Erm..

If you have even bothered to check in you’ll notice what an on-again off-again effort this blog is. The truth be told, this is more my effort to organise info and my personal thoughts on the broad topic of metabolism and cardiovascular health. But as late I have found that there are so many good blogs that capture what I’m focused on that I’m not so motivated to consistently engage in these scrapbook activities.

Blogs I monitor religiously include:

Actually my Google reader says I’m following 98 blogs but I’m sparing you the ones with the cute kitty pictures.

I promise to no one in particular that this effort will resume haphazardly at some point.

(Post Script: the only word my wordpress spell-checker doesn’t recognize is “blogs.” )

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Roundup

Tidbits over the last month worth a mention…

Shake it Baby
In a bizarre experiment, mice were “vibrated” for 15 minutes a day resulting in fat loss and corresponding bone density increases. Can we vibrate those pounds away? Well we had one of those crazy machines in the basement for years and it did nothing for mother…

Vestigial What?
Just last month I had a doctor telling me I should “chop off my appendix” given my history of IBS and “it’s useless anyway.” I was sceptical that mother nature was that inefficient and opted to keep it to the rolling eyes of the specialist. Well ha, ha! HA! Appendix not useless afterall. Seems like it’s a little factory and warehouse of good bacteria. Pwned!

Type 3
Discovery supports theory of Alzheimer’s disease as a form of diabetes. All that sugar is going to your head. Levels of brain insulin and its related receptors are lower in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

Finish that Avocado
Monounsaturated Fat Improves Insulin Sensitivity. Eating a diet rich in monounsaturated fat reverses insulin resistance compared to diets rich in carbohydrates or saturated fat.

Big Where it Counts
Big hips mean big brains. Curvy women birthed children with superior cognitive abilities.

What is Overweight?

Have you ever wondered where the BMI guidelines come from? Could they be completely arbitrary just like all the most of the other health advice we’ve been dished out? A new study published in JAMA provides some clues:

A new US study suggests that while the link between weight and causes of death varies considerably, being modestly overweight may actually lower death risk in a number of circumstances by providing the body with essential nutritional reserves during recovery from illness and major operations.

What is interesting here is not only that it shows a BMI of 18-25 may not be a healthy objective, but it calls into question what “overweight” really means. Isn’t the weight that confers the longest longevity the “ideal weight” and that weights under and over that ideal are in fact “underweight” and “overweight”?

Or have we confused sexy with ideal?

Although it is assumed that we are naturally attracted to whatever/whoever is healthiest, this is not necessarily the case. Creatures often find characteristics sexy which confer little health benefit. A peacock’s tail is no doubt a hit with the peahens but it is also a bit of a drag if he needs to make a run for it.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see that humans have preferred for a number of traits which, through the generations, have made us into very odd looking apes – naked, big breasts, long head hair… None of which seem to do much in the fitness department other than to signal sexual fitness. So have these preferences hijacked scientific thinking about what is ideal for health?

Diet and Dementia

Following hot on the heals of a study which shows Alzheimer‘s to be a form of diabetes, is further research supporting the link between diet, diabetes and dementia:

 

Adults with diabetes are especially sensitive to the foods they eat with respect to cognitive function. Specifically, an adult with diabetes will experience a decline in memory function after a meal, especially if simple carbohydrate foods are consumed. While the precise physiological mechanisms underlying these dietary influences are not completely understood, the modulation of brain insulin levels likely contributes.

 

More

Obesity ‘epidemic’ turns global

BBC:

People are getting fatter in all parts of the world, with the possible exception of south and east Asia, a one-day global snapshot shows.

Hmmm… so it’s not just Americans that are fattening up. Well here’s my theory.. Obesity really started to take off about 20 years ago which is right around the time that world UFO sightings dropped dramatically. What if the greys had finished their field research and just started to zap us with their devised “get fat” formula in preparation for the harvest?! You have to admit that the people reporting “alien abduction” did happen to be a bit chunkier than the average citizen.

You heard it here first!

Best Wine for Longevity?

Over at The Heart Scan Blog, Dr. Davis has done your leg work on choosing the healthiest wine:

Wines rich in procyanidins provide several-fold more, such that a single glass can provide the same purported health benefit as several glasses of a procyanidin-poor wine. […]

The winner in procyanidin content is a variety grown in the Gers region of southwest France, a region with superior longevity of its residents. The wines here are made with the tannat grape within the Madiran appellation; wines labeled “Madiran” must contain 40% or more tannat to be so labeled.

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