What are the Benefits of Indoor Cycling?

According to the U.S. Department of Health ".....regular physical activity substantially reduces the risk of coronary disease, stroke, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.....and helps to control weight, contributes to healthy bones, muscles and joints... reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression..." Need we go on? Cycling is also "low-impact" without the joint stress that you get from "ground-pounding" sports and activities. All good reasons to strap-in/clip-on and RYDE!



Nutritional genomics: the next frontier

We’ve talked recently about functional foods. Functional foods are foods that provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition. They can be natural foods, like blueberries, or processed foods like fortified orange juice or infant formula.


While they receive a lot of press for their potentially positive health effects, are you really getting those benefits? Are they always functional for everyone?

George and Clara Jones both eat the same heart healthy diet and work out together regularly. Clara’s cholesterol is dangerously high, and George’s is on the low side. It’s all in the genes, right? Maybe, but that’s only part of the story. How does Clara’s body process her food and exercise? Why is it so much worse than George’s at controlling cholesterol levels on this particular diet? And the million-dollar question: what could Clara eat, or do, that might work better for her body?

Differences in individual response to diet have stumped nutritionists for decades1. Why is a food healthy for one person and poison for another? How, specifically, are your genes telling your body to process the food you eat?

The inter-disciplinary emerging science of nutritional genomics seeks to answer those questions. Nutritional genomics has two main branches: nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics.

Nutrigenomics is a discovery science that uses a whole body approach to determine how food activates genes affecting susceptibility to disease. It seeks to understand how nutrition influences metabolic pathways and the body’s ability to maintain a stable environment during the early phase of a diet-related disease, at a time when nutritional intervention has the best chance for restoring health.2 The study of nutrigenomics was made possible by recent advances in high volume genetic testing, allowing researchers to use the results of millions of genetic screening tests in nutrition studies and research3.

Nutrigenetics is the application of nutrigenomics to the individual. It studies how an individual’s genetic makeup affects their response to diet and susceptibility to diet related diseases like cancer, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc. One of the aims of nutrigenetics is to tailor diet, giving an individual a means to determine what functional foods work best to prevent disease in his/her body, given the individual’s genetic makeup.4 In layman’s terms: personalized diet plans composed of your own superfoods. Cha-ching!

Before you call up your local gene sequencing company looking for the key to eternal youth, keep in mind that nutritional genomics is a young discipline, very far off from developing recommendations or products ready for market and anyone advertising otherwise may be jumping the gun. A legion of related scientists including nutritionists, geneticists, biomedical researchers, and behavioral scientists are still developing the field’s foundational knowledge base.5  Though as diet becomes an increasingly challenging problem in the US, it seems inevitable that nutritional genomics will play a critical role in development of preventative medicine for millions of us in the coming years.

Works cited:
1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18687041
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_genomics
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrigenomics
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrigenetics
5. http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fgene.2010.00002/full

Additional research:

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