Friday, September 19, 2008

What's with Caffiene?

In humans, caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks enjoy great popularity. Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but unlike most others, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions. In North America, 90% of adults consume caffeine daily.[5] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists caffeine as a "Multiple Purpose Generally Recognized as Safe Food Substance".[6] One 2008 study suggested that women consuming 200 milligrams or more of caffeine per day had about twice the miscarriage risk as women who had none, while another 2008 study found no link between miscarriage and caffeine consumption.[7] Caffeine is also a common ingredient of soft drinks such as cola, originally prepared from kola nuts. Soft drinks typically contain about 10 to 50 milligrams of caffeine per serving. By contrast, energy drinks such as Red Bull contain as much as 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving. The caffeine in these drinks either originates from the ingredients used or is an additive derived from the product of decaffeination or from chemical synthesis. Guarana, a prime ingredient of energy drinks, contains large amounts of caffeine with small amounts of theobromine and theophylline in a naturally occurring slow-release excipient.[20]
Chocolate derived from cocoa contains a small amount of caffeine. The weak stimulant effect of chocolate may be due to a combination of theobromine and theophylline as well as caffeine.[21] Chocolate contains too little of these compounds for a reasonable serving to create effects in humans that are on par with coffee. A typical 28-gram serving of a milk chocolate bar has about as much caffeine as a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
In recent years various manufacturers have begun putting caffeine into tablets, claiming that using caffeine of pharmaceutical quality improves mental alertness and is used by students that are studying for their exams. It is also used by people who work or drive for long hours. [24]
Effects when taken in moderation
The precise amount of caffeine necessary to produce effects varies from person to person depending on body size and degree of tolerance to caffeine. It takes less than an hour for caffeine to begin affecting the body and a mild dose wears off in three to four hours.[34] Consumption of caffeine does not eliminate the need for sleep: it only temporarily reduces the sensation of being tired.
With these effects, caffeine is an ergogenic: increasing the capacity for mental or physical labor. A study conducted in 1979 showed a 7% increase in distance cycled over a period of two hours in subjects who consumed caffeine compared to control subjects.[55] Other studies attained much more dramatic results; one particular study of trained runners showed a 44% increase in "race-pace" endurance, as well as a 51% increase in cycling endurance, after a dosage of 9 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight.[56] The extensive boost shown in the runners is not an isolated case; additional studies have reported similar effects. Another study found 5.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body mass resulted in subjects cycling 29% longer during high intensity circuits.[57]
Caffeine tolerance develops very quickly, especially among heavy coffee and energy drink consumers. Complete tolerance to sleep disruption effects of caffeine develops after consuming 400 mg of caffeine 3 times a day for 7 days. Complete tolerance to subjective effects of caffeine was observed to develop after consuming 300 mg 3 times per day for 18 days, and possibly even earlier.[68] In another experiment, complete tolerance of caffeine was observed when the subject consumed 750–1200 mg per day while incomplete tolerance to caffeine has been observed in those that consume more average doses of caffeine.[69]

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dangerous Chemicals in our Bottled Liquids?

My brother sent me this article. Its long, but very interesting. I know I buy a lot of bottled water and we all have it in our homes. Not something I think I will stress about too much, but still....take it for what its worth :)

By Will Dunham

ROCKVILLE, Maryland (Reuters) - A major study links a chemical widely used in plastic products, including baby bottles, to health problems in humans like heart disease and diabetes, but U.S. regulators said on Tuesday they still believe it is safe.

The chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, is commonly used in plastic food and beverage containers and in the coating of food cans.

Until now, environmental and consumer activists who have questioned the safety of BPA have relied on animal studies.

But the study by British researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that among 1,455 U.S. adults, those with the highest levels of BPA were more likely to have heart disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities than those with the lowest levels.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials said they would review the new findings, which were not yet published when the agency issued a draft conclusion in August that BPA is safe at current exposure levels.

"We have confidence in the data that we've looked at and the data that we're relying on to say that the margin of safety is adequate," FDA official Laura Tarantino said at a meeting of experts advising the agency on whether it made the right call.

"There are things you can do if you choose to reduce your level of bisphenol A," Tarantino said. "But we have not recommended that anyone change their habits or change their use of any of these products because right now we don't have the evidence in front of us to suggest that people need to."

Panel chairman Martin Philbert declined to say what the committee's next move would be.

BPA is used to make polycarbonate plastic, a clear shatter-resistant material in products ranging from baby bottles to medical devices.

BPA can mimic the hormone estrogen in the body.


People can consume BPA when it leaches out of the plastic into baby formula, water or food inside a container. Some retailers and manufacturers are moving away from products with BPA. Canadian officials have concluded BPA was harmful.

Steven Hentges of the American Chemistry Council, an industry group, said the study's design did not allow for anyone to conclude BPA causes heart disease and diabetes.

"On the other hand, though, bisphenol A has been very intensively studied in a very large number of laboratory animal studies. And the weight of evidence from those studies ... continues to support the safe use of products containing bisphenol A," he said in a telephone interview.

The British researchers, who acknowledged their findings are not proof that the chemical is causing the harm, analyzed urine samples from a U.S. government health survey of adults ages 18-74 representative of the U.S. population.

The 25 percent of people with the highest levels of bisphenol A in their bodies were more than twice as likely to have heart disease, including heart attacks or type 2 diabetes, compared to the 25 percent with the lowest levels.

At the FDA panel meeting, several scientists and activists said the FDA ignored animal studies finding health concerns and some called for the chemical to be banned in food containers.

Democratic U.S. Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, who heads the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said the FDA has "focused myopically on industry-funded research."

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, released a letter he wrote to FDA Commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach asking why the agency has not appointed a safety panel to review BPA.

Tarantino said nothing was ignored but industry-funded studies finding no harm were important in the conclusions. The panel is expected to present its advice to the FDA next month.

Tarantino, head of the FDA's office of food additive safety, said there is talk of government scientists doing their own BPA safety studies, but that could take years to conduct.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sacrifice Brings Reward

Often times I tell my clients that I want you to be able to live your life and still enjoy the foods you love. This is true, but you also need to understand that the greatest reward doesn't come without some sort of sacrifice. True sacrifice will bring you loads more joy in the results. PLUS you will get there faster. Helen Keller once said, "Many persons have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." I want everyone to succeed. And if you ask me, your healthy if definitely a worthy purpose. So today and everyday, I want you to ask yourself this; What am I sacrificing to reach my goal today?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Key to True Success

Most people admire and respect strong individuals who have won great success by manifesting will power and self discipline. People in all walks of life, who with sheer will power, self discipline and ambition have improved their life, learned new skills, overcame difficulties and hardships, reduced their weight, rose high in their chosen field or advanced on the spiritual path.
The truth is that everyone can reach high levels of will power and self-discipline through a practical method of training. These inner power are not reserved for a few special people.
Will power and self discipline are two of the most important and useful inner powers in everyone's life, and have always been considered as essential tools for success in all areas of life. They can be learned and developed like any other skill, yet, in spite of this, only few take any steps to develop and strengthen them in a systematic way.
What is self discipline? It is the rejection of instant gratification in favor of something better. It is the giving up of instant pleasure and satisfaction for a higher and better goal.
It manifests as the ability to stick to actions, thoughts and behavior, which lead to improvement and success. Self-discipline is self-control, and it manifests in spiritual, mental, emotional and physical discipline.
The benefits of self control are unlimited. You can honestly attain anything you want if you can learn to be the captain of your own ship.