Exercise supplements and aging, health benefit, cancer, diabetes, mental function
October 22 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.


Exercise keeps the body, and mind, in tiptop shape. Exercise and physical activity slow age-related declines and mental function, improve body tone, reduce the risk for cardiac events and stroke, and even reduce the incidence of fibroids. even low levels of weekly exercise has major health benefits. Thirty minutes of brisk walking three days per week is enough to drive down blood pressure and improve overall fitness. If you start an exercise program, it might inspire your spouse or partner to do the same.
   Exercise can reduce anxiety in patients dealing with a chronic illness, such as heart and circulatory problems, fibromyalgia, arthritis and other pain conditions, mental health problems, cancer, as well as the breathing disorder COPD. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010.


In March, 2012 I took a workshop in Los Angeles, California, with Win Hof, known widely as "The Iceman." Win Hof is the most extraordinary man I have met in my whole life. Being in the presence of a man who, out of the billions of individuals on this planet, has found a way to mentally control his body temperature to cold exposure better than anyone, and perform other astonishing world record-breaking feats, was truly inspiring. Furthermore, I found him to be an open-hearted, non-dogmatic, gentle man who carries himself with humility, always wanting to learn from everyone he encounters. After spending a day with him I left with a new, empowering feeling, confident that I can extend and expand my mental and physical potential to a significantly greater degree than I ever thought possible.


Supplements useful for exercise
Many supplements are used by athletes for athletic enhancement. I am not an expert on this topic but, over time, will mention additional supplements that could enhance exercise or athletic performance. Here are just a few:


Creatine increases muscle mass
Protein supplements increase muscle mass, you can use whey protein or soy. Pea protein and others are also available.
Spirulina may postpone exhaustion after all out exercise.

Beetroot juice - A glass of beetroot juice boosts endurance by reducing the amount of oxygen needed during physical exercise. In one study, those who drank the juice easily outperformed a control group in tests and were able to exercise at the same intensity for up to 16 percent longer. The findings, published in the US-based Journal of Applied Physiology in 2009. Perhaps this juice would be helpful to those with cardiovascular, respiratory or metabolic diseases as well as the elderly.
   Eating beetroot before a workout gives runners a modest edge in speed during a 5K run when they were close to the finish line. Beetroot is rich in substances called nitrates. Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide by the body which dilates blood vessels. That results in improved oxygen delivery. American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, 2011, San Diego.
Vitamin C - given the safety and low cos, and the positive findings for vitamin C administration in exercise induced bronchoconstricition studies, it seems reasonable for physically active people to test vitamin C when they have respiratory symptoms such as cough associated with exertion.

Water versus energy or sports drinks
Water is preferable to sports drinks for young athletes. Most young people don't exert themselves at an intensity or duration that requires the extra sugar and salt contained in sports drinks. Sports drinks can replenish some electrolytes used during exercise, but a person needs to be working out for more than an hour or two before benefitting from sports drinks.


What about wearing fitness devices
Fitness trackers may be trendy, but there's no evidence these devices raise activity levels enough to improve health. Many U.S. employers have incorporated wearable devices into their employee wellness programs, although rigorous evidence on their long-term health impact is lacking.

Exercise and weight loss

A brisk walk through the park might be better than a fast run when it comes to shedding pounds. Researchers found that among 14 women who embarked on a three-month exercise regimen, those who worked out at a moderate pace lost more weight than those who exercised more intensively. But it's not time for runners to start slowing down. For one, women in the higher-intensity exercise group did retain more muscle mass than those who worked out more moderately. To get the greatest health and fitness benefits, people should strive for a mix of moderate and vigorous cardiovascular exercise, as well as strength training.
   Moderate exercise like walking may be as good as or better than intense workouts when it comes to maintaining low triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Plus, moderate exercise places less strain on ligaments, tendons, and cartilage tissues.


Exercise seems to simultaneously make people hungrier, yet more readily satisfied by a meal -- and differences in these responses from person to person may help explain why some who exercise lose weight more easily than others. In a study of 58 overweight adults who started an exercise regimen, exercise tended to boost participants' hunger before a meal, compared with their sedentary days. On the other hand, they were also more easily satisfied by their morning meal than they had been before becoming active. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009.


Benefit of Exercise

Most of us know that regular exercise can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, prevent weight gain, improve sleep, and even boost brain power. But it can also literally change how you see the world, and those around you, by making your environment appear less threatening and more positive.


Almost any amount and type of physical activity may slow aging deep in our cells, and middle age is a critical time to get the process rolling.


Hitting the gym or going for a run are great ways to exercise, but there are lots of other ways to burn calories: Aerobic exercises, such as biking, jogging, swimming or walking. Strength training exercises, by using weight machines or by doing crunches, push-ups or using free weights. Play a sport, such as racquetball, golf, tennis or basketball. Household chores, such as mowing the lawn, washing the car or walking up and down stairs.

Housework, such as easy daily activities -- doing the dishes or folding clothes 00 may help older men and women live longer.


Cancer Prevention

The anti-cancer effects of exercise are due to increases in a protein that blocks cell growth and induces cell death. The protein, called insulin-like binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), inhibits another protein called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), thereby blocking IGF-1's proliferative effect on cell growth. Another reason exercise may reduce cancer risk is due to a decrease in fat tissue in the body.
     Exercise following a diagnosis of colon cancer substantially reduces the risk of death due to cancer or other causes. Regular, moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise can reduce cellular changes in the tissue lining the colon that can lead to the formation of colon polyps and colon cancer.


Aging, anti-aging
One key to keeping muscles young is as close as the nearest gym. High-level exercise appears to help keep older people's muscles young at the cellular level. Exercise is definitely an important contributor to functional performance, and even non-athletes can benefit from workout. Staying active, even later in life, can help reduce muscle loss.

Exercise and Mental Function
Regular exercise may prevent the mental decline associated with the long-term use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In a study of 54 postmenopausal women, investigators found that long-term HRT use -- more than 10 years -- was linked with poorer scores on a standard test of mental acuity. However, physical fitness appeared to counter this effect, according to findings published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. Short-term estrogen replacement may help thwart age-related mental decline, long-term HRT use may have the opposite effect.


Diabetes, blood sugar levels

Exercise can help people with large waistlines reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Heart rate control, heart disease
Running and other aerobic activities improve nervous-system control of the heart in young men. A study of 149 healthy young adults found that 12 weeks of aerobic exercise improved the autonomic nervous system's regulation of the heart . The training lowered men's resting heart rate and improved their results on a measure of heart-rate variability -- heart's ability to speed up or slow down in response to demands. American Journal of Public Health, May 2009.


White men who exercise more than seven hours a week have a higher risk of developing plaque build-up in their arteries. No such elevated risk has yet been found in either black men or women. ; October 16, 2017, Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Parkinson's Disease
Exercise -- whether it's sweating on a treadmill or on a dance floor -- can help Parkinson's patients move better and may even slow the inevitable march of this degenerative brain disease.


Stroke improvement
Stroke patients who engage in a therapeutic exercise program experience a reduction in depressive symptoms. Along with physical disability, depression is common in stroke patients.

Old Age
In a study comparing sedentary adults in their 60s and 70s with those in their 20s and 30s, researchers found that older men and women had to use much more oxygen to walk at the same speed as their younger counterparts. But that was before they went through a six-month exercise program. After taking up walking or jogging, biking and stretching, the senior study participants reversed their loss of exercise "efficiency." Exercise efficiency refers to how much energy the body expends to perform a given activity. At the start of this study, older men and women used 20 percent more oxygen to walk at the same speed as a younger person. But six months of regular exercise -- 90 minutes, three days per week -- improved older participants' exercise efficiency by 30 percent, versus only 2 percent among their younger counterparts. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, March 7, 2006.

People who put off regular exercise until they hit the age of 50 can still benefit from physical activity but it appears to take 10 years for the effects to kick in. A study of 2,205 Swedish men, published in March 2009, followed for more than 20 years from the age of 50 showed that exercise made no difference in premature death rates for at least a decade for those who waited until later in life to start physical activity.


Exercise danger, heart problems, stroke, intestinal problems
Heavy exercise may lead to health danger such as dehydration and various musculoskeletal problems. Endurance training may lead to right ventricular dysfunction and in hot climates heat stroke is possible.


The stress response of prolonged vigorous exercise shuts down gut function. The redistribution of blood flow away from the gut and towards working muscles creates gut cell injury that may lead to cell death, leaky gut, and systemic immune responses due to intestinal bacteria entering general circulation. The risk of gut injury and impaired function seems to increase along with the intensity and duration of exercise.


Cool water after exercise
A dip in cool or chilly water can help endurance athletes recover faster after a tough workout, while alternating between cold and hot water immersion is also beneficial. On the other hand, soaking in hot water is only slightly better than resting for the same amount of time in helping athletes to maintain performance. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 2008.


Local weather affects Americans' levels of exercise and their risk for obesity. Adults in counties with hot summers are less physically active and more likely to be obese, especially if the summers are also humid or rainy.


House chores and gardening
The time people spend doing housework such as scrubbing floors or cleaning windows and gardening and do-it-yourself work (digging, sweeping leaves and the like) does not seem to make a strong influence on heart health, but it can reduce mortality. Housework and gardening reduce the amount of time people spend sitting around doing nothing or watching TV. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2009.


Pre workout formula
After reading your information on your website it was so helpful to know what is good and what is bad. I am a college student and was taking a pre workout supplement called Jacked 3d from usp labs. On the back of the bottle it said: Ingredients found in this container may be banned from sport organizations. When i read this it kind of worried me. I eat well, and train like an animal. I take a multi-vitamin, fish oil, 500mg of vitamin C, and also tribulus which I found many health benefits. If you could please let me know what pre workout formula I could benefit from the most.
    I am not familiar with Jacked 3hd from USP Labs. I have not seen studies that indicate a particular product on the market provides long term benefits as a pre workout product and is completely safe. For bigger muscles I prefer creatine monohydrate and protein powder or eating more protein. Eating a healthy diet, doing a variety of exercies, doing yoga or stretches and sleeping deeply are the best options in the long run for optimal workouts. However, I am not a expert in exercise physiology and there could be some products that may work for some people, at least in the short term. Long term safety is an issue to consider.



Q. Can a person take CoQ10 on the days that I exercise? What about LJ100?
     A. CoQ10 at a dose of 50 mg or less should be fine. As to LJ100, it can increase body temperature so it may be best to not engage in heavy activity, particularly in hot weather, if you take LJ100.


As i research EWOT subject on the internet, I see there are lots of sites touting their products. My question is general. What are your thoughts on Exercise with Oxygen Training and any benefits i might get from it. I also understand there are some key supplements one should take about a half hour before exercising that enhance the effects of EWOT. Would you know which supplements these are and if they are worthwhile?
    I have seen no research that shows EWOT is of benefit to an average person. A search on Medline for EWOT shows no studies that have been published as of 2013.