Your Weight Jumps Around Daily

why your weight jumps around so much from day to day

why your weight jumps around so much from day to day

If you’ve ever gotten into the habit of weighing yourself every day, you’ll have noticed something a little strange about the numbers on your bathroom scales. They’re all over the place. From day to day, it almost like you’re weighing a different person. The numbers seem to yo-yo up and down irrespective of how much you eat, drink, or exercise.

And if you’re actively trying to lose weight it, it’s not just confusing – it can be downright disheartening too. Nothing kills diet motivation and willpower quite like seeing those numbers go up when all your hard work and snack-sacrificing means they ought to be going down.

But according to Martin Robbins at The Guardian, it makes perfect sense that the numbers on your bathroom scale don’t make any sense. Why? Because there’s simply way too many things going on in your body all the time for individual measurements taken at any particular moment to be at all meaningful when viewed in isolation.

“Weight measurements are like opinion polls – individual results don’t tell you anything because there’s just too much random noise, error and variation,” he says. “It’s only when you have a few dozen that you can start to reliably pick out a trend.”

To get a better sense of all the ups and downs occurring in his weight, Robbins set himself an ambitious task: over a three-day long weekend, he weighed himself every waking hour to see what his body was up to. He also accurately recorded the specific weight of everything he ate and drank over the period, and even weighed the urine he passed. “I estimated the, er, other stuff – I do have some dignity,” he says.

At the end of three and a half days (from 6pm on Friday night to 9am on Tuesday morning), Robbins ingested a whopping 14.86 kg of consumables, consisting of 3.58 kg of food and 11.28 kg of drink. While that might sound like a lot – and it is – it’s not like he was all-out gorging himself the entire time. At the end of his experiment, he’d actually lost 1.86 kg, meaning his body had disposed of some 16.72 kg over the course of the weekend.

“7.4 kg of that was accounted for by urine, and an estimated 1.8 kg by, well, crap, but that still leaves a whopping 7.52 kg of mass that just vanished into thin air,” he says. “Where did it go?”

In his analysis, Robbins points out that we’re losing weight all the time in ways we never think about – ways that have nothing to do with eating healthily or going to the gym. Admittedly, a couple of 5 km runs he took over the weekend saw him displace over a kilogram in sweat. But there were still several kilograms of unaccounted weight loss: 69 grams per hour (1.65 kg every 24 hours) that couldn’t be otherwise explained.

“In fact, I really was evaporating into thin air. Humans breathe in oxygen, and breathe out carbon dioxide – oxygen plus a carbon atom. All those carbon atoms have to come from somewhere, and they add up pretty quickly – over the course of a day, with a good work out thrown in, someone my size breathes out maybe half a kilo of carbon,” he says.

Robbins estimates that we lose about the same amount again in exhaled water vapour, and then yet again by leaking water from our skin. Once he added up the estimated losses from these sources over the weekend, the riddle of his mystery weight loss over the weekend was solved.

“It also reveals another surprising truth; that when it comes to ditching mass from your body the anus really does bring up the rear end,” Robbins says. “My penis, lungs and skin all managed to outperform my posterior when it came to taking out the trash.”

Robbins’s conclusion is that in light of all the things our bodies are doing that results in us losing weight, there’s little or no point getting hung up on a number you don’t like taken from one seemingly random weigh-in taken at one point during the day.

“None of this is massively surprising of course, but what I think it shows is just how unreliable any single measurement of weight is,” he says. “On any given day my weight varied by about four pounds [1.8 kg], with a dozen pounds [5.4 kg] passing in and out of the giant meat tube that is me at only vaguely predictable times. When you consider that a sensible weight loss target is maybe 0.25 lbs [110 grams] per day, you can see how on most days that’s just going to be swallowed up in the noise.”

The best way to weigh yourself then – especially if you’re the kind who’s going to be at all emotional about it, which is probably most of us – is to stand on the scales but not attribute any particular importance to the number you see. Instead, just jot it down and calculate long-term trends over time, as that’s the closest we can get to seeing how our bodily weight is really changing.

“Weigh yourself every morning, but ignore the number that comes up on the scales,” says Robbins. “Instead take the average of the last seven days (preferably ten or fourteen), and after several weeks look at how that average is changing over time. That’s where the real truth lies.”

 

Source:  Sciencealert.com

Success Regenerating Spinal Cords

Regenerated nerves after spinal cord injury

Regenerated nerves after spinal cord injuryHead Transplant

Working with paralysed rats, scientists in the US have shown how they might be able to regenerate spines after injury and help paralysed people to one day walk again.

The team, from Tufts University School of Medicine, crushed the spines of lab rats at the dorsal root, which is the main bundle of nerve fibres that branches off the spine, and carries signals of sensation from the body to the brain. They then treated the spines with a protein called artemin, known to help neurons grow and function. After the two-week treatment, the nerve fibres regenerated and successfully passed signals over a distance of 4 centimetres.

“This is a significantly longer length of Central Nervous System regeneration than has been reported earlier,” one of the team, physiologist Eric Frank, “But still a long way to go!”

Reporting in a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team says the artemin treatment was successful in regenerating both large and small sensory neurons.

And while that 4-centimetre distance is important, Frank says that’s not all that counts: “The regenerating nerve fibres are growing back to the right places in the spinal cord and brainstem.” He adds that this is pretty impressive, given that their subjects were several months old, which isn’t young in rat years.

The results suggest that the chemical guidance cues that allow the nerve fibres to get to their correct target areas persist in the adult spinal cord, says Frank. This means that while artemin may not help regenerate all nerve fibres -some aren’t receptive to it – it’s likely to help with other neurones to. “If it becomes possible to get these other types of nerve fibres to regenerate for long distances as well, there is a reasonable chance that they can also grow back to their original target areas,” says Frank.

The challenge is getting regenerated nerve fibres to reconnect, so they can do what there are supposed to do, which just might be possible, considering these results. If scientists could achieve that, it would be a big leap forward in improving the lives of paralysed people.

Source:  sciencealert.com

Head transplants could be a reality by 2017

Head Transplant

Head Transplant

 

 

Transplanting a human head onto a donor body may sound like the stuff of science fiction comics, but not to Italian doctor Sergio Canavero. He has not only published a paper describing the operation in detail, but also believes that the surgery could be a reality as early as 2017.

Canavero, Director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, initially highlighted the idea in 2013, stating his belief that the technology to successfully join two severed spinal cords existed. Since then he’s worked out the details, describing the operation in his recent paper, as the Gemini spinal cord fusion protocol (GEMINI GCF).

To carry out the transplant, a state of hypothermia is first induced in both the head to be transplanted and the donor body, to help the cells stay alive without oxygen. Surgeons would then cut into the neck tissue of both bodies and connect the blood vessels with tubes. The next step is to cut the spinal cords as neatly as possible with minimal trauma.

The severed head would then be placed on the donor body and the two spinal cords encouraged to fuse together with a sealant called polyethylene glycol, which Canavero notes in his paper, has “the power to literally fuse together severed axons or seal injured leaky neurons.”

After suturing the blood vessels and the skin, the patient is kept in a comatose state for three to four weeks to discourage movement and give both spinal stumps time to fuse. The fusion point will also be electrically stimulated to encourage neural connections and accelerate the growth of a functional neural bridge. The patient will additionally be put on a regime of anti-rejection medications.

According to Canavero, with rehabilitation the patient should be able to speak in their own voice and walk within a year’s time. The goal is to help people who are paralyzed, or whose bodies are otherwise riddled with degenerative diseases and other complications. While the procedure sounds extremely complex and disturbing on multiple levels, Canvero tells us he’s already conducting interviews with volunteers who’ve stepped forward.

“Many are dystrophic,” Canavero says “These people are in horrible pain.”

The most well-known example of a head transplant was when Dr. Robert White, a neurosurgeon, transplanted the head of one rhesus monkey onto another in 1970. The spinal cords, however, were not connected to each other, leaving the monkey unable to control its body. It subsequently died after the donor body rejected the head.

Current technology and recent advances hold out more promise. Canavero plans to garner support for the project, when he presents it at the American Academy of neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons conference in Annapolis, Maryland, later this year. Understandably his proposal has generated incredible controversy, with experts questioning the specifics and ethics of the procedure, even going as far as calling it bad science.

 

Source:   gizmag.com

What Happens When Body Dies

Scientists Close To Understanding What Happens When Body Dies:

 

Understanding What Happens When Body Dies

Understanding What Happens When Body Dies

 

Scientists are stretching the limits of what happens when the body dies – and learn more about ways to stop the process.

    Death is the end result for 100 percent of patients. But there is growing evidence that revival is possible that at least some patients whose heart and lungs have stopped working for many minutes , even hours. And brain death – when the brain stops functioning irreversibly – is also proving to be less open and closed.

    For decades , doctors have reported cases in which immersed in very cold water people have revived after hours have passed. Normally , brain cells begin to die within minutes after the heart stops pumping oxygen.

    Many studies have found that hypothermia protects the brain by decreasing its need for oxygen and delaying cell death. Cooling Body has become common for many patients after cardiac arrest.

    Further cooling of a few degrees below normal temperature may also cause cell damage.

    Cardiologists are tinkering to find the best approach. Two recent studies presented at the scientific meeting of the American Heart Association in Dallas in November tried to see if early cooling by paramedics after they get a heart is restarted helpful ( did not seem to affect survival or brain damage ) or cooling 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 96.8 degrees for the first day in the hospital brings better results (again, not much difference ) .

    Then there is the question of how long to perform CPR . A 2012 study found the average duration in hospital was 20 minutes for patients who did not survive , 12 minutes for those who did. The AHA recommends keeping bystanders perform CPR until emergency medical services .

    A Japanese study presented at the AHA meeting , based on six years of data on survival from cardiac arrest across Japan , concluded that it is worth continuing CPR for 38 minutes or more and still have the opportunity to avoid serious damage to the brain.

    Definition of brain death is increasingly complex, researchers find signs of activity in both human and animal subjects whose brain waves first show that they have ” flat -lined ” to the point that there is no brain function. While some doctors use the EEG as a final check for signs of life in the brain , most are based on a series of tests of reflexes and respiration given for several hours to determine brain death …

Vitamin D deficiency damages Brain

Vitamin D deficiency may damage the brain, study finds:

 

Vitamin D deficiency may damage the brain, study finds

Vitamin D deficiency may damage the brain, study finds

Getting enough vitamin D may not just be good for your bone health; it may keep your brain healthy as well.

According to a new study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, rats who were fed diets low in vitamin D for a long period of time developed free radical brain damage and performed poorly in cognitive functioning tests compared to rats fed a normal diet, Medical News Today reported.

The researchers also found that the rats who were vitamin D deficient had significantly higher levels of several other brain proteins, which potentially contributed to significant nitrosative stress in the brain.

Previous studies have linked low levels of vitamin D to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and the development of some cancers.  Although this study was performed on rodents, the researchers argued that with vitamin D deficiency increasing in the United States, its potential effects on the aging population should not go overlooked.

“Given that vitamin D deficiency is especially widespread among the elderly, we investigated how, during aging from middle-age to old-age, low vitamin D affected the oxidative status of the brain,”said lead author Allan Butterfield,  professor in the U.K. Department of Chemistry and director of the Center of Membrane Sciences.  “Adequate vitamin D serum levels are necessary to prevent free radical damage in brain and subsequent deleterious consequences.”