Posts Tagged ‘#health’

Are You a Carboholic? Why Cutting Carbs Is So Tough – The New York Times

July 25, 2017

QT:{{”
The conventional thinking, held by the large proportion of the many researchers and clinicians I’ve interviewed over the years, is that obesity is caused by caloric excess. They refer to it as an “energy balance” disorder, and so the treatment is to consume less energy (fewer calories) and expend more. When we fail to maintain this prescription, the implication is that we simply lack will power or self-discipline.

“It’s viewed as a psychological issue or even a question of
character,” says Dr. David Ludwig, who studies and treats obesity at Harvard Medical School.

The minority position in this field — one that Dr. Ludwig holds, as do I after years of reporting — is that obesity is actually a hormonal regulatory disorder, and the hormone that dominates this process is insulin. It directly links what we eat to the accumulation of excess fat and that, in turn, is tied to the foods we crave and the hunger we experience. It’s been known since the 1960s that insulin signals fat cells to accumulate fat, while telling the other cells in our body to burn carbohydrates for fuel. By this thinking these carbohydrates are uniquely fattening.

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Are You a Carboholic? Why Cutting #Carbs Is So Tough
https://www.NYTimes.com/2017/07/19/well/eat/are-you-a-carboholic-why-cutting-carbs-is-so-tough.html #Obesity as an energy-balance v hormonal-regulatory disorder

Public health: The toxic truth about sugar : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

July 18, 2017

The toxic truth about #sugar
http://www.Nature.com/nature/journal/v482/n7383/full/482027a.html Argues for regulation like alcohol & tobacco, making it harder to get, esp. for kids

Does Vitamin B-12 Raise Iron Levels in Blood? | Healthy Eating | SF Gate

July 2, 2017

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/vitamin-b12-raise-iron-levels-blood-11782.html

The Mystery of the Wasting House-Cats – The New York Times

June 25, 2017

The Mystery of the Wasting…Cats
https://www.NYTimes.com/2017/05/16/magazine/the-mystery-of-the-wasting-house-cats.html pets as the new coal-mine canaries, now turning up PBDEs (thyroid hormone analogs)

Seeing with Your Tongue – The New Yorker

June 6, 2017

Sight Unseen http://www.NewYorker.com/magazine/2017/05/15/seeing-with-your-tongue/amp New devices let one see w/ one’s tongue; they also open the
possibility for new types of #perception

Diabetic Diet – Great Veggies – Meals – Diabetes

June 5, 2017

Gr8 Low-carb #Veggies http://www.HealthCentral.com/diabetes/c/17/20167/good-veggies Top: collards, spinach, #kale, chard, red peppers; Bottom: cukes, eggplant, mushrooms, alfalfa

QT:{{"

“In fact, the healthiest of all vegetables, according to "Nutrition Action Health Letter," is one that I had never prepared before: collard greens, with a score of 461.

The number 2 vegetable, spinach, with a score of 424, is one that I eat both raw and cooked. Like collards, and number 3 kale (score 410) and number 4 Swiss chard (322) all of these green leafy vegetables pair extraordinarily well with ham or bacon or other smoked meat and vinegar (a tip I picked up from Ruth Reichl’s Gourmet Cookbook).
Then comes red pepper (score 309), which I usually add to my salad but is also great cooked. Skipping a couple of high-carb veggies, the list then goes to broccoli at 179.
Next in order are okra, 165; Brussels sprouts, 143; lettuce, 141; and asparagus, 84. I was surprised that tomatoes and avocados, two honorary vegetables (technically fruit), ranked at 76 and 71 respectively. Wonderful cauliflower ranked even lower at 64, cabbage at 44. Near the bottom of the list are cucumber, eggplant, mushrooms, and alfalfa sprouts.

My attention went in that direction anyway after reading Michael Pollan’s He notes there that when we largely switched from eating leaves to seeds (as in grain), the problems with the so-called "Western Diet" began. It is indeed striking how many of the top veggies are leaves.”

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Vitamin D on Trial | The Scientist

June 1, 2017

#VitaminD on Trial
http://the-Scientist.com/2012/03/01/vitamin-d-on-trial Interesting mail the med. trial where participants aren’t explicitly checked for compliance

QT:{{”

“Once a month for the next 5 years, 20,000 people across the United States will find a package containing 62 pills in their mailboxes. As participants in a clinical trial, the recipients agreed to swallow two of the pills daily. But inevitably as the years pass, some pill packets will become buried under a stack of letters, or forgotten in a drawer. After all, these pills contain only vitamin D, fish oil, or an inert placebo—a person doesn’t need them to make it through the day. Plus, no one monitors who takes the pills daily and who does not.”

….

Scientists critical of the VITAL study question whether the daily dose of 2,000 IU is enough to distinguish the treatment group from the controls. If this were a drug trial, the placebo group would go without the drug completely. But it’s unethical to ask anyone to go without vitamin D. Doctors inform all participants that they can take up to 800 IU of vitamin D daily (the national recommendation for people over 70 years old) in addition to the pills they receive in the mail. If they do, the control group will sustain more than adequate levels. But some participants might decide to break the rules and head to the nearest corner store for high-dose supplements after being told that vitamin D may help prevent cancer and other diseases. And of course, many participants won’t follow through with taking the pills they’ve been sent in the mail. “You hope drop-ins and drop-outs will be equal on both sides, but they may not be,” warns biostatistician Gary Cutter at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

A higher dose of vitamin D would widen the gap between the treatment and the control group, but Manson isn’t swayed. She says 2,000 IU will lift the treatment arm well above the level suggested to help protect against nonskeletal diseases, while she expects the controls to stabilize at levels sufficient for healthy bones. “Sure, we could have tested higher doses, but then right off the bat, we might have had safety issues,” Manson says.

Nonetheless, in other disease-prevention trials, investigators are gunning for better compliance and a fighting chance of showing an effect by doling out large, periodic doses of vitamin D. In the United Kingdom, a trial looking at the effect of vitamin D on respiratory infections (including the flu) is giving participants 120,000 IU of the vitamin every 2 months. And participants in the treatment arm of a vitamin D trial for type 2 diabetes prevention take an average dose of 89,684 IU once per week.
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Pardon?

April 27, 2017

Pardon? http://www.NewYorker.com/magazine/2017/04/03/high-tech-hope-for-the-hard-of-hearing Like sensitive electronic equipment, ears can be easy hurt but also easily enhanced technologically

QT:{{”
Damage to hair cells or to the nerve synapses they’re attached to is the most common source of hearing loss. Aging and noise are the leading causes; among the others are the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, the aminoglycoside family of antibiotics, and various autoimmune diseases, including the one that deafened (but didn’t silence) Rush Limbaugh. Corey showed me another electron micrograph, from the ear of a mouse that had been exposed for two hours to sound as intense as that experienced by someone using a chainsaw. The cilia looked like tree trunks thrown around by a tornado.

Hair cells can recover if a noise isn’t too loud and doesn’t last too long, but permanent injuries accumulate. A widely cited damage threshold for sustained exposure is eighty-five or ninety decibels. (The human hearing range is so wide that it has to be described logarithmically to keep the numbers from becoming unmanageable: every ten-decibel increase represents a tenfold increase in sound energy.) An unsettling number of everyday activities lie at or above the danger line, including lawn-mowing, motorcycle-riding, rock-concert-going, Shop-Vac-ing, milkshake-making, subway-riding, and power-tool-using. “Most carpenters have lost a lot of hearing by the time they’re fifty,” Corey said. “I’m sometimes around construction sites, and I often pass out ear protection.”
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Baths Versus Exercise, a Study in Calories – The Atlantic

April 16, 2017

Baths vs #Exercise, a Study in Calories
https://www.theAtlantic.com/health/archive/2017/04/baths-and-calories/522756 In 1hr, burn 60 in a hot bath vs ~550 on a bike ride. Laziness has benefits!

QT:{{”
The researchers set out to see how exposure to heat can alter the molecules in our bodies. There were only 14 people (all men) in the study. They took hour-long baths at 104-degrees Fahrenheit and did burn calories, which were also measured, since energy is required to keep our cores around 98.6-degrees. But the men only burned an average of about 61 calories more than if they had been sitting at room temperature. When they exercised on a bike for the same amount of time, they burned between 515 and 597 calories.
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Silicon Valley’s Quest to Live Forever

April 10, 2017

SV’s Quest to Live Forever
http://www.NewYorker.com/magazine/2017/04/03/silicon-valleys-quest-to-live-forever Cal. restriction to #Singularity: Immortalists v Healthspanners, Meat Puppets v RoboCops

QT:{{”

“Immortalists fall into two camps. Those who might be called the Meat Puppets, led by de Grey, believe that we can retool our biology and remain in our bodies. The RoboCops, led by Kurzweil, believe that we’ll eventually merge with mechanical bodies and/or with the cloud. Kurzweil is a lifelong fixer and optimizer: early in his career, he invented the flatbed scanner and a machine that reads books aloud to the blind. Those inventions have improved dramatically in subsequent iterations, and now he’s positive that what he calls “the law of accelerating returns” for human longevity is about to kick in.”


“The battle between healthspanners and immortalists is essentially a contest between the power of evolution as ordained by nature and the potential power of evolution as directed by man. The healthspanners see us as subject to linear progress: animal studies take the time that they take; life sciences move at the speed of life. Noting that median life expectancy has been increasing in developed nations by about two and a half years a decade, Verdin told me, “If we can keep that pace up for the next two hundred years, and increase our life spans by forty years, that would be incredible.”

The immortalists have a different view of both our history and our potential. They see centuries of wild theorizing (that aging could be reversed by heating the body, or by breathing the same air as young virgins) swiftly replaced by computer-designed drugs and gene therapies. Bill Maris said, “Health technology, which for five thousand years was symptomatic and episodic—‘Here are some
leeches!’—is becoming an information technology, where we can read and edit our own genomes.”

Many immortalists view aging not as a biological process but as a physical one: entropy demolishing a machine. And, if it’s a machine, couldn’t it be like a computer?

“And yet. Last year, the geneticist Nir Barzilai hosted a screening of a documentary about longevity, and afterward he posed a question to the three hundred people in the audience. He told me, “I said, ‘In nature, longevity and reproduction are exchangeable. So Choice One is, you are immortalized, but there is no more reproduction on Earth, no pregnancy, no first birthday, no first love’—and I go on and on and on.” He laughed, amused by his own determination to load the dice. “ ‘Choice Two,’ I said, ‘is you live to be eighty-five and not one day sick, everything healthy and fine, and then one morning you just don’t wake up.” The vote was decisive, he said. “Choice One got ten or fifteen people. Everyone else raised their hands for Choice Two.”

This wish to preserve life as we know it, even at the cost of dying, is profoundly human. We are encoded”
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