New bike new bike new bike new bike....

After a bit of time and deliberation and musing upon upcoming races, Aiden decided that it was time to get a race bike that fitted me well. Not fitted in the respect that it was 'going to work', not 'almost' or 'good enough' but actually fitted me. Like my favourite bike, the singlespeed.

After riding the Specialized for 12 (or so) months, about 8 of which were spent living up to the Specialized's reputation amongst friends of "bikes for fat dudes" as my waistline increased and my average speed crawled to depressingly low double digits.

Look, it was a bike that served me well when another broke and I needed a quick fix for the Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro in Alice Springs, and it did me well there despite not quite being right.

It also had a whiz around the Flight Centre Epic (Elite Women Special Unknown Pregnancy Division) and numerous other state and club races.

But I never loved that bike. It was always a bit too long, a bit too high, a bit too heavy and a bit too...Specialized.

So, I am very very very lucky on this exceptionally first-world blog, to introduce the Rocky Mountain Vertex, special RLC Sport edition. Size small, a inch shorter in the top tube, a huge amount smaller in the standover (the Specialized was much more like a barn door)
Doing jumps...'n shit.
A rare couples ride to try out the new rig.
Introducing the Rocky Mountain stealth machine.
Thinking of calling him "Rochas Martinez".
Any better name options you have will be considered, just let me know.
It's much lower in the front end, which I haven't yet 100% got the feel for on my one quick trail ride yesterday (it was also 34 degrees on the trail, making for not that much feeling-of-awesomeness anyway). Featuring new SRAM XX1—seems the goods so far with a huge cassette covering pretty much all bases. Also with one of the first 2013 Lefty Hybrid forks in the country fitted using the Project 321 awesomeness system by RLC Sport, and awesome P321 wheels. 8.85kg with race saddle and post.  I'm currently running a boat anchor seatpost and saddle though, as new ones are in transit.

Science Round-Up Seconds: How Colostrum Turns the Oxidative Downsides of Endurance Exercise into Benefits and Why Cacao is so Much More Than Just Delicious

Looking for a delicious and more creative way than colostrum powered chocolate milk to combine today's seconds? What about Linda Wagner's Chocolate Cherry Bomb Smoothie with Colostrum, Caco, Maca, Acai, almond milk & more?
By now you will probably have listened to yesterday's installment of the SuppVersity Science Round-Up either via the Super Human Network live stream, or after downloading the podcast (the Round-Up starts in the 2nd hour) that has now been available for ~20h. In case you did not have the chance to listen live or listen to the podcast, but have a vested interest in erectile (dys-)function, optimal testosterone levels, the connection between testosterone, DHT, estrogen, insulin resistance, obesity, the health of your liver and longevity or you are simply eager to learn more about the latest research on high intensity interval training, steady state cardio,  everyday activity and the fallacy of the "exercise just makes you hungry hypothesis" (additional suggested read: "Dr. Oz Was Right: Exercise Does not Just Make You Hungry") and their effects on your metabolic health, conditioning and physique there is no way, you want to miss listening to this show, either before or after you devour this week's installment of the SuppVersity Science Round-Up Seconds.
  • Colostrum supplementation blunts exercise induced reduction in endogenous anti-oxidants and potentiates its beneficial effects (Appukutty. 2012) --Published on November 22, this paper by Appukutty et al. is only the latest in a long line of articles on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of colostrum as an ergogenic aid (suggested read: "Ask Dr. Andro: Are Colostrum and Milk Healthy Muscle Builders?). We will get to these differences in a minute, but let's first take a look at the effects the provision of 50mg/kg body weight (human equivalent: 2.4mg/kg) had on the total antioxidant status, lipid oxidation, xanthine oxidase and super oxide dismutase levels in treadmill exercised (30min per day) mice.
    Figure 1: Relative levels of total antioxidants, xanthine oxidase and super oxide dismutase in supplemented (COL), exercised (EX) and exercised + supplemented (EX + COL) mice expressed relative to sedentary non-supplemented control (Appukutty. 2012)
    It's not difficult to see that the effects of the colostrum supplement go beyond the mere amelioration of the exercise induced decrease in total anti-oxidant enzymes and super oxide dismutase levels. The human equivalent of only 2.4mg/kg body weight per day did - after 14 days of supplementation the total antioxidant status in the exercised + supplemented rodents was already 5% greater, after 21 days whopping 11% greater than in the supplement only group.

    In view of the previously reported benefits of supplemental colostrum you could certainly argue that the obvious parallels to the difference between "training" and "overtraining", with the former having promotive and the latter having compromising effects on the endogenous anti-oxidant system of your body are no coincidence. In view of the about as many studies which found no or at least no significant factually or potentially ergogenic effects in response to supplemental "beast milk", we still have to answer the question I invoked in the introductory paragraph of this sub/item of today's installment of the SuppVersity Science Round-Up Seconds: "How come it works in some, but by no means all studies?" The answer could actually be way more straight forward than you think and reads "Simply because he scientists used different supplements!"

    Even the dairy industry has realized that the way they feed their cows and post-process their colostrum, before they eventually feed it to their offspring, renders almost 60% of the maternal colostrum from US dairy farms "inadequate" so that "a large number of calves are at risk of failure of passive transfer or bacterial infections, or both." (Morrill. 2012)

    Not all colostrum is made the same and the beneficial effects of each and every individual product - specifically with respect to the integrity of the intestinal wall - will necessarily depend on its bacteria content and the latter depends on the feed the cows receive as well as the processing the colostrum undergoes.
    If you do still remember my post on the etiology of exericse-induced increased intestinal permeablity and the beneficial effects 'intact' colostrum has on the integrity of the gut you just have to put two and two together and you have your explanation: Just like the efficacy of any artificial supplement depends on he chemicals the producer puts into it, the effectiveness of a food supplement will vary due do both natural (e.g. seasonal, feed dependent, stress andhealth related...) and 'unnatural' fluctuations in its ingredient profile. Heat treatment, which is applied to almost all commercially available colostrum supplements, for example, may leave most of the IgG content intact, but it will reduce not just the total count, but also the diversity of the microbiota in colostrum (only the heat resistant bacteria, mostly gram-positive, will survive; cf. Hayes. 2012) 
  • Study shows, cacao phenols protect your gut from inflammation, but there is much more cacao can do for you (Rodríguez-Ramiro. 2012) -- As a recent paper by scientists from the Ciudad Universitaria in Madrid (Spain) goes to show you, colostrum and bacteria are not the only naturally occuring supplements that are good for your gut health. Cacao has just been shown to do a pretty decent job, as well.

    Table 1: Nutritional content of the experimental diets the rodents were fed for 8 weeks with the carcinogen being injected in week 3 and 4 (Rodríguez-Ramiro. 2012)
    In an in-vivo the Spanish observed that a diet that was enriched with 12% cacao powder had astonishing anti-inflammatory effects in a rat model of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon carcinogenesis. The rodents had been fed the 12% cacao diets (composition see table 1 to he right), for 8 weeks. In weeks three and four, the scientists injected the procarcinogenic drug azoyxymethane in order to induce intestinal inflammation that would potentially lead to the development of colon cancer.

    Compared to the animals on the regular chow, the rats in the cacao group exhibited highly significant decreases the nuclear levels of  NF-κB and the expression of pro-inflammatory enzymes such as cyclo-oxygenase-2 and inducible NO synthase, all of which were profoundly upregulated in response to the AOM injections in their peers on the regular diet.

    In a subsequent in-vitro experiment on Caco-2 cells, the scientists were also able to confirm that cocoa the cacao polyphenols effectively down-regulate the levels of inflammatory markers induced by TNF-α by inhibiting NF-κB translocation and JNK phosphorylation.

    Now, it does not really appear feasible to eat a 12% cacao powder diet, right? Well, based on the data from table 1 the average food intake and body weigh of the rodents and some mathematical shenanigan, it's actually not difficult to calculate that the human equivalent dose, which would be 150g of cacao powder per day conains no more than 3g of polyphenols and could theoretically be achieved by supplementing with ~15g of chocamine every day. Ok, that would be hilariously expensive, but I assume you don't inject 3.25mg/kg azoyxymethane on a regular basis, right? Well, I guess this would mean that you won't need 15g of chocamine or 150g of cacoa powder to protect your gut either, right?

    Moreover, I suspect that most if not all of you will have heard or read about one of the dozens of epidemiological studies which show associations between very moderate intake of dark chocolate and cardiovascular, neuronal and metabolic health. Apropos "metabolic" did I mention that the animals in the cacao group were also 10% leaner than their peers on the regular - probably not a fair comparison with the differences in the macronutrient make-up but it would still be worth adding another bulletin point to a pretty impressive list of scientifically proven health-benefits of cacao consumption (or supplementation with respective extracts), which comprises among other things
      Guess how she got in shape? Right! The EDC Program ! EDC? Yeah: "The Female Weight-Loss EDC: The Fat Burning, Waist Reducing Synergy of Exercise, Diet and Dark Chocolate" - click here to  learn more
    • high antioxidant activity
    • improved insulin sensitivity, beta cell function & carbohydrate metabolism
    • improved HDL/LDL ratios
    • inhibition of detrimental byproducts of the arachidonic acid metabolism
    • induction of NO-mediated, endothelium-dependent relaxations
    • reduced incidence of stroke due to hypotensive effects
    • anti-CVD effects via TGF-β1 and decreased tendency of blood to clotting
    • local and systemic TNF-alpha modulation and VGEF suppression => anti-cancer efects
    • immune effects that can protect you from tooth decay
    • protection against UV radiation and rejuvenating effect if its applied to the skin
    • suppressive effect on fatty acid synthesis
    • increases in mitochondrial respiratio
    • ability to boost serotonine (5-HT), improve mood and lower appetite and cravings
    • [...]
    I am not intending to make an all-encompassing list, here. Instead I will conclude with the astonishing insight from one of the most recent meta analysis that the daily consumption of the polyphenol equivalent of 100g of dark chocolate (at least 60-70% cacao content; 500-1,000mg polyphenols) would prevent 85 cardiovascular events per 10,000 capita every year (Zomer. 2012).

    Don't get me wrong I am with you with respect to the absurdity of cost-analyses when we are talking about health, but that's unfortunately the way the health business is operating and therefore I won't simply ignore the 50,000$, which is the saving the scientists estimate for every saved life and the corresponding 40$ of which Zomer et al. suggest that they should be spent "per person per year could be devoted to advertising, educational campaigns, or potentially subsidisation of dark chocolate in this high risk population." (Zomer. 2012)

That's  it for this week - at least as far as the SuppVersity Science Round-Up goes

Since Maxim asked "And what about garlic?", here is an addendum summarizing what I maybe did not get across very well at the end of the show, when I was flabbergast that the show was already over: The researchers took 20 male non-athletes (aged 22-26 years, body fat 16-20% and VO2max 38-42 ml/kg/min) randomized them to 700mg garlic or dextrose control  for 14 days and had them work out at 75% VO2max on the treadmill for 30 minutes at the end of the intervention period. Afterwards they analyzed the blood samples and found that (a)the 14 day supplementation alone reduced the basal triglyceride and increased the high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL) increase (P<0.05) and (b) increased the beneficial effects of the exercise bout on acute reductions in LDL and triglycerides (Zekril. 2012)
I hope you enjoyed listening to the show (click here to download the podcast in case you still haven't done so) and satisfied your cravings for more with this installment of the SuppVersity Science Round-Up Seconds: In case you haven't I suggest you browse over to the SuppVersity Facebook Wall and check out the latest news on
  • The connection between MS an impaired blood-brain barrier: A leaky brain and the intrusion of fibrinogen (a coagulation protein from the blood) could be the cause of multiple sclerosis (read more)
  • Fishing for Omega-3s in Milk: One cup of fish oil enhanced milk yields 432mg of DHA + EPA... and it does not taste or smell fishy (read  more)
  • Heart disease may begin even before you are born: Prenatal stress will turn the "probably" before "develop heart disease" into a "most likely" (read more)
When you are done with that and still hungry for more, you may want to check out my, as well as Patrick Arnold's, Kurtis Frank's ( and Willem Koert's ( contributions to a round-table discussion on the more or less recent ban of DMAA (aka geranium oil) in Australia - I have been so busy that I totally forgot about having done the respective interview weeks ago. Sorry for letting you know so late ;-)

  • Appukutty M, Radhakrishnan AK, Ramasamy K, Ramasamy R, Abdul Majeed AB, Ismail MN, Safii NS, Poh KB, Chinna K, Haleagrahara N. Colostrum supplementation protects against exercise - induced oxidative stress in the skeletal muscle in mice. BMC Res Notes. 2012 Nov 22;5(1):649.
  • Hayes MM, Hughes TA, Greene AK. Bacterial diversity in dried colostrum and whey sold as nutraceutical products. J Food Sci. 2012 Jul;77(7):M359-63.
  • Morrill KM, Conrad E, Lago A, Campbell J, Quigley J, Tyler H. Nationwide evaluation of quality and composition of colostrum on dairy farms in the United States. J Dairy Sci. 2012 Jul;95(7):3997-4005.  
  • Rodríguez-Ramiro I, Ramos S, López-Oliva E, Agis-Torres A, Bravo L, Goya L, Martín MA. Cocoa polyphenols prevent inflammation in the colon of azoxymethane-treated rats and in TNF-α-stimulated Caco-2 cells. Br J Nutr. 2012 Nov 28:1-10. 
  • Zekri1 R, Jafari A, Dehghan G.  The concurrent effect of one bout aerobic exercise and short-term garlic supplementation on the lipids profile in male non-athletes. J Shahrekord Univ Med Sci. 2012; 14 (5) :34-41
  • Zomer E, Owen A, Magliano DJ, Liew D, Reid CM. The effectiveness and cost effectiveness of dark chocolate consumption as prevention therapy in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease: best case scenario analysis using a Markov model. BMJ. 2012 May 30;344:e3657.

Human Study: OTC Supplement Doubles T-Levels & Boosts Erections More Than Tadalafil - Too Good to Be True?

Just to make sure you don't suffer from withdrawl symptoms until Adelfo posts the next update on his current contest prep, I thought I'd share a photo that shows where he is currently at - not bad for someone of whom a handful of you have been shocked to hear that he eats at least 200g carbs per day and ice-cream almost every evening, right?
It's Thursday and before I'll get to a question on a very recent study I received via the SuppVersity Facebook page, I will brief you on the line-up of today's installment of the SuppVersity Science Round-Up on the Super Human Radio Network. By now, most of you should actually be familiar with the modus operandi: In case you cannot listen live at 1PM EST, you can always download the show ~2h later either from the "Physical Culture for Your Ears" menu in the sidebar of the SuppVersity, or right over at - obviously, you can also wait for tomorrow's SuppVersity Science Round-Up Seconds, in which I am providing some additional information on things we have discussed and post selected topics that did not make it into the show.

Apropos topics, the first topic we are going to address does actually pertain to the second part of this post and revolves around a recently published paper by Fabrizio Iacono et al. whose results do - just as SuppVersity reader Mark, who pointed me towards this article, says - look "too good to be true".

    Now, upon closer scrutiny it turns out that they may well be "true", but are not just as "good" as they may initially look like. From this testosterone-laden topic we are then going to proceed with topics revolving around male and female longevity, optimal workout types and intensities for different trainees,the health effects of garlic, colostrum and chocolate and related topics.

    I could mention more, but am afraid that this will just increase the risk of rushing through the items too quickly. Optimally, you just tune in live and pick up the rest in "print" in tomorrow's SuppVersity Science Round-Up Seconds!

    200% increase in total and 130% increase in free testosterone

    Just a reminder: Taurine has also (rodent) data showing up to 180% increases in testosterone and that's not exclusively in the sick and old.
    This subheading sounds as if I was to pimp the "revolutionary new testbooster" by "whatever company" that will get you muscular and ripped in no time, right? Well, in the end it could well be the text of an advertisement, yet not one from any of the usual suspects but rather one for TRADAMIX®, a blend of "three natural substances with an 'anti-aging' effect on the tissues of the male genitourinary apparatus" (Tradapharma Sagl. 2012) - I know, without the usual "-bols", "-diols", or at least some indirect references to illegal anaobolic substances in the product name, this does not sound like it would work, but the +200% increas in total and +130% increase in free testosterone are for real and documented in a peer-reviewed study involving seventy patients (67.3± 3.7 years) with stable marital relations and reduced libido, with or
    without erectile dysfunction who received either the infamous PDE-5 inhibitor Tadalafil (5mg/day) or two servings of the aforementioned 'testicular anti-aging supplement' (Iacono. 2012).

    But before we even get to the testosterone levels, let's tackle the main problem of these guys and the actual research interest of the scientists from the University “Federico II” of Naples in Italy first. After all, the main outcome of the study at hand were the improvements in sexual desire and erectile function and those were almost identical in both groups - from 16 to 33 and 16 to 31, in the supplement vs. drug groups, respectively. If you go by the results of the international index of erectile function (IIEF) questionnaire (see figure 1, left), on the other hand, the dietary supplement yielded actually outperformed the blockbuster prescription drug by almost 10%:
    Figure 1: Results of international index of erectile function (IIEF) questionnaire and RigiScan (device to measure penile tumescence and rigidity continuously that's used to differentiate vascular from psychogenic erectile dysfunction) before and after 2 months of treatment with Tradamixina and Tadalafil (Iacono. 2012).
    What's probably even more impressive, though, are the differential effects of Tradamixina vs. Tadalafil on the RigiScale values (see figure 1, right). The RigiScale is an etablished means to differentiate psychogenic from organ-related (vascular) erectile dysfunction (Basar. 2001) and the fact that there was a significant reduction of RigiScale positive subjects in the Tradamixina group does already suggest a possible reason for the initially mentioned 200% increase in total and 130% increase in free testosterone (see figure 2).
    Figure 2: Total and free testosterone levels before and after the administration of Tradamaxine (2 servings per day) or Tadalafil (2mg/day) to Seventy patients (67.3± 3.7 years) with stable marital relations and affected by reduced libido for 2 months (data based on Iacono. 2012)
    What this underlying reason is? Well, probably reduced systemic inflammation, which leads to reductions in cortisol, blood glucose, insulin resistance, oxidative damage to the testes etc. and thus simply facilitates the restoration of normal testosterone levels.

    If you know how google works, it'll take you maybe 5 minutes and a credit card and you'll have a couple of pounds of the ingredients right on the way to your doorstep.
    Yep, you heard me right: A boost of +200% just brought those guys who started with 10ng/dl below the already way too broad normal range from 260-1080ng/dl (values may vary from lab to lab) in a quasi hypogonadal state, back to midrange levels of 680ng/dl.
    Real world implications for healthy young men: The chance that a healthy, fit individual with normal testosterone levels would see a boost of 200% in his total or 130% in his free testosterone levels is not low, it is simply ZERO!
    Notwithstanding, Tradamixina (or rather its ingredients) is actually more than just a cilialis alternative. While the latter is a short term solution to get rid of the symptoms of an underlying disease, the combination of Ecklonia Cava, tribulus, and d-glucosamine + n-acetyl-d-glucosamine could actually tackle the most frequent cause of erectile dysfunction, which is the triad of inflammation, insulin resistance and arteriosclerosis (for more details see info-box to the right).

    So how does this stuff work? Although investigations into the mechanism by which the provision of Tradamaxine did work its magic was actually not part of the study, it's actually not difficult to hypothesize what may be the underlying cause of these unquestionably astonishing results. Firstly, the brown algae Ecklonia Bicyclis (better known as Ecklonia Cava!)of which each serving has 150mg has a very high content of sterols, polyphenols and tannins and is probably the main active ingredient of a formula which includes 396mg of tribulus and 144mg of d-glucosamine and n-acetyl-d-glucosamine as a 'support'. The phlototannins 7-phloro eckol and 6,6′-bieckoll that have been isolated from Ecklonia, a marine brown algae which has been used for centuries in traditional medicine in Asia, are more or less unique with respect to the potency of their antioxidant activity (Li. 2009). In conjunction with tribulus, d-glucosamine and n-acetyl-d-glucosamine, which also exhibit a certain degree of anti-inflammatory activity, a decrease in systemic inflammation is the most likely cause of the profound pro-sexual and pro-hormonal effects of this blend, which is yet by no means as unique as the producers would have it.
    Bottom line: It is no coincidence that erectile dysfunction has been identified as a "harbinger of cardiovascular clinical events" (Thompson. 2005) and "a sentinel event for CAD [coronary artery disease]" (Irekpita. 2009). So if you are in the unlucky situation to suffer from vascular (and not physogenic) erectile dysfunction, and had the choice between a drug that will ameliorate the symptoms, i.e. Tadalafil, or a supplement that will treat the underyling cause, the decision for the supplement and against the lifestyle drug should be obvious, right?

    Still, there is one, ... no, actually there are two things I would like to ask you, before you run all spiked up to the next best supplement shop: Firstly, how accurate would you say is the authors' claim that there was "no conflict of interest", if no one else, but the lead author of the study, has been granted a patent on the formula on April 4th, 2012 (US2012/089722 A1)? And secondly, do you really believe that it is a mere coincedence that the researchers deliberate use the hardly known appellation Ecklonia Bicyclis for a brown algae all of you probably know as Ecklonia Cava (see "Ecklonia Cava Polyphenols Help Shed Weight Even in The Presence of a Slight Caloric Surplus") throughout the whole paper without mentioning once that it is better known as "Ecklonia Cava"? I am well aware that studies are expensive and need to be financed and I am by no means suggesting that the results are - as Mark suspected - "too good to be true" (remember. the men were hypogonadal to begin with), but this paper does still have a somewhat peculiar aftertaste.

    • Basar MM, Atan A, Tekdogan UY. New concept parameters of RigiScan in differentiation of vascular erectile dysfunction: is it a useful test? Int J Urol. 2001 Dec;8(12):686-91.
    • Iacono F, Prezioso D, Illiano E, Romeo G, Ruffo A, Amato B. Sexual asthenia: Tradamixina versus Tadalafil 5 mg daily. BMC Surg. 2012 Nov 15;12 Suppl 1:S23.
    • Irekpita E, Salami TA. Erectile dysfunction and its relationship with cardiovascular risk factors and disease. Saudi Med J. 2009 Feb;30(2):184-90. 
    • Li Y, Qian ZJ, Ryu B, Lee SH, Kim MM, Kim SK. Chemical components and its antioxidant properties in vitro: an edible marine brown alga, Ecklonia cava. Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Mar 1;17(5):1963-73.
    • Thompson IM, Tangen CM, Goodman PJ, Probstfield JL, Moinpour CM, Coltman CA. Erectile dysfunction and subsequent cardiovascular disease. JAMA. 2005 Dec 21;294(23):2996-3002. 
    • Tradapahrm Sagl. Tradamix. 2012 < > retrieved on 11/29/2012.

    Review for PowerBar Energy Blasts--Strawberry Banana


    40 mg/package


    Far less common than the iconic bars themselves, but still sold most everywhere PowerBar products are sold.


    Don’t have a lot to say here—looks just like every other PowerBar product.  Does it work, if we’re evaluating it as a workout supplement?  Yes.  Is it anything really worthy of note?  Not particularly.


    I was a little apprehensive going into this—when I think of gummy things of this sort, I think of the overly sweet, fake-tasting worms and what not that I would get my son at WinCo, which have long since ceased to appeal to my adult palate.  I am, then, somewhat surprised to report that they’re not half bad.  They do have some issues—I was kind of bothered by the texture of the opaque half, and as I was getting towards the end of the bag I did start to feel as though I would soon have enough—but the banana exterior and strawberry interior (which you really have to chew your way towards if you’re hoping to taste it) are pleasant enough that I wouldn’t really have a problem eating them again.


    Problem is, in terms of energy (at least so far as I define it), these basically deliver nothing.  I’m sure if I had tried these before going to the gym or engaging in some sort of other vigorous activity, I might have noticed reduced muscle fatigue, etc (the 2:1 glucose/fructose ratio is supposed to be excellent for energy delivery to muscle tissue). from the other ingredients, but if you’re looking for a workout supplement/caffeine buzz, you’re fairly well out of luck.


    Nothing to say here.


    These probably work just fine in their appointed niche, but I’m reviewing these as a caffeine junkie, and as such I found these lacking.  If you’ve found otherwise, by all means let me know.


    KEYWORDS: PowerBar Energy Blasts review, strawberry banana, glucose, fructose, etc.

    Caffeine Kissers

    white collar shirt by SheInside, vintage rings, Cotton On boots

    Was hanging out at my cafe Ninotchka last night, wearing this awesome leather dress by A|X Armani Exchange which I could also wear as a long coat. I SUPER LOVE this! Thanks for the lovely collaboration with my blog. You have to check out their new site, , which is connected to Instagram. You have the chance to be featured, just simply upload your outfit of the day picture, put #DressedFor hashtag and tag @armaniexchange! :) Here I am #DressedFor #Night in A|X.. Submit yours, too!

    Probiotics + Green Tea - Synergistic Superstack or Sciency Non-Sense? Green Tea Alone Totally Blunts HFD Induced Weight Gain, L. Plantarum Does Not Add to Its Effects

    L. plantarum may metabolize green tea phenols, but don't add to their anti-diabesity effects 
    Green tea has actually never seized being all the rage and probiotics are the sexy new kid on the block right around the corner of the supplement shops and and science laboratories of the western hemisphere. Against that background I guess that the title of a paper that's been published ahead of print on Monday will probably suffice to catch your interest: "Green tea powder and Lactobacillus plantarum affect gut microbiota, lipid metabolism and inflammation in high-fat fed C57BL/6J mice." (Axling. 2012) - and that despite the fact that "mice are no little men" ;-)

    '1 + 1 =4' the synergism of green tea and probiotics could make it possible

    I guess, the idea sounds logic: Take one thing that has been proven to ameliorate diet induced obesity, namely green tea, and combine that with another one, of which it appears as if it would also exhibit beneficial effects into an even more potent stack. In fact, the scientists' rationale was yet slightly different:
    "The species Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) has the ability to metabolize phenolic acids  and to split up tannins. The metabolites are presumably more easily absorbed and distributed into the tissues where they can act as antioxidants and electron scavengers. Phenolic compounds can also have antimicrobial effects that may affect the composition of the gut microbiota, in favour of polyphenol-metabolizing components of the microbiota. Also, green tea extracts have been shown to selectively inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria while either enhancing or not affecting the growth of beneficial bacteria like lactic acid bacteria. To the best of our knowledge, the impact of green tea powder as a prebiotic compound to promote lactobacilli or other health promoting components of the microbiota has not previously been evaluated."
    In other words, the expected benefits of providing both green tea and probiotics in conjunction were (1) an increased bioavailability of the phenols and tannins from the green tea that would be induced by the probiotics and (2) an increase in the probiotics' survival and ability to modify the gut microbiome that would be brought about by the addition of the green tea.

    What looks good on paper does not necessarily work out in a complex organism

    Figure 1: Ingredient total amount of Flavan-3-ol, Phenolic acid and Flavenol in water and methanol extracts from the green tea leaves that have been used in the study (Axling. 2012); as you can see the total quantity and the ratios of the bioactive ingredients of the extract actually depend on the extraction method.
    Apropos green tea, you can see the exact ingredient profile of the green tea supplement that has been used in the study at hand in figure 1. In view of the fact that the C57BL/6J mice received no extract, but simply powdered green tea leaves, it may not be important in this context, but could be relevant for your future purchases that methanol and water extracts differ not only in terms of the total amount of Flavan-3-ol, Phenolic acid and Flavenol they contain, but also with respect to the ratio of the respective phytochemicals. I guess, those of you who have been around in September 2011, already, will remember that I have discussed the impact these ostensibly negligible differences can have more than a year ago in "-20% Reduction in Serum Testosterone by 5 Cups of Green Tea. Endocrine Effects Depend on Catechin Composition". In case you are one of the many newcomers or have simply forgotten (let alone missed ;-) this post, I suggest you go back and read that up, as it may help you get a better understanding of the underlying reasons due to which quality and quantity of the health effects of green tea (supplements) wary from study to study... but let's now get back to the experimental setup of the Axling study.

    Green tea alone already blunts HFD induced weight gain

    As mentioned before the extracts were simply mixed with the high fat diet, the mice were consuming in the course of the 22 week study period. With the probiotic supplement that was administered with the drinking water (L. plantarum at 1.5% (v/v) or roughly 3 × 10^9 cfu/ml) we are thus dealing with four different groups:
    • Control: High fat chow + no supplement
    • LP: High fat chow + L. plantarum
    • GT: High fat chow + green tea
    • GT + LP: High fat chow + green tea + L. plantarum
    If you focus solely on the initially quoted hypothesis about the synergistic effects of green tea + L. plantarum, the actual study outcomes - at least as far as the blood markers in figure 2 are concerned  - are certainly disappointing.
    Figure 2: Glucose insulin, fructosamine, cholesterol, triacylglycerol, non-esterified fatty acids and adiponectin levels in the blood of the mice in week 11 and week 22 of the study (Axling. 2012)
    It's not like '1+1 would equal 4', but rather like '1 + 1' would just be sufficient to yield '1' not just '0.9' or even less. The in fact, the addition of the probiotics, alone, did very little within the first 11 weeks as far as it's ability to th reduce the diet-induced insulin resistance is concerned and it's addition to the green tea supplement did not improve blood glucose and lipid management, but did in fact diminish the impressive effects the green tea supplement brought about.
    Figure 3: Relative change (compared to control) in bacterial diversity and lactobacilli count in response to the supplement regimen (Axling. 2012)
    That the probiotic was basically useless, is actually no wonder if you take a closer look at the changes of gut microbiome in figure 3. Aside from an intermediate increase in lactobacilli, it could not boost the amount of these supposedly healthy bacteria in the long term. Rather than that it did induce an allegedly statistically non-significant decrease in the overall diversity (figure 3, left).

    Minor differences with quasi-nonexistent real-world effects

    At the mRNA level, the addition of L. planatrum counter-acted the anti-obesity effects of green tea, as evidenced by
      Figure 4: Body weight and fat levels of the mice (Axling. 2012)
    • 20% higher fatty acid synthase levels, an enzyme that's responsible for the synthesis of fatty acid
    • the reversal of the statistically significant reduction in acetyl-CoA caroxylase (ACC), an enzyme that's one step ahead of FAS in the cascade of which you could say that it supplies the raw material for fatty acid synthesis, and
    • minimally higher PPAR-gamma levels (responsible for fat storage) 
    in the LP + GT vs. GT group, respectively. The net effects on body weight and fat mass, on the other hand were negligible. In essence the bulk of the beneficial effects of the green tea extract remained intact. Moreover, the addition of L. plantarum did have two distinct effects, that were not observed in the GT only group:
      Figure 5: Liver cholesterol and HMG-CoA-R after 11 (top) and 12 (bottom) weeks (Axling. 2012)
    1. a statistically non-significant -20% reduction in the mRNA expression of the inflammatory marker TNF-alpha, and
    2. a whopping and surprising increase in HMG-CoA reductase of +50% and +70% increase in HMG-CoA reductase mRNA compared to the green tee only and the control group, respectively
    And while there is nothing in the study that would suggest that there were any beneficial effects from the TNF-alpha reduction, the increase in HMG-CoA reductase is in fact an oddity. After all, despite statistically significant increases in the enzyme that's responsible for the synthesis of cholesterol and the main target of statin drugs (Stancu. 2001), the cholesterol levels dropped by 64% and 39% compared to the control group, in weeks 11 and 22, respectively.

    What do these Jerusalem artichokes, agave, bananas, burdock, camas, chicory, coneflower, costus, dandelion, elecampane, garlic,jicama, Leopard's-bane, mugwort, onion, wild yams, yacon and a whole host of other foods have in common? Right! They contain inulin. which has only recently been shown to have the ability to ameliorate body weight gains by up to 50%! Intriguing? Go back to my previous post and learn more about inulin, beta-glucans and their anti-diabesity effects.
    Bottom line: A non-statistically significant reduction in TNF-alpha and an elevation of cholesterol synthesis in the presence of lower liver cholesterol levels, which would be suggestive of an increased excretion of cholesterol (thus the increased synthesis to come up for the loss), are in my humble opinion nothing that would render the combination of green tea + L. plantarum superior to the provision of green tea alone. The latter on the other hand, appears to be a great tool to keep the damage of the energy-dense Western diet in check - with no added, let alone synergistic benefit of these particular probiotic.

    Maybe the provision of another probiotic or even another strain of L. plantaris would yield at least '1 + 1' results. This would yet be a research question for another study (one I would by the way not be willing to finance ;-) and does not change the fact that the original research hypothesis that there would be a potentiating effect due to the synergism of the two supplements is - even if the scientists don't openly acknowledge that - debunked for L. plantaris DSM 15313 and green tea.

    • Axling U, Olsson C, Xu J, Fernandez C, Larsson S, Ström K, Ahrné S, Holm C, Molin G, Berger K. Green tea powder and Lactobacillus plantarum affect gut microbiota, lipid metabolism and inflammation in high-fat fed C57BL/6J mice. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Nov 26;9(1):105.
    • Stancu C, Sima A. Statins: mechanism of action and effects. J Cell Mol Med. 2001 Oct-Dec;5(4):378-87.

    Review for Rip It Shot--G-Force


    Unlike Code Blue with its 100 mg, this is an extra strength Rip It shot—so it gets 120 mg!  Woo!


    Easy as hitting up the local dollar store.


    Even the purple can’t do much with what Rip It gives it—looks just like every other product made especially for dollar store shelves.


    Another grape Triaminic shot.  Add some phenylephrine hydrochloride and you’d be all set.


    This is one of the stranger energy experiences I’ve had—took it down about a half hour before my calculus class, then just…forgot about it.  Did my homework, went about my business, and as I was getting settled in the classroom I noticed something strange—I wasn’t dragging.  I pondered the fact for a minute, and thought, “Oh, yeah!  I drank that Rip It shot before coming here!”  Needless to say, it’s not the most dramatic boost of energy in the world, but…at least it got the job done.


    Worked about two and a half hours, ending without a crash.


    Might have gotten the job done, but…still nothing that worthy of note.  And you may be getting tired of this by now, but…Eternal Energy shots are better.  Same taste (not very good in my book, but whatever rubs your Buddha…), good energy.  Only 88 cents at Wal-Mart (vs. $1.06 for this at Dollar Tree).  Go with one of those.

    KEYWORDS: Rip It Shot G-Force review, extra strength, zero carbs, zero calorie, zero sugar, diet

    Which side are you on?

    When G-d just started creation before much happened, the Bible says “darkness was on the surface of the deep.” The commentators say this darkness refers to the seeds of darkness planted for believers to battle, generations later in the time of the Greek Hellenists.

    The principles, ideals, and pursuits associated with classical Greek civilization and the conformity forced upon all to imitate the culture of ancient Greece threatened the survival of believers in an invisible G-d.

    After the Bible tells us there was only darkness it immediately continues, “G-d said, Let there be light! – and there was light.” Darkness is temporary until we overcome the challenge and discover the light.

    Darkness itself is a creation of G-d, “who forms light and creates darkness”. Anything and everything for it to exist must have a source, a place from which it came from.  Nevertheless the characteristic of darkness is that because there is no light a person’s reality can be obscured and fooled. In a state of darkness the truth many times will go unnoticed.

    The Greek Hellenists decreed that it was forbidden to practice the Sabbath and the Circumcision. The practice of Sabbath reminds us there is a G-d who created this universe in six days and rested on the seventh day. The Sabbath is a day to reinforce our faith in a supreme being and our commitment to values that are more important than “six days you shall work.”

    Circumcision brings a child on the eighth days of his life, long before it is possible for him to logically understand what is happening, into a covenant with G-d. “It will be a sign on your flesh of our eternal bond”.

    The Greeks where a highly intelligent people. What they abhorred and stood violently against was the belief and acceptance that there is more to our lives than just the physical.

    Recently I was reading an article written by a neurosurgeon who had a near death experience. He writes that while he was always under the impression that it was the brain that produces all that we think and feel, after his most recent experience he has come to a new realization. “We” exist apart from our bodies, and “we” merely operate through our bodies.

    The physical world is not where it begins and ends. There is a reality that brought this world into existence and for the sun to rise every day and the winds to blow there is a soul and energy behind and inside that makes it all happen.

    The Greeks had no problem with the practice of lighting the Menorah candelabra in the Temple. Their problem was doing it with “PURE” oil. To the Greeks purity and impurity was unreal. The concept of actually applying a belief, was an idiotic fantasy that would not be tolerated.

    The small family of priests was determined to prove these Greeks wrong. “It is not in strength or in power, but only in my spirit says the Lord of Hosts”. The invisible and unseen carries with it way more strength than we can imagine.

    The Maccabees as this small family of priests called themselves overcame miraculously beyond logic this great big army.  They entered the Temple to light the Menorah with pure oil because that is what “G-d” commanded. They demonstrated for everyone to see, a miracle. Life is way more than what meets the eyes. Don’t accept limitations and darkness as your reality.

    They found one small pitcher of pure oil which could normally last for only one night and instead it lasted for eight nights until new pure oil could be produced.

    The story of Chanukah reinforces our faith in G-d. Those who don’t accept the limitations of darkness, light surely follows.

    Asparagus Extract Tops Anti-Diabetes Drug Glibenclamide. Plus: Dozens of Add. Health Benefits - From Aphrodisiac to Anti-Hangover & from Neuroprotection to Anti-Aging

    Coho salmon, shrimp and asparagus with melted butter - better than any diabetes drug ;-)
    Within the last couple of weeks, I have been moving news-items like this one into the "On Short Notice"  category, or simply totally discarded the dozen or so "herb XYZ" or "extract ABC ameliorates hypoglycemia in rodent model of type II diabetes" papers that are published on a weekly basis. The mere number of studies on whatever exotic, herb, spice or isolated polyphenol from the most remote areas (usually in Asia) the names of which I often even have heard about before, is simply too large to cover them all... and let's be honest: In the end, it's also downright boring to read about stuff that decreases blood glucose in a rodent model to a miniscule extend, when you already know that chances that you ever get your hands on a significant amount of that are zero, right?

    There are however, two good reasons, why Rahman Md. Hafizur, Nurul Kabir and Sidra Chishti most recent paper, which has been published on November 24 in the latest issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, has still made it not just into the short, but actually the 'official' SuppVersity news are twofold: Firstly, the effects of the Asparagus officinalis extract they administered at two different dosages to their rodents were just mediocre, but - as you are about to see - right on par with the diabetes drug glibenclamide, a sulfonylurea based medication that is often sold in combination with metformin (the respective drugs are called Glucovance and Glibomet). And secondly, briefly summarizing the main results of the study provided a nice incentive to dig somewhat deeper into the already established beneficial health effects of asparagus - and I can tell you, those are about as numerous as the aformentioned boring "herb XYZ"-studies ;-)

    From the scientists' petri dishes to the rodent cage and... onto your dishes?

    Asparagus officinalis L. is probably what the average Westerner would call "common asparagus". It's native to most European, African and Asian countries and its medicinal usage has been reported in the British and Indian Pharmacopoeias and in traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha. Most of you will probably be aware of its mild diuretic effects and the distinct smell of your urine which will betray that you are someone who loves its delicate flavor in salads, vegetable dishes, soups and (if you are like me) poundwise with melted Kerrygold butter, some potatoes a decent amount of ham or some grilled meat during the asparagus season... but I am digressing here, let's get back to the facts.
    To get to the bottom of previously reported beneficial effects of asparagus in various inflammatory (metabolic) diseases, the initially conducted an in-vitro study, to test the radical scavenging ability of their Asparagus extract and found that ...
    "[...] A. officinalis at a concentration of 0·5 mg/ml exhibited 86·8 % radical-scavenging activity, as shown by a significant decrease in the absorbance of DPPH radicals. These results suggest that A. officinalis has potent antioxidant activity, as the positive control propyl gallate exhibited 91·4 % radical-scavenging activity. (Hafizur. 2012)
    Afterwards they injected a group of male and female Wistar rats with streptozotocin to induce diabetes. Subsequently, the rodents received either 250 or 500mg/kg body weight of an Asparagus officinalis (AO) extract or 5mg/kg body weight of glibenclamide (GIB) once daily via an oral syringe - the dosage was adapted once weekly according to changes in body weight.
    Figure 1: Fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, total antioxidant status (TAS was measured using the ABTS) and beta cell area / islet expressed relative to control at the end of the 29 day study period (based on Hafizur. 2012)
    A cursory glance at the data in figure 1 reveals: The initially betrayed anti-hypoglycemic effects (hypo[...] = ability to lower [blood sugar]) the high dose of Asparagus officinalis extract (AO500, figure 1) had on the fasting glucose levels of the animals were as potent as those of the diabetes drug glibenclamide.  Moreover, the treatment with AO500 had a slightly, but statistically significanty higher impact on the total antioxidant capacity and the same benificial effect on the morphology and function of the pancreas. Nevertheless, neither the A. officinalis extract, nor the glibenclamide treatment were able to restore the compromised insulin producton to more than ~70% of the value the non-streptozotocin-intoxicated animals.

    There is much more to asparagus than it's antidiabetic effects

    As impressive as these results may be, if we simply rely on the findings Hafizur, Kabir and Chishtiit present in this recent paper, we will actually miss not just half, but rather 95% of the potential health benefits the different genus and parts of asparagus have to offer.

    Figure 2: A. racemosis administered at a dose of 200mg/kg per day makes male rats about as horny (and able to perform) as bi-weekly injections of testosterone (Thakur. 2009) - not that you would need that, but it's nice to know anyways.
    Despite the fact that asparagus is a highly nutritious source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein (in at least in view of the fact that it's an almost zero calorie veggie ;-), vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, selenium, highly bioavailable chromium, and even small quantities omega-3 fatty acids (Morales. 2012), so that the regular incorporation of asparagus alone into your diet will supposedly be beneficial for you, some of the more intricate health effects may in fact require the extraction of and supplementation with specific phytonutrients from Asparagus officinalis, A. racemosus, A. cochinensis and its various cousins.

    In order to give you an idea of what you can expect, I have compiled a comprehensive, yet by no means extensive list of benefits which have been ascribed to root, seed, and even leaf extracts of asparagus over the past decades
    • anti-cancer effects: Asparagus contains saponins that have in-vitro anti-(liver-)cancer effects (Ji. 2012); 
    • neuroprotective effects: Chinese asparagus contains pregnanes that sooth neuro-inflammation (Jian. 2012; compounds could be present in regular A. officinalis as well) and can protect your liver and brain from aging (Xiong. 2011); 
    • antiaging effects: A. contains enzymes that help with protein digestion (Ha. 2012); 
    • hypolipidemic effects: n-butanol extracts from A. officinalis exert anti-hyperlipidemic effects (Zhu. 2011); 
    • antimicrobial effects: A. has antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella sonnei, Shigella flexneri, Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas putida, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus (Mandal. 2000); 
    • allows for geno-typing at home ;-) A. allows you to do a personal gene analysis to find out whether you have a single nucleotide polymorphism at rs4481887, which would make it impossible for you to smell the distinct odor the urine acquires after eating asparagus (Pelchat. 2011); 
    • anti-hangover effects: A. helps your liver to metabolize alcohol and can even prevent a hangover (Kim. 2009); 
    • buttery taste: A. contains phytochemicals which generate the sensation of having butter in the mouth (Dawid. 2012); 
    • anti-stress effects: Ethanolic extracts from Asparagus racemosus have anti-stress activity and help your adrenals take a time out (Joshi. 2012)
    • carbblocking effects: Asparagus racemosus inhibits the digestion of carbohydrates and enhances insulin action (Hannan. 2011); in this context it is interesting to remark that the in-vitro essay of the the study at hand suggested that A. officinalis, or rather the specific extract the scientists used in their study "has a very little effect on delaying glucose absorption" (Hafizur. 2012)
    • immune promoting effects: A. racemosus ramps up natural killer cell activity (Thakur. 2012); AR also enhances memory and prevents amnesia (Ojha. 2012), 
    • profound aphrodisiac effects: A dried root extract likewise from A. racemosus more than doubled the 'desire' of male rodents within 29 days (Thakur. 2009; cf. figure 2)
    • MAO and acetylcholine breakdown inhibition: A. racemosus competitively inhibits acetylcholine and monoamine metabolizing enzymes (Meena. 2011)
    As this highly incomplete list goes to show you, the health benefits are numerous. Unfortunately, this does also apply to the different phytochemicals which trigger all these effects. The probability that the next best extract you may find on the shelves or virtual outlets of a supplement store is actually going to to yield the health benefits you may be looking for are therefore pretty slim.

    Although parts of it are edible as well, A. racemosus, is actually better known for its multitude of beneficial health effects that range from Antibacterial activity (some) antisecretory and antiulcer activity over mood enhancing and anti-depressive properties, and immunomodulatory effects to such profane things as libido enhancement or getting rid of superfluous water before a show or photo shoot.
    Bottom line: In view of the practical problems associated with spotting appropriate extracts, I guess it would be best you take the fact that a 2003 paper in scientific journal Nutrition (Pellegrini. 2003) ranked asparagus 7th among 34 fruits and vegetables with respect to its free radical scavenging abilities, as an incentive to simply incorporate asparagus into your diets more frequently.

    If, on the other hand, you are dealing with any specific health condition, it would certainly make sense to look for an extract that contains the proper genus of asparagus, is made from the right parts of the plant and - if possible - is even standardized for a specific compound: If you were interested in upping your estrogen levels, you would for example have to pick a whole plant extract of A. dumosus that would at best contain a standardized amount of 20-hydroxecysterone (Kaur. 1998). If it's rather the anti-ulcer effects you are after, your 'asparagus product of choice' should be made of the roots of A. racemosus ideally standardized for its Shatavairin content (Bhatnagar. 2005)... 

    And now, you tell me eating healthy was complicated and taking supplements was easy ;-)

      • Bhatnagar M, Sisodia SS, Bhatnagar R. Antiulcer and antioxidant activity of Asparagus racemosus Willd and Withania somnifera Dunal in rats. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Nov;1056:261-78.
      • Dawid C, Hofmann T. Identification of Sensory-Active Phytochemicals in Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.). J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Nov 8.
      • Ha M, Bekhit Ael-D, Carne A, Hopkins DL. Characterisation of kiwifruit and asparagus enzyme extracts, and their activities toward meat proteins. Food Chem. 2013 Jan 15;136(2):989-98. 
      •  Hafizur RM, Kabir N, Chishti S. Asparagus officinalis extract controls blood glucose by improving insulin secretion and β-cell function in streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetic rats. Br J Nutr. 2012 Nov;108(9):1586-95.
      • Hannan JM, Ali L, Khaleque J, Akhter M, Flatt PR, Abdel-Wahab YH. Antihyperglycaemic activity of Asparagus racemosus roots is partly mediated by inhibition of carbohydrate digestion and absorption, and enhancement of cellular insulin action. Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep 8:1-8.
      • Ji Y, Ji C, Yue L, Xu H. Saponins isolated from Asparagus induce apoptosis in human hepatoma cell line HepG2 through a mitochondrial-mediated pathway. Curr Oncol. 2012 Jul;19(Suppl 2):eS1-9.
      • Jian R, Zeng KW, Li J, Li N, Jiang Y, Tu P. Anti-neuroinflammatory constituents from Asparagus cochinchinensis. Fitoterapia. 2012 Oct 24.
      • Joshi T, Sah SP, Singh A. Antistress activity of ethanolic extract of Asparagus racemosus Willd roots in mice. Indian J Exp Biol. 2012 Jun;50(6):419-24. 
      • Kaur H. Estrogenic activity of some herbal galactogogue constituents. Ind J Anim Nutr. 1998;5:232–4.
      • Kim BY, Cui ZG, Lee SR, Kim SJ, Kang HK, Lee YK, Park DB. Effects of Asparagus officinalis extracts on liver cell toxicity and ethanol metabolism. J Food Sci. 2009 Sep;74(7):H204-8. 
      • Meena J, Ojha R, Muruganandam AV, Krishnamurthy S. Asparagus racemosus competitively inhibits in vitro the acetylcholine and monoamine metabolizing enzymes. Neurosci Lett. 2011 Sep 26;503(1):6-9.
      • Morales P, Ferreira IC, Carvalho AM, Sánchez-Mata MC, Cámara M, Tardío J. Fatty acids profiles of some Spanish wild vegetables. Food Sci Technol Int. 2012 Jun;18(3):281-90.
      • Ojha R, Sahu AN, Muruganandam AV, Singh GK, Krishnamurthy S. Asparagus recemosus enhances memory and protects against amnesia in rodent models. Brain Cogn. 2010 Oct;74(1):1-9.
      • Pelchat ML, Bykowski C, Duke FF, Reed DR. Excretion and perception of a characteristic odor in urine after asparagus ingestion: a psychophysical and genetic study. Chem Senses. 2011 Jan;36(1):9-17.
      • Pellegrini N, Serafini M, Colombi B, Del Rio D, Salvatore S, Bianchi M, Brighenti F. Total antioxidant capacity of plant foods, beverages and oils consumed in Italy assessed by three different in vitro assays. J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2812-9. 
      • Thakur M, Chauhan NS, Bhargava S, Dixit VK. A comparative study on aphrodisiac activity of some ayurvedic herbs in male albino rats. Arch Sex Behav. 2009 Dec;38(6):1009-15. Epub 2009 Jan 13.
      • Thakur M, Connellan P, Deseo MA, Morris C, Praznik W, Loeppert R, Dixit VK. Characterization and in vitro immunomodulatory screening of fructo-oligosaccharides of Asparagus racemosus Willd. Int J Biol Macromol. 2012 Jan 1;50(1):77-81.
      • Zhu X, Zhang W, Pang X, Wang J, Zhao J, Qu W. Hypolipidemic effect of n-butanol Extract from Asparagus officinalis L. in mice fed a high-fat diet. Phytother Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):1119-24.

      Review for EX Slim Energy


      79 mg


      Typically found in the company of its less-diet counterpart.


      Just as bad as the original—only difference is that rather than having the image of a guy who looks like someone has hurled the colors of the German flag all over his face, you have the image of a guy who looks like someone has hurled pastels all over his face.  Either way, you're got a can that looks like it has a vomit-soaked face on it—and where on earth is the appeal in that?


      Maybe a bit smoother than the original, but honestly, that doesn’t make much of a difference at all.  It’s still got the same acerbic, earthy mess of a flavor that killed the original.


      No different from the original—still fairly ineffective.


      What meager effects the drink delivered lasted a whole two hours before running dry.


      EX Slim Energy delivers the same type of bad as the original, just with less calories—and that is not enough of an incentive to get me to drink it again.


      KEYWORDS: EX Slim Energy energy drink review, 5 g carbohydrates per can, 20 calories per can