Bariatric Surgery Reveals Complexities of Our Hunger Systems

Bariatric surgery affects a variety of physiological processes in the human body, including brain signaling, hormones, blood composition and the microbiome.

What and When We Eat May Be the Key to a Longer Life

Credit: iStock Age-related diseases—including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes—are a growing problem worldwide as people live longer lives. Promoting healthy aging is important, but the best intervention for healthy aging identified so far—eating fewer calories (calorie restriction)—is often too difficult for people to follow. A potential alternative lies in the growing realization that “a calorie … Continue reading What and When We Eat May Be the Key to a Longer Life

Spotlight On: Metabolism

Credit: iStock Our bodies undergo millions of chemical reactions throughout the day: building, breaking down and transporting molecules in an attempt to maintain balance, or homeostasis. Many of these reactions require energy. Most of that energy comes from our cells’ energy centers, called the mitochondria. The total of all of these chemical reactions and the … Continue reading Spotlight On: Metabolism

Hibernation: Not Just for Animals?

Credit: iStock Why isn’t crawling into bed like a well-fed grizzly bear and sleeping away the world’s problems on our list of options for surviving life? I imagine my hibernation pod would be kind of like the COVID-19 pandemic’s “stay-at-home” orders, but with a lot more sleep and a lot less pizza delivery (though adequate … Continue reading Hibernation: Not Just for Animals?

Is Dropping Junk Food the Key to Weight Loss?

Credit: iStock Since 1975, obesity has nearly tripled, now affecting over 650 million adults worldwide. Scientists know that diet can influence obesity—researchers have thought that ultra-processed or “junk” foods are part of the cause—but until recently, there have not been many studies to support the claim. Ultra-processed foods such as soda, pre-packaged items, cold cuts … Continue reading Is Dropping Junk Food the Key to Weight Loss?

Spotlight On: Oxidative Stress

Credit: iStock Oxidative stress is a term that many of us have heard or seen on food and vitamin labels for quite some time, but few people understand what this is. Oxidative stress is the imbalance of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which is a byproduct of metabolism that is made up of different compounds, including … Continue reading Spotlight On: Oxidative Stress

The Jury Is Still Out on Whether Brown Fat Can Make You Thin

Obesity is a major health problem that carries enormous costs to both the individual and society. Being overweight may limit quality of life and work productivity and cause disease, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer. It may even lead to premature death. Obesity is defined as the excess accumulation … Continue reading The Jury Is Still Out on Whether Brown Fat Can Make You Thin

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

How Being Male or Female Affects Our Hearts, Kidneys and Waistlines

When it comes to health, men and women aren’t always equal. Biological factors, such as our anatomy and hormones, affect the way our bodies behave when we’re healthy and when we face health challenges. Top researchers who study the influence of biological sex on health and disease gathered earlier this month in Knoxville, Tenn., for … Continue reading How Being Male or Female Affects Our Hearts, Kidneys and Waistlines

Herbal Tea: Healthier Hot or Cold?

Tea—the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water—can be found in almost 80 percent of U.S. households. In 2017, people in the U.S. consumed over 84 billion servings of tea—that’s more than 3.8 billion gallons! Tea is versatile: served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere and for any occasion. Herbal tea is gaining … Continue reading Herbal Tea: Healthier Hot or Cold?