Ghrelin: All about the hunger hormone was posted by Lindsey DeSoto, RDN, LD for MedicalNewsToday.com, 3 March 2022.
Ghrelin is a hormone that is produced and released in the stomach. It is also produced in the small intestine, brain, and pancreas. People often refer to it as the “hunger hormone” because it increases appetite. It also promotes blood sugar regulation, prevents muscle breakdown, and protects the heart. In this Honest Nutrition feature, we explore what ghrelin is, its functions, and how a person can manage levels in their body.
Ghrelin travels through the bloodstream to the brain, where it acts on the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain, which produces hormones that regulate hunger, mood, thirst, and many other important functions within the body. Ghrelin can also signal the body to decrease brown fat thermogenesis. When this happens, the body burns less fat at rest. Brown fat is known for its thermogenic properties and ability to increase overall calories burned. Studies show that ghrelin also affects a person’s sleep/wake cycle, taste sensation, and reward-seeking behavior.
Ghrelin is often referred to as the hunger hormone because its primary role is to regulate appetite. When ghrelin activates its receptor — growth hormone secretagogue receptor — it causes a person to eat more food and store extra fat. A person who wishes to naturally reduce ghrelin levels in the body may consider eating a healthy, fiber-rich diet, consuming adequate protein, exercising, getting enough sleep, and minimizing stress.
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Is Carbonated Water Just as Healthy as Still Water? was reported by Christina Caron for NYTimes.com, 14 September 2021.
There’s still water and then there’s seltzer or sparkling water. Crisp, bubbly and effervescent, carbonated water has become a daily ritual for many and a growing segment of the beverage industry, with yearly sales now topping $4 billion in the United States. For those who crave it, carbonated water offers a sensory experience that flat water cannot: There’s the satisfying snap as you pull back the tab on the can. The sound of the fizz as you unscrew the bottle cap to pour yourself a glass. The tingly sensation as the beverage hits your tongue, sometimes with a hint of “natural” flavor.
Nutritionists agree that carbonated water (a category that includes seltzer water, which is artificially carbonated, and naturally sparkling water) is just as hydrating as regular water, however, tap water has the added benefit of fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay. If you are using fluoridated water for brushing your teeth, cooking and some of your hydration, you can also include sparkling water in your diet. And if you use tap water to make your own carbonated water at home, then your bubbly water already has fluoride in it.
But keep in mind that carbonated water is more acidic in our mouths than flat water. Bubbly water contains carbon dioxide, which is converted to carbonic acid when it mingles with saliva, lowering the pH level of your mouth. Drinks with a lower pH can be erosive to teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities; however, unsweetened carbonated water is not nearly as erosive as soda or fruit juice, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Research on carbonated water and its effect on the teeth is sparse. But according to Dr. Brittany Seymour, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association, “it would take quite a lot of consumption throughout the day to have damaging effects similar to what we’d see with fruit juice or soda.”
The bottom line: Because carbonated water still has the potential to be erosive, think of it as a once-a-day treat rather than your main source of water, Dr. Seymour said. “If you want to have two or three sparkling waters a day, perhaps pair them with a meal,” she added. When you eat, your mouth produces additional saliva, which can help neutralize acids on the surface of your teeth.
If you prefer drinking it alone, without food — Dr. Seymour usually drinks unsweetened seltzer while cooking dinner — use a straw to help the water bypass your teeth. In general, try not to sip it for more than an hour. Drinking carbonated water over a long time period prolongs the amount of time that your teeth are exposed to acidity.
Protein may explain why it is harder to exercise after a period of inactivity was written by Deep Shukla for MedicalNewsToday.com, 9 March 2022. A new study reveals that a protein may help explain why exercising is harder after long periods of inactivity.
Studies have shown that Piezo1, a protein found in the inner lining of blood vessels, can detect the rise in blood flow during physical exercise. A new study in mice found that Piezo1 is essential for maintaining the density of capillaries in the muscles and the capacity for physical activity. These findings suggest that the presence of Piezo1 in blood vessels may modulate the ability for physical performance based on changes in blood flow during physical exercise. Physical inactivity may result in lower blood flow to the muscles, reduced activation of Piezo1, and subsequently a decline in exercise capacity.
The study’s co-author Dr. Fiona Bartoli, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, told Medical News Today: “Although this study was performed in mice, the Piezo1 protein is also present in humans, indicating that the same molecular mechanism could exist. We suggest that deactivating Piezo1 by not doing enough exercise impacts physical performance by reducing the capillary density in muscles. This restricted blood flow means activity becomes more difficult, causing further inactivity and leading to a downward spiral. It helps to explain the biology of why exercise becomes harder the less you do and why it is important to exercise regularly to keep our Piezo1 proteins active to maintain our physical performance and health, according to Dr. Bartoli.
Magnesium Supplements was published by Tod Cooperman, MD, for ConsumerLab.com, 3/11/2022. Find out what magnesium does, who needs it and some top picks for tested supplements.
Magnesium is found throughout your body. In fact, every cell in your body contains this mineral and needs it to function. About 60% of the magnesium in your body occurs in bone, while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues, and fluids, including blood. Nonetheless, studies suggest that approximately 50% of U.S. adults get less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium.
- One of its main roles is to act as a cofactor — a helper molecule — in the biochemical reactions continuously performed by enzymes. It’s involved in more than 600 reactions in your body, including energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movements, and nervous system regulation
- May boost exercise performance: During exercise, you need more magnesium than when you’re resting, depending on the activity. Magnesium helps move blood sugar into your muscles and dispose of lactate, which can build up during exercise and cause fatigue
- May combat depression: Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels are linked to an increased risk of depression
- May support healthy blood sugar levels
- May promote heart health
- Boasts anti-inflammatory benefits
- May help prevent migraine attacks
- May improve PMS symptoms
- May promote bone health
- May support better sleep