Examine.com Blog

Interesting Revelations on Supplements

ERD Sneak Peek #20: Can arachidonic acid work as a bodybuilding supplement?

Effects of Arachidonic Acid Supplementation on Acute Anabolic Signaling and Chronic Functional Performance and Body Composition Adaptations

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the superstars of the essential fatty acid world, and are found primarily in fish and seafood. A tremendous amount of research has investigated the impact of these fatty acids on health and exercise performance. They have been previously discussed in ERD #12 for their potential beneficial role in increasing strength and muscle protein synthesis.

Less researched is arachidonic acid (ARA, depicted in Figure 1), the omega-6 cousin to...

Continue Reading...

Are cast iron pans unsafe?

For well over a thousand years, cast iron has been used as a reliable cooking surface. Actually, it's been used since the appropriately named “Iron Age”, roughly 2500 years ago.

Fast forward a couple millennia, and we’ve been thrust into the “Spend all day on the Internet Age”. People are starting to question the healthiness of everything, including the venerable cast iron. And not without reason: just because cast iron’s been used for years, by many people who lived long and healthy lives, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the healthiest option for your frying pan.

Let’s explore this issue in...

Continue Reading...

ERD Sneak Peek #19: A compound from beer may help fat loss


Matured hop extract reduces body fat in healthy overweight humans: a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group study.

Obesity is an increasingly global problem that is associated with a greater risk of developing disorders like hypertension and diabetes. Although dieting is an effective strategy, many people find it difficult to maintain and look for easier alternatives.

A popular alternative approach to effective weight management is supplementing therapeutic products that offer ‘fat-burning’ properties. These includes natural products and ‘functional foods’ that are claimed to suppress energy intake or actively increase energy expenditure....

Continue Reading...

Detoxes: an undefined scam

There’s no quick fix; nurturing your health is a long-term endeavor. That doesn’t stop fad diets and the marketers promoting them from gumming up the airways with advertisements. One such diet that keeps being revived is called …


The cleanse

Or “detox diet”. But whichever label you prefer, you’ll be hard-pressed to associate it with a definite definition. Presumably, the goal is to cleanse the body from harmful substances, often called toxins, through a hypocaloric diet consisting of certain foods (with a possible seasoning of supplements). Some cleanses are aimed at specific organs,...

Continue Reading...

ERD #18 Sneak Peek: Does this gluten make me look fat?


Wheat gluten intake increases weight gain and adiposity associated with reduced thermogenesis and energy expenditure in an animal model of obesity.

Wheat was introduced to the human diet about 9,500 years ago in the Mediterranean region as part of the “Neolithic Revolution,” when humans began to transition from hunting and gathering food to settled agriculture. Today, worldwide wheat production is estimated at 723 million tonnes, and the average U.S. citizen consumes roughly 132 pounds of wheat per year.

Gluten is the main protein complex found in wheat and related grains...

Continue Reading...

Follow Your Gut Feeling

THE PROBLEM:

Probiotics don’t permanently colonize your gut. Once you stop using them, they can’t survive in your intestine. It’s a fact of nature, and something that has long limited the efficacy of probiotic supplements. Until now.

THE SOLUTION:

What if you could make your microbiome more receptive to probiotics, and enable them to permanently colonize? Well, sorry, you just can’t. But we’ve come up with a different, radically novel approach. Introducing … POWERbiotics!

THE SCIENCE:

One of our kookier interns had been brewing his own bacteria during the winter of 2014–2015, and he noticed that his homemade capsules kept...

Continue Reading...

What have we learned about nutrition in the past 5 years?

As we celebrate our 5-year anniversary, we thought it would be fun to look back at the last 5 years in research.…

Low-carb. Red meat. Sugar. Paleo.

Those are complex topics, but you might not be able to tell from all the frenzied and simplistic arguments on either side.

In a World Gone Mad over Diets, In a Time When Alarmism Rules (read in the voice of that movie trailer voiceover guy) … there comes Examine.com. Founded exactly five years ago in order to help people help themselves, Examine.com provides summaries of the actual primary research, spurs curiosity, and...

Continue Reading...

Celebrating 5 years of being the trustworthy source on nutrition and supplementation

Five years ago, the quality of information out there on supplementation was abysmal. Our original motivation to improve this situation was simple and selfish: We wanted to know which bodybuilding supplements actually worked.

So we looked at the most popular ones — creatine (works), glutamine (does not work to build muscle), tribulus (does not boost testosterone), and more. And as people started to hear about our unbiased approach, we expanded — first into major supplements (starting with fish oil and vitamin D), then into nutrition myths (e.g. MSG is bad for you, top...

Continue Reading...

ERD #16 is out and here's your exclusive sneak peek!

February's issue of the Examine.com Research Digest is out and this month, our sneak peek digs into fish oil.

When you buy and take a fish oil supplement, the story doesn't end there. It still needs to be incorporated into cell membranes. This study looked at how other fats may impact that process. Click here to read 'Fish oil incorporation: where do other fats fit in?'

Serious about nutrition? Subscribe now for the latest in nutrition research.

Continue Reading...

This year's first issue of ERD is out and here's your exclusive sneak peek!

The latest issue of the Examine.com Research Digest is out and this month's sneak peek digs into one our favorite treats-- chocolate! Can this tasty treat be the secret to better skin?

Cocoa contains high levels of beneficial phytochemicals called “flavanols”,which may provide a variety of health benefits. This randomized trial tested cocoa for the specific purpose of wrinkle reduction and other skin-related improvements.

Serious about your health? Subscribe here to stay on top of the latest in nutrition research.

Continue Reading...

Confused about supplements?

Free 5 day supplement course