Although in the past I confessed to and made amends with mice research in obesity, I still have harbored skepticism. Mice are the gold standard! They reproduce quickly, live just long enough for experiments, and are all around a model organism.
But… they are not humans. Genetically similar, but still a rodent. Right? No no, now I am sounding scientifically illiterate. You’re right, they’re good. Are they? Yes. Yes?
Well finally it comes to the day where my misgivings may be vindicated. I feel a little relieved honestly. I hate being at conflict inside but I think it may be common among anyone with critical thinking capacity.
You may be familiar with John Oliver from his previous contributions to The Daily Show. He’s since moved on to host his weekly news and commentary show on HBO: “Last Week Tonight.” In time for Halloween, he covered the subject of sugar.
From a science perspective, there’s nothing new in his coverage. But the fact that he’s bringing to the public eye the gross over-consumption of sugar in our diet and the concomitant health issues…well this suggests a growing cultural awareness of the problem we’re all facing. That this is now the subject of public discourse and not just the domain of research science and health practitioners…well that’s a sweet development indeed.
Are artificial sweeteners to blame for the obesity epidemic? From ScienceDaily:
Artificial sweeteners — promoted as aids to weight loss and diabetes prevention — could actually hasten the development of glucose intolerance and metabolic disease, and they do so in a surprising way: by changing the composition and function of the gut microbiota — the substantial population of bacteria residing in our intestines. (source)
Various scholars of prehistory have given us photographs of prehistoric skulls with sets of perfect teeth in place. The degeneration in dental health that has occurred over the many centuries from the hunter-gatherer people to the current American population is truly appalling. Today, an adult with no or few dental problems is a rarity. Are there some dental-care lessons to be found in a study of prehistoric skulls? The following overview of a series of episodes from recent history suggests that the answer is “Yes.”
The plethora of The-Only-Diet Book-You-Will-Ever-Need publications widely available in sales outlets, each with its own version of the “correct” nutritional philosophy, is testimony to the confusion suffered by the general public. The reason is elegantly described by Taubes:
…600,000 articles – along with several tens of thousands of diet books are the noise generated by a dysfunctional research establishment. Because the nutrition research community has failed to establish reliable, unambiguous knowledge about the environmental triggers of obesity and diabetes, it has opened the door to a diversity of opinions on the subject, of hypotheses about cause, cure and prevention, many of which cannot be refuted by the existing evidence.
This indictment is harsh, but deserved. Witness to the fact is the massive human feeding experiment foisted on the American public decades ago. It has caused untold suffering and needless deaths from the chronic inflammatory diseases it created. This nutritional debacle was chronicled by Garry Taubes a decade ago and updated more recently by Nina Teicholz.
The importance of dietary animal fat, told in a post in Ketopia, is well understood by nutritional biochemists. The refusal of the government-nutrition cabal to renounce its longstanding proscription against animal fat and, by association, red meat, has seriously compromised the health status of its trusting citizens. This untenable situation strengthens the meaning and potential of a remarkable book that has recently appeared on the literary scene.
The metabolic energy control system of the human organism is designed to be fueled by either glucose (carbohydrates) or fatty acids (lipids).1, pp. 160 In a healthy individual, the fuel of choice is largely determined by diet composition and intake schedule. Because food intake is a batch process for most people, the availability of food in the digestive system cycles daily through full, empty, full, and so forth. Thus, for a diet in which the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids) are consistent and in reasonable proportion, it is customary for the choice of fuel to switch back and forth seamlessly between glucose and fatty acids during the day in response to the alimentation cycles.
We’ve been providing a fair bit of coverage on cancer recently, and today will be no exception.
Unfortunately, right now I can offer little more than a pointer to the research article (published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation). I’m still working my way through it and may not have the time to return. So if you’re interested in sharing your thoughts on it, please add to the comments below!
The term “aerobic glycolysis” is confusing to biochemists because it is inherently contradictory. Aerobic refers to reactions that require oxygen, and anaerobic refers to reactions that take place without the need for oxygen. Glycolysis is a biochemical pathway that does not need or use oxygen, therefore it is anaerobic. The definitions of aerobic and anaerobic shed no light on why glycolysis is described as aerobic.