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Old 04-04-2009, 07:55 AM   #1
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Default For Migrating Birds, Eating = Exercise

For Migrating Birds, Eating = Exercise
By Gisela Telis
ScienceNOW Daily News
27 March 2009

For Migrating Birds, Eating = Exercise -- Telis 2009 (327): 1 -- ScienceNOW
excerpts from above:
Quote:
Athletes aren't the only ones who improve their performance by doping. A new study suggests that migrating birds can also boost their fitness without exercise or effort--simply by eating.
Quote:
Jean-Michel Weber, a biologist at the University of Ottawa in Canada, first became interested in natural doping when studying the semipalmated sandpiper. Like all migrating birds, the tiny sandpiper instinctively heads to warmer climates for the winter. The 3000-km trek from the birds' summer home in the Canadian Arctic to the South American coast includes 3 days of nonstop flight over open water. The journey is so arduous it can kill younger or weaker members of the flock. But the birds prepare for the effort. The cooling temperatures and shortening days cause hormonal changes that spur their diets to change and their guts to grow larger so they can consume more food. They even begin exercising, flying more frequently to build up their muscles for long and difficult journeys.
Quote:
To isolate diet's role, Weber and colleagues took exercise and migration out of the equation. They turned to the bobwhite quail, an unrelated sedentary bird that doesn't migrate and seldom flies. For 6 weeks, the scientists fed 40 couch-potato quails a combination of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. To the researchers' surprise, the quail's oxidative capacity--their muscles' efficiency at using fuel--shot up 58% to 90%.
Quote:
Weber's study is an important first, says Scott McWilliams, a physiological ecologist at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, who also works on migratory birds. "The past evidence was all correlational," he says, "but this directly shows that by just changing diet, you can double your oxidative enzymes."
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:14 AM   #2
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Hmmmmm. I wonder if that same degree works in humans. One of the arguments for "more fruits and vegetables" is that even exercise - along with aging &etc. produces oxidative stress in humans. We've noticed the increased stress, but I haven't seen anything about the increase in enzymes if you make the change. (!)
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:30 PM   #3
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I know very little about oxidative stress in humans. I have picked up a little online. Not enough to make me able to communicate productively. Can you explain what you are thinking?
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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oxidative stress is usually discussed in the context of 'antioxidants'. Oxidative stress is produced by exercise, life, aging, disease. Antioxidants - mostly found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables - are able to block or disarm the effects of the O. stress. So - given the research presented above - about the o. enzymes being increased many times beyond normal by exercise (in the migrating birds anyway) - does excercise have the same effect in humans?

Can I explain what I am thinking? Usually not!
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:53 PM   #5
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I would love to share this research with some people. Can you please tell me if the research was published and if so, in what issue of what publication?
Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:03 PM   #6
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Do you mean the research on antioxidants? Here is a summary. You might find the foot notes and List of References useful to get to the original research papers.

Deciphering Antioxidant Research for Patients -- Hendry 4 (3): 6 -- DOC News
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bird, bird behavior, bird migration, bird research, birds, eating, exercise, migrating, migration, migratory bird, oxidative capacity, oxidative enzymes, research, sandpiper, semipalmated sandpiper

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