The Smell Of Gut Bugs

Intestinal flora methane imbalance and obesityPeople with elevated levels of hydrogen and methane on their breath tend to be more overweight than others according to new research.  The culprit is M.smithil and points to a connection between obesity and gut bugs.

Researchers tested 792 people and discovered that those with lots of methane and hydrogen had a higher body mass index (BMI) and a higher proportion of body fat.

Results seems to support the hypothesis that M.smithil, a leading intestinal methane producer absent in some people and elevated in others, enables cohabiting digestive microorganisms to operate more efficiently, boosting calorie availability to the host.

Can Enzymes Make the Meal?

That’s a question that was never asked when our food supply was more natural and unprocessed. With the explosion of  genetically modified organisms in America’s food supply, digestive disorders have risen to new heights. It’s not surprising our bodies don’t handle the digestive process as well as they once did when we have foods registered as pesticides and the evidence they escape the intestines. Can’t imagine what they’re doing to our native intestinal flora.

Western Style Diet And Greater Risk Of Premature Death

Following a Western Style Diet May Lead to

Greater Risk of Premature Death

You don’t have to be more than a little bit observant to draw the same conclusion from your own experience. The question seems to be do we want longer, vital and abundant lives more than what we’re about to put into our mouths in the moment.  Knowing this scientifically doesn’t guarantee a result. Applying the knowledge without our awareness, attention and action explains the circumstances. Optimal health has common principles. It’s up to us to chose health and the appropriate behaviors.

15 April 2013 Elsevier

New Findings Reported in The American Journal of Medicine

Data from a new study of British adults suggest that adherence to a “Western-style” diet (fried and sweet food, processed and red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products) reduces a person’s likelihood of achieving older ages in good health and with higher functionality. Study results appear in the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Everyone Has An Ideal Diet “The impact of diet on specific age-related diseases has been studied extensively, but few investigations have adopted a more holistic approach to determine the association of diet with overall health at older ages,” says lead investigator Tasnime Akbaraly, PhD, Inserm, Montpellier, France. “We examined whether diet, assessed in midlife, using dietary patterns and adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), is associated with aging phenotypes, identified after a mean 16-year follow-up.”

The AHEI is a validated index of diet quality, originally designed to provide dietary guidelines with the specific intention to combat major chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Investigators analyzed findings from the British Whitehall II cohort study, which suggest that following the AHEI can double the odds of reversing metabolic syndrome, a condition known to be a strong predictor of heart disease and mortality. The research team sought to identify dietary factors that can not only prevent premature death, but also promote ideal aging.

Researchers followed 3,775 men and 1,575 women from 1985-2009 with a mean age of 51 years from the Whitehall II study. Using a combination of hospital data, results of screenings conducted every five years, and registry data, investigators identified mortality and chronic diseases among participants.

The outcomes at follow-up stage, classified into 5 categories were:

1. Ideal aging, defined as free of chronic conditions and high performance in physical, mental, and cognitive functioning tests – 4.0 percent

2. Nonfatal cardiovascular event – 12.7 percent

3. Cardiovascular death – 2.8 percent

4. Noncardiovascular death – 7.3 percent

5. Normal aging — 73.2 percent

The study determined that participants with low adherence to the AHEI increased their risk of cardiovascular and noncardiovascular death. Those who followed a “Western-type diet” consisting of fried and sweet food, processed food and red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products lowered their chances for ideal aging.

“We showed that following specific dietary recommendations such as the one provided by the AHEI may be useful in reducing the risk of unhealthy aging, while avoidance of the ‘Western-type foods’ might actually improve the possibility of achieving older ages free of chronic diseases and remaining highly functional,” notes Dr. Akbaraly. “A better understanding of the distinction between specific health behaviors that offer protection against diseases and those that move individuals towards ideal aging may facilitate improvements in public health prevention packages.”

How The Animal Kingdom Would Look If It Ate Fast Food

With the likes of McDonalds and Burger King being held responsible for an obesity problem, thankfully the animal kingdom hasn’t been affected by this. But what would happen if animals ended up on a diet of fast food and tried going about their normal lives? This video answers that question in the funniest way possible.

 

Feasibility of Enlisting Social Network Members to Promote Weight Loss Among Latinas

Shaping network members into sources of support for healthy eating and exercise behaviors may be an effective strategy to enhance obesity treatment outcomes.

Latina social networks help weight loss results

From the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

This pilot study examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a behavioral weight loss intervention adapted for Latinas with a social network component. Twenty-seven Latinas (43.0±10.2 years and body mass index 36.9±5.7) participated in a 24-week randomized controlled intervention study.

Participants attended group-based treatment either individually (Individual Lifestyle Group [ILG]) or with a weight loss partner selected from their existing network (Partner Lifestyle Group [PLG]).

Repeated measures analysis of variance was conducted to compare ILG and PLG participants on changes in weight or psychosocial variables. Participants in both intervention groups attended 70% of treatment sessions; 96% and 100% completed assessment at post-treatment (12 weeks) and follow-up (24 weeks), respectively.

Significant weight loss (P<0.01) was achieved at post-treatment (ILG −4.7±4.2 kg and PLG −4.3±4.4 kg) and follow-up (ILG −5.0±6.4 kg and PLG −4.7±5.0 kg), with nearly 50% of participants losing at least 5% of initial body weight.

Both groups also experienced increased self-efficacy for weight loss (P<0.01), self-efficacy for exercise (P=0.02), and family social support for exercise habits (P=0.01). There were no significant differences between groups. Results from this study suggest a behavioral weight loss intervention for Latinas is feasible, but there is less support for the efficacy of weight loss partners.

Keywords:  Obesity , Weight loss , Social support network , Randomized clinical trial , Latina

Scientists Link Excess Sugar To Cancer

Sugars are needed to provide us with energy and in moderate amounts contribute to our well-being. Sustained high levels of sugars, as is found in diabetics, damages our cells and now is shown that can also increase our chance to get cancer: The dose makes the poison as Paracelsus said.

      It is well known that obesity is a leading cause of diabetes, a disease where the body fails to control blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are characteristic in obesity and diabetes. What is less well known is that diabetes and obesity are also linked to an increase in cancer risk. That is, the diabetic population has up to double chances to suffer pancreatic or colon cancer among others, according to well sustained epidemiological studies. With obesity in British and Spanish children reaching 16%, the highest in Europe, this epidemic has major health implications. How obesity or diabetes increase cancer risk has been a major health issue.

Scientists led by Dr. Custodia Garcia-Jimenez at the University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid have uncovered a key mechanism that links obesity and diabetes with cancer: high sugar levels, which increase activity of a gene widely implicated in cancer progression.

Dr Garcia Jimenez’s laboratory was studying how cells in the intestine respond to sugars and signal to the pancreas to release insulin, the key hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Sugars in the intestine trigger cells to release a hormone called GIP that enhances insulin release by the pancreas.

In a study published in Molecular Cell, Dr Garcia Jimenez’s team showed that the ability of the intestinal cells to secrete GIP is controlled by a protein called β-catenin, and that the activity of β-catenin is strictly dependent on sugar levels.

Increased activity of β-catenin is known to be a major factor in the development of many cancers and can make normal cells immortal, a key step in early stages of cancer progression. The study demonstrates that high (but not normal) sugar levels induce nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and leads to cell proliferation. The changes induced on β-catenin, the molecules involved and the diversity of cancer cells susceptible to these changes are identified.

Dr. Custodia García said “We were surprised to realize that changes in our metabolism caused by dietary sugar impact on our cancer risk. We are now investigating what other dietary components may influence our cancer risk. Changing diet is one of easiest prevention strategies that can potentially save a lot of suffering and money”.

Colin Goding, Professor of Oncology at the University of Oxford, UK said ‘Previously we were unsure about how increased blood sugar found in diabetes and obesity could increase cancer risk. This study identifies a key molecular mechanism through which high blood glucose would predispose to cancer. It opens the way for potential novel therapies aimed at reducing cancer risk in the obese and diabetic populations.’

Estimations published by the World Health Organization (WHO): Obesity predisposes to diabetes and its prevalence is doubling every 20 years worldwide. More than 1 in 10 adults worldwide (12%) are obese (BMI>30). 1 in 6 children in UK and Spain suffer obesity.

Diabetes caused 4.6 million deaths in 2011, more than 2 deaths per hour in Spain, more in USA. Worldwide, 1 in 10 adults (10%) suffered from diabetes in 2010 and more than one-third of individuals with diabetes are unaware they suffer from the disease. The national cost of diabetes or cancer is in the order of billions of pounds or euros in Spain or England.

More than half (63%) of premature deaths worldwide are due to non communicable diseases (NCD) of which cancer and diabetes are among the 4 causes more frequent.

At least 1 in 3 of the main cancers (27–39%) can be prevented by improving diet, physical activity and body composition.

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