Sugar kills good cholesterol,

sugar

sugar

Scientists at the University of Warwick have discovered that ‘good’ cholesterol is turned ‘bad’ by a sugar-derived substance.

The substance, methylglyoxal – MG, was found to damage ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, which removes excess levels of bad cholesterol from the body.

Low levels of HDL, High Density Lipoprotein, are closely linked to heart disease, with increased levels of MG being common in the elderly and those with diabetes or kidney problems.

Supported by funding from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and published in Nutrition and Diabetes, the researchers discovered that MG destabilises HDL and causes it to lose the properties which protect against heart disease.

HDL damaged by MG is rapidly cleared from the blood, reducing its HDL content, or remains in plasma having lost its beneficial function.

Lead researcher Dr Naila Rabbani, of the Warwick Medical School, says that: “MG damage to HDL is a new and likely important cause of low and dysfunctional HDL, and could count for up to a 10% risk of heart disease”.

There are currently no drugs that can reverse low levels of HDL, but the Warwick researchers argue that by discovering how MG damages HDL has provided new potential strategies for reducing MG levels.

Commenting on the research’s implications Dr Rabbani said:

“By understanding how MG damages HDL we can now focus on developing drugs that reduce the concentration of MG in the blood, but it not only be drugs that can help.

“We could now develop new food supplements that decrease MG by increasing the amount of a protein called glyoxalase 1, or Glo 1, which converts MG to harmless substances.

“This means that in future we have both new drugs and new foods that can help prevent and correct low HDL, all through the control of MG.”

A potentially damaging substance, MG is formed from glucose in the body. It is 40,000 times more reactive than glucose it damages arginine residue (amino acid) in HDL at functionally important site causing the particle to become unstable.

Glo1 converts MG to harmless substances and protects us. MG levels are normally kept low in the body to maintain good health but they slowly increase with ageing as Glo1 slowly becomes worn out and is only slowly replaced.

Dr Rabbani says: “We call abnormally high levels of MG ‘dicarbonyl stress’. This occurs in some diseases – particularly diabetes, kidney dialysis, heart disease and obesity. We need sufficient Glo1 to keep MG low and keep us in good health.”

Source:   eurekalert.org

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.”

 

American Deaths Surpass 2.5 Million

U.S. Mortality Rate: Deaths Surpass 2.5 Million For The First Time:

 U.S. Mortality Rate: Deaths Surpass 2.5 Million For The First Time


U.S. Mortality Rate: Deaths Surpass 2.5 Million For The First Time

U.S. deaths surpassed 2.5 million for the first time last year, reflecting the nation’s growing and aging population. The increase of about 45,000 more deaths than in 2010 was not surprising. The annual number of deaths has been generally rising for decades as the population has swelled. “If you have an older population, of course you have more deaths,” said Qian Cai, a University of Virginia demographer who studies population trends. “That doesn’t mean the population is less healthy or less vital.” Before last year, the largest number of deaths was 2.47 million in 2008. The number of deaths can jump up or down from year to year, depending on whether there was a bad flu season or other factors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Wednesday. It’s drawn from a review of most death certificates from last year. The report found that the rate of deaths per 100,000 people actually dropped to an all-time low. That was offset by the fact that there are so many Americans — about 314 million. Other report highlights:

—U.S. life expectancy for a child born in 2011 was about 78 years and 8 months, the same as it was in 2010.

—Women aren’t outliving men as much as they used to. The gap in life expectancy between the sexes, which was nearly 8 years at its widest in 1979, remained at less than 5 years in 2011.

—The infant mortality rate dropped again slightly, to a new low of 6.05 deaths per 1,000 births.

—Heart disease and cancer remain the top killers, accounting for nearly half the nation’s deaths. But the death rates from both continued to decline.

—Death rates fell for three other leading causes: stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and kidney disease.

Flu and pneumonia became the 8th leading killer, replacing kidney disease. Also increasing were the death rates for diabetes, chronic lower respiratory diseases, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, Parkinson’s disease, and pneumonitis. The rise in pneumonitis deaths is another sign of an aging population. Mainly in people 75 and older, it happens when food or vomit goes down the windpipe and causes deadly damage to the lungs. The increase in deaths is occurring at a time U.S. births have been falling for several years, but there more than enough newborns to replace Americans who die. The number of births last year was close to 4 million. Add in immigrants, and the total population is growing by 2 million to 3 million people a year.