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每日跟讀#721: About Science: Chemical found in spinach has the same effect as steroids and should be banned for athletes, scientists say

科學家:菠菜中發現的化學物質與類固醇有相同效果 應禁止運動員食用

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#721: About Science: Chemical found in spinach has the same effect as steroids and should be banned for athletes, scientists say

Maybe Popeye was onto something when he ripped open a can of spinach for beating up the bad guys.


Scientists in Germany say, ecdysterone, a chemical found in spinach is close to steroids and has a similar effect on humans. Researchers at Freie Universität Berlin ran a 10-week test on nearly 50 athletes and found athletes who took capsules of ecdysterone increased their strength by up to three times.


The capsules the athletes were given were the equivalent of about nine pounds of spinach but researchers say the capsules could be used as a performance enhancing drug. The study has called on the World Anti-Doping Authority to dig further into ecdysterone and wants the chemical added to the list of banned substances for athletes.


Next Article:

Genes, yes, but obesity pandemic mostly down to diet:study


A three-fold jump since 1975 in the percentage of adults worldwide who are obese has been driven mainly by a shift in diet and lack of exercise, but genes do play a role as well, according a large-scale study published Thursday.


For people genetically predisposed to a wider girth, these unhealthy lifestyles compounded the problem, resulting in an even higher rate of weight gain, researchers reported in The BMJ, a peer-reviewed medical journal.


To tease out the relative impact of environment and genes on obesity, scientists led by Maria Brandkvist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology combed through data on nearly 120,000 people in Norway whose height and weight were regularly measured between 1963 and 2008.


Adults began tipping the scales at significantly higher weights in the 1980s and 1990s, they found. Those born after 1970 were far more likely to have a substantially higher BMI as young adults than earlier generations.


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