Posts Tagged ‘Lose Weight’

Fasting may increase life span

Extreme fasting and calorie counting boosts lifespan in monkeys, according to new published research.

Fasting may increase life spanUntil now, the rationale for following an ultra-low calorie diet to ward off ageing has been based on experiments in worms and mice but now studies reported in Nature Communications found that primates also benefited from the regime.

Advocates of the Calorie Restriction (CR) diet claim that by severely restricting the number of calories they consume they will live longer, perhaps into their hundreds.

They cite a wealth of scientific evidence dating back more than 75 years.

Much of the research is based on experiments in animals such as mice and worms, with primate studies giving conflicting results. Now, a US team has published new evidence showing CR also shows benefits in primates.

“CR works to delay ageing in primate species,” Dr Rozalyn Anderson of the department of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told BBC News. “Our study data is consistent with that.”

The study found CR boosted survival in a group of rhesus monkeys studied over the course of decades.

And she said conflicting findings, from a previous study at a different institute, might be due to flaws in the control group. But she said CR was a research tool not a lifestyle recommendation.

“The concept is to delve into the biology of ageing and try to understand what’s the basis for increased risk for diseases as you get older and with advanced age,” she said. “It would be very difficult to implement CR in a long term way in humans.”

A US study is currently looking at whether healthy humans live longer on less food.

The participants restrict calories by 25% over several years, existing mainly on a diet of vegetables, fruits (especially apples), and soups.

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UK’s five big killers

Five big killers – heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung and liver disease – account for more than 150,000 deaths a year among under-75s in England alone and the Department of Health estimates 30,000 of these are entirely avoidable.UK's five big killersCoronary Heart Disease is the biggest killer, causing almost 74,000 deaths each year in the UK- that’s about 200 people dying every day.

More than a quarter of the deaths occur in people who are younger than 75 and experts say the majority are preventable.

Smoking, being overweight and having high blood pressure are all risk factors.

About one in three adults in England and Scotland have high blood pressure and nearly half of them are not receiving treatment for the condition, says the British Heart Foundation.

Between April 2011 and March 2012 only 2% of those eligible in England actually had a health check. Out of nearly 16 million people eligible, about 425,000 were offered a check and 211,000 took up the offer.

England has one of the highest rates of asthma prevalence in the world. Figures from GP registers in 2008 suggested that about 6% of the English population has asthma.

And more than three million people in England are living with COPD. This lung disease kills about 23,000 people a year in the UK.

The most important cause of COPD is smoking, but about 15% of cases are work-related, triggered by exposure to fumes, chemicals and dusts at work.

Premature deaths from COPD in the UK was almost twice as high as the European average in 2008 and premature mortality for asthma was more than 1.5 times higher.

The disease is one of the most common causes of emergency admission to hospital and is expensive in terms of acute hospital care. It costs nearly 10 times more to treat severe COPD than the mild disease.

Strokes are the third leading cause of death in England each year and the leading cause of disability. More than 150,000 people have a stroke every year in the UK but, according to The Stroke Association, up to 10,000 of these could be prevented if more people were aware of the symptoms and sought out emergency treatment.

Symptoms can include facial weakness, speech problems and pins and needles down one side of the body.

The Health Secretary Mr Jeremy Hunt says a major challenge is getting all parts of the country to meet the performance levels of the best.

For example, if all patients suffering from a mini stroke (transient ischaemic attack or TIA) were treated as rapidly as those treated in the top 25% of hospitals, 540 strokes would be avoided each year, which in turn would save the NHS £4.5m a year.

Cancer has now become so common that today one in 30 people living in the UK either has cancer or is in remission. By 2030 it is estimated that three million people in England will have had some form of cancer.

The good news is that cancer survival rates are now improving in the UK.

More men are now surviving prostate and bowel cancer and women with breast cancer have a better outlook than ever before. But the UK still lags behind other European countries in terms of cancer survival.

Cancer Research UK says part of the problem is unhealthy lifestyles. It is estimated that about a third of cancers are caused by smoking, diet, alcohol and obesity.

And many cancers are detected too late. Although there are national screening programmes for certain cancers, like breast and cervical, public awareness of symptoms and the need to seek help early is still too low.

Another issue is access to treatment. Waiting times to see a doctor for speedy diagnosis and treatment have come down. But the provision of certain types of cancer investigations and treatments across the UK is variable and some groups of society, like the very old, can miss out.

Lastly, the Chief Medical Officer of England, Prof Dame Sally Davies, highlighted liver disease as an issue in her annual report.

It is the only major cause of mortality and morbidity that is on the increase in England while it is decreasing among European peers.

Between 2000 and 2009, deaths from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in the under 65s in England increased by about 20% while they fell by the same amount in most EU countries. And all three major causes of liver disease – obesity, undiagnosed infection, and, increasingly, harmful drinking – are preventable.

More than a third of men and over a quarter of women regularly exceed the government recommended level of alcohol intake – three to four units of alcohol a day for men and two to three units for women.

The government in England is currently considering whether to set a minimum unit price for alcohol to deter problem drinking and cut alcohol-related illness.

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A good night’s sleep can help beat obesity

A good night’s sleep can help beat obesity scientists have revealed- as research suggests being overtired can make you fat.A good night's sleep can help beat obesityLack of sleep has been found to create a hormone imbalance, which increases the appetite and leads to putting on weight, it is claimed.

Even partial sleep deprivation was found to be a factor in body weight regulation, with research suggesting a good night’s sleep could have a significant impact in the fight against obesity.

Research found that over a third of Americans were obese and more than a quarter get less than six hours sleep a night.

Current obesity treatments were found to focus on changing lifestyles by promoting exercise and change in diet.

But changing an individual’s daily routine, including sleep patterns, could be a vital step in helping to shed the pounds, it is claimed.

Sharon Nickols-Richardson, professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, said: “Various investigations, although diverse, indicate an effect of partial sleep deprivation on body weight management.

“The intriguing relationship between partial sleep deprivation and excess adiposity makes partial sleep deprivation a factor of interest in body weight regulation, particularly in weight loss.”

The report reviewed research papers from the past 15 years to determine the role of partial sleep deprivation on energy balance and weight regulation.

The team constructed a series of comparative tables detailing individual study populations, study designs, energy intake, energy expenditure, and measurements of the hormones ghrelin, leptin, insulin, glucose, and cortisol.

It identified a set of patterns, including reduced insulin sensitivity, increases in ghrelin, and decreases in leptin among partially sleep-deprived individuals. Changes in ghrelin and leptin influenced energy intake among the study populations.

Prof Nickols-Richardson said: “Changes in these hormones coinciding with an energy-reduced diet paired with changes in response to partial sleep deprivation may be expected to increase ghrelin and decrease leptin concentrations even further to promote hunger.”

Further research was needed to determine the effects of sleep deprivation on body composition and substrate use.

The study “Partial Sleep Deprivation and Energy Balance in Adults: An Emerging Issue for Consideration by Dietetics Practitioners” was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Reports

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/A-good-nights-sleep-can-help-beat-obesity

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Does a high fat diet damage your brain?

Eating a high fat diet can impair the function of the part of the brain that controls appetite and energy expenditure which in turn dictates our weight.Does a high fat diet damage your brain?That is the finding presented at the British Science Festival by scientists at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute for Nutrition and Health.

This may help explain why overweight people struggle to lose weight and then struggle to maintain their weight loss.

Researchers fed mice a diet high in saturated fat and sugar over 16 weeks – where 60% of their energy came from saturated fat – and compared them with mice fed a normal diet over the same period.

Using techniques such as transcriptomics and proteomics, scientists then studied genes and proteins in the hypothalamus of their brain – the part that regulates eating and energy expenditure.

They found that mice fed a high fat diet had changes to genes and proteins indicative of damage in the hypothalamus and that these changes occurred very rapidly – within weeks.

Dr Lynda Williams, Obesity and Metabolic Health Group Leader, at the Rowett, said: “The hypothalamus is a small area at the base of the brain containing neurones that control the amount of food we eat and the energy we expend.

“However this control breaks down in obesity – the system appears not to work – and we don’t really know why this happens. In our study we found that genes and proteins changed in response to a high fat diet and that these changes are normally associated with damage in the brain, indicating that damage had occurred in the hypothalamus in mice that ate a diet high in saturated fat.

“We instinctively know that eating a diet high in saturated fat and sugar will lead to overweight and obesity. Our results indicate that a high fat diet can damage the areas of the brain that control energy balance and perpetuate the development of obesity. High fat and high sugar foods are energy dense foods which are highly palatable and they are very easy to overeat.”

“Our findings may also explain why some overweight people find it difficult to diet and why weight loss after dieting is so difficult to maintain. We now plan to carry out further studies that will look at whether these effects are reversible.”

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Red wine could help you lose weight

Drinking red wine could help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite and preventing you from overeating according to new research.Red wine could help you lose weightResearchers found that when bees were fed resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, they ate less food afterwards.

While bees normally gorge themselves on sugary foods when they are freely available, those which had been fed resveratrol chose to stop eating once they had taken on enough to meet their energy needs.

They also became uninterested in diluted sugar solutions, suggesting they had become less sensitive to it, the scientists reported in the Aging journal.

Previous studies have indicated that resveratrol could also combat obesity by mimicing the effects of a low fat diet, and help prevent the onset of age-related disease.

Gro Amdam, one of the study’s authors from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, said: “Because what we eat is such an important contributor to our physical health, we looked at the bees’ sensitivity to sugar and their willingness to consume it.

“Bees typically gorge on sugar and while it’s the best thing for them, we know that eating too much is not necessarily a good thing.”

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Dieting- it’s all in the timing

Sticking to strict meal times every day is good for the metabolism and helps the body burn off fat according to new research.Dieting- it's all in the timingPeople who snack on healthy food may consume only a small amount of fat- however their haphazard eating patterns mean they can put on weight, a new reserach study suggests.

In contrast, sticking to strict meal times is good for the metabolism and helps the body burn off fat- allowing a more liberal choice of food.

The findings indicate that adopting a fixed timetable for meals could be a more effective method of dieting than trying to cut out fatty foods and might help prevent obesity, researchers said.

Previous studies have shown that both a high fat diet and eating patterns that disrupt the natural body clock can interfere with our metabolism and raise the risk of obesity.

Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem tested the effects of timing and fat intake on four groups of mice over an 18-week period to determine whether careful scheduling of meals could lower the effects of a high-fat diet.

Half were given a high-fat diet that would normally be expected to make them obese. Of these, a quarter were fed at the same time each day and another quarter could eat as much as they liked, whenever they liked.

The other half were fed a diet that was lower in fat. Again, one quarter had a fixed feeding time, the other had not.

All four of the groups gained weight over the course of the trial, with the group that ate a high-fat diet at irregular intervals unsurprisingly gaining the most weight, while those on a low-fat, scheduled diet gained the least.

But more surprisingly, the mice that had been fed a high-fat diet at regular intervals finished the trial in a better condition than those that ate low fat foods whenever they wanted, despite both groups consuming the same number of calories overall.

The mice in the scheduled, high fat group had 12 per cent lower body weight, 21 per cent lower cholesterol and 1.4 times higher sensitivity to insulin than the unscheduled, low-fat group.

The diet also changed their metabolism so that they burnt off the fats they ingested to produce energy in between meal times, rather than storing the fat in their bodies.

The study was published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

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How models stay slim- from cocaine to eating cotton wool balls

A fashion model has recently spoken of the great lengths some go to in order to achieve the zero sized figure that they are required to have.How models stay slim- from cocaine to eating cotton wool ballsRussian model Kira Dikhtyar said that “packs of cigarettes, daily colonics, laxatives, Phentermine diet pills, Adderal, prescription drugs that suppress the appetite” are just some of the techniques employed by her colleagues to stave off hunger.”

“I’ve heard stories that some modelling agents encourage girls to do speed and cocaine in order to speed up metabolism and eat less.”

“And all kinds of injections are becoming more and more popular, from HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) injections that go with a 500 calorie diet plan to T3 thyroid injections that healthy models inject in an attempt to speed up their thyroid function, which results in a faster metabolism.”

HCG injections consist of a hormone which is produced during pregnancy and causes the uterus to be enriched with a thick lining of blood vessels and capillaries so that it can sustain a growing foetus. As a prescription medication, HCG injections are often used in fertility therapy, however, they have recently received attention for their use as a potential weight loss aid due to their ability to suppress appetite.

Health authorities have advised against using them as a method of weight loss due to serious side effects such as gallstones, stroke and blood clots.

The 24-year-old model also claimed that some models resort to eating cotton balls in order to fill their stomachs, before saying that she has only been turned away by one designer – Elie Tahari – for the upcoming New York shows for being too thin.

Dikhtyar’s claims come shortly after two major initiatives were put in place to combat such behaviour. In January this year the CFDA released guidelines asking NYFW designers to, amongst other things, ask models for I.D., encourage those with eating disorders to seek help and to provide substantial amounts of healthy food backstage.

Similarly, Vogue magazine launched ‘The Heath Initiative’ in June – a pact between 19 of the magazines’ international editors to encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry.

From:  http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/From-cocaine-to-eating-cotton-wool-balls-how-models-stay-thin

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Overweight men need to become match fit if they want to be fathers

Overweight men have been warned they need to become ‘match fit’ if they want to be fathers, as a fertility study claims too much attention has been focused on mothers’ weight.Overweight men need to become match fit if they want to be fathersScientists studying the impact obesity has on pregnancy are urging men to get ‘in shape’ before conceiving to assist with foetal development.

While the health risks surrounding obesity and pregnancy have largely been centred on overweight mothers, the onus is now on men to lose weight.

Less efficient sperm results in smaller foetuses, poor pregnancy success and reduced placental development.

The discovery was made by reproductive experts from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

World Health Organisation figures show that a staggering 48 per cent of adult males are overweight or obese – making the findings even more of a worry.

The research was conducted by Professor David Gardner, Dr Natalie Hannan and PhD student Natalie Binder.

Prof Gardner, Head of the Department of Zoology, said: “A lot of men don’t understand they need to be healthy before conceiving. Sperm needs to be ‘match fit’ for the games of life and creating life is the biggest thing that we can do.”

The study used IVF to determine the effects of paternal obesity on embryo implantation into the womb and foetal development.

PhD candidate Natalie Binder generated embryos from both normal weight and obese male mice.

She said: “We found development was delayed in the foetuses produced from obese fathers.  Furthermore, placental weight and development was significantly less for embryos derived from the sperm of obese males.

These findings indicate that paternal obesity not only negatively affects embryo development, but also impacts on the successful implantation into the womb.

“This then results in a small placenta which impairs fetal growth and development with long term consequences for the health of the offspring. Our study provides more information about the impact of obesity in men and their ability to start a family and the need to shed kilos in preparation to conceive.”

The findings were presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Endocrine Society of Australia and the Society for Reproductive Biology 2012.

From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/Overweight-men-warned-they-need-to-become-match-fit-if-they-want-to-be-fathers

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Spare tyre triples risk of heart attack

People who carry a small “spare tyre” around their waist but are otherwise a healthy weight are at triple the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke. Spare tyre triples risk of heart attackMen and women who are not overweight but store most of their fat around their waist are at greater risk of heart disease or stroke than even the clinically obese.

This could be because those who are overweight or obese have more weight on their thighs and hips which helps offset the problem, researchers said.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic in the United States examined the health records of 12,785 people with an average age of 44, over a 14-year period.

They recorded patients’ body mass index (BMI) – their ratio of weight relative to height – as well as their waist-to-hip ratio, which signifies how much of their weight they store on their belly.

During the study, 2,562 of the patients died, including 1,138 as a result of a cardiovascular problem such as heart disease or stroke.

The findings suggest that people with a normal BMI but a high waist-to-hip ratio were 2.75 times more likely to die from a cardiovascular condition than people who were normal on both scales.

Even people who were clinically obese and had a high proportion of fat stored around their middle had only 2.34 times the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke compared with the healthiest group.

Speaking at the European Society of Cardiology’s annual congress in Munich, Dr Karine Sahakyan said having a normal BMI “should not reassure them that their risk for heart disease is low”.

“Where their fat is distributed on their body can mean a lot even if their body weight is within normal limits,” she said.

Fat which accumulates between the organs in the abdomen, and causes the waistline to expand, is made of a different type of cell to that which accumulates around the legs and thighs.

Cells in belly fat release chemicals which raise insulin resistance and are thought to increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.

People who are overweight and obese have more muscle mass and store some of their fat on their legs and hips, which Dr Sahakyan said was “actually protective”.

Slimmer people are more likely to carry extra weight on the waist, she said.

Patients with a high waist-to-hip ratio can offset their risk by exercising more and sticking to a healthy diet.

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NHS turning to weight loss surgery to tackle obesity epidemic

The NHS is increasingly resorting to weight loss surgery to tackle Britain’s obesity epidemic- with the number of gastric bypass operations rising six fold in just five years.NHS turning to weight loss surgery to tackle obesity epidemicBritain’s men and women are among the fattest in Europe. Ministers want to tackle the problem at source- but surgeons say weight loss surgery is extremely effective for treating the morbidly obese.

Between 2006-7 and 2011-12 the number of gastric bypass operations increased from 858 to 5,407, according to figures from the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Over the same period the number of gastric band operations also increased, but at a slower rate, from 715 to 1,316.

A gastric bypass involves making the stomach much smaller and shortening the length of the small intestine. This makes it impossible to eat large meals and reduces absorption of nutrients.

It has become much more popular than gastric banding, which involves inserting an adjustable and removable band that limits the effective size of the stomach, but nothing else.

Surgeons said the increases indicated there was a large unmet need for weight loss (‘bariatric’) surgery, rather than any sizeable increase in the number of morbidly obese people since 2006.

Alberic Fiennes, president of the the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS), said: “There are about 1.5 million such adults in the UK. They face premature death, disease and disability brought on as a direct result of their condition. These can be prevented, improved or eliminated by surgery.

“There is compelling evidence that weight loss surgery to treat the most severely affected is one of the most clinically effective, safe and cost effective treatments available.

American research indicates the morbidly obese could gain around three extra years of life from bariatric surgery. It also improves quality of life – besides weight loss – in some cases reversing patients’ Type 2 diabetes.

However, although there are national guidelines on who is eligible, some local health authorities refuse to adhere to them, leading to a postcode lottery of care.

Bariatric surgery is expensive – costing up to £14,000 a time – and there are too few qualified surgeons to meet demand. The NHS currently spends about £50 million on bariatric surgery.

Mr Fiennes called on the Department of Health “to invest in a long term strategy to ensure that all patients have equal access to this life-saving treatment.”

He also explained the gastric bypass operations had become the favoured option because they “may be more effective in the long term”.

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