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How A Liver Protects and Harms You

By: Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

How A Normal Liver Protects You

Your liver is supposed to control blood sugar levels. More than 98 percent if the energy for your brain comes from the sugar in your bloodstream. If your blood sugar level drops suddenly, you can fall down unconscious. To prevent blood sugar levels from dropping, your liver constantly releases sugar stored in its cells into your bloodstream. When blood sugar levels drop, your liver immediately releases more sugar from its cells into your bloodstream.

You store extra sugar only in your liver and muscles. When blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases large amounts of insulin into your bloodstream and insulin lowers blood sugar levels by driving sugar from your bloodstream into your liver. The signal for your liver to lower high blood sugar levels and draw sugar from your bloodstream comes from insulin.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver (photo from Pediatric House Calls)

How a Fatty Liver Raises Blood Sugar, Leading to Diabetes

Extra fat in liver cells causes high blood sugar levels to rise even higher. When extra fat is deposited in liver cells, the fat prevents liver cells from responding to insulin. When blood sugar levels rise, the fatty liver is unable to respond to insulin and lower blood sugar levels by taking sugar into its cells. Instead, liver cells do the opposite of what they are supposed to do. They raise blood sugar levels even higher by:

* releasing sugar from their cells into the bloodstream, and

* making new sugar from protein (gluconeogenesis) and releasing that newly-made sugar to raise blood sugar levels even higher.

Dr. Mirkin's Recommendation

If you are overweight, try to start losing extra weight immediately. Dr. Mirkin recommends intermittent fasting as it appears to be more effective than counting calories or any of the diets, drugs and supplements that bilk innocent obese people of their money and offer no long-term weight loss.
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The Splash 'n Dash Experience

There are a lot of times that I am so amazed of our great Multisport athletes seeing how they could swim for hundreds to thousands of meters while I could not even go beyond 10-meters without swallowing a full gag of water and puffing so hard. So I thought to myself that Aquathlon, Triathlon, or any other sport that involves swimming are the kind of sport disciplines that I can never cross-out from the bucket-list. Well literally, I have it crossed-out when I realized that Aquathlon is not my kind of sport.

This self-restrained thought suddenly changed when Cris Dela Cruz (Kowtz Supremo) tagged me in his Splash 'n Dash Aquathlon series event around end of February, 2014. At first, my excitement was only because of the knowledge that a friend is organizing his own Multisport event (I didn't know that he has already did one previously) until Cris convinced me to join the 1st leg and his swimming lessons. The good thing which also contributed in making our swimming lesson possible is that we were both convenient to have our sessions after office hours in Marikina Sports Plaza (MSP).

Unlearn and Re-learn

The first few days of lesson proved once again that swimming is not easy to learn unlike running. Swimming indeed is more technical (for me at least)! My body was so accustomed to the kind of swimming I learned from the muddy rivers in Masbate - a mix of frog and dog swimming style, or maybe much worst than that (ask Cris how I look like when he made me show him how I swim and you will feel the embarrassment for me, lol!). One swimming session took us more than an hour and sometimes up to 2-hours or more until the closing time of MSP at 9:30PM. On some sessions, I get a full stomach-load of chlorinated pool water, while at times I feel frustrated for not getting the right form and technique of the days' lesson.

Evening session with Cris at Marikina Sports Plaza (photo by Matet Magpantay)

It took us a total of 7-sessions or about 10.5-hours for me to unlearn what I'm doing wrong and implant the new technique of efficient swimming style into my muscle memory. I have not yet completed the training sessions, and the one thing that I haven't "untrained" yet is the involuntary fluttering of my feet which greatly contributes to my fatigue. Also, my form as well as my breathing still has a lot to improve before I can say that I'm ready for longer swimming distance, so to anybody interested to learn how to swim efficiently, join me together with Cris (our Coach) and Dan (a classmate who also joined our Sierra 51050 last Feb) at Marikina Sports Plaza.

The Day of Reckoning

Proud body marks

The day of our "actual examination" came last April 6 at La Stanza Events Place in Marikina City. I don't know how many of us in our age-group were present to compete but there was 1 or 2 Triathletes and about 4 already experienced Swimmers/Aquathletes and then for the newbies, there were 2 or 3 of us in our take-off wave of 9 (Supposedly 10 per wave).

Before the gun-start, we were given 5-minutes to warm-up on the pool but it seems we were all tensed that only 2 or 3 made a few laps to warm-up. The remaining minutes were just spent on waiting, making jokes, and probably silently sizing up one another. When the gun-start was pulled, I was the last one to swim while the more competitive and experienced among us immediately took-off like a submarine torpedo with an intimidating splash of the water as they began to surface.

Stand, dip-in then dip-out

The first few meters on the pool was a bit physical (unintentionally) -- experiencing the other swimmer's kick on your hand, arms, head, or body as they flutter. I myself though is 100% sure that I haven't kicked anyone.... because there was nobody else behind me :) At the end of the 1st-lap of 25-meters, I was surprised that I almost caught up with the middle of the pack, transferring though to the 2nd-lap of the pool was another technique that I haven't trained for yet and that took a lot of time for me. While the other swimmers gracefully made a turn, kicking the wall and creating another torpedo take-off, I am left with "dip-in and dip-out technique" at each buoy lap-dividers.

Look at the leg, dog-swim style taking over

My first 2-laps (first 50-meters) was manageable, but as the 3rd-lap and each succeeding lap ends, I can't help but to take a breathe at the pool-side before proceeding to swim for the next lap. These rest periods took me from 13.4-secs (end of 9th lap) to as long as 41.9-secs (end of 15th lap) with a total of more than 5-mins rest time, while I swam each 25-m lap for as fast as 13.5-secs (10th and 11th lap) and slowest recorded at 1-min 5-secs (6th lap), giving an average of 37.5-secs per 25-m lap.

Plunging for the 2nd-loop

After I surfaced (suffered) upon finishing the first 200-m loop at 6-mins 33-secs split time, I already felt like quitting, my lungs were so heavy and glancing back at the pool almost emptied with swimmers wouldn't even help in regaining my motivation to continue. But it was the cheers of the people around shouting "sige pa, kaya pa 'yan" that made me take the next plunge and final loop. The last 200-m loop took me 7-mins 12-secs split time and I was 2nd from the last who finished the swim leg in our wave.

I was so dizzy and disoriented after finishing the swim leg that I cannot find anymore the location of my transition basket which I put just near the exit door beside a plant box -- take note that the plant box was big, much more the exit door! When I finally found it, Doc Toto may have noticed my disorientation and he assisted me in putting on my shoes, handling me the race-bib and singlet. It took me 4-mins 33-secs from the time I finished the swim leg until I was able to start running.

The swim-run transition. There's the plant-box where I put my stuffs

The 3-km run leg was as challenging as the swim leg because of the early onset of side-stitch on my right side, the difference was just that there was more freedom on my breathing. I was still able to overtook 3 runners from our wave despite the side-stitch finishing the run leg at 17-mins 5-secs.

Despite all of these seemingly all-out-effort, I only finished the whole race at 35-mins 18.2-secs ending up at 44th out of 64 overall Men's finisher. It's still a loooongg way to go for me, more pool water to be swallowed, more chlorine to my swim hydration, and much much more swim-run trainings to do (does this mean that I'm already embracing the aquathlon event?).

with Ms. Donna Fuentes, she finished 9th overall in Womens' Category
with Lloyd Wee (Ms. Donna's other half), finished 13th overall among Mens'
with Carlo, me, Cris (Race Director), Dan, Matet and Jimmy

*Note: the times posted here were all based from my Suunto Ambit 2S data so differences in actual race result between swim time and run time may be noticed. Actual finish time though are almost the same with only 2-seconds difference.

Race Profile:
Distance: 400-m Swim, 3-km run.
Official Time: 00:16:08 (Swim), 00:19:08 (Run), 00:35:16 (Total)
Official Ranking: 44th out of 64 (Mens Category)

Race Info:
When: 06 Apr. 2014.
Where: La Stanza Events Place, SSS Village, Marikina City
Event: Splash 'n Dash Aquathlon Leg 1

More photos shot by Dyep Tones may be found at Photo-Ops FB page while the race results are out at Splash 'n Dash FB page.
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Alaska IronKids 2014: From Couchwarmers to Champions

Alaska IronKids Philippines Triathlon encourages more and more Filipino children into adopting an active and healthy lifestyle.

These days, the only exercise children seem to be doing is surfing, the digital kind that is. Instead of playing outside with their friends, today’s children stay indoors, glued to the TV or to videogames. It is no wonder then that 2 out of 10 Filipino children, 10 years old and below, are overweight while 3 of 10 children are undernourished as seen in the results of the 7th National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).

But the inactive landscape is slowly changing in recent years, thanks to pioneering sports programs like the Alaska IronKids Philippines Triathlon, which has managed to convert a number of kids from couch potatoes to young triathletes who have the passion for the sport. A triathlon is a race that is comprised of three sporting events: swimming, running and biking. It is open to children 6 to 14 years old.

Alaska IronKids Philippines is the country’s very first triathlon event for the youth. Since holding its first race in 2012, the local triathlon series has grown in leaps and bounds, grooming young triathletes that have become the pride of the Philippines in international competitions. Being the local junior version of the international triathlon series, Ironman, Alaska IronKids Philippines Triathlon has produced champions, on and out of the podiums — children who are not only committed to winning but also ones who understand that losing is also winning, having learned the values of determination, hard work, teamwork, discipline and sportsmanship from their experiences in the race.

A vital component of the Alaska Milk Corporation sports program and presented by Alaska Chocolate Powdered Milk Drink, Alaska IronKids Philippines Triathlon aims to promote among children the importance of good nutrition and active lifestyle in a fun and exciting way that will get them “to go out and play” on their own, no coercion required. It hopes to get them on the path toward an active and healthy lifestyle that does not only involve physical activity but also proper nutrition as well, living up to Alaska’s key message, “Nutrition. Action. Champion.”

Last Sunday (April 13, 2014), Alaska IronKids Philippines held its first triathlon of the year at La Stanza in Marikina. This is the second in the Alaska IronKids Philippines series of races for 2014, which kicked-off with an aquathlon race last February at BF Homes, Parañaque. This year, Alaska IronKids Philippines will be starting a non-competitive, no-age category, dividing each race into three parts: Race; Play, which is non-competitive and has no age categories; and Relay, which is composed of two mix age groups. The Play category was added to encourage more children to try out the sport and just join the races for the fun of it, without the burden of competition and the pressure of winning.

There will be another aquathlon race in May at Club Manila East and a triathlon in August in Cebu. In October, Alaska Milk will be holding the Alaska IronKids Philippines Family Triathlon, the very first family-oriented triathlon event in the country. It aims to encourage families to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle as well as serve as an avenue for parents and kids to bond and build lasting relationship.

Alaska IronKids Triathlon 2014 race results are now out, visit this link to download.

The Swim-Bike-Run area of the 2014 Alaska IronKids at La Stanza, Marikina

Assembly and Briefing

Swim Leg

Bike Leg

Run Leg

More photos can be found at the following links:

RunningAtom's Album

Lestsky Photography

Justin Gomez Photography

Art Mendoza Photography

For more information, check out the Alaska IronKids website, and

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Brooks Run Happy 3: Cross-Country Challenge

Update (as of 02May2014): Uploaded new route map and Updated call times (assembly and gun-start)!

Brooks Run Happy is back! On May 11, 2014 Brooks will give you a race that you will surely enjoy. The challenge that runners constantly look for will definitely be served in the form of obstacle courses and uphill grinds incorporated in our nature inspired route. With a mix of on & off road terrain and the scenic view of Tanay Rizal, this race will be one epic event you should not miss out on.

Race Distances and Registration Fee:

5k = Php 600.00

10k = Php 950.00

16k = Php 1,450.00

24k = Php 1,600.00

Transportation and Hotel Accommodation:

Runners could avail of the Transportation and Hotel Accommodation upon registration. For more details please visit

Race Kits

Race Kits are inclusive of Race Bib, Race Shirt, Gloves, and Whistle. 16k and 24k will receive a Fitletic Race Bib Holder on the race day.

Medals and Prizes:

Finisher’s Medal will be given to 16k and 24k runners.

Race Map:

For more details and race updates like Brooks Running on facebook and visit
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Pro-Earth Runners Ran for Environment Protection

More than 5,000 running enthusiasts heeded the call of Earth Day Network Philippines to protect, respect, and oversee the sensible and sustainable care of Mother Earth as they sprinted around Bonifacio Global City for the "Pro‐Earth Run" Saturday morning.

Earth Day Network Philippines President Bert Guevarra said the fun run is a kick‐off activity for the 2014 Earth Day Celebration on April 22, 2014.

"We want to promote earth day everyday, everywhere for everyone. We must have a conscious effort to take good care of our environment everyday," Guevarra said.

The Earth Day Network Philippines, a non‐profit, non‐stock corporation, leads more than two thousand (2,000) entities from different sectors of the Philippines that work towards environmental protection and conservation.

10K Pro Earth Runners warming up before gun start.

The pro‐earth runners inched and raced one another to the finish line of the 10‐km, 5‐ km, and 3‐km categories. There was also a 1.5‐km run for children dubbed "Run with Doraemon."

The Earth Day Network ambassador Doraemon, with his friends Nobita and Shizuka, also graced the event and entertained the runners before sending them off the starting track.

The pro‐earth run was presented by LifeOil, 100% pure Malunggay extract, and United Parcel Services or UPS.

Carlo Lugtu, executive vice president of Manila Nature’s Link Corporation, the maker of LifeOil, shared that "LifeOil energizes people with active lifestyle, including runners, by replenishing the energy they lose during physically demanding activities."

"Malunggay oil extract, aside from increasing energy, also strengthens the immune system, manages sugar level, and has Vitamin D," Lugtu added.

Among those who joined the fun run were celebrities from GMA Artist Center. They said they participated in the event not only because they want to stay fit but also because the run was for a good cause.

Starstruck alumnus Steve Silva tweeted "WE DID IT! #5k #ProEarthRun kickoff event for the worldwide celebration of Earth Day on April 22"

Staged by Huper International, the Pro‐Earth Run was also sponsored by the Philippine Charity Sweeptakes Office, First Gen, Energy Development Corporation, Globe, Holcim, Animation International – Philippines, Informatics, Merrell, Lumsense, The Body Shop Peppermint Leg Spray, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Timex, Gardenia, Greenlite Banner, Gold’s Gym, Integrated Waste Management, Inc., Empire East, Union Bank, and Haribon Foundation.

5K Pro Earth Runners flash their finishers’ smiles

Merrell’s Marketing Associate Dennice Lao, LifeOil’s Executive Vice President Carlo Lugtu, Earth Day Network Philippines’ board members with Top 3 5K female finishers.

More photos at:
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Sierra 51050 Revenge - Team Spirit at Work


A bigger Sierra 51050 awaits and it's coming on May 25!

From the success of Sierra 51050 comes the second leg of this unique and Team-tested race. The Sierra Revenge is a call for more unity that will become the stronghold of each team. Enjoy the challenging route and great views of the Sierra Madre roads while having a good time and camaraderie not just with your own, but with other team as well.

Slots are limited, so register now!

What: 2014 Sierra 51050© Leg 2 - The Revenge
When: 25 May 2014 Sunday, 4:00 AM
Where: Brgy. Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal
Beneficiary: Tree-planting advocacy of Tanay Municipality

Distance and Registration Fees:
  • 50K Sierra Relay - Php 5,000.00 - 5-man Team relay, 10K-20K distance per Runner, 50K total Team distance
  • 21K Duo - Php 2,000.00 - 2-man Start-to-Finish buddy, fee inclusive of Transportation*
  • Registration Promo (for the 50K Sierra Relay):Get 10%off for every batch of 3-groups registered per Team
  • *Each shuttle must meet the maximum passenger capacity for Duo participants availing the transportation.
*Registration Inclusions:
  1. 50K Sierra Relay - Race Bib, Finisher's shirt, Sierra souvenir, Sponsor freebies, Team Leader's Orientation**
  2. 21K Sierra Duo - Race Bib, Finisher's shirt, Sierra souvenir, Sponsor freebies
*Race kits will be distributed during the Team Leader's Orientation for the 50K Sierra Relay, and on Race Day for the 21K Sierra Duo.
**Team Leader's Orientation schedule will be held one week before the event. Venue to be announced soon!

Sierra Duo (21K) Bib Design
Sierra Relay (50K) Bib Design
Registration Centers:
  • Online Registration (via Bank Deposit):
    1. Deposit Payment to: Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
      Account Name: Rundezvous Inc.
      Account Number: 2431-0082-14
    2. E-mail scanned or photo-captured deposit slip to:, Subject: Sierra Revenge Registration: [Team name]
    3. Fill-up the Online registration form
  • In-store Registration Centers: All SecondWind Running Specialty Stores
Event Time:
  • 4:00 AM - Assembly
  • 5:00 AM - 50K Sierra Relay Gun-start
  • 5:30 AM - 21K Sierra Duo Gun-start
For more information, visit: Sierra Five Ten Fifty or Rundezvous Inc. on Facebook or you may also contact Rundezvous Inc. via Ms. Abet Ocampo thru contact number(s): (+632) 636-2847 / (+63)915-803-0224 Sierra 51050© and Sierra Series© is owned and organized by Rundezvous Inc. in partnership with Running Atom™ and Running Free Manila.

Make the Team spirit work!
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Race to Lead

What: Race to Lead

When: 04 May 2014 Sunday, 4:30 AM

Where: AS Palma Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City

Beneficiary: Fund-raising for the Paglingkuran ang Sambayanan and Scholarship programs of Pi Sigma (πΣ) Brotherhood

Distance, Registration Fees and Inclusions:

  • 5K - Php 550.00 - Race bib, RFID timing, white Sierra 51050 souvenir shirt*, Sponsor freebies

  • 10K - Php 650.00 - Race bib, RFID timing, gray Sierra 51050 souvenir shirt*, Sponsor freebies

Registration Centers:

  1. SecondWind Running Specialty Store - Malingap Street, Teacher's Village, Quezon City

  2. SecondWind Running Specialty Store - Home Depot, Ortigas, Pasig City

  3. SecondWind Running Specialty Store - G-Strip, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City


  • 5K - 5:20 AM

  • 10K - 5:00 AM

Race Bib Design:

Route Map:

Race Sponsors:

Diadora Philippines, Palgen Travel, Growers Nutribar, Sensacare

Race Partners:

Running Atom™, RunningFreeManila, MyRunTime, SecondWind Running Store

For more information, contact Rundezvous Inc. via Ms. Abet Ocampo thru: (+632) 636-2847 or (+63)915-803-0224.
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What: DZMM Tulong Na, Tabang Na, Tayo Na, Takbo Na

When: 04 May 2014 Sunday, 4:30 AM

Where: 34th Street, Bonifacio Global City

Beneficiary: Typhoon Yolanda victims

Race Organizer: RunRio Inc.

Distance, Registration Fees* and Inclusions:

  • 5K only - Php 550.00 (until 04 April 2014) / Php 630.00 (Regular) - Race kit includes Singlet, Timing Chip, Bib, Number B-Tag. Finisher's will receive a Limited edition towel and cap, Gatorade and Premier Water.

*20% discount for Senior Citizens

Registration Centers:

  1. *Online via DZMM Website (17 March to 20 April, 2014).

  2. **In-store registration (24 March and onwards):

    • ROX - L2, Bonifacio High Street (12NN to 8PM, Tel.#: 856-4638)

    • Toby's SM Mall of Asia - G/F Entertainment Hall, Roxas Blvd., Manila (12NN to 8PM, Tel.#: 556-0445)

    • Toby's SM North EDSA The Block

    • ABS-CBN Tulong Center - Audience Entrance

*Delivery of race-kits will start on 31 March, cost will be charged to runner's account.

**Registration form may also be downloaded here.

Route Map:

Singlet Design:

Finisher's Items:


  • Runners must prepare to get wet and be thrown with color powder.

  • COLOR POWDER is made of 100% food grade cornstarch + water + food color = all natural and safe.

  • Runners may bring shades/eyewear/goggles to protect their eyes.

For further inquiries, call DZMM at Tel.#s: (02) 415-2272 local 5674/5621/5603 or RunRio at (02) 887-6194
Read more ...

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