The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Obesity not always tied to higher heart risk

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And lack of obesity is not a protection. The study confirms that obesity and metabolic syndrome are most likely unrelated causually, although may be coincidentally correlated to some extent.

A new UK study is discussed here.

Quote:

"People with good metabolic health are not at risk of future heart disease -- even if they are obese," Hamer told Reuters Health.

On the flip side, the non-obese in poor metabolic shape face as much risk as the unhealthy obese, the researchers concluded.

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, are based on more than 22,000 middle-aged participants in national health studies conducted in England and Scotland.

According to the researchers, the results suggest that metabolic factors may be more important in predicting a person's risk of cardiovascular disease than excess body weight in itself.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eat fructose - go bananas...

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... but add egg yolks, fish oil and organ meat and be sane again!  That seems to be the message of the  following Forbes' article and the study[1]:

Sugar Makes You Stupid, But Omega-3s Will Smarten You Back Up

A short digest:

Though we may not have fully come to terms with it, in theory we know that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an adversary of health. Lots of work has been done looking at the effect of fructose on weight, liver function, diabetes risk, and even the growth of cancer cells. But not much has looked at the role of fructose in brain function, until now. Researchers have just reported that among the list of bodily ills that fructose contributes to, it may also "make you dumb." Luckily, eating a diet rich in the healthy omega-3 fatty acids seems to counteract this phenomenon.
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"The DHA-deprived animals were slower," said study author Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, "and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier."
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Gomez-Pinilla suggests that fructose might somehow block insulin’s effect on brain cells, and specifically how it signals neurons to store and release the sugar that is needed for the brain to function efficiently – and for us to think crisply and clearly.
Mrs. Walton would probably lose her contributor status with Forbes if she didn't add this comment:

The important thing to remember is that not all fructose is created equal. "We’re not talking about naturally occurring fructose in fruits, which also contain important antioxidants,"
I wonder, are we according to her, supposed to consume those "superhealthy" fruit but just somehow spit fructose out?      :)


Yes! We Have No Bananas, 1923

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Reference:

1. "Metabolic syndrome" in the brain: Deficiency in omega-3-fatty acid exacerbates dysfunctions in insulin receptor signaling and cognition, Rahul Agrawal and Fernando Gomez-Pinilla

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Eggs and cardiovascular mortality

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It has been recently reported (see for example this) that:

A Harvard study of over 21,000 male physicians found that men who ate up to 6 eggs a week had no increase in their rate of death. But once they ate a seventh egg, their risk of death went up 23%. The men were studied over a 20-year period...
However, when one looked at the data in more details, a completely different picture emerges.  See for example this study.

It turns out that the group that ate ≥7 eggs per week (the highest bin) happened also to have more than twice (4-2 times)  the rate of diabetes (and were older) compared with the lower egg bins!  See Table 1.   Since diabetes t2 increases the risk of death by a factor of 5 (5 to 10) , this factor alone may explain an increase in the death risk among the 7 egg group!

The death risk was about the total mortality.  There was a statistically marginal increase in total mortality in the highest group (see Table 4) but it wasn't confirmed neither by the MI risk (Table 2  - in fact the risk goes down!)  nor by stroke (Table 3 - the risk stays the same).   Unfortunately the authors do not mention what were the 7 egg group dying from.

 This may have nothing to do with eggs but everything to do with diabetes!

Other studies not only fail to confirm that eggs correlate with cardio-vascular risk, but show in fact some  risk reduction, especially significant in case of stroke!  See for example this  or that study.