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LE Magazine August 2003

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Creatine supplementation combined with resistance training in older men.

PURPOSE: To study the effect of creatine (Cr) supplementation combined with resistance training on muscular performance and body composition in older men. METHODS: Thirty men were randomized to receive creatine supplementation (CRE, N = 16, age = 70.4 +/- 1.6 yr) or placebo (PLA, N = 14, age = 71.1 +/- 1.8 year), using a double blind procedure. Cr supplementation consisted of 0.3-g Cr.kg(-1) body weight for the first five days (loading phase) and 0.07-g Cr.kg(-1) body weight thereafter. Both groups participated in resistance training (36 sessions, three times per week, three sets of 10 repetitions, 12 exercises). Muscular strength was assessed by 1-repetition maximum (1-RM) for leg press (LP), knee extension (KE), and bench press (BP). Muscular endurance was assessed by the maximum number of repetitions over three sets (separated by one-min rest intervals) at an intensity corresponding to 70% baseline 1-RM for BP and 80% baseline 1-RM for the KE and LP. Average power (AP) was assessed using a Biodex isokinetic knee extension/flexion exercise (three sets of 10 repetitions at 60 degrees.s(-1) separated by one-min rest). Lean tissue (LTM) and fat mass were assessed using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. RESULTS: Compared with PLA, the CRE group had significantly greater increases in LTM (CRE, +3.3 kg; PLA, +1.3 kg), LP 1-RM (CRE, +50.1 kg; PLA +31.3 kg), KE 1-RM (CRE, +14.9 kg; PLA, +10.7 kg), LP endurance (CRE, +47 reps; PLA, +32 reps), KE endurance (CRE, +21 reps; PLA +14 reps), and AP (CRE, +26.7 W; PLA, +18 W). Changes in fat mass, fat percentage, BP 1-RM and BP endurance were similar between groups. CONCLUSION: Creatine supplementation, when combined with resistance training, increases lean tissue mass and improves leg strength, endurance and average power in men of mean age 70 years.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2001 Dec;33(12):2111-7

Biochemical and physiological evidence that carnosine is an endogenous neuroprotector against free radicals.

1. Carnosine, anserine and homocarnosine are endogenous dipeptides concentrated in brain and muscle whose biological functions remain in doubt. 2. We have tested the hypothesis that these compounds function as endogenous protective substances against molecular and cellular damage from free radicals, using two isolated enzyme systems and two models of ischemic brain injury. Carnosine and homocarnosine are both effective in activating brain Na, K-ATPase measured under optimal conditions and in reducing the loss of its activity caused by incubation with hydrogen peroxide. 3. In contrast, all three endogenous dipeptides cause a reduction in the activity of brain tyrosine hydroxylase, an enzyme activated by free radicals. In hippocampal brain slices subjected to ischemia, carnosine increased the time to loss of excitability. 4. In in vivo experiments on rats under experimental hypobaric hypoxia, carnosine increased the time to loss of ability to stand and breath and decreased the time to recovery. 5. These actions are explicable by effects of carnosine and related compounds which neutralize free radicals, particularly hydroxyl radicals. In all experiments the effective concentration of carnosine was comparable to or lower than those found in brain. These observations provide further support for the conclusion that

Cell Mol Neurobiol 1997 Apr;17(2):259-71

Dental hygiene

Periodontal disease, tooth loss and incidence of ischemic stroke.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Periodontal and other infections have been suggested as potential risk factors for stroke. This study evaluates periodontal disease and tooth loss as risk factors for ischemic stroke. METHODS: The study population consisted of 41,380 men who were free of cardiovascular disease and diabetes at baseline. Periodontal disease history was assessed by mailed validated questionnaires. During 12 years of follow-up, stroke incidence was assessed and subclassified by use of medical history, medical records, and imaging reports. Hazard ratios (HRs) were adjusted for age, amount smoked, obesity, alcohol, exercise, family history of cardiovascular disease, multivitamin use, vitamin E use, profession, baseline reported hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Sex and socioeconomic status were inherently controlled for by restriction. Confounding variables were updated in the analyses for each two-year follow-up interval. RESULTS: We documented 349 ischemic stroke cases during the follow-up period. Men who had < or =24 teeth at baseline were at a higher risk of stroke compared to men with > or =25 teeth (HR=1.57; 95% CI, 1.24 to 1.98). There was little evidence of an increased risk with recent tooth loss during follow-up. A modest association was seen between baseline periodontal disease history and ischemic stroke (HR=1.33; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.70). Addition of dietary factors to the model changed the HR only slightly. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that periodontal disease and fewer teeth may be associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke.

Stroke 2003 Jan;34(1):47-52

Systemic release of endotoxins induced by gentle mastication: association with periodontitis severity.

BACKGROUND: Periodontitis has recently been identified as a potential risk factor for systemic pathologies such as cardiovascular disease, the hypothesis being that periodontal pockets could release pro-inflammatory bacterial components, for instance endotoxins, into the bloodstream. It is known that the oral cavity can be a source of circulating bacteria, but this has never been shown for bacterial endotoxins, and no evidence exists so far that the risk of systemic injury is related to the severity of periodontitis. The aim of the present study was to test the influence of gentle mastication on the occurrence of endotoxemia in patients with or without periodontal disease. METHODS: A total of 67 subjects were periodontally examined and grouped according to their periodontal status. This classification was based on an original index of severity of periodontal disease (periodontal index for risk of infectiousness, PIRI) aimed at reflecting the individual risk of systemic injury from the periodontal niches. Thus, the patients were classified into three risk groups: low, PIRI = 0; n = 25; moderate, 1 < or = PIRI < or = 5, n = 27; and high 6 < or = PIRI < or = 10, n = 15. Blood samples were collected before and 5 to 10 minutes after a standardized session of gentle mastication for detection of circulating endotoxins. Blood samples were tested with a chromogenic limulus amoebocyte lysate assay. RESULTS: Overall, blood levels of endotoxin after mastication were found to be significantly higher than before mastication (0.89 +/- 3.3 pg/ml versus 3.0 +/- 5.8 pg/ml; P= 0.0002). Likewise, the incidence of positive endotoxemia rose from 6% before mastication to 24% after mastication (P = 0.001). When accounting for the PIRI index, endotoxin levels and positive endotoxemia proved to be significantly higher in patients with severe periodontal disease than in the subjects with low or moderate periodontitis. CONCLUSIONS: Gentle mastication is able to induce the release of bacterial endotoxins from oral origin into the bloodstream, especially when patients have severe periodontal disease. This finding suggests that a diseased periodontium can be a major and underestimated source of chronic, or even permanent, release of bacterial pro-inflammatory components into the bloodstream.

J Periodontol 2002 Jan;73(1):73-8

Effect of long-term exposure to fluoride in drinking water on risks of bone fractures.

Findings on the risk of bone fractures associated with long-term fluoride exposure from drinking water have been contradictory. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of bone fracture, including hip fracture, in six Chinese populations with water fluoride concentrations ranging from 0.25 to 7.97 parts per million (ppm). A total of 8,266 male and female subjects > or =50 years of age were enrolled. Parameters evaluated included fluoride exposure, prevalence of bone fractures, demographics, medical history, physical activity, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. The results confirmed that drinking water was the only major source of fluoride exposure in the study populations. A U-shaped pattern was detected for the relationship between the prevalence of bone fracture and water fluoride level. The prevalence of overall bone fracture was lowest in the population of 1.00-1.06 ppm fluoride in drinking water, which was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than that of the groups exposed to water fluoride levels > or =4.32 and < or =0.34 ppm. The prevalence of hip fractures was highest in the group with the highest water fluoride (4.32-7.97 ppm). The value is significantly higher than the population with 1.00-1.06 ppm water fluoride, which had the lowest prevalence rate. It is concluded that long-term fluoride exposure from drinking water containing > or =4.32 ppm increases the risk of overall fractures as well as hip fractures. Water fluoride levels at 1.00-1.06 ppm decrease the risk of overall fractures relative to negligible fluoride in water; however, there does not appear to be similar protective benefits for the risk of hip fractures.

J Bone Miner Res 2001 May;16(5):932-9

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