Sunday, May 01, 2016

The sugar conspiracy | Ian Leslie | Society | The Guardian

The sugar conspiracy | Ian Leslie | Society | The Guardian:

In 1972, a British scientist sounded the alarm that sugar – and not fat – was the greatest danger to our health. But his findings were ridiculed and his reputation ruined. How did the world’s top nutrition scientists get it so wrong for so long?

White bread, bagels and corn flakes 'increase the risk of lung cancer by 49%' | Daily Mail Online

White bread, bagels and corn flakes 'increase the risk of lung cancer by 49%' | Daily Mail Online: Are CARBS the new cigarettes? White bread, bagels and rice 'increase the risk of lung cancer by 49%', experts warn
Foods with high glycemic index are linked to lung cancer, scientists found
Such foods include white bread, bagels, corn flakes and puffed rice
Study found a 49% higher risk of lung cancer in people with high GI diets  Scientists recommends people cut high GI foods out of their diet

Catalyst: Ancient Teeth - ABC TV Science

Catalyst: Ancient Teeth - ABC TV Science: Scientists at the University of Adelaide have found this by analysing hundreds of skeletons dating back thousands of years. Our teeth went bad when farming began, 10,000 years ago.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Watch What You Put In That Sippy Cup, Experts Warn

ScienceDaily: Watch What You Put In That Sippy Cup, Experts Warn

Science Daily — Juice boxes look harmless enough, with those kid-size, bendable straws and promises of 100 percent vitamin C.

As healthy as juice seems, parents need to be wary of doling out too much to children, especially during the summer when kids need plenty of fluids to stay safe, a University of Florida expert says. Unlike water and low-fat milk, fruit juices and sodas are laden with fructose, a type of naturally occurring sugar that could trigger obesity in humans.

As healthy as juice seems, parents need to be wary of doling out too much to children, especially during the summer when kids need plenty of fluids to stay safe, a University of Florida expert says. Unlike water and low-fat milk, fruit juices and sodas are laden with fructose, a type of naturally occurring sugar that could trigger obesity in humans, said Richard Johnson, MD., the J. Robert Cade professor of nephrology in the UF College of Medicine.

“Studies in humans have linked drinking excessive amounts of fruit juice and soft drinks with an increased risk for not only obesity, but also diabetes and high blood pressure,” said Johnson, also the college’s chief of nephrology, hypertension and renal transplantation. “In terms of obesity, fructose actually may set you up to not turn off your satiety response, so you will continue to eat.”

Unlike glucose, fructose does not signal the body to produce insulin, the hormone that turns sugar into energy and lets the brain know it’s time to stop eating. Fructose actually seems to do the opposite — causing resistance to insulin and blocking the “do not eat” order from making it to the brain, Johnson said.

Because fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin, consuming too much over a long period of time could trigger weight gain, said Peter Havel, Ph.D., a research endocrinologist at the University of California at Davis who studies fructose.

“If you consume fructose, it’s more like you’re consuming fat,” Havel said.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Loneliness: The new (old) smoking?

The scourge of loneliness has been with us since time immemorial, but only in recent years has its toll on human health gained appreciation. New research shows that feeling lonely or socially isolated bumps up a person's average risk for coronary heart disease and stroke -- two of the developed world's most prolific killers -- by 50%. As a risk factor for heart attack, clogged arteries or stroke, those statistics put loneliness on a par with light smoking, anxiety and occupational stress. And they make social isolation a more powerful predictor of such vascular diseases than are either high blood pressure or obesity. Moreover, the study found, the toxic effects of loneliness strike men and women equally, researchers found. Added to research linking loneliness to higher rates of cognitive decline and poor immune system function, loneliness begins to look like a blight not just on society but on our collective well-being.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Why living around nature could make you live longer. Living closer to nature is better for your health, new research suggests — and may even extend your life.

study just published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that people who live in “greener” areas, with more vegetation around, have a lower risk of mortality. The health benefits are likely thanks to factors such as improved mental health, social engagement and physical activity that come with living near green spaces.

Why Facebook gave the boot to The Shade room

"Reminder: Facebook can take down your 4.4 million-like page anytime it wants without explanation," Nieman Lab's Joshua Benton tweeted on Monday.

Benton's colleague, Laura Hazard Owen, suggested that "the takedown of such a large and popular page could add fuel to concerns that publishers are giving Facebook too much power."


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Students are struggling to read entire books

Lizzy Kelly, a history student at Sheffield added: “Students might be more inclined to read what academics want them to if our curricula weren’t overwhelmingly white, male and indicative of a society and structures we fundamentally disagree with because they don't work for us.”

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sugar addiction like drug abuse, study reveals

Scientists have discovered drugs used to treat nicotine addiction could be used to treat sugar addiction. In the study carried out by Australia's Queensland University (QUT), it compared the effects of sugar to those of cocaine and likened the symptoms of coming off it to going 'cold turkey'. “Like other drugs of abuse, withdrawal from chronic sucrose exposure can result in an imbalance in dopamine levels and be as difficult as going ‘cold turkey’ from them.” Masroor Shariff Neuroscientist Professor Selena

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Obese children's health rapidly improves with sugar reduction unrelated to calories Study indicates that calories are not created equal; sugar and fructose are dangerous

Obese children's health rapidly improves with sugar reduction unrelated to calories Study indicates that calories are not created equal; sugar and fructose are dangerous Reducing consumption of added sugar, even without reducing calories or losing weight, has the power to reverse a cluster of chronic metabolic diseases, including high cholesterol and blood pressure, in children in as little as 10 days, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco and Touro University California. "This study definitively shows that sugar is metabolically harmful not because of its calories or its effects on weight; rather sugar is metabolically harmful because it's sugar," said lead author Robert Lustig, MD, MSL, pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco. "This internally controlled intervention study is a solid indication that sugar contributes to metabolic syndrome, and is the strongest evidence to date that the negative effects of sugar are not because of calories or obesity." Jean-Marc Schwarz, PhD of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University California and senior author of the paper added, "I have never seen results as striking or significant in our human studies; after only nine days of fructose restriction, the results are dramatic and consistent from subject to subject. These findings support the idea that it is essential for parents to evaluate sugar intake and to be mindful of the health effects of what their children are consuming."

Monday, August 25, 2014

A low-carbohydrate diet may prevent end-stage renal failure in type 2 diabetes. A case report

A low-carbohydrate diet may prevent end-stage renal failure in type 2 diabetes. A case report Abstract An obese patient with type 2 diabetes whose diet was changed from the recommended high-carbohydrate, low-fat type to a low-carbohydrate diet showed a significant reduction in bodyweight, improved glycemic control and a reversal of a six year long decline of renal function. The reversal of the renal function was likely caused by both improved glycemic control and elimination of the patient's obesity.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Letter: Smoking causes, worsens diabetes.

Letter: Smoking causes, worsens diabetes. EDITOR: Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and the number is rising daily. Since 1980, the percentage of people under 45 with diabetes has increased by 167 percent. There are many risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. Many of these, like family history, can’t be changed. But you can avoid or change some risk factors. One of these is smoking. We have known for some time that smoking makes diabetes complications worse. But new findings from the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report now confirm that smoking actually causes Type 2 diabetes. How does smoking cause diabetes, or make diabetes worse? • Smokers have more abdominal or “belly” fat. This kind of fat makes the body more resistant to insulin. • Nicotine in cigarette smoke may make the body more resistant to insulin. This means that smokers with diabetes may need to take more insulin and have worse control of their blood sugar than non-smokers. • Smokers with diabetes are more likely to have diseases that result from damaged blood vessels than are nonsmokers with diabetes. Chemicals in cigarette smoke cause injury to the cells lining the blood vessels. This interferes with the body’s ability to make blood vessels widen and to control blood clotting. The best advice is to cut back or quit smoking. Call 800-Quit-Now or visit Dorothy Kalmon, Central Wisconsin Tobacco-Free Coalition, Wausau

New Study: Is Today’s Wheat Bad for You?

New Study: Is Today’s Wheat Bad for You? Today’s wheat is not the same wheat that your grandmother ate when she was young. Not even close. Today’s wheat is greatly genetically modified to grow faster and provide a higher yield of wheat per acre. More food to the starving poor was a blessing, but could there be disadvantages with the modern super wheat? Could it be bad for our health? Could it, for example, lead to severe digestive issues for many people? Cardiologist William Davis argued this in his best selling book Wheat Belly. Davis got criticized for exaggerating the scientific support for his theories – which he did. But a lack of good evidence doesn’t mean that a theory must be incorrect. A new high quality study, published in British Journal of Nutrition, tests one of Dr. Davis’ speculations, with dramatic results. [...] The difference was clear-cut. When participants with digestive issues consumed modern wheat they felt like they usually did, they suffered from their usual digestive issues. But when for six weeks they ate the ancient wheat their symptoms improved with significantly less abdominal pain, less abdominal bloating and an improved quality of life. The improvements were so great that they could hardly be a coincidence. In addition, reduced levels of inflammatory substances in the blood were recorded in people who avoided modern wheat.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2012;25(7-8):697-704. Metabolic impact of a ketogenic diet compared to a hypocaloric diet in obese children and adolescents. Partsalaki I, Karvela A, Spiliotis BE. BACKGROUND: The effects of carbohydrate-restricted (ketogenic) diets on metabolic parameters in children have been incompletely assessed. OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy and metabolic impact of ketogenic and hypocaloric diets in obese children and adolescents. SUBJECTS: Fifty-eight obese subjects were placed on one of the two diets for 6 months. METHODS: Anthropometric measurements, body composition, oral glucose/insulin tolerance test, lipidemic profile, high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin, whole-body insulin sensitivity index (WBISI), and homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were determined before and after each diet. RESULTS: Both groups significantly reduced their weight, fat mass, waist circumference, fasting insulin, and HOMA-IR (p = 0.009 for ketogenic and p = 0.014 for hypocaloric), but the differences were greater in the ketogenic group. Both groups increased WBISI significantly, but only the ketogenic group increased HMW adiponectin significantly (p = 0.025). CONCLUSIONS: The ketogenic diet revealed more pronounced improvements in weight loss and metabolic parameters than the hypocaloric diet and may be a feasible and safe alternative for children's weight loss. Combating insulin resistance is the key, and low carb seems to do this pretty well. I wasn't sure if going low carb only meant you had better responses because your insulin went down, or if your insulin resistance was improved. Seems like the latter.

Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets.

Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 May;83(5):1055-61. Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets. Johnston CS, Tjonn SL, Swan PD, White A, Hutchins H, Sears B. BACKGROUND: Low-carbohydrate diets may promote greater weight loss than does the conventional low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. OBJECTIVE: We compared weight loss and biomarker change in adults adhering to a ketogenic low-carbohydrate (KLC) diet or a nonketogenic low-carbohydrate (NLC) diet. DESIGN: Twenty adults [body mass index (in kg/m(2)): 34.4 +/- 1.0] were randomly assigned to the KLC (60% of energy as fat, beginning with approximately 5% of energy as carbohydrate) or NLC (30% of energy as fat; approximately 40% of energy as carbohydrate) diet. During the 6-wk trial, participants were sedentary, and 24-h intakes were strictly controlled. RESULTS: Mean (+/-SE) weight losses (6.3 +/- 0.6 and 7.2 +/- 0.8 kg in KLC and NLC dieters, respectively; P = 0.324) and fat losses (3.4 and 5.5 kg in KLC and NLC dieters, respectively; P = 0.111) did not differ significantly by group after 6 wk. Blood beta-hydroxybutyrate in the KLC dieters was 3.6 times that in the NLC dieters at week 2 (P = 0.018), and LDL cholesterol was directly correlated with blood beta-hydroxybutyrate (r = 0.297, P = 0.025). Overall, insulin sensitivity and resting energy expenditure increased and serum gamma-glutamyltransferase concentrations decreased in both diet groups during the 6-wk trial (P < 0.05). However, inflammatory risk (arachidonic acid:eicosapentaenoic acid ratios in plasma phospholipids) and perceptions of vigor were more adversely affected by the KLC than by the NLC diet. CONCLUSIONS: KLC and NLC diets were equally effective in reducing body weight and insulin resistance, but the KLC diet was associated with several adverse metabolic and emotional effects. The use of ketogenic diets for weight loss is not warranted.

Friday, December 06, 2013

There are still health risks for metabolically healthy obese individuals

There are still health risks for metabolically healthy obese individuals Obese people who are currently metabolically healthy face a higher risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to new research accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Research has found conflicting evidence about whether it is possible for some obese people to avoid health complications that increase the risk of metabolic diseases. These complications can include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, insulin resistance and low levels of high-density lipoproteins, the "good" form of cholesterol that reduces heart disease risk. Past studies have found as many as 30 percent of obese people may be metabolically healthy. "Unfortunately, our findings suggest metabolically healthy obesity is not a benign condition," said the study's corresponding author, Carlos Lorenzo, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas. "Regardless of their current metabolic health, people who are obese face an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the future." To determine metabolic health, researchers examined whether subjects had elevated blood pressure, elevated triglyceride and blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and decreased HDL cholesterol. People who had none or only one of the characteristics were classified as metabolically healthy. The analysis found that increased body mass index was linked to an elevated risk of developing diabetes. Normal weight people who had multiple metabolic abnormalities also faced an increased risk of developing diabetes. Both groups faced an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease after taking into account demographics and smoking behavior. "Our data demonstrate the importance of continuing to monitor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in both people with metabolically healthy obesity and those who have metabolically abnormalities despite being a normal weight," Lorenzo said. "If physicians and patients are too complacent about assessing risk, we can miss important opportunities to prevent the development of chronic and even deadly conditions."

Study casts doubt on whether extra vitamin D prevents disease

Study casts doubt on whether extra vitamin D prevents disease By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Researchers cast doubt on the prevailing wisdom that vitamin D supplements can prevent conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, saying on Friday low vitamin D may be a consequence, not a cause, of ill health. The findings could have implications for millions of people who take vitamin D pills and other supplements to ward off illness - Americans spend an estimated $600 million a year on them alone. Vitamin D, sometimes known as the "sunshine vitamin" is made in the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight and in found in foods like fish liver oil, eggs and fatty fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel. [...] Researchers led by Philippe Autier of France's International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon analyzed data from several hundred observational studies and clinical trials examining the effects of vitamin D levels on so-called non-bone health - including links to illness such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They found that the benefits of high vitamin D levels seen in observational studies — including reduced risk of cardiovascular events, diabetes and colorectal cancer - were not replicated in randomized trials where participants were given vitamin D to see if it would protect against illness. "What this discrepancy suggests is that decreases in vitamin D levels are a marker of deteriorating health," said Autier. In other words, he explained, serious illness like cancer and diabetes may reduce vitamin D concentrations, but that does not necessarily mean that raising vitamin D levels would prevent the illness from occurring.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The ‘Healthy Obese’ and Their Healthy Fat Cells

The ‘Healthy Obese’ and Their Healthy Fat Cells By ANAHAD O'CONNOR They are a mystery to researchers: people who are significantly overweight and yet show none of the usual metabolic red flags. Despite their obesity, they have normal cholesterol levels, healthy blood pressure levels and no apparent signs of impending diabetes. Researchers call them the metabolically healthy obese, and by some estimates they represent as many as a third of all obese adults. Scientists have known very little about them, but new research may shed some light on the cause of their unusual metabolic profile. A study in the journal Diabetologia has found that compared with their healthier counterparts, people who are obese but metabolically unhealthy have impaired mitochondria, the cellular powerhouses that harvest energy from food, as well as a reduced ability to generate new fat cells. Unlike fat tissue in healthy obese people, which generates new cells to help store fat as it accumulates, the fat cells of the unhealthy obese swell to their breaking point, straining the cellular machinery and ultimately dying off. This is accompanied by inflammation, and it leads to ectopic fat accumulation — the shuttling of fat into organs where it does not belong, like the liver, heart and skeletal muscle. A fatty liver frequently coincides with metabolic abnormalities, and studies suggest that it may be one of the causes of insulin resistance, the fundamental defect in Type 2 diabetes. In the healthy obese, however, the fat tends to remain in the subcutaneous padding just beneath the skin, where it appears to be fairly innocuous. “The group that doesn’t gain fat in the liver as they get obese seems to avoid inflammation and maintain their metabolic health,” said Dr. Jussi Naukkarinen, a research scientist specializing in internal medicine at the University of Helsinki. “There is a complete difference in how they react to obesity.” It is clear that obesity is tightly linked to a host of chronic illnesses, among them heart disease, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes. That there are metabolically normal obese adults suggests that there is a way to safely carry excess fat. But to what extent is not clear. Metabolically healthy obesity is found more frequently among younger adults, as a large study in the journal Diabetes Care demonstrated in August. There is growing evidence that it may be a transition state, and that if followed long enough, some, if not many, people in this category will eventually develop the expected metabolic disturbances. That study followed several thousand Australians for up to a decade, about 12 percent of whom were initially deemed metabolically healthy obese. “We found that about a third of these people progressed down the road to being metabolically unhealthy,” said Sarah Appleton, a research fellow at the University of Adelaide. “Metabolically healthy obesity may essentially be a transient state.” But there is evidence that not everyone will progress down that road, or at least not so quickly. In Dr. Naukkarinen’s new study, for example, the obese subjects had become obese at similar ages and remained so for about a decade — yet some showed no metabolic disturbances. “The metabolically healthy obese individuals are in the minority,” he said. “Most people tend to go along the not so healthy lines. But you do see some who have been obese for a long time and maintain their healthy profile.” Dr. Naukkarinen and his colleagues have studied obesity for years by focusing on identical twins, allowing them to take into account the influence of genetics, environment and other factors. One idea they had was to study pairs of identical twins in which one twin is obese and the other is not. After contacting thousands of families in Finland, they came across 16 such pairs of identical adult twins, six male and 10 female. Once they got them into a lab and began testing, half of the obese twins quickly stood out. “The first thing that popped out was when we looked at the amount of fat stored in their livers,” Dr. Naukkarinen said. “There was a significant difference.” The 16 pairs were split evenly into two groups. In both, the average weight difference between the siblings was about 40 pounds. But in one group, the obese siblings had higher blood pressure, worse cholesterol levels and poorer measures of blood sugar and insulin production, as well as seven times the amount of fat in their livers. In the other group, the obese twins’ blood work and liver fat was similar to that of their lean twins. Extensive tests of each person’s fat tissue revealed some other surprises. The healthy obese had 11 percent more adipocytes, or fat cells, in their subcutaneous fat tissue than their normal weight twins. But the unhealthy obese had 8 percent fewer fat cells than their leaner siblings, despite a higher body fat percentage. The fat cells of the unhealthy obese were larger than those of any other group. They were swollen and riddled with inflammation. The breakdown and mobilization of their fat stores was suppressed, and a closer look showed that their mitochondria were malfunctioning. Their ability to burn fuel and produce adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, the body’s energy currency, was reduced. Properly functioning mitochondria stimulate the creation of new fat cells, which may explain in part why the unhealthy obese had fat cells that were limited in number and bloated to extremes. But it’s not clear what happens first. Is inflammation the initial stressor that impairs the mitochondria? Or do the mitochondria malfunction first, leading to inflammation that arrives to clear away the engorged and dying fat cells? Studies show that the fat tissue of some obese adults can accumulate more immune cells than actual fat cells. Under a microscope, their fat cells are surrounded by white blood cells called macrophages, the dump trucks that engulf and dispose of pathogens and cellular debris. “If your mitochondria are working poorly, the adipose cells don’t divide properly, and that can lead to cell death,” Dr. Naukkarinen said. “But if you have adipose tissue that is inflamed, the inflammation makes the mitochondria function poorly – it’s toxic to them. So we see a vicious cycle.” Metabolically healthy obesity may be one side of a vast spectrum. On the other are people who suffer from lipodystrophy, a severe lack of fat cells. People with this disorder are typically gaunt, carrying little or no subcutaneous fat. But they are also extremely insulin resistant, and they tend to have fatty livers and ectopic fat accumulation. There are many people with Type 2 diabetes who are also physically very lean. It remains to be seen to what extent environment, exercise and genetics determine metabolically healthy obesity. But Dr. Naukkarinen said that anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to protect mitochondrial function and improve diabetic symptoms and glucose metabolism. And he suspects that heavy alcohol consumption and exposure to high glycemic foods that create spikes in blood glucose and insulin levels, like sugar and white flour, may also play a role. But more study is needed. “People haven’t really paid that much attention to metabolically healthy obesity, but I think it can teach us a lot about usual obesity,” he said. “It’s only recently that people studying depression have done happiness studies showing what goes right, and I’m thinking about the metabolically healthy obese phenomenon in the same way.”

Maps: The Mysterious Link Between Antibiotics and Obesity States where doctors prescribe more antibiotics also have the highest obesity rates. Why?

Maps: States where doctors prescribe more antibiotics also have the highest obesity rates. Why? Indeed, a growing body of evidence suggests that antibiotics might be linked to weight gain. A 2012 New York University study found that antibiotic use in the first six months of life was linked with obesity later on. Another 2012 NYU study found that mice given antibiotics gained more weight than their drug-free counterparts. As my colleague Tom Philpott has noted repeatedly, livestock operations routinely dose animals with low levels of antibiotics to promote growth. No one knows exactly how antibiotics help animals (and possibly humans) pack on the pounds, but there are some theories. One is that antibiotics change the composition of the microbiome, the community of microorganisms in your body that scientists are just beginning to understand. (For a more in-depth look at the connection between bacteria and weight loss, read Moises Velasquez-Manoff's piece on the topic.) Hicks says that more research is needed on the potential connection between antibiotics and obesity

Friday, September 20, 2013

Harvard Study: Eating White Rice Increases Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes A recent Harvard study has discovered a link between higher white rice intake and a significantly elevated risk of type 2 diabetes, especially among Asian populations. White rice is the predominant type of rice eaten worldwide and has high glycemic index (GI) values. High GI diets have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Compared to brown rice, it has a lower content of nutrients including fiber, magnesium, and vitamins, which may contribute to the increased risk, the authors report. The authors caution that an increased intake of other sources of refined carbohydrates such as pastries, white bread, and sugar sweetened beverages may also contribute to type 2 diabetes, not simply just white rice. They recommend eating whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates, which they hope will help slow down the global diabetes epidemic. Both Asian and Western cultures are susceptible to this diabetes risk, the authors say, although it is thought that Asian countries are at a higher risk due to a generally higher rice consumption.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Excess Glucose May Harden Heart and Lungs

Excess Glucose May Harden Heart and Lungs

Excess Glucose May Harden Heart and Lungs

Research found that glucose suppressed ferroelectricity up to 50%....

New research conducted at the University of Washington and Boston University has shown that excess glucose in the body could damage the elastic proteins found in important organs such as the heart and lungs, which aid in breathing and pumping blood.

In this study, aortic tissue was separated into two types of proteins, elastin and collagen. Ferroelectric switching is what allows the elastin to be flexible and convey repeated pulses, in organs such as the arteries. It is a response to an electric field in which a molecule switches from having a positive charge to a negative charge. Recent discoveries in animal tissue have traced this property to elastin in animal tissues.

When researchers treated the elastin with sugar, they noticed a 50% suppression of the ferroelectric switching. The sugar-protein interaction mimics glycation, a process where sugar molecules attach to proteins and degrade their structure and function. Consequently, hardening of the tissues, and degradation of ligaments and arteries has been observed, leading to an overall loss of function.

Co-author, Jiangyu Li, says, "This could be associated with aging and diabetes."

Yuanming Liu, Yunjie Wang, Ming-Jay Chow, Nataly Q. Chen, Feiyue Ma, Yanhang Zhang, and Jiangyu Li. Glucose suppresses biological ferroelectricity in aortic elastin. Physical Review Letters, 2013

The Inter-Relationships between Vegetarianism and Eating Disorders among Females

The Inter-Relationships between Vegetarianism and Eating Disorders among Females

The Inter-Relationships between Vegetarianism and Eating Disorders among Females
Accepted 24 April 2012.


When individuals with a suspected or diagnosed eating disorder adopt a vegetarian diet, health care professionals might worry that this choice could function as a socially acceptable way to legitimize food avoidance. Yet only limited research has examined vegetarianism in relation to eating disorders. Our study objectives were to compare individuals with and without an eating disorder history and individuals at different stages of eating disorder recovery on past and current vegetarianism and motivations for and age at becoming vegetarian.
The three recovery status groups (fully recovered, partially recovered, and active eating disorder) did not differ significantly in percentiles endorsing a history of vegetarianism or weight-related reasons as primary, but they differed significantly in current vegetarianism (33% of active cases, 13% of partially recovered, 5% of fully recovered; P<0.05). Most perceived that their vegetarianism was related to their eating disorder (68%) and emerged after its onset. Results shed light on the vegetarianism-eating disorders relation and suggest intervention considerations for clinicians (eg, investigating motives for vegetarianism).