The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Search Results

Vitamin D Levels, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Adiposity: Are They Related?
You may have heard that vitamin D deficiency is a global epidemic, and that deficiencies are related to an increased risk for several chronic health conditions. These include some cancers, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and osteoporosis. More recently, it has been shown that vitamin D levels are also related to muscle strength and balance.
African-Americans At Greatest Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency
An estimated 40% of American adults may be vitamin D deficient. For African-Americans, that number may be nearly double at 76% according to a new study by The Cooper Institute.
Blood Vitamin D Levels and the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
As you might have heard, vitamin D is nicknamed ‘the sunshine vitamin’. Skin exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays triggers a metabolic pathway which ultimately results in production of the active form of vitamin D. In the past, it was thought that the only important function of vitamin D was to increase absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the gut into the blood. By increasing blood levels of these two minerals, they become more available to the bones. More recently, it has become more clear that improving bone health is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to the many functions of v
Vitamin D Levels in the U.S. Population are Getting a Little Better!
It is well-known that vitamin D deficiency is widespread in the U.S., and that deficiencies are tied to numerous health problems. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has been tracking vitamin D levels in the population over the past few decades. The most recent findings and recommendations are summarized in our current blog.
Physical Activity, Body Weight Status, and Serum Vitamin D Levels in Healthy Women: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study
Cooper Institute researchers recently reported on 7553 healthy women who received a comprehensive physical exam at the Cooper Clinic between 2006 and 2018. Blood vitamin D level, physical activity level, and body weight status were assessed at the time of the exam.
Is There an Association Between Low Vitamin D Levels and Depression? The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study
Low serum vitamin D (SVD) levels are associated with numerous medical conditions, including neurologic disorders. In a joint study by The Cooper Institute and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, researchers examined the association between SVD levels and depression. Read on to learn more.
Vitamin D and exercise may protect against age-associated loss of cognition
As the average life expectancy continues to rise in the U.S., there is an increasing need to identify modifiable risk factors that contribute to the cognitive and physical deterioration associated with aging. The Cooper Institute research team found that in generally healthy people, vitamin D and cardiorespiratory fitness were significantly associated with cognitive function. Read more to learn what preventive measures you can take to protect from cognitive decline as you age.
New Recs for Calcium and Vitamin D: Are You Getting Enough?
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) develop and regularly update recommendations for specific nutrient intakes. Based upon available science, these dietary reference intakes (DRIs) include one or more of the following:  Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): The average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97-98%) healthy individuals in an age and gender-specific group. Adequate Intake (AI): A recommended intake value based on observed or experimentally determined approximations or estimates of nutrient i
Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Vitamin D Levels are Important Factors in Determining the Risk of Having Metabolic Syndrome in Men
When compared with men who were vitamin D deficient, men with normal vitamin D levels were 71% less likely to have MetSyn.... Among men who were vitamin D insufficient, the rates were about 55% and 20%, respectively. ... All men should undergo testing of blood vitamin D levels and follow their primary health care provider recommendations with regard to vitamin D supplementation.
New Hope for Childhood Diabetes?
Over about the past decade, there has been an increased interest in vitamin D. It's role in bone health has been well established but it has also been suggested to play a role in a number of other diseases from cancer, to heart disease, to autoimmune diseases. It's relationship with diabetes is also being investigated as research has indicated that vitamin D may increase insulin sensitivity, play a role in insulin synthesis, and decrease inflammation. And it's importance isn't only being looked at in adults but in children as well. Recently, researchers from the University of Missouri wan
Villain or Hero?: Understanding Dietary Fat
There are six nutrients that are needed by the human body for survival. Known as the essential nutrients, they include carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Of these, dietary fat is perhaps the most misunderstood nutrient.
Health Disparities Among African Americans
Is being Black in America bad for your health? Our team takes a closer look at the health disparities among African Americans and what can be done to improve their health.
Preventing and Managing Diabetes with Exercise
For the 30 million Americans with diabetes, exercise may be the key to living #WELLintothefuture.
Together, we stand greater than diabetes.
Diabetes affects over 34 million people across the country and is a leading cause of blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure, and early death. Regular exercise may be the key to reversing this trend.
Nutrition to Maintain Your Muscle Mass!
An unfortunate effect of aging is a decline in many of our functional capabilities. One such decline is a loss of muscle mass and strength. This decline not only affects our ability to function physically in everyday life, but is also a major risk for falls and subsequent disability. The good news is that while this decline is inevitable, we can slow the rate of decline. The best approach (as mentioned in a previous blog)—exercise (surprise, surprise), with resistance training being most effective. There are other factors that affect the rate of muscle loss such as nutrition, genetics, trauma
Minimizing Muscle Mass Decline Through Nutrition
I once had a college professor say, "We breathe therefore we die." Pretty morbid statement but technically true. As we age, unfortunately we experience declines in many of our functional capabilities. One such decline is a loss of muscle mass and strength. This decline not only affects our ability to function physically in every day life but is also a major risk for disability as decreased strength increases fall potential. The good news is that while this decline is inevitable, we can slow the rate of decline. The best approach—exercise (surprise, surprise) with resistance training bein
2020 Research Review by The Cooper Institute 
Last year was a very productive time for research at The Cooper Institute. Our team worked hard in 2020 to discover more about the many health benefits of regular physical activity, as well as the benefits of obtaining at least a moderate level of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). Most of our research stems from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study (CCLS), the largest and longest-running health study of its kind in the world with an objective measure of CRF.
Eggs--Incredible or Not So Much?
It's that time of year where eggs are everywhere in abundance (from plastic to hard boiled!). Whether they are to be hidden by the Easter Bunny or are used to represent new life, eggs and springtime go hand in hand. Until recently, however, eggs have received a bad rap. It was once thought that egg consumption increased the risk of heart disease because of the high amount of cholesterol found in the yolk and several organizations including the American Heart Association actually recommended limiting their intake. Recent research has brought to light several things that discount this former wa
Should You Eat Like a Caveman?
Take a look around and you’ll likely determine that most Americans need to improve their eating habits and increase their levels of physical activity. Rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes are at an all-time high among adults and children, while annual health care costs exceed $2.5 trillion. These and other factors provide a rich and fertile environment for dozens of ‘miraculous’ and ‘revolutionary’ dietary approaches that are promoted every time we turn around. One such fad is The Paleo Diet; also known as the ‘Caveman Diet.’ The basic premise of The Paleo Diet is that we should only eat the f
Should You Eat Like a Caveman? The Paleo Diet
While rates of obesity in the U.S. remain at an all-time high, hip and trendy diets are a dime a dozen. One such diet suggests that we should ‘eat like a caveman.’ Does this approach have any scientific validity? Read on to learn more!
How Effective are the DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet at Reducing Mortality Risk? The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study.
It’s a given that dietary patterns have a substantial effect on mortality risk. While there are many fad diets with little to no scientific evidence to back them, a couple of notable exceptions to the rule are the DASH and Mediterranean Diets. Read on to learn more about how these dietary patterns affect mortality in Cooper Clinic patients!
Message from the CEO: Heart Health is Key to Brain Health
President and Chief Executive Officer of The Cooper Institute® Depression, anxiety, and memory problems are key mental health concerns for all Americans. These illnesses can impact life for both the affected individual and their family in devastating ways.
Can Functional Movement Screening Predict Injury Risk in Older Adults?
New research from The Cooper Institute looks at whether the Functional Movement Screening can predict the risk of injury in older adults.
Can You Get a Raw Deal by Drinking Raw Milk?
It seems as though once every month or so there is a new dietary ‘whipping boy’ that is responsible for the obesity epidemic and related societal ills such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. High-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, grains, gluten, and GMOs are just a few of the dietary culprits that have been blamed (largely by the public, media, and other non-scientists) for the myriad of common dietary-related health problems in our society. A relatively recent ‘hip and trendy’ approach that is being used by some people to supposedly improve their health is the ingestion
Advice on Eating a “Whole” Lot of Processed Foods
Mention the term ‘processed food’ to most people and you will get a very negative response. Processed food gets blamed for a number of chronic health conditions such as prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, allergies, and some cancers. While there is no question that some processed foods are not the best choices, we need to pause before we overgeneralize. In other words, before jumping on the ‘all processed food is bad’ bandwagon, let’s take a closer look. The technical definition of a processed food is quite broad. Any food product that has undergone a transformation
The Truth About the Keto Diet
Hip and trendy diets are a dime a dozen, promising rapid weight loss and better overall health. But many, like the Ketogenic Diet, are more hype than health. Learn more about the keto diet and why it doesn’t hold its weight in a crowded weight-loss market.
Foods Your Heart Will Love
You may be busy getting ready for "heart" day next week but did you know that February is American Heart month? Heart disease (cardiovascular disease) is the number one cause of death for both men and women in our country but many people are unaware that many of the risk factors that contribute to this disease are preventable or modifiable. So in the spirit of heart month, we wanted to remind you about some nutritional choices that are great for your heart. Eat more fruits and vegetables. At least half your plate should be filled with colorful fruits and vegetables every meal. The American He
Research Study Summary: The Connection Between Heart Health and Brain Health
Mental health is a hot topic across the country. We know that exercise can ward off depression and heart disease, but can a single measure of aerobic capacity at midlife predict the risk of both in later life?
Message from the CEO - Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has upset the balance of our daily lives and added significant levels of stress and anxiety to the mix.
New Studies Bolster Existing Support for Whole Grains!
When it comes to grains, misinformation abounds, particularly in how grains are processed for consumer consumption. The basic understanding between grains and whole grains means a world of difference. As September is Childhood Obesity Awareness month, it’s important to reflect on this important distinction and evaluate whether you and your family are truly eating for optimal health. Read on for The Cooper Institute’s Dr. Steve Farrell’s keen insights into this critically important dietary component.
Dietary Carbohydrate: Facts and Misconceptions
The article discusses facts and misconceptions regarding dietary carbohydrate.
The Benefits of Playing Outside
Playing outside can be a fun way to encourage physical activity, but did you know it can also have an impact on the development of myopia, or near-sightedness, in children? Learn more about the benefits of outside play and the impact on whole-child health.
Published Research
 2018 June 27;75(9):911-917. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.1467 Read Abstract Defina LF, Willis BL, Radford NB, Gao A, Leonard D, Haskell WL, Weiner MF, Berry JD.... PubMed ID Number: 23381040 Read Abstract Willis BL, Gao A, Leonard D, Defina LF, Berry JD.... Throughout the years we have investigated many topics including physical fitness, depression, coronary artery calcium, musculoskeletal injuries, blood pressure, inflammatory markers, vitamin supplementation, and aging.
The Ketogenic Diet
Hip and trendy diets are a dime a dozen, and cycle in and out of popularity. Most lead to short-term weight loss rather than long term-weight control. Oftentimes, the only thing that changes is the name of the diet. One example of ‘same diet, different name’ is the ketogenic diet. Read on to learn more!
Eating Well During Quarantine: Are Processed Foods Really That Bad?
Eating healthy has never been more important. But for those of us with a pantry full of processed foods, how do we make sure what we are eating is healthy?
Provide infants with supplemental vitamin D beginning soon after birth.... A nutrient-dense food or beverage is one that provides vitamins, minerals and other substances that contribute to adequate nutrient intakes, with little or no solid fats and added sugars, refined starches, and sodium.
Dietary Cholesterol is no Longer a Concern?
Most of us are aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death among U.S. men and women. It is also indisputable that abnormal blood cholesterol level is one of the eight major risk factors for heart disease. While approximately 100 million Americans have abnormal blood cholesterol levels, many of them are not aware of the presence of this ticking time bomb.
Red Yeast Rice: Get the Facts!
Red Yeast Rice (RYR) has been used for centuries in China as a culinary and medicinal product. It is said to lower cholesterol level, improve blood circulation, and help with digestive problems. The yeast naturally produces monacolins (a statin), which help to minimize the production of cholesterol in the liver. Dietary supplements containing RYR have been marketed to help lower blood levels of cholesterol, reporting the same beneficial effects as the cholesterol-lowering drug, lovastatin. Research In 2006, Liu et al.1 published a meta-analysis of clinical trials studying RYR. The article re
Dietary Guidelines to Eat and Stay Healthy
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
2019 Research Review by The Cooper Institute 
2019 was an incredible time for research at The Cooper Institute. Our studies, published in some of the top medical journals in the country, will make an impact on healthcare #WELLintothefuture. Let’s take a look back at the research and what it means. 
Are you Nutty if You Eat Nuts?
Health-conscious parents and caregivers are always on the lookout for appropriate snacks for kids. When it comes to dietary ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats,’ there’s a lot of myth and misinformation swirling around. In this blog, we take a careful evidence-based look at the role that nuts can play in a healthful diet for kids as well as adults. Read on to see good news for nut-lovers!
Intermittent Fasting: What Does the Research Say?
Intermittent fasting is the most recent hot topic among popular diet trends, but what is it and does it work?
Individuals Who Over Exercise: Body Distortion Image
How prevalent is "over exercising" for poor body image? Are you one of the individuals spending an excessive amount of time in the gym? If you are a Personal Trainer how likely is it that you will have any clients with this behavior? How will you address the issue? According to Karen Ritter, a licensed clinical social worker, "Your body image has to do with your health, your various talents, (and) how able you are to be in tune with sensations in your body."(1) For many people their body image is negative. They perceive that parts of their body are unlike what they really are. They are convin
Join our family in creating a healthier world by donating to support our premiere research and education.
Cardiorespiratory Fitness Level and LDL-Cholesterol Level; is One More Important Than the Other?
It is widely known that coronary heart disease (CHD) is among the leading causes of death in most countries that have a reasonably high standard of living. CHD is characterized by accumulation of plaque within the coronary arteries, which are located in the heart muscle.  This can result in the need for procedures such as coronary artery bypass surgery or balloon angioplasty with stent placement. CHD can also result in heart attack, which occurs ~1.25 million times in the U.S. annually. There is broad agreement that elevated levels of LDL cholesterol (also known as the bad cholesterol) a
Can a Stroke Be Prevented?
Stroke, which is also known as a cerebrovascular accident, is a form of cardiovascular disease that affects the arteries of the brain. A stroke occurs when an artery bringing oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by plaque and blood clots (ischemic stroke), or when an artery in the brain bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). Read on to learn what you can do to prevent stroke!
Can You Name the Warning Signs of Stroke? Think FAST!
Warning Signs of Stroke
The Alkaline Diet
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of free speech. Thus, anyone can write a diet book and make whatever ridiculous claims that they wish to make. A prime example is ‘The Alkaline Diet’ which is promoted by gullible celebrities, athletes, and others who either do not understand or choose to ignore basic chemistry. Read on to learn more!
Nutrition for Health and Fitness
  Course Topics and Interactive Content: Session 1: Scope of Practice Session 2: Principles of Nutrition Session 3: Energy Metabolism Session 4: Dietary Guidelines Session 5: Dietary Review and Guidance Session 6: Sports Nutrition Session 7: Ergogenic Aids Session 8: Lifecycle Nutrition Session 9: Issues in Weight Management Session 10: Nutrition and Disease Prevention Session 11: Popular Diets Session 12: Omega 3 and Vitamin D Session 13: Shopping Cooking Eating Out Tips Course Test Handouts and Tips included for downloading and printing Take a look!
Providing Dietary Guidance
This fitness course by The Cooper Institute will teach you how to provide dietary guidance and general nutrition information for reducing disease risk and enhancing sports and fitness performance. Call 800-635-7050.