Jul 27, 2009

New Research Shows Fatty Foods Drive Hunger

A new discovery by the University of Cincinnati shows that the hunger hormone ghrelin is triggered by foods we eat, and challenges the previous notion that it is caused by periods of fasting.

Ghrelin is a hormone that was believed to accumulate during periods of fasting and is found in the body in high concentrations just before meals. It is dubbed the "hunger hormone" because it has been shown that administration of pharmacological doses acts in the brain to stimulate hunger and increase food intake in animal models and humans.

The ghrelin hormone is unique in that it requires acylation (the addition of a fatty acid) by a specific enzyme (ghrelin O-acyl transferase, or GOAT) for activation. Originally it was assumed that the fatty acids attached to ghrelin by GOAT were produced by the body during fasting.

Instead, ghrelin is actually activated by ingested dietary fats, and behaves more like a fat sensor in the stomach that tells the brain when calories are available for calorie-burning activities.

In the study, lab mice without the GOAT enzyme were observed to acculumate less fat, while those with over-expressed GOAT accumulated more fat.

Although the study can't completely be applied to humans, researchers think it will be an important idea to consider in how ghrelin can aid the results of gastric bypass surgery. —ScienceDaily

Jul 19, 2009

Obesity Raises Endometrial Cancer Risk

Women with extra weight have a higher risk of endometrial cancer, states a new study published by Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The study found this was the case especially if the woman experiences an early menopause, and that women with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 35 who were under the age of 45 before their last menstrual period were 22 times more likely to develop endometrial cancers than other women of the same age with healthy BMIs.

Women who were younger than 45 when they had their last period and had a BMI above 35 had a 21.7 times greater risk of developing endometrial cancer than a woman of normal weight. In women older than 45 at their last menstrual period, those with BMIs above 35 had 3.7 times greater odds of developing endometrial cancer than their normal-weight peers.

Women who had BMIs of at least 25 who were also under 45 at the age of their last menstrual period had about a sixfold increase in risk vs. their normal-weight counterparts.

The researchers suspect that a hormonal imbalance, specifically a lack of progesterone, is likely to blame for the increased risk, Thomas said.

However, weight loss can aid in reducing the risk of endometrial cancer, and is another important reason to get healthier. Any woman who experiences significant changes in her menstrual period is also strongly advised to discuss it with her physician. —HealthDay News

Jul 15, 2009

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Jul 11, 2009

Red Meat and Dairy Products Linked to Cancer

The latest AARP Diet and Health Study by the National Institutes of Health of more than 500,000 people supports the idea that high intake of fat from red meat and dairy products lead to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

Men and women who consumed high amounts of total fats had 53% and 23% higher relative rates of pancreatic cancer, respectively, compared with men and women who had the lowest fat consumption. Participants who consumed high amounts of saturated fats had 36% higher relative rates of pancreatic cancer compared with those who consumed low amounts.

Still, there isn't sufficient scientific evidence to pinpoint dietary fat from read meat and dairy products' role in pancreatic cancer compared to other types of meat consumption, necessitating further research.
Science Daily

Jul 3, 2009

Female Renters Weigh Less Than Homeowners

In some offbeat weight-related news, homeowners on average weigh 12 pounds more than renters do, says a new study conducted by University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School assistant professor of real estate Grace Wong Bucchianeri.

Female homeowners experienced more aggravation and have less time available for leisure activities or exercise, the study of 600 women found.

"On the other hand, they consistently report a higher level of pain — or what you might call negative feelings — connected to their home, and that's after controlling for all kinds of demographic characteristics, their financial situation, how many children they have and so on," Bucchianeri told the Canwest News.

The findings present a chicken-or-the-egg question for social scientists, who are unsure if home ownership causes these patterns or if people prone to less sociability, less interest in leisure activities and higher stress are simply more attracted to owning homes.
While we "tend to think of homeowners as social animals," Bucchianeri suggests they may actually be introverts who are naturally inclined to lay down roots.

Source Canwest News Service