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A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Found: A Gene That Controls Fat Cells

Written by Tena Moore

Wouldn’t it be nice if scientists could find the ‘fat cell gene’ and figure out how to disable it for good? It would be better than health care reform; it would be health reform! Not only would it decrease the amount of obesity in the world, but it would also decrease the amount of depression, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and a whole host of other illnesses that are either caused by obesity, or made worse by the condition.

It may seem a little farfetched, but researchers are doing just that. A team of researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) have actually found a gene that is in control of fat cell creation. Until this gene was found, the medical community thought the protein known as PPAR gamma was the main regulator of fat cell formation, but now things have turned in a whole new direction.

The UCF researchers, led by Pappachan Kolattukudy, have identified a gene formerly known as a factor in heart disease, Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-1 Induced Protein, otherwise known as MCPIP, as the leading director for fat cell formation.

The researchers are currently conducting studies to find out how they can use this information to create pharmaceutical solutions that could potentially stop the functioning of MCPIP or at least slow it down, bring an end to insulin resistance in the body, and prevent obesity. Although it could be years before any developments emerge, there is hope for the more than 300 million people who are living with obesity worldwide.

Other Posts

Turmeric and Type 2 Diabetes
Can Veganism Cure Diabetes?
The Glycemic Index System for Ranking Carbohydrates
Lecithin - An Essential Lipid that protects against Cardiovascular Disease
The Basics on Veganism

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Monday, July 27, 2009

How do doctors define obesity? (body fat, bmi,etc)

Written by Tena Moore

Obesity is defined as having excessive body fat that puts one’s health at risk. Although there are other ways to determine obesity, such as measuring body fat, most doctors usually determine obesity by using a ‘body mass index’ (BMI) number. A BMI number is generated by using the person’s height and weight to determine a number that will show whether a person is obese, overweight, a healthy weight, or underweight. For adults, a BMI number of 30 and over is considered obese.

Body Mass Index is found by using a specific formula:

Weight, divided by Height in Inches (squared), multiplied by 703 = BMI

Did that make sense? Here’s an example.

Let’s say I am 5’4” tall and weigh 147 lbs.

I would take my height and turn it into inches. There are twelve inches in a foot, so that is 64 inches. First, multiply 64 by 64 = 4,096, to get the height squared. Take the weight (147 lbs.) and divide it by the height squared, 4,096. Lastly, take that number and multiply it by 703. The answer is 25.2297 – in other words, my BMI would be 25 and slightly overweight. I could enter the ‘normal weight’ category, and increase my health, by losing a couple of pounds.

BMI Weight Categories:

Underweight: Less than 18.5

Normal Weight: 18.5 – 24.9

Overweight: 25.0 – 29.9

Obese – 30.0 +

If this seems like too much calculating, it is very easy to search online for a ‘BMI Calculator’ that will do the work for you. Just input your weight and height and the rest will be calculated automatically.

Other Posts

Organic food really is healthier
Drinking beats Exercise for Heart Health?
Green Tea May Protect the Brain From Problems Stemming From Sleep Apnea
Bilberry contains flavonoids called anthocyanosides
Angelica improves circulation

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Friday, February 20, 2009

5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan) for depression and anxiety?

Feeling depressed or anxious? Can’t sleep? Have a headache? You may want to try picking up some 5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-Trytophan) supplements from your local pharmacy or health food store. 5-HTP comes from the seed pods of the West African plant, Griffonia simplificifolia, and has been linked to serotonin production and melotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that is responsible feelings of well-being and melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep.

5-HTP has been studied extensively. Many studies have found it to be a competent supplement for depression and anxiety disorders; one clinical trial found it to be of equal effectiveness to fluvoxamine, a antidepressant medication that comes with many side effects. In earlier days tryptophan was also proven to be helpful for depression, but since then 5-HTP has been proven to be even more effective than tryptophan. Other studies have found 5-HTP helpful for obesity, migraine headaches and even fibromyalgia treatment.

Many people use 5-HTP to help promote regular sleep cycles. The supplement may be found in capsule, extract and powder forms.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes and is not medical advice. Individuals wishing to use supplements or alternative medicine therapies should consult with their doctor beforehand.

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