fat loss was 4.1% in the treatment group and 3.0% in the placebo group, (not a statistically significant difference!).Furthermore, a power analysis was not performed, and only women who completed the study were analysed, which may have produced results that overstate the potential for weight loss with G. cambogia use and do not apply to men.
  3. In a 2003 double-blind RCT, by Hayamizu et al, talks about 44 study participants who were randomly assigned to receive either 555.75 mg of G. cambogia (60% HCA; Nippon Shinyaku, Ltd., Kyoto, Japan) or a placebo 3 times daily 30 minutes before meals for 12 weeks in a double-blind manner and were required to follow a diet restricted to 2,250 kcal/day for men and 1,800 kcal/day for women OR recieve a placebo! The primary endpoint was visceral fat accumulation, and the secondary endpoints included various body indices. Although this study s concluded that G. cambogia may aid in reducing visceral fat accumulation, a power analysis was not performed, and the actual values for weight loss were unclear.
  4. Kim et al. in a ‘double-blind RCT published in 2011 concluded that G. cambogia extract and G. max leaves failed to promote weight loss (or lower total cholesterol concentrations in overweight individuals). Eighty-six volunteers 20–60 years of age with a BMI of 23–29 kg/m2 were randomly assigned to a daily use of either 2,000 mg of G. cambogia, 2,000 mg of Glycine max (soybean) leaves or a placebo), with each administered in 2 equally divided doses in the morning and evening for 10 weeks. The study participants were instructed to maintain their habitual diet. None of the results (from any group) showed differences of statistical significance. The mean ± S.E. change in body fat was 0.67% ± 0.22% in the G. cambogia group, –0.16% ± 0.24% in the G. max group, and 1.39% ± 0.42% in the placebo group (p < 0.05 for each active treatment versus placebo use). The mean ± S.E. change in weight was 0.65 ± 0.43 kg in the G. cambogia group, –0.18 ± 0.30 kg in the G. max group, and 0.68 ± 0.34 kg in the placebo group.

For more evidence, look up ‘Garcinia cambogia for weight loss by Stacy L. Haber et al., 2018

PICTURE CITATIONS SOURCE:  A comprehensive scientific overview of Garcina cambogia. Semwal et al., 2015

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:

The weight-loss inducing ability of Garcinia cambogia HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN beyond doubt. Also, more recently, there have been concerns raised about the safety of its use for weight / fat loss (esp., on long-term use or in combination with other drugs). So, in effect, IT DOESN’T DO MUCH BUT CAUSES HARM.

In my view, CALORIE DEFICIT (EATING LESS, if you want a nice and easy term), is the best darn method to lose weight (use caffeine, if you struggle with appetite suppression). And, in any case, none of these ‘weight loss pills’ – Garcinia, green tea or the likes – will ever work in the absence of a calorie deficit.

 


ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST!

Every time someone is diagnosed with diabetes, there is, typically, a sense of disbelief! However, did you know that your pancreas has been waging a losing battle against wrong food choices for an estimated 12 years*(!), before your diabetes is diagnosed?!

Diabetes.jpgThe beta-cells of pancreas – responsible for insulin secretion – go through different stages of worsening dysfunction over years. However, since the patient is usually asymptomatic (no symptoms and signs present), diabetes is difficult to diagnose clinically.

The earliest sign of something being wrong is insulin resistance. And, thus, prevention and reversal of diabetes should ideally focus on the earliest point of dysfunction, which is insulin resistance.

Unfortunately, because clinicians focus on blood sugar and not insulin as a standard test, crucial years are lost and treatment typically begins when the proverbial ‘horses have bolted’, making reversal difficult!

TAKE HOME MESSAGE

Typically, diabetes type 2 is diagnosed around 40 years of age. In India, this age is even younger. So, ideally, you need to start worrying about diabetes as you approach your 30s; get your insulin levels and insulin resistance checked.

*SOURCE: Vivian A. Fonseca | Diabetes Care. 2009


‘We do not realise that it (obesity) is the biggest problem that affects us…’ – Dr. Dee, CONDITIONING CLINIC

Obesity, some staggering numbers:

1. Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975
2. In 2016, (out of an estimated 7.2 to 7.4 billion people) more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese
3. In 2016, almost 40% of adults were overweight and 13% were obese
4. In 2016, off pre-school age children (under the age of 5 years), 41 million were overweight or obese
5. In 2016, in those aged 5-19, over 340 million were overweight or obese

Also, much of the world’s population lives in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.

In more recent times, central (abdominal / visceral) obesity has emerged as a separate risk for development of metabolic syndrome (Met Syn) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Of note, an estimated 17.7 million people die of CVD each year, world over; this equates to 31% of all deaths!

All this despite the fact that OBESITY IS TOTALLY PREVENTABLE!

Citations:

1. World Health Organisation. Obesity and overweight Fact sheet. Updated October 2017
2. Després and Lemieux. Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome NATURE, December 2006

 


Background

Over the years, much has been written about vinegar and its numerous proposed health benefits. Vinegar as a weight-loss aid was reported as early as the 1820s, and more recently, it has received attention for its possible role in lowering blood glucose levels.

Vinegar is derived from beer or wine—or, as in the case of apple cider vinegar (ACV), from cider—and is a result of bacterial fermentation that produces acetic acid.

Contrary to the popular perception that ingesting ACV on a regular basis provides health benefits, there seems to be little scientific evidence in favour of the alleged health benefits of apple cider vinegar (see illustration). Furthermore – although ACV is considered safe when consumed in reasonable amounts – ACV in large amounts or when used on a longer-term basis, either alone or in combination with particular medications, can cause health issues.

Is there Any Basis for the Alleged Health Benefits?

Let us have a look at some of the health benefits people usually associate ACV with and whether there indeed is any proof of the benefits of ingesting ACV.

  1. BOOSTS METABOLISM: Nope! Absolutely no evidence at all to support this claim
  2. LOWERS SUGAR LEVELS: ONLY in specific circumstances it does so. Also, ‘there is a lack of evidence at this time to recommend vinegar as an adjuvant treatment for diabetes (Kohn 2015)
  3. DETOXIFIES: Well-known bullshit! If your detox-filter organs (liver & kidneys) weren’t working, you’d know…
  4. CURES CANCER: Total bullshit! Acidic-alkaline lie! No evidence to support this…
  5. AIDS DENTAL HEALTH: WTF! Vinegar dissolves enamel. And, in any case, your mouth does not need sterilisation!
  6. AND THE ‘MOTHER’? Bacterial cellulose & acid-producing bacteria, no known benefits!

acv_scam

Any Downsides to Ingesting ACV?

Yes, there are! As opposed to the general perception of ACV being healthy, adverse effects have been reported with apple cider vinegar tablets, and with vinegar ingested daily for several years. The risk of hypoglycaemia (decreased blood sugar) or hypokalaemia (reduced potassium which can be potentially life-threatening) with long-term oral use, alone or when used concomitantly with (some) prescription / over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements, is a concern.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE

Stop wasting your money on ACV, it won’t do you any good. In fact, it may cause harm!

For more evidence-based, no-nonsense health advice, feel free to follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

References

Kohn, Jill Balla. 2015. “Is Vinegar an Effective Treatment for Glycemic Control or Weight Loss?” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 115 (7): 1188. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.05.010.


‘When the dust settles, when the admirers have left, you will have known, that it was always about ageing well, not just about how pretty you were, when young…

Step back, have a look and never lose sight of the bigger picture! …work towards ageing well!’

– Dr. Deepak S. Hiwale

ageing_well_lady.jpg

For more health and fitness quotes from me, feel free to CONNECT WITH ME on Good Reads:


Himalayan pink salt or iodised table salt, which one should you be using? Let’s have a look.

Watch the YouTube Video.

Himalayan Rock (Pink) Salt

Is a type of rock salt mined in Pakistan. It is rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium; also contains trace amounts of zinc, lead, chromium and copper. These micro elements are the reason for the alleged health benefits of switching over to Himalayan salt. It, however, contains insignificant amounts (or lacks) of iodine.

Iodised-table Salt

Is a sodium salt (NaCl) fortified with iodine. It lacks the trace elements that pink salt is rich in, but you could very well do with the iodine – especially if you live in geographical areas that are endemic for hypothyroidism.

Take Home Message

info_pink_iodised_salt1.jpgSo, although it’s rich in minerals crucial for optimal health, switching over completely to Himalayan pink salt – because of lack of iodine in it – may undermine your thyroid health. This becomes doubly important if you happen to live in a geographic area endemic for hypothyroid goitre (the Indian subcontinent). Best strategy is to use equal portions of iodized table and Himalayan salt in your food; this will ensure sufficient amounts of both iodine and important other minerals.

Services

For individualised fat-loss or metabolic diseases reversal lifestyle and nutrition packages, ageing-well and sports conditioning and nutrition, please feel free to get in touch with us. Please see below for services on offer.

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