Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Diet Sodas and the Brain

The question becomes, ‘Are diet drinks better than those containing sugar?’ The short answer is, ‘Not likely.’ Diet drinks contain artificial sweeteners (to compensate for not having real sugar), such as aspertame. Excitotoxins can cause gradual damage to your brain. Research presented at a conference of the American Stroke Association indicates that drinking diet soda daily is linked to a significantly higher risk of vascular events that correlate with vascular dementia. Other research published in the journal Natural Chemical Biology reported that phenylalanine, an amino acid found in aspartame, can form the toxic amyloid fibrils that are the hallmark of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Drinking pure water continues to be your best bet.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sodas and the Brain

What happens in your brain and body when you have a soft drink? Several rather undesirable things. As the sugar from the soda or sugary drink is absorbed into your blood stream, your brain’s hypothalamus sends a message to your pancreas, telling it to secrete insulin to deal with the higher level of blood sugar. The insulin now instructs your fat cells to pull the excess glucose out of your bloodstream and store it for future use. The problem is that you likely won’t be pulling the stored glucose out of those fat cells any time in the near future because you keep drinking sodas or sugary drinks or you keep eating refined foods, which packs even more into those fat cells—and you continue to gain weight, a little bit at a time. In addition, you are less likely to drink water, which can dehydrate the brain and interfere with its effective functioning. The brain is largely composed of fluid and needs water, a nutrient, in order to function efficiently.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Belly Fat and Aromatase

Age-associated testosterone decline is closely associated with deep abdominal fat (visceral fat), a component of the metabolic syndrome. Fat tissue is an extremely active hormonal modulator, particularly for testosterone and estrogen. An enzyme in fat tissue known as aromatase converts testosterone into estradiol, the major estrogen in humans. Excess aromatase activity decreases testosterone and increases estrogen levels, which can result in a number of deleterious body changes for men. Low serum testosterone concentrations are closely correlated with high body mass index (BMI), along with elevated ratios of body fat to lean mass.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Female Obesity and Cancer Recurrence

Studies have shown a connection between obesity in women and an increased risk for symptoms of mental deterioration. Now studies have connected being overweight with an increased risk of cancer reoccurrence, especially in relation to hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. The trials were led by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (now part of the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group). They involved 6,885 women treated with standard chemotherapy for breast cancer and followed for eight years. Results, published in the American Cancer Society Journal, showed a 30 percent higher risk of recurrence and a 50 percent higher risk of death when compared with death rates for women of normal weight who had breast cancer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Belly Fat and Testosterone Levels

Testosterone plays a vital role in how the body balances glucose, insulin, and fat metabolism. Studies have shown a correlation between belly fat and lowered levels of testosterone. Evidence developed over the past few years now shows that, while obesity does cause low testosterone, low testosterone causes obesity. A 2008 epidemiological study of 1,822 men by the New England Research Institutes (NERI) concluded that a man’s waist circumference is the single strongest predictor of low testosterone levels. And in women, studies have shown that in the presence of abdominal visceral obesity the usual low-level processes of androgen conversion seen in fat cells is turned off.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Recommend Waist Measurements

Too much sitting may contribute to an increase in belly fat, which isn’t good for anyone although there may be slightly differing consequences by gender. For adult males, waist measurement should be 40 inches or less. Estimates are that more than half of adult males in the USA have a waist measurement greater than 40 inches. For adult females the measurement should be 35 inches or less. The majority of women between the ages of 50 and 79 are believed to have a waist measurement greater than 35 inches. Waist measurements are linked with many different conditions. A larger waist measurement has been found to increase one’s risk for type 2 diabetes, asthma, and some forms of heart disease and cancer. People with high amounts of belly fat are more than three times as likely to develop memory loss and dementia later in life.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sitting, Diabetes, and CAC

Are you sitting more than is good for you? Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, led by Jacquelyn Kulinski, MD, cardiologist, and colleagues the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, examined data from 2031 participants in the Dallas Heart Study ages 20 to 76. They found that:

·                 Sitting for too long doubles the risk of diabetes.
·                 Each hour of sedentary time was associated with a 10% increase of having coronary artery calcification as seen on CT imaging.
·                 Each added hour spent sitting was associated with a 14% increase in coronary artery calcium (CAC) score.

This seems to suggest that the health consequences of being too sedentary may differ from those of not getting enough physical exercise. That may speak to the potential benefit of having the option of a ‘standing desk’ at which to do at least portions of one’s computer work. According to Kuilinski, reducing one's daily sitting time by even 1 or 2 hours potentially could have a significant, positive impact on future cardiovascular health.   http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/841248.