Your Questions Answered

Your Questions Answered 

By Daniel Rocha 

CMI and SUNM Graduate 



Question 1:  I'm a natural vegetarian bodybuilder, Caucasian male 25 years of age, and I noticed that my progress has slowed down dramatically. I've lost weight but not much body fat. Plus, I have seen some hair loss, more than usual, while showering and washing his hair.  A trainer suggested I get my testosterone levels checked and advised the supplement zinc to his current diet program. A popular supplement, ZMA (zinc magnesium aspartate and B6), was recommended to be taken with the day's last meal before bed. 


Answer: Zinc supports the immune system and muscles. Magnesium influences metabolism, muscle health and helps manage sleep. Vitamin B6 is incorporated to boost energy. ZMA producers claim that these three nutrients can build muscle strength and stamina, speed muscle recovery, and improve sleep quality. 




Question 2: Two of my roommates have developed common colds in the past week. I started taking an immune-boosting supplement that contains 500 mg of vitamin C. Do you recommend this supplement? 


Answer: Scientific studies suggest that routine vitamin C supplementation of 200 mg or more daily does not prevent cold in the general population. Large doses of vitamin C may reduce the duration of cold symptoms and reduce the severity of cold symptoms. This is due to the micronutrient that acts as an antihistamine in substantial doses. So that immune booster is not harmful, it does provide 500mg of vitamin c and will give the body nutrients. But whether it will stop the cold is highly unlikely. But something is better than nothing.



Question 3: Can you explain why gluconeogenesis is an essential metabolic activity? 


Glucose (simple sugar) is the body’s primary fuel source which can be made in the liver. When the body is out of glycogen or carbohydrates, the body can make sugar from noncarbohydrate precursors, including glycerol, lactate, pyruvate, and amino acids. The body does this through gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is not the opposite of glycolysis due to some steps in the glycolytic pathway flow only in one direction, the citric acid cycle. 


Bodybuilders go on extreme diets to get into contest shape, consuming large amounts of protein to build and preserve muscle mass. But at times, to lose more body fat, calories are significantly lowered, and primary fuel macronutrients such as carbohydrates and fats. At these times, the body is starving but still requires fuel, so gluconeogenesis to the rescue. They make energy from amino acids. Still not a good thing, but the body is functioning. Don’t be around sweaty bodybuilding. Fun to look at but has a horrible ammonia scent. Yuck!!! 


The human body is designed to survive and reproduce. So the body requires fuel from outside sources but will utilize what is available to survive. The human body is very resourceful and does not give up very quickly. Gluconeogenesis is just one way the body stays fueled, so its chemical processes do not cease. 


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