Apologies for the late posting of this newsletter.
GUT BACTERIA AND SWEETENERS (Idea Fitness Journal 2015)
A new study shows that the widespread use of artificial sweeteners in drinks and food may cause certain gut bacteria to induce glucose intolerance and metabolic disease, both significant markers for obesity and diabetes.
Long promoted as aids to weight loss and diabetes prevention, artificial sweeteners may actually affect the composition and function of your gut’s microorganisms, disturbing their balance and hastening metabolic changes.
Researchers have long puzzled over why noncaloric artificial sweeteners do not seem to assist in weight loss, and some studies have suggested they may even have an opposite effect. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, were able to show that artificial sweeteners, even though sugar-free, have a direct effect on the body’s ability to utilize glucose. Glucose intolerance—generally thought to occur when the body cannot cope with large amounts of sugar in the diet—is the first step on the path to metabolic syndrome and adult-onset diabetes.
Research testing with human subjects involved looking at data collected from the Personalized Nutrition Project, the largest human trial to date to look at the connection between nutrition and microbiota. Here, they uncovered a significant association linking self-reported consumption of artificial sweeteners, personal configurations of gut bacteria and the propensity for glucose intolerance. They next conducted a controlled experiment, asking a group of volunteers who did not generally eat or drink artificially sweetened foods to consume them for a week and then undergo tests of their glucose levels as well as their gut microbiota composition.
The findings showed that many—but not all—of the volunteers had begun to develop glucose intolerance after just 1 week of artificial-sweetener consumption. The composition of their gut microbiota explained the difference: The researchers discovered two different populations of human gut bacteria: one that induced glucose intolerance when exposed to the sweeteners, the second that had no effect. It is believed certain bacteria in the guts of those who developed glucose intolerance reacted to the chemical sweeteners by secreting substances that then provoked an inflammatory response similar to sugar overdose, promoting changes in the body’s ability to utilize sugar.
“Our relationship with our own individual mix of gut bacteria is a huge factor in determining how the food we eat affects us. Especially intriguing is the link between use of artificial sweeteners—through the bacteria in our guts—to a tendency to develop the very disorders they were designed to prevent.
Note from DM: It is important to know that any processed food that tastes sweet will contain either some form of sugar or artificial sweeteners, both of which should be avoided. Read product labels carefully; you will be surprised at how frequently sweeteners are used in almost all processed foods, even those that do not taste sweet (i.e. ketchup, mustard, beef jerky, salad dressing, cold cuts).
HIP PAIN (from ACE Certified 2016)
Hip pain is a common problem for sedentary and non-sedentary individuals. Chronic pain is a sign that there is irritation or injury at a site. There are a multitude of conditions that can cause hip pain, from trochanteric bursitis to osteoarthritis. The great news is that movement is the panacea for many of these conditions.
Get a Medical Diagnosis – Though chronic hip pain is frequently improved through movement training, other causes of hip pain can be caused by serious injury or unassociated with musculoskeletal tissue. A doctor’s visit can rule out conditions that require medical intervention. If the diagnosis is musculoskeletal, you and your trainer can proceed with movement training and appropriate corrective exercise. Here are three common causes of hip pain:
- Chronic Sitting – The average American sits 13 hours a day. This staggering amount of inactivity causes an imbalance of the hip musculature. The hip flexors remain in a shortened position, while the glutes and deep hip rotators remain elongated. Add to that chronic dehydration and the result is tissue that more closely resembles beef jerky than healthy muscle tissue. This tissue lacks the necessary flexibility and elasticity to allow for smooth and efficient movement. It tears more easily and becomes overstressed more easily.
- Strength Imbalance – A strength imbalance is not the same as tightness or inelasticity. A strength imbalance occurs most often when one’s exercise regimen is consistent and unvaried. Runners are an excellent example of this type of athlete. The repetition of the same movement without variation builds strength in some muscles, while neglecting others. This imbalance puts an unnatural amount of strain on those muscles, resulting in overuse injury. This type of injury is often found in the pelvic complex.
- Skeletal Imbalance – Here, skeletal imbalance refers to the uneven stature or movement pattern that many clients demonstrate, which can be caused by so many things, including old injuries and leg-length discrepancies. When movements are not even or balanced bilaterally, one side will be the victim of added pressure, tissue friction or workload. These clients often fall victim to conditions such as bursitis or piriformis syndrome.
Fortunately, the fix for many of these hip issues can be found in movement training.