Month: February, 2011

How in the world does fibre lower cholesterol?

First off: LDL cholesterol (aka the “bad cholesterol”) isn’t entirely useless. When the liver needs to make bile (which is needed for fat digestion), it takes the cholesterol from LDL.

So fibre, is indigestible for the most part. It also prevents the body from reabsorbing bile after it is released. Fibre mixes with bile and is excreted in feces. So what happens when the body is low on bile? Well thats when LDL-cholesterol is pulled from the blood and into the liver to make more bile.

Research shows that “soluble” fibre is most effective at lowering cholesterol. Look for foods such as oats, peas, citrus fruits, etc.

So there you go, hope that was informative.


Lactate: friend or foe?

Lactic Acid

We’ve all heard it: “lactic acid makes your muscles burn and fatigue” or “make sure you cool down to flush out the lactic acid, otherwise you’ll be sore”. So is lactic acid actually that bad?

First off, the more correct term would be “lactate”. Lactic acid immediately turns into lactate once it is formed.

Numerous studies have actually shown that there is no direct association between lactate and muscle soreness.

According to Robergs et al (2004):

-there is no cause and effect relationship between fatigue and lactate

-the production of lactate consumes 2 protons, which means that it actually retards acidosis!

-lactate is not a useless end product. Other cells in your body can actually use lactate as fuel (see lactate shuttle hypothesis)

-so how did lactate end up taking all the blame? Well it turns out that theres a very strong temporal relationship between lactate formation and increase in blood acidity. BUT this is NOT causation!

We DO KNOW that a build up of acid causes fatigue. But DON’T blame lactate! Feel free to correct your buddy the next time you hear “…this lactic acid is killing me”