Tag: Science

Recent important articles dealing with nutrition and health

I tweeted recently few posts in regards to nutrition and human health. According to one leading expert in the field, The field needs radical reform: “Some nutrition scientists and much of the public often consider epidemiologic associations of nutritional factors to represent causal effects that can inform public health policy and guidelines. However, the emerging picture of nutritional epidemiology is difficult to reconcile with good scientific principles.”

Another article discusses Food based dietary patterns and chronic disease prevention. Can specific foods provide health benefits? Will adopting a specific food pattern prevent major chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer? You can find answers from their text.

Both articles are worth reading to guide eating decisions.

Back to basics – Orienteering is good fun!

Orienteering is one of the best exercises one can imagine. Running in a forest with a map trying to find your way according to pre-defined locations puts both your legs and brain working. No step is similar than previous one and terrain is often quite demanding. Uphills and downhills and reading map and sometimes just running fast is best natural interval training that one can figure. Good thing also is that you do not need to be running with maximal effort but you can also enjoy nature, which is good and healthy for your body also according to science. These were some of the things I figured out also today when I was orienteering. Early summer was full of rowing on a same days as our weekly orienteering events happen, but now I am back to running in the forests with a map, and how great is that 🙂

Altitude training – Benefits for “normal” people

Many elite athletes go high up in the mountains to do some altitude training as hypoxia (reduced oxygen pressure in the air) may give some physiological gains on top of normal training at the sea level. They still do that even if science does not really support these ideas. Some say believing is everything, but it is likely that good training camp in a good terrain where you can devote all your efforts just to training and recovering explains most of the fitness gains due to high altitude training period.

However, hypoxia or altitude training may atually be more beneficial for us “normal”people, who are not training like elite athletes. Recent evidence to support these ideas comes from a study by Camacho-Cardenosa et al. who recently showed that high-intensity interval training under normobaric intermittent hypoxia for 12 weeks in overweight/obese women seems to be promising for reducing body fat content with a concomitant increase in muscle mass.

We have also already some two years ago reviewed the acute responses of exercise and hypoxia in a human body, and health benefits of living and being and training in altitude. Acute responses are summarized in the figure below, but check out also this table for studies showing health benefits in health and disease.

Source: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2016.00116/full

Are elite athletes best persons to talk about climate change?

I came across with a video by International Ski Federation where elite winter athletes talk about climate change. While it is indeed a very good idea to increase the awaraness of this phenomenon, which is very critical for the success of our planet, I also started to wonder whether elite (winter) sport athletes are really the best persons to talk about preventing climate change.

This is because they are the persons that travel the most with airplanes all over the world to reach their training and competition destinations. Airplane travel is an important source of pollution promoting climate change, as discussed in detail for instance in this scientific paper, or by New York Times story (with lots of good links), which might be a bit easier to follow.

Unfortunately the video is a typical – lot of talk, no actions – promotion video. Hopefully International Ski Federation thinks also actions next time. In the meantime everyone can take their own actions for the matter by traveling being physically active rather than taking a car or airplane.


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The views expressed on this website do not neccasarily reflect the views of University of Turku or other institutions or organisations Dr. Heinonen represents.