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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Research: Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways

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!
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Metformin Improves Health and Longevity in Mice

We’ve discussed Metformin a number of times before, so the news from this latest research caught my eye:

long-term treatment with metformin (0.1% w/w in diet) starting at middle age extends healthspan and lifespan in male mice, while a higher dose (1% w/w) was toxic. Treatment with metformin mimics some of the benefits of calorie restriction, such as improved physical performance, increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced low-density lipoprotein and cholesterol levels without a decrease in caloric intake.

This isn’t the first time researchers have witnessed such beneficial effects, but the challenge is, of course, in understanding what significance this recent mouse study has for humans.



Cancer as a Metabolic Disease – Update on Metastasis

Image of the cover of the book, Cancer As A Metabolic Disease, by Thomas Seyfried
Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, by Thomas N. Seyfried
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I know I just published my review of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, but I stumbled across some news that I thought was worth relating.

One of the most beautifully written and compelling parts of Seyfried’s exhaustive hypothesis is the idea that metastasis is too complex of a process to be accounted for by random genetic mutation. The idea that many different types of cancer cells would all somehow collect the right genetic mutations that would make them able to enter and exit tissues, evade detection by the immune system, and spread throughout the body seems ludicrous. From the very beginnings of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease, Seyfried begins to question this and show how the process of metastasis involves abilities already present in some macrophages and leukocytes:
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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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New Data From Sydney Heart Study Revealed, Correlates Omega 6 PUFA With Death

I’m rushing out this morning so I don’t have time to share a lot of thoughts on this, but on first glance it seems like quite an inconvenient truth to the old guard: “missing” data from the Sydney Heart Study (1966-1973) has been found, and when analyzed, shows that current American Heart Association guidance on linoleic acid intake may be wrong.

If you don’t remember, the Sydney Heart Study is an intervention study in which the one group of men (30-59years) were asked to reduce animal fats to 10% of energy intake and to increase linoleic acid (“healthy” safflower oil, sunflower oil margarines). The control group
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Research Finds Link Between Fructose and Pancreatic Cancer

Ashton Kutcher has been in the news a lot recently. Normally this is something well worth ignoring, but in this instance it’s interesting: He’s been promoting the new Steve Jobs movie (in which he plays Steve Jobs) by explaining how he was hospitalized after following Steve Jobs’ diet for some time. Steve Jobs apparently ate nothing but fruit.

So what happened to poor Ashton? Well, the details are quite thin: “I was doubled over in pain […] my pancreas levels were completely out of wack.” Media reports that he spent time in the hospital. The exact nature of his affliction and the treatment for it remain undisclosed.
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