To lose old fat, you gotta have some new

Interesting study finds that fatty acids from the liver or diet are required to metabolize body fat.

Eventually, Semenkovich believes these findings could lead to more effective strategies for the treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic problems. For now, he says that dieters who want to lose fat stored in peripheral tissues may find it useful to take in small amounts of dietary fats, such as fish oils, that might more effectively activate PPAR-alpha and fat burning pathways through the liver.

The dairy debate

LATimes covers the debate over whether dairy products build stronger bones.

T. Colin Campbell, professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University, also questions dairy’s place in the dietary guidelines. “I like dairy. I grew up on a farm. But one has to look at the facts,” he says. “Dairy has been considered a health food, and that’s an unfortunate myth.”

Campbell’s views come from observations he and his colleagues made during a series of nutritional studies that began in 1983 and are collectively known as the China Study. In these studies, Campbell found that Asians, who consume far less dietary calcium than Americans, have one-fifth the bone fracture rate of Americans.

Lifestyle May Explain Much of Drop in Heart Deaths

A study attributes the recent dramatic drop in heart attack deaths in the UK to lifestyle changes. This articles contains what I think is an astonishing statistic:

Statistics show that over the 1980s and 90s, deaths from heart disease fell by half in England and Wales. The new study, which is based on the cumulative data from past research, found that there were 68,230 fewer heart disease deaths in 2000 than in 1981.

This, the study authors estimate, added nearly a million years, in total, to the lives of English and Welsh adults between the ages of 25 and 84.

It makes sense when you think about it but it’s still an amazing number.

New U.S. Food Guidelines Stress Vegetables, Grains

The Federal government’s new dietary guidelines are out and they’re being hailed as the strongest yet.

The guidelines, updated every five years, recommend eating up to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and specify that at least three of the daily servings of grains be whole grains such as whole wheat, oats or brown rice.

They also emphasize getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day — an hour for children. And officials said the “food pyramid” may be replaced by something easier to understand.

High Red Meat Consumption Linked to Colon Cancer

A 20-year study links high red meat consumption with colon cancer, but a second study fails to show a correlation between high fruit and vegetable consumption and reduced breast cancer risk.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Walter C. Willett, at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, comments that, despite the negative results for breast cancer risk, “reductions in blood pressure and epidemiological evidence for lower risks of cardiovascular disease provide sufficient reason to consume” fruits and vegetables in abundance.

Regarding the association between meat consumption and colorectal cancer, he adds, “prudence would suggest that red meat, and processed meats in particular, should be eaten sparingly to minimize risk.”

New method helps map women’s happiness

A new technique involves breaking the day into a sequence of episodes and rating each activity or moment as a kind of snapshot.

Sleep quality had a large effect on the enjoyment of life, the researchers found. Women who slept poorly, on average, enjoyed their day as little as a typical person enjoys commuting. Women who said they slept well enjoyed their day as much as most people enjoy watching television.