Showing posts with label medical research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label medical research. Show all posts

Saturday, November 2, 2019

How Cells Sense And Adapt To Oxygen Availability

For who? Medical Researchers, Baby Boomers, retirees, athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery



In 2006, Dr. David Chao was the first to describe KAATSU as a form of 'poor man's high altitude training' due to the physiological phenomenon caused by blood flow moderation with KAATSU Training and KAATSU Cycle. In other words, instead of having to go to 6,000 feet (1828 meters) or higher to train as many Olympic and endurance athletes do, altitude training could be done at sea level following the KAATSU protocols and using KAATSU equipment.

In 2004, KAATSU inventor Dr. Yoshiaki Sato established the KAATSU Training Ischemic Circulatory Physiology Department at the University of Tokyo Hospital's 22nd Century Medical and Research Center. Dr. Sato and his cardiologists Dr. Nakajima and Dr. Morita learned early on that ischemia - or the temporary restriction of blood supply to tissues - was the catalyst to healthful outcomes when KAATSU Cycle protocols were strictly followed by people of various ages.

This information about hypoxia is gradually spreading outside the academic research, extreme sports and medical communities.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to William Kaelin Jr. of the Harvard Medical School, Sir Peter Ratcliffe of the University of Oxford, and Gregg Semenza of John Hopkins University for their study into how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability (hypoxia). For more information, read here.



One athlete who we know of - Ger Kennedy from Dublin, Ireland - practices the Wim Hof Method and uses KAATSU. Kennedy recently achieved the Ice Sevens - that is, completing an Ice Mile in the 7 continents of the world. Kennedy completed his latest and 12th career Ice Mile in Portillo, Chile in October 2019 at 2,880 meters (9,448 feet) in 2°C (35.6°F) water.

Copyright © 2014-2019 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Moving Slowly With KAATSU To Ultimately Move Faster

For who? researchers, Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery






























Over 10 years ago, academic researchers from Japan confirmed what KAATSU Specialists have long known: that low-intensity exercise with KAATSU Air Bands leads to muscle growth and strength gains.*

These results had long been known to KAATSU Specialists and users since the 1980s.

Many researchers between 2000 - 2005 tested KAATSU Walking with MRI-measured muscle size and strength (maximum dynamic or one repetition maximum) and isometric strength along with blood hormonal parameters. Testing was done on both control groups and experimental groups of subjects ranging from young men to older women.

The testing was done using 20-minute bouts of treadmill speed of 50 meters per minute.

The researchers found a multitude of benefits and changes among the experimental KAATSU users while there was no change in muscle size and dynamic and isometric strength in the control group..

1. Serum growth hormone was elevated after KAATSU Walking with the experimental group, but not with the non-KAATSU control group.
2. MRI-measured thigh muscle cross-sectional area and muscle volume increased by 4 - 7%.
3. One repetition maximum and maximum isometric strength increased between 8 - 10%

Furthermore, indicators of muscle damage (creatine kinase and myoglobin) and resting anabolic hormones did not change with both groups. The researchers concluded that KAATSU Walking induces muscle hypertrophy and strength gain despite the minimum level of exercise intensity after 3 weeks, and that KAATSU Walking may be a potentially useful method for promoting muscle hypertrophy for a wide range of the population including the frail and elderly.

While these benefits have long been known in Japan, there have been many other applications that have since been developed and researched that address age-related skeletal muscle loss (sarcopenia) that inhibits mobility and increases the risk of developing several diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.

As the implications of KAATSU protocols began to be appreciated by the United States military, researchers like Dr. William Ursprung at Texas A&M University studied the effects of KAATSU Walking to improve aerobic capacity. Dr. Ursprung evaluated the effects of KAATSU Walking on VO2max, 1.5 mile run times, and muscular size at low training volumes and intensities with airman from the U.S. Air Force 350th Special Operations and Tactics Training Squadron.

After three weeks of lower extremity KAATSU Walking, the test found significant improvements in VO2max, significant decreases in 1.5 mile run time, and significant increases in thigh muscle cross sectional area and the researchers concluded that KAATSU Walking represents a methodology for improving aerobic capacity, endurance and muscular size at low training volumes and intensities.

This conclusion mirrored the applications for KAATSU that many far forward-thinking coaches and trainers have known and used. For military personnel and athletes who are looking for concurrent improvements in strength and endurance, they do not always have to move, run, swim, cycle or row at maximum intensity if they strategically use KAATSU equipment.

While movement or exercises with KAATSU equipment performed with intensity will result in significant physiological and athletic improvement, it is always unnecessary.

"As long as their technique and athletic form is correct, athletes and military personnel can realize benefits with KAATSU by moving more slowly (i.e., walking versus running or swimming at a moderate pace versus swimming at maximum speed) rather than always going all-out," explains Steven Munatones. "Perhaps this lowered intensity is appropriate after injuries or immediately after a competition or during a taper phase of training. Perhaps this slower pace or raw speed is simply more appropriate during different parts of any specific workout when an athlete is working on their technique or form."

This phenomena means that the implications and applications of KAATSU usage expands significantly. When benefits and improvements can be achieved at any speed, pace or level of intensity, coaches and athletes can be much more flexible and creative in their training decisions.

For example, instead of only going all-out sprints with KAATSU, runners, cyclists, swimmers, rowers and skiers can practice at more moderate pace - which means that KAATSU can be done more frequently and with less resultant fatigue.

The same effects of KAATSU have been found with other KAATSU-using mammals like horses, mice, rats, and goats in testing performed in Japan and China.


























The photo above show Chinese scientists attaching standard KAATSU Air Bands on the hind legs of goats in northern China under the auspices of China's State General Administration of Sports, the government agency responsible for sports in China that also administers the Chinese Olympic Committee.

Kenneth McKeever, Ph.D., FACSM serves as the Associate Director of Research and is a Professor of Animal Sciences at The Rutgers Equine Science Center. The Center is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and is dedicated to better horse care through research and education to advance the well-being and performance of horses and the equine industry.

Since 1995, Professor McKeever has proceeded to build, develop, and coordinate one of the most active Equine Exercise Physiology laboratories in the USA. One of the most interesting studies that Professor McKeever conducted in collaboration with his colleagues Professors Abe, Kearns, Filho and Sato of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the Tokyo Metropolitan University and the Department of Ischemic Circulatory Physiology at The University of Tokyo in Japan.

His study on this topic of using standard KAATSU Air Bands - the same used on humans - is entitled Muscle, tendon, and somatotropin responses to the restriction of muscle blood flow induced by KAATSU-walk training that was published in Equine Exercise Physiology.

Professor McKeever and his fellow researchers delved into the efficacy of KAATSU being used as both as a therapeutic method as well as a training aid. The purpose of their study was to investigate the effects of slow KAATSU Walking on muscle and tendon size.

They studied 6 healthy, unfit Standardbred mares performed walking (240 meters/minute for 10 minutes and then a 5-minute recovery) with KAATSU, and 6 mares performed walking without KAATSU. The KAATSU Air Bands - the same model and type that were used by humans and with the goats in China - were inflated using KAATSU equipment and placed at the most proximal position of the forelegs and inflated to a pressure of 200-230 mmHg throughout the KAATSU walking and recovery sessions.

The training was conducted once a day, 6 days/week for 2 weeks. Skeletal muscle thickness and tendon thickness were measured using B-mode ultrasound at baseline and after 2 weeks of training. Venous blood samples were obtained before the first acute exercise and 5, 15 and 60 minutes afterwards. Serum somatotropin concentration was determined using a commercially available equine-specific ELISA kit.

The professors found that the acute increase in plasma somatotropin was 40% greater (P<0.05) in the KAATSU Walking group than in the Control-walking group 5 minutes after exercise and remained elevated (P<0.05) at 15 and 60 minutes post exercise compared with the Control-walking group. After 2 weeks of training, muscle thickness increased (P<0.05) 3.5% in the KAATSU Walking group, but did not change in the Control-walking group (0.7%). Tendon thickness did not change (P>0.05) in either group.

They concluded that these data demonstrate that KAATSU can induce muscle hypertrophy in horses and suggest that KAATSU may provide significant therapeutic/rehabilitative value in horses, as has been shown in humans.

* Muscle size and strength are increased following walk training with restricted venous blood flow from the leg muscle, Kaatsu-walk training by Professor Abe and Professor Kearns of Tokyo Metropolitan University and Professor Sato of the University of Tokyo.

** The Effects of Blood Flow Restriction Training on VO2Max and 1.5 Mile Run Performance by William Ursprung, published in the International Journal of Exercise Science.

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Friday, January 18, 2019

KAATSU Walking, Beneficial To Horses And Humans

For who? researchers, scientists, Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery


























Research on the effects of KAATSU has been conducted with men and women of all ages, abilities and conditions. An interesting variety of research has also included equine subjects (i.e., horses), mice, rats, and goats from Japan to the United States.

Research has been conducted at the University of Tokyo Hospital and Osaka University in Japan, at Peking University and Jilin University in China, at the Harvard Medical School, University of Missouri, University of Oklahoma and Rutgers University in the United States, at the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in São Paulo, Brazil, and dozens other universities and academic research institutions.

The photos above show Chinese scientists attaching standard KAATSU Air Bands on the hind legs of goats in northern China under the auspices of China's State General Administration of Sports, the government agency responsible for sports in China that also administers the Chinese Olympic Committee.

Kenneth McKeever, Ph.D., FACSM serves as the Associate Director of Research and is a Professor of Animal Sciences at The Rutgers Equine Science Center. The Center is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and is dedicated to better horse care through research and education to advance the well-being and performance of horses and the equine industry.

Since 1995, Professor McKeever has proceeded to build, develop, and coordinate one of the most active Equine Exercise Physiology laboratories in the USA. One of the most interesting studies that Professor McKeever conducted in collaboration with his colleagues Professors Abe, Kearns, Filho and Sato of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the Tokyo Metropolitan University and the Department of Ischemic Circulatory Physiology at The University of Tokyo in Japan.

The study is entitled Muscle, tendon, and somatotropin responses to the restriction of muscle blood flow induced by KAATSU-walk training, published in Equine Exercise Physiology.

The researchers delved into the efficacy of KAATSU that has been demonstrated in human athletes, both as a therapeutic method as well as a training aid. The purpose of their study was to investigate the effects of slow walk training combined with restriction of muscle blood flow (KAATSU) on muscle and tendon size.

They studied 6 healthy, unfit Standardbred mares performed walking (240 meters/minute for 10 minutes and then a 5-minute recovery) with KAATSU, and 6 mares performed walking without KAATSU. A specially designed elastic band (manufactured by KAATSU Japan using the original KAATSU Master device) was placed at the most proximal position of the forelegs and inflated to a pressure of 200-230 mmHg throughout the walking and recovery sessions. [Note: the KAATSU Air Bands were the same model and type that were used by humans and with the goats in China).

The training was conducted once a day, 6 days/week for 2 weeks. Skeletal muscle thickness and tendon thickness were measured using B-mode ultrasound at baseline and after 2 weeks of training. Venous blood samples were obtained before the first acute exercise and 5, 15 and 60 minutes afterwards. Serum somatotropin concentration was determined using a commercially available equine-specific ELISA kit.

The professors found that the acute increase in plasma somatotropin was 40% greater (P<0.05) in the KAATSU-walk group than in the Control-walk group 5 minutes after exercise and remained elevated (P<0.05) at 15 and 60 minutes post exercise compared with the Control-walk group. After 2 weeks of training, muscle thickness increased (P<0.05) 3.5% in the KAATSU-walk group, but did not change in the Control-walk group (0.7%). Tendon thickness did not change (P>0.05) in either group.

They concluded that these data demonstrate that KAATSU can induce muscle hypertrophy in horses and suggest that KAATSU may provide significant therapeutic/rehabilitative value in horses, as has been shown in man.

In 2017, Dr. William Ursprung conducted a KAATSU Walking study at Texas A&M University entitled The Effects of Blood Flow Restriction Training on VO2Max and 1.5 Mile Run Performance on humans (published in the International Journal of Exercise Science), not the equine subjects that Professor McKeever had done at Rutgers.

Dr. Ursprung utilized the KAATSU Nano device (a smaller, more portable equivalent of the KAATSU Master that Professor McKeever used) and the same KAATSU Air Bands that were used on the Standardbred mares in Rutgers.

Dr. Ursprung used the KAATSU Air Bands to safely maintain arterial inflow to the leg muscles while preventing venous outflow. He writes, "Blood flow restriction training with resistance has been shown to improve muscular power, sprinting speed, strength, hypertrophy and endurance. Non-resistance training methods using [KAATSU], such as walking, may increase strength and hypertrophy however the effects on aerobic capacity are less uncertain and the research in this area is limited.

Using 10 young, fit, well-trained male military personnel, Dr. Ursprung evaluated the effects of 3 weeks of [KAATSU Walking] on VO2max, 1.5-mile run times, and muscular size. He recorded the pre- and post-measurements of VO2max, 1.5-mile run times, and thigh muscle cross sectional area and found that KAATSU Walking resulted in significant improvements in VO2max (p=.034), significant decreases in 1.5-mile run time (p=.024) and significant increases in thigh muscle cross sectional area (p=.016).

So while Professor McKeever found that limited KAATSU Walking can induce muscle hypertrophy in horses and concluded that KAATSU may provide significant therapeutic/rehabilitative value in horses, Dr. Ursprung concluded that similarly limited KAATSU Walking can improve the aerobic capacity, endurance and muscular size at low training volumes and intensities among humans.

Copyright © 2014-2019 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, September 6, 2018

KAATSU On Medical Frontiers

For who? medical researchers, Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery























NHK World in Japan broadcasts an English-language television program called Medical Frontiers.

One segment was on stiff shoulders and how contemporary sedentary lifestyles can lead to chronic pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders and back. Medical Frontiers described surprising causes of stiff shoulders and innovative treatment options to ease shoulder aches and pains. This includes the KAATSU protocol for stiff shoulders and insomnia.

A second segment was KAATSU applications with patients whose muscles have significantly atrophied.



Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Crossover Effects Of KAATSU After Accidents

For who? researchers, Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery





At the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Center for Translational Musculoskeletal Research and the University of Indianapolis Department of Kinesiology, Dr. Alan Mikesky and his research team researched the crossover effects of KAATSU [see Modified KAATSU Training: Adaptations and Subject Perceptions here]. Dr. Mikesky was looking to confirm the systemic effects of KAATSU.

The researchers applied KAATSU Air Bands on only one arm of subjects and tested the strength, girth, tomography scans along with RPE (Rated Perceived Exertion scale) of both arms of the subjects.

The research team correctly did KAATSU and measured both the Base SKU (which they called “Cuff Tightness Pressure in mm Hg"and Optimal SKU (which they called “Cuff Inflation Pressure in mm Hg”) levels.

It should be noted that the SKU levels were conservative for relatively young subjects. The subjects started at 10 Base SKU in Week 1 and increased to 30 Base SKU by Week 8; they started at 90 Base SKU in Week 1 and increased to 180 Base SKU by Week 8. Both the KAATSU arm and the non-KAATSU arm girth increased (measured in cm between Week 0 and Week 8):

Non-KAATSU Arm (cm) girth:
Week 0: 22.7 cm
Week 2: 24.3 cm
Week 4: 24.9 cm
Week 6: 25.7 cm
Week 8: 26.1 cm

KAATSU Arm (cm) girth:
Week 0: 23.0 cm
Week 2: 23.2 cm
Week 4: 24.5 cm
Week 6: 25.4 cm
Week 8: 26.1 cm

The research showed how doing KAATSU on one limb can have crossover (systemic) effects on the other limb - a very important goal for individuals with one injured limb who is trying to recover.

In the United States, a well-known case where this effect was practically demonstrated was with 2010 Olympic silver medalist Todd Lodwick who broke his left arm and torn his ligaments 28 days before the 2014 Winter Olympics. With KAATSU done on his non-injured limbs, he was able to compete admirably well in both the ski jumping and the Nordic combined events after only 5 weeks of KAATSU. His coaching staff noted that Lodwick was getting too muscular after a few weeks of KAATSU - despite his broken bone and torn ligaments. In response, his SKU levels was reduced and he stretched more and did low-pressure, post-workout KAATSU Cycles so his muscle hypertrophy was not accelerated (see above). Personally, Lodwick liked the effects and ultimately was able to compete.

In summary, doing KAATSU on healthy limbs can have direct crossover benefits to the strength and girth of an injured limb or core.

Another previous study conducted in Japan is entitled Cross-Transfer Effects of Resistance Training with Blood Flow Restriction (see here).

Silver medalist Todd Lodwick is shown above doing similar KAATSU training after his skiing accident and was able to rehabilitate and recover quickly enough to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Copyright © 2014-2018 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

More Can Be Better

For who? researchers, Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery





















Data from research at the University of Tokyo Medical School Hospital’s 22nd Century Medical Center from the Ischemic Circulation Physiology Department found that KAATSU leads to the secretion of Vascular Endothelial Cell Growth Factor (VEGF).

VEGF is known to enhance blood vessel neogenesis. The research found that various resistance exercises with KAATSU Air Bands lead to the secretion and activation of VEGF.

The research also confirmed that KAATSU increases vascular endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) using a strain gauge plethysmograph (EC 6 manufactured by Hokanson) that measured vascular endothelium.

The plethysmograph can conduct non-invasive evaluation of the elasticity of blood vessels and the endothelial function. Early detection of lifestyle-related diseases (e.g., arteriosclerosis) and the treatment evaluation of vascular endothelial function result by measuring parameters including arterial influx, venous volume, and venous outflow.

Using the vascular endothelium test measurement instrument, the researchers found that the more KAATSU is properly and safely performed following the standard KAATSU protocols, the more elastic the blood vessels can become. That is, the more often KAATSU was performed, the greater endothelium elasticity was achieved.



























Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global