Did You Know… with Mike Furci


A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

…the United States is the only developed country in the world that still fluoridates its citizens’ drinking water?

10 facts you need to know about fluoride:

1. More people in the U.S. drink fluoridated water than the rest of the world combined.
2. Fluoridated countries do not have less tooth decay than non-fluoridated countries.
3. According to a 500-page scientific review, fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can affect your bones, brain, thyroid gland, pineal gland and even your blood sugar levels.
4. Fluoride is naturally occurring in some areas, leading to high levels in certain water supplies “naturally.” Fluoridation advocates often use this to support its safety, however naturally occurring substances are not automatically safe (think of arsenic, for instance).
5. About 40 percent of American teens have dental fluorosis, a condition that refers to changes in the appearance of tooth enamel that are caused by long-term ingestion of fluoride during the time teeth are forming.
6. Infants who consume formula made with fluoridated tap water may consume up to 1,200 micrograms of fluoride, or about 100 times more than the recommended amounts.
7. The fluoride supplements sometimes prescribed to those who are not drinking fluoridated water have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of tooth decay.
8. Water fluoridation is a form of mass medication that denies you the right to informed consent.
Many European nations have rejected fluoride for the very reason that delivering medication via the water supply would be inappropriate.
9. It is now widely recognized that fluoride’s only justifiable benefit comes from topical contact with teeth, which even the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has acknowledged. Adding it to water and pills, which are swallowed, offers little, if any, benefit to your teeth.
10. Fluoride toxicity is exacerbated by conditions that occur much more frequently in low-income areas.

…Fructose, not fat, has a linear relationship with the U.S. obesity epidemic.

The incidence of overweight and obese individuals, shown by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), has a striking relationship to fructose consumption in the United States. According to a USDA’s data below, total sugar and fructose consumption started to increase sharply in 1985, and reached a peak in 1999, which is congruent with the incidence of obesity. During 2000 through 2005, we see a slight drop in total sugar and fructose consumption, which is consistent with the leveling off of obesity rates during that same period. This drop in sugar ads up to 10 pounds of total sugar, with fructose contributing six of those pounds.

Even more compelling, the USDA’s data reveals total sugar consumption from 1970 to 1999 increased 26 percent, which at first glance doesn’t seem like much. Also note that from 1970 to 1983 total sugar consumption did not increase, while obesity rates did. This would lead one to infer that sugar is not a major contributing factor to our expanding waistlines. However, take another look. While total sugar consumption did not increase from 1970 to 1983, fructose consumption tripled. Moreover, between 1970 and 1999, with only a 27 percent increase in total sugar consumption, fructose consumption increased 525 percent.

(Evolution of the Unhealthy American, 2012, Page 14)

…there is more and more evidence showing if a healthy individual wants a strong core, instability exercises don’t cut it.

Core stabilizer training has become extremely popular in the past few years. I am starting to see a trend toward the core being the “core” of training programs. This shouldn’t be the case, and there is a tremendous amount of data showing the benefits of basic weight training exercise. In this newly published study, researchers used 16 physically active subjects. The purpose was to compare the activation of various trunk muscles with selected weight training exercises (squat and deadlift) and Swiss ball unstable calisthenic-type movements (superman’s and side bridging). The researchers concluded it is unnecessary to incorporate unstable calisthenic-type exercise if one is performing exercises like the squat and deadlift. Basic heavy exercise is the key to a strong healthy core.
(J Strength Cond Res, 2007,21(4), 1108-1112)

…maximum strength has the strongest influence on muscle endurance?

Fernando J. Naclerio and fellow researchers performed a study using 14 firefighters to determine the importance of strength and power on a muscular endurance test. The physical test the firefighters were to perform for a job entry requirement was a maximum repetition test on the flat barbell bench press with 40kg in 40 seconds.

The subjects performed a progressive test of eight sets of two – three repetitions during the first part of the study. The first and second sets were performed using a low load of 25 – 45%. The first set was always performed with a lower load than the second, which was performed using 40Kg. As subsequent sets were performed, the load was increased. The third and fourth sets were performed with a moderate load of 50 – 65% of their 1-rep maximum (1RM); the fifth and sixth sets were performed with 70 – 80% of 1RM; the seventh and eighth sets were performed with 85 – 100% of 1RM.

To prevent fatigue from being a factor, the second part of the study, which was the max rep test, was performed 72 hours after the first part. Researchers found the 1RM to have the greatest degree of influence in the firefighter’s performance on the 40Kg max rep bench press test. Interestingly, the degree of power produced in the progressive test using 40Kg had no correlation with the subject’s ability in the max rep test.
(J Strength Cond Res.2009;23(5):1482-1488)