For the first time, scientists have been able to observe people developing Type 2 diabetes – and confirmed that fat over-spills from the liver into the pancreas, triggering the chronic condition. The research, led by Professor Roy Taylor at Newcastle University, UK, is published in the academic journal, Cell Metabolism.
The study involved a group of people from Tyneside who previously had Type 2 diabetes but had lost weight and successfully reversed the condition as part of the DiRECT trial, which was funded by Diabetes UK and led by Professors Roy Taylor and Mike Lean (Glasgow University).
The majority remained non-diabetic for the rest of the two year study, however, a small group went on to re-gain the weight and re-developed Type 2 diabetes.
Professor Roy Taylor, from the Newcastle University Institute of Translational and Clinical Research, explained what the advanced scanning techniques and blood monitoring revealed.
He said: “We saw that when a person accumulates too much fat, which should be stored under the skin, then it has to go elsewhere in the body. The amount that can be stored under the skin varies from person to person, indicating a ‘personal fat threshold’ above which fat can cause mischief.
I had misgivings about carrying this item because I think the idea is total health and a long life, not superficial quick fixes. But this seems a fascinating concept and it originated from my old Alma Mater (in a sense) – Northwestern University. I taught journalism in the grad school there for a couple of years. Eat less; move more; live longer remains the mantra of this blog.
While the technique is safe it needs to be optimized for longer-lasting results.
Marla Paul, writing in Northwestern Now, reported the following:
The first randomized, controlled trial testing carbon dioxide gas injections (carboxytherapy) to reduce belly fat found the new technique eliminates fat around the stomach. However, the changes were modest and did not result in long-term fat reduction, according to the Northwestern Medicine study.
“Carboxytherapy could potentially be a new and effective means of fat reduction,” said lead author Dr. Murad Alam, vice chair of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician. “It still needs to be optimized, though, so it’s long lasting.” Continue reading →
A little personal history here. Back when I first retired, 17 years ago, I got really careless about my weight and health. I ballooned up to 225 pounds from the 185 to 190 that I had carried while working. I was around 5 feet 10 inches at the time. My waistline measured between 42 and 44 inches. The only good thing about carrying that weight is that I never was bothered by the cold. I began writing this blog in March of 2010. Since that time I have taken my weight down to the 155 pound area and my waist to 31 inches. Yes, I am enjoying robust good health now. BUT, one of the aspects of my life that has changed negatively is that I am often cold. When the temp drops I freeze. I think I wear long underwear about six months a year. When I asked my doctor about this, she told me that in losing the fat, I had taken the insulation away from my core and I was now more vulnerable to cold temps. So, I was most interested in this information from Medical News Today on feeling the cold.
Gloves? Check. Hat? Check. Thermal layers? Check. But why am I the only one prepared for the onslaught of a snowstorm? The cold affects everyone differently.
With Halloween now firmly behind us, we find ourselves on the slippery slope into full-blown winter. While many of us may enjoy spending time outdoors on a crisp winter day, few people enjoy feeling cold.
Our ability to sense temperature changes is essential to our survival. Small changes to our core temperature can have detrimental effects, putting us at risk of heat stroke in the summer or hypothermia in the winter. Continue reading →
Herewith a wonderful write up on Metabolic Syndrome, a medical condition that sadly seems to be gaining in popularity. Dr. Jonathan gives a superb explanation of it and what you can do to avoid succumbing to it.
The diagnosis metabolic syndrome dates back to the 1950’s. It became more popular around the late 1970’s when the low fat diets first became popular. Today, it is a diagnosis used regularly to define an ever growing percentage of our population. We doctors make it sound like a “disease” requiring our intervention to overcome this life threatening syndrome. In reality, it is a state of dysfunction caused PRIMARILY by the consumer.
What is Metabolic Syndrome? It is a state of diminishing health based on an individual diagnosed with any three of the following five conditions:
elevated blood pressure (≥ 130/85mmHg)
elevated fasting blood sugar (≥100mg/dL)
excess body fat around the waste (abdominal obesity >35 inches in women and >40 inches in men)
HDL cholesterol ≤40 mg/dL for men or 50 mg/dL for women
elevated triglycerides (≥150 mg/dL)
In real numbers, these conditions exist in the United States population as follows:
As a person who has battled his belt line over the years, I have overindulged in sweet treats like ice cream as well as fat treats like pizza. I know that each felt compelling at the time, but it turns out that sugar has more powerful impact on the brain’s pleasure centers than fat, according to a recent study published in the US National Library of Medicine.
Hostess Ho Ho’s
The New York Times picked it up and explained that it is the sugar and not the fat that primarily triggers the brain’s receptors.
“The new research tracked brain activity in more than 100 high school students as they drank chocolate-flavored milkshakes that were identical in calories but either high in sugar and low in fat, or vice versa. While both kinds of shakes lit up pleasure centers in the brain, those that were high in sugar did so far more effectively, firing up a food-reward network that plays a role in compulsive eating. Continue reading →
Not long ago I posted some logistical suggestions from Harvard on aging. Now comes the Mayo Clinic with some excellent internal insights.
“As you age, your heart rate becomes slightly slower and your heart might become bigger. Your blood vessels and your arteries also become stiffer, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood through them. This can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular problems.
“What you can do to promote heart health:
• Include physical activity in your daily routine. Try walking, swimming or other activities you enjoy. Regular moderate physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure and lessen the extent of arterial stiffening.
• Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium. A healthy diet can help you keep your heart and arteries healthy.
• Don’t smoke. Smoking contributes to the hardening of your arteries and increases your blood pressure and heart rate. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit.
• Manage stress. Stress can take a toll on your heart. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.”
It’s true that everyone already knows all of these but I think it is good to have them repeated by a reputable source to get us going in the right direction.
As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda last December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.
Being tired not only zaps your brain cells and energy level at the moment – it can also be a sign that your body needs some serious and immediate attention. Unlike the illness known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which can be manifested by headache, tender lymph nodes, weakness, muscle and joint aches and an inability to concentrate, the feeling I’m referring to here is just plain old tiredness. It is a symptom that affects both body and mind. It slows reflexes and reduces function in your day-to-day life.
Staying tired, washed out or exhausted too long can lead to other problems, some serious, so let’s nip it in the bud right now.
American families are so much busier than they used to be. Often both parents are working and there is too much to do in every 24 hours. There is not enough time for sleep and not much time to cook balanced meals. No wonder they feel tired so often.
I see my daughter-in-law with three children, a husband, a job. She takes care of the house, attends school functions for the children when needed and cooks for the family. My son helps out but he also has a job, helps with the children, takes care of the yard and is on the go with errands. This is typical of households today.
Then there are also those who are not overworked or stressed out but they still feel tired all the time. It’s hard for them to get up in the morning. Some can’t sleep at night so they wake up tired and remain tired all day.
General Reasons For Tiredness:
You may not be able to change your life style this very moment, so here are some things you can do to compensate until then. Listed are ways to fight that never ending tired feeling.
Not enough sleep: There are two parts to “not enough sleep.” They are not enough hours to sleep and insomnia.
Not Enough Sleep: If you feel you can’t find enough hours to sleep… better rethink it. Find some way to get that extra hour or two. In general the body needs about eight hours each night to repair itself for the next day and more so for a long range healthy, longer life. If you wake up feeling groggy instead of refreshed, you’re not getting enough sleep. If you feel sleepy during the day or yawn (off and on) all day you are not getting enough sleep. Don’t minimize the importance of enough sleep, as it will affect your body… anywhere from feeling tired all day to dark circles under the eyes to a breakdown in the immune system which can lead to illnesses.
Insomnia: Insomnia is not only difficulty in falling asleep but also difficulty in staying asleep or sleeping soundly. There can be many causes, and if you cannot solve it on your own check with your doctor and find out why. Without enough sleep other problems could arise. A lack of calcium and magnesium can cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep. Continue reading →
“Carbs are fattening – cut down on them” is another of the popular food myths. Many people think that by reducing their carbohydrate consumption they will lose weight.
Not true, according to Erin McCarthy, MS. RD, LDN, professional dietician at the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
McCarthy said that no matter what food group you choose, if you cut out the items from that group, you will reduce your caloric intake and lose weight.
So, cutting down on carbs is not necessarily the way to go if you want to lose weight.
It was taught by Professor Roberta Anding, registered dietician and a certified specialist in sports dietetics.
Professor Anding said that carbohydrate is a maligned nutrient. She considers it a nutritional powerhouse.
“It is the exclusive fuel of the central nervous system, your brain and for exercising muscle.”
It is necessary for both brain and muscle function. She considers carbohydrates central to our human physiology.
“For most of us, Carbohydrates should account for about 50 percent of our diets,” Anding said.
The functions of carbohydrates to provide energy. “folks on a low carbohydrate diet are irritable, fatigued and lethargic….” and the reason is that they have eliminated a major source of energy.
One further function of carbohydrates is that they protect proteins which are used for building our muscles and tissues. If we are low on carbohydrates, the body will burn protein for energy. Ironically, it is protein and not fat that is taken by the body when carbs are low. The liver is able to convert protein into carbohydrates, but not fat.
So, as always, the answer is balance. Cut out extra calories, but don’t distort the basic nutrients. Try to eat a balanced diet. I have written repeatedly about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. You can read further by typing Mediterranean Diet into the search box at the right.
So many people are hung up on their body weight, but fail to realize that the more important issue is their body composition.
All there is to us is fat, muscle and bone. Our body weight is equal to the sum of these parts.
I hope this illustration will help you to see the issues clearer.
It is clear from this picture that fat weighs less than muscle, so it takes up much more space than muscle.
Once you have an idea how much more space in your body that fat takes up, you can understand the importance of knowing your percentage of body fat. You can read about how to measure your body fat percentage in an earlier post.
Once you know this you will have a baseline from which to work. This is important because often when a person starts to do cardio and resistance exercises his weight doesn’t tell him there is much change going on. Yet, if he is burning fat and building muscle, his body will be changing in important ways. Shirts will fit differently, pants will become looser around the waist line.
Another important consideration in body composition is that one pound of fat burns about 5 calories each day while one pound of muscle burns 50 calories in a day. So, once you get yourself on the road to fitness and start building muscle and burning fat, you will be transforming yourself into a calorie and fat burning machine. You will have started a wonderful positive spiral.
It is important to understand your body fat composition because while you may presently think you are at a good weight, if you have too large a percentage of fat, you may not be all t hat healthy and may be headed for medical problems despite you ‘good weight.’
Similarly, if you are overweight, once you learn your percentage of body fat you will have a guideline against which to measure yourself by and you won’t be troubled by the fact that you ‘aren’t losing weight,’ when you begin an exercise program and start trying to eat in a more healthy manner. You will be burning off fat and muscle weighs more than fat. Often when an overweight person starts working out and getting healthy he/she finds that their close fit looser/better despite no change in their weight.
Because most nutrition labels give the sugar content in grams, here is the translation:
Grams to teaspoons: There are 4.2 grams of sugar in one teaspoon.
In case it isn’t obvious to you in the section – 385 Calories consumed daily from added sugars…. It is the combination of the four exercises mentioned: walking, basketball, biking and jogging to burn off those 385 calories, not any single one of them.
You can take a very cool quiz on sugar right now. I posted it earlier this week.
I always thought that boomers were busy running triathlons and skiing down the slopes these days. They are reported to have the longest life expectancy of any previous generation and exploit the latest medical technology, so why wouldn’t they be? I am talking about that 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.
JAMA researchers found otherwise.
Alice Park writing in Time.com reports that boomers have “higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol than members of the previous generation.
Junk foods like these are part of the reason boomers are failing the most important test of all.
“The revelation comes from data in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a national snapshot of health measures and behaviors conducted by the U.S. government. Dr. Dana King, a professor in family medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine and his colleagues compared baby boomers aged 46 years to 64 years between 2007 and 2010 to similar aged Americans in 1988 to 1994. Overall, only 13% of baby boomers rated their health as ‘excellent’ while nearly three times as many, 32%, of those in the previous generation considered themselves in excellent health.” Continue reading →
Eating Southern-style foods may be linked to a higher risk of stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013.
In the first large-scale study on the relationship between Southern foods and stroke, researchers characterized a Southern diet by a high intake of foods such as fried chicken, fried fish, fried potatoes, bacon, ham, liver and gizzards, and sugary drinks such as sweet tea. In addition to being high in fat, fried foods tend to be heavily salted.
“We’ve got three major factors working together in the Southern-style diet to raise risks of cardiovascular disease: fatty foods are high in cholesterol, sugary drinks are linked to diabetes and salty foods lead to high blood pressure,” said Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., M.P.H., lead researcher and a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Alabama Birmingham’s biostatistics department.
Previous research has shown that Southerners are about 20 percent more…
As regular readers know, I don’t drink sugary or diet soft drinks and consider them some of the most damaging junk foods available.
A Nashville family’s rap video is the winner of a contest aimed aimed at raising awareness of the harmful health effects of overconsumption of sugary drinks. The winning video “Just Pour One Out” features an original rap song from the Sullivan family, inspired by 41-year-old stay-at-home dad Peter Sullivan’s personal struggle with soda consumption.
“I was surprised by how much the process changed my drinking habits,” Sullivan said of making the film.
Announced by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest in October 2012, the Pour One Out video contest invited the public to produce short videos demonstrating the pouring out of sugary drinks in a creative way. Advertising pioneer Alex Bogusky joined CSPI staff in judging contest entries based on creativity, originality, and effectiveness of the health message. CSPI offered a $1,000 prize for the winning film, and $500 and $250 prizes for the second- and third-place films.
Not long ago a study published in the journal Athersclerosis reported that the more egg yolks a people ate the thicker their artery walls became. That indicates a higher risk of heart disease. Also, the effect was nearly as bad as from smoking cigarettes. The Egg Nutrition Center and American Egg Board voiced other ideas.
The incredible edible egg
Researchers measured the buildup of carotid plaque in the arteries of 1,231 subjects. The men and women in the study were all patients at cardiovascular health clinics. For comparison’s sake, the team also measured the carotid plaque buildup of smokers in the study.
Plaque buildup increased according to age – after age 40 in a fairly steady fashion. But among the 20 percent of participants who reported eating the most egg yolks – three or more per week – carotid plaque increased “exponentially,” according to the study. The buildup equaled about two-thirds of that seen among the heaviest smokers in the group.
Arterial plaque buildup is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke; as plaque accumulates on artery walls, it narrows the space through which blood can pass, making the heart’s job of pumping more difficult. Moreover, plaque buildups can break away from the arterial wall, forming clots that can do terrible, even fatal, damage if they reach the heart or brain.
For the record, here is the nutritional breakdown of a large (56 gram) egg from SELFNutritionData:
Total Fat 6 grams
Saturated Fat 2 grams
Cholesterol 237 mg
Sodium 78 mg
Protein 7 grams Continue reading →