The latest from Examine

Healthy Aging Supplement Guide

Since weโ€™re not getting any younger ourselves, we parsed the literature to determine which supplements are most likely to help us maintain our quality of life as we age. And we want to share our findings with you. Click through to get our Healthy Aging Supplement guide for FREE, and if you have friends whoโ€™d benefit from this guide too (hint: everyone can ๐Ÿ˜‰), share it with them!

Did you know this about testosterone?

Together, your free testosterone and your loosely bound testosterone compose your bioavailable testosterone, which has a greater impact on your health than your total testosterone.

Click through for more information on testosterone.

Top 5 Study Summaries

Each month, we summarize 150+ recent studies for our Examine Members. Click through to read five of this month's most favorited Study Summaries.

This monthโ€™s selection includes two Editorโ€™s Picks (more detailed Study Summaries, with helpful graphics).โ 

How effective is vitamin C actually in fighting off a common cold?

Can it help to improve blood sugar control? How does it affect exercise recovery?โ 

Our team here at Examine parses scientific research day in and day out. We've noted what the evidence says about these questions, and more, in-depth over on our vitamin C supplement page.

Can a week of unrestricted sleep make up for long-term sleep loss?

We're all familiar with long days and nights, whether they're due to work, insomnia, or ฬถan erratic schedule. Sleep is critical for a lot of health outcomes, such as metabolic health, immune health, and cognition, as shown in this picture. So it makes sense to wonder: is "catching up on sleep" actually a thing? A recent study investigated how sleep recovery affected cognitive performance after 10 days of sleep restriction.โ 

Do you need a detox?

While there are some things you can do to help your bodyโ€™s built-in detoxification system function optimally, there is a lack of strong scientific evidence to support the safety and efficacy of most commercial detoxification programs. Click through to learn more.

Creatine is one of the most well-studied supplements

Aside from enhancing power output during exercise, what other effects does it have on the body?

Click through to check out our comprehensive supplement page on creatine. โ 

Do you warm up before lifting weights?
Do you stretch?โ 

Join the conversation.

Lifespan vs Healthspan

The concept of the ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ญ๐ก๐ฌ๐ฉ๐š๐ง, as opposed to ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐š๐ง, deals with the ๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ of your years rather than just their quantity.โ 

The graphic shows the average number of years people live before they contract a debilitating condition: 66.1 years. It also shows the average age at which various life-threatening diseases develop (so, for instance, it doesnโ€™t show that most people will get COPD by age 45; rather, it shows that people who get COPD get it at age 45 on average).โ โ 

Modern medicine can often extend life long past the onset of a disease, but that โ€œextra timeโ€ usually involves pain and various impairments. Moreover, many chronic conditions can be debilitating even when theyโ€™re not life-threatening โ€” osteoporosis (bone loss), sarcopenia (muscle loss), cognitive decline, reduced immunity, and loss of libido, for instance, are all common in older age.โ โ 

โ  As weโ€™re not getting any younger ourselves, we parsed the literature to determine which supplements were most likely to help us maintain our quality of life as we aged. And since weโ€™d done the work anyway, we decided to share our findings with you, for free.

Click through to pick up our Healthy Aging Supplement Guide.

How much protein do you need?

In our Optimal Protein Intake Guide, youโ€™ll find the optimal protein-intake range for pregnant women, active adults focusing on muscle gain, sedentary adults trying to lose some fat, and so on and so forth. Youโ€™ll also find information on protein intake per meal, protein intake after exercise, vegan proteins, and more! All of it fully referenced, and yes, completely free.โ 

Goji berries for blood glucose and lipid metabolism

What does the research say about goji berries and metabolic health?

We analyzed a meta-analysis of 6 randomized controlled trials.

Top 5 Study Summaries - April 2022

Each month, we summarize 150+ recent studies for our Examine.

Click through to see this month's favorite Study Summaries.

This monthโ€™s selection includes an Editorโ€™s Pick (a more detailed Study Summary, with helpful graphics).โ 

How much caffeine is in different chocolate brands?

If youโ€™ve ever noticed that you feel more alert after eating your favorite chocolate bar, thatโ€™s because cocoa naturally contains caffeine โ€” the worldโ€™s most widely used psychoactive drug. Like this chart from Mรผller et al.โ€™s study shows, chocolate bars that contain more cocoa tend to also contain more caffeine, even across different brands.

โ  Based on this chart, youโ€™re consuming about 0.5โ€“2.5 mg of caffeine per gram of chocolate. For comparison, your morning cup of coffee can have about 50โ€“250 mg of caffeine, depending on how itโ€™s prepared (PMID: 34071879).

Learn more about caffeineโ€™s effects on exercise performance, cortisol, cognition, and more.

Did you know some foods contain trace amounts of nicotine?

Some common foods contain trace amounts of nicotine: โ‰ค0.00159 mg/kg for chocolate ๐Ÿซ and โ‰ค0.0042 mg/kg (i.e., โ‰ค0.0042 mg/L) for brewed tea ๐Ÿต, for instance, compared to โ‰ค24,000 mg/kg for tobacco (of which about 1/10 get absorbed when smoking a cigarette ๐Ÿšฌ).

Click through for more information on nicotine.โ 

Donโ€™t fall into the โ€œis this food healthy or unhealthy?โ€ trap

The term "healthy" is overused when it comes to foods and diets. Individual reactions vary widely, and there are still many open questions in need of research.โ 

Nootropic: Alpha-GPC

Alpha-GPC is one of the more common nootropic supplements used for cognitive enhancements. One study has even shown it to improve power output in athletes.

Click through to learn more about its effects and how to safely take it.

Drug-free treatments for hypertension?

๐Ÿฉธ๐Ÿ“‰ If you have high blood pressure, like almost 30% of Americans, is there something you can do โ€” aside from medicating?โ โ 

A recent study compared various lifestyle interventions.

โ€˜Chemicalโ€™ is not a bad word.

In fact, everything you can see, breathe, smell, taste, or touch, including the human body, is made up entirely of chemicals! This means trying to โ€œavoid chemicalsโ€ is impossible!โ 

โ  What you probably DO want to avoid, though, is exposure to harmful chemicals in quantities that are likely to negatively affect your health. These chemicals (which include metals/metalloids, antimicrobials, microplastics, mycotoxins, and pesticides) can contaminate food and water, with the sources of contamination including the environment, agricultural practices, industrial waste, food packaging, and even cooking practices! โ 

โ  For an in-depth review on the topic, click through to check out Thompson and Darwish's 2019 study in the ๐ฝ๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘™ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘‡๐‘œ๐‘ฅ๐‘–๐‘๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘”๐‘ฆ.

Stress and its influence on aging

Stress resilience is key to aging well. A person who is 100 years old is 100 years old in chronological age, but their biological age โ€” how old their cells and tissues are โ€” can be different, and is more indicative of their susceptibility to chronic disease and other health burdens. โ  โ 

Chronic stress can accelerate biological aging through epigenetic mechanisms. We recently summarized an interesting study that dives into those mechanisms and how they relate to health outcomes like insulin resistance and adrenal sensitivity.

Of mice, men, and gainz

โ€œMouse research doesnโ€™t apply very well to humans.โ€โ 
โ ๐™๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ก ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ.โ 
โ Read on to discover the most exciting discovery of the century.

A weight-neutral approach to obesity

In this narrative review, the authors proposed a weight-neutral strategy for obesity treatment, focused on increasing physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. Some of the authorsโ€™ conclusions should be interpreted with caution, as there were several instances in which they cited research that didnโ€™t support their statements. Nevertheless, the general sentiment that weight-neutral interventions can effectively improve health and reduce risk for chronic disease is well-supported by the current body of literature.

The effects of full fasting vs. modified fasting on cognitive performance

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ ๐Ÿง  Fasting has been said to harm cognition and work capacity. A recent trial put this theory to the test. Read our analysis.

IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)

IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) is one of the most popular types of โ€œflexible dietsโ€. It lets you eat whatever foods you want, within some protein/fat/carbs guidelines. A recent randomized trial tested this approach against a more rigid diet with a structured meal plan, investigating the effects of each on body composition and resting metabolic rate.โ 

Vitamin D and the risk of falls in older adults

โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ’Š Are older people who supplement with vitamin D more or less likely to fall?โ  Studies published mere months apart report seemingly conflicting results. In some trials, vitamin D decreased the risk of falls. In others, once-a-month megadoses ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ the risk of falls. In others still, vitamin D had no effect.โ  Even meta-analyses of these trials donโ€™t always shed a light, as they often overlook details that could explain those discrepancies.โ 

Pesticide exposure can increase with a Mediterranean diet but decrease with organic food

Earlier this year, ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ด๐‘š๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐ฝ๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘™ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐ถ๐‘™๐‘–๐‘›๐‘–๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘™ ๐‘๐‘ข๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘› published a study on pesticides and organic foods. Switching from a Western diet to a Mediterranean diet increased urinary pesticide residues, except when organic foods were used.

The Top 5 Study Summaries

Every month, we summarize 150+ new studies for our Examine Members.

Check out our Membersโ€™ favorite summaries for March 2022.

This monthโ€™s favorites include two Editorโ€™s Picks, which delve deeper into the studies and include helpful graphics.โ 

Food addiction: is it real, and does that matter?

โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿฐ ๐Ÿ˜ Food addiction: Is it real, and does it matter?โ 

โ Stephan Guyenet, PhD in neuroscience, uses the latest evidence to clearly answer this prickly question. โ 

Intestinal Candidiasis (Candida Overgrowth)

โ˜€๏ธYeast is a type of fungus and a normal part of the gut microbiome. It is harmless in most people but can cause illness in certain populations. One such illness is called intestinal candidiasis (๐˜Š๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ข being a genus of yeast).โ 

โ  Intestinal candidiasis is one of those lesser-known illnesses on which it can be hard to find reliable information. Many people have never heard about it, while others make it responsible for everything that goes wrong with your body.โ  โ