It is a common misconception that the FDA requires dietary supplements for weight loss to be approved for use before they can be marketed. Many people also think that a "clinical trial" must be ran on the product before it can be legally sold. This is not only untrue, but quite naive. Given all the herbal weight loss supplements on the market the idea that actual clinical trials have been conducted for each and every one of them is just silly. Equally silly is the idea that the FDA would automatically hold a clinical trial as evidence of effectiveness.
Milk is one of the easiest way for bodybuilders and strength athletes (or athletes in general) to get protein. Other dairy products, such as the popular Greek yogurt, are great for protein as well. Those folks who are lactose intolerant may lament not having this resource. This leads to a common question: Whey comes from milk, so can I use it if I'm lactose intolerant?
Continue Reading » I'm Lactose Intolerant, Can I Still Use Whey Protein?
About the article in Forbes and the lawsuits over the protein supplements, first, big surprise, second, let's get some things straight.
The video below goes very deep into the lore of whey protein, including the way it is perceived as a nutraceutical which should be "taken" instead of consumed. The case is made that whey is a food and not a medicine, and should and can be treated as such.
Myths about the danger of whey and many other details are discussed, including warnings about consuming too many "liquid calories," the anabolic window of opportunity, and nutrient timing in general. Of special interest may be the discussion concerning strength trainees with poor appetites. How does whey fit in with this problem?
Continue Reading » Consuming Whey Protein and Poor Appetite in Strength Training
Continue Reading » What is Acesulfame Potassium Doing in Whey Protein Products?
There are some companies that sell "Sweet Dairy Whey Powder" in bulk to consumers. This is very cheap, by the pound, compared to the typical whey protein supplement powders most strength training or bodybuilding trainees buy, and the price of whey protein has gone way up in the last year or so. The price of sweet dairy whey powder ranges from 3 to 4 bucks a pound, but it's possible to get it as low as one dollar a pound, if you buy in bulk. These powders are not flavored, and, despite the word sweet, are not sweetened.
Continue Reading » What is Sweet Dairy Whey and Can I Use it as a Whey Protein Supplement?
Continue Reading » The Fine Line Between Dietary Supplements and Energy Drinks
Whey Protein Processing, Terms and Definitions: Countering the Misconceptions About Whey Protein Including 'Raw' Whey
By Eric Troy
There is so much obsession, confusion, and supplement company shenanigans concerning whey protein products, I thought that what everyone needed was a thorough overview of the whey manufacturing process. That is, the whey powder manufacturing process.
Supplement companies use our ignorance against us: our ignorance of what whey is, how it is processed, and what all the terms attached to it mean.
As a continuance of my assault on the misleading ideas about "natural" food, this is yet another follow-up to a series of blog posts where I discuss chemicals in foods and the concept of natural. In the last one I talked about the difference between chemicals as nutrients and chemicals as pharmacologic agents. I explained that some chemicals in food do have a physiological affect beyond their basic biological functions. Others, such as compounds in herbals used for medicinal purposes simply have no function as a "nutrient." All of these, though, have one thing in common and that is summed up by saying that "The poison OR the remedy is in the DOSE." This is important in helping us recognize the difference between nutrition information and alternative medicine information.
By Ken Adams, M.D. and Scott E. Conard, M.D.
Sources and Physiologic Functions
Liver, kidney, muscle meats, eggs, cheese, milk, and fish are excellent sources of vitamin B12. It is not found in plant foods or in yeast. Fermented foods such as soy sauce, tempeh, and miso, and fortified foods such as soymilk are also good sources of this vitamin.
Continue Reading » Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamine) - When, How, and Why to Supplement
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 ripoffs 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
Many people, with or without any scientific evidence, are firmly convinced that the particular foods they eat have a direct influence on their mood, anxiety level and alertness. Perhaps the most well known manifestation of this belief is that certain foods make us sleepy, particularly those with high levels of the amino acid tryptophan. Turkey, at least in the US, is thought to cause sleepiness due to it's high level of tryptophan and this is said to explain why we are so desperate for a nap after Thanksgiving dinner.
Continue Reading » Tryptophan Supplements: Do They Work and Are They Dangerous?
Compared to several other metal ions with similar chemical properties, zinc is relatively harmless. Only exposure to high doses has toxic effects, making acute zinc intoxication a rare event. In addition to acute intoxication, long-term, high-dose zinc supplementation interferes with the uptake of copper. Hence, many of its toxic effects are in fact due to copper deficiency. While systemic homeostasis and efficient regulatory mechanisms on the cellular level generally prevent the uptake of cytotoxic doses of exogenous zinc, endogenous zinc plays a significant role in cytotoxic events in single cells. Here, zinc influences apoptosis by acting on several molecular regulators of programmed cell death, including caspases and proteins from the Bcl and Bax families. One organ where zinc is prominently involved in cell death is the brain, and cytotoxicity in consequence of ischemia or trauma involves the accumulation of free zinc. Rather than being a toxic metal ion, zinc is an essential trace element. Whereas intoxication by excessive exposure is rare, zinc deficiency is widespread and has a detrimental impact on growth, neuronal development, and immunity, and in severe cases its consequences are lethal. Zinc deficiency caused by malnutrition and foods with low bioavailability, aging, certain diseases, or deregulated homeostasis is a far more common risk to human health than intoxication.
Continue Reading » The Impact of Zinc on Human Health: The Essential Toxin
The Antioxidant Role of Glutathione and N-Acetyl-Cysteine Supplements and Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress
An increase in exercise intensity is one of the many ways in which oxidative stress and free radical production has been shown to increase inside our cells. Effective regulation of the cellular balance between oxidation and antioxidation is important when considering cellular function and DNA integrity as well as the signal transduction of gene expression. Many pathological states, such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease have been shown to be related to the redox state of cells. In an attempt to minimize the onset of oxidative stress, supplementation with various known antioxidants has been suggested. Glutathione and N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) are antioxidants which are quite popular for their ability to minimize oxidative stress and the downstream negative effects thought to be associated with oxidative stress.