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Nutrition & Exercise Column
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Adverse Effects of Artificial Sweeteners on Gastrointestinal Microbiota

        Artificial sweeteners were first commonly used in America over a century ago (1). Saccharine was the first artificial sweetener to be introduced into the food supply in 1917 (2). Artificial sweeteners are man-made chemicals that are hundreds of times sweeter than natural sugar, which became popular in America due to their low-calorie qualities. Artificial sweeteners modify the glycemic response of the foods and beverages, which benefits diabetics, while limiting caloric intake for the general public. After products began incorporating artificial sweeteners and were added to many American beverages, several research groups found artificial sweeteners caused weight gain and glucose intolerance in select individuals (3). Researchers then began to look into possible mechanisms for these outcomes. One basis of... (more)

When to Retire Running Shoes

     There is much debate in the running community about when the day has come to retire that loved pair of running shoes. Running shoes are important equipment in running, regardless of the runnerís fitness level, for shoes help enable proper running biomechanics. When a shoe becomes worn out and the cushioning degrades, running in the shoes can become harmful to the feet, ankle, knee and hip joints and to overall health. Though wear will vary for the terrain, mileage and regularity of runs, it is imperative to be conscious of the state and age of running shoes.      As running shoes deteriorate their stability and cushioning are impacted. A 2008 study by Wong, Candelaria, and Smith investigated if the... (more)

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