Friday, August 28, 2009
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers searching for a cure for obesity said on Thursday they have developed a drug that not only makes mice lose weight, but reverses diabetes and lowers their cholesterol, too.
The drug, which they have dubbed fatostatin, stops the body from making fat, instead releasing the energy from food. They hope it may lead to a pill that would fight obesity, diabetes and cholesterol, all at once.
Writing in the journal Chemistry and Biology, Salih Wakil of Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, Motonari Uesugi of Kyoto University in Japan and colleagues said the drug interferes with a suite of genes turned on by overeating.
"Here, we are tackling the basics," Wakil said in a telephone interview. "I think that is what excited us."
Scientists are painfully aware that drugs that can make mice thin do nothing of the sort in humans. A hormone called leptin can make rats and mice drop weight almost miraculously but does little or nothing for an obese person, for instance.
But Wakil, whose team has patented the drug and is looking for a drug company to partner with, hopes this drug may be different. "I am very, very optimistic," he said.
Fatostatin is a small molecule, meaning it has the potential to be absorbed in pill form.
It works on so-called sterol regulatory element binding proteins or SREBPs, which are transcription factors that activate genes involved in making cholesterol and fatty acids.
"Fatostatin blocked increases in body weight, blood glucose, and hepatic (liver) fat accumulation in (genetically) obese mice, even under uncontrolled food intake," the researchers wrote.
Genetic tests showed the drug affected 63 different genes.
The idea of interfering with SREBP is not new. GlaxSmithKline has been working on a new-generation cholesterol drug that uses this pathway.
After four weeks, mice injected with fatostatin weighed 12 percent less and had 70 percent lower blood sugar levels, the researchers wrote.
Now they plan to test rats and rabbits, Wakil said.
The drug also had effects on prostate cancer cells they said -- something that may help explain links between prostate cancer and obesity.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
There are areas in our brain that regulates hunger. Research into these areas of the brain, known as the cannabinoid receptors, led the scientists to developed this drug.
On February 2006, the FDA Issuing an "Approvable" letter for Rimonabant as a possible weight-loss drug, indicating that it could be approved for this purpose. Rimonaban approved for sale in Europe on June 2006 by European Commission. The EU's approval is in combination with diet and exercise for the treatment of obese patients. Rimonaban is made by French manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis (the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe), under the name Acomplia.
But In October, 2008, the European Medicines Agency recommended that doctors not prescribe the Rimonaban drug due to the scary potential side effect. Data from ongoing clinical trials showed that Rimonabant users suffer mood disorders, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and aggressive impulses. In one study there were five suicides among Rimonabant users. On Oct. 23 the EMEA said "Enough" in 12 languages.
The receptors blocked by Rimonabant are prevalent in areas of the brain responsible for emotional control. Some hypothesized that when the CB1 receptor is blocked, the endocannabinoids are redirected to other targets. They spoke hopefully of compensatory mechanisms.
Many people today feel comfortable making purchases over the Internet, even of prescription drugs. But remember, perhaps there are many other drugs with scary potential side effect out there. Just warn you.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Examples are the needs of our bodies in chromium. Chromium has also been shown to be essential in carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Since the need for chromium increases with exercise, and modern refined diets provide little chromium, we may find it in the form of a supplement.
Our environment can also contain pollutants, poor agricultural practices, industrial waste dumping, and indiscriminate disposal of urban wastes can have a great effect on the quality of our food. By using vitamin and mineral compounds, such as antioxidants, vitamins like E and C and selenium and beta-carotene, we hope to clear up any deficiencies that may arise because of this.
Antioxidants have been the focus of a number of studies over the last decade, and there’s strong evidence that they can contribute mightily to overall health and longevity.
The focus of antioxidant use (in weight loss context), are substances in the body known as “free radicals.” Free radicals consist of highly reactive molecules that possess unpaired electrons. These radicals play a big role in the normal metabolism of food and the use of energy resources during exercise.
Green tea, popular beverage offers many health benefits, can also be taken in capsule or tablet form.
Always beware of products that make outrageous claims. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. When choosing a product, consult with your doctor first for assistance and advice.
Finding the right supplement can really support your healthy weight loss journey.
Monday, August 17, 2009
The study was prompted by initial findings reported four years ago by Alan Kristal, Dr.P.H., and colleagues, who found that regular yoga practice may help prevent middle-age spread in normal-weight people and may promote weight loss in those who are overweight. At the time, the researchers suspected that the weight-loss effect had more to do with increased body awareness, specifically a sensitivity to hunger and satiety than the physical activity of yoga practice itself.
The follow-up study, published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, confirms their initial hunch.
"In our earlier study, we found that middle-age people who practice yoga gained less weight over a 10-year period than those who did not. This was independent of physical activity and dietary patterns. We hypothesized that mindfulness – a skill learned either directly or indirectly through yoga – could affect eating behavior," said Kristal, associate head of the Cancer Prevention Program in the Public Health Sciences Division at the Hutchinson Center.
The researchers found that people who ate mindfully – those were aware of why they ate and stopped eating when full – weighed less than those who ate mindlessly, who ate when not hungry or in response to anxiety or depression. The researchers also found a strong association between yoga practice and mindful eating but found no association between other types of physical activity, such as walking or running, and mindful eating.
"These findings fit with our hypothesis that yoga increases mindfulness in eating and leads to less weight gain over time, independent of the physical activity aspect of yoga practice," said Kristal, who is also a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health.
Kristal, a yoga enthusiast for the past 15 years, said that yoga cultivates mindfulness in a number of ways, such as being able to hold a challenging physical pose by observing the discomfort in a non-judgmental way, with an accepting, calm mind and focus on the breath. "This ability to be calm and observant during physical discomfort teaches how to maintain calm in other challenging situations, such as not eating more even when the food tastes good and not eating when you’re not hungry," he said.
To test whether yoga in fact increases mindfulness and mindful eating, Kristal and colleagues developed a Mindful Eating Questionnaire, a 28-item survey that measured a variety of factors:
• disinhibition – eating even when full;
• awareness – being aware of how food looks, tastes and smells;
• external cues – eating in response to environmental cues, such as advertising;
• emotional response – eating in response to sadness or stress; and
• distraction – focusing on other things while eating.
Each question was graded on a scale of 1 to 4, in which higher scores signified more mindful eating. The questionnaire was administered to more than 300 people at Seattle-area yoga studios, fitness facilities and weight-loss programs, among other venues. More than 80 percent of the study participants were women, well-educated and Caucasian, with an average age of 42. Participants provided self-reported information on a number of factors, including weight, height, yoga practice, walking for exercise or transportation and other forms of moderate and strenuous exercise.
More than 40 percent of the participants practiced yoga more than an hour per week, 46 percent walked for exercise or transportation for at least 90 minutes per week and more than 50 percent engaged in more than 90 minutes of moderate and/or strenuous physical activity per week.
The average weight of the study participants was within the normal range – not surprising considering that the study sample intentionally consisted of people more physically active than the U.S. population in general. Body-mass index was lower among participants who practiced yoga as compared to those who did not (an average of 23.1 vs. 25.8, respectively).
Higher scores on the mindfulness questionnaire overall (and on each of the categories within the questionnaire) was associated with a lower BMI, which suggests that mindful eating may play an important role in long-term weight maintenance, Kristal said.
"Mindful eating is a skill that augments the usual approaches to weight loss, such as dieting, counting calories and limiting portion sizes. Adding yoga practice to a standard weight-loss program may make it more effective," said Kristal, who himself scored high on the mindful-eating survey and has a BMI within the normal range.
Moving forward, Kristal and colleagues suggest that their Mindful Eating Questionnaire, the first tool of its kind to characterize and measure mindful eating, may be useful both in clinical practice and research to understand and promote healthy dietary behavior.
"Beyond calories and diets, mindful eating takes a more holistic approach that can empower individuals to build positive relationships with food and eating, said first author Celia Framson, M.P.H., R.D., C.D., a former graduate student of Kristal's – and former yoga teacher – who now works with adolescents with eating disorders at Seattle Children's Hospital. "The Mindful Eating Questionnaire offers a new and relevant dimension for masuring the effectiveness of dietary behavior interventions. It also encourages nutrition and medical practitioners to consider the broad scope of behavior involved in healthy eating," she said.
Other authors on the paper included Denise Benitez, owner of Seattle Yoga Arts; Alyson Littman, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the UW School of Public Health and Department of Veterans Affairs; Steve Zeliadt, Ph.D., of VA Puget Sound Healthcare; and Jeanette Schenk, R.D., a research dietitian in the Hutchinson Center's Cancer Prevention Program.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (2009, August 16). Regular Yoga Practice Is Associated With Mindful Eating. ScienceDaily.
Retrieved August 17, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬ /releases/2009/08/090803185712.htm
Saturday, August 15, 2009
More likely, though, people had squarely put the blame on the parents! Because parents buy the food their children eat. There’s nothing wrong with children. Watching television and bombarded with a food advertisements everyday will make no significant effect because the real decision about children’s food choices is in the parent’s hand.
Blaming the parents is too easy. What about when the parents aren’t around - like at school? So many schools have allowed junk food in the cafeterias and parents have lost control. It isn’t so easy to command that kids not buy junk food. Anybody who knows kids, knows they will buy what they want without mom and dad around. Or other difficult situation where the both parents must work all day long in order to keep food served on the table.
Not quite, but here are a few ideas for parents
- Parents have to take the responsibility of limiting the hours kids spend watching TV.
- Don’t give money everyday to young children and teach them how to handle money.
- Cook healthy meals, encourage exercise and don’t buy the tons of junks food.
- Feed breakfast to your children at home and pack lunchbox filled with healthy food.
- Try teaching the older children expecting him/her to understand about healthy food and can pay attention to his/her brother or sister.
Junk food is being advertised in front of us and in front of our children. There is no better time than now to build a supportive and educative environments for nurturing our children and endowing them with a legacy of good health.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Who's to blame? Junk food and Mcdonald as a leading company? I think the answer is WE ARE. Because we choose what we eat and we are getting more lazy and does not focus on our own health.
While I agreed in principle that unhealthy foods contributing to our obesity, we need to look at the root of the problem and not blame on the other people for our overweight. Point your finger at the food manufacturers will not help you to find the real reasons.
What’s wrong with Junk Food?
Processed food and Fast foods are tends to be high in calories from sugar, saturated fat and salt but very low in nutritional value.
By eating too much junk food you are starving your body of essential vitamins and minerals and giving it too much sugar, salt, additives and saturated animal fats.
Saturated fat contributes to build up and deposits in your arteries and may lead to a heart attack or stroke. The high levels of salt can raise your blood pressure, the sugar can contribute to the development of diabetes.
Meals consisting of junk food don’t fill you up for long. Because they are lacking in fiber, and are made of processed foods, they tend to rate high on the glycaemic index, which means they provide a quick rise in blood sugar, but this also falls quickly, and giving rise to hunger.
Super size meal packets can contain more calories than the average person should consume in an entire day. Our bodies store all the excess calories as fat, and you gain weight.
Unfortunately, this food is usually convenient, tasty, and extremely addictive.
If we want to lose weight, just don’t buy the junk food or reserve them as a special treat ( for your families and yourself ).
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The rate of severe obesity among U.S. children and teenagers more than tripled over the past three decades, a new study finds.
Using data from a long-running government health survey, researchers found that as of 2004, nearly 4 percent of 2- to 19-year-olds in the U.S. were severely obese.
That was up more than three-fold from 1976, and more than 70 percent from 1994, the researchers report in the journal Academic Pediatrics.
"Children are not only becoming obese, but becoming severely obese, which impacts their overall health," lead researcher Dr. Joseph A. Skelton, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said in a news release from the university.
"These findings," he added, "reinforce the fact that medically-based programs to treat obesity are needed throughout the United States and insurance companies should be encouraged to cover this care."
The study also found that minority and lower-income children are at particular risk of severe obesity -- which, in children and teenagers, is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) in the 99th percentile for one's age and gender.
In the most recent survey, which included 12,000 2- to 19-year-olds from across the U.S., nearly 6 percent of African-American children and teens were severely obese, as were roughly 5 percent of Mexican- Americans. That compared with 3 percent of their white peers.
In contrast, less than 1 percent of Mexican-American children and less than 2 percent of black children were severely obese in the 1970s survey.
When it came to family income, the latest survey data show that just over 4 percent of relatively lower-income children were severely obese, versus 2.5 percent of those from higher-income families.
The findings underscore a central obstacle in tackling childhood obesity, Skelton and his colleagues note: The children who are most affected also generally have the greatest difficulty getting good healthcare.
"No simple answers exist," the researchers write, pointing out that along with better access to healthcare, there also need to be broader efforts to improve the diets and lifestyle habits of U.S. children.
SOURCE: Academic Pediatrics, September 2009.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The biggest problem is most people who lose weight (through any method) will gain it all back within some period of time. Sometimes they gain back more weight than they started with and end up even fatter.
Most people don’t maintain that weight loss in the long run. They lose it, but then they gain it all back (or more). So the problem is not weight loss; rather, the problem is with maintenance of weight loss.
The way that diets fail is focusing only on the short-term and this applies in a couple of different ways. Ignoring diets promising quick and easy weight loss. If you have a weight/fat to lose, you need to start thinking in the long-term, you will need to make changes both, diet and activity, and maintain them in the long-term. DON’T think that once you have lost the weight with one diet or another, you can revert to your old habits and keep the weight off. You’ll just get fat back again. You may using an extreme diet to generate initial rapid weight/fat losses (for very short term) and then move into a moderate diet for the longer term.
Majority of diets out there are fairly simple one-size-fits all approaches. Most nutritionists take the same attitude. Although humans share the same general physiology, there are always subtle differences (usually in terms of protein intake or calories but sometimes not even that). The drug that will work optimally for one person may not work as well for another, even if they suffer from the same disease.
As I said in my previous post, taking this kind of diet without any adaptation to your body/conditions will fail. Active person tend to need more carbohydrates than those who are not. There can’t be any single approach that works for all people or all conditions equally well.
So there’s some of the reasons I think diets tend to fail dieters.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans has been published jointly every 5 years since 1980 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Guidelines give science-based advice on food and physical activity choices for health. The 2005 edition of the Dietary Guidelines remain the current guidelines until the 2010 edition is released.
Many of us think we are doing okay, yet according to the USDA, 80 percent of Americans do not eat a healthy diet. Worse yet, only one percent of children are eating a healthy diet. Clearly, there is a lack of knowledge and understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet.
What we eat is a crucial part of staying healthy. Experts agree that healthy eating rather than restrictive dieting is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend choosing foods that limit the intake of added sugars; balancing caloric intake from foods and beverages with physical activity; and choosing and preparing foods and beverages with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners. Here the nutritional tips to consider for achieving a healthy body weight:
Eat at least three meals a day
Do not skip meals. Meals to keep your metabolism and energy level optimized.
Eat a variety of wholesome foods
This is the way to ensure you get the optimum amount of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals you need to support lifelong health.
Don’t eat the same foods over and over
By doing this we miss out on some of the nutrients provided by eating different foods
Limit your intake of saturated fats
Fat takes longer to metabolize and absorb, so the feeling of fullness is delayed, causing you to eat more.
Avoid too much sugar and sodium
Evidence suggests a positive association between the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain, and that reduced intake of added sweeteners may be helpful in improving the quality of diets and in weight control.
Research suggesting that eating high amounts of sodium may contribute to the development of high blood pressure in certain people. Too much sodium also causes fluid retention, meaning it can contribute to water weight gain. Recommended intake of sodium is 1000-3000 mg/day.
Ensure adequate protein intake
Protein is essential for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. Without adequate protein intake, dieting and exercise can cause the body to burn muscle for fuel.
Drink sufficient amount water
Drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of pure water daily. Water plays many vital roles in health. While you are losing weight, toxins stored in the fat tissue are released into your bloodstream. Drinking plenty of pure water makes it easier for your liver and kidneys to cope with the breakdown of toxins.
Water also works with fiber to keep your bowels regular and prevent constipation. Another reason is having a glass before and during meals can help fill you up and reduce the quantity of food consumed.
Following are some good idea to remember
- Increase fiber in the diet
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
- Try to bake or broil instead of frying.
- Eat fruit or vegetables for a snack.
- Eat more lean chicken, fish, and beans for protein.
- Consider taking a well-balanced multivitamin/mineral formula.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
You probably don't know what glutamic acid is, but it could help with lowering your blood pressure. A new study shows that an amino acid known as glutamic acid ( glutamic acid was the most common amino acid found in the study ), which is found in greater amounts in vegetable protein, is associated with lower blood pressure.
How Much Protein Is Too Much?
If you eat more calories than your body needs, you will gain weight. It doesn’t matter if the calories are protein, carbohydrates, or fat. Some Americans are obsessed with protein. Start out with a reasonable amount of food.
How much protein do we need? The RDA recommends that we take in 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram that we weigh (or about 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh). This recommendation includes a generous safety factor for most people.
Muscle-building requires protein! Athletes and those who are just starting to do muscle building exercises routinely need more protein.
Persons with insulin resistance often also have problems with cholesterol and heart disease. So it is wise to eat “heart friendly” foods, to lower their blood pressure.
Some health conditions require a limit on the amount of protein eaten. The most common is kidney disease. Be sure to consult your physician about your protein food intake if you have such a condition.
Add a wide variety of vegetables to your diet each day. This will ensure that you get all the amino acids needed for health.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
By Jackie Frank - Analysis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - August is do-or-die month for both President Barack Obama and his hopes of overhauling U.S. healthcare, and the battle will be fought not in Washington, but across the country.
With lawmakers gone from Washington for a month and much of the reform plan still to be written when they return, the rancorous battle spreads to lawmakers' town meetings, television and radio, and grass-roots campaigns.
Obama's own tactics have contributed to the free-flowing, -- and expensive -- exchange of ideas.
Although he has set an overall goal of expanding insurance coverage to the nearly 46 million uninsured and vowed to hold down skyrocketing medical costs, he has left the details to lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled House and Senate.
Democrats will make their case to the public with stories of patients bankrupted by costs that insurers would not cover, hundreds lining up for charity, and people in need forced to delay life-saving treatments.
Republicans and others will try to stop Obama from achieving his No. 1 domestic goal with a counter-argument: Why should Americans think that any plan conceived in Washington will in any way improve the medical attention they get now?
Outspoken in their support of free enterprise, Republicans accuse the Democrats of trying to "socialize" medicine -- anathema to the many Americans who oppose government intervention in their lives.
Obama vowed on Wednesday to get a reform bill through Congress this year even without Republicans on board.
The debate will likely reach a fever pitch, with millions of dollars being spent by political parties as well as the drug, medical and insurance industries. E-mails and the Internet will take the drive nationwide.
Seeking to influence the landmark debate, healthcare companies have become the biggest-spending lobbying force in Washington, with nearly $1 million spent a day.
Democrats in turn are targeting insurance companies.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi branded them "villains" for blocking a public insurance option. Obama assailed a system he said worked for insurance companies, not their customers.
Angered by what she called the "demonizing of health insurers," Karen Ignagni of the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, said that while open to the insurance market reforms envisioned by Congress, the group opposed a government-run insurance system that might send their industry into a "death spiral."
"August will be the month when the country decides whether it supports reform and what shape it should take," Ignagni said.
Most Americans receive health insurance that is at least partially paid for by their employers, and a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll in early August confirmed what AHIP has been saying -- most Americans are satisfied.
The conservative National Center for Policy Analysis, engaged in what its president John Goodman calls "trench warfare," has garnered a million signatures for a petition to stop what it fears is nationalization of healthcare.
NCPA supports individually owned health insurance. Public opinion "is tending our way," Goodman said.
Other opinion polls bolster the case of the other side.
A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday showed that while a majority of voters disapproved of Obama's handling of healthcare, and did not want it to add to the federal deficit, some 62 percent still supported a key element in the House of Representatives' version -- a government health insurance option to compete with private insurers.
A video of boos directed at Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius and Democratic Senator Arlen Specter on Sunday in Philadelphia scored over 500,000 hits on YouTube.
Crowds chanting "Just say no," shouted down Democratic Representative Lloyd Doggett's attempt to hold a healthcare meeting in Austin, Texas, over the weekend.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called the disruptive groups "manufactured anger."
"I hope people will take a jaundiced eye to what is clearly the AstroTurf nature of so-called grass-roots lobbying," he said, referring to a brand of artificial turf.
The White House and the Democratic National Committee are responding with equal vehemence, unveiling a YouTube ad that links those same protest videos to "desperate Republicans and their well-funded allies organizing angry mobs."
(Editing by Howard Goller)
Sunday, August 02, 2009
We eat a lot of food. A typical human eats over a thousand pounds of food every year.
The first reason is our body needs a fuel
Just like a car needs gasoline, your body needs fuel so that your muscles can move and your brain can think. If the things we eat are not nutritious, then they aren’t really foods. Stop eating what does not benefit us and eat only those foods that are of benefit. As most of us already know, it is not so easy to do. Why? The next reasons will explain it.
The second reason we eat is for taste
We, often, eat whatever we like the taste and don’t care about their advantages and disadvantages. Event sometimes we know they are not healthy food.
If you continued to eat a type of food, you purposely developed a liking for it.
Tastes are remembered. A taste can make such a strong feeling that we may overeat attempting to find satisfaction from a certain taste preference or combination.
A third reason we eat is a variety of environment influences
Television screen and magazine pages constantly tell you that you can feel better if you eat this instead of that, wear these clothes, and drink this beverage. Food industry influences what and why we eat and therefore influences our health.
We loves a party. It’s going to be tempting to eat too much during the party even if you no longer hungry.
A fourth reason you may eat is that you are thirsty instead of hungry
Many people mistake thirst for water as hunger, so make sure you are really hungry before you eat. Try drinking a glass of water and see if that helps.
The bottom lines
- Unless a person is careful, it is really easy to take in too much fuel. Our bodies store all the excess fuel as fat, and you become obese.
- Attempting to find satisfaction from a certain taste can lead you to overeat, and you become obese.
- Eating unhealthy food just because -- as seen on TV – can damages your health. If the food is fatty foods or contain too much calories then your body needs, you become obese.
- If you continuously eat in -- thirst state – you may overeat, and you become obese.