Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Muay Thai. The latest.

Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort bout

Because of the popularity of MMA  in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Boxing has lost some momentum. On the other hand Muay Thai is gaining ground, slowly but surely. With the rise of Muay Thai Fighters in the MMA ranks, such as Anderson Silva, Muay Thai has a world of possibilities here in the USA.

MPL's poster

Recently, the Muay Thai Premier League (MPL) made a great debut in America. It brought with it great cards and amazing fighters. But the fact remains that Thai  Boxing is still a big unknown to most Americans. In many states the sanctioning of Muay Thai events is very complicated.

Lots of people have misconceptions about Thai Boxing, and most confuse it with Kickboxing. There is still a lot of work to be done in terms of awareness. If a giant, such as Dana White, gets the urge to promote Muay Thai, then, it will definetively get well deserved prime time attention.

In the meantime, we at Jungle Miami will continue to train hard and work hard to promote the Art Of Eight Weapons. Here is a report on the Muay Thai  Epic 4 React event coming up in Australia. Looks like it is going to be a good one.  I hope you all enjoy this post and  send us your feedback, we appreciate it.

Epic 4 React poster
The fourth Muay Thai promotion of EPIC tournaments will be hosted at Craigie Leisure Centre next Saturday October 15, 2011 with the main event where Perth’s Kim Olsen will take on Gary Williams from South Australia along with some of the best WA fighters on the card – Alex Moppa James, Roy Wills, Lino Tak, Wes Capper, Marco Tentori, Ruan Du Plessis including state titles, interstate fights and international female bout between Caley Reece fighting Claire Haigh from UK.

Epic 4 React FIGHT CARD

Kim Olsen ( WA ) vs Gary Williams ( SA )

MUAY THAI FIGHT -72.000 kg 5×3 mn
Wes Capper vs Marco Tentori

Caley Reece ( AUSTRALIA ) vs Claire Haigh (UK)

Alex MOPPA James ( WA ) vs Cody Brooks ( NSW )

Ruan Du Plessis ( WA ) vs Jun Lee ( QLD )

MUAY THAI FIGHT -63.500 kg 5×2 mn
Beau St Quentin vs Matt Kaos King

Roy Wills ( WA ) vs Joel Anderson ( QLD )

MUAY THAI STATE TITLE – 76.300 kg 5×2 mn
Brady Paul vs Jack Nikich

MUAY THAI FIGHT -56.000 kg 5×2 mn
Linno Tak vs Ben Brown

MUAY THAI FIGHT -68.000 kg 5×2 mn
Matt Evans vs Daniel Sultana

Kim Townsend vs Kaitlyn Vance

MUAY THAI STATE TITLE 50.800 kg 5×2 mn
David Truong vs Zac Einersen

For more details and/or partnership with the show please call 0415 122 856.


Read the report of the previous addition EPiC 3 Believe  which was promoted on June 25 earlier this year.

Kicks, punches, thai elbows and knees in head – EPiC fights 3  Belive

Luke Aram
by Parviz Iskenderov

Yesterday (June 25) Perth hosted a great night of professional muay thai featuring some of the best Australian fighters with three titles on the card.

Okay, let’s start from the very beginning. Shame on me I missed first couple of fights, cause either the venue was way too far or probably my mate Tim had to drive slow due to a heavyweight Moppa sitting in the car too.

Anyway, in the first muaythai bout Emma Graham won by unanimous points decision versus Christina Jurjevic. According to Macca there were quite a few good elbows coming out from Christina, though Emma was better and dominated the fight.

Chris Daniel took a points decision over Alex Job. It was their second fight with a draw in the previous one.

I would call EPiC 3 the fight of the hard leg kicks and elbows. Fight of Lino Tak and Makk McNaught… Thai/Aussie Lino, fighting real muaythai style took judges decision. Before that he made quite a bit of a damage on his opponent’s leg with that hard kick. It was black. Giving a credit to Makk McNaught he was hard too and showed some good skills and effort to win, stayed to the end and tried his best.

The fight I liked the most is where Luke Aram faced Roy Wills showing what does it mean to be fit and fast. He basically confirmed again his fight name “PitBull” – he never stops in his attacks. The intrigue of this bout was probably that both are top skillful and fit, just Luke has more experience.

“I missed that highkick in the first round, but that probably it. I felt confident and controlled the situation, seeing him coping those low-kicks.”

Roy Wills did well, just I think, the only mistake he made, was that he didn’t change the style of fighting during the actual bout. I mean instead of trying to be as fast as Aram, he should’ve switch into a thai style and put pressure on him. That’s what I would try to do, I know it is easy to say than done though.

MORE ELBOWS: Loved watching elbows performance by Ruan Du Plessis in a fight versus Simone Allaix from Italy. It was something like a demolition. Italian didn’t show much from Muay Thai apart of Wai Kru… I don’t mean to be mean, but that’s true. I didn’t even notice him hitting Ruan even once. The fight was ended by TKO after several eight counts.

Something was wrong with the judges for sure. BCW fight vs Glen Purvis was an unanimous decision. For me it looked like it was given to the wrong corner though. That’s what Brett posted on forum after the fight: “glens a tough kid with a lot of skills, and will have to take a closer look at the video cause I was even surprised at the decision”. In anyway next BCW fight is on Domination 7 versus Mitch Seth. Also loved his devil Muay Thai shorts sponsored by WMD.

Four man tournament where Jason Lea went to final winning Harlee Avison in the first semi-final. Was good to watch and quite entertaining. The second semi-final between Kym Johnson and Marco Tentori. Honestly I expected a bit more from Marco, seemed like he was the lightest of all competitors that was probably a reason that made things hard for him. Well for me it looked like Kym Johnson won all three rounds with no doubts though the judges scored it as a draw, Marco is from WA by the way. Well after an extra round Johnson’s name was called as a winner anyway. But I believe it took hell of a physical energy from him too, as he knew he won, but had to fight one more round after he almost took the gloves off.

So the final was between Lea and Johnson. The obvious was their height difference, as Johnson was the tallest and Lea was probably the shortest of all four men on the start card. Three rounds of action with quite good skills and combos and as a result Kym Johnson from SA takes the belt.

The World female Muay Thai title fight, the main event number two, where Caley Reece took a deserved unanimous points decision win over Madeleine Vall from Sweden, and was awarded with one more World champions belt in her collection. Was a good fight to watch, especially when the girls do proper, sharp Muay Thai school using different skills. Caley has been fighting for years and she holds several national and World titles.

The very last fight of the night where Kim Olsen stopped Daniel Smyrk during the first minute of the second round. He showed a very good use of knees and elbows and as a result he was titled as a National Muay Thai champion.

It was the first time I attended EPiC tournaments and I liked it. Special thanks to Darren Reece for a great job and the invite to the well set up show with the good quality fights. It was also good to meet again some nice people like Brett Dalton, Jordan Weir; see my old friend Monika as a card girl and everything. Thanks to Jordan for taking photos.

The only thing I didn’t get was why Mr Wayne Rowland who presented himself as a commissioner, I suppose of WA combat sport, was pretty rude in a conversation and didn’t want to tell his name since five times he was asked. I have never met this person before and never heard of him on any levels of Muay Thai sport in WA, cause there is probably nothing? I don’t mean to be smart, but I also never heard from any promoter of WA that, this or that commissioner (apart of Kevin and help of Margaret) actually assist in promoting and arrangements for the shows. What for this commission exists then…?

Probably promoters, who make great tournaments and develop Australian health and fitness via Muay Thai sport, putting WA events on FOX TV; and what we do – managing Australian athletes and sending them overseas to fight on quite big shows making Australia even more recognized as a strong sport country… is not enough? Anyway that’s a different topic.


The Muay Thai Premier League link

EpicFights 4 React Link

EpicFights 3 Believe Report Link

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The New Secret Weapon for Tour De France: Beetroot Juice.Really? Really.

We have known of all the good things contained in beetroot. Now it has become public knowledge that it is THE secret weapon in the Tour D'France. Let's examine the subject closely. Get yourself some beetroot juice, read along and enjoy the post.

Feel free to share your thougths with us.

Research Reveals New Secret Weapon for Tour De France, Beetroot Juice

ScienceDaily (July 1, 2011) —

 Winning margins in the Tour de France can be tight -- last year just 39 seconds separated the top two riders after more than 90 hours in the saddle. When every second counts, riders do everything possible to gain a competitive advantage -- from using aerodynamic carbon fibre bikes to the very latest in sports nutrition.

Now there could be a new, completely legal and rather surprising weapon in the armoury for riders aiming to shave vital seconds off their time -- beetroot juice.

Research by the University of Exeter, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, has shown drinking the juice enables competitive-level cyclists to cut down the time it takes to ride a given distance. This is the first study which has shown that beetroot juice can be effective in a simulated competition environment.

For the study, nine club-level competitive male cyclists were asked to compete in time trials over 4km (2.5 mile) and 16.1km (10 mile). All the riders were asked to do each time trial twice. Each time they drank half a litre of beetroot juice beforehand. On one occasion they had normal beetroot juice, on the other occasion -- unbeknown to the triallists -- the beetroot juice had a key ingredient, nitrate, removed.

The researchers monitored athletes' VO2 levels (showing the amount of oxygen consumed) during exercise to ensure that the cyclists worked at maximum effort on each occasion.

Results showed that when the cyclists drank ordinary beetroot juice they had a higher power output (measured in watts) for the same level of effort -- suggesting their muscles and cardio-vascular system were being more efficient.

On average, riders were 11 seconds (2.8%) quicker over the 4km distance and 45 seconds (2.7%) faster over the 16.1km distance.

Professor Andrew Jones, from the University of Exeter, lead author on the research, said: "This is the first time we've studied the effects of beetroot juice, and the high nitrate levels found in it, on simulated competition.

"The findings show an improvement in performance that, at competition level, could make a real difference -- particularly in an event like the Tour de France where winning margins can be tight."

Beetroot juice is a natural source of nitrate, which is thought to be the active ingredient in affecting athlete's performance.

The nitrate has two physiological effects. Firstly, it widens blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and allowing more blood flow. Secondly, it affects muscle tissue, reducing the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during activity. The combined effects have a significant impact on performing physical tasks, whether it involves low-intensity or high-intensity effort.

Previous studies by the University of Exeter uncovered the impacts of beetroot juice and have begun to look in detail at its effects on different kinds of physical activity.

The beetroot juice used in this research was provided by James White Drinks.

Brief History of Beetroot

Modern varieties of beets are derived from the sea beet, an inedible plant that grows wild along the coasts of Europe, North Africa, and Asia. The garden beet has been cultivated for thousands of years. In ancient Greece, beets were so highly valued that, according to myth, a beet was offered on a silver platter to Apollo at Delphi. Today, beets are grown in many regions of the world. The leading beet-producing regions of the United States are California, Colorado, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas. The beet is a cool-weather biennial that is cultivated as an annual. Beets are grown from seeds sown in early spring and are ready to harvest 60 to 80 days after planting. Beets are not harmed by frost, but hot weather can toughen the roots. Thus, in regions with hotter summers, they are planted in early fall for winter and spring harvest. Consequently, fresh beets are available all year.

Nutrients in Beetroot

Beet greens are a very good source of calcium, iron, Vitamins A and C. Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid. They are a very good source of fiber, manganese and potassium. Beet greens and beetroot are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron and vitamin B6. Betacyanin is the pigment that gives beetroot its color, and has powerful antioxidant properties.


Beets, raw Nutritional value per

100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy 180 kJ (43 kcal)

* Carbohydrates 9.56 g

Dietary fiber 2.8 g

* Fat 0.17 g

* Protein 1.61 g

Vitamin A equiv. 2 ?g

- beta-carotene 20 ?g

- lutein and zeaxanthin 0 ?g

Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.031 mg

Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.040 mg

Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.334 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.155 mg

* Vitamin B6 0.067 mg

* Folate (Vit. B9) 109 ?g

* Vitamin C 4.9 mg

* Calcium 16 mg

* Iron 0.80 mg

* Magnesium 23 mg

Phosphorus 40 mg

Potassium 325 mg

Zinc 0.35 mg

A comprehensive breakdown of nutrients can be found in the Nutrition Database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.

Beetroot for Cholesterol Reduction

Beet fiber has been shown to have cholesterol lowering capabilities. In a study on rats with induced high blood cholesterol, a red beet fiber diet caused a reduction of serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels (by 30 and 40%, respectively) and a significant increase in HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). This diet induced also a significant decrease (almost by 30%) of cholesterol content in the aorta.

Beetroot for Blood Pressure

Beetroot juice has been shown to lower blood pressure in subjects with normal blood pressure. In healthy volunteers, approximately 3 hours after ingestion of 500 ml of beetroot juice, blood pressure was substantially reduced, an effect that correlated with peak increases in plasma nitrite concentration, nitrite being the blood pressure reducing ingredient.

Beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure indicating that it is the nitrate content of beetroot juice that underlies its potential to reduce blood pressure. It has also been found that only a small amount of juice is needed – just 250ml – to have this effect.

Beetroot for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Betaine, a nutrient found in beets and some other foods lowers plasma homocysteine, a possible risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Betaine supplements are manufactured as a byproduct of sugar beet processing. Betaine “supplementation” has however been found to increase blood LDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in healthy humans, which may undo the potential benefits for cardiovascular health of betaine supplementation through homocysteine lowering.

Beetroot for Healthy Liver FunctionBeetroot contains the bioactive agent betaine, which supports healthy liver function. When the liver is functioning properly, fats are broken down efficiently, aiding weight loss, and preventing fatigue and nausea.

Beetroot for Cancer Prevention

The in vitro inhibitory effect of beet root extract on Epstein-Barr virus early antigen (EBV-EA) induction using Raji cells revealed a high order of activity compared to capsanthin, cranberry, red onion skin and short and long red bell peppers. An in vivo anti-tumor promoting activity evaluation against the mice skin and lung bioassays also revealed a significant tumor inhibitory effect. The combined findings suggest that beetroot ingestion can be a useful means to help prevent cancer.

In patients that had various forms of gastritis and gastric cancer, it was found that beet juice may inhibit or enhance N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation depending on the gastric juice composition, pH in particular. In acid medium (pH-1.3-3.4) there was a trend to inhibition of NDMA synthesis, while in neutral and alkaline (pH = 7.4-8.5) medium NDMA synthesis is activated. N-nitrosodimethylamine is a nitrosamine, and is a suspected human carcinogen.

Glycemic Index of Beetroot

In a study to determine the estimated Glycemic Index of various foods, it was concluded that beetroot has a medium GI of 64.

Adverse Reactions from Beetroot

Beetroot and especially beet greens contain high levels of oxalate, and should be avoided by individuals with kidney stones containing oxalate

Beetroot contains nitrates and when they are cooked and left standing at room temperature, microorganisms that convert nitrates to nitrites begin to multiply, and the amount of nitrites in the beetroot rises. The nitrites combine with amines in the stomach to form nitrosamines, some of which are known carcinogens.


1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.

2. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology.

3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

4. Sreekanth D, Arunasree MK, Roy KR, Chandramohan Reddy T, Reddy GV, Reddanna P. Betanin a betacyanin pigment purified from fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica induces apoptosis in human chronic myeloid leukemia Cell line-K562. Phytomedicine. 2007 Nov;14(11):739-46. Epub 2007 May 7. PMID: 17482444.

5. Kanner J, Harel S, Granit R. Betalains–a new class of dietary cationized antioxidants. J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Nov;49(11):5178-85. PMID: 11714300.

6. Váli L, Stefanovits-Bányai E, Szentmihályi K, Fébel H, Sárdi E, Lugasi A, Kocsis I, Blázovics A. Liver-protecting effects of table beet (Beta vulgaris var. rubra) during ischemia-reperfusion. Nutrition. 2007 Feb;23(2):172-8. PMID: 17234508.

7. Kapadia GJ, Tokuda H, Konoshima T, Nishino H. Chemoprevention of lung and skin cancer by Beta vulgaris (beet) root extract. Cancer Lett. 1996 Feb 27;100(1-2):211-4. PMID: 8620443.

8. Bobek P, Galbavý S, Mariássyová M. The effect of red beet (Beta vulgaris var. rubra) fiber on alimentary hypercholesterolemia and chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. Nahrung. 2000 Jun;44(3):184-7. PMID: 10907240

9. Olthof MR, van Vliet T, Verhoef P, Zock PL, Katan MB. Effect of homocysteine-lowering nutrients on blood lipids: results from four randomised, placebo-controlled studies in healthy humans. PLoS Med. 2005 May;2(5):e135. Epub 2005 May 31. PMID: 15916468

10. Ahluwalia A., et al. Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite. Hypertension. 2008 Mar;51(3):784-90. PMID: 18250365

11. Il?itski? AP, Iurchenko VA. [Effect of fruit and vegetable juices on the changes in the production of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds in human gastric juice] Vopr Pitan. 1993 Jul-Sep;(4):44-6. PMID: 8073694

12. Carol Ann Rinzler. The New Complete Book of Food – A Nutritional, Medical, and Culinary Guide

13. Amrita Ahluwalia, et al. Inorganic Nitrate Supplementation Lowers Blood Pressure in Humans. Hypertension, 2010; DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.153536

14. Carol Ann Rinzler, The New Complete Book of Food. A Nutritional, Medical, and Culinary Guide


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Study Shows That Spanking Kids Makes Them Stupid

To spank, or not to spank?  That is the question... that parents ask us all the time here at Jungle Miami.  You be the judge. 

Children Who Are Spanked Have Lower IQs, New Research Finds

ScienceDaily (Sep. 25, 2009) — Children who are spanked have lower IQs worldwide, including in the United States, according to new groundbreaking research by University of New Hampshire professor Murray Straus. The research results will be presented Friday, Sept. 25, 2009, at the 14th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, in San Diego, Calif.

"All parents want smart children. This research shows that avoiding spanking and correcting misbehavior in other ways can help that happen," Straus says. "The results of this research have major implications for the well being of children across the globe."
"It is time for psychologists to recognize the need to help parents end the use of corporal punishment and incorporate that objective into their teaching and clinical practice. It also is time for the United States to begin making the advantages of not spanking a public health and child welfare focus, and eventually enact federal no-spanking legislation," he says.

IQ and Spanking in America

Straus found that children in the United States who were spanked had lower IQs four years later than those who were not spanked.

Straus and Mallie Paschall, senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, studied nationally representative samples of 806 children ages 2 to 4, and 704 ages 5 to 9. Both groups were retested four years later.

IQs of children ages 2 to 4 who were not spanked were 5 points higher four years later than the IQs of those who were spanked. The IQs of children ages 5 to 9 years old who were not spanked were 2.8 points higher four years later than the IQs of children the same age who were spanked.

"How often parents spanked made a difference. The more spanking the, the slower the development of the child's mental ability. But even small amounts of spanking made a difference," Straus says.

IQ and Spanking Worldwide

Straus also found a lower national average IQ in nations in which spanking was more prevalent. His analysis indicates the strongest link between corporal punishment and IQ was for those whose parents continued to use corporal punishment even when they were teenagers.

Straus and colleagues in 32 nations used data on corporal punishment experienced by 17,404 university students when they were children.

According to Straus, there are two explanations for the relation of corporal punishment to lower IQ.

First, corporal punishment is extremely stressful and can become a chronic stressor for young children, who typically experience corporal punishment three or more times a week. For many it continues for years. The research found that the stress of corporal punishment shows up as an increase in post-traumatic stress symptoms such as being fearful that terrible things are about to happen and being easily startled. These symptoms are associated with lower IQ.

Second, a higher national level of economic development underlies both fewer parents using corporal punishment and a higher national IQ.

The good news is that the use of corporal punishment has been decreasing worldwide, which may signal future gains in IQ across the globe.

"The worldwide trend away from corporal punishment is most clearly reflected in the 24 nations that legally banned corporal punishment by 2009. Both the European Union and the United Nations have called on all member nations to prohibit corporal punishment by parents. Some of the 24 nations that prohibit corporal punishment by parents have made vigorous efforts to inform the public and assist parents in managing their children. In others little has been done to implement the prohibition," Straus says.

"Nevertheless, there is evidence that attitudes favoring corporal punishment and actual use of corporal punishment have been declining even in nations that have done little to implement the law and in nations which have not prohibited corporal punishment," he says.

Widely considered the foremost researcher in his field, Straus is the co-director of the Family Research Laboratory and professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He has studied spanking by large and representative samples of American parents since 1969. He is the author of "Beating The Devil Out Of Them: Corporal Punishment In American Families And Its Effects On Children."

He has been president of three scientific societies including the National Council on Family Relations, and has been an advisor to the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Much of his research on spanking can be downloaded from

Straus's research was supported, in part, by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.

University of New Hampshire (2009, September 25). Children Who Are Spanked Have Lower IQs, New Research Finds. ScienceDaily

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mixed Martial Arts Training. Being embraced by other sports athletes? Finally.

In the last seminar we had with the Thai Boxing Association's Ajarn Chai, he shared some of this own anecdotes while training the Dallas Cowboys for 9 years. This was a  few years back. Today we are bringing this New York Times article on the impact of Mixed Martial Arts Training with respect to other high performance sports. It proves how effective and advanced Mixed Martial Arts Training can be and how much it can improve one's game. This is Jungle Miami's post today. Enjoy it, and let us know what you think. We appreciate it.

Mixed Martial Arts Makes Inroads in Baseball Training


April 12, 2011

Mixed martial arts may be illegal as a competitive sport in some states, but several baseball players are incorporating its fighting methods into their training routines.

Steve Nesius/Reuters
Yankees catcher Russel Martin used mixed martial arts training to help him get in shape for the season and recover from injury.

Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox, Brad Penny of the Detroit Tigers and Russell Martin of the Yankees have used the sport’s punches and kicks to improve their throwing and swinging. In addition to improving overall fitness, Martin said, mixed martial arts can make an athlete mentally tougher.

“You tolerate the pain and get through it,” he said. “Mentally, I know I’m in a good place because I worked hard.”

Mixed martial arts is a combination of karate, judo, jujitsu, boxing, wrestling and tae kwon do. The sport is also popular in Brazil and Japan. Pay-per-view telecasts in the United States began in 1993, with the Ultimate Fighting Championship staging the most lucrative matches.

Peter Morrison/Associated Press
Dan Henderson has helped train baseball players.

Unlike Martin, Dunn and Penny guard the secrets of their workouts as if they were team signs.

Penny acknowledged training with Dan Henderson, a star M.M.A. competitor, but he declined through a Tigers spokesman to discuss his training. Dunn declined through the White Sox media-relations office.

Henderson said that he had had Penny practice the kicks and punches used in M.M.A., but there was no sparring.

“We use focus mitts,” Henderson said, referring to the oversize padded gloves that he wears while athletes kick and punch them. “Physically, it works different muscles than players tend to use in their own sport. The training gives them something different to push themselves through.”

Henderson said the workouts could indirectly help Penny’s strategy on the mound.

“It might give Brad a little more confidence when he’s pitching inside,” Henderson said. “And he’s prepared in case anyone rushes the mound.”

Jay Glazer, a football analyst for Fox Sports who runs MMAthletics with Randy Couture, a mixed martial arts star, has trained N.F.L. players in the sport. Glazer said his clients included Ryan Grant, Jared Allen, Clay Matthews and the Atlanta Falcons team.

While the workouts for the football players emphasize wrestling and hand-fighting techniques, Glazer said the routine for baseball players concentrated on emulating the movements of their sport.

Ryan Rowland-Smith, a left-handed pitcher in the Houston Astros organization who battled arm and back injuries the last couple of years with the Seattle Mariners, worked with Glazer in the winter. “I’m in the best shape of my life, for sure,” said Rowland-Smith, a surfer while growing up in Australia.

Glazer said: “In the case of Ryan, we look at film and break it down frame by frame and come up with a combination that mirrors his pitching delivery. A knee, a punch, followed by a kick. We have him do a ton of that for his hips. Power comes from his core, his hips and his legs, even though he uses his arm to pitch.”

Mentally, Glazer said, the mantra is the same for baseball players as it is for N.F.L. players.

“Own your space,” Glazer said several times. “We get the players thinking like a cage fighter. When the door shuts, it’s time to break that man’s will across from you. For Ryan, as a pitcher, it’s that 60 feet 6 inches that you own.”

Rowland-Smith said the rigors of M.M.A. training made it easier to tolerate physical and mental challenges on the mound.

“If you have some small injuries or you’re not feeling 100 percent, nothing can compare with what you go through with the training, so you can fight through it,” he said.

Martin, a catcher, worked with Jonathan Chaimberg, who trains Georges St.-Pierre, the U.F.C.’s welterweight champion. Martin said he was searching for a way to regain his All-Star form after two injury-marred seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After a few months of six-days-a-week M.M.A.-style training sessions with Chaimberg in Montreal, where he lives, Martin increased his endurance and explosiveness and lost body fat. He said his upper-body routine was called the big rope.

“It’s a thick rope that you attach to a base of a wall and has a loop,” he said. “You create waves with the rope, and it’s like a 20-second sprint, a 10-second rest. You don’t do it for a long period of time. You do it for five minutes, get a good workout in and work on your conditioning.”

It seems to be helping. Martin is hitting .300 with three homers and eight runs batted in.

Bobby Valentine, an ESPN baseball analyst, has managed in the major leagues and in Japan, where one would think mixed martial arts training is popular among players. But that is not the case, he said.

“It’s more prominent in the States,” said Valentine, who said he believes the training is beneficial.

He added: “Most mixed martial arts instructors teach balance, quickness and awareness of your surroundings. There are a few cases in Japan, but most players just play baseball over there.”



The New York Times original article

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Do you know how healthy is your heart? Now you can calculate it.

In the past we have published articles about the the human heart ,and how to protect it. Today we come back with more on it. After all, the human heart is the most important muscle in our body. This is Jungle Miami's post today. Enjoy it and please feel free to write your opinions about it.

Magic Number for Heart Health

ScienceDaily (June 2, 2011)

Imagine being able to calculate one number that would tell you just how fit you are -- and what that means for your heart health. Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have managed exactly that: they have developed a model that can help doctors -- and individuals -- determine just how fit an individual is, and what that means for overall health.

Scientists at NTNU's newly established KG Jebsen Centre of Exercise and Medicine, led by Professor Ulrik Wisløff, have assembled the largest dataset of its kind in the world on fitness in healthy women and men. Using the database, the researchers were able to develop a model that enables the calculation of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), which is the single best way to measure physical conditioning and cardiac health.

5000 Norwegians provide data

Until now, there has been relatively little information to describe the levels of fitness that could be expected in a healthy adult population. That led Wisløff and his colleagues at the Jebsen Centre to look at how fitness is related to traditional risk factors, by testing approximately 5000 healthy Norwegians aged 13-90 years.

The researchers found that women's and men's fitness (oxygen uptake) was 35 mL / kg / min and 45 mL / kg / min, respectively. This figure dropped by about 5% for each decade of increasing age for both sexes. For example, women in their 20s had a VO2max on average of 45 mL / kg / min, but by the time a woman reaches her 50s, that number was closer to 34 mL / kg / min.

Women and men who had lower fitness (regardless of age) than the average for their gender were respectively 5 and 8 times more likely to have many risk factors for cardiovascular disease compared with those who had fitness values higher than average.

Conditioning a continuous measure of health status

The researchers also found that conditioning seems to reflect a continuous measure of health status, and that just a 5 mL / kg / min decrease in oxygen consumption was associated with an approximately 60% higher chance of having a collection of several risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The study confirms that a person's physical condition is even more important for heart health than previously thought.

The research group is now pursuing the cellular, molecular and genetic causes of good and poor conditioning. Since conditioning has such an effect on an individual's overall health, researchers believe that identifying these factors may lead to new approaches for new and more effective medicines in the treatment of lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. The researchers believe that based on a single blood sample, it could be possible to design effective exercise program that suits an individual's genetic make-up and that makes it possible to prevent or delay the development of cardiovascular disease.

One workout a week is enough to start

"It could be the same as just writing a prescription for medicine, except in this case it could be number of workouts per week," Wisløff says. "And what is even more encouraging is that our research shows that the workouts don't have to be onerous to have an effect. For people who are in poor shape, just one 15 minute workout per week is enough to make a difference. Even parents with children should be able to manage that."

The key, however, is that that one workout must involve a high intensity session of 4 minutes where the heart is working at up to 90 per cent of its capacity, Wisløff's research has shown. A 10-minute warmup should precede this high-intensity portion of the workout session, and the high-intensity session should also be followed by a 3-minute cool down.

Scientists at the K.G. Jebsen Centre of Exercise in Medicine are currently conducting clinical trials of this approach in many different patient groups. The group was the first in the world to have clearly isolated heart cells from humans and has contributed to the mapping of cellular and molecular characteristics of heart cells from individuals with and without heart failure. This has led to the discovery of new mechanisms behind heart disease. The researchers are now conducting animal studies to examine how altering these mechanisms might reduce the rate of cardiovascular complications in individuals with heart disease.



The research associated with this study is from the newly established KG Jebsen Centre for Exercise in Medicine.

For more information about the centre,

To try the VO2 max calculator, visit:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chocolate Milk, Mmmmm Yes!

On June of 2010 we posted an article about the benefits of  drinking chocolate milk after training. This Summer, Jungle Miami is coming back to the same subject. The reasons:
1-A new study reaffirms the previous studies results.
2-We love chocolate milk.

This is Jungle Miami's post today. So get yourself some chocolate milk and enjoy it while reading our  article.

New Studies Reinforce Benefits Of Drinking Low fat Chocolate Milk After A Tough Workout
03 Jun 2011

New research suggests an effective recovery drink may already be in your refrigerator: lowfat chocolate milk. Grabbing lowfat chocolate milk after a tough workout helped give both trained and amateur athletes a post-exercise training advantage, according to three new studies presented at the American College of Sports Medicine and published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research this month. Athletes in the studies who had a post-exercise lowfat chocolate milk - with the right mix of carbs and high-quality protein - had improved training times, better body composition (more muscle, less fat) and were in better shape than their peers who drank typical sports beverages with carbohydrates only.

In three related studies, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin compared the recovery benefits of drinking lowfat chocolate milk after exercise to a carbohydrate beverage with the same calories (similar to a typical sports drink) and calorie-free beverages. The new research linked drinking lowfat chocolate milk after strenuous exercise to:

Improved Performance: Following an exhausting ride, trained cyclists had significantly more power and rode faster, shaving about six minutes, on average, from their ride time when they recovered with lowfat chocolate milk compared to a carbohydrate sports drink and calorie-free beverage. The 10 cyclists rode for 90 minutes at a moderate intensity followed by 10 minutes of high intensity intervals. During a four-hour recovery period, they drank one of the three recovery beverages immediately and two hours later before heading on a second 40 kilometer ride. (1)

Quicker Exercise Adaptation: Compared to the other recovery drinks, chocolate milk drinkers had twice the improvement in V02max - a measure of aerobic fitness and adaptation - after a 4.5 week cycling regimen that included intense exercise five days a week, followed by one of the three recovery beverages. The study included 32 healthy but untrained male and female cyclists.(2)

Better Body Composition (More Muscle, Less Fat): Chocolate milk drinkers gained more muscle and lost more fat during training, with a 3 pound lean muscle advantage at the end of the 4.5 weeks compared to athletes who grabbed a carbohydrate drink. The 32 healthy but untrained male and female cyclists rode for one hour, five days a week and drank one of the three recovery beverages immediately following and one hour post-exercise. (3)

"Collectively, our research suggests that lowfat chocolate milk - easily accessible for most athletes - can improve performance and aid training for trained and amateur athletes faced with tough routines," said John L. Ivy, Ph.D, lead researcher on the University of Texas at Austin studies. "We may need more research to understand the exact mechanisms, but there's something that chocolate milk naturally has that likely gives it the post-exercise advantage."

Experts agree the two-hour window after exercise is an important, yet often neglected, part of fitness routine. After strenuous exercise, this post-workout recovery period is critical for active people at all fitness levels to help make the most of a workout and stay in top shape for the next workout.

Chocolate Milk - Nature's Recovery Drink

Lowfat chocolate milk naturally has many of the nutrients most commercial recovery drinks have to add in the lab - including high-quality protein and key electrolytes like calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium. Plus, it has B vitamins for energy to get you going, and the combo of five bone-building nutrients - calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, protein and potassium - to help athletes build and maintain strong bones and reduce risk for stress fractures.

Lowfat chocolate milk also contains high-quality protein to help repair and rebuild muscles after strenuous exercise. This new research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting milk is an effective way to help athletes refuel and recover.


1. Ferguson-Stegall L, McCleave EL, Ding Z, Doerner PG, Wang B, Liao YH, Kammer L, Liu Y, Hwang J, Dessard BM, Ivy JL. Postexercise carbohydrate-protein supplementation improves subsequent exercise performance and intracellular signaling for protein synthesis. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2011;25:1210-1224.

2. Ferguson-Stegall L, McCleave EL, Ding Z, Doerner PG, Liu Y, Wang B, Dessard B, Kleinart M, Healy M, Lassiter G, Ivy JL. Aerobic exercise training adaptations are increased by post-exercise carbohydrate-protein supplementation [Abstract]. In: American College of Sports Medicine 58th Annual Meeting; 2011 May 31-Jun 4; Denver, CO. Poster nr D-29.

3. McCleave EL, Ferguson-Stegall L, Ding Z, Doerner PG, Liu Y, Kammer L, Wang B, Wang W, Hwang J, Ivy JL. Effects of aerobic training and nutritional supplementation on body composition, immune cells and inflammatory markers [Abstract]. IN: American College of Sports Medicine 58th Annual Meeting; 2011 May 31-Jun 4; Denver, CO. Poster nr C-24.


Keriann Kwalik

Weber Shandwick Worldwide

Article's Website


 NOTE- Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Obsessed with those extra 10 pounds?

At Jungle Miami, the subject of weight  is a recurring theme. Being overweight, what does this mean for our health?  What is the perfect weight for a person? Our post today deals with  those extra 10 pounds many people want to loose but can not get rid off. We hope you enjoy it. Feel free to drop us a line. We appreciate it.

By Abigail Trafford

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ten pounds. Maybe 15! Twenty pounds? If only I could lose those 10-plus pounds -- this is the lifelong obsession of scale-watchers

 These men and women are usually not obese. They may be slightly overweight, according to current body-mass tables, but their preoccupation with the bathroom scale weighs heavily on their psyche.

And then, at a certain age, you let it go. You accept yourself as you are. You throw out the size 6 dress that's been in your closet for decades and ignore the scale. You give up on weight loss and focus on other things such as . . . wind power and grandchildren.

Are you deluding yourself?

Pounds matter. Being obese is a serious medical problem. But what about being a little overweight? Can you ignore the weight-loss police and live with a small flesh bonus as you get older?

The answer is a qualified yes. Recent studies suggest that more important than what you weigh is how healthy you are. How do you score on the fitness scale?

"I think having some excess weight and being healthy is just fine," says physician Andrew Weil, director of the Arizona Center of Integrative Medicine and author of several books on health and aging. "An accumulating body of research shows that an excess weight of 10 to 20 percent may be just fine."

Just fine to be a little fat as long as you're fit. The fit-and-fat forces scored a victory five years ago when the Harvard Medical School's Family Health Guide e-mail newsletter said that "it's possible to be heavy and fit, cardiovascularly speaking."

More recently, a 2008 report in the Archives of Internal Medicine found "a high prevalence of overweight and obese individuals who are metabolically healthy." The study followed 5,440 participants over age 20 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. More than half of the overweight adults were healthy, according to tests that measured such factors as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A significant proportion -- almost a quarter -- of so-called normal-weight people were found to have risk factors for heart disease.

The key, according to the Cooper Institute in Dallas, is physical activity. A Cooper study published in the Journal of American Medical Association concluded that "fitness was a significant mortality predictor" independent of weight. The study followed 2,603 adults, ages 60 and older, 80 percent of them men.

Other studies are more cautious. While physical activity can reduce the risk of heart disease in overweight and obese women, "the risk is not completely eliminated, reinforcing the importance of being lean and physically active," concluded a 2008 Women's Health Study of nearly 39,000 women.

Yet overall, the research is supportive. Some studies even suggest that while the obese have the highest death rates, overweight people may have longer life expectancies than the folk who are ideally slim.



The Washington Post' s Webpage

Friday, May 27, 2011

"The Chemistry Of ...Cooking"

We at Jungle Miami always emphasize that fitness and wellness can neither be achieved nor mantained without proper nutrition. If you like cooking, even if you just like eating well, you will  love our post of today. We are publishing two articles about the chemistry of cooking. It may open a new universe for you. The science behind cooking. Enjoy our post and feel free to leave us your feedback.We appreciate it.

A Biochemist Explains The Chemistry Of Cooking

January 1, 2009

 A biochemist and cook explains that cooking is all about chemistry and knowing some facts can help chefs understand why recipes go wrong. Because cooking is essentially a series of chemical reactions, it is helpful to know some basics. For example, plunging asparagus into boiling water causes the cells to pop and result in a brighter green. Longer cooking, however, causes the plant's cell walls to shrink and releases an acid. This turns the asparagus an unappetizing shade of grey.

You love to cook, but have you whipped up some disasters? Even the best recipes can sometimes go terribly wrong. A nationally recognized scientist and chef says knowing a little chemistry could help.

Long before she was a cook, Shirley Corriher was a biochemist. She says science is the key to understanding what goes right and wrong in the kitchen.

"Cooking is chemistry," said Corriher. "It's essentially chemical reactions."

This kind of chemistry happens when you put chopped red cabbage into a hot pan. Heat breaks down the red anthocyanine pigment, changing it from an acid to alkaline and causing the color change. Add some vinegar to increase the acidity, and the cabbage is red again. Baking soda will change it back to blue.

Cooking vegetables like asparagus causes a different kind of reaction when tiny air cells on the surface hit boiling water.

"If we plunge them into boiling water, we pop these cells, and they suddenly become much brighter green," Corriher said.

Longer cooking is not so good. It causes the plant's cell walls to shrink and release acid.

"So as it starts gushing out of the cells, and with acid in the water, it turns cooked green vegetables into [a] yucky army drab," Corriher said.

And that pretty fruit bowl on your counter? "Literally, overnight you can go from [a] nice green banana to an overripe banana," Corriher said.

The culprit here is ethylene gas. Given off by apples and even the bananas themselves, it can ruin your perfect fruit bowl -- but put an apple in a paper bag with an unripe avocado, and ethylene gas will work for you overnight.

"We use this as a quick way to ripen," Corriher said. Corriher says understanding a little chemistry can help any cook.

"You may still mess up, but you know why," she said. When it works, this kind of chemistry can be downright delicious.

WHAT ARE ACIDS AND BASES? An acid is defined as a solution with more positive hydrogen ions than negative hydroxyl ions, which are made of one atom of oxygen and one of hydrogen. Acidity and basicity are measured on a scale called the pH scale. The value of freshly distilled water is seven, which indicates a neutral solution. A value of less than seven indicates an acid, and a value of more than seven indicates a base. Common acids include lemon juice and coffee, while common bases include ammonia and bleach.

WHY DOES FOOD SPOIL? Processing and improper storage practices can expose food items to heat or oxygen, which causes deterioration. In ancient times, salt was used to cure meats and fish to preserve them longer, while sugar was added to fruits to prevent spoilage. Certain herbs, spices and vinegar can also be used as preservatives, along with anti-oxidants, most notably Vitamins C and E. In processed foods, certain FDA-approved chemical additives also help extend shelf life.

This report has been produced thanks to a generous grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc


Chemistry in Cooking
By Gilly French

Out of the fire into the frying pan....if you've never thought about all those chemical reactions occurring every time you cook some food, here is a little enlightenment to whet your appetite....

Why does the human animal like its food cooked? After all, the earth's entire animal population had eaten its food raw for thousands of millions of years; it was only a mere million years ago that some early humans began to apply fire to a variety of objects that their ancestors had eaten raw for eons, and the new charred version prevailed. Now we enjoy cocoa and coffee beans and the crust on a roast, with sushi and steak tartare being somewhat of a novelty, an acquired taste.

Certainly cooking serves some very practicable purposes: it makes food easier to chew, more digestible, slower to go off and less likely to cause illness. The mechanical advantages may well have given rise to our smaller, less protruding jaws, compared to those of our primate relatives. But this does not explain why we should have come to enjoy cooked foods: humans didn't cook before the 'discovery' of fire, and cooked flavours are very different from the raw originals. Perhaps the answer might lie in a look at some of the chemical changes caused by cooking. This is not a simple task: hundreds of flavour molecules have been identified in, for example, cooked meat, but it is a starting point.

The modern day chemistry of food flavour dates from the discovery in the nineteen-teens of the browning reaction, also known as the Maillard reaction, which generates much of the characteristic colour and aroma of foods cooked over a flame, in the oven, or in oil. The 'simplest' browning reaction is the caramelisation of sugar, but it is not a simple reaction. Glucose produces at least a hundred different products, including organic acids, fragrant molecules and brown-coloured polymers. This takes place at a relatively low temperature of about 154°C, which is why most foods brown on the outside during the application of dry heat. Maillard reactions proper occur between amino acids (found in proteins) and sugar molecules: when these are heated together they produce, rapidly, a whole range of highly flavoured molecules that are responsible for the brown colour and distinctive taste of cooked meat. Foods that have been boiled, and moist interiors of meat and vegetables, do not exceed 100°C and will therefore look, and taste, plain. To make a rich tasting stew the meat, vegetables and flour must be browned before adding any liquid; conversely, if a cook wants to highlight natural flavours, high temperatures should be avoided. The food industry uses purified sugars and amino acids to approximate to otherwise costly flavours: for example, a well-known coffee substitute is simply a mixture of roasted wheat, bran and molasses.

High temperatures are also used, of course, to increase the rate of chemical reaction: if the rate doubles with every 10°C rise in temperature, which is a reasonable approximation, then a reaction which would normally take a day can be over in a matter of seconds. Frying, for example, is possible at temperatures of up to 250°C. The first stage of the cooking allows for heat transfer; the second, at a higher temperature, encourages Maillard reactions. At this temperature the fat is no longer a heat transfer agent and starts to influence the taste of the resulting Maillard compounds.

However, we have still not answered the question of why we should prefer our food cooked. To do this, we have to look at what happens during the caramelisation of sugar. Plain crystalline sugar has no odour. Heated to 160°C it will melt; at 168°C it begins to colour and to develop a rich aroma. At this point several hundred molecules have been formed, as the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms interact with each other and with oxygen in the air at high temperatures. The volatile products include acids, aldehydes, alcohols and esters (those familiar fruity smells).

Caramelised sugar also includes ring compounds: furans (which have nutty or butterscotch aromas), and pyrones (eg maltol, which tastes of caramel) are examples.

The interesting point is that several of these flavours are contributed by chemical families of compounds that are common in nature, particularly in fruit. Alcohols, esters and the suchlike are found throughout the living world because they are all associated with the process of energy production. Cooks generate them by breaking up sugar molecules under the influence of heat; fruits generate them during the ripening process. So some of the components of the caramelised aroma would have been familiar to our ancestors in the form of fermented fruit.

The important families of aroma compounds produced in the Maillard reaction (which occurs between amino acids and sugars at a lower temperature than caramelisation) include pyrroles, thiophenes, thiazoles, pyridines and pyrazines. Several of these contribute a nutty flavour, some a 'roasted' impresion, even with hints of chocolate. And several contribute floral odours, or are reminiscent of green leaves and vegetables: flavours our ancestors would have encountered long before they had 'discovered' fire. For example the compound 2-methyl thiazole, which is reminiscent of green vegetables, is found in cooked beef. Pyrazines have been identified in molasses, coffee, green peas, Gouda cheese, red beans, asparagus and other green vegetables. The American food scientist Harold McGee, whose work has inspired this article, suggests that 'fruits probably provided our evolutionary ancestors with refreshing sensory interludes in an otherwise bland and dull diet...perhaps cooking with fire was valued in part because it transformed blandness into fruitlike richness'. Our ancestors have been encountering molecules characteristic of the roast for probably hundreds of millions of years.

Some animals, eg ants, produce their own cyclic aroma molecules by way of chemical communication - pheromones. It is suggested that, in terms of smell, there is not that much difference between us and some insects. It has been important for all animals to detect a wide variety of aroma molecules, particularly those generated by plants and other animals. McGee suggests that' our powerful response to odours may in part be a legacy of their prehistoric importance to animals, which have used them to recall and learn from experiences'.


Raymond Blanc: 'Blanc Mange', BBC books
Harold McGee: 'On food and cooking', Unwin paperbacks;
'The Curious Cook', Collier Books
T.P. Coultate: "Food, the chemistry of its components' Royal Society of Chemistry
Hooke Magazine - Issue 10


ScienceDaily's Article's Link

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation INC.

The Chemistry of Cooking Webpage

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Our feet. Barefoot running, barefoot wear and more.

When you run, do you land on your heels or do you land on your toes?  When you exercise, do you train barefoot or do you wear shoes?
Everyone knows that all Jungle Animals train barefoot. As a matter of fact, we are huge on exercising barefoot. So much that last year we posted two articles dedicated to the subject.  One on training barefoot. The other one made the case for landing on our toes, when running or jogging. As part of keeping up with research regarding our feet while tracking our own results in training barefoot, we have concluded that engaging our feet barefoot in some form of physical activity is a must. The studies are showing that many ankle injuries are, the direct result of weak feet which in turn are the direct result of wearing shoes at all times. So start today, do  not delay, go barefoot as much as you can. Move your feet, engage them, they are alive and dying to workout. And if you live in Miami, and want to train your body in a natural way,  feel free to swing by Jungle.  We/ve got fun and games. All barefoot.

Enjoy our post of today.

Toe a new line: barefoot shoes

By Hilary MacGregor,
Special to the Los Angeles Times
May 9, 2011

If you live in Los Angeles or other fashion-forward places where people are eager to try new things, you have seen them: people running around in shoes that look like gorilla feet, modern ninja footwear or high-tech surf booties.

They are the newest twist on the oldest walking technology on Earth: feet.

With major shoe companies releasing a slew of these so-called barefoot shoes onto the market this spring, what began as a small movement among hard-core runners is edging into the mainstream. People are buying the minimalist shoes to hike, walk, lift weights, cross-train and water their lawns.

"It is like wearing little hobbit feet," said 42-year-old Hollywood screenwriter Matthew Sand, who wears his barefoot shoes to walk his pit bull. "It feels like walking barefoot across the grass when you were a kid, but also high-tech and cool. It is both the future and the past wrapped up with me and my toes."

The explosion in funky footwear that promises stronger muscles and better posture has some wondering whether these barefoot shoes are merely a passing fad — the Earth shoe of the 21st century — or something more lasting in the ever-expanding sports-shoe continuum.

"More than a trend, they are going to be a new category of shoe for workout enthusiasts," said Linda Sparling, general manager for FrontRunners, a longtime fitness retailer in Brentwood. "But yes, when they first came in, we had them sitting with the Earth shoes."

The most distinctive of the barefoot shoes is the FiveFingers, the individual-toed bootie with a 2-millimeter rubber sole that was dreamed up by Vibram, the renowned Italian company best known for making high-performance rubber soles for hiking boots. The patented design was introduced in 2006 and marketed for kayaking and sailing. But the shoes became a hit among barefoot runners.

The privately held company doesn't release exact sales figures, but Vibram is on track to sell 10 times more barefoot shoes this year than it did in 2009, said Georgia Shaw, marketing director for Vibram USA.

The success of FiveFingers has spawned a new generation of barefoot shoes that are less weird-looking — they lack individual slots for each toe — but are still light and low to the ground:

• New Balance just released the Minimus collection, with shoes for trail, road and life, accompanied by the motto "" (that's roughly "less equals more" for the mathematically challenged).

• Merrell, which makes hiking shoes and sandals, introduced its Barefoot Collection in March with shoes that promise to strengthen, realign and stimulate your feet.

• Fila's Skele-toes minimalist shoes evoke the original FiveFingers, but they have only four toe compartments (the last two toes slide in together). Fila promotes them "for just about everywhere" but specifically not for running.

Those who believe in barefoot shoes contend the footwear uses the body's natural biomechanics to strengthen the calf, core and foot muscles, change one's gait and improve posture. By taking the foot out of the "cast" of a regular shoe, the barefoot shoes improve the range of motion of ankles and feet. Unshielded by the thick, padded soles of running shoes, receptors in the feet receive information about surfaces and slopes, training the body to respond with balance and agility. And by eliminating the heel lift, body weight is distributed across the entire foot, promoting spinal alignment.

"I do not think it is just a flash in the pan," says Dr. Peter Langer, a podiatrist in Minneapolis and a self-described "shoe geek" who spent years working in a running shoe store. "When you put on unconventional footwear, you feel something decidedly different than a normal shoe. You realize how much sensory information you miss out on when you are wearing cushioned athletic shoes."

Putting on toe shoes requires practice. You have to spread your toes wide, wiggle in the big toe, and guide the rest of the toes in one at a time. But once you are in, they feel great, devotees say.

Wearing the shoes is like being barefoot — on steroids. With your toes pried apart, you feel like you can grip the floor like a monkey. The thin rubber sole feels more springy and safe than skin, eliminating the fear of a puncture wound or a burn. After you put them on, you realize you have never been completely relaxed when walking barefoot.

Few dispute that the trend took off with Christopher McDougall's bestselling 2009 book, "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen." In the book, McDougall posits that running shoes may be the most destructive force to ever hit the human foot. He quotes a Harvard professor of biological anthropology who says foot and knee injuries are often caused by shoes that make our feet weak. He talks about Kalahari Bushmen who run barefoot for hours in the desert chasing antelope until the animals die.

MacDougall endorsed barefoot running — not barefoot shoes — but it didn't take long for people to figure out that FiveFingers and its offspring could make barefoot running more palatable. The shoes developed a cult-like following among MacDougall's die-hard fans, and their popularity spread by word of mouth, attracting workout fanatics looking for something different, early adopters looking for the next cool thing and those for whom returning to a simpler, more natural state of things is both a quest and a lifestyle.

Leisure Trends Group, a market research firm in Boulder, Colo., estimates that in the first three months of this year, enthusiasts bought 365,000 pairs of minimalist shoes in specialty stores devoted to running and outdoor sports. (That figure doesn't include sales by mass merchants, department stores or regular shoe stores.)



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Type II Diabetes. No longer an "older person" disease.

The statistics are staggering. Diabetes II diagnosis in teenagers are increasing and the doctors are terrified. These are the very bad news. The good news are that with these bad news comes the awareness. And yes, there's room for change. Behavioral and eating habits changes are a most now, there is no other alternative. At Jungle Miami we do not tell parents how to raise their kids, we just want to share the information so that those interested can take action. The time is now. Please feel free to give us your feedback. We appreciate it.

Type 2 diabetes surges in people younger than 20

By Susan Brink
Kaiser Health News
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Annie Snyder figured she'd be out of the pediatrician's office in 30 minutes, tops. Then she'd head home, tuck the medical permission for YMCA summer camp in her bag and finish packing.

But that exam last summer wasn't like any other she'd had in her 16-year, basically healthy life. Within minutes of learning the results from a urine test, she got two corroborating blood tests and was hustled off to Inova Fairfax Hospital. Lying on a gurney in the emergency room, she heard the word "diabetes" several times and knew from the urgent medical reaction that it was bad. Frightened and crying, she thought: "What have I done to myself?"

Annie Snyder
Doctors had discovered that Annie had Type 2 diabetes, a disease that is often linked to being overweight. She never made it to summer camp. By the time she came home from the hospital a week later, she knew how to inject herself with insulin and she knew that she'd have diabetes for the rest of her life.
As recently as the mid-1990s, Type 2 diabetes was almost exclusively a disease of adults. But apparently fueled by the childhood obesity epidemic, cases in people younger than 20 have ramped up from virtually zero to tens of thousands in the United States in little more than a decade. The children who have it are breaking new scientific ground: No one has any idea how they will fare over the course of a lifetime.

Annie says she was "most definitely overweight" at the time of her diagnosis, and she has already made major lifestyle changes to control the disease. By exercising and cutting back on carbohydrates, she has lost 12 pounds so far. She has reduced her need for insulin from several injections a day to just one each night, and she's hoping that soon she'll be able to put the needle aside and just use an oral drug, metformin.

Although she is the only person in her household with diabetes, Annie's diagnosis triggered a family response. Her parents got rid of the dining room table and turned that space into an exercise room, complete with a bowl of apples and artfully arranged bottles of water at the door. Everyone exercises, including her 15-year-old brother, Stephen; everyone has given up sodas and snacks, everyone eats smaller portions.

"When I see my dad exercise, I know that I've helped get him motivated," Annie says. "Before, exercise was a chore. I would sit and watch TV and eat snacks. Now, as soon as I come home, I put on my workout clothes."

A disturbing trend

Today, about 3,700 Americans under the age of 20 receive a diagnosis annually of what used to be called "adult-onset" diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That relatively small number makes it a rare disease in children, but it represents a trend with larger ramifications.

"In a little more than 10 years, the numbers went from nothing to something," says Larry Deeb, a pediatric endocrinologist and past president of the medicine and science division of the American Diabetes Association. "And that's something to worry about."

Diabetes can cause a litany of medical woes, including heart disease, kidney failure, limb amputations and blindness. It costs the U.S. health-care system $174 billion a year, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Those statistics are grim enough when patients are in their 60s. When the diagnosis is made decades earlier, new fears are raised: Will these children suffer heart attacks in their 20s, need kidney dialysis in their 30s or go blind before they see their own children graduate from high school?

Because about 80 percent of Type 2 diabetes patients are overweight or obese, it's not surprising that patients such as Annie ask if they've done this to themselves. But there are other risk factors that no one can control: family history, ethnicity (blacks, Hispanics and American Indians have higher rates of diabetes), genetics or a mother who had diabetes during her pregnancy. Instead of wallowing in regret, doctors suggest that young patients and their parents seize the opportunity for a crash course on how to improve their health.

"I used to wear a button that said 'Stamp Out Guilt,' " says Fran Cogen, director of the Child/Adolescent Diabetes Program at Children's National Medical Center. "I try to tell people that no one caused their diabetes. I emphasize that they can make changes now."

Alarm bells are going off among those who study diabetes in children because of what they know about the adult version of the illness. More than 25 million Americans have diabetes (more than 90 percent have Type 2), according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases - but an additional 79 million have a condition called pre-diabetes, in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not as high as in diabetes.

Pre-diabetes isn't a disease requiring medical treatment - it's a wake-up call. A large national study showed that adults with pre-diabetes who lost 7 percent of their body weight reduced their risk of diabetes by 58 percent.

Officials are concerned that the number of children already identified as having Type 2 diabetes is just the tip of the iceberg. In a national study of 2,000 eighth-grade students from communities at high risk for diabetes, more than half of the kids were overweight or obese. Only 1 percent had diabetes - but almost a third of them had pre-diabetes, according to Lori Laffel, chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Section of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and a principal investigator on the study.

It's crucial, she says, to find those children before their condition progresses to diabetes so that it can be reversed by lifestyle changes, without medication.

Making progress

If there is any good news in childhood diabetes, it is that pediatricians are starting to look for it.

"It's in the news, and all over the medical literature," says Susan Conrad, a pediatric endocrinologist at Inova Fairfax Hospital. "Pediatricians are on top of it."

For example, sometimes children whose bodies are beginning to have problems regulating insulin develop a telltale dark, velvety rash around their necks. A decade ago, such a child might have been referred to a dermatologist. In addition, CDC guidelines suggest that a child with a family history of diabetes, or one whose weight is above the 85th percentile for age and sex should be screened, with blood and urine tests, for diabetes.

Family experiences made John Perrone of Winchester, Va., aware of diabetes and its consequences. John's mother, who developed gestational diabetes during all three of her pregnancies, now has Type 2 diabetes. His mother's aunt had diabetes, and by the time she died in her 70s, she was on dialysis, in a wheelchair, legally blind and had suffered two strokes.

John Perrone
John got a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes four years ago, and he has worked hard ever since to keep the disease under control. He says he's gone from an overweight 11-year-old to a husky but fit 15-year-old. He has progressed from needing insulin injections to keeping his glucose under control with oral medication, combined with healthful eating and a lot of exercise.

He has learned enough to want to teach other kids with the disease. As an Eagle Scout project, he has developed a PowerPoint presentation aimed at youngsters. He has translated medical terms, such as glucose and glucometer, into words they understand, such as sugar and meter. He has also wanted to simplify for kids the basics of weight loss, which is so crucial for diabetes control.

"It's all about in and out, what you eat, how much you exercise," he says. "Maybe if kids understand it better, they can do it."

This story was produced through a collaboration between The Post and Kaiser Health News. KHN is a service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-care-policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



Orginal Article

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Human Heart and Nitric Oxide. The relationship.

The Human Heart

At Jungle Miami we already dedicated a post to the Human Heart. However, today we are posting good news on the front of Heart Disease.  We hope you enjoy it

Exercise Protects the Heart Via Nitric Oxide, Researchers Discover

Exercise both reduces the risk of a heart attack and protects the heart from injury if a heart attack does occur. For years, doctors have been trying to dissect how this second benefit of exercise works, with the aim of finding ways to protect the heart after a heart attack.

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have identified the ability of the heart to produce and store nitric oxide as an important way exercise protects the heart from injury.

Nitric oxide, a short-lived gas generated within the body, turns on chemical pathways that relax blood vessels to increase blood flow and activate survival pathways. Both the chemical nitrite and nitrosothiols, where nitric oxide is attached to proteins via sulfur, appear to act as convertible reservoirs for nitric oxide in situations where the body needs it, such as a lack of blood flow or oxygen.

The Emory team's results, published online in the journal Circulation Research, strengthen the case for nitrite and nitrosothiols as possible protectants from the damage of a heart attack.

The first author is John Calvert, PhD, assistant professor of surgery at Emory University School of Medicine. The senior author is David Lefer, PhD, professor of surgery at Emory University School of Medicine and director of the Cardiothoracic Research Laboratory at Emory University Hospital Midtown. Collaborators included scientists at University of Colorado, Boulder, and Johns Hopkins University.

"Our study provides new evidence that nitric oxide generated during physical exercise is actually stored in the bloodstream and heart in the form of nitrite and nitrosothiols. These more stable nitric oxide intermediates appear to be critical for the cardioprotection against a subsequent heart attack," Lefer says.

Timing is key -- the benefits of exercise don't last In experiments with mice, the researchers showed that four weeks of being able to run on a wheel protected them from having a coronary artery was blocked; the amount of heart muscle damaged by the blockage was less after the exercise period. Importantly, the mice are still protected a week after the wheel is taken away.

The researchers found that voluntary exercise boosted levels of an enzyme that produces nitric oxide (eNOS, endothelial nitric oxide synthase). Moreover, the levels of eNOS in heart tissue, and nitrite and nitrosothiols in the blood as well as heart tissue, stayed high for a week after exercise ceased, unlike other heart enzymes stimulated by exercise. The protective effects of exercise did not extend beyond four weeks after the exercise period was over, when nitrite and nitrosothiols in the heart returned to baseline.

In mice that lack the eNOS enzyme, exercise did not protect the heart from a coronary blockage, although these mice appeared to lack the ability to exercise as much as normal mice.

Another molecule that appears to be important for the benefits of exercise is the beta-3-adrenergic receptor, which allows cells to respond to the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. All of the beneficial effects of voluntary exercise are lost in mice that are deficient in this receptor. One of the effects of stimulating the receptor appears to be activating eNOS. Additional animal studies are currently underway in Lefer's lab to determine the potential benefit of beta-3-adrenergic receptor activating drugs following a heart attack.

The research was supported by the American Diabetes Association, the National Institutes of Health and the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center of Emory University Hospital Midtown.


Nitric oxide: A compound that is toxic but which, paradoxically, plays a number of important roles in the body, including the following:

•It acts as a vasodilator (blood vessel relaxant).
•It therefore controls blood flow to tissues.
•It regulates the binding and release of oxygen to hemoglobin.
•It thereby controls the supply of oxygen to mitochondria (cell powerhouses that generate energy).
•It kills parasitic organisms, virus-infected cells, and tumor cells (by inactivating respiratory chain enzymes in their mitochondria).
•It stimulates the production of new mitochondria.

The 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology was awarded to Robert F. Furchgott, Ferid Murad, and Louis J. Ignarro for their discoveries of the role of nitric oxide in cardiovascular physiology.