Health News April 2018


The Safety of Marijuana May Depend on the User

A federal advisory panel from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has summarized marijuana’s pros and cons, but most research is still difficult due to federal restrictions. Some of the items mentioned in the panel include: A reduction in chronic pain, the promotion of sleep, an increased risk of traffic accidents, little to no risk of death from overdose, heightened risk for developing schizophrenia or having a heart attack, reduced birth weight when used by expectant mothers, no rise in SIDS deaths or crib death risk, the possibility of triggering chronic bronchitis, and no higher risk than normal for lung cancer. More research is needed, but for now, it’s clear that many of the risks associated with marijuana use fall on the user to make responsible decisions.


Keep Your Heart Pumping by Pumping Iron

Did you know that one in three Americans suffer from metabolic syndrome? Millions are at risk of developing this potentially crippling disorder. New research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that the answer is one we are all familiar with, however: Exercise. One hour of resistance training per week, with or without cardio, can reduce your risk of developing metabolic syndrome. While the study focused primarily on men, this is important news for women as well. Participants followed the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, which suggests strength or resistance training for all major muscle groups 2 or more times a week. It also suggests 500 metabolic equivalent minutes of aerobic exercise per week. The study found that up to an hour of resistance training per week can cut your risk levels by 29 percent.


Steroid Use May Harm Cardiovascular Performance

According to research from Massachusetts General Hospital, which has been published in the journal Circulation, long-term steroid use could cause “impairments in heart function” which will ultimately reduce the heart’s ability to perform properly. These impairments can prevent the heart from pumping blood effectively or the heart may be unable to relax like it should, and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease may develop. The researchers compared 140 male weightlifters against each other: 86 were steroid users, while 54 were non-users. The heart’s main pumping chamber was much stronger in the non-user group. “Strong associations” between coronary artery disease and steroid use were also discovered, as long-term use of steroids typically indicated larger amounts of plaque buildup in the arteries. Higher blood pressure was also seen in the steroid user group.


Briefly Catching You Up on Steroid History

The history of anabolic steroids is a long and complicated story. The father of anabolic steroid research was Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard, who discovered that testicular extracts could increase muscle mass, strength, and sex drive. His experiments ran from the 1870s to the 1890s. In 1935, testosterone was isolated. However, it wasn’t until the World Weightlifting Championships in Vienna in 1954 that the first reported use of steroids occurred. By 1960, athletes were open about steroid use. Testing for steroids first occurred in 1976 at the Montreal Olympics. In 1983, at the Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela, scientists unveiled an effective test for detecting steroids. In 1990, the US Congress passed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act and Major League Baseball banned steroids shortly afterwards. Random drug testing began in 2004. Today, most steroid users are non-athletes. They are active adults who want to appear more athletic and muscular, and they have easy access to legal testosterone from many countries.

What’s in Store for Next Week from Fitness Pulse

As we move into next week, our focus will be on training . All of us here at XP Labs know that our readers have a variety of needs, so our next issue of Fitness Pulse has a little something for everyone. Come back next week to learn more about these remarkable training studies:

  • How to use the “Goldilocks Principle” to Get Your Training Just Right
  • What Kind of Impact Do Supersets and Tri-Sets Have on Recovery?
  • Blood Flow Restriction After Exercise May Aid Recovery
  • To Do More, You’ve Got to Take a Little Pause!

As always, thanks for stopping by. If you’re interested in giving your body the best, healthiest nutrition at the gym while speeding up your gains and pushing past plateaus, our ISO XP Whey Protein Isolate formula is the perfect solution. Exclusively from XP Labs, it’s bursting with amino acids and made with only the highest-quality New Zealand grass-fed whey. Try it – your body will thank you for it!

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