Ketogenic Diets: Passing Fad or Nutritional Hack?

Read recent headlines or scroll through your social media feeds and you’ll likely see people talking about “keto” diets and keto-friendly recipes. This popular diet has gained attention for a variety of reasons ranging from weight loss success stories to the unexpected body odors some people on the diet experience. If the term “keto” is … Continue reading Ketogenic Diets: Passing Fad or Nutritional Hack?

Spotlight On: The Endocrine System

On any given day, you may feel stressed, moody, happy, tired or thirsty. All of these feelings seem to move and change seamlessly—and they are all a result of your endocrine system. Your endocrine system is made up of glands—for example, islets of Langerhans (within the pancreas)—that produce and secrete hormones and of organs—such as … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Endocrine System

Why Being an ‘Active Couch Potato’ Is Bad for Your Health

Did you know that even if you exercise regularly, you may be what researchers call an “active couch potato?” Consider this: If you exercise 30 to 45 minutes a day—completing your daily workout all at one time—it is easy to still spend 80 to 90 percent of your waking hours sitting. A study in England … Continue reading Why Being an ‘Active Couch Potato’ Is Bad for Your Health

Spotlight On: Circadian Rhythm

The phrase “circadian rhythm” seems to appear with increasing frequency in the news. The study of circadian rhythm also got a boost when the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three pioneering researchers in this area. But many people may not understand what it means and why it’s important. All biological … Continue reading Spotlight On: Circadian Rhythm

Here Comes the Sun (and the Heat)

Summer is in full swing, and with a near-peak number of daylight hours, chances are good that there is still plenty of light left to enjoy once your workday is done. Before you get outside and bask in the sun and heat, check out these I Spy posts that explain how your body responds to … Continue reading Here Comes the Sun (and the Heat)

2017’s 10 Most-read Posts

Another physiology-filled year on the I Spy Physiology blog is almost over. This year, we’ve explored dozens of topics, ranging from skin cancer, gut health and spinal cord injury to the mystery of how hibernating animals’ muscles remain strong. We’ve celebrated women in science and smiled at the thought of turkeys running on treadmills. Today, … Continue reading 2017’s 10 Most-read Posts

Dog Gazing: Attachment between Hound and Human

While walking through Santiago, Chile, you are likely to come across at least one of the countless wandering dogs that live on the busy streets. Homeless dogs are a normal part of Santiago’s culture. They are quick to make friends with anyone who offers a welcoming hand or food. They are not quick, however, to … Continue reading Dog Gazing: Attachment between Hound and Human

When Hormones Take Your Breath Away

After a healthy childhood, my best friend suddenly started having breathing difficulties when she was 20 years old. The doctor diagnosed her with asthma. With the help of inhaled medications, she was able to control her symptoms. But a year later, the medications were no longer effective and she started having monthly, life-threatening asthma attacks. … Continue reading When Hormones Take Your Breath Away

Beer Does a Body Good?

Bone is a living organ that constantly breaks down and rebuilds itself. As we get older, bone breaks down more and rebuilds less, which often leads to weaker bones over time. If we lose too much bone, we increase our risk of fracture and developing osteoporosis. Women tend to have weaker bones and a faster … Continue reading Beer Does a Body Good?

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Your Thyroid Gland!

  The thyroid gland—a small, butterfly-shaped gland found at the base of the neck—is the “Clark Kent” of endocrine organs. The thyroid’s actions are extremely powerful, but most people don’t know about its secret superpowers. An endocrine organ releases substances called hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones are carried to other areas of the body … Continue reading It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Your Thyroid Gland!