Thursday, September 13, 2007

Regular exercise improves chess ratings

Regular exercise, good nutrition, and healthy sleep patterns have many positive neurological and genetic consequences. This article discusses the exercise and nutrition angles.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I generally agree with the message of this article, but on one aspect it is terribly mistaken: saturated fats were not the culprit in the study, which did not identify the spectrum of fats fed to the subjects. In fact, on first principles there is little reason to implicate saturated fats at all, which are a primary constituent in all cell walls and especially in the brain. Dr. Ornish stands to benefit financially from railing against fat in the diet, so one has to be skeptical about anything he writes.

9/13/2007 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Anonymous beef industry mole: The study used corn oil and coconut butter for the fat. So you are right: the authors concluded only that high fat diets lead to decreased neurogenesis (in males but not females), not which types of fat are bad.

That said, even if it isn't specifically saturated fats that decrease neurogenesis, they are implicated in heart disease so it isn't a good idea to go spreading coconut butter on everything. Unless you want to be fat, have a smaller brain, and a higher risk of heart attack.

I don't understand your claims about economic incentives. For one, it is an ad hominem so technically irrelevant. For another, you are wrong anyway. The article sells nothing, but offers a summary of some recent scientific studies with very interesting implications. The doctor certainly won't benefit financially by me eating less fat. You are likely to say he writes books: that's news to me, and he certainly isn't marketing them in the article. That would be like saying we can't trust Nunn's opening analysis because he's published books on chess openings.

Also, note the article doesn't advise not to eat fat, but to avoid a diet high in saturated fat. This isn't marketing, but just sound nutritional advice!

For that matter, there is very little on this topic in the article, so it really is a strange thing to focus on.

Also, something anonymous says is just misleading and displays an igorance of the biology of the situation. While our body does use saturated fats, it produces them quite efficiently (as evidenced by my gut even though I eat very little saturated fats: human fat cells are filled with saturated fats). There is no need to ingest saturated fats for cell health! Unlike, say, vitamins, which the body requires us to ingest, our metabolism can synthesize saturated fats just fine without ingesting them

(Just to be picky, animal cells don't have cell walls, but anonymous was probably refering to the cell membrane, which is different. So dear reader don't be impressed with his jargon: he is reading talking points from someone who doesn't know biology).

In summary, fats are important in the diet. Don't cut out fat completely. Beware of saturated fats (as found in butter, coconut oil, and animal fats like beef), as they are implicated in heart disease, stroke, and other things in males. No need to take in saturated fats, as our body produces them from other types of fats and excess calories in general.

OK, that's enough on saturated fats!

9/13/2007 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

The problem is that I find physical exercies dull (achoo!)

9/13/2007 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I am the same anonymous as above. I am not a beef industry mole. True, I am not a biologist either, and I stand duly corrected with respect to the cell wall/membrane distinction. (I am a real estate developer.) You seem provoked by my posting, and I apologize for that. It was not my intention to offend you. Rather, I want to add to discussion of things that may help our health. The reason I am focusing on sat fats is that I have come to the conclusion that they, like cholesterol, have unfairly gotten a bad rap. I challenge you to dig into this yourself - look into the actual studies, if you can. Or the following books: Colpo "The Great Cholesterol Con," Kendrick, "The Great CHolesterol Con," and Ravnskov, "The Cholesterol Myths." They are meticulously researched, and cogently argued. I have no financial connection to these authors or the publishers.

Oh, one more thing, I never said that we need specifically to ingest saturated fats. I said that our bodies are awash in them, and they are necessary for our survival, ergo, they are not toxic. The belief that sat fats are implicated in heart disease takes a beating in the above cited works.

9/13/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Anonymous: you are right that things aren't a hundred percent clear yet. For those interested, see this iki entry on saturated fat, which discusses some of the dissenters from the mainstream position.

9/13/2007 06:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BDK: You don't happen to be a fellow skeptic?

9/14/2007 02:04:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Samurai: I tend toward that side of things, yes.

9/14/2007 02:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the "secret high five".

9/14/2007 02:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the only one doing it yet. Still cool though...right?

9/14/2007 02:29:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...


9/14/2007 02:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I call BS. The highest rated american Ben Finegold is fat.

9/22/2007 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Imagine how much better he'd play if he were a triathlete.

9/22/2007 04:34:00 PM  

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