Immunometabolism: The New Frontier

Friday, July 31, 2009  -  Byron J Richards

Every now and then rather jaw-dropping research is published, as is the case this week as the journal Nature Medicine published three groundbreaking articles linking the function of immune cells to obesity and diabetes – data which opens the door to solving all kinds of health problems including the obesity issue itself, inefficient immune response to the flu in overweight individuals, as well as obesity-related autoimmune problems.

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Steep Escalation in Minority Obesity and Breast Cancer

 -  Byron J Richards

A new report in the journal Academic Pediatrics shows that severe obesity in children has tripled in the past two decades.  It has especially risen amongst blacks (5.7%) and Mexican-Americans (5.2%), compared to whites (3.1%).  The problem is more prevalent in low income families.

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How an Altered Pleasure Desire Results in Weight Gain

Thursday, July 30, 2009  -  Byron J Richards

Two new studies presented at the annual meeting of Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) are helping to clarify the rather insidious nature of food cravings that result in overeating and weight gain.  The desire for pleasure is normal.  Eating produces a feeling of pleasure so that you eat, and thus survive.

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Health Costs Relating to Obesity Skyrocket

Wednesday, July 29, 2009  -  Byron J Richards

A new report published in the journal Health Affairs shows that the cost of treating obesity-related health problems has doubled in the past decade, from 78 billion a year in 1998 to 147 billion in 2008.  Each obese person costs the overall health system an extra $1,429 per year, a 42% higher cost to insure compared to a normal weight person.

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Overweight Postmenopausal Women are Low in Vitamin D

Sunday, July 26, 2009  -  Byron J Richards

Vitamin D is emerging as an important metabolic nutrient, having a definite role in the health of stored fat – although that role has not yet been clearly defined.  Nevertheless, a new study using x-ray absorptiometry measurements of total body and regional fat mass in overweight postmenopausal women without osteoporosis found that fat mass significantly increased as vitamin D levels declined.

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Abdominal Fat Stresses Overall Metabolism

Monday, July 20, 2009  -  Byron J Richards

Stored fat, especially abdominal fat, signifies far more than just bothersome extra weight.  It indicates a metabolic problem in that the stored fat is itself dysfunctional, contributing to problems all over your body including slowing down your metabolism and inducing insulin resistance.

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Postmenopausal Weight Gain Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Sunday, July 19, 2009  -  Byron J Richards

A new study of 5,450 postmenopausal women shows double the risk for breast cancer in women with elevated insulin.  As I recently reported, this risk goes up further if a postmenopausal woman is also taking estradiol, whether from horse urine or bioidentical.

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Obesity Linked to Rapid Cartilage Loss

Saturday, July 18, 2009  -  Byron J Richards

Maintaining the integrity of your joint cartilage is vital to your quality of life, ability to stay fit, participation in physical activities, and general anti-aging.  While the extra weight from obesity places understandable stress on cartilage, a new study indicates the problem is more significant and that obesity increases the risk for rapid cartilage loss beyond the issue of the mechanical pressure of the extra weight.

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Obesity is a Risk Factor for Swine Flu

Friday, July 17, 2009  -  Byron J Richards

The Center for Disease Control is alarmed that obesity may make it much more difficult to fight off the swine flu.  Of ten severely ill swine flu patients at a Michigan Hospital, nine of them were obese.  None of these patients have fully recovered.
“What this suggests is that there can be severe complications associated with this virus infection, especially in severely obese patients,” said CDC virus expert Dr. Tim Uyeki.  “And five of these patients had ... evidence of blood clots in the lungs. This has not been previously known to occur in patients with severe influenza virus infections,” Uyeki said in a telephone interview.

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Mid-life Obesity Signals Late-life Memory & Cognitive Problems

Monday, July 13, 2009  -  Byron J Richards

There is a rather severe price to pay for doing things wrong when you still have a chance.  Not only is being overweight an increased risk for cardiovascular problems and cancer, the wear and tear of it all also takes a serious toll on your brain.

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