A liver hormone gives new clues to explain your sweet tooth

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A hormone produced by the liver called fibroblast growth factor 21, or FGF21, might play a role in curbing your sweet cravings, suggests a recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

The brain and gut (which includes the liver) work together in what’s called the central reward system to control what we like and choose to eat – including sweets. Differences in that system can promote unhealthy eating habits, which can lead to obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Read more… “A liver hormone gives new clues to explain your sweet tooth”

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    New study – higher weight links to earlier death

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    There’s been some controversy about whether being overweight, but not obese, might actually link to a longer life. A few years ago a major study suggested that paradox. We wrote about it here.

    For lower cancer risk, healthy weight is key. AICR’s reports find that overweight and obesity increase risk for 11 cancers, including colorectal and postmenopausal breast.

    In this new analysis on weight and mortality, researchers used a person’s highest weight during the study and found that those who were overweight or obese had increased risk for early death. The data comes from 225,000 participants in the Nurses Health Studies (NHS I and II) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS). It was published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    Read more… “New study – higher weight links to earlier death”

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      Fewer Americans trying to lose weight; what that means for cancer prevention

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      According to a recent study, fewer US adults with overweight or obesity are trying to lose weight in what is a concerning trend for cancer prevention. With obesity rates increasing and fewer at a healthy weight, more people will be at risk for several cancers such as post menopausal breast and colorectal, as well as other chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

      In their analysis, researchers used data from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) from 1988 through 2014 to compare weight loss efforts over the past couple of decades. They found that the percent of Americans with overweight trying to lose weight dropped from 56% to 49% in the past 25 years. This drop occurred in nearly all gender and ethnic categories, but perhaps the most concerning decline was for black women. Almost 8 in 10 black women have overweight or obesity, but those trying to lose weight went from 65.5% to almost 55%. White women and men also showed drops in weight loss efforts.

      For cancer prevention, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life is one of the most powerful lifestyle factors for lower risk. In those who already have overweight or obesity, we don’t know if losing weight will lower risk, though it seems to make sense. But we do know that losing weight will reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for some cancers, and it can reduce chronic inflammation and other markers for cancer risk. Read more… “Fewer Americans trying to lose weight; what that means for cancer prevention”

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