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May 24, 2016

Study Suggests That Gut Bacteria May Be Transferable

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Sarah @ 8:56 am
Sarah

A new study has found that gut bacteria associated with obesity are able to survive outside the human body. The researchers believe this could mean that the gut bacteria could be transferred from person to person.

The researchers isolated 137 bacterial species and used whole-genome and metagenomic sequencing as well as computational and phenotypic analysis to determine whether or not the 137 species are transferrable. They found that 50%-60% of the bacteria in a healthy individual makes resilient spores which can survive outside the host, and therefore could possibly be transferred from human to human.

Their findings suggest that ingesting bacteria that came from an obese person’s gut could, potentially, cause a disturbance in another person’s gut microbiota. This could then possibly result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or obesity.

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute on the UK conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on May 4, 2016, in the journal Nature.

While only 30% of the human gut bacteria has been mapped, previous studies have found that having a varied composition of bacteria in the digestive system is essential for good gut health and for good health overall. If you’re looking to improve gut bacteria diversity, consider taking a prebiotic or probiotic supplement. A recent study also found that exercise might help boost gut bacteria diversity.



May 20, 2016

A Probiotic Bacteria May Help Slim Waistlines, Reduce Body Fat in Obese People

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Sarah @ 8:59 am
Sarah

Obesity is a growing problem in the United States, and is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. A recent study suggests that a plant-derived lactic acid bacterium called Pediococcus pentosaceus LP28 may help reduce body fat and waistlines.

Participants in the study included 62 people between the ages of 20 and 70 with a BMI between 25 and 30 kg/m2. Over the course of 12 weeks they took a live LP28, a heat-killed LP28, or a placebo daily. They were instructed not to change their usual diet and exercise routines.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted an average 0.45 kg/m2 decrease in BMI, a 1.1% decrease in body fat percentage, a 2.1 pound decrease in body fat mass, and a 1.2 inch reduction in waist circumference in the heat-killed LP28 group, when compared with the placebo.

The live LP28 group did not show significant changes when compared to the placebo. The live LP28 powder was harder to swallow than the heat killed LP28 because of taste and texture. The researchers believe this may have lowered compliance in the live LP28 group.

Researchers from Hiroshima University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 9, 2016, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Obesity has far ranging negative effect on health. Each year, obesity causes approximately 300,000 premature deaths in the United States. The negative health effects associated with obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea.

Improving eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity. It is recommended that we eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It also recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity every day.



April 13, 2016

Eating More Protein While Losing Weight May Improve Sleep Quality

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Sarah @ 9:16 am
Sarah

Short sleep duration and compromised sleep quality have been linked to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and premature death. A recent study suggests that overweight and obese adults who are actively losing weight sleep better when following a high-protein diet.

Participants in the study included 44 overweight or obese people who followed either a normal-protein or a higher-protein weight loss diet for three weeks. After that three-week period, they consumed either 0.8 or 1.5 grams of protein for every kg of body weight daily for 16 weeks. All of the participants completed a sleep quality survey every month.

A dietician created a weight loss diet for each participant tailored to meet his or her daily calorie needs. Each diet included a reduction of 750 calories in fats and carbohydrates. The protein amount varied based on whether they were in the high or low protein group. The proteins used were beef, pork, soy, legumes, and milk protein.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted that the participants who consumed more protein while losing weight reported better sleep quality after three and fourth months of dietary intervention.

Researchers from Purdue University conducted the study. It was published in the March 2016 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Protein functions as a building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It is also a building block for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. Previous studies suggest that consuming high amounts of protein may help build muscle and increase metabolism.

Previous studies have linked not getting enough sleep with faster cognitive decline, increased blood pressure, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Some methods to try to improve your sleep include eating less high fat foods, eliminating “blue light” (such as the light from your phone) just before bed, and increasing exercise levels.



April 1, 2016

Aster Spathulifolius Maxim Extract Associated With Weight Loss

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Emma @ 9:30 am
Emma

Previous research suggests that a sustained weight loss of as little as 3% to 5% can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.  A recent study suggests that twelve weeks of supplementation with Aster spathulifolius Maxim may reduce body weight by more than 4%.

Participants in the study included 43 people who were given either a placebo or a 700 mg A. spathulifolius Maxim leaf extract daily for 12 weeks. Weight, BMI, waist circumference, fat mass and laboratory tests were assessed at baseline and at 12 weeks.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a 7.4 pound reduction in body fat in the supplement group, compared with a 1 pound reduction in the placebo group. No changes were noted in lipid profiles, fasting blood sugar, or hemoglobin A1c levels in either of the groups.

Researchers from Kyung Hee University in Korea conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 3, 2016, in Nutrition Research.

This was the first study to examine the effects of Aster spathulifolius Maxim on weight loss in humans. The plant is a flower native to South Korea, Japan, and China. Parts of it have traditionally been eaten in Korea but they are not commonly eaten in the West. If you’re interested in consuming Aster spathulifolius Maxim for weight loss, it is recommended that you find a high quality supplement.



March 18, 2016

Drinking Just a Little More Water May Reduce Calorie Consumption

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Sarah @ 9:00 am
Sarah

A recent study suggests that increasing your water consumption by just 1% may reduce your total daily calorie intake and consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol.

Participants in the study included more than 18,300 Americans who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All of the participants were asked to remember everything they ate or drank over the course of two days that were three to 10 days apart. The researchers calculated the amount of plain water each person consumed based on their daily dietary water intake from food and beverages. Unsweetened black tea, herbal tea, and coffee were not counted as plain water but their water content was counted in the total dietary water consumption.

The researchers found that people consumed an average 4.2 cups of plain water daily, which accounted for slightly more than 30% of total dietary water intake. Average calorie intake was 2,157 calories, which included 125 calories from sugar-sweetened drinks and 432 calories from discretionary foods that were low in nutritious value and high in calories, including desserts, pastries, and snack mixes.

After adjusting for race/ethnicity, education, income, and body weight, the researchers found that increasing water consumption by one, two, or three cups daily was associated with a reduction in total calorie intake by 68 to 205 calories per day and sodium intake from 78 to 235 milligrams per day. They also noted a reduction from 5 g to almost 18 g of sugar and 7 mg to 21 mg of cholesterol.

Additionally, the researchers determined that a small but statistically significant 1% increase in plain water consumption per day was associated with an 8.6 calorie reduction in daily calorie intake as well as a slight reduction in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and discretionary foods. The decreases were most noticeable in men and young and middle-aged adults. However, the researchers noted that those groups on average have a higher daily calorie intake.

Researchers from the University of Illinois conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 22, 2016, in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

Because the human body is composed of 60% water, it’s important to make sure you’re consuming enough water every day to replace that which is lost from sweat, breathing, urine, and stool. While a recent study found that the previously recommended eight glasses per day was not based on a scientific study, increasing water intake has been associated not only with lower calorie consumption but also less muscle fatigue, better looking skin, healthier kidneys, and better bowel function.



March 16, 2016

Collagen Peptide Supplement May Notably Reduce Cellulite

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Sarah @ 9:00 am
Sarah

Cellulite affects around 85% of adult women and is characterized by a dimpled, lumpy appearance on the thighs and buttocks. It is caused by fat deposits building up under the skin. A recent study suggests that taking a collagen peptide supplement may improve the appearance of cellulite.

Participants in the study included 105 women between the ages of 24 and 50 who were given either 2.5 grams of collagen peptides or a placebo daily for six months. The researchers noted statistically significant cellulite score reduction at the three-month point. At the conclusion of the study, they recorded an approximate 9% mean reduction in cellulite in women with a normal body mass index. In those participants with a BMI that was higher than 25, they noted a 4% reduction in cellulite.

The researchers also noted an average 8% reduction in skin waviness on thighs as measured by skin surface profile measurement in the collagen peptide group at the six month point. When they focused specifically on people with normal BMI, that reduction was amplified to 11.1%.

Researchers from the Collagen Research Institute in Germany, the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, and the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel in Germany conducted the study. It was published in the December 2015 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food.

Previous studies suggest that collagen peptides may help with joint and bone health, particularly as we get older. Because collagen peptides dissolve in water, it’s best to take them in the form of a drink supplement.



March 14, 2016

Lack of Sleep May Lead to Weight Gain

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Sarah @ 9:38 am
Sarah

Both sleep deprivation and weight gain are common in the United States, with the Center for Disease Control estimating that as many as one third of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep per night and one third of Americans are obese. A recent study suggests that the two may be related, finding that sleep loss is linked to higher levels of a hormone that increases desire for high calorie foods and leads to weight gain.

Participants in the study included 14 healthy men and women in there twenties. The participants underwent two trials aimed at determining if there is a connection between weight gain and sleep loss. The first trial was a four-day period spent at a clinical research center, during which they were required to spend 8.5 hours in bed every night, and received an average of 7.5 hours of sleep per night. The second trial was another four-day period, during which they spent 4.5 hours in bed and received an average of 4.2 hours of sleep per night.

All of the participants ate three times a day, at 9 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m. during the two trial periods. The researchers measured levels of ghrelin (which increases appetite) and leptin (also known as the “satiety hormone,” as it informs the body when it’s full). They also measured blood levels of endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylgycerol (2-AG), which is a chemical signal that increases the pleasure and satisfaction received from eating. 2-AG is the same chemical signal triggered by marijuana use and levels are typically low overnight, increasing throughout the day until peaking in the early afternoon then decreasing.

The researchers found that 2-AG levels rose 33% higher after restricted sleep when compared with longer sleep times. The levels also peaked 1.5 hours later, at 2 p.m. instead of 12:30 p.m., and stayed elevated until 9 p.m. Additionally, the participants reported significant increase in hunger levels after restricted sleep, particularly after the second meal of the day, as well as a greater desire to eat.

On the fourth day of both trial periods, the participants were offered snack foods less than two hours after eating a large meal. During the restricted sleep trial, they ate more food and chose foods that contained 50% more calories and twice the amount of fat as they did during the longer sleep trial.

The researchers concluded that the elevated levels of 2-AG throughout the day are directly linked to both less sleep and higher caloric consumption.

Researchers from the University of Chicago conducted the study. It was published on February 29, 2016, in the journal SLEEP.

Weight gain isn’t the only danger associated with lack of sleep. Previous studies have linked not getting enough sleep with faster cognitive decline, increased blood pressure, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Some methods to try to improve your sleep include eating less high fat foods, eliminating “blue light” (like the light from your phone) just before bed, and increasing exercise levels.



March 7, 2016

Losing 5% of Body Weight May Have Serious Health Benefits for Obese People

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Emma @ 9:34 am
Emma

Obesity is associated with a range of health problems, including cardiovascular problems and diabetes. A recent study suggests that losing just 5% of body weight may have major health benefits for obese people.

Participants in the study included 40 obese people, none of whom had diabetes. They were assigned to lose 5, 10, or 15% of their body weight, or maintain their current body weight.

The researchers noted that the 19 people who lost 5% of their body weight had improvements in the function of insulin-secreting beta cells, as well as insulin sensitivity in fat tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle tissue. They also noted a decrease in total body fat and significantly less fat in the liver.

Nine of the participants continued to lose weight after the study, eventually losing 15% of their initial body weight. In those participants, the researchers noted further beta cell function improvement as well as improved insulin sensitivity in muscle tissue, However, there were no increased improvements in insulin sensitivity in the liver or the fat tissue.

The researchers concluded that not all organ systems respond the same way to continued weight loss. Muscle tissue is responsive to continued weight loss, but maximum benefit is achieved for liver and fat tissue at 5% weight loss.

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 22, 2016, in Cell Metabolism.

Each year, obesity causes approximately 300,000 premature deaths in the United States.  The negative health effects associated with obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea.

Improving eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity.  It is recommended that we eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  It also recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity every day.



February 24, 2016

Unintentional Weight Loss May Increase Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Emma @ 8:53 am
Emma

A recent study suggests that increasing unintentional weight loss as people progress from midlife to later life may increase the risk of mild cognitive impairment, which can progress to dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Participants in the study included 1,895 people who were 70 years or older and cognitively normal at the outset of the study. All of them took part in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, which started on October 1, 2004. The researchers used medical records to determine maximum weight and height in midlife.

Over a mean follow-up period of 4.4 years, 524 of them developed mild cognitive impairment. 50.3% were men with a mean age of 78.5 years. The mean rate of weight change per decade from midlife to the beginning of the study was greater for participants who developed mild cognitive impairment compared to those who did not.

After examining the data, the researchers determined that a greater decline in weight per decade was associated with a higher risk of developing mild cognitive impairment. Specifically, a weight loss of 11 pounds per decade corresponded with a 24% increase in risk of mild cognitive impairment.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 1, 2016, in JAMA Neurology.

Previous studies have identified 6 pillars of a brain-healthy lifestyle. They are regular exercise, healthy diet, mental stimulation, quality sleep, stress management and an active social life. Incorporating all of these into your daily life may help reduce the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.



February 16, 2016

Vacation Weight Gain May Contribute to Obesity

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Sarah @ 9:00 am
Sarah

Many people consider vacation to be a break from everything — including exercise and eating healthy. In line with this, a recent study suggests that people gain an average of one pound for every one week to three week vacation, which can contribute to “creeping obesity.”

Creeping obesity is the slow gain of body fat over a long period of time, which can lead to increased health problems later in life.

Participants in the study included 122 people between the ages of 18 and 65, with an average age of 32. All of the participants went on one to three week vacations between the months of March and August. All of them came in for three lab visits, during which height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, and waist-to-hip ratio were measured. The first visit was one week before the vacation, the second one week after vacation, and the third six weeks after vacation.

The researchers found that 61% of the participants gained weight over their vacation, with an average 0.7 pound weight gain. The average weight gain over the entire study period was 0.9 pounds.

They also found that the participants gained weight despite an increase in physical activity during the vacation. This was partially due to increased caloric intake, especially of alcohol, during the vacation.  On average, the participants consumed eight alcoholic drinks per week prio to vacation, and 16 drinks per week during vacation. Participants also typically saw a decrease in physical activity in the weeks following vacation.

There were, however, benefits to the vacations including lower stress levels and a small reduction in systolic blood pressure for as long as six weeks post-vacation.

Researchers from the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 5, 2016, in Physiology & Behavior.

Obesity has a far ranging negative effect on health.  Each year, obesity causes approximately 300,000 premature deaths in the United States.  The negative health effects associated with obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea.

Improving eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity.  It is recommended that we eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It’s also recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity every day and, as this study shows, increase that physical activity post-vacation.



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