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January 20, 2009, 6:11 AM CT

People on low-carb diets more effectively burn fat

People on low-carb diets more effectively burn fat
People on low-carbohydrate diets are more dependent on the oxidation of fat in the liver for energy than those on a low-calorie diet, scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found in a small clinical study.

The findings, reported in the journal Hepatology, could have implications for treating obesity and related diseases such as diabetes, insulin resistance and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, said Dr. Jeffrey Browning, assistant professor in the UT Southwestern Advanced Imaging Research Center and of internal medicine at the medical center.

"Instead of looking at drugs to combat obesity and the diseases that stem from it, maybe optimizing diet can not only manage and treat these diseases, but also prevent them," said Dr. Browning, the study's main author.

Eventhough the study was not designed to determine which diet was more effective for losing weight, the average weight loss for the low-calorie dieters was about 5 pounds after two weeks, while the low-carbohydrate dieters lost about 9 pounds on average.

Glucose, a form of sugar, and fat are both sources of energy that are metabolized in the liver and used as energy in the body. Glucose can be formed from lactate, amino acids or glycerol.

In order to determine how diet affects glucose production and utilization in the liver, the scientists randomly assigned 14 obese or overweight adults to either a low-carbohydrate or low-calorie diet and monitored seven lean subjects on a regular diet.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 19, 2009, 11:48 PM CT

About those food ads in the magazine

About those food ads in the magazine
In the first-ever study of food adverts in UK magazines, scientists found them filled with sugary, salt-filled options often contradicting the health messages the articles were trying to put across.

"Nearly every magazine contains advice on a healthier lifestyle, yet we found the food adverts were for products high in sugar and salt and low in fibre such as ready meals, sauces and confectionary," explains Dr Jean Adams, lecturer in public health at Newcastle University, who led the study.

"Obviously, it's up to each of us to decide what we eat but if we're constantly bombarded with images of unhealthy food every time we pick up a magazine then we're going to be swayed in what we choose," she adds.

It means that women sitting down to enjoy the treat of a cup of tea, a chocolate bar and a magazine may unwittingly be tempted to an even unhealthier diet.

What's in the ads?

Newcastle University scientists collected and compared data on the nutritional content of the foods advertised in 30 most widely-read weekly magazines during November 2007.

A detailed nutritional analysis of the foods in the adverts observed that the products advertised were generally much higher in sugar and salt, and lower in fibre than the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 19, 2009, 6:15 AM CT

Some genetic mutations and childhood obesity

Some genetic mutations and childhood obesity
Three new genetic variations that increase the risk of obesity are revealed in a newly released study, published recently in the journal Nature Genetics The authors suggest that if each acted independently, these variants could be responsible for up to 50% of cases of severe obesity.

Together with existing research, the new findings should ultimately provide the tools to predict which young children are at risk of becoming obese. Health professionals could then intervene to help such children before they develop weight problems, say the scientists from Imperial College London, the French National Research Institute CNRS and other international institutions.

In the UK, one in ten children under the age of six is obese, as per the Department of Health's National Child Measurement Programme 2007/08.

For today's ten-year study, researchers looked at the genetic makeup of obese children under six and morbidly obese adults, most of whom had been obese since childhood or adolescence, and compared this with age matched people of normal weight. The study reveals three previously unidentified genetic variations that increase the risk of severe obesity significantly, giving new insight into the reasons why some people become obese and others do not.

The gene variant most strongly linked to childhood obesity and adult morbid obesity in the study is located near the PTER gene, the function of which is not known. This variant is estimated to account for up to a third of all childhood obesity, and a fifth of all cases of adult obesity.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 15, 2009, 6:55 PM CT

Exercise in post-menopausal women reduces breast cancer risk

Exercise in post-menopausal women reduces breast cancer risk
Several studies had previously suggested that regular physical exercise reduces the breast cancer risk of women. However, it had been unknowned just how much exercise women should take in which period in life in order to benefit from this protective effect. Moreover, little was known about which particular type of breast cancer is influenced by physical activity.

Answers to these questions are now provided by the results of the MARIE study, in which 3,464 patients with breast cancer and 6,657 healthy women between the ages of 50 and 74 years were questioned in order to explore the connections between life style and breast cancer risk. Participants of the study, which was headed by Professor Dr. Jenny Chang-Claude and conducted at the German Cancer Research Center and the University Hospitals of Hamburg-Eppendorf, were questioned about their physical activity during two periods in life: from 30 to 49 years of age and after 50.

A comparison between control subjects and patients with breast cancer showed that women in the control group had been physically more active than patients. The researchers calculated the relative breast cancer risks taking account of the effect of other risk factors. Results show that the risk of developing breast cancer after menopause was lower by about one third in the physically most active MARIE participants in comparison to women who had generally taken little physical exercise.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 14, 2009, 11:16 PM CT

Obesity may lead to complications at surgery

Obesity may lead to complications at surgery
A newly reported study in the recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that morbidly obese patients are at higher risk than normal weight patients for complications after colectomy surgical removal of all or part of the colon for the therapy of cancer.

Obese patients are more likely than non-obese patients to develop and ultimately die from colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Surgical intervention remains the primary therapy for colon cancer, but it carries the risk of serious complications.

"Eventhough recent analyses have indicated that obese patients getting colectomy have higher rates of complications after the operation, this is the first major study to examine how body mass index affects the risk of specific adverse events such as infection, kidney failure and blood clots," said Ryan P. Merkow, MD, department of surgery, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. "These findings could help medical teams anticipate and manage post-operative risks in morbidly obese patients".

The scientists used the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project dataset to identify 3,202 patients who had colectomy for cancer. These patients were categorized into four patient populations based on body mass index (BMI): normal weight (BMI = 18.5 to 24 kg/m2, 33.4 percent); overweight (BMI = 25 to 29 kg/m2, 35.1 percent); obese (BMI = 30 to 34kg/m2, 19.0 percent); and morbidly obese (BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2, 12.4 percent). Logistic regression models were developed to assess risk-adjusted 30-day outcomes by BMI while adjusting for preoperative risk factors.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 14, 2009, 9:29 PM CT

Exercise, mood and grievous psychological problems

Exercise, mood and grievous psychological problems
A newly released study from Indiana University suggests that even meager levels of physical activity can improve the mood of people with serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia.

The study, reported in the recent issue of the "International Journal of Social Psychiatry," both reinforces earlier findings that people with SMI demonstrate low levels of physical activity and supports the consideration of physical activity as a regular part of psychiatric rehabilitation.

"We found a positive association between physical activity level and positive mood when low to moderate levels of physical activity are considered," said study author Bryan McCormick, associate professor in IU's Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies. "Physical activity interventions that require lower levels of exertion might be more conducive to improving transitory mood, or the ups and downs people with SMI experience throughout the day".

McCormick said physical activity often is advocated in addition to psychiatric therapy for people with SMI because of the significant health concerns common to this population. The low levels of physical activity also common to this population poses a major hurdle, however. For this study, physical activity is considered most forms of sustained movement, such as house cleaning, gardening, walking for transportation or formal exercise.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 14, 2009, 6:11 AM CT

Cattle and sheep grazed on natural grasslands

Cattle and sheep grazed on natural grasslands
Cattle and sheep grazed on natural grasslands help maintain biodiversity and produce tastier, healthier meat, as per a research studyfunded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The research, part of the Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme which draws together the social and natural science, concluded that pasture-based farming is good for the environment, the consumer and the producer but needs stronger support from British policy makers if it is to realise its full potential.

Detailed analysis of the nutritional qualities of the plant species present on the natural grasslands showed that they provided grazing animals with a richer more diverse diet than the improved pastures used for more intensive farming. And this richer diet translated into tastier meat.

The taste panels rated biodiverse beef from cattle breeds such as Longhorn - a traditional breed especially well adapted to unimproved grassland environments to be more tender and more flavour intense than meat from conventional breeds.

Chemical analysis showed that the meat from animals with a more biodiverse diet was healthier too. Meat from wild-grazed lambs, especially those grazed on heather, had higher levels of the natural antioxidant, vitamin E, than meat from animals grazed on improved grass land. It also had higher levels of healthy fatty acids including the long chain omega 3 fatty acid, DHA, thought to play a key role in brain development and to protect against heart disease. And higher levels of the anti-carcinogenic compound, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) were found in meat from lambs grazed on moorland and Longhorn cattle grazed on unimproved pastures than in control meat.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 13, 2009, 11:37 PM CT

Physically active lifestyle is just a few clicks away

Physically active lifestyle is just a few clicks away
New research suggests that a healthier, more physically active lifestyle is just a few clicks away with Dairy Council of California's MyFitness Planner.

Credit: Dairy Council of California

New research suggests that a healthier, more physically active lifestyle is just a few clicks away with Dairy Council of California's MyFitness Planner.

Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, yet less than half of all American women (47.7 percent) engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity or greater physical activity on most days of the week. To help, Dairy Council of California developed MyFitness Planner, formerly called the Women's Fitness Planner.

A randomized control trial of 150 healthy adult women showed that MyFitness Planner's individually tailored Internet-plus-email physical activity intervention resulted in 37 minutes of increased walking and 48 minutes of increased total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week in comparison to a control group. Study results were reported in the recent issue of Preventive Medicine

A study led by Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Ph.D., M.P.H., a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, indicated that Dairy Council of California's online tool can positively impact women's physical activity levels. Results further showed that participants who clicked more links in the update emails trended toward greater activity by 10󈞀 minutes per week, regardless of socio-economic or education status.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 12, 2009, 6:17 AM CT

Without becoming obese

Without becoming obese
Berkeley -- Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified a new enzyme that plays a far more important role than expected in controlling the breakdown of fat. In a newly released study would be published Jan. 11 in the journal Nature Medicine, scientists report that mice that have had this enzyme disabled remained lean despite eating a high-fat diet and losing a hormone that suppresses appetite.

"We have discovered a new enzyme within fat cells that is a key regulator of fat metabolism and body weight, making it a promising target in the search for a therapy for human obesity," said Hei Sook Sul, UC Berkeley professor of nutritional sciences and toxicology and principal investigator of the research.

Sul's research team includes the three co-main authors of the paper, all from UC Berkeley's Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology: Kathy Jaworski, former post-doctoral researcher; Maryam Ahmadian, graduate student; and Robin Duncan, post-doctoral fellow.

The enzyme in the spotlight, adipose-specific phospholipase A2 (AdPLA), is found in abundance only in fat tissue. AdPLA sets off a chain of events that increases levels of a signaling molecule called prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), which suppresses the breakdown of fat. Mice that have no AdPLA have lower PGE2 levels and a higher rate of fat metabolism.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 8, 2009, 9:58 PM CT

Help for the overweight over the phone

Help for the overweight over the phone
Counselling via the phone and internet can help weight management in overweight individuals, as per a Dutch study reported in the open access journal, BMC Public Health

The project compared counselling via phone and e-mail with the standard practice of issuing self-help literature in approximately 1400 workers as an aid to weight management. The study was undertaken by a group led by Willem Van Mechelen of the Department of Public and Occupational Health/EMGO Institute of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This study was funded by The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development, The Netherlands Heart Foundation and Body@Work TNO-VUmc.

Globally, obesity rates are increasing. However, few people receive professional help in weight management programmes; the reasons for this are unknown. The face-to-face counselling of these programmes requires frequent visits to a therapy facility, making it less appealing for those with busy lifestyles. In cases like this, counselling by phone or via the internet appears to be of greater use. Trials evaluating phone counselling for weight loss programmes have shown mixed results, and few trials have reviewed e-mail based counselling, but those that have found the results encouraging. The impacts of the two have not, however, been compared.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Exercise can't stop the aging process, but experts at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston say that for the elderly, whether it's weight training, walking, swimming or biking, 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week is a good prescription for aging."It's never too late to start exercising," said Dr. Robert Roush, an associate professor of medicine-geriatrics at BCM. "Being physically active and exercising regularly can help prevent or delay some diseases and disabilities as people age.".

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