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September 27, 2007, 9:47 PM CT

Eat Less To Live Longer

Eat Less To Live Longer
For nearly 70 years researchers have known that caloric restriction prolongs life. In everything from yeast to primates, a significant decrease in calories can extend lifespan by as much as one-third. But getting under the hood of the molecular machinery that drives this longevity has remained elusive.

Now, reporting in the September 21 issue of the journal Cell, scientists from Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with researchers from Cornell Medical School and the National Institutes of Health, have discovered two genes in mammalian cells that act as gatekeepers for cellular longevity. When cells experience certain kinds of stress, such as caloric restriction, these genes rev up and help protect cells from diseases of aging.

"We've reason to believe now that these two genes may be potential drug targets for diseases linked to aging," says David Sinclair, associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and senior author on the paper.

The new genes that Sinclair's group have discovered, in collaboration with Anthony Sauve of Cornell Medical School and Rafael de Cabo of NIH, are called SIRT3 and SIRT4. They are members of a larger class of genes called sirtuins. (Another gene belonging to this family, SIRT1, was shown last year to also have a powerful impact on longevity when stimulated by the red-wine molecule resveratrol.).........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

September 18, 2007, 8:00 PM CT

Positive experience of eating

Positive experience of eating
Enjoying the eating process without focus on dietary restrictions may be key to managing weight and staying healthy, as per scientists who have unveiled a new and effective model for managing eating.

The Satter Eating Competence Model, also known as ecSatter, was created by Ellyn Satter, a registered dietitian, family therapist and author of Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family, Kelcy Press.

Competent eaters are positive, flexible and comfortable with their eating habits and make it a priority to regularly provide themselves with enjoyable and nourishing food. They guide food intake based on the internal processes of hunger, appetite and satisfaction, and rely on the bodys innate ability to maintain a preferred and stable weight.

Satter observes that the eating competence model cultivates effective eating attitudes and behavior by emphasizing permission and discipline:
  • The permission to choose food you enjoy and eat it in amounts you find satisfying.
  • The discipline to provide yourself with regular and reliable meals and snacks and to pay attention when you eat them.

Being eating competent appears to mirror overall-well being, notes Satter of Madison, Wis. People with high eating competence feel more effective, are more self-aware and are more trusting and comfortable both with themselves and with other people.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

September 18, 2007, 5:08 AM CT

How nutrition affects the breakdown of fats

How nutrition affects the breakdown of fats
Researchers have shown that when either lean or obese individuals exercise after eating a high fat meal, their fats are broken down and oxidized in skeletal muscle, making them healthier. These results show for the first time how a high fat diet and exercise stimulate the breakdown of fats and may help design ways to reduce excessive fat in the body.

Fat is broken down inside fat cells to generate energy by a process called lipolysis. The resulting fatty acids are released into the bloodstream and carried to tissues that require energy. In obese individuals, too much fat accumulates, compromising lipolysis, but the details of how this happens are not well understood. Also, obese individuals can show altered responsiveness to the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine in their subcutaneous fat.

Max Lafontan and his colleagues investigated how fat is broken down in both lean and obese subjects who exercised after either fasting or eating a high-fat diet. They noticed that after eating a high-fat diet, fats were broken down in both lean and obese individuals. Under fasting conditions, the breakdown of fats was more pronounced in the lean subjects, but the high fat meal enhanced lipolysis in the obese subjects.

The researchers also studied the effects of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) which are found in high fat diet on cultured fat cells. They noticed that LCFAs increase lipolysis when it is induced by epinephrine, one of the hormones known to stimulate lipolysis.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

September 14, 2007, 5:16 AM CT

Fat mum hastens path to childhood obesity

Fat mum hastens path to childhood obesity
A fat mother hastens a childs path to obesity, finds a study published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Other factors included too much time spent in front of the TV and rapidly piling on the pounds in early childhood.

The scientists base their findings on 571 New Zealand children of European heritage, who were regularly monitored from birth to the age of 7 years.

Their percentage body fat, a reliable indicator of overweight and obesity, was calculated at the age of 3 and 7 years. TV viewing time and the amount of physical activity they took part in were also measured at the age of 7.

Children who had acquired a high percentage body fat by the age of 3 were significantly more likely to be obese at the age of 7 than those with low percentage body fat.

Children who had rapid growth spurts were more at risk.

But having a mother who was overweight or obese, being a girl, and spending a lot of time in front of the TV were all independently linked to the chances of becoming obese.

Children with overweight or obese mothers had around 4% more body fat than those whose mothers were of normal weight.

It is not clear if genes, exposure to specific factors during pregnancy, or shared lifestyle factors are to blame, say the authors.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

September 12, 2007, 7:55 PM CT

Hungry people crave more variety

Hungry people crave more variety
Youre whale watching in Alaska, longing for a margarita and a spot on a beach. You think to yourself, How did I get here" I hate the cold. Never finished Moby Dick. And I get seasick! A fascinating new study from the Journal of Consumer Research finds that when we long for something intensely like a much-needed vacation a wider array of options will sound appealing, potentially leading to some out-of-character choices. Similarly, when we are particularly hungry and presented with an range of menu choices, we are more likely to deviate from our favorite meal.

This article investigated whether desire-induced perception changes can reduce loyalty to favorite[s], explain Caroline Goukens, Siegfried Dewitte, Mario Pandelaere, and Luk Warlop (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium). In general, these findings point to the power of desires to affect choice making.

For example, in the pilot study, the scientists had participants who were hungry and participants who were satiated quickly decide whether they liked or disliked twenty-eight different snacks by pressing either a red or green button. Hungry participants were asked not to eat within four hours of the experiment. Satiated participants were presented with a large piece of cake upon arrival and told they had to finish the entire thing. On average, the participants who were hungry liked two more snacks than the participants who had cake.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

September 11, 2007, 11:44 PM CT

Health food supplement may curb addiction of gamblers

Health food supplement may curb addiction of gamblers
University of Minnesota scientists have discovered that a common amino acid, available as a health food supplement, may help curb pathological gamblers addiction.

In a recent eight-week trial, 27 people were given increasing doses of the amino acid, N-acetyl cysteine, which has an impact on the chemical glutamate often linked to reward in the brain. At the end of the trial, 60 percent of the participants reported fewer urges to gamble. The research would be reported in the Sept.15, 2007 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

It looks very promising, said Jon Grant, J.D., M.D., a University of Minnesota associate professor of psychiatry and principal investigator of the study. We were able to reduce peoples urges to gamble.

Those who responded well in the first round of the study were asked to continue to participate in a double-blind study a testing method where neither the researcher nor subjects know who is in the control group until the study is finished.

Of the 16 who responded to the amino acid the first time around, 13 agreed to continue in the double-blind study (three didnt want to risk quitting the drug) for an additional six weeks. About 83 percent who received the supplement, continued to report fewer urges to gamble. Nearly 72 percent of those who took the placebo went back to gambling.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

September 10, 2007, 10:18 PM CT

A chocolate cookie a day puts 20 lbs

A chocolate cookie a day puts 20 lbs
So-called 'miracle diets', such as the South Beach diet, the Atkins diet or the Artichoke diet, lack of scientific foundations and are a danger for health.

- Specialists' recommendations include a daily 500 to 700 calorie deficit, depending on body weight, age and physical exercise, as well as a high-fibre diet to gradually lose 6.5 lbs a month.

NOTICIAS UGR After summer holidays, 'miracle-diet' adherents stick to these diets to lose the weight gained in the last months in record time. Gyms also become overcrowded with people making a final sprint of sacrifice whose results do not exactly match prior expectations and with few benefits for health. "In the field of nutrition, miracles do not exist: in the same way we gain weight as years pass by, weight loss should be equally progressive", states Professor Emilio Martínez de Victoria Muñoz, Head of the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology at the University of Granada (Universidad de Granada) in Spain.

Energy balance.

It becomes clear that the energy needed by the body to carry out its functions comes essentially from food. Nevertheless, a whole range of hormonal and nervous mechanisms take part in body weight regulation, which makes such process a bit more complex.

When the amount of consumed calories is similar to that of calories used during the day, the energy balance is kept stable and, therefore, weight is kept constant. However, when consumed calories exceed used calories this balance is disturbed and weight is gained, as excess calories are stored as fat in the body. As an example, Professor Martínez de Victoria points out that an energetically-balanced girl who is given a chocolate cookie a day during four years will gain 20 lbs (approximately 9 kg) in that time.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

September 6, 2007, 9:50 PM CT

Pregnancy and binge eating disorder

Pregnancy and binge eating disorder
Pregnancy may open a window of vulnerability for developing binge eating disorder, particularly for women from lower socio-economic situations, as per a research studyfrom the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists and his colleagues in Norway.

In a long-term study of 100,000 pregnant Norwegian women, the scientists saw an unexpected increase in new incidences of binge eating disorder that began during pregnancy. The research is the largest population-based study of eating disorders during pregnancy.

Previously, small clinical studies had suggested that often eating disorders go into remission during pregnancy, just as some pregnant women spontaneously quit smoking cigarettes.

We need to be very vigilant across the socioeconomic spectrum to screen for the development of disordered eating during pregnancy. Its very important that all women receive adequate prenatal care that includes nutritional support, said Dr. Cynthia M. Bulik, lead study author and William R. and Jeanne H. Jordan Distinguished Professor of eating disorders in the department of psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine and the department of nutrition in the UNC School of Public Health.

The findings were reported in the August 2007 issue of Psychological Medicine. The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

September 4, 2007, 8:12 PM CT

Study reveals an ancient antiobesity gene

Study reveals an ancient  antiobesity gene
Scientists have revealed an antiobesity gene that has apparently been keeping critters lean during times of plenty since ancient times. The gene, first discovered by another team in flies, also keeps worms and mice trim, as per the new report in the recent issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press. If the gene works similarly in humans, the findings could lead to a new weapon against our burgeoning waistlines, as per the researchers.

Animals without a working copy of the gene, known as Adipose (Adp), become obese and resistant to insulin, while those with increased Adp activity in fat tissue become slimmer, the scientists found. Moreover, the genes dose seems to determine how slender an animal turns out to be.

Maybe if you could affect this gene, even just a little bit, you might have a beneficial effect on fat, said Jonathan Graff of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, noting that people often become overweight very graduallyadding just one or two pounds a year. After 30 years, thats a lot.

While worms and flies are routinely studied as models of human health and disease, that trend has been less true in fat biology, Graff said. Thats because unlike mammals, worms and flies store their fat in multifunctional cells rather than in dedicated fat cells known as adipocytes. However, those differences didnt preclude the possibility that the animals might use similar genes to accomplish their fat storage goals, he added.........

Posted by: Evelyn      Read more         Source

September 4, 2007, 8:07 PM CT

Overweight toddlers at riskfor iron deficiency

Overweight toddlers at riskfor iron deficiency
Dr. Jane Brotanek was lead author of research based on a nationwide survey that showed overweight toddlers and those not enrolled in day care are at high risk for iron deficiency.
A study by UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists has observed that overweight toddlers and those not enrolled in day care are at high risk for iron deficiency.

Based on data from a national survey of 1,641 toddlers, the study observed that 20 percent of overweight toddlers were iron-deficient, in comparison to 8 percent of those at risk for being overweight, and 7 percent of normal-weight toddlers.

The study, appearing in the recent issue of the journal Pediatrics, is the first to report an association between iron deficiency and being overweight among children as young as 1 to 3 years old.

The study also observed that 10 percent of the study's toddlers not in day care had iron deficiency, while only about 5 percent of toddlers who were enrolled in day care had iron deficiency.

"Given the detrimental long-term effects and high prevalence of iron deficiency, preventing iron deficiency in early childhood is an important public health issue," said Dr. Jane Brotanek, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study.

Iron deficiency, a common cause of anemia, results in impaired bone marrow and muscle function. Iron-deficiency anemia in infancy and early childhood is linked to behavioral and cognitive delays, including impaired learning, decreased school achievement, and lower scores on tests of mental and motor development.........

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