Discussions about the science of nutrition, dietetics and health. The podcast that educates through nuanced conversations, exploring evidence and cultivating critical thinking. Hosted by Danny Lennon.
#455: Jill Joyce, PhD – Improving the Diets of Tactical Populations
The term ‘tactical populations’ has been applied to those working in law enforcement, fire, first responders, and military. In addition to the importance of their work, the work they do itself presents some challenges for health and nutrition.
Despite the fact that such individuals make up a significant number of the population and their work plays a crucial role in society, there is currently very little research on fire and law enforcement nutrition. Most research is on the prevalence of disease and the occupational risk factors and related pathophysiology. Lifestyle research, descriptive and interventions, is way behind.
Dr. Jill Joyce is the co-director of the OSU Tactical Fitness and Nutrition Lab at Oklahoma State University. She does research looking at real-world interventions in these populations, particularly firefighters, in an attempt to improve their diets and health.
In this episode, we look at both the theoretical and pragmatic realities of improving diet and health in firefighters and some other tactical populations.
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PRE #9: AMA – Blood Pressure, LDL Lowering, PCOS & More!
In this Premium-exclusive ‘Ask Me Anything’ episode, Alan & Danny answer a range of listener questions. Topics include obesity rates, lowering blood pressure, cholesterol drugs, PCOS, and what issues they have changed their minds on. See the full list of questions below.
[02.37] Do you feel that there is hope (or an effective way forward) for obesity rates to come down? Based on your response, why/why not?
[11.28] In this field, it seems like so many of us have had positions we’ve held very seriously that we now see as poorly supported by research, or just have a significant paradigm change. It would be great to hear you look back to how your views have evolved over the years.
[30.34] Apart from lowering salt intake and eating foods high in potassium are there other things you can take or do to reduce blood pressure?
[40.34] What is the best ratio of DHA vs EPA to increase my Omega 3 index?
[46.20] Statins v Ezetimibe: Differences between the two? Mechanism of action? Are there situations, conditions, genetic markers where one may work better than the other?
[56.20] I’m starting a PhD in the fall concerning the pathophysiology of metabolic diseases and I’d like to take some courses that would help me in my research. Would you have any recommendations for a beginner scientist?
[59.01] Is astaxanthin a good substitute for algae oil for someone who follows a vegan diet?
[60.45] Do you have any suggestions how to better manage hunger in obese women with PCOS?
[64.33] Do you have any recommendations for anyone wanting to get involved in chrononutrition research?
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#454: Eric Helms, PhD – Plant or Animal Protein: Rethinking Protein & Muscle
When it comes to eating to promote muscle hypertrophy, muscle repair/recovery and maintenance of mass and function, protein has been an obvious focus. Indeed muscle mass and quality are dependent on the continuous remodeling of skeletal muscle proteins. This is related to the amount of muscle protein balance, i.e. the net difference between muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and muscle protein breakdown (MPB). Because of this, MPS has long been used as a proxy measure for muscle repair and/or growth of muscle.
Protein feeding increases MPS, with the amino acid leucine having a specifically strong impact on MPS. Therefore both the dose of protein and the amino acid profile of the protein have been looked at to assess which protein sources are “superior” for muscle mass and function. This has typically led to viewing animal proteins as better than plant proteins.
But many assumptions are layered into conversations on the topic. In this episode we explore some important points that are often neglected. Is MPS as reliable as we assume? Does the amino acid profile tell us everything about the anabolic effect of a protein? Does dose and timing matter as much as we think? How does the picture change when we look at whole foods or mixed meals?
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#453: Nick Gant, PhD – Cognitive Performance: Impact of Caffeine, Nicotine & Creatine (Rebroadcast)
The brain plays a central role in both physical and psychological function and performance. The brain also has a very high energy demand. In addition, fatiguing conditions can cause impairment of cognitive performance.
One area of research in neurometabolism related to the potential use of nutrients on improving cognitive function, as well as “rescuing” the fatigue-related declines in performance.
Nick Gant is Director of the Exercise Neurometabolism Laboratory at the University of Auckland. His group uses interdisciplinary approaches from the nutritional sciences and neurosciences to investigate the role of nutrition in brain health and performance. Nick is particularly interested in foods and supplements that prevent brain fatigue and improve physical and cognitive function.
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#452: Stuart Phillips, PhD - Bacterially Synthesized Whey, Plant vs. Animal Proteins, Muscle & Extended Fasts, & Much More
This episode was oringally published as one of our “Expert – ask me anything” (AMA) episodes, which we published for Premium prescribers. In such bonus episodes, we collect questions from Premium subscribers and ask them direct to a world-class expert and past podcast guest.
If you’re interested in subscribing to Sigma Nutrition Premium, then check all the details here.
In this episode Prof. Stu Phillips takes questions about synethized whey protein, plant proteins, post-exercise MPS, and many other topics related to protein, muscle function and ageing.
#451: Potassium & Blood Pressure: Influence of Sex & Sodium
It has been consistently shown in research that elevated dietary sodium consumption is associated with high blood pressure and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, low levels of dietary potassium intake are associated with these same risks. However, there is some debate on how to characterize these relationships.
In a study published in European Heart Journal in July 2022, using data from the EPIC-Norfolk study, researchers attempted to answer whether the associations between potassium and both blood pressure and cardiovascular disease: 1) differ between men and women? and 2) depend on daily sodium intake.
In this episode Dr. Alan Flanagan and Danny Lennon discuss the details of this study and then link it to the overall evidence base and what this may mean for potassium (and sodium) intake considerations.
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