Advertisements

We're a little crazy, about science!

Weight Loss Science

Historical analysis examines sugar industry role in heart disease research

high sugar content

high sugar content

Using archival documents, a new report examines the sugar industry’s role in coronary heart disease research and suggests the industry sponsored research to influence the scientific debate to cast doubt on the hazards of sugar and to promote dietary fat as the culprit in heart disease.

(more…)

Advertisements

Sugar addiction: Discovery of a brain sugar switch

addicted to sugar

addicted to sugar

Researchers have discovered that our brain actively takes sugar from the blood. Prior to this, researchers around the world had assumed that this was a purely passive process. An international team reports that transportation of sugar into the brain is regulated by so-called glial cells that react to hormones such as insulin or leptin; previously it was thought that this was only possible for neurons.

(more…)


Want a better memory? Try eating a Mediterranean diet

mediterranean diet

mediterranean diet

It’s not a fad diet, it is an actual diet — as in the way a person eats normally — and it may do more than just help your waistline.  The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, as well your heart.

(more…)


Fish oil vs. lard — why some fat can help or hinder your diet

five guys burger and fries

five guys burger and fries

A diet high in saturated fat can make your brain struggle to control what you eat. If people are looking to lose weight, stay clear of saturated fat. Consuming these types of fatty food affects a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which helps regulate hunger.

(more…)


New supplement may switch off cravings for high-calorie foods

sweets

sweets

Eating a type of powdered food supplement, based on a molecule produced by bacteria in the gut, reduces cravings for high-calorie foods such as chocolate, cake and pizza, a new study suggests. Scientists asked 20 volunteers to consume a milkshake that either contained an ingredient called inulin-propionate ester, or a type of fibre called inulin.

(more…)


Researchers show copper is essential for burning fat

weight loss cat

weight loss cat

Is copper deficiency contributing to the obesity epidemic? Though small amounts of copper are essential to health – oysters, liver, beans and nuts are good sources – copper’s role in metabolism has been unclear: Some studies found that it boosted fat burning, others that it depressed it.

(more…)


Converting cells to burn fat, not store it

carb loading cat

carb loading cat

Researchers have uncovered a new molecular pathway for stimulating the body to burn fat — a discovery that could help fight obesity and cardiovascular disease.By focusing on a protein known as folliculin, and knocking out the gene that produces it in fat cells, the researchers triggered a series of biomolecular signals that switched the cells from storing fat to burning it.

(more…)


Brain cells that aid appetite control identified

cat flap meme

cat flap meme

It’s rare for scientists to get what they describe as “clean” results without spending a lot of time repeating the same experiment over and over again. But when researchers saw the mice they were working with doubling their weight within a month or two, they knew they were on to something.

(more…)


Can exercise be replaced with a pill?

Can exercise be replaced with a pill?

Everyone knows that exercise improves health, and ongoing research continues to uncover increasingly detailed information on its benefits for metabolism, circulation, and improved functioning of organs such as the heart, brain, and liver. With this knowledge in hand, scientists may be better equipped to develop “exercise pills” that could mimic at least some of the beneficial effects of physical exercise on the body. But a review of current development efforts ponders whether such pills will achieve their potential therapeutic impact, at least in the near future.

(more…)


Diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating unhealthy food

Diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating unhealthy food, study finds

Alcoholic drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with higher overall daily intakes, although people who drink diet beverages consume a greater percentage of non-nutritious food.
Image credit goes to: Julie McMahon

Want fries with that diet soda? You aren’t alone, and you may not be “saving” as many calories as you think by consuming diet drinks. A new study that examined the dietary habits of more than 22,000 U.S. adults found that diet-beverage consumers may compensate for the absence of calories in their drinks by noshing on extra food that is loaded with sugar, sodium, fat and cholesterol.

(more…)


Fish oil-diet benefits may be mediated by gut microbes

Fish oil-diet benefits may be mediated by gut microbes

Diets rich in fish oil versus diets rich in lard produce very different bacteria in the guts of mice, reports a study from Sahlgrenska Academy published in Cell Metabolism. The researchers transferred these microbes into other mice to see how they affected health. The results suggest that gut bacteria share some of the responsibility for the beneficial effects of fish oil and the harmful effects of lard. Image credit goes to: University of Gothenburg

Diets rich in fish oil versus diets rich in lard produce very different bacteria in the guts of mice, reports a new study. The researchers transferred these microbes into other mice to see how they affected health. The results suggest that gut bacteria share some of the responsibility for the beneficial effects of fish oil and the harmful effects of lard.

(more…)


Excessive workout supplement use: An emerging eating disorder in men?

Excessive workout supplement use: An emerging eating disorder in men?

In an effort to build better bodies, more men are turning not to illegal anabolic steroids, but to legal over-the-counter bodybuilding supplements to the point where it may qualify as an emerging eating disorder, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention.

(more…)


Body fat can send signals to brain, affecting stress response

stress eating

The brain’s effect on other parts of the body has been well established. Now, a group of researchers has found that it’s a two-way street: Body fat can send a signal that affects the way the brain deals with stress and metabolism. While the exact nature of those signals remains a mystery, researchers say simply knowing such a pathway exists and learning more about it could help break a vicious cycle: Stress causes a desire to eat more, which can lead to obesity. And too much extra fat can impair the body’s ability to send a signal to the brain to shut off the stress response.

(more…)


Hormone that differentiates sugar, diet sweeteners could exist in humans

diet coke cat

We’ve all been there: We eat an entire sleeve of fat-free, low-calorie cookies and we’re stuffing ourselves with more food 15 minutes later. One theory to explain this phenomenon is that artificial sweeteners don’t contain the calories or energy that evolution has trained the brain to expect from sweet-tasting foods, so they don’t fool the brain into satisfying hunger. However, until now, nobody understood how organisms distinguish between real sugar and artificial sweetener.

(more…)


That daily soda or sugary drink habit may be punishing your liver

drinking sugary drinks daily causes liver problems

If you enjoy a daily soda, or other tasty sugar filled drink, you may want to put it down. New research shows that a daily sugar-sweetened beverage habit may increase the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The study comes from researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and is bad news for anyone who loves sugary drinks.

(more…)


Walking an extra two minutes each hour may offset hazards of sitting too long

Sitting behind a desk all day can be tough

Eat less, workout more, these are the messages we are being sent almost on a daily basis. But how do we quantify “more” and who really should listen to that advice? Well a new study suggests that engaging in low intensity activities such as standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time. On the bright side, adding two minutes of walking each hour to your routine just might do the trick.

(more…)


Psychologists share the three secrets to healthier eating

Three easy ways to help your diet

You don’t need a crazy diet to lose weight. In fact, your typical fad diet won’t help you keep weight off long term and could be harming your health. If you want to know the secrets of healthier eating, think of the kitchen fruit bowl. A fruit bowl makes fruit more convenient, attractive, and normal to eat than if the same fruit were in the bottom of the refrigerator.

(more…)


Watch out Atkins: Over eating fatty foods can alter your muscle metabolism

Fatty food might be tasty, but it can change you... literally

More bad news on the obesity front and strangely enough, on the popular diet front too — at least for diets like atkins. New research shows that even short term high-fat diets can change your metabolism. So while you might think that you can get away with eating fatty foods for a few days without it making any significant changes to your body, think again.

(more…)


It’s all hype: Few commercial weight-loss programs are effective

snake oil salesman

In a bid to help physicians guide obese and overweight patients who want to try a commercial weight-loss program, a team of Johns Hopkins researchers reviewed 4,200 studies for solid evidence of their effectiveness but concluded only a few dozen of the studies met the scientific gold standard of reliability.

(more…)


Researchers find how body’s good fat talks to the brain

The typical areas where brown fat is stored in adults. (Unknown original source)

The typical areas where brown fat is stored in adults. (Unknown original source)

There are two types of fat we humans have — white and brown — unfortunately only one of them is “good fat” and it is unfortunately not the one we tend to produce. Well new research shows that brown fat tissue, the body’s “good fat,” communicates with the brain through sensory nerves, possibly sharing information that is important for fighting human obesity, such as how much fat we have and how much fat we’ve lost.

(more…)


Special microbes make anti-obesity molecule in the gut

Intestine

You’ve probably heard of all sorts of diets, paleo, low-fat, low-carb, atkins, but now microbes may just be the next diet craze. Researchers have programmed bacteria to generate a molecule that, through normal metabolism, becomes a hunger-suppressing lipid (fat). Mice that drank water laced with the programmed bacteria ate less, had lower body fat and staved off diabetes — even when fed a high-fat diet — offering a potential weight-loss strategy for humans.

(more…)


Is diet soda making you fat?

Diet soda on the shelf

The diet soda controversy is still raging on, study after study has been coming in saying that it helps weight loss, it hurts weight loss, and frankly it can all be a little confusing. Well this probably won’t help matters any, a new study shows that increasing diet soda intake is directly linked to greater abdominal obesity in adults 65 years of age and older. These findings raise concerns about the safety of chronic diet soda consumption, which may increase belly fat and contribute to greater risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases.

(more…)


Science shows intermittent fasting diet could extend life

sandwich

Think of it as interval training for the dinner table. Proponents of fasting style diets will be first to tell you there are health benefits, heck we’ve even covered some of the science here at the labs. Well new research shows that putting people on a intermittent fasting (or IF) diet may mimic some of the benefits of  actual fasting, and that (ironically enough given their popularity) adding antioxidant supplements counteracts those benefits.

(more…)


The food additive that may be promoting obesity and metabolic syndrome

food addtivesPeople say to avoid processed foods, while I don’t agree with that fully, a new study suggests that a common food additive may be causing problems. Emulsifiers, which are added to most processed foods to aid texture and extend shelf life, can alter the gut microbiota composition and localization to induce intestinal inflammation that promotes the development of inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.

(more…)


Overriding muscles’ energy efficiency to burn more fat

diet

What started as an evolutionary protection against starvation has become a biological “bad joke” for people who need to lose weight. The human body doesn’t distinguish between dieting and possible starvation, so when there is a decrease in calories consumed, human metabolism increases its energy efficiency and weight loss is resisted.

(more…)


Why low-carb or fasting diets are good for your health

Low-Carb-Diet

While most research regarding fat loss focuses on the risks of being overweight, a new study shows that fasting, low-carb diets, or high-intensity exercise have specific health benefits. Specifically, researchers have found that a compound produced by the body when dieting or fasting can block a part of the immune system involved in several inflammatory disorders such as type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

(more…)


Your brain is hardening your arteries, but not on purpose!

arteries

Your brain might just be killing you slowly. Atherosclerosis — or hardening and narrowing of the arteries — can be caused by fat buildup that causes plaque deposits, and is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease. What does that have to do with the brain? Well new research has shown a link between how the brain regulates fat metabolism, which has the potential of stopping the development of this disease risk factor in obesity and diabetes.

(more…)


Scientists use the brain to direct fat burning

Weight-Loss-Fitness

Does it seem like no matter what you do, you still can’t shed the pounds? You know what to eat, how to eat and workout regularly, but the weight just won’t go away, well you may not be alone. There are many different medical conditions that limit your ability to lose weight, but thankfully science has now found how to use your brain to shed the weight.

(more…)


Creating a better diet pill: The new drug that is making big promises

donut diet

Losing the weight, some of us never seem to be able to do it. Whether it is poor choice in diet, a medical condition, or just a sedentary lifestyle, people everywhere are finding they can’t shed the pounds. Now there is a new drug that promises help in the weight loss department and works like nothing we’ve seen used for weight loss yet. The compound effectively stopped weight gain, lowered cholesterol, controlled blood sugar and minimized inflammation in mice, making it an excellent candidate for a rapid transition into human clinical trials.

(more…)


The science of dietary restriction and it’s benefits (or what to do after the holidays)

diet

In a new study, researchers have identified a key molecular mechanism behind the health benefits of dietary restriction — or reduced food intake without malnutrition. Also known as calorie restriction or simply a diet, dietary restriction is best known for its ability to slow aging in laboratory animals. The findings here show that restricting two amino acids, methionine and cysteine, results in increased hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production and protection against ischemia reperfusion injury, or damage to tissue that occurs following the interruption of blood flow as during organ transplantation and stroke. Increased H2S production upon dietary restriction was also associated with lifespan extension in worms, flies, and yeast.

(more…)


Why “fat shaming” makes things worse

eating disorder mirror

Thanks to the internet age we have lost touch with the fact that there is a human out there reading these words. Because of this, the golden rule –treat others the way you want to be treated — went out the window. Making fun of “fat” people now seems to be a internet hobby and that insensitivity can (and does) bleed over into “normal” non-internet life. Now a new study shows that women whose loved ones are critical of their weight tend to put on even more pounds, which is probably no surprise to people who have experienced this behavior.

(more…)


Scientists find a drug (currently used) to turn white fat to brown

weight loss

It seems like we’ve been on a weight loss campaign here at the labs, but there just has been so much new and interesting research on the subject to report on; this is no exception. Researchers have uncovered the mechanism by which white fat cells from humans (an important distinction) gets reprogrammed to become browner.

(more…)


High fat diet leads to brain inflammation and obesity

brain_on_fire

The stomach strikes again, or so it seems. We’ve already covered how your stomach seemingly controls your brain and your blood-brain barrier, but now it seems that what you eat –not too indirectly related to your stomach– might make you fatter, but not in the way you might be thinking thinking. What you are eating may be causing inflammation in the brain.

(more…)


What makes us fat, OR food vs. physiology

weight-gain

There is a heir of mystery surrounding weight loss and fat in general. Have you ever heard you have all the fat cells you’ll ever have — that’s false by the way. Then there is fad diets like gluten free — proven to do nothing unless you actually have a diagnosed gluten allergy — or adkins, but now researchers believe they’re on track to solve the mystery of weight gain – and it has nothing to do with indulging in holiday eggnog.

(more…)


Scientists find a hormone that makes you fatter

obesity

Our waistlines are expanding, it’s no secret that around the world despite rampant hunger people are also getting fatter. While there are many things that are contributing to this — our increased food security, the cost of food, fast food, the increasing sugar supplied in food, etc — there are other theories as to why we are getting so heavy. Scientists have pointed towards bacteria, gut microbiota, and many other causes for our increased weight, now add to that list a common hormone that we all produce.

(more…)


Weight loss Stalled? Kick those Hunger Cravings!

lentils

Trying to drop the weight, but find yourself picking up more of it? Is your diet failing because you are so hungry you could eat a horse?  Well a new study offers some, maybe obvious, but nevertheless helpful insights to help you wrangle in that waist line. A healthy diet will help you drop the weight, but if you aren’t sure what a healthy diet contains that might be a problem. If you are trying to cut the weight, but can’t fight the hunger you might just need to try beans!

(more…)


Fighting the Obesity Epidemic with X-box [No, not that one]

Despite all the efforts, people are losing the war on obesity. There is probably a number of factors involved, genetics, underlying medical problems, most of all diet, but in any case we are living in a world that is slightly heavier than our historical counterparts. Maybe that’s why so many researchers are trying to find an easy way for people to better regulate their weight. Thankfully that goal is one step closer because researchers have found a protein that controls when genes are switched on or off, one that plays a key role in specific areas of the brain to regulate metabolism.

(more…)


The Mediterranean Diet and Cognitive Decline

Mediterranean-Diet

The Mediterranean diet, it may have broad health benefits [let’s face it we can’t seem to escape the push for it here in the US], but a new study suggests that it doesn’t impart the same health benefits for everyone. In fact, new research shows that its impact on cognitive decline differs among race-specific populations.

(more…)


Lose Weight, Live Longer. Simple, Right?

It's funny because it's true.

It’s funny because it’s true.

Suprise! Really this shouldn’t come as a shock, but adults with extreme obesity have increased risks of dying at a younger age from cancer and other complications like stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney and liver diseases, according to results of an analysis of data pooled from 20 large studies of people from three countries. The study found that people with class III obesity [or extreme, as defined as a BMI of greater than 40] had a dramatic reduction in life expectancy compared with people of normal weight.

(more…)


To Lose the Weight, Feel the… freezer burn?

1

Are you so fat you can’t see your toes? Have you forgotten what toes even look like? Have you been mistaken for the infamous “Kool-aid man”? Want to shed the pounds easier than taking off your shirt? Well too bad, that is science fiction and the stuff of horrid marketing ploys and this my friends is a science website. Losing weight is hard, I’ve written several articles on it in fact. Nothing is going to be more effective at weight loss than a sensible diet, a calorie deficit and maybe some insoluble fiber that I mentioned in the very first article I’ve written.

A new companion study to this post, which I wrote not long ago not only confirms that original studies findings, but also gives insight into another factor for the mounting obesity epidemic.

(more…)


Weight Loss Science Fact: Odd but True

weightloss

Okay boys and girls, time to grab those love handles and hold on tight, because it’s another round of weight loss science fact. With a little luck [and a little reading] you won’t be holding them for long. With that let’s just jump right in, for those who are not in “the know” there are two types of fat: white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue. The normal person’s body will preferentially choose white adipose tissue over brown. I’ll let you guess which one is the better of the two.

(more…)


Weight Loss Science Fiction: The Paleo Diet

Paleo diet meme

You, yes you! Put down the Big Mac, come on you can do it. Now, let’s get back to our roots. It’s time to go hunter gatherer on your ass. In fact, you might as well dust off your loincloths and pull out your clubs, because paleo here we come.

(more…)


MORE Science Fact and Fiction Behind Fat Loss

More Fact and Fiction

I was shocked by the huge response to my first post on the science behind weight loss, so much so that I wanted to do a second post in the series if you will. With all the fad diets, weight loss schemes, and superfoods I will have plenty to write about that is for sure.

Just like part one in the series, I’m first going to go over some of the science fiction in fat loss. I hate pseudoscience and so before I go on a rant about that let’s just jump right in.

(more…)


Science Fact and Fiction behind Fat Loss

weight loss

Do you have some of that unwanted belly fat? Do you get nervous that you will exceed the weight limit in an elevator? Do you want to eat everything in sight, but still lose the weight? Too bad, that is marketing, not science and if you want to lose the weight science can help, not so much the guy talking on the screen.

(more…)