Of Mice and Men – Part II, and Red Meat! The Hype, the Horror!

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.

Much model. Wow.

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.
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Cortisol, Serotonin, And Carbs, Oh My!

Let’s start with a few givens (i.e. things that are well documented and known):

  1. Cortisol is the “stress” hormone. It is good in small amounts (getting you up in the morning, running away from lions) and bad in the chronic long term (immune suppression, abdominal “beer belly” obesity).
  2. Serotonin is the regulator of the six F’s: Fight, Flight, Food, Falling asleep, Feeling good, and… Sex. Too much is bad too little is bad. The same story as cortisol.
  3. Serotonin is involved in regulating cortisol secretion by the 5-HT(2a/2c) receptors (more serotonin, less cortisol)

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High Blood Sugar In Ketogenic Dieters! Plus A Special Surprise (Hint: Genotypes And Metabolism)!

A while ago Michael and I were discussing future article topics. There are truly a plethora of avenues to go down in this area of research and there is no lack of things to research and comment on. But even though I have a couple of pretty cool MCT articles sitting around on my desk, I want an interesting topic. I want something new. Something challenging. Besides, everyone is drinking the MCT koolaid these days. It’s become passe. (Also, it upsets my stomach and I have a personal vendetta against it. So there.)
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The Latest In Lipases

So after my rather harsh take on the last review paper you might beg the question: What does a good review article look like?

Well, I have to say that this article is an amazingly well written comprehensive review of the many various research aspects people are undertaking on lipases. Lipases are the catabolic enzymes that mediate lipolysis – the hydrolysis of fatty acids. In other words, lipases take the inert fat we store and break it up into fatty acids for our body to use as energy (and for other things like signaling, membrane lipids, etc).
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Dear Volek and Phinney, Y U Disappoint Me?

I stumbled across this journal article the other day. At first I was intrigued and a bit excited; sometimes reviews have some tidbits of information or put together a new perspective from research papers in a particular area. However for any low-carb veterans I would ultimately rule this paper as uninspiring, at best. And, at worst, likely intended as a targeted book advertisement for Phinney and Volek’s book, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. (Which, BTW, is one of the best low carb resources in print. Don’t get me wrong about that, I just hate it when authors end a paper peddling one of their products.)
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New Research On Heart Hormones And Their Influence On Lipolysis

Brown. Fat.

Well that doesn’t sound particularly lovely, or interesting in the least bit. But to your average obesity researcher this is one of the hottest topics on the board right now. Brown is the new black, so to speak.

We’ve known for years that there are a couple different types of fat- your average lazy storage site white fat, and the active, heat-producing brown fat. Brown fat has a unique uncoupling protein (UCP1) that gets upregulated every time the sympathetic nervous system starts cranking out the catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine). But there has turned out to be another player, a second hand in the brown fat pot.
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