I scream, you scream. We all scream for ice cream.
Okay, summer season has officially arrived. Even here in Chicago where we have experienced the coldest spring in my memory. So, let’s talk about ice cream.
Ice cream was one of the highlights of my childhood summers and I can’t deny still feeling attracted to it at this time of year.
A waffle cone can double the calories in your ice cream treat.
For the most part, ice cream is empty calories, but with a little foresight, you can still enjoy some without getting into trouble. Just don’t overdo it. Continue reading
An international team of researchers has found that a single sleepless night can alter metabolic processes leading to weight gain and lack of muscle maintenance. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes their study of the impact of a sleepless night on several volunteers.
Prior research has shown that interfering with normal sleep patterns can lead to weight gain—night shift workers, for example, have a tendency to gain weight. But until now, the mechanism responsible for such metabolic changes has not been known. To learn more, the researchers with this new effort enlisted the assistance of 15 adult volunteers. Each volunteer was tested in a lab on two separate occasions. One of the occasions was after getting a good night’s sleep, the other was after the volunteer had stayed up all night. Each submitted blood, fat and muscle samples, which the researchers then studied looking for differences.
They found differences in gene activity linked to the production of proteins associated with lipid absorption and cell proliferation in the volunteers between the two visits. More specifically, they found that when volunteers missed a night of sleep, they had elevated levels of both metabolites and proteins that are involved in the process of storing fat. They also experienced a breakdown of proteins that are involved in muscle buildup and repair. The researchers also found that missing a single night of sleep caused changes to genes that have been associated with a type of inflammation linked to the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The team reports that they do not know how long the metabolic changes lasted after the volunteers returned to normal sleep patterns. But they point out that their study shows that sleep serves more functions than previously thought—it is not just to rejuvenate the brain or to conserve energy, it also plays a role in overall metabolism. They suggest more study is required to determine if such changes due to episodic sleep disruptions become long-term.
To read further on the value of sleep check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep?
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The great recession
What do economics have to do with health? At most universities they’re not even in the same building! But it turns out that a dip in the economy can lead to a rise in our weight according to a study done by John Hopkins. Researchers found that from 2008 to 2012—the period known as the great recession—weight gain was strongly correlated with the rise in unemployment, increasing the risk of obesity by 21 percent. This makes sense as one of the first things to go when our budgets get tight are luxuries like health food and gym memberships, not to mention the loss of health insurance that often accompanies a job loss. However, it may help to remember that there are many low-cost or free ways to protect your health—and an investment in you is the best one…
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Back in 2010 when I started writing this blog, it was all about gaining and losing weight. Since then the focus has broadened out to general good health, exercising and keeping one’s brain functioning. Nonetheless, I thought this study on fat and weight gain worth reporting.
Scientists from the University of Aberdeen and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have undertaken the largest study of its kind looking at what components of diet – fat, carbohydrates or protein – caused mice to gain weight.
Since food consists of fat, protein and carbs, it has proven difficult to pinpoint exactly what aspect of the typical diet leads to weight gain.
The mice were fed these diets for three months, which is equivalent to nine years in humans. In total over 100,000 measurements were made of body weight changes and their body fat was measured using a micro MRI machine. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.