Regular Chocolate Consumption Linked To Leaner Bodies

People who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner than those who never or very rarely consume chocolate, researchers from the University of California, San Diego, reported in Archives of Internal Medicine. The authors added that some kinds of chocolate had previously been found to improve factors related to metabolism, including insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, as well ascholesterol levels. Because of the high-calorie values of most chocolates, many people avoid them in their attempts to control their body weight. Beatrice A. Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., and team gathered data on 1,018 adults, both male and female. None of them had any known chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or unfavorable LDL-C (bad cholesterol) levels - they were all screened for overall health when the study began. The volunteers were given questionnaires which included questions about their weekly chocolate consumption rates. 975 of them completed the chocolate-related questions. 972 of them had their body mass indexes (BMIs) measured. The authors noted: "Adults who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who consumed chocolate less often." The volunteers' average as was 57 years. Among the males (making up 68% of total participants), their average BMI was 28. Their chocolate consumption was, on average, twice weekly. The males exercised 3.6 times weekly. Despite being leaner than non-chocolate eaters (or those who rarely ate chocolate), the authors found that regular chocolate eaters consumed more calories, including higher amounts of saturated fat. They had already factored out certain variables which could have affected their findings, such as people's age, gender, how physically active they were, etc. Regular chocolate consumption linked to leaner bodies How often chocolate was...

What Is DHT (Dihydrotestosterone)? What Is DHT’s Role In Baldness?

DHT, which stands forDihydrotestosterone (5α-Dihydrotestosterone), is a male sex hormone, an androgen. 5α-reductase, an enzyme, synthesizes DHT in the adrenal glands, hair follicles, testes and prostate. Male and female adults can lose hair as a consequence of changes in the metabolism of androgen in the body - men more commonly than women. DHT plays a major role in hair loss. Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia or androgenetic alopecia, is caused by the hair follicle's sensitivity to DHT. The follicles miniaturize (shrink), resulting in a shorter lifespan and the abnormal production of hair. The molecular formula for DHT is C19H30O2. The most important part of the hair follicle is the dermal papilla (papilla of hair), which is responsible for the growth of hair. The dermal papilla cells divide and differentiate to form new hair follicles. The papilla is in direct contact with the skin's blood capillaries, from which it gets its essential nutrients for proper hair follicle growth. The dermal papilla has a large number of androgen receptors (more in males than females). A hair follicle (image from Wikimedia Commons) When DHT gets to the dermal papilla, it undermines the absorption of vital nutrients required for healthy hair follicles. Hair follicles have resting and growing phases - without propernutrition, their resting stages get longer while their growing phases get shorter. What is Miniaturization? Miniaturization in this text refers to the progressive shrinking the hair follicle. Hair grows for shorter periods, becomes lighter, finer and smaller, until it eventually reaches the vellus stage. Vellus hair is light-colored, short, thin and very fine hair - it is barely noticeable and grows on most of the human...

Our Brains Make Men And Women See Things Differently

According to a new study, published in BioMed Central's open access journalBiology of Sex Differences, men and women have different ways of using the visual centers of their brains. Experts suggest that while females are better at distinguishing colors, males are more sensitive to fine detail and rapidly moving stimuli. There are high concentrations of the male sex hormone (androgen) receptors throughout the cerebral cortex in the brain, particularly in the visual cortex, which is in charge of processing images. Guys have 25% more neurons in the visual cortex than females because, during embryogenesis, androgens are responsible for controlling the development of those neurons. The vision of men and women was compared by a team of researchers from Brooklyn and Hunter Colleges of the City University of New York. The experts observed people over the age of 16 from both college and high school, including students and faculty. Both sexes needed to have normal color vision and 20/20 sight (with glasses or contacts was considered fine), in order to participate. Scientists learned that the color vision of men was shifted, after they asked the volunteers to describe colors shown to them across the visual spectrum. It also became clear that male subjects needed a slightly longer wavelength to experience the same hue as the female subjects. It was not as easy for men to discriminate between colors as it was for women, meaning that the males had a broader ranger in the center of the spectrum. In order to measure contrast-sensitivity functions (CSF) of vision, the researchers used an image of light and dark bars that were either horizontal...

What Is Fatigue? What Causes Fatigue?

Fatigue, also referred to as tiredness, exhaustion, lethargy, and listlessness, describes a physical and/or mental state of being tired and weak. Although physical and mental fatigue are different, the two often exist together - if a person is physically exhausted for long enough, they will also be mentally tired. When somebody experiences physical fatigue, it means they cannot continue functioning at their normal levels of physical ability. Mental fatigue, however, is more slanted towards feeling sleepy and being unable to concentrate properly. Fatigue is a symptom, rather than a sign. A symptom is something the patient feels and describes, such as a headache or dizziness, while a sign is something the doctor can detect without talking to the patient, such as a rash. Fatigue is a non-specific symptom, i.e. it may have several possible causes. Mental and physical fatigue Physical fatigue - the person's muscles cannot do things as easily as they used to. Climbing stairs or carrying laden supermarket bags may be much harder than before. Physical fatigue is also known as muscle weakness, weakness, or lack of strength. Doctors usually carry out a strength test as they go about diagnosing and trying to find out the causes of individual cases of physical fatigue. Psychological (mental) fatigue - concentrating on things has become harder. When symptoms are severe the patient might not want to get out of bed in the morning, or perform his/her daily activities. Mental fatigue often appears together with physical fatigue in patients, but not always. People may feel sleepy, have a decreased level of consciousness, and in some cases show signs similar to that of an intoxicated state. Mental fatigue may be...

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...
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