Spent about 12 hours offline and woke up this morning to about 250 unread emails. Everything from comment notifications, Facebook shares and comments, Tweets, etc.
So, I opened up a new post window and plugged the most interesting stuff I saw as I went through it all.
~ Science Daily: How fiber prevents diabetes, obesity
Scientists have known for the past twenty years that a fiber-rich diet protects the organism against obesity and diabetes but the mechanisms involved have so far eluded them. A French-Swedish team including researchers from CNRS, Inserm and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (Unité Inserm 855 “Nutrition et Cerveau”) has succeeded in elucidating this mechanism, which involves the intestinal flora and the ability of the intestine to produce glucose between meals. These results, published in the journal Cell on 9 January 2014, also clarify the role of the intestine and its associated microorganisms in maintaining glycaemia. They will give rise to new dietary recommendations to prevent diabetes and obesity.
Most sweet fruit and many vegetables such as salsify, cabbage or beans are rich in so-called fermentable fibers. Such fibers cannot be digested directly by the intestine but are instead fermented by intestinal bacteria into short-chain fatty acids such as propionate and butyrate, which can in fact be assimilated by our bodies. The protective effect of these fibers is well known to researchers: animals fed a fiber-rich diet become less fat and are less likely to develop diabetes than animals fed a fiber-free diet. Nevertheless, the mechanism behind this effect has until now remained a mystery.
The team headed by Gilles Mithieux, CNRS researcher in the “Nutrition et Cerveau” unit (Inserm / Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), wondered whether this mechanism could be linked to the capacity of the intestine to produce glucose. The intestine is in fact capable of synthesizing this sugar and releasing it into the blood stream between meals and at night. However, glucose has particular properties: it is detected by the nerves in the walls of the portal vein (which collects the blood coming from the intestine), which in turn sends a nerve signal to the brain. In response, the brain triggers a range of protective effects against diabetes and obesity: the sensation of hunger fades, energy expenditure at rest is enhanced and, last but not least, the liver produces less glucose. […]
Apart from this previously unknown mechanism, this work sheds light on the role of the intestinal flora which, by fermenting dietary fiber, provides the intestine with precursors to produce glucose. It also demonstrates the importance of the intestine in the regulation of glucose in the body. Finally, these findings should make it possible to propose nutritional guidelines and to highlight new therapeutic targets for preventing or treating diabetes and obesity.
~ The Times of India: Obese people outnumber the hungry globally
NEW DELHI: There are more overweight or obese people in the developing countries, 904 million adults, than in the developed world, about 557 million. Similarly, more than 30 million overweight children live in the developing world compared to just 10 million in the developed countries. Over one out of every five person in the world is obese.
The number of obese people is close to being double the estimated number of persons going hungry to bed, over 800 million.
~ Hmm, if the obesity epidemic only began in 1979, then perhaps it was the reduction in beef consumption and increase in chicken consumption.
~ Poly Unsaturated Fat Consumption, 1909-2005
US PUFA consumption 1909 2005 (source: Perfect Health Diet)
~ Television set ownership 1975-2009
~ The New York Times: Human Microbiome May Be Seeded Before Birth
We are each home to about 100 trillion bacteria, which we carry with us from birth till death. But when Juliette C. Madan was trained as a neonatologist in the mid-2000s, her teachers told her in no uncertain terms that we only acquire those bacteria after we are born. “It was clear as day, we were told, that fetuses were sterile,” she said.
Dr. Madan is now an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and she’s come to a decidedly different view on the matter. “I think that the tenet that healthy fetuses are sterile is insane,” she said.
Dr. Madan and a number of other researchers are now convinced mothers seed their fetuses with microbes during pregnancy. They argue that this early inoculation may be important to the long-term health of babies. And manipulating these fetal microbes could open up new ways to treat medical conditions ranging from pre-term labor to allergies.
~ LiveScience: Fat or Thin: Gut Bacteria May Play Role
Gut bacteria may be able to “spread” obesity from one organism to another when they are transplanted, at least in mice, a new study suggests.
In the study, mice that had been raised in a sterile environment, so that they lacked gut bacteria, were transplanted with gut bacteria from either a lean person or an obese person. The researchers used gut bacteria from pairs of human twins, one of whom was lean and one who was obese.
Mice that received bacteria from an obese twin gained more weight and fat than those that received bacteria from a lean twin, according to the study published today (Sept. 5) in the journal Science. [5 Ways Gut Bacteria Affect Your Health]
I HIGHLY recommend Burt’s book for anyone interested in actual history that doesn’t come from 19th century newspaper editorials and political cartoons: The Myth of the Robber Barons