PSA

Sep. 16th, 2010 01:03 am
amberite_archive: (eye)
Concerned about high cholesterol? Don't look to lowering saturated fat. Look to lowering sugar.

This info has been "crossing my desk" in various forms for a while now, but I note it has not hit the media extensively.

I was looking some things up tonight because the amount of milkfat in my diet has gone up lately, and it reminded me to share this for the benefit of folks who have not encountered this information...

"There's a subgroup of people at high risk of heart disease who may respond well to diets low in fat," says Dr. Krauss. "But the majority of healthy people seem to derive very little benefit from these low-fat diets, in terms of heart-disease risk factors, unless they also lose weight and exercise. And if a low-fat diet is also loaded with carbs, it can actually result in adverse changes in blood lipids."

While Dr. Krauss is much published and highly respected -- he has served twice as chairman of the writing committee of the AHA's dietary guidelines -- the far-reaching implications of his work have not been generally acknowledged. "Academic scientists believe saturated fat is bad for you," says Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., a distinguished professor of nutritional studies at Penn State University, citing as evidence the "many studies" she believes show it to be true. But not everyone accepts those studies, and their proponents find it hard to be heard. Kris-Etherton acknowledges that "there's a good deal of reluctance toward accepting evidence suggesting the contrary."


(This article is from Men's Health magazine, but it actually does a fairly balanced review of research covering both men and women.)

Wowee.

Dec. 23rd, 2009 08:03 pm
amberite_archive: (into time... and SPACE!)
Via [livejournal.com profile] paradox_puree: SSRIs work not because they flood the brain with serotonin, but by causing the growth of new neurons. I already knew the majority of the stuff in here, but the article goes fairly into depth - and on page 3 there's something I don't think I knew: they've got a drug in testing that may reverse Parkinson's disease. (This is something I've been worried about ever since I found out ADD and Parkinson's are both connected to defects in a particular dopamine transporter gene; my paternal grandmother had Parkinson's, which tells me I may be at risk, a few decades down the line. So it's great to know that someone out there is already cracking that problem.)
amberite_archive: (Default)
mostly I have to cold turkey the internet because my wrists are killing me.

so I went into a drugstore and pointed at my wrist and said 'tong' until they understood me.

i asked for chinese medicine, because nsaids are mostly useless for this shit below dangerous levels. so they gave me these pills. I'm only online because I had to look them up. hong yao pian. little red pills.

they are insect pills.

they contain insects.

this insect to be specific.

they apparently can cure liver cancer too, according to tcm journals, which is great, just in case I had a case of liver cancer I didn't know about. (rather unlikely but hey.)

i have a strange kind of faith in them, because, hey, those dumb doctors who kept telling me to take ibuprofen never mentioned insects.

wikipedia hasn't even heard of them.

i think i will take them.

the other side of the world is such a strange place.

O-ho!

Apr. 15th, 2008 08:18 pm
amberite_archive: (mickey jake)
(Hrm. I really need an icon appropriate to 'neurochemistry geekery.')

So -- what do we know about tyramine? It's kind of under-examined. It's present in cheese, wine, and other preserved foods. Key fact: fermentation changes tyrosine (an important amino acid for neurotransmitter-building) to tyramine.

Mostly, as far as I'd seen before, something you're not supposed to eat while on MAO inhibitors, to avoid elevating it dangerously. It's also linked to migraine in some sufferers, but not others. In the short term it's linked to high blood pressure.*

But I got to wondering. A lot of things on the tyramine-containing food list are things I crave periodically. I'm a fiend for avocados, aged cheese, wine, beer, smoked salmon...

So clearly it must be doing something I want.

Wikipedia says (and other sources say:)

The displacement of norepinephrine(noradrenaline) from neuronal storage vesicles by acute tyramine ingestion is thought to cause the vasoconstriction and increased heart rate and blood pressure of the pressor response.

However, if one has had repeated exposure to tyramine, there is a decreased pressor response; tyramine is degraded to octopamine, which is subsequently packaged in synaptic vesicles with norepinephrine(noradrenaline). Therefore, after repeated tyramine exposure, these vesicles contain an increased amount of octopamine and a relatively reduced amount of norepinephrine (noradrenaline).


Hmm. Eeenteresting. So what's this octopamine stuff?

It's a dopamine analog.

Nobody is quite sure what it does in humans -- this has mostly been ignored in research -- but it seems to be involved in learning, memory, and energetic activity in lower life forms. Basically, a fair set of dopamine functions. It's involved in the honey bee dance.

Now, I'm not a fruit fly, but when my body goes "want that", and seems to do so more under conditions I associate with low dopamine -- and improves those conditions somewhat -- I gotta say it's an interesting link.



*Semi-relevant curiosity: Caffeine also starts migraines in some people (and stops them in others); it is also known for elevating blood pressure, and releasing dopamine.

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