Monthly Archives: February 2013

Magic Weight Loss Pill

It’s what so many dream of and now researchers are looking at the hormone irisin that might make it a reality. Although the evidence so far is not overwhelming, researchers are enthusiastically exploring the hormone. Irisin, which is naturally occurring in humans and mice, is believed to replicate some of the positive effects of exercise. Exercise increases the expression of PGC-1alpha in muscle, which is involved in muscle adaptation to exercise. This increase causes the production of the protein Fndc5 in mice, which in turn cleaves to a new product researchers named irisin, after the Greek goddess Iris. What this means is the hormone helps convert “white fat” to “brown fat”. Brown fat is usually only seen in small amounts in adults but is common in babies and children. Brown fat burns calories into heat, a process called thermogenesis. Bruce Spiegelman, Ph.D., a cell biologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is leading the research at Harvard Medical School....
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Largest Managed Healthcare Organizations Says NO to GMOs

Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed healthcare organization in the United Sates, has advised its members to avoid GMO foods in its Northwest Fall 2012 newsletter. The article covers the basics of GMOs in the food supply: they’ve been added since 1994 but there is no required labeling of GMOs, that there’s been little research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human health, and that independent studies have shown GMOs to cause organ damage in rats and has affected their ability to reproduce. The article also gave tips on how to avoid GMOs, which include buying organic, looking for the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal and downloading the “ShopNoGMO” app. When corporate bottom lines govern everything, including our health care system, it’s rather telling that an HMO speaks out about GMOs – after all, they have to pay for the health costs....
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U.S. Diets Not Up to U.S. Standards: Survey

When comparing U.S. dietary standards with real American’s eating habits, researchers found most people are not meeting the nutritional standards. The good news: children and the elderly are eating a healthier diet than younger and middle-aged adults. Also, women overall tend to have a better diet than do men. Hispanics came out on top; eating better than blacks or whites. The survey compared what 8,272 Americans said they ate in the course of one day to what the USDA recommends. The study’s lead author, Hazel Hiza, says the American diet needs to be improved, regardless of socioeconomic status, age, race or education. However, the researchers did find differences when they looked at race and income, but in unexpected ways. Lower income children fared the best, which is probably due to their participation in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. However, their parents fared the worst. Overall, adults met more of the USDA recommendations as their incomes increased....
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