Archive for February 7th, 2013

Why obese people are unable to lose weight?

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Scientists have pinpointed exactly why obese people don’t lose much weight despite going on a vigorous diet.

Researchers have found that a chemical known as the Neuropeptide (NPY) – which stimulates appetite – plays a major role in controlling whether the body burns or conserves energy.

The study by researchers at Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, shows that when the body takes in less energy or is on a diet, high levels of Neuropeptide signal the body that it is in a starvation mode, and the body starts storing as much energy as possible, News.com.au reported.

Co-author of the study, Professor Herzog, said that with obesity being a major epidemic in the community, researchers have found it challenging to find ways of tricking the body into losing weight because of NPY.

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People living close to equator likelier to have allergies, asthma

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Living in locations closest to the equator can put people at increased risk of developing allergy and asthma due to higher UV-B rays exposure, according to a new study.

“UV-B rays exposure is higher for people living in areas closer to the equator. This increase in UV-B may be linked to vitamin D, which is thought to modify the immune system. These modifications can lead to an elevated risk of developing allergy and asthma,” said Vicka Oktaria, MPH, lead study author.

Previous studies have shown that latitude can reflect a variation in airborne allergens due to climate, housing and social and cultural differences. This study is one of the first using the individuals latitude location and UV-B exposure to examine the association with allergy and asthma.

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Breast cancer survival rates low in rural India

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

A new University of Michigan study has concluded that women in developed countries survive roughly 10 years longer after a breast cancer diagnosis compared to women in poor-to-middle-income countries.

The report demonstrates the lack of access to good health care faced by women in poor countries, said the study”s principal investigator Rajesh Balkrishnan, an associate professor at the U-M schools of Pharmacy and Public Health.

Early diagnosis and sustained treatment were the biggest hurdles and also the main indicators of patient survival, he said.

Balkrishnan and colleagues looked at roughly 300 women in the southern rural district of Udupi, India. Patients received one of three chemotherapy drug regimens depending on the stage of cancer. Only about 27 percent of patients were diagnosed in the early stages of cancer, and they survived an average of 11 years.

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How to fight fat with fat

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Scientists have discovered a trigger that turns muscle stem cells into brown fat, a form of good fat that could play a critical role in the fight against obesity.

This discovery significantly advances our ability to harness this good fat in the battle against bad fat and all the associated health risks that come with being overweight and obese, said Dr. Michael Rudnicki, a senior scientist and director for the Regenerative Medicine Program and Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

In 2007, Dr. Rudnicki led a team that was the first to prove the existence of adult skeletal muscle stem cells.

In the new study, Dr. Rudnicki shows (again for the first time) that these adult muscle stem cells not only have the ability to produce muscle fibres, but also to become brown fat. Brown fat is an energy-burning tissue that is important to the body”s ability to keep warm and regulate temperature. In addition, more brown fat is associated with less obesity.

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