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You Should Exercise Every Day

Men who exercised regularly stopped exercising for just one week. Both those who were lean and those who were overweight had rises in blood factors that are abnormal in diabetics (Metabolism-Clinical and Experimental, September 20, 2012):
• Blood sugar and insulin levels rose higher both while resting and after meals.
• Fasting triglyceride fat levels went up (triglycerides are made primarily from sugar and high blood sugars cause high triglycerides).

Men who stored fat primarily in their bellies, rather than their buttocks, had a much higher rise in blood sugar and triglyceride levels than those who did not store fat in their bellies. Storing fat primarily in your belly usually means that you have high insulin levels which come from high blood sugar levels.

Another study shows that after just one day of not exercising, your body loses some of its ability to respond to insulin (Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, July 2011; 60(7):941-9).

WHY MISSING A DAY OF EXERCISE RAISES BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS: A high rise in blood sugar causes sugar to stick to the outer surface of cell membranes. Once there, it can never get off . Eventually sugar is converted by a series of chemical reactions to sorbitol that destroys cells. This causes all of the side effects of diabetes: blindness, deafness, heart attacks, strokes, impotence, dementia and so forth. You do not have to be diabetic to suffer cell damage from a high rise in blood sugar. Many non- diabetics suffer a high rise in blood sugar when they take sugared drinks when they are not exercising.

CONTRACTING MUSCLES PREVENT A HIGH RISE IN BLOOD SUGAR. Resting muscles remove no sugar from the bloodstream. On the other hand, contracting muscles can remove sugar from the bloodstream without even needing insulin. This benefit is maximal during exercise and up to an hour after you finish, and tapers off to zero after around 17 hours (J Appl Physiol., 2005;99: 338-343 & 2005;8750-7587).

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Lack of Vitamin D Associated with Increased Heart Attack Risk

The largest study ever on the subject shows that low vitamin D levels are associated with an 81 percent higher rate of heart attacks and premature death (Aterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, published online August 30, 2012). The authors also showed that 17 other studies came to the same conclusion.

HOW LACK OF VITAMIN D CAN CAUSE HEART ATTACKS: Before insulin can do its job of drawing sugar from the bloodstream into cells, it must first attach to insulin receptors, special hooks on the outer surface of cell membranes. This requires vitamin D. People who lack vitamin D have cells that do not respond well to insulin. Therefore their blood sugar levels rise too high after meals. A high rise in blood sugar causes cell damage which markedly increases damage to the inner linings of arteries that increases a person's chance of suffering a heart attack.

DERMATOLOGISTS PROTECT THE SKIN: Almost all dermatologists tell you to stay out of the sun because excessive sun exposure causes skin cancer. They do not tell you that the number of people who die from heart attacks and diabetes far exceed the number of those who die of skin cancer.

It is certainly true that excessive exposure to sunlight causes skin cancer. However, for almost all people, the amount of sunlight necessary to prevent vitamin D deficiency is far less than the exposure necessary to cause skin cancer.

GETTING VITAMIN D FROM SUNLIGHT WITHOUT CAUSING SKIN CANCER: The most common sites for non-melanoma skin cancers include those with the greatest sun exposure: your face, nose, top of your ears, scalp, arms, and neck. To reduce your risk for skin cancer:

• COVER THE SKIN SITES NORMALLY EXPOSED TO THE MOST SUNLIGHT. It is the cumulative exposure to sunlight over a lifetime that increases risk for skin cancer. You should wear a hat, wear a long-sleeved shirt or cover your arms with arm coolers, and use sun screens on your hands, face and the tops of your ears.

• EXPOSE THE AREAS OF REDUCED SUN EXPOSURE. Expose your legs to sunlight for 20 minutes three or four times a week. This should meet your needs for vitamin D.

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This week's medical history:
Sigmund Freud and Coca Cola

For a complete list of my medical history biographies go to Histories and Mysteries

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Recipe of the Week:

Easy Split Pea Soup

You'll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in The Good Food Book
- it's FREE

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October 7th, 2012
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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