Brown Fat – Keeps You Warm And Keeps You Slim

People with more brown fat seem better able to stay warm when it is cold, Canadian researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. They added that the findings of their study could eventually be used to find ways of fighting obesity. Not much has been known about brown fat, a type of good fat, until recently. Brown fat, also known as brown adipose tissue (BAT) is one of two types of fats found in humans, the other two being white or yellow fat. Hibernating mammals and newborns have especially high levels of brown fat. Its main function is to generate body heat in animals and newborns. White fat cells (adipocytes) contain a single lipid droplet, as opposed to brown adipocytes, which contain several smaller lipid droplets and a considerably higher number of iron-containing mitochondria. The high iron is said to give brown fat its brown color. There are more capillaries in brown fat than white fat, because its oxygen requirement is greater. White fat accumulates around the waist and thighs, while brown fat appears to be concentrated in the front and back of the neck. Experts say much remains to be known regarding brown fat, but the main differences between these two types appear to be: Brown fat burns through calories in order to generate heat White fat is a storage area for excess calories Rats, mice and human newborns do not shiver when they are cold because they have higher levels of brown fat. Obese individuals, as well as those with diabetes type 2, have less brown fat than other people. Scientists do not yet know how humans might be able to increase the...

Waist To Height Ratio Better Than BMI

Waist to height ratio is a better predictor of heart disease and diabetes risk than BMI, according to new research presented at a scientific meeting recently. Study leader Dr Margaret Ashwell, an independent consultant and former science director of the British Nutrition Foundation, presented the findings at the 19th Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France, on Saturday 12 May. "Keeping your waist circumference to less than half your height can help increase life expectancy for every person in the world," said Ashwell, as reported in the Telegraph. Thus a man who is 6ft or 72 inches tall (183 cm), should keep his waist under 36 inches (91 cm), and a woman who is 5ft 4 in or 64 inches tall (163 cm), should keep her waist measurement under 32 inches (81 cm). Ashwell said the measure should be considered as a screening tool. The idea of using Waist to Height Ratio (WHtR) to predict cardiometabolic risk is not new, but is coming to prominence as more studies reveal its value. At the meeting, Ashwell presented the findings of a study that analyzed the health of 300,000 people and found WHtR was better able to predict high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacksand strokes than BMI. BMI (short for Body Mass Index) is a widely used measure of obesity. It is a ratio of a person's weight in kilos to the square of their height in metres. However, it does not take into account the distribution of fat around the body. Abdominal fat affects organs like the heart, liver and kidneys more adversely than fat around the hips and bottom, in terms of cardiometabolic risk. Last year, Ashwell co-authored...

Scientists Isolate Hormone That Triggers Health Benefits Of Exercise

An international team of scientists has isolated a natural hormone or chemical messenger in muscle cells that triggers some of the important health benefits of exercise. They have named it "irisin", after the Greek messenger goddess, and believe it is a promising candidate for developing drugs to treat diabetes, obesity and maybe even cancer. Senior author Dr Bruce Spiegelman, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues, write about their findings in the 11 January online issue ofNature. Spiegelman is also professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Spiegelman said for a while researchers have had a notion that exercise "talks to various tissues in the body", but the question was "How?" First author Dr Pontus Bostrom, a postdoctoral fellow who works with Spiegelman in his lab, told the press: "It's exciting to find a natural substance connected to exercise that has such clear therapeutic potential." He and his co-authors believe finding irisin is the start of understanding how physical exercise benefits the body biologically, not only to keep people healthy but also to prevent and treat disease. They came across irisin when they were looking at the effect of exercise on a master metabolic regulator gene called PGC1-alpha, which Spiegelman's group had already identified in previous work. When exercise switches on this gene, it in turn regulates a cluster of genes and proteins. A search for these other genes and proteins turned up irisin. They found it in the outer membranes of muscle cells, and not in the nucleus, as other scientists had predicted. For this study, the researchers used lab cultures and mice to show that...

Frequent Urination – Causes And Treatments

Frequent urination, where you feel an urge to pass urine more often than usual, is not just a a nuisance and a cause of poor sleep, it can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Polyuria is a medical term that refers to the excessive passing of urine (frequent urination). Unfortunately many people soldier on, perhaps accepting it as something they have to put up with, or they don't think it is worth bothering the doctor about, or maybe they are scared it might signify something serious. But often, when they seek diagnosis and treatment, patients find the cause is not serious or harmful, and it is possible to return to normal urinary habits. For instance, frequent urination can result from drinking too many fluids, particularly those containing caffeine or alcohol. Pregnant women often have the condition, due to the enlarged uterus pressing on the bladder. However, should it be the case that frequent urination is a symptom of something more serious, then there is even more reason to seek medical attention, because the sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the greater the chance of successful treatment. This article first considers the nature of urination, and then some of the symptoms, causes, and treatments of frequent urination. Urine and Urination Urinary System Diagram 1. Urinary system: 2. Kidney, 3. Renal pelvis, 4. Ureter, 5. Urinary bladder, 6. Urethra. 7. Adrenal gland Vessels: 8. Renal artery & vein, 9. Inferior vena cava, 10. Abdominal aorta, 11. Common iliac artery & vein With transparency: 12. Liver, 13. Large intestine, 14. Pelvis Urine is a waste product made in the kidneys. The kidneys...

What Is Neuropathy? Neuropathy Causes And Treatments

Neuropathy is a collection of disorders that occurs when nerves of the peripheral nervous system (the part of the nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord) are damaged. The condition is generally referred to as peripheral neuropathy, and it is most commonly due to damage to nerve axons. Neuropathy usually causes pain and numbness in the hands and feet. It can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic disorders, and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes of neuropathy is diabetes. Neuropathy can affect nerves that control muscle movement (motor nerves) and those that detect sensations such as coldness or pain (sensory nerves). In some cases - autonomic neuropathy - it can affect internal organs, such as the heart, blood vessels, bladder, or intestines. Pain from peripheral neuropathy is often described as a tingling or burning sensation. There is no specific length of time that the pain exists, but symptoms often improve with time - especially if the neuropathy has an underlying condition that can be cured. The condition is often associated with poor nutrition, a number of diseases, and pressure or trauma, but many cases have no known reason (called idiopathic neuropathy). In the United States, about 20 million people suffer from neuropathy. Over half of diabetes patients also suffer from the condition. How is neuropathy classified? Peripheral neuropathy can be broadly classified into the following categories: Mononeuropathy - involvement of a single nerve. Examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar nerve palsy, radial nerve palsy, and peroneal nerve palsy. Multiple mononeuropathy - two or more nerves individually affected. Polyneuropathy - generalized involvement of peripheral nerves. Examples includediabetic neuropathy and Guillain-Barre syndrome. Neurophathies may also be...
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