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In a Viewpoint recently published in the Journal of the Medical Association (JAMA), researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University and Boston Children’s Hospital urged the federal government to drop restrictions on total fat consumption in the upcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that consumers in the US still gravitate towards purchasing heavily-processed “convenience” foods over natural products. “Processed foods” were defined by the authors as any foods other than raw agricultural commodities, and were categorized by the extent of changes occurring in the product as a result of the processing. Processed foods are treated in some manner to extend their storage life or improve their taste, nutritional value, color or texture.
Einstein’s intelligence has been a subject of many conversations. The influential German born physicist wowed society with his theory of relativity, leading to the intrigue in the organ responsible for all critical thought – his brain. While Albert Einstein was born genetically gifted, it is possible for the average person to improve brain function.
The negative impacts of a sedentary lifestyle, as well as the chronic impacts of sitting for 40 hours or more a week at a desk are well documented. New research indicates that reversing this damage can potentially be as easy as taking an extra 2 minute walk every hour. Published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, investigators founds that replacing 2 minutes/hour of sedentary activity with 2 minutes/hour of walking decreased the risk of death by 33% in the general population.
Public health experts have consistently argued that calorie counts should be mandatory on all alcoholic beverage labels. The common question is – why are calories from alcoholic beverages treated any differently than those from food? Most drinks that contain more than 1.2% alcohol by volume are currently exempt from providing caloric data. According to Fiona Sim, Chair of the Royal Society for Public Health and recent author in The BMJ; an estimated 10% of daily calories come from alcohol among adults who drink. However, a recent study found that 80% of 2,117 adults questioned in a survey were not familiar with the caloric density of common alcoholic beverages they consume.
Insulin normally suppresses hepatic (liver) glucose production (HGP) among healthy individuals so that they do not experience hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) throughout the day. This function is inhibited among type 2 diabetics, but the specific molecular mechanism behind the issue has remained elusive within the research community. However, a new study led by researchers from Yale University, and published in the journal Cell, may have uncovered the reason why this dysfunctional process begins. "In the study, we set out to examine how insulin normally works to turn off production of glucose by the liver, and why this process goes awry in patients with type 2 diabetes," said Gerald I. Shulman, the George R. Cowgill professor of physiological chemistry, professor of medicine and cellular & molecular physiology at Yale School of Medicine, and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Experts have long debated how insulin suppresses HGP to limit abnormal fluxes in blood sugar. Many scientists have claimed that insulin has a direct effect on the liver, but the current study uncovered a different physiological pathway that may challenge present theories and treatment methods. The Yale researchers theorized that insulin suppresses HGP by inhibiting the breakdown of body fat, which results in a reduction in hepatic acetyl CoA. Acetyl-CoA and related coenzymes are essential to balancing carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. In the liver specifically, it is critical to regulating the conversion of amino acids and lactate into glucose as needed. When insulin is not properly inhibiting the breakdown of body fat due to systemic inflammation caused by relative obesity, hepatic acetyl CoA concentrations rise; HGP and blood sugar will then follow suit.
"These studies identify hepatic acetyl CoA as a key mediator of insulin action on the liver and link it to inflammation-induced hepatic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes," Shulman explained. This new insight into insulin resistance paves the way for exploring new treatments. "None of the drugs we currently use to treat type 2 diabetes target the root cause," said Shulman. "By understanding the molecular basis for hepatic insulin resistance we now can design better and more effective drugs for its treatment."
Nitrate supplementation has become increasingly popular in recent years among athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Its popularity is not without merit as previous research (using beetroot) has shown that athletes can benefit from a reduction in the oxygen cost of submaximal exercise; thereby increasing overall endurance and tolerance to high-intensity work. A new study published in the March 2015 issue of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal helps shed new light on how some nitrate supplements may work, and why they potentially increase performance. The team found that they essentially decrease the viscosity of circulating blood, aiding in blood flow, while simultaneously ensuring tissue oxygen requirements are not compromised. "Our research sheds new light on how oxygen delivery to bodily tissues is controlled to support mammalian life, and what role the kidneys and the liver play in achieving this," said Andrew Murray, Ph.D., a researcher from the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
About 70 million American have hypertension – roughly 29% of the country’s population. Furthermore, nearly 1 in 3 adults are prehypertensive. In total, the annual cost of high blood pressure is $46 billion dollars. Excessive sodium intake correlates positively with high blood pressure, and a recent report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that more than 70% of pizzas, pasta mixed dishes and meat mixed dishes, and 50% to 70% of cold cuts, soups and sandwiches exceeded recommended sodium levels per serving set forth by the FDA.