Amino acids are the individual building blocks of proteins. Proteins are a fundamental ingredient of all forms of life on Earth. They fuel and direct biochemical actions and provide the structure of our bodies. Proteins can act as cell to cell signalers (hormones and cytokines), molecular transporters, enzymes, neurotransmitters and a host of other functions. In fact, all major structural and functional actions in the body are carried out by proteins, including the passing of genetic information though DNA and RNA. When most of us think of protein, however we think of muscle. Muscle is the largest reservoir of protein in our bodies and the second largest store of energy, next to adipose tissue (fat). The muscle tissue of other animals is the largest source of protein in our diets.
Continue Reading » What Are Amino Acids?
Fish and seafood lovers everywhere will already hold juicy, flavorful swordfish in high esteem. If you have never tried this fish, you are in for a real treat. The following recipes offer three different possibilities for cooking your swordfish steaks and each recipe is easy enough for beginners.
Continue Reading » How To Cook Swordfish Steaks - 3 Great Recipes For Seared Swordfish
The Effect of Ingested Macronutrients on Post-Meal (Postprandial) Ghrelin Response: A Critical Review
Ghrelin is a powerful orexigenic gut hormone with growth hormone releasing activity. It plays a pivotal role for long-term energy balance and short-term food intake. It is also recognized as a potent signal for meal initiation. Ghrelin levels rise sharply before feeding onset, and are strongly suppressed by food ingestion. Postprandial ghrelin response is totally macronutrient specific in normal weight subjects, but is rather independent of macronutrient composition in obese. In rodents and lean individuals, isoenergetic meals of different macronutrient content suppress ghrelin to a variable extent. Carbohydrate appears to be the most effective macronutrient for ghrelin suppression, because of its rapid absorption and insulin-secreting effect. Protein induces prolonged ghrelin suppression and is considered to be the most satiating macronutrient. Fat, on the other hand, exhibits rather weak and insufficient ghrelin-suppressing capacity. The principal mediators involved in meal-induced ghrelin regulation are glucose, insulin, gastrointestinal hormones released in the postabsorptive phase, vagal activity, gastric emptying rate, and postprandial alterations in intestinal osmolarity.
A recent investigation on protein drinks has been causing waves of concern or even alarm to ripple through the fitness and bodybuilding world. Supplement companies are up in arms and people are wondering whether they should stop drinking protein shakes after the magazine said they tested 15 protein drinks for heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury) and 3 of them came up above the proposed safe limits…
Continue Reading » Heavy Metals Found In Protein Shakes: Should You Stop Drinking Them?
There is no long-term advantage for the strength trainee to taking expensive free form amino acid powders over simply ingesting whole proteins. However, if you do buy an amino acid powder (which I don't suggest) you expect it to contain single free form aminos acids, right?
Never trust the front label. Check the ingredients. The supplement rippoffs I am referring to are so-called amino acid capsules that actually contain overpriced whey or casein protein. Not free form single aminos but whole proteins compressed into a pill or put in a capsule. They will typically list an amino acid profile very prominently on the back of the label. This profile is nothing more than the typical amino acid yields of the whey or casein sources they use. When whey is used it is usually a mixture of whey protein concentrate or a mixture of concentrate and even cheaper non concentrated whey. Some may contain concentrates and isolates.
Continue Reading » Dietary Supplement Ripoffs to Avoid: Amino Acid Pills
Soyfoods have long been prized among vegetarians for both their high protein content and versatility. Soybeans differ markedly in macronutrient content from other legumes, being much higher in fat and protein, and lower in carbohydrate. In recent years however, soyfoods and specific soybean constituents, especially isoflavones, have been the subject of an impressive amount of research. Nearly 2,000 soy-related papers are published annually. This research has focused primarily on the benefits that soyfoods may provide independent of their nutrient content. There is particular interest in the role that soyfoods have in reducing risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. However, the estrogen-like effects of isoflavones observed in animal studies have also raised concerns about potential harmful effects of soyfood consumption. This review addresses questions related to soy and chronic disease risk, provides recommendations for optimal intakes, and discusses potential contraindications. As reviewed, the evidence indicates that, with the exception of those individuals allergic to soy protein, soyfoods can play a beneficial role in the diets of vegetarians. Concerns about adverse effects are not supported by the clinical or epidemiologic literature. Based on the soy intake associated with health benefits in the epidemiologic studies and the benefits noted in clinical trials, optimal adult soy intake would appear to be between two and four servings per day.
Continue Reading » The Role Of Soy In Vegetarian Diets
Recent trends in weight loss diets have led to a substantial increase in protein intake by individuals. As a result, the safety of habitually consuming dietary protein in excess of recommended intakes has been questioned. In particular, there is concern that high protein intake may promote renal damage by chronically increasing glomerular pressure and hyperfiltration. There is, however, a serious question as to whether there is significant evidence to support this relationship in healthy individuals. In fact, some studies suggest that hyperfiltration, the purported mechanism for renal damage, is a normal adaptative mechanism that occurs in response to several physiological conditions. This paper reviews the available evidence that increased dietary protein intake is a health concern in terms of the potential to initiate or promote renal disease. While protein restriction may be appropriate for treatment of existing kidney disease, we find no significant evidence for a detrimental effect of high protein intakes on kidney function in healthy persons after centuries of a high protein Western diet.
Continue Reading » Dietary Protein and Kidney Function
Strength and bodybuilding trainees may have a new friend in the dairy industry. Well it's not new but it has only begun to be widely marketed in the US in the last few years. Greek Yogurt, introduced into the U.S. market in 2005. As of August, 2012 it has reached 30% of the U.S. refrigerated yogurt market.
Continue Reading » Greek Yogurt: Twice The Protein