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High blood pressure not so rare …

If you eat meat, how do you like it? Rare, medium rare, or well done? Your answer, in conjunction with the frequency you partake in meat dishes, could indicate your risk level for high blood pressure.

In a new US study of the eating habits of over 100,000 people, researchers found that those who ate grilled or roasted beef, chicken or fish 15 or more times a month had a 17% higher chance of developing high blood pressure than infrequent meat eaters. They also found that those who ate well-cooked meat had a 15% higher risk of hypertension than those who preferred rare or medium-rare meat.

Lead study author Gang Liu PhD, of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, said, “Our findings suggest that it may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure if you don’t eat these foods cooked well done and avoid the use of open-flame and/or high-temperature cooking methods, including grilling/barbecuing and broiling.”

Exercise prescription at a molecular level

New research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology has precisely pinpointed the genes that are affected by different types of exercise, leading researchers to predict a future of highly individualised exercise prescription.

Using high tech sequencing equipment, the team from Arizona State University found 48 unique genes affected by aerobic activity, and 348 unique genes affected by resistance training. The different types of exercise made the different genes more or less powerful.

The findings shed light on the molecular changes that exercise causes to muscle tissue following different types of exercise.

Senior study author Dr Matt Huentelman said, “We hope to leverage these findings into more precise exercise recommendations in the future – ones that are tailored to an individual not only based on their physiological needs but also based on their molecular response to exercise.”

Replacing 2 molecules may massively boost endurance

In a joint Australian and American study, researchers found that replacing two molecules in the body of ageing mice significantly increased their capacity for physical activity.

As we age, blood flow to tissues and organs declines, which affects our ability to move and exercise. The researchers from Australia’s UNSW and Harvard Medical School found that treating mice with the NAD+ booster NMN and increasing levels of hydrogen sulphide reversed these effects of ageing, increasing the rodents’ physical endurance by more than 60%.

The treatment mimicked the effects of exercise, but when exercise itself was also added to the equation, the mice’s physical endurance increased further still: “With exercise, the effect is even more dramatic. We saw 32-month-old mice, roughly equivalent to a 90-year-old human, receiving the combination of molecules for four weeks run, on average, twice as far as untreated mice. Mice treated only with NMN alone ran 1.6 times further than untreated mice.”

The researchers, led by Dr David Sinclair, are hopeful that the findings could lead to a range of health and well-being benefits, including increased mobility in older people, improved athletic performance and the prevention of ageing-associated diseases such as stroke, liver failure, cardiac arrest and dementia.

Big brekkie paves way for fat loss and glucose control

Research from Israel has found that obese people with type 2 diabetes who ate a large breakfast and then a smaller lunch and dinner lost significant amounts of weight and improved their blood glucose levels.

For the study, one group of obese adults with type 2 diabetes ate a large breakfast, medium-sized lunch and small evening meal for three months, and another group ate six small meals and three snacks daily.

The researchers, led by Dr Daniela Jakubowicz, a professor of medicine at Tel Aviv University, found that the big breakfasters lost an average 5kg of weight over the three months, whereas the six-mealers gained an average 1.4kg.

The big breakfasters reported reduced hunger and carb cravings, while the six-meal group noted increases in both respects.

Both groups experienced reductions in their glucose levels, though the big breakfast group’s reduction was significantly greater than the other group.

“A diet with adequate meal timing and frequency has a pivotal role in glucose control and weight loss,” Jakubowicz concluded.


Produced in conjunction with Australian Fitness Network.