Sunday, 26 February 2012

Fatness in white and black women

First I would like to direct you to this video, I have to admit I have also noticed that there does seem to be an increased tendency of obesity in black women, and I found this study on pubmed recently which helps shed some light on why that may be the case.....

Racial difference in Acylation Stimulating Protein (ASP) correlates to triglyceride in non-obese and obese African American and Caucasian women.

We know that obesity is highly dependent on how sensitive your fat tissue is to insulin, and now it seems that ASP sensitivity may also play a major role,

My first guess is that your genetics will play a big part in how sensitive your fat tissue is to insulin and ASP, and therefore this will have a strong influence on your body fatness.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Financials and Behavioural economics

The Big List of Behavioral Biases

This site could well be one of the internet's best kept secrets, I particularly liked these points ( full credit goes to the author of the site in the link above ) ....

Ambiguity Aversion: we don't mind risk but we hate uncertainty

Barnum Effect: we see insightful information in random rubbish

Choice Overload: too much choice makes us indecisive

Denomination Bias
: we're more likely to spend small denomination notes than large ones

Hindsight Bias
: we're unable to stop ourselves thinking we predicted events, even though we're woefully bad at predicting the future

Information Overload
: too much information reduces the accuracy of the results we produce from it

Less-is-More Effect: the less knowledge you have the more accurate your predictions

Loss Aversion: we do stupid things to avoid realizing a loss

Reciprocity: our sense of fairness will override economic rationality

Monday, 20 February 2012

Is there a "Fire" deficiency?

Fire is dangerous, my parents always told me, "Don't start fires, theyre dangerous".

Ever since I can remember, I have been naturally attracted to fire, not only dose it have an amazing calming affect on me, but I can just stare at it for ages. Growing up, I was conditioned to believe this was because I was a "bad person", or a bad boy as my parents would put it.


I would like to point out, unlike moral judgements of right and wrong, there is no choice involved in how I feel about fire. It just is.

So if it has nothing to do with being a "naturally bad/evil" person, whats going on?

Well, as it turns out, im not alone. The phenomenon of pyromania is well documented, and it was interesting to see the wikipedia article on pyromania state that people do it to induce feelings of euphoria. Hmmmm, that sounds disturbingly familiar.

Remember this study with the sodium deficient rodents?, What did we learn from this study? Incase you forgot, it basically tells us that your brain can and will decide for you what you like depending on how deficient you are in it,

Morality be damned.

Why the hell do you think your ability to taste sweetness is so acute after you've been low-carb for an extended period? Its a basic survival mechanism evolved to help you find where the glycogen buffers are in edible ( or potentially edible ) matter after you've been glycogen depleted all this time.....

We know cooked food has been an integral part on our development to becoming human, and this ties in with our ability to control fire. The ability to control and harness fire offers multiple survival perks, its a source of heat in the cold, its a source of light, it creates an environment to socialise in, its a useful weapon, and now it also helps us by making food easier to digest.

Simply put, if fire has helped us survive in the environment where we would otherwise of not without it, chances are, evolution has picked up on this and our brains will make us like it.

Modern civilisation is very "anti-fire", and this has been the perfect storm to create a situation in where we are not exposed to something that helps our survival,

i.e. we are deficient in it.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Calcium and MCT's

The calcium-sensing receptor affects fat accumulation via effects on antilipolytic pathways in adipose tissue of rats fed low-calcium diets.

Rodents fed a calcium deficient diet had greater visceral fat mass than those who were fed higher levels of calcium. I don't think that calcium supplementation would help with weight loss, but I think the point is that if your calcium deficient, it could be hard to shift that flab.

Medium chain fats are directly transported to the liver via the hepatic portal circulation and turned into ketones, diet-induced thermogenesis is accelerated as a result.

Medium chain fats increase Hormone sensitive lipase in fat mass,

Rodents fed the MCT diet had a higher number of fat cells than rodents fed the long chain fatty acid diet. Now that is weird. rodents fed the LCFA diet had a small amount of very large fat cells, while mice fed the control diet had a very large number of tiny fat cells.

Rodents fed the MCT diet had the lowest fat mass out of all the groups.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Food - can it shift the Circadian Rythm?

In this video from MSN there is a small part about how food timing can change the circadian rythm.

The part in questions features Patrick Fuller from Harvard, and the pubmed paper in question is this one.

I dont access to the full paper but the abstract gives us the clue as to what its all about,
"When food is plentiful, circadian rhythms of animals are powerfully entrained by the light-dark cycle. However, if animals have access to food only during their normal sleep cycle, they will shift most of their circadian rhythms to match the food availability."

Well anyway, does it work?

It does make sense in theory, if your a predator and theres only certain times of day you would be able to catch your prey, it would work against you if your body clock was such that it was telling you to sleep during those hours.

From what I could gather, first you need to be in starvation mode, which is you need to have fasted for atleast 16 hours first.

Then, during the time you would normally be asleep, have a meal.

I will have to experiment to see if this actually works at all, and to figure out the exact timing, the timing to shift our body clocks forward.