Does your mouthwash interfere with benefits of exercise?
One of the first recorded instances of washing a person’s mouth out with soap is in a story entitled “Scaramouches at School” (it’s not about The Mooch!), published in an 1860s periodical. As recently as the 1940s, it was a common hazing ritual in the British Royal Navy. In 1996, the American Academy of Pediatrics classified it as an alternative to spanking.
It’s a bad idea in so many ways (soap ingredients can make you sick, and it’s abusive), and now we know about one more serious drawback: It turns out that killing off bacteria in your oral biome can actually interfere with the positive effects of cardiovascular exercise.
A study of 23 adults published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine found that one hour after exercise, folks who had used an antibacterial mouthwash earlier saw less cardio benefits than those who rinsed with water. Seems post-exercise reduction in systolic blood pressure (that’s a standard reaction) was around two and a half times less when participants used the mouthwash than when folks did not!
Why does the antibacterial rinse make a difference? Because it interferes with the body’s post-exercise production of blood-vessel dilating nitric oxide — a process that depends on certain bacteria being alive and well in the mouth and saliva.
If you’re concerned with bad breath, make sure you’re flossing daily, brushing twice a day or more, seeing a dentist every six to 12 months, and don’t smoke! That’s what it takes to have decay-free teeth, good breath and promote bodywide health!
Adipose tissue, lipids and aging
The record for the most turnovers in a football game (12) was set on Nov. 22, 1942, during a game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears. In football, turnovers are not a good thing. In your body, however, adipose lipid turnover is essential to maintain a healthy weight.
A recent study from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has found that as you age lipid turnover in your adipose (fat) tissue slows down. The result is that fat doesn’t get burnt for fuel, it just hangs around. That makes it harder for you to maintain your weight, even though you’re as active as you’ve always been and eating the same amount of food you always have. Over time, you pack on pounds and deposits of fat around the middle — and it’s harder to figure out why.
If you’re at a weight you want to maintain or you want to avoid gaining even more weight as you get older (we say starting around age 45 or 50), it’s smart to step UP your exercise routine. Add another 30 to 60 minutes a week. Make sure to do interval training with bouts of intense exercise, and get in two 30-minute sessions of strength training weekly. And you want to cut DOWN on your calorie intake a bit while you make sure you are getting enough protein from lean sources. Your need actually goes up as you get older. That one-two punch will help you burn more calories and reduce fat accumulation.
Misleading labeling on deli meats
In the 1973 movie “Soylent Green,” detective Frank Thorn (Charlton Heston) investigates the Soylent Corporation, a rations manufacturer (the year is 2022), only to find that the wafers they make for a starving population aren’t made from soy plus lentils (hence soy-lent), they’re made from … processed people!
We’ve told you repeatedly that highly processed foods are not something you want to eat! But if you’ve been buying bacon and lunch meats that proclaim “no nitrites or nitrates added,” or that say they’re “uncured” and you thought that meant they’re better for you than conventional versions of those products, well, say soy-long to that illusion. That labeling is downright misleading.
A recent Consumer Reports study found that “no nitrites” doesn’t mean there’s no nitrites — and that’s legal! What it means is that nitrates and nitrites used to preserve and flavor the food come from celery and other natural sources, not synthetic ones like sodium nitrite. And when CR tested 31 packaged deli meat, they found the “nitrite free” chicken, ham, roast beef, salami and turkey had around the same amount of those bad-for-you chemicals as conventional products.
Why does this matter? Added nitrites have been linked to an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer — in fact, a study in JNCI Cancer Spectrum estimates that more than 14,500 cancer cases annually are linked to eating processed meats.
So when you’re making lunch, choose lean, fresh poultry and seafood, along with vegetables like edamame (soy) and cold lentil salad or a hot soup!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.