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

Majority of American’s are now Obese

Most American's are Obese

Most American’s are Obese

The number of overweight and obese adults in the United States continues to rise, according to a new study that’s found more than two-thirds of adult Americans aged 25 years or older are now overweight or obese.

The research analysed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which ran from 2007 to 2012, and included information on a sample of 15,208 men and women. Based on the data, the researchers estimate that 39.96 percent of US men (36.3 million) are overweight and 35.04 percent (31.8 million) are obese.

 For women, the estimates are 29.74 percent (28.9 million) of them are overweight, while 36.84 percent (35.8 million) are obese. If you do the maths, sure enough, the number of obese adult Americans (67.6 million) now eclipses those who are only overweight (65.2 million).

What’s so remarkable about the research, conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, is just how stark the numbers are for the US population. Every three in four men is overweight or obese, and the same can be said for two out of every three women.

In other words, people in healthy weight ranges in the US make up only a distinct minority of the population, especially when you consider that some portion of the remainder in these figures will be people who are actually underweight.

The researchers found the African American community has the biggest problem with obesity – affecting 39 percent of black men and 57 percent of black women – followed by Mexican Americans and then whites.

A similar study was published back in 1999, finding that 63 percent of men and 55 percent of women aged 25 and older were overweight or obese, so clearly the problem has only gotten worse over the last two decades, despite efforts from the government and the health community to educate people on how to take care of themselves when it comes to food and lifestyle choices.

“This is a wakeup call to implement policies and practices designed to combat overweight and obesity,” said Lin Yang, the study’s lead, in a statement. “An effort that spans multiple sectors must be made to stop or reverse this trend that is compromising and shortening the lives of many.”

Scary stuff, but hopefully this latest research will help galvanise efforts to turn weights around in the US and put healthy eating and living squarely back on the agenda.

 

Source:  sciencealert.com

Coconut oil reduce calories in rice 60 per cent

coconut-oil

coconut-oil

It sounds too good to be true but a simple change to the way rice is cooked could reduce its calorie content by 60 per cent.

Cooking rice with a teaspoon of coconut oil then refrigerating it for 12 hours more than halves the number of calories absorbed by the body, scientists have shown.

Scientists in Sri Lanka have discovered that cooking rice with a teaspoon of coconut oil then refrigerating it for 12 hours more than halves the number of calories absorbed by the body. The change remains even if it is reheated.

The researchers from the College of Chemical Sciences in Colombo, Sri Lanka, say simply changing the way rice is cooked could help tackle the obesity epidemic.

“Because obesity is a growing health problem, especially in many developing countries, we wanted to find food-based solutions,” says Dr Sudhair James, who is at the College of Chemical Sciences, Colombo, Western, Sri Lanka.

“We discovered that increasing rice resistant starch (RS) concentrations was a novel way to approach the problem.”

By using a specific heating and cooking regimen, he says, the scientists concluded that “if the best rice variety is processed, it might reduce the calories by about 50-60 percent.”

One in four adults in England is obese and these figures are set to climb to 60 per cent of men, 50 per cent of women, by 2050.

Obesity and diabetes already costs the UK over £5billion every year which is likely to rise to £50 billion in the next 36 years.

Rice contains around 240 calories per cup. The trick to bringing down the calorie content is by changing how the body digests it.

Usually the starchy carbohydrates in rice are broken down in the small intestine where they become glucose and are eventually stored as fat. However, cooking rice with a teaspoon of coconut oil, and then chilling for 12 hours appears to make half of the carbohydrate indigestible so it passes through the body without becoming fat.

“After your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, any leftover fuel gets converted into a polysaccharide carbohydrate called glycogen,” added Dr James.

“Your liver and muscles store glycogen for energy and quickly turn it back into glucose as needed. The issue is that the excess glucose that doesn’t get converted to glycogen ends up turning into fat, which can lead to excessive weight or obesity.”

Source:  telegraph.co.uk

Antioxidant diet could extend life

Antioxidant

Antioxidant

University of Florida Health researchers have found that putting people on a feast-or-famine diet may mimic some of the benefits of fasting, and that adding antioxidant supplements may counteract those benefits.

Fasting has been shown in mice to extend lifespan and to improve age-related diseases. But fasting every day, which could entail skipping meals or simply reducing overall caloric intake, can be hard to maintain.

“People don’t want to just under-eat for their whole lives,” said Martin Wegman, an M.D.-Ph.D. student at the UF College of Medicine and co-author of the paper recently published in the journal Rejuvenation Research. “We started thinking about the concept of intermittent fasting.”

Michael Guo, a UF M.D.-Ph.D. student who is pursuing the Ph.D. portion of the program in genetics at Harvard Medical School, said the group measured the participants’ changes in weight, blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels, cholesterol, markers of inflammation and genes involved in protective cell responses over 10 weeks.

“We found that intermittent fasting caused a slight increase to SIRT 3, a well-known gene that promotes longevity and is involved in protective cell responses,” Guo said.

The SIRT3 gene encodes a protein also called SIRT3. The protein SIRT3 belongs to a class of proteins called sirtuins. Sirtuins, if increased in mice, can extend their lifespans, Guo said. Researchers think proteins such as SIRT3 are activated by oxidative stress, which is triggered when there are more free radicals produced in the body than the body can neutralize with antioxidants. However, small levels of free radicals can be beneficial: When the body undergoes stress — which happens during fasting — small levels of oxidative stress can trigger protective pathways, Guo said.

“The hypothesis is that if the body is intermittently exposed to low levels of oxidative stress, it can build a better response to it,” Wegman said.

The researchers found that the intermittent fasting decreased insulin levels in the participants, which means the diet could have an anti-diabetic effect as well.

The group recruited 24 study participants in the double-blinded, randomized clinical trial. During a three-week period, the participants alternated one day of eating 25 percent of their daily caloric intake with one day of eating 175 percent of their daily caloric intake. For the average man’s diet, a male participant would have eaten 650 calories on the fasting days and 4,550 calories on the feasting days. To test antioxidant supplements, the participants repeated the diet but also included vitamin C and vitamin E.

At the end of the three weeks, the researchers tested the same health parameters. They found that the beneficial sirtuin proteins such as SIRT 3 and another, SIRT1, tended to increase as a result of the diet. However, when antioxidants were supplemented on top of the diet, some of these increases disappeared. This is in line with some research that indicates flooding the system with supplemental antioxidants may counteract the effects of fasting or exercise, said Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, Ph.D., co-author of the paper and chief of the division of biology of aging in the department of aging and geriatric research.

“You need some pain, some inflammation, some oxidative stress for some regeneration or repair,” Leeuwenburgh said. “These young investigators were intrigued by the question of whether some antioxidants could blunt the healthy effects of normal fasting.”

On the study participants’ fasting days, they ate foods such as roast beef and gravy, mashed potatoes, Oreo cookies and orange sherbet — but they ate only one meal. On the feasting days, the participants ate bagels with cream cheese, oatmeal sweetened with honey and raisins, turkey sandwiches, apple sauce, spaghetti with chicken, yogurt and soda — and lemon pound cake, Snickers bars and vanilla ice cream.

“Most of the participants found that fasting was easier than the feasting day, which was a little bit surprising to me,” Guo said. “On the feasting days, we had some trouble giving them enough calories.”

Leeuwenburgh said future studies should examine a larger cohort of participants and should include studying a larger number of genes in the participants as well as examining muscle and fat tissue.

Source:  eurekalert.org

Gluten Causes Weight Gain

The case against gluten seems to have been closed with recent research from a Brazilian research team that published a report in the January 2013 Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. It seems to have put an exclamation point on the wheat belly controversy.

The Study


Lacking scientific data confirming the mechanics of how gluten may or may not affect obesity, the study was set up to examine the differences in specific genetic and biochemical markers between rats fed gluten and rats that were kept gluten free.

The “wheat belly” syndrome and how it leads to other health issues was the purpose of their research. The research team chose biological markers that could indicate the onset of obesity and metabolic syndrome, precursors to diabetes and cardiac issues.

Both groups of rats were fed high fat diets. But one group was gluten free and the other group’s diet was 4.5 percent gluten. Even without tracing their predetermined markers, it was obvious the gluten free mice exhibited weight loss without any trace of lipid (fat) excretion.

An Analysis Of The Study


Sayer Ji of GreenmedInfo.com proposed this analysis: “… the weight gain associated with wheat consumption has little to do with caloric content per se; rather, the gluten proteins … disrupt endocrine and exocrine processes within the body, as well as directly modulating nuclear gene expression … to alter mamalian metabolism in the direction of weight gain.”

This study report, according to Sayer Ji proves that the major factor of obesity is gluten, not calories. Considering that both groups of mice were fed high fat diets and the gluten free mice lost weight without excreting lipids also implies that fat free diets for losing weight are bogus. This has been suspected by other nutritional experts who’ve abandoned matrix thinking.

Sayer Ji recommends that those who are overweight, pre-diabetic, experiencing metabolic syndrome, or suffering from irritable bowel syndrome try avoiding gluten grains, especially wheat, to determine from experience if gluten is the underlying cause.

There is evidence that gluten can be a factor in gut and psychology syndrome (GAPS) and even autism. (http://www.naturalnews.com/033094_gut_health_brain.html)

So How Did Wheat, “The Staff of Life,” Become A Weed of Disease?


Wheat is not the same today. It has been agriculturally hybrid, not genetically lab engineered over some decades to resist fungus, grow more quickly, and be more pliable for industrial bread baking. As a consequence, 50-60 years ago wheat containing only five percent gluten has become 50 percent gluten today.

Agricultural resources used the hybrid process for wheat to accommodate the baking industry’s mechanical requirements of pliable proteins, leading to the 10-fold increase of wheat’s gluten.

The processed food industry’s concern for production efficiency and perception of consumer demands has focused on the bottom line with the usual disregard to negative health consequences.

Slightly different high speed methods of baking evolved over time. By artificially bleaching flour and adding “improvers” with often toxic additives and mixing the dough violently, loaves of bread could be baked, cooled, and packaged within a few, short hours. Cheap, unhealthy foods for many with massive profits for a few.

This is beginning to change with measures that seem to offset gluten’s damage for some. For example, Whole Foods has their own bakery providing fresh breads daily without bromides, which can displace the thyroid gland’s iodine contents and create hypothyroidism.

Other local bakeries may provide sprouted grain and real sourdough breads, which even some celiac sufferers manage to consume without adverse reactions.

 

Source:  hungryforchange.tv

Microbes May be Making You Fat

The Microbes in Your Gut May be Making You Fat:

The Microbes in Your Gut May be Making You Fat

The Microbes in Your Gut May be Making You Fat

 

In 2008, Rob Knight fell ill while vacationing in Peru. Camping along the Inca Trail, he found himself with the usual traveler’s symptoms, scrambling for the latrine in the middle of the night. He took antibiotics for five days and got better but then relapsed. A second five-day course of the drugs finally knocked out the infection.

After he returned home, Knight resumed his normal diet and exercise activities, and suddenly began dropping pounds that he had been trying to shed for years. He is convinced the antibiotics changed the composition of the microbes in his gut in a way that finally caused him to lose weight — at least 70 pounds.

 

“Exercise and diet, which had not worked before, began to work,” says Knight, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder who studies the microorganisms that live in our bodies, known as the human microbiome. “I think that reconfiguring my gut microbial community made it possible.”

His experience underscores a growing body of evidence suggesting that naturally occurring bacteria and other microbes in the body, and possibly even viruses, can influence weight in ways that scientists are only just beginning to understand. Numerous studies are underway looking at the role of intestinal organisms in obesity, with a focus on how they extract energy from food and how this affects weight gain or loss.

Ultimately, scientists say, insights gained from the research could identify people predisposed to obesity and possibly help clinicians create targeted weight-loss treatments for them. The specific composition of microbes in the intestines also might help predict the best candidates for weight-loss surgery, which doesn’t work for everyone.

“Taken together, we might at some point be able to effect weight loss in humans by affecting the microbiome,” Knight says.

Obesity in the United States has risen dramatically during the past 20 years. More than a third of American adults and about 17 percent of children and adolescents — triple the rate of a generation ago — are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. surgeon general estimates that as many as 300,000 Americans’ deaths every year may be linked to obesity.

Despite the popularity of fad diets, most experts believe there is no quick fix to losing weight. They view regulation of body weight as a complicated process that is likely to involve diet and exercise, genetics, and probably, various gastrointestinal microbes.

Studies in mice have shown that intestinal microbes may contribute to weight gain. A novel experiment published this fall, for example, took gut bacteria from human twins — in which one was lean and the other obese — and transferred them into lean mice. The animals with bacteria from fat twins grew fat; those that received bacteria from lean twins stayed lean.

Researchers suspect that bacteria may behave similarly among humans, since microbes help to extract calories from food and store that potential energy in fat tissue.

The obesity-bacteria link

Researchers speculate that people are more likely to gain weight when gut bacteria are more efficient at breaking down food, enabling the body to absorb more calories. They theorize that less-efficient bacteria allow food to pass more quickly through the intestines.

“If you want to stay lean, you’ll want bacteria that are not very efficient,” says Claire Fraser, a professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “If we each eat a bowl of cereal and your bacteria are better than mine at breaking it down, you’ll get 95 calories, while I’ll only get 70, and the rest will pass through. You’re the one who’s going to gain weight.”

The food one eats contributes to the composition of the bacterial communities in the gut. For example, Fraser says, “high-fat, low-fiber diets have been associated with different bacteria in the gut than low-fat, high-fiber diets,” which may play a role in who develops obesity. “It may be a vicious cycle but one we can interrupt by altering our dietary habits.”

Recent studies by Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic, for example, have found that gastrointestinal bacteria “burp” out a chemical called TMAO (for trimethylamine N-oxide) after people consume red meat or eggs. TMAO increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, which may help explain why eating those foods increases the danger of heart disease more than following a vegan or vegetarian diet.

In another study, Fraser, Knight and colleagues studied members of the Old Order Amish in Lancaster, Pa., to see what their gut microbes might reveal about obesity in that community. The Amish were ideal study subjects, being a genetically homogenous society with a shared lifestyle, including a diet that features “lots of meat, potatoes and gravy, very high fat and high carbohydrate,” Fraser says.

The researchers analyzed data from 310 people and identified 26 species of gut bacteria that were found at different concentrations in obese individuals who had — or didn’t have — metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that includes hypertension, high blood-sugar levels, abnormal cholesterol, excess body fat around the waist and elevated serum markers associated with inflammation. The syndrome has been found to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

One of the hallmarks of metabolic syndrome is chronic low-grade inflammation in the body, and “some of the bacterial species that were found at greatly reduced levels in subjects with the metabolic syndrome have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties,” Fraser says.

Knight points out, however, that the difference in microbial communities might be the result of inflammation rather than the cause of it, a question additional studies will need to examine.

Microbes and weight-loss surgery

Scientists also are trying to understand the influence of gut microbes in the outcome of weight-loss surgery, with the goal of identifying the best candidates for the procedure. In 2010, about 150,000 individuals underwent weight-loss surgery in the United States, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Bruce Rittmann, director of the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology in the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, was part of a group of researchers who specifically looked at microbes in gastric bypass surgery patients for a 2009 study.

He and team leader Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, associate professor in the Swette Center, analyzed stool samples from nine people in three groups: three individuals of normal weight, three who were morbidly obese and three who had undergone gastric bypass.

“The results were very striking,” Rittmann says. “Even though we didn’t have a large number of subjects, the groups were completely different from each other.”

The composition of microbes in the three gastric bypass patients differed substantially and in potentially important ways from obese and normal-weight individuals, suggesting that the extreme anatomical changes resulting from the surgery apparently had profound effects on the microorganisms living in the intestine.

There were two types of organisms specific to the obese group. The microbial populations extracted from obese individuals were high in hydrogen-producing bacteria, known as Prevotellaceae, and hydrogen-consuming methanogens, which are not bacteria, but another single-cell organism, Archaea.

The results suggest a cooperative co-existence in obese individuals between hydrogen producers and hydrogen consumers, a mutually reinforcing relationship known as syntrophy that contributes to obesity.

The researchers theorize that the methanogens, by removing hydrogen, speed up the breakdown of food, boosting the production of fatty acids and leading to the formation of fat, which over time, results in obesity.

Rittmann and his colleagues have another study underway, this time examining people before and after weight-loss surgery and comparing the types of weight-loss procedures, trying to determine which microbic changes occur and what they might mean.

“Managing the microbial community in our intestines is one of the tools of helping us manage obesity and other diseases,” he says. “It’s conceivable that someday we could get rid of the wrong microorganisms and put the right ones in. That is, ultimately, what we would like to do.”

Knight, however, warns that people should not assume that a course of antibiotics might make them thin, as he believes it did in his case. In fact, he says, it’s just possible that the opposite could occur.

“It’s difficult to generalize one person’s experience to the general population, especially because different people vary so much in their response to drugs, diet and exercise,” he says. “We are a long way from turning that into a large-scale study. All we have at the moment is an intriguing anecdote, based on a sample size of one.”

Women Are Obese Before Pregnancy

Nearly 1 in 4 Women Are Obese Before Pregnancy:

Pregnant-Woman

Pregnant-Woman

Nearly 1 in 4 women now are obese when they become pregnant, according to a new study that includes information from most of the United States.

Researchers analyzed birth certificates from 36 states and Washington D.C. in 2011, which listed how much the mother weighed before she became pregnant.

On average, 23.4 percent of mothers in these states were obese — meaning they had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater — when they became pregnant, according to the report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Utah had the lowest rate of obesity before pregnancy, at 18.0 percent, while South Carolina had the highest, at 28.6 percent.

Mothers were more likely to be obese if they were over age 20, compared with younger mothers. Black and Hispanic women were also more likely to be obese than white women, the report said.

Given the current high rate of obesity in the United States (nearly 36 percent of U.S. adults are obese), it’s not surprising that nearly 25 percent of mothers are obese, said Dr. Jill Rabin, chief of ambulatory care, obstetrics and gynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., who was not involved in the report. However, Rabin pointed out that the study did not include information from all U.S. states, so it is not representative of the whole population.

Still, “it’s important for women to normalize their body weight before they become pregnant,” to reduce pregnancy risks for themselves and their babies, Rabin said.

Being overweight or obese during pregnancy is linked with an increased risk of gestational diabetes, cesarean delivery and preeclampsia (high blood pressure) for the mother; as well as prematurity, stillbirth and excessive weight at birth for the fetus, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Rabin said she recommends that women who are already obese when they become pregnant speak with their OB-GYN to make sure they gain the appropriate amount of weight for their health and their baby during pregnancy.

The Institute of Medicine recommends normal-weight women (BMI between 18.5 and 24.9) gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy, and underweight women (BMI of less than 18.5) gain 28 to 40 pounds, but overweight woman (BMI between 25 and 29.9) gain 15 to 25 pounds, and obese women (BMI of 30 and over) gain 11 to 20 pounds.

Women who are overweight or obese during pregnancy should be offered nutrition counseling, and encouraged to follow an exercise program, ACOG says.

Protein Drug mimic’s food deprivation

A Drug That Can Extend Life as Effectively As Dieting:

A Drug That Can Extend Life as Effectively As Dieting

A Drug That Can Extend Life as Effectively As Dieting

Many studies have shown that rigorous caloric restriction, or strict dieting, can increase longevity dramatically in lifeforms from yeast to humans. But a study released today shows one way to mimic the life-extending effects of food deprivation – using drugs.

A team of researchers in the UK explored the role of a protein known as S6K1, which turns out to play an extraordinary role in aging and age-related disease. When the researchers grew mice lacking the gene to produce S6K1, their mice lived significantly longer (see chart – the red lines are mice without S6K1). They also developed fewer age-related debilitating conditions.

A Drug That Can Extend Life as Effectively As Dieting

Female mice without S6K1 lived slightly longer than their male counterparts, and over 160 days longer than the control group. That means the female mouse lifespan increased by twenty percent.

Mice without S6K1 also lost weight, even if they ate more than ordinary mice. In other words, a substance that could block the expression of S6K1 would trick the body into thinking that you’d gone on a very rigorous diet. And it would make you healthier into an older age. The best part?

In their paper, the researchers conclude:

It might be possible to develop drug treatments that manipulate S6K1 and AMPK to achieve improved overall health in later life. Indeed, short-term rapamycin treatment reduces adiposity in mice, and metformin treatment [often used against type 2 diabetes] extends lifespan in short-lived mice.

This is good news, because often when researchers make discoveries related to longevity there is no immediate pathway to manufacturing a life-extending drug. For all of us who want to stay healthy in old age while still eating sugar and fat once in a while, let’s hope this research team starts testing a drug based on their S6K1 discovery – and soon.

Nutrition and Health based on flimsiest evidence.

The Surprising Reason People Get Fat:

 

The Surprising Reason People Get Fat

The Surprising Reason People Get Fat

 

“I want to convince you that the conventional wisdom about weight gain is wrong,” declared Gary Taubes. The idea that eating too much and exercising too little is the culprit is, he said, “as obsolete as the belief that the sun rotates around the earth.” Thus began the most revolutionary presentation in the five-year history of the Nutrition and Health Conference, an annual three-day event co-sponsored by the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (founded by Dr. Weil in 1994). Held most recently in Phoenix, Arizona in April of 2008, it attracted some 500 health care professionals from around the world, and the packed house at Arizona Grand Resort made it clear that Taubes was a headliner. The writer, trained in applied physics at Harvard and aerospace engineering at Stanford, specializes in parsing hot science controversies in articles and books (such as 1993’s Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion). He is widely credited with kicking off the national low-carb diet trend with his July 2002 New York Times Magazine article, What If It’s All Been a Big, Fat Lie? In 2007, he published Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control and Disease, a book that led the New York Times to assert that “Gary Taubes is a brave and bold science journalist” who shows that “much of what is believed about nutrition and health is based on the flimsiest evidence.” Taubes’ message: political pressure and sloppy science over the last 50 years have skewed research to make it seem that dietary fat and cholesterol are the main causes of obesity and heart disease, but there is, in fact, little or no objective data to support that hypothesis. A more careful look (Taubes researched his book for five years, its 450 pages include 60 pages of footnotes) reveals that the real obesity-epidemic drivers are increased consumption of refined carbohydrates, mainly sugar and white flour. Further, as he stated in his conference presentation, obesity is not “a disorder of energy imbalance,” in which weak-willed people eat too much and exercise too little, but rather “a disorder of excess fat accumulation” in which the body, not the brain, is the primary culprit. Eating too much and exercising too little are side effects, not causes, of the active role of carbohydrate-driven hormones on the whole organism, including the brain. Much of Taubes’ presentation was devoted to illustrating the central role that glucose and insulin – both of which are products of carbohydrate metabolism – play in fat deposition. A chemical compound derived from glucose, he said, turns fatty acids – the “burnable” kind of fat – into triglycerides, the “storable” form of fat. Consequently, “Anything that works to transport glucose into fat cells works to deposit fat.” And what transports glucose into fat cells? Insulin. “When insulin is secreted or chronically elevated, fat accumulates in fat tissue,” he said. “When insulin levels drop, fat escapes from fat tissue and the fat depots shrink.” Bottom line: “Carbohydrate is driving insulin is driving fat deposition.” So when it comes to accumulating fat, carbohydrates are indeed “bad calories,” as they are the only ones that boost insulin and make fat accumulation possible. Highly refined carbohydrates are even worse, as they lead to insulin surges and subsequent drops, which creates a hunger for more – hunger so voracious that, for most people, it can’t be overcome by willpower. Refined carbohydrates, Taubes contends in his book, are literally addictive. So what’s the scientific weight-loss solution? Taubes asserted that since the fewer carbohydrates we eat, the leaner we will be, our diets should emphasize meat, fish, fowl, cheese, butter, eggs and non-starchy vegetables. Conversely, we should reduce or, preferably, eliminate bread and other baked goods, potatoes, yams, rice, pasta, cereal grains, corn, sugar (both sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) ice cream, candy, soft drinks, fruit juices, bananas and other tropical fruits, and beer. Excluding carbohydrates from the diet, he said, derails the insulin peak/dip roller coaster, so one is never voraciously hungry, making weight loss and healthy-weight maintenance easy. “When you eat this way, the fat just melts off,” he said after his speech – and Taubes is indeed a lean fellow. While Dr. Weil agrees with most of Taubes’ research, he draws the line at the writer’s specific dietary recommendations: “I don’t agree that the way to respond to this information is to eat a diet that is mostly meat and no carbohydrate.” He said instead that people should eat animal protein two to three times per week – mostly as fatty, cold-water fish to reap the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids – and otherwise eat carbohydrate foods that rank low on the glycemic load scale. “All carbohydrates are not the same, nor do all people react to them in the same way,” he said. “That needs to be taken into account.” But overall, Dr. Weil, like the other assembled health-care professionals, came away impressed. “I invited Gary to speak, and I’ve been recommending the book to my medical colleagues and students. It’s important to get this information out to the medical community, because a lot of the ways that we try to prevent and treat obesity are based on assumptions that have no scientific evidence.”