Does Vitamin C Really Help with Colds? - Life Extension Blog

In 1970, “Vitamin C and the Common Cold,” by Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, Ph.D., was
published. The book’s premise—that consuming high amounts of vitamin C could reduce cold severity and duration—was widely embraced by the public, despite the opposition of some scientists and physicians. Vitamin C began to replace chicken soup as the treatment du jour for colds and influenza and is still used for this purpose more than four decades later.

About Linus Pauling

Dr. Pauling, who has been ranked among the 20 top scientists in history, was one of just four individuals who received more than one Nobel Prize and the only one to have received two unshared prizes. He studied physics under such luminaries as Niels Bohr and Erwin Schrödinger, and was a close friend of Robert Oppenheimer. Francis Crick called Linus Pauling “the father of molecular biology.”

Dr. Pauling was the originator of the term “orthomolecular medicine,” meaning “right molecule,” which refers to providing the body with substances normally found there to treat disease. His endeavors in this area, and his advocacy of nutritional supplements, remain controversial. Dr. Pauling suggested that flawed genetics may be behind a number of diseases. His support of nutritional supplements extended to the use of intravenous vitamin C as a cancer therapy, a treatment that has of late been associated with positive reports.

A Historical Look at Vitamin C Research

A number of studies have resulted in positive findings for a protective effect of vitamin C against cold incidence, duration or symptoms. One early large scale trial, reported in 1972 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found a significantly greater number of vitamin C-treated subjects who remained free of colds throughout the course of the trial in comparison with those who received a placebo.1 Those who received vitamin C had approximately 30% fewer total days of disability compared to the placebo group, and a decrease in symptoms during the course of the trial. A subsequent trial found superiority for 8 grams vitamin C given on the first day of illness in comparison with 4 grams.2 This was followed by a randomized trial that revealed a 25% decrease in days of confinement due to illness among subjects who received vitamin C compared with a placebo over a 15 week period.3

In 1974, Pauling authored a review published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that was critical of the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C. 4 Emphasizing the antiviral and antibacterial activity of the vitamin, he suggested that optimum intake for humans may be as high as 5,000 mg per day and remarked that the RDA at that time was adequate only to prevent scurvy. In another review, W. W. Rosser, M.D., noted that the vitamin C level of white blood cells declines dramatically during the first day of an upper respiratory infection and remains at that level for three days; however, 6 grams of vitamin C consumed at the beginning of the infection prevents this from occurring.5 Dr. Rosser asserted that, while studies involving less than a gram of the vitamin were “unconvincing,” doses of 4-6 grams per day reduce cold symptoms.

“In 1971, Linus Pauling carried out a meta-analysis of four placebo-controlled trials and concluded that it was highly unlikely that the decrease in the ‘integrated morbidity of the common cold’ in vitamin C groups was caused by chance alone,” observed Dr. Harri Hemilä in a review published in 1996. “However, widespread conviction that the vitamin has no proven effects on the common cold still remains. Three of the most influential reviews drawing this conclusion are considered in the present article […] these three reviews are shown to contain serious inaccuracies and shortcomings, making them unreliable sources on the topic.”6

In another publication, Dr. Hemilä observed that, “Karlowski et al, found a 17% decrease in the duration of cold episodes in the group administered vitamin C (6 g/day); however, they suggested that the decrease was entirely due to the placebo effect. In this article it will be shown that the placebo effect is not a valid explanation for the results of the Karlowski study, as it is inconsistent with their results.”7

In the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Dr Hemilä and Z. S. Herman reviewed an analysis conducted by Thomas Chalmers who  concluded there was no evidence for a beneficial effect for vitamin C in the treatment of the common cold. “Chalmers did not consider the amount of vitamin C used in the studies and included in his meta-analysis was a study in which only 0.025-0.05 grams/day of vitamin C was administered to the test subjects,” they observe. “For some studies Chalmers used values that are inconsistent with the original published results . . . The current notion that vitamin C has no effect on the common cold seems to be based in large part on a faulty review written two decades ago.”8

In 2017, Dr Hemilä reported that 148 animal studies indicated that vitamin C may prevent or decrease the symptoms of infections caused by viruses and bacteria.9 Controlled trials have uncovered a significant dose-response for up to 6 to 8 grams per day of the vitamin, suggesting a reason for an apparent lack of benefit in some studies that examined lower doses. “Given the consistent effect of vitamin C on the duration of colds, and its safety and low cost, it would be worthwhile for individual common cold patients to test whether therapeutic 8 grams/day vitamin C is beneficial for them,” he suggests. “Self-dosing of vitamin C must be started as soon as possible after the onset of common cold symptoms to be most effective." 

The Bottom Line

Is vitamin C helpful against colds? While the outcome and interpretation of studies are still in conflict in regard to whether the vitamin, when regularly supplemented in low amounts, can help prevent colds, a significant body of evidence exists in favor of an ability to decrease cold duration and symptoms when consumed in higher than average doses. Since most people’s intake of vitamin C is less than optimal, it can’t hurt to supplement with a prudent daily amount and to keep it on hand in the event cold or flu strikes you or a loved one. Zinc is a promising contender in the battle to prevent a full-blown cold from occurring during the first signs of a cold and to shorten the duration of a cold. 10


  1. Anderson TW et al. Can Med Assoc J. 1972 Sep 23;107(6):503-8.
  2. Anderson TW et al. Can Med Assoc J. 1974 Jul 6;111(1):31-6.
  3. Anderson TW et al. Can Med Assoc J. 1975 Apr 5;112(7):823-6.
  4. Pauling L. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1974 Nov;71(11):4442-6.
  5. Rosser WW. Can Fam Physician. 1974 Oct;20(10):113-7.
  6. Hemilä H. Nutrition. 1996 Nov-Dec;12(11-12):804-9.
  7. Hemilä H. J Clin Epidemiol. 1996 Oct;49(10):1079-84; discussion 1085, 1087.
  8. Hemilä H et al. J Am Coll Nutr. 1995 Apr;14(2):116-23.
  9. Hemilä H. Nutrients. 2017 Mar 29;9(4). 
  10. Hemilä H. J Royal Soc Medicine 2017 May;8(5).

The Health Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet - Life Extension Blog

Holli Lapes RD, LD/N

FANS Recap Part 2 - Session Highlight: The Health Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet

In July 2017, we attended the Annual Food and Nutrition Symposium (FANS), which is put forth by the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND) and provides science-based, cutting-edge educational sessions presented by recognized experts in nutrition. We heard from more than 30 national and international speakers providing over 20 hours of continuing education. The continuing education units (CEUs) are a requirement for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN or RD) for national registration and state licensure.

In our previous blog post covering the conference, we highlighted “Dietary Patterns that can Prevent and Control Diabetes” by Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D. In today’s blog post, we will highlight key points from the presentation by Angela Poff, Ph.D., discussing the therapeutic potential of ketosis.

How Do Ketones Work?

When there are periods of fasting and/or low circulating glucose levels, the body can use stored fat or dietary fat to make ketone bodies as an energy source. The brain is able to use ketones as an alternative source of energy but usually it prefers carbohydrates. The synthesis of ketones occurs mainly in the liver. The liver makes the ketones, but does not use them. Most fatty acids cannot cross the bloodbrain barrier. With evolution and periods of starvation, the human body was able to adapt by using ketones. Without ketone bodies, fatty acids, and an adequate amount of protein, muscle breakdown would occur because the body would pull amino acids from muscle protein.

How is Ketosis Induced?

A state of ketosis is induced by fasting, starvation, diabetes, or by following a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, high in fat, and usually a bit higher in protein than the average diet. People who are on a ketogenic diet may use Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) or other exogenous ketone supplements or precursors.

Why Follow a Ketogenic Diet?

Following a ketogenic diet can be helpful for blood sugar regulation and weight loss. Interestingly, Angela pointed out, that consuming exogenous ketones in and of themselves (without following a ketogenic diet) could lower glucose & insulin and increase insulin sensitivity. Angela explained that ketones are considered a “cleaner” energy source, meaning, less free radical production by providing superior energy efficiency. When other energy sources are metabolized to yield energy and ATP, free radicals are also produced. Ketones can beneficially alter gene expression by activating antioxidant genes and suppressing oxidative stress. Some research has even shown promise for cancer treatment. Ketones have also been shown to enhance mitochondrial function and induce mitochondrial biogenesis.

Ketogenic Diet for Brain Health

One of the first uses of a ketogenic diet was for reducing seizures resulting from epilepsy and other disorders. Now, research has shown that ketones can be helpful for a variety of neurological conditions. There has been some intriguing research on why a ketogenic diet should be followed in those with a brain tumor. Ketosis can influence Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is associated with learning and memory. Ketones such as MCT oil from coconut might be helpful as an alternative source of energy for Alzheimer’s patients, who have diminished glucose uptake to the brain, but more human studies are needed. A ketogenic diet has also shown promise for the management of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. For more information, visit The Charlie Foundation’s website for ketogenic therapy resources.

The Health Benefits of TMG: Homocysteine Reduction and More

Trimethylglycine (TMG), also known as betaine or glycine betaine, is a derivative of the amino acid glycine. The compound was originally discovered in sugar beets. It also occurs in such foods as quinoa, wheat bran and spinach. Trimethylglycine is made in the bodies of most organisms from the nutrient choline.

Clinical Significance of Trimethylglycine

Trimethylglycine is a methyl donor, which, by definition, donates methyl groups that consist of 1 carbon and 3 hydrogen atoms in a process known as methylation. Remethylation of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid formed from the essential amino acid methionine, can be accomplished via a pathway that involves TMG as a cofactor. (Another pathway requires B vitamins.) By lowering homocysteine levels, the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease can be reduced.

An early double-blind, cross-over study involving patients with elevated levels of homocystine (a metabolite of homocysteine) who received 3 grams oral betaine twice per day resulted in a significant decrease in average plasma homocysteine levels.1

Impact of TMG on Liver, Kidney and Heart Health

In a pilot study of patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), betaine given twice per day for one year improved liver enzymes, degree of steatosis, necroinflammatory grade and stage of fibrosis in the majority of patients.2 A subsequent randomized study in which NASH patients received 20 grams TMG daily or a placebo for a year resulted in a lower steatosis grade among those who received TMG.3

In a crossover trial involving chronic renal failure patients, treatment with TMG, folic acid and vitamin B6 for three months was associated with 18% lower homocysteine levels after a methionine load test than levels associated with folate and vitamin B6 alone.4 A randomized study involving obese men and women who consumed a low calorie diet for 12 weeks found that those who received 6 grams per day of TMG experienced an average reduction in plasma homocysteine of 8.76 micromoles per liter after four weeks and 7.93 micromoles per liter at 16 weeks in comparison with a placebo group.5

A study involving 90 patients undergoing coronary angiography found that the postmethionine load increase in total plasma homocysteine was inversely related to plasma betaine and the postmethionine load betaine.6 In a double-blind trial involving 308 men and postmenopausal women, fasting total homocysteine levels were inversely related to plasma TMG levels. Plasma TMG observed to increase following 12 weeks of folic acid supplementation.7 The authors concluded that “Plasma betaine concentration is a significant determinant of fasting total homocysteine concentrations in healthy humans.”

In a study involving four groups of healthy men and women who were given 1.5 grams (g), 3 g, or 6 g of TMG, or a placebo daily for six weeks, fasting plasma homocysteine levels among those who received TMG were a respective 12%, 15% and 20% lower at the end of the treatment period in comparison with the placebo.8 Methionine loading tests conducted after one day of supplementation resulted in increases in homocysteine that were 16%, 23% and 35% lower, respectively, than in the placebo group, and tests conducted at the end of the six-week period resulted in increases that were 23%, 30% and 40% lower. “Thus, doses of betaine in the range of dietary intake reduce fasting and postmethionine loading plasma homocysteine concentrations,” authors Margreet R. Olthof and colleagues conclude. “A betaine-rich diet might therefore lower cardiovascular disease risk.”

In a double-blind, crossover study, 10 men and women were randomized to receive 1, 3 or 6 grams betaine after an overnight fast.9 Blood samples collected immediately before the participants received the compound, and at 2, 7 and 24 hours were analyzed for serum betaine and plasma homocysteine levels. Three and 6 gram doses were associated with a reduction in plasma homocysteine after 2 hours in comparison with baseline levels and homocysteine remained low during the 24 hours of monitoring following the 6 gram dose.

In a study that included eight healthy men, a high betaine meal that contained approximately 517 milligrams (mg) betaine or a meal that contained the same amount of betaine plus 622 mg choline resulted in decreases in plasma homocysteine 6 hours later.10 Participants who were given the high betaine and choline meal, as well as those who received a 500 mg betaine supplement experienced an attenuation of increased plasma homocysteine associated with a methionine loading test in comparison with receiving a low betaine and choline control meal.

Brain Health and Beyond

In addition to cardiovascular disease, homocysteine levels have also been associated with cognition. A double-blind, placebo controlled trial in which older Dutch participants received vitamin B12, B12 plus folic acid, or a placebo for 24 weeks resulted in a reduction in total homocysteine concentrations of 36% and an increase in TMG of 38% in the group that received vitamin B12 plus folic acid.11 While higher plasma TMG levels at the beginning of the study were associated with better performance in several cognitive domains, participants whose increase in betaine after the treatment period was among the top one-third of subjects had better memory performance in comparison with those whose change in betaine was among the lower two-thirds.

Supplementation with TMG for 15 days has been associated with a reduction in fatigue in response to exercise in a study of active college-aged men.12 In a double-blind, crossover study involving resistance trained men, 14 days of 2.5 grams TMG supplementation was associated with an increase in total repetitions and volume load during bench presses in comparison with preintervention values.13 In another crossover study involving trained men, two weeks of TMG supplementation was associated with a decrease in circulating cortisol and an enhanced anabolic endocrine profile, suggesting increased protein synthesis.14

Recently, a placebo-controlled study involving 76 premenopausal women who received 6 months of a combination of boswellia, myoinositol and TMG resulted in a 60% reduction in breast density after 6 months, while those who received a placebo experienced a 9% reduction.15 The combination was also associated with clinical improvement in a trial that tested its effects on women with fibroadenomas of the breast.16

In an investigation reported in JAMA Neurology that identified 36 infants and children with a severe deficiency of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR, an enzyme encoded by the MTHFR gene that plays a role in the remethylation of homocysteine to methionine), revealed only 2 deaths out of 26 who received treatment with TMG, while 9 out of 10 untreated patients died.17 No deaths occurred among those who received early treatment with TMG. “The results clearly indicate that betaine treatment improves survival, prevents further cerebral damage, and allows normal development if treatment is initiated early,” the authors conclude.

The Bottom Line

“Betaine has been shown to protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, and enhance performance,” concludes Stuart A. S. Craig in a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “Databases of betaine content in food are being developed for correlation with population health studies. The growing body of evidence shows that betaine is an important nutrient for the prevention of chronic disease.”18


  1. Gahl WA et al. J Inherit Metab Dis. 1988;11(3):291-8.
  2. Abdelmalek MF et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2001 Sep;96(9):2711-7.
  3. Abdelmalek MF et al. Hepatology. 2009 Dec;50(6):1818-26.
  4. McGregor DO et al. Kidney Int. 2002 Mar;61(3):1040-6.
  5. Schwab U et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;76(5):961-7.
  6. Holm P et al. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Feb;24(2):301-7.
  7. Melse-Boonstra A et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jun;81(6):1378-82.
  8. Olthof MR et al. J Nutr. 2003 Dec;133(12):4135-8.
  9. Schwab U et al. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1):34-8.
  10. Atkinson W et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):577-85.
  11. Eussen SJ et al. Br J Nutr. 2007 Nov;98(5):960-8.
  12. Hoffman JR et al. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):2235-41.
  13. Trepanowski JF et al. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Dec;25(12):3461-71.
  14. Apicella JM et al. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Mar;113(3):793-802.
  15. Pasta V et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015 Nov;19(22):4419-26.
  16. Pasta V et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016 May;20(9):1860-5.
  17. Diekman EF et al. JAMA Neurol. 2014 Feb;71(2):188-94.
  18. Craig SAS. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Sep;80(3):539-49.

5 Workouts to Try, The Benefits Of Different Workouts and What Works Best For YOU

Darla Leal

The good thing about workout programs is they’re individual and not universal. We all differ in fitness level, personality, lifestyle, and goals. Taking this into consideration, selecting the right workout program is an important part of our fitness journey. There’s a wide-variety of exercise modalities available to accommodate every individual and lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned athlete or newbie fitness enthusiast, there’s something for everyone. The best and most effective workout is one that you do consistently, enjoy, and works with your lifestyle and goals.

Selecting the right workout program can be a challenge with all the different options available. A helpful tool in choosing the best exercise plan is writing down your health and fitness goals. Are you an active adult or athlete who wants to increase exercise intensity or a beginner with a desire to lose a few pounds? What about a bodybuilder trying to increase lean mass or an individual struggling with flexibility? Whatever your fitness goal, there are specific workout programs supplying these benefits.

Once your fitness goals are defined, choosing an exercise program becomes simplified. The next step includes understanding the definition, purpose, and benefits of each workout modality. The following popular exercise programs are shown to be effective for health and fitness improvement:

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High intensity interval training (HIIT) has become one of the most popular training methods. What makes this exercise program so appealing is being able to complete a workout in a short period of time. According to research, HIIT is a time efficient strategy to improve our health and fitness and cuts our exercise training in half.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is also referred to as high intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training (SIT). HIIT is a vigorous form of exercise combining interval training and cardiovascular exercise. As a participant of HIIT, you would be challenging your body with low and high intensity work. An example would be performing a maximum sprint for 100 yards followed by a few seconds of light jogging or walking to recover. The workout duration is typically 30 minutes or to exercise exhaustion.

Research indicates high intensity interval training is effective for reducing body fat, improving athletic performance, and flexibility. However, due to the extreme challenge on the body, some studies show it may not be the best fit for inactive individuals beginning a fitness program. In this instance, HIIT could be a progressive program implemented later once fitness and activity levels have increased. It appears to be highly favorable for active adults and athletes taking their workouts to the next level.

Strength Training

Strength or resistance training is another popular and effective exercise modality. This form of exercise is designed to improve muscular fitness by challenging a muscle or muscle group using external resistance. External resistance can include free weights, resistance bands, or cable machines for example. Strength training can be modified to the fitness level of an individual making it a superior workout option.

Resistance training is the preferred method of exercise for bodybuilders to increase muscle strength and size. It’s also favored among new exercisers and active adults who desire to improve muscle tone and stimulate fat loss. The program is best performed using a progressive style increasing in weight resistance, sets, and repetitions as muscular strength is increased. Beginners may find it easier to start with machines before moving into more complex free-weight exercises. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends strength training at least two non-consecutive days per week for optimal results.

Besides being one of the most versatile and enjoyed ways to exercise among the general population, strength training is indicated to provide numerous health benefits. Chronic research has shown regular resistance training to reduce our risk of heart disease by lowering body fat. It’s also said to increase our metabolism, decrease blood pressure, increase bone density, and improve cholesterol levels.

Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training or exercises take us back to the basics and a great workout option for individuals without access to gym equipment. This method of training uses body weight as the resistance to build muscular strength, lean mass, endurance, and flexibility. Bodyweight training is considered the ‘no gym, no excuses’ workout program you can perform anywhere.

Bodyweight training is still considered strength training and accomplished without free weights or machines. Another bonus to this program is no gym membership fee and time efficient because it can be done right at home.

Popular body weight training exercises include pull-ups, push-ups, crunches, planks, and squats. Advanced movements incorporate handstands and strength holds. Bodyweight training is very challenging but is easily modified to accommodate any fitness level. It is also shown to have a reduced risk of personal injury compared to weighted exercise.

Group Training

Group training is an excellent workout choice for those who like the push of being in an exercise class environment. This mode of exercise is led by an instructor and performed by a group of individuals. Gyms or boot camps commonly offer modified versions to exercise to accommodate all fitness levels. This makes for a fun, active and social exercise experience.

Group training formats can include muscle conditioning, body pump, yoga, Pilates, step, and kickboxing. The wide variety of class options creates an ever changing workout atmosphere helpful to avoid burnout. Also, the classes are typically well-structured, effective, and completed within a one-hour duration.

Working out with friends is another way to describe group training. When we exercise with others, it provides an accountability factor not given when we train alone. Group settings are shown to keep us motivated and interested. This is important for continued success and maintaining our fitness.


Yoga is considered holistic therapy with the purpose of creating strength, awareness, balance, and harmony within the mind and body. There are many disciplines of this exercise method, one of the most popular being Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga focuses on physical applications to strengthen the body along with exercises to center the mind. This practice also emphasizes proper nutrition to detoxify the body and breathing techniques supporting relaxation.

Yoga includes physical posturing to strengthen the body, increase flexibility, promote relaxation, and enhance our concentration. Research indicates yoga as a safe way to exercise to improve physical function along with mental and social well-being. It’s also indicated to help with stress-relief, improved energy, and vitality.

Closing thoughts:

Regular exercise is an important part of achieving and maintaining our health and fitness. The great news is we have options in what works best for us, our body, and individual goals. Research indicates strength, aerobic, and flexibility training should be included in a well-balanced exercise program. Providing this variety is something to keep in mind while planning the best workout routine for you. Many individuals opt to include a supplement program along with their exercise routine. Certain supplements, such as whey protein, are shown to benefit workout recovery. This or other supplements can also be beneficial but it’s always a good idea to discuss with your doctor.

I prepared this article as a compensated feature for Life Extension.

About Darla Leal:

Darla Leal is a Master Fitness Trainer, Consultant, and coach with over 25 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. She is the creator of Stay Healthy Fitness sharing her Fit-over-50 lifestyle. Darla is also a Freelance Health and Fitness writer where she is the Sports Nutrition Expert for Verywell and feature writer for Natural Muscle Magazine. She maintains a successful blog, Stay Healthy Fitness, where she motivates individuals to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Darla is considered an expert in the following areas: fitness, health, coaching, personal training, sports nutrition, competitive fitness, nutrition and health writer, and motivational blogger. Visit her website at Stay Healthy Fitness and enjoy her free Stay Healthy Fitness Blog. Connect with Darla on her social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!


  1. Biddle, Stuart JH, and Alan M. Batterham. "High-intensity interval exercise training for public health: a big HIT or shall we HIT it on the head?." International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 12.1 (2015): 95.
  2. Dolan, Shawn Ph.D., R.D., CSSD, Benefits of Group Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine, 2016
  3. Giannaki CD et al., Eight weeks of a combination of high intensity interval training and conventional training reduce visceral adiposity and improve physical fitness: a group-based intervention. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2016 April; 56(4):483-90.
  4. Roxburgh, Brendon H., et al., "Is moderate intensity exercise training combined with high intensity interval training more effective at improving cardiorespiratory fitness than moderate intensity exercise training alone?." Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 13.3 (2014): 702.
  5. Steele J, Fisher J, Skivington M, et al., A higher effort-based paradigm in physical activity and exercise for public health: making the case for a greater emphasis on resistance training. BMC Public Health. 2017.
  6. Tew GA, Howsam J et al., Adapted yoga to improve physical function and health-related quality of life in physically-inactive older adults: a randomised controlled pilot trial. BMC Geriatrics, 2017.
  7. Warburton DER et al., Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2006; 174(6):801-809. doi:10.1503/cmaj.051351.

Findings from the 2017 Annual Food and Nutrition Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - Part 1

Holli Lapes RD, LD/N

In July 2017, we attended the Annual Food and Nutrition Symposium (FANS), which is put forth by the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND) and provides science-based, cutting-edge educational sessions presented by recognized experts in nutrition. We heard from more than 30 national and international speakers providing over 20 hours of continuing education. The continuing education units (CEUs) are a requirement for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN or RD) for national registration and state licensure.

What is the Difference between an RD and a Nutritionist/Health Coach?

A nutritionist or health coach is an unregulated term that can refer to anyone! Sometimes, a
nutritionist or dietitian is used as an abbreviation, or short hand, for a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). If it’s unclear, just ask the health professional to clarify their credentials. An RDN has completed at least a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from an accredited university plus an 8-month internship in the field, passed a state registration exam and are typically licensed by the Department of Health in their state, designated by LD/N.

Session Highlight: Dietary Patterns that can Prevent and Control Diabetes by Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D.

When it comes to diabetes management, how do we know something isn’t right? Well to start, there are currently 47 diabetes medications on the market. Also of interest to note for those with a family history of diabetes, is the closed loop cycle of diabetes and obesity. First, a person with a family history of diabetes gains some weight. Second, there is an increase in the need for glucose to feed the additional tissue they have acquired. Then, more insulin is produced from the pancreas. Third, insulin resistance sets in – the cells are not responding to the insulin, and more insulin is secreted, which leads to cellular exhaustion and the development of type 2 diabetes. The cycle now starts over because the person gains more weight from the excess insulin!

Dr. Hamdy’s presentation revolved around the history of diabetes. He explained that diabetes was once defined as a carbohydrate intolerance disease. He quotes Louis Newburgh in 1936 in that “the discovery of insulin was a setback to the advancement of nutrition”. Have we actually regressed? Yes. In 1942, the diabetes diet recommendation was to include more protein in the diet. If you saw the 2014 documentary “Fed Up”, you may recall the film’s exposure of the McGovern report of 1977 emphasizing that the public should eat more carbohydrates and should cut back on fat. This report was in part based on skewed research from cardiologist Ancel Keys who preached that fat causes heart disease.

Further, the food pyramid of 1980 illustrated that the base of one’s diet should consist of carbohydrates, reflecting the McGovern report. Then, people with diabetes liberalized their carbohydrate intake to 55%–60% of their daily diet.

Dr. Hamdy reminds us that diabetes is in fact an insulin resistance disease and not a carb intolerance disease. Now, the Joslin Diabetes Center recommends a maximum of 40%–45% carbohydrate intake, in which the carbs are of low glycemic index. Also, to always include protein with the carbs to prevent blood sugar spikes. Dr. Hamdy recommends protein intake to be 1.0–1.5 g/kg versus the standard 0.8 g/kg of body weight.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our coverage from the Annual Food and Nutrition Symposium!

About the author: Holli Lapes RD, LD/N is a Blogger & Social Media Content Specialist at Life Extension. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist residing in the South Florida area. Holli believes that quality dietary supplements are an essential tool that have a variety of applications from maintaining good health to managing chronic disease. 

All Contents Copyright © 1995-2016 Life Extension® All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.