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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Poor Athletic Performance Linked To Vitamin Deficiency

Science Daily — Active individuals lacking in B-vitamins -- including college athletes and other elite competitors -- may perform worse during high-intensity exercise and have a decreased ability to repair and build muscle than counterparts with nutrient-rich diets, according to recent Oregon State University research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

The B-vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, B-12 and folate. These micronutrients are necessary during the body's process for converting proteins and sugars into energy, and are used during the production and repair of cells, including red blood cells.

For active individuals a marginal deficiency in the nutrients may impact the body's ability to repair itself, operate efficiently and fight disease, said Melinda Manore, researcher in the Colleges of Agricultural and Health and Human Sciences. Manore analyzed the athletic performance of several elite and collegiate athletes in her research, as well as less competitive individuals.

The stress on the body's energy producing pathways during exercise, the changes in the body's tissues resulting from training, an increase in the loss of nutrients in sweat, urine and feces during and after strenuous activity and the additional nutrients needed to repair and maintain higher levels of lean tissue mass present in some athletes and individuals may all affect an individuals B-vitamin requirements, said Manore.

"Many athletes, especially young athletes involved in highly competitive sports, do not realize the impact their diets have on their performance," said Manore, who is also an Extension Service nutrition scientist. "By the time they reach adulthood they can have seriously jeopardized their abilities and their long-term health."

Current national B-vitamin recommendations for active individuals may be inadequate, and athletes who follow the recommended daily allowances set by the U.S. government may be receiving lower amounts of nutrients than there bodies need, said Manore.
Gary Moller comments:
The B group of vitamins is especially important for any person who is under stress, be that physical or emotional - which probably applies to 99% of the population! Stress not only steps up the body's need for these vitamins, it also chews through them at a higher rate. While a wholesome diet will supply the RDA (recommended daily allowance) this is not the case when the body is under constant stress.

Stress also chews through magnesium. Organs, like the adrenals, require ample magnesium, as well as the B vitamins, to function poperly.

Let me tell you about Beriberi. Beriberi is a third World disease, causing paralysis and heart failure. It is unheard of in a well-nourished country like New Zealand (Last seen on the sailing ships that carried explorers to this far-flung land 150+ years ago). Beriberi is caused by chronic thiamine (vit B-1) deficiency. Well, I can tell you that I have seen two severe cases over recent years in older men who have been in ill health which has caused enormous stress and affected their digestion. They have suffered varying degrees of nerve damage, inclusing limb paralysis. Frustratingly, treatment has consisted of powerful medications, including large doses of prednisone. Needless to say, this has been without any benefit.

All they required was a diet rich in B vitamins and a quality B vitamin supplement. Modern medicine can be very frustrating at times. I'll write more about this later.


Wayne said...

sub clinical deficiencies of nutrients are little recognised amongst the health fraternity, it was partly what led to me contracting chronic fatigue for 15 years. but was undiagnosed. its not uncommon for a lot of westerners to be eating diets that are obtaining way below the RDA (REcommended Daily Allowance) of numerous nutrients. simple administering of multi vitamin supplements in tests on school children show quick increases in their intellectual performance in tests.
a lot of the "Health food" is a scam, nowhere near as healthy as it clams to be. Brown bread that is still largely made of white flour, a lot of the health food still contains a lot of sugar and refined ingredients, the list goes on, eating sugary and fatty food further increases the nutrient demands on the body to digest this energy rich nutrient poor food. .sugar stresses the body and revs it up again placing even more demands on the nutrients required to deal with it. combined with the fact that our childrens nervous systems are constantly at a high pitch from too much television and computer games and they bodies are poorly adapted to co;pe with stress from poor fitness, nutrition and often being overweight. htey have retarded social skills because of the now reduced time they spend compared with previous generations spent, "Playing with each other " instead of staring at a screen.
i worked on a highly stressful helpdesk. I watched their poor reaction to stress and i watched what they were eating, the older they were the poorer they were at dealing with stress because their health had degraded from poor diet and exercise, their nervous systems struggled to maintain the pace necessary that the continued stress was demanding of them, never before have people been so bombarded by information at such a constantly high rate, over stimulating their nervous systems, never before have humans had such an energy rich nutrient poor diet overtaxing the body.
we need to tighten up our lifestyle habits and on what we are labelling as healthy foods or our health future will be bleak

Wayne said...

i should add to my previous statement the upshot of the poor social skills our youngsters are developing is leading to greater stress in their lives when htey have to go out into higher education and the work force because they are lacking basic skills and have over taxed nervous systems which will reduce their ability to handle ongoing stress in their lives.
if we look at the nervous system, an important component is the amygdala, a tiny part in the brain which can respond to stress in a very primal way it is responsible for triggering the fight or flight response, too much stress or too poor a health to cope with teh stress triggers the amygdala into the fight or flight response, causing physical over reaction to even intellectual stress, metabolism is revved up depleting the body of nutrients putting stress on the phsycial body making clear rational decision making near impossible, it is an emergency response only or supposed to be yet a lot of people end up functioning with an "amygdala hijack" in stressful situations, they often make very poor decisions in times when they most need to be calm to think clearly, a lot of industrial accidents happen in these circumstances, and mistakes of professionals such as the medical profession. unfortunately once you are in this state it is quite hard to get out of it , to "reset the amygdala" you need to be removed from the source of the stress for a considerable period of time ideally at least several hours in some cases days or longer. Never underestimate teh importance of holidays because these are the times when amygdala resetiting is happening hence you come back from holiday often better able to hand stress for a while. it may be a big reason why people who always take a big annual holiday have far better health statistics than people who don't. I think poor diet is contributing to the "amygdala hijacks" taking place more readily than in people who eat properly, I changed my diet radically from a junk food one to follow gary's guildelines and the change in my ability to handle stress ahds been pronounced, i had been prone to panicking at work, whereas now I stay calmer for longer under pressure , i think clearer and am not as tired, and i have a constant amount of stress in my job.

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