Nutrition Questions

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NUTRITION QUESTIONS
ARE HAMMER NUTRITION FUELS DIABETIC FRIENDLY?

We routinely receive testimonials such as these:

"There couldn't be better products on the market for diabetics. Thanks for making it possible for me to achieve goals I wouldn't have thought possible without the lows and highs of other products!"
- Jimmy D.

"The other reason I love Hammer products so much is your dedication to being superior products for diabetics. I have two children who have Type 1 diabetes. This is a constant and daily battle for our family. But I know that when my 12 year old swims or hikes, he can have a Hammer Gel or some HEED and it will keep his sugars stable and not spike, causing a potentially dangerous situation."
- Ken W.

In addition, we have an entire "case study" provided as a testimonial by Dr. Marty Reynolds, "Is Hammer Gel a safe carbohydrate for diabetic endurance athletes?" (www.hammernutrition.com/media/downloads/ENews/ENissue46.pdf), which details the positive results his wife, a Type 1 diabetic, had using Hammer Gel. In the article, Dr. Reynolds writes, "We tested ALL gel products and found Hammer Gel to be the most reliable and consistent in providing carbohydrate to keep her blood glucose level normal during a run."

With testimonials such as these being received on a regular basis, yes, we believe that Hammer Nutrition fuels are both suitable and beneficial for diabetic athletes.

What is it that makes Hammer Nutrition fuels so much more diabetic friendly than others? We believe that it is the carbohydrate source we use, maltodextrin. One of the benefits of maltodextrin is that it has the same Glycemic Index (GI) rating as pure glucose (100), which means it elevates blood sugar levels as rapidly as glucose. However, unlike glucose (a simple sugar), maltodextrin provides a more consistent and longer lasting energy. The declination in blood sugar levels with glucose is dramatic and typically ends below fasting levels, meaning you're worse off than when you started . . . it's the "flash and crash" type of energy that all athletes, diabetic and non-diabetic, want to avoid. The declination in energy/blood sugar levels with maltodextrin, however, is much more gradual and does not drop below fasting levels.

Hammer Nutrition fuels are also the top choice for many diabetic athletes due to the small amounts of two healthy sweeteners-xylitol and stevia-used in some of the products, such as HEED and Perpetuem. Xylitol has a GI rating of 7, which means that it is more slowly metabolized (independently of insulin) and thus doesn't cause the rapid elevation of glucose blood levels. Additionally, xylitol contains 40% fewer calories than sugar. This may not seem like a major difference; however, replacing sugar with xylitol on a regular basis may have a significant effect in the reduction of obesity, the number one risk factor for diabetes and many other diseases.

Stevia is another all-natural sweetener. It is several times sweeter than sugar and other sweeteners, which is why it can be used sparingly. Stevia contains no calories and has a GI rating of zero. As such, it is an ideal choice for diabetics. In addition, ongoing studies show that stevia can help to reduce blood pressure without affecting those whose blood pressure is within normal range.

Hammer Nutrition fuels - Their maltodextrin, xylitol, and stevia components make them the best choice for diabetic athletes!

ARE HIGH AMOUNTS OF VITAMIN A TOXIC?

Premium Insurance Caps contains beta-carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A. However, it is not the same thing as fat-soluble vitamin A. Beta-carotene, which is virtually non-toxic (if not altogether non-toxic), is used make vitamin A in the body on an "as needed" basis. The only side effects that have been documented with extremely high doses of beta-carotene are diarrhea and a yellow-to-orange coloration to the hands and feet. These symptoms disappear upon cessation of beta carotene supplementation or lowering of the dose.

Regarding vitamin A toxicity, Dr. Shari Lieberman writes, "... [vitamin A] can, therefore, be toxic in large amounts. In general, a normal healthy adult must take at least 100,000 IU of vitamin A daily for a period of months in order to display any signs of toxicity. Early signs of toxicity are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headache, vertigo, blurred vision, muscular incoordination, and loss of body hair. Although all of these symptoms are reversible when vitamin A supplementation is stopped, I would not recommend this dose unless you are under professional guidance. Beta-carotene, on the other hand, can be given for long periods of time virtually without risk of toxicity."

Dr. Michael Colgan says this about vitamin A:

"The medical literature contains about 600 cases of vitamin A poisoning. A lot of these cases have been with women given daily prescribed mega-doses of over 330,000 mcg RE (1,000,000 IS) of cis-retinoic acid for skin complains. Such mega-doses are especially dangerous because they build up in your body fat. World expert on the toxicity of nutrients, Dr. John Hathcock of Iowa State University and the Food and Drug Administration, concludes that toxicity of vitamin A does not occur for most people in normal health until they take a dose above 1,000 RE per kilogram bodyweight. That's 70,000 mcg (230,000 IU) for a 70 kg (154 lb) athlete. He does cite some reports of headache, intracranial hypertension, and skin lesions in children and sick individuals at intakes of only 10,000 - 15,000 mcg RE, but none with normal adults. In any case, sensible supplementation [with vitamin A] does not even approach such figures. We have never found an athlete that needed more than 5,000 mcg RE (16,500 IU) [of vitamin A] per day."

Again, we do not use "straight" vitamin A in Premium Insurance Caps (or any of our products), but instead use beta-carotene. 7-14 capsules of Premium Insurance Caps contain 12,500 - 25,000 IU of beta-carotene, which is the suggested Optimal Daily Intake (ODI). This amount, and perhaps even higher amounts, is fine because our body uses beta-carotene selectively to obtain however much vitamin A is needed, and discards what it does not need.

ARE THERE ANY PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN ANIMAL-DERIVED NUTRIENTS?

Hammer Whey and Recoverite contain dairy-derived whey protein isolate. The Nocciola (Hazelnut-Chocolate) flavor of Hammer Gel contains a small amount of milk as part of the hazelnut paste. These are the only fuels to contain animal-derived nutrients.

It's important to note that none of the Hammer Bars or Hammer Vegan Protein Bars contain any ingredient from animal sources; they are all 100% vegan-friendly. The Hammer Bars that contain chocolate Chocolate Chip, Coconut Chocolate Chip and the Chocolate Peanut Hammer Vegan Protein Bar are not listed as "Certified Vegan" because the manufacturer makes them on shared equipment that also makes dairy chocolate. According to the manufacturer, the bars are made "in our own certified organic and kosher facility (which is exceedingly rare in this business). We also thoroughly clean the machines between productions. However, there may be trace amounts - in extremely low PPM (parts per million) - of dairy. Otherwise, the chocolate we use is dark chocolate and it is non-dairy."

These particular flavors of Hammer Bars/Hammer Vegan Protein Bars are most certainly vegan; however, the manufacturer is extremely conscientious when it comes to "truth in labeling," as are we at Hammer Nutrition, which is why they chose not to list the bars that contain non-dairy chocolate as being Certified Vegan.

Three Hammer Nutrition supplements contain animal-derived nutrients. Tissue Rejuvenator contains glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and UC Type II collagen, all of animal origin. EndurOmega supplies omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish. EndurOmega and Hammer CBD Softgels use an animal-derived softgel capsule; for the rest of the supplements, vegetable capsules are used. All of the fillers we use in the encapsulated products are not of animal origin.

DO YOUR FUELS CONTAIN PROCESSED GLUTAMIC ACID OR MSG?

This is a topic that we've been queried about before and addressing it is somewhat difficult, simply because a lot of "science" is required to properly explain everything. Dr. Bill Misner wrote an article entitled, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (MSG), GLUTAMIC ACID (Glutamate), GLUTAMINE REVIEW (PDF) and if you click on that link it'll take you directly to that article. It is quite technical but we believe it explains the differences between the three substances and the difference between processed glutamic acid and naturally occurring glutamic acid.

Here is some additional information, courtesy of Dr. Misner ...

Glutamic Acid is a naturally occurring amino acid, which exists in other protein foods. Glutamic acid is one of 20 amino acids that make up protein. Our bodies produce roughly 50 milligrams of glutamic acid every day. Of the 20 amino acids in breast milk, glutamic acid is the most abundant. Glycine, Glutamic and Aspartic Acids serve as neurotransmitters within the human central nervous system. Glutamic Acid and Aspartic Acid make up the Acidic Amino Acid Class. Amino acids within the same class compete for absorption through the blood-brain barrier. When one is present with the other, both are incompletely absorbed. Soybeans are typically rich in glutamic acid and its absorptive-competitor, Aspartic Acid. When a soy protein has been specifically processed to contain taste-enhancing excess amounts of free glutamic acid above the aspartic acid content, or has been fortified with monosodium glutamate in proportion to aspartic acid, negative health reactions may potentially result in those allergy-predisposed subjects.

Free Glutamic Acid: Natural vs. Processed
Natural Free Glutamic Acid is glutamic acid that has been freed from whole protein foods during digestion, or a glutamic acid that has been recreated from other amino acids. The parent compound in the glutamate family is glutamic acid, a normal amino acid component in the human metabolism. Glutamic acid exists in two forms: (L)- or (D)- glutamic acid. Humans have a right and left side called chirality, glutamic acid has two sides or enantiomers (chemically identical molecules as the L-enantiomer is a mirror image of the D-enantiomer). Just like most other alpha-amino acids, glutamic acid contains a stereogenic center and typically exists as either an L- or D- enantiomers though some DL- versions occasionally present. Free amino acids found in higher organisms are composed exclusively of the L-enantiomers of amino acids, while the mirror image D-forms are present in some naturally occurring peptide antibiotics and in bacteria. It is also possible that there are some small amounts of natural free glutamic acid associated with intact, unprocessed, unfermented, unadulterated protein. Natural Free Glutamic Acid found in higher organisms is typically presented as L-GLUTAMIC ACID. Natural food-borne protein, as well as protein in the human body, presents a preference for L-form amino acids.

MSG
Monosodium Glutamate is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. It contains 78% free glutamic acid and 21% sodium (the remaining 1% is comprised of "contaminants"). The glutamic acid component of MSG is comprised of both the D-glutamic acid and the L-glutamic acid forms. The D-glutamic acid component is believed to be the form of glutamic acid responsible for the toxicity associated with MSG.

Summary
None of the maltodextrins formulated in HEEDPerpetuemSustained Energy, or Hammer Gel contain flavor-enhancing additives such as MSG. None of the Supro brand soy protein or Lysolecithins soy-derivatives in the Hammer Nutrition soy-containing fuels (Sustained Energy, Perpetuem, Hammer Soy) contain MSG. Additionally, the glutamic acid that is contained in Hammer Whey and Recoverite - as it is with all the soy-based Hammer Nutrition fuels/protein powders - is what occurs naturally in the protein source. There is no processed glutamic acid in any of these products.

ALONG WITH PHYTOLEAN, ARE THERE ANY OTHER TIPS THAT WILL HELP ME ACHIEVE MY WEIGHT-LOSS GOALS?

Absolutely! Adopt as many of these tips as possible, follow them consistently, and experience maximal weight-loss success:

1) Eat 7-11 servings of whole fruits and vegetables daily, while decreasing your intake of meat and dairy - This dietary practice is associated with lower Body Mass Index (BMI) ratings, according to T. Colin Campbell's comprehensive "China Study" research. Dr. Campbell's research showed that Americans eating 50-70% of their 1,950 daily calories from animal sources averaged a BMI of 27.0. The Chinese eating 90% of their 2,740 calories per day from whole plant foods averaged a BMI of 22.0.

2) Consume a minimum of 40 grams of fiber daily - In addition to supplying numerous health benefits, consuming adequate amounts of fiber helps you feel fuller on fewer calories.

3) Include healthy fats in your diet - When you deprive your body of fat, it holds on to its fat stores more voraciously. Eating healthy fats (fish, avocados, seeds, and nuts) - and using EndurOmega on a daily basis - is good for your heart, satisfies your hunger, and helps your body release and burn its fat stores more liberally and efficiently.

4) Drink a glass of water prior to each meal - The water will take up space in your stomach, increasing the feeling of fullness, helping you to consume fewer calories when you begin eating.

5) Eat more slowly - Recent research suggests this helps reduce the amount of food that's consumed during a meal.

6) Alter your calorie intake occasionally - Consume slightly more calories than you normally would for a day or two, then consume a bit less than normal on a couple of days. This disrupts your body's "thermostat," helping prevent it from becoming super-efficient at burning the same number of calories day after day.

7) Finish eating by 7:00 pm - Calories consumed after that time tend to digest poorly and/or be stored as body fat, due to the body's natural drop in core body temperature measures and metabolism.

8) Brush your teeth immediately after eating - Once you take the time to brush and are enjoying the sensation of clean teeth and breath, you're less apt to indulge in after-meal snacking.

9) Workout in the morning - This raises metabolism and keeps it elevated, allowing you to burn more calories all day long.

ARE HAMMER NUTRITION PRODUCTS KOSHER?

The Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc) has Kosher-certified the Hammer Nutrition products listed below under the Kashruth Certification.

 

  Kosher Certified
  Hammer Gel (except nocciola)
  HEED
  Sustained Energy
  Hammer Soy Protein
 
 

  Kosher Dairy Certified
  Hammer Gel - nocciola
  Recoverite
  Hammer Whey Protein
 


The following Hammer Nutrition products are certified kosher under the kosher supervision of Natural Food Certifiers.

 

  Kosher Certified
  Hammer Bars
  Hammer Vegan Protein Bars
  Hammer Vegan Protein
  Hammer Vegan Recoverite
 

  Kosher Dairy Certified
  Hammer Whey Protein Bar
 


The following Hammer Nutrition products are certified kosher under the kosher supervision of Kosher Service.

 

  Kosher Certified
  Endurolytes
  Endurolytes Extreme
  Endurolytes Extreme Powder
  Anti-Fatigue Caps
  Mito Caps
  Essential Mg
  Fully Charged
  Endurance BCAA+
  Phytolean
 

 

The following Hammer Nutrition products are certified kosher under the kosher supervision of EarthKosher.

  Kosher Certified
  Hammer CBD
 
DO YOU USE ANY ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS IN YOUR PRODUCTS?

Absolutely not! We use xylitol and stevia as sweeteners in our fuels; they are undeniably healthier choices than simple sugars or any of these commonly used artificial sweeteners:

Acesulfame K - Up to 200 times sweeter than table sugar, this artificial sweetener has been FDA-approved since 1988. Like other artificial sweeteners, the debate rages on as to whether or not it is safe to consume. While the FDA has set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of up to 15 mg/kg of body weight per day—for a 165-lb athlete that would translate into a little over a gram per day—we at Hammer Nutrition take a "zero tolerance stand" regarding the consumption of artificial sweeteners.

Acesulfame K (the "K" is the chemical symbol for potassium) contains a carcinogen known as methylene chloride (a.k.a. dichloromethane). This chemical is the propellant used in many aerosol products, and it's also used in the manufacture of paint stripping products, paint removal products, adhesives, and more. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride is believed to be linked to several health disorders including headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, and others. This carcinogen can negatively affect the liver and kidneys, as well as cause cancer.

The few safety tests done on this artificial sweetener were done in the '70s (quite a long time ago) and that many organizations, including The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), consider those studies to be too brief and their quality mediocre. The need for further testing of Acesulfame K seems to be abundantly clear; however, at this time the FDA has not required it.

Sucralose - Don't be fooled by this seemingly benign substance. While sucralose may begin as a sugar molecule, the end product is a synthetic chemical with a chlorinated core. Making sucralose involves a five-step process in which three chlorine molecules are added to a sugar molecule. This chemical process alters and converts the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it ends up being a type of molecule that does not occur in nature.

Dr. Bill Misner makes answering the question "Should I consume sucralose?" quite easy in stating, "This artificial sweetening ingredient is possibly worse than the processed simple sugars it replaces. It is difficult to imagine that a synthetic chlorinated disaccharide is an improvement."

Aspartame - While none of the earlier-listed artificial sweeteners are at all beneficial, arguably the worst of them all is aspartame. . . 80% of all complaints to the FDA are aspartame related! Aspartame breaks down to phenylalanine and aspartic acid in our hot bodies when heated. The methanol in aspartame converts into formaldehyde in our bodies. Formaldehyde is a poison known to damage the immune and nervous system as well as cause genetic damage. Aspartame breaks down the protective coating surrounding neurons in our brain; this causes a break in the blood-brain barrier which allows toxins to move directly into the bloodstream.

Dr. Bill Misner states: "A careful review of the DVD, "Sweet Misery", presents evidence that demands reconsideration of the harm aspartame generates by chronic use or acute dose. I once argued that some subjects could metabolize aspartame without health issues. If you evaluate the information in this DVD, you will not consume aspartame or synthetic sweeteners again."

Additional information about aspartame can be found in The Artificially Sweetened Times, which we strongly recommend reading.

HOW ARE XYLITOL AND STEVIA USED IN YOUR PRODUCTS?

The secret to how we're able to make a drink that's short on overt sweetness but not deprived of calories is in the sweeteners we use, xylitol and stevia, both undeniably healthier alternatives to the simple sugars and/or artificial sweeteners contained in most sports drinks.

*  Xylitol - If there's such a thing as a perfect sweetener, xylitol is at or near the top of the list. Xylitol is a natural substance that can be found in a variety of fibrous fruits and vegetables. It is also known as birch sugar, primarily because it is usually extracted/produced from birch trees (though it can also be extracted/produced from corn cobs). The human body naturally produces over 15 grams of xylitol every day by way of normal metabolic processes.

Xylitol also promotes oral health, as it does not ferment and support the acid-producing bacteria that cause tooth decay. That's why you'll find this unique sweetener in gum, toothpaste, and mouthwash, and it's one of the reasons why we include small amounts of it in HEED and Recoverite.

Note that xylitol may cause stomach distress and/or have a laxative effect when consumed in high doses. It has no known toxicity, though; people have consumed as much as 400 grams daily for long periods with no ill effects. Generally, xylitol-induced gastric stress occurs as a laxative effect in xylitol-sensitive people who consume 30 grams in a single dose or multiple doses in a short period of time.

It is also believed that xylitol is unsafe for consumption by dogs; therefore, we do not recommend you feed your dog any xylitol-containing products, including HEED or Recoverite, nor any products that are made for human consumption.

*  Stevia - Another ideal natural sweetener is the extract (steviosides) from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana, a plant native to subtropical and tropical Central and South America. Stevia's sweet taste, considered to be up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, means that minimal amounts are necessary to sweeten a product. Stevia is non-caloric and does not affect blood sugar levels, therefore it is safe for diabetics. Stevia may help to lower elevated blood pressure while not affecting people with normal blood pressure. Like xylitol, stevia does not support acid-producing bacteria responsible for tooth decay.

IS THE AMOUNT OF STEVIA USED IN YOUR PRODUCTS SAFE?

Too much of any substance, solid or liquid may be toxic if too much is consumed. The term, LD50, describes the oral dose required to kill 50% of the lab animals. Let's compare the LD50 of these common substances:

SUBSTANCE-----LD50 GRAMS PER KILOGRAM BODYWEIGHT

Water--------------------180.0 grams/kilogram
Stevioside---------------15.0 grams/kilogram
Vitamin C----------------12.0 grams/kilogram
Sodium Chloride--------3.0 grams/kilogram
Arsenic--------------------0.76 gram/kilogram

Note: For a 165-lb/75-kg athlete that translates to 1125 grams (1,125,000 mg) of steviosides.

REFERENCE:

1) Akashi and Yamamoto reported a Stevia-LD50 was 15g/kg in oral administration (1975). 15g/kg means 15 grams of Stevioside for every 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of body weight.

SUMMARY

Considering the safety record of stevia, plus the fact that its LD50 is 5x higher than salt, and even higher than vitamin C, the tincture of stevioside formulated in Hammer Nutrition products should not be of any concern.

Additional information/research

First, it's important to mention that any metabolic sequence is always possible when dose is exaggerated and all conditions met. In other words, a variety of chemical conditions must be imposed before natural metabolites in stevioside may impose mutagenic effects. To reproduce mutagenic effects, you would first need to generate aglycone from stevoside. Next, the human enzymatic system would need to activate a number of bioactivities with certain microbes such as salmonella.

Steviol, the aglycone of stevioside, was found to be highly mutagenic when evaluated in the presence of a 9000 X g supernatant (floating above or on the surface) fraction derived from the livers of Aroclor 1254-pretreated rats. Expression of mutagenic activity was dependent on both pretreatment of the rats with Aroclor 1254 and addition of NADPH; unmetabolized steviol was not active.

That said, Brown in 1980 reported, "Two classes of common phenolic plant pigments, the anthraquinones and the flavonols, contain many members mutagenic in the Salmonella/mammalian microsome assay."(A review of the genetic effects of naturally occurring flavonoids, anthraquinones and related compounds. Mutat Res. 1980 May;75(3):243-77. Review. PMID: 6770263 - PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE).

There are several classes of natural compounds that can in extreme overdose in the presence of certain chemical reactions from human enzymes on certain microbes create a mutagenic reaction.

Stevioside is a natural sweetener extracted from leaves of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Bertoni. The literature about Stevia, the occurrence of its sweeteners, their biosynthetic pathway and toxicological aspects are discussed. Injection experiments or perfusion experiments of organs are considered as not relevant for the use of Stevia or stevioside as food, and therefore these studies are not included in this review. The metabolism of stevioside is discussed in relation with the possible formation of steviol. Different mutagenicity studies as well as studies on carcinogenicity are discussed.

Acute and subacute toxicity studies revealed a very low toxicity of Stevia and stevioside

Fertility and teratogenicity studies are discussed as well as the effects on the bio-availability of other nutrients in the diet. The conclusion is that Stevia and stevioside are safe when used as a sweetener. It is suited for both diabetics, and PKU patients, as well as for obese persons intending to lose weight by avoiding sugar supplements in the diet. No allergic reactions to it seem to exist [1].

Four steviol (ent-kaurene-type diterpenoid) glycosides, stevioside, rebaudiosides A and C, and dulcoside A, have been isolated from Stevia rebaudiana BERTONI. These compounds showed strong inhibitory activity against 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced inflammation in mice. The 50% inhibitory dose of these compounds for TPA-induced inflammation was 54.1-291.6 micro g/ear. Furthermore, at 1.0 and 0.1 mg/mouse of stevioside mixture, the mixture of these compounds markedly inhibited the promoting effect of TPA (1 micro g/mouse) on skin tumor formation initiated with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (50 micro g/mouse) [2] .

Stevioside, a constituent of Stevia rebaudiana, is commonly used as a non-caloric sugar substitute in Japan. Consistent with reports in the literature, we have found that stevioside is not mutagenic as judged by utilization of Salmonella typhimurium strain TM677, either in the presence or in the absence of a metabolic activating system. Similar negative results were obtained with several structurally related sweet-tasting glycosides.

However, steviol, the aglycone of stevioside, was found to be highly mutagenic when evaluated in the presence of a 9000 X g supernatant fraction derived from the livers of Aroclor 1254-pretreated rats.

Expression of mutagenic activity was dependent on both pretreatment of the rats with Aroclor 1254 and addition of NADPH; unmetabolized steviol was not active. The structurally related species, isosteviol, was not active regardless of metabolic activation. Similarly, chemical reduction of the unsaturated bond linking the carbon-16 and -17 positions of steviol resulted in the generation of two isomeric products, dihydrosteviol A and B, that were not mutagenic. In addition, ent-kaurenoic acid was found to be inactive.

It is therefore clear that a metabolite of an integral component of stevioside is mutagenic; structural features of requisite importance for the expression of mutagenic activity include a hydroxy group at position 13 and an unsaturated bond joining the carbon atoms at positions 16 and 17. A potential metabolite of steviol, steviol-16 alpha,17-epoxide, was synthesized chemically and found to be ineffective as a direct-acting mutagen.

Thus, although stevioside itself appears innocuous, it would seem prudent to expeditiously and unequivocally establish the human metabolic disposition of this substance [3].

SUMMARY

Am I saying you can catch cancer from a stevia sweetener? No, likely, and certainly it is not established in the literature's mixed results. In my (Dr. Bill Misner's) opinion it is a completely safe natural nutrient and is a much better choice than sugar added to sweeten foods. I can find 688 references on Medline to imply a carcinogenic relationship of cancer to dietary sugar, yet the FDA considers sugar GRAS. Go figure?

REFERENCES:

1) Geuns JM. Stevioside. Phytochemistry. 2003 Nov;64(5):913-21. Review. PMID: 14561506 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

2) Yasukawa K, Kitanaka S, Seo S. Inhibitory effect of stevioside on tumor promotion by 2 -O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate in two-stage carcinogenesis in mouse skin. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002 Nov;25(11):1488-90. PMID: 1241996

3) Pezzuto JM, Compadre CM, Swanson SM, Nanayakkara D, Kinghorn AD. Metabolically activated steviol, the aglycone of stevioside, is mutagenic. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Apr;82(8):2478-82. PMID: 3887402 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]- index

4) FOOTNOTE: This response is based on a personal interpretation of formal postgraduate studies and personal research. Application of any information provided is subject to the approved review of each individual's authorized licensed health care practitioner.

IS SOY PROTEIN BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH?

Regarding the phytoestrogens that naturally occur in soy foods/soy protein, Dr. Bill Misner wrote about this topic in Endurance News #54 (see the article, Soy Protein - Friend or Foe?). Usually the question isn't whether or not soy reduces testosterone but rather if the phytoestrogens in soy raise systemic estrogen levels. Regarding that, here is some information from Dr. Misner that should provide the information you seek and alleviate your concerns. In particular, note these couple of sentences: "If a soy protein is consumed, the weak estrogen isoflavanoids in soy find and occupy numerous target organ cells, effectually blocking stronger estrogens in the circulation. In other words, soy's mild estrogen-like compound blocks the more potent hormonal estrogen compound from compromising health or regenerating mutagen effects in the DNA."

Here's the rest of the information from Dr. Misner...

"Estrogens are hormone steroids produced in female ovaries, by astrocytes in the brain, and in male testes (lesser extent). However as males age, testosterone production decreases, while estrogen levels increase proportionate to testosteone decrease. Most males by age 60-65 have as much circulating potent estrogen as they do testosterone. In general, toxic effects of estrogens begin when the sum of estradiol + estrone exceeds 50% of the body's total estrogens, i.e. when the proportion of estriol is less than 50%. Of the three types of estrogen, estradiol is 1,000 times more potent in terms of its ability to stimulate breast tissue growth compared to estriol. Specific abnormal cell growth estrogens stimulate is trophoblasts which are strongly implicated in cancer when they are produced in situations other than female pregnancy. Excess estrogen in women (or use of exogenous estrogens) is associated with the cause in kidney cancer, ovary cancer, and in men, is implicated in prostate cancer. Excess estrogen is problematic when levels increase later after the age of 35-40 and on..."

"Estrogen toxicity is dependent upon estrogen receptors in target organ cells. If a soy protein is consumed, the weak estrogen isoflavanoids in soy find and occupy numerous target organ cells, effectually blocking stronger estrogens in the circulation. In other words, soy's mild estrogen-like compound blocks the more potent hormonal estrogen compound from compromising health or regenerating mutagen effects in the DNA. Hypothetically, this may be why resveratrol is being acclaimed an anticancer ingredient because as a weak estrogen, it has been shown to preserve the integrity of cellular DNA in animal studies. The isoflavanoids in soy present similar effects. Daidzein & Genistein compete with Estrogens (including Estradiol 17-Beta) for occupancy of Estrogen Receptors. The Phytoestrogen properties of Daidzein & Genistein cause them to be weakly estrogenic. If Daidzein or Genistein bind with an estrogen receptor, it elicits less than one-thousandth the response of endogenous estrogens. The equilibrium dissociation constant for Daidzein & Genistein is 100-10,000 times greater than for Estradiol or DES, meaning that these isoflavanoids generate the ability to stay bound to an estrogen receptor is a fraction of a fraction of that of the more potent harmful estrogens. This goes for both male and females."

-- END --

It's important to note that as males age they produce more estrogen-like hormones and less testosterone-like hormones. Now, take a closer look at the info in the second paragraph. It's important because it points out that the phytoestrogens in soy protein act as anti-estrogens, occupying/binding with specific receptor sites, ones that would normally be occupied by endogenously produced estrogens. The benefit to this, as Dr. Misner writes, is that these phytoestrogens "effectively dilute the impact of the body's own production of estrogen, because they occupy the same receptor sites (estradiol receptor sites) that would otherwise be occupied by endogenous estrogen. Therefore plant phytoestrogens protect the body from the detrimental effects of excessive estrogen."

Here is some additional information regarding the benefits of soy protein...

Research supports the following conclusive statements for dietary Soy Protein Isolate (Hammer Soy) during endurance training:

1. Soy protein may lower hematocrit levels (i.e. Soy protein lowers blood thickness (blood viscosity). (1)
2. Soy protein may lower elevated blood pressure in hypertension patients (by inhibiting the angiotensin converting enzyme). (2, 3)
3. Soy protein may retard the progression of chronic kidney failure. (4)
4. Soy protein may help to prevent breast cancer. (5, 6, 7)
5. Soy protein may reduce the risk of colon cancer. (8, 9, 10)
6. Soy protein may help to prevent and treat prostate cancer. (11, 12, 13)
7. Soy protein (17-25 grams per day) may lower total, LDL, VLDL serum "Bad" cholesterols and raises "Good" HDL cholesterol. (14-20)
8. Soy protein (used in conjunction with dieting) may facilitate weight loss in persons afflicted with obesity. (21, 22)
9. Soy protein may lower elevated serum triglycerides levels. (23, 24)
10. Soy protein (indirectly) may facilitate muscle growth (by enhancing nitrogen retention which helps to prevent the catabolism of endogenous proteins in the muscles). (25)
11. Soy protein may help to prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density. (26, 27, 28)
12. Soy protein (60 grams per day) may reduce the number of hot flashes experienced by women during female menopause. (29)
13. Thyroid compromised persons should ask their physician about the use of soy with a thyroid problem. However, for most healthy athletes, Soy protein isolate alternated with other proteins is not as harmful as some report for healthy thyroid hormone activity. (30, 31, 32, 33, 34)

CONCLUSION
Alternating use of the GMO-free, vegetable protein, Soy Protein Isolate (Hammer Soy) with other lean protein sources is a healthy anabolic food source during periodic endurance exercise training.

REFERENCES
1 Guang, M., et al. Effects of "Supro" high energy beverage powder on physiological function of athletes. The Research Section of Health and Nutrition, National Sports Commission.
2 He, J., et al. Effect of soybean protein on blood pressure: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 143(1):1-9, 2005. Full text of this study can be viewed at:http://www.annals.org/cgi/reprint/143/1/1.pdf
3 Yang, H. Y., et al. Soyabean protein hydrolysate prevents the development of hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats. British Journal of Nutrition. 92(3):507-512, 2004.
4 Fair, D. E., et al. Dietary soy protein attenuates renal disease \progression after 1 and 3 weeks in Han:SPRD-cy weanling rats. Journal of Nutrition. 134(6):1504-1507, 2004.
5 Badger, T. M., et al. Soy protein isolate and protection against cancer. J Am Coll Nutr. 24(2):146S-149S, 2005.
6 Rowlands, J. C., et al. Soy and whey proteins downregulate DMBA-induced liver and mammary gland CYP1 expression in female rats. Journal of Nutrition. 131(12):3281-3287, 2001.
7 Petrakis, J., et al. A clinical trial of the chemopreventative effect of a soy beverage in women at high risk for breast cancer. Department of Epidemiology, University of California, Ca., & Department of Pharmacology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Al.
8 Badger, T. M., et al. Soy protein isolate and protection against cancer. J Am Coll Nutr. 24(2):146S-149S, 2005.
9 Hakkak, R., et al. Soy protein isolate consumption protects against azoxymethane-induced colon tumors in male rats. Cancer Letters. 166(1):27-32, 2001.
10 Weiqun, W., et al. Dietary soy protein is associated with reduced intestinal mucosal polyamine concentration in male wistar rats. Journal of Nutrition. 130(7):1815-1820, 2000.

WHAT FOODS CONTAIN THE MOST STARCHY CARBOHYDRATES?

Here is a quick list of foods high in starchy carbohydrates:

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bread/Bagels/Muffins/Pastries/Crackers
  • Cereal
  • Oats
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Black Beans
  • Squash
  • Peas
  • Bananas
CAN A HIGH DOSE OF VITAMIN E DECREASE LIFESPAN?

The short and quick answer to this is “no” and our more-detailed response to this issue appears in the article, “WSJ Wrong on Vitamins” by Neil Levin, CCN, DANLA, in Endurance News Issue #50.

Additional articles regarding the flaws of this “study” are by James South:

Vitamin E: Still Beneficial After All These Years
Vitamin E: Still Safe After All These Years
Vitamin E Does Not Increase Heart Failure!

I think you will find these articles quite enlightening, especially the first one of South’s where he explains the problems/flaws associated with the meta-analysis of the 19 vitamin E trials. Of the points that South makes, two should really catch your attention:

1 - Most of the trials involved people who were already sick, some gravely so.
2 - The list of subjects in the “shortened lifespan” category included those who had died as a result of factors unrelated to vitamin E consumption, such as car accidents.

When those “variables” are taken into account, how can the conclusions still be considered valid?

Once you read these articles you will find that sensible vitamin E supplementation is not only safe but benefiting to health. The Optimal Daily Intake (OPI) for vitamin E is 400-1200 IU, which is what we recommend.

WHY ARE SIMPLE SUGARS BAD?

Simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, etc.) need to be mixed in concentrations no higher than 6-8% in order to achieve an acceptable absortion osmolar value of body fluids (280-303 mOsm) and be digested with any efficiency. That's it. The problem is that a 6-8% solution is a pretty weak mix and will only yield about 100 or so calories an hour, which is inadequate for maintaining optimal energy production. Some athletes realize that and try to resolve the problem by making a double or triple strength batch of their simple sugar product. Unfortunately, that solution is now far too concentrated, it's much higher than 6-8% and, unless more water is consumed or added to the mix (at which point the athlete might very well be flirting with over hydration) that concentrated simple sugar solution will not pass the gastric channels. Energy production is compromised and stomach distress is sure to follow.

The same problem occurs when an athlete combines a simple sugar fuel with a complex carbohydrate fuel. The beauty of complex carbs is that they will match body fluid osmolality, not at a 6-8% solution, but a more concentrated 15-18% solution. Even at this seemingly too-high concentration complex carbohydrates (such as maltodextrins/glucose polymers) will empty the stomach at the same efficient rate as normal body fluids and provide substantially more calories (up to three times more) than simple sugar mixtures will. However, when simple sugars and complex carbs are consumed together or near each other, it increases the solution concentration beyond what either source can be efficiently digested at. In other words, when you consume simple sugars and complex carbohydrates together or within close proximity of each other you negate the efficient digestibility of either source. Once again, energy production will be compromised and a variety of stomach issues are likely to occur.

WHICH HAMMER NUTRITION FUELS AND SUPPLEMENTS CONTAIN DAIRY PRODUCTS?

The only Hammer Nutrition products that contain ingredients derived from dairy are Hammer Whey, Recoverite, and Hammer Protein Bars. These products contain insignificant amounts of actual lactose and dairy-derived fats, however. Hammer Whey and Recoverite both contain whey protein isolate, approximately 97.7% pure and virtually fat- and lactose-free. By comparison, whey protein concentrate is anywhere from 70-85% protein, which means there's still a percentage of lactose and fat remaining. Hammer Recovery Bars contain a whopping 20 grams of cold-processed, high-quality whey protein blend of both isolate and concentrate that is derived from grass-fed cows.

WHY ARE SOME LABELS SHOWING NUTRITION FACTS AND THE WEBSITE IS SHOWING SUPPLEMENT FACTS?

Due to recent changes in FDA regulations, our fuel labels will now feature a supplement facts panel instead of the current nutrition facts. This will be a transition and the labels will be changed as reprints occur. Please consult the website for the most up-to-date product information.

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