What are the biggest component of your metabolism?

Your metabolism refers to the millions of chemical processes that keep your body alive and functioning.

It is related to weight because it influences the amount of energy your body needs at any given point. Take in more energy than you need, and the excess will be stored as fat.

Nonetheless many people are quick to blame a “slow metabolism” for their weight gain, when in fact they need to make better food choices and exercise choices.

The biggest component of your metabolism – accounting for 50 to 80 per cent of the energy used each day – is your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the energy your body burns just to maintain functioning at rest.

(Other influences include how much physical activity you do, and the ‘thermic effect’ of the food you eat – that is energy you use to digest and absorb your food.)

While there are many pills, supplements and foods that claim to boost metabolism and burn fat, most of these claims are unproven, says Tim Crowe, associate professor in nutrition at Deakin University.

Even if they did work, they might come with unintended side effects, such as increasing your heart rate, he says.

Nonetheless, it can be helpful to know what factors do affect your metabolism, as some of them are within your control. And even knowing you have factors you cannot control may nonetheless be useful as it can motivate you to take extra care to compensate for the issue, perhaps by being more vigilant about your diet and exercise.

Here are 10 factors that affect BMR and metabolism:

1. Muscle mass – that is, the amount of muscle tissue on your body. Muscle requires more energy to function than fat. So the more muscle tissue you carry, the more energy your body needs just to exist. (While most forms of exercise will help boost muscle, resistance or strength training is most effective: for example lifting weights and exercises that work against the resistance of your body weight such as push-ups, squats and lunges.)

2. Age – As you get older, your metabolic rate generally slows. This is partly because of a loss of muscle tissue, and also because of hormonal and neurological changes. When babies and children go through periods of growth, their metabolism speeds up.

3. Body size – People with bigger bodies tend to have a larger BMR because they usually have larger internal organs and fluid volume to maintain. Taller people have a larger skin surface, which means their bodies may have to work harder to maintain a constant temperature.

4. Gender – As men are usually larger than women, they generally have faster metabolisms.

5. Genetics – This can also play a role in whether you have a slower or faster metabolism, and some genetic disorders can also affect your metabolism.

6. Physical activity – Regular exercise increases muscle mass and encourages your body to burn kilojoules at a faster rate, even when at rest.

7. Hormonal factors – Hormonal imbalances caused by certain conditions, including hypo- and hyperthyroidism, can affect your metabolism.

8. Environmental factors – The weather can also have an effect on your metabolism; if it is very cold or very hot, your body has to work harder to maintain its normal temperature and that increases the metabolic rate.

9. Drugs – Caffeine and nicotine can increase your metabolic rate, while medications including some antidepressants and anabolic steroids can contribute to weight gain regardless of what you eat.

10. Diet – Certain aspects of your diet can also affect metabolism. For instance if you don’t have enough iodine for optimal thyroid function, it can slow down your metabolism.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2015-11-12/what-really-affects-your-metabolism/6934608

Health tips from Dr Mark Hyman

If you want to make three changes today that can yield big results, you can start with something I like to call “the swap.”  Here’s how it works:

  1. Swap out your normal breakfast for a smoothie. Smoothies are a way to pack a lot of nutrition into one quick and easy meal. If you’re wanting to add more greens into your diet or more superfoods or more healthy fats or protein, a smoothie or a shake is a simple, hassle free way to do that. Here’s one of my favorite recipes.
  2. Swap your bad fats for good fats. Toss out any highly refined cooking oils, such as corn and soy; fried foods that you may have stored in your freezer; and margarine or shortening. These have dangerous trans fats that create inflammation and cause heart disease. Scour labels for the words “hydrogenated fat” (another phrase for trans fat), which has finally been declared unsafe for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Instead, stock up on good fats like avocados, extra virgin, unrefined coconut and olive oils, olives, and nuts and seeds. I also recommend swapping out conventional meat for organic and grass-fed meat, when possible.
  3. Swap sugars and processed carbs for plants. You probably know the obvious sugar culprits, but be aware of hidden sugars that lurk in salad dressings, processed foods, drinks and even “healthy” foods like cereals and wheat products like pasta and bread. Instead of reaching for carbs or sugary foods, fill your plates with delicious plant foods like green-leafy veggies, broccoli, peppers, bok choy, cauliflower, etc.

This simple swap technique can transform your health, but sometimes it can feel pretty isolating to take on these changes alone. That is why I also recommend finding a buddy to make these changes with you. Friend power is so much more powerful than willpower.

My Recommended Daily Supplements

Our final question comes from Chad who asks, “What vitamins or supplements, if any, should men 40 and older take to reduce cancer risk and optimize health?”

Even with a perfect diet, the combination of many things – including our depleted soils, the storage and transportation of our food, genetic alterations of traditional heirloom species, and the increased stress and nutritional demands resulting from a toxic environment – make it impossible for us to get the vitamins and minerals we need solely from the foods we eat.

Doctors used to think we got all our vitamins and minerals from food. Any extra nutrients were excreted, or worse, became toxic. But the tide is shifting. Doctors now prescribe over one billion dollars in fish oil supplements. Most cardiologists recommend folate, fish oil, and coenzyme Q10. Gastroenterologists recommend probiotics. Obstetricians have always recommended prenatal vitamins.

Emerging scientific evidence shows the importance of nutrients as essential helpers in our biochemistry and metabolism. They are the oil that greases the wheels of our metabolism. And large-scale deficiencies of nutrients in our population – including omega-3 fats, vitamin D, folate, zinc, magnesium, and iron – have been well documented in extensive government-sponsored research.

Everyone reading this blog should begin a basic supplement plan and stay on that plan for life. Here are my basic recommendations:

  1. High-Quality, High-Potency, Complete Multivitamin: The right multivitamin will contain all the basic vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that getting the optimal doses usually requires 2 to 6 capsules or tablets a day. Some people may have unique requirements for much higher doses that need to be prescribed by a trained nutritional or Functional Medicine physician.
  2. Vitamin D3: The vitamin D deficiency is epidemic, with up to 80 percent of modern day humans being deficient or suboptimal in their intake. Depending on what is in your multivitamin, I recommend taking additional vitamin D. Vitamin D3 improves metabolism by influencing more than 200 different genes that can prevent and treat diabetes and metabolic syndrome. For serious deficiencies, you may need more vitamin D, as much as 5,000 to 10,000 IU a day for 3 months or more. Do this with your doctor’s supervision, if needed.
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids (EPA and DHA): These important fats improve insulin sensitivity, lower cholesterol by lowering triglycerides and raising HDL, reduce inflammation, prevent blood clots and lower the risk of heart attacks. Fish oil also improves nerve function and may help prevent the nerve damage common in diabetes.

This is what I recommend for your foundation. As you get older, I recommend adding supplements that support your mitochondria such as the following:

  1. CoQ10 – CoQ10 has potent antioxidant properties to help support cell function, healthy blood pressure, energy production and overall cardiovascular health.
  2. NAC (N-acetyl Cysteine)- Fights free-radicals and is a key component of a healthy antioxidant-rich immune system, helps to chelate heavy metals and remove them from the body, and especially supportive of lung tissue.
  3. Alpha Lipoic Acid – Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, supports liver function, boosts metabolism, enhances absorption of certain vitamins, and helps turn calories into energy in the muscles.

Connie’s comments: Women over 40 needs Vitamin Bs, Omega 3, Vit C, calcium and magnesium, melatonin, and all yellow and red colored vegetables.

 

Grapes: 2.25 cups a day can keep brain’s metabolic decline away

By Ruth Schuster

grapesGrapes: 2.25 cups a day can keep brain’s metabolic decline away, say scientists.

Eating grapes on a regular basis slows metabolic decline of the brain in Alzheimer’s sufferers, a small-scale study done in California indicates.
A grape a day won’t do it. The pilot study fed grape powder equivalent to two-plus cups of grapes a day for six months, to Alzheimer’s patients defined with a mild decline in cognition. Result: the fruit protected against the decline of metabolic activity in the test group given grape powder. The ones who did not eat grapes did exhibit deterioration of brain metabolism in the six-month trial period.
Note that the results relate to brain metabolism, not cognition. “No significant differences were seen in scores on the neuropsychological battery of tests between the two groups,” the scientists stress.

“The study examines the impact of grapes as a whole fruit versus isolated compounds,” explains Dr. Daniel H. Silverman, lead investigator of the study. “The results suggest that regular intake of grapes may provide a protective effect against early decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”
The results were published in the Experimental Gerontology paper, “Examining the impact of grape consumption on brain metabolism and cognitive function in patients with mild decline in cognition”.
The grapes proved beneficial not only to areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s, but to areas associated with attention and working memory performance too. Again, comparison is to comparable people who weren’t stuffed with grapes, or rather with whole grape powder.

Low metabolic activity in these areas of the brain is a hallmark of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, an incurable and irreversible neurodegenerative condition whose symptoms can be treated, at this stage, but not reversed (in humans: a genetic study done in mice last year reported symptom reversal).
The writers themselves note that more work needs to be done before subscribing to a grape delivery service. Their sample included ten people, five of them women, with a mean age of 72, who had been diagnosed with mild decline in cognition.
Cognitive performance was measured through neuropsychological assessments performed at baseline and 6 months after initiation of therapy. Changes in brain metabolism were assessed by injecting the patients with radiotracer material and scanning their brains.
The scientists note that a growing body of evidence shows that grapes do good things for the nervous system -, and for cardiovascular health as well. Similar work has shown that consuming grapes, its products and certain wines, is associated with lower risk for cardiovascular disease.
How the grape achieves all these things is not clear, though people have believed in the medical properties of the fruit for thousands of years, for instance in ancient Egypt, and not only because they’d had too much wine.
Wine appears to be confer more benefit than other alcoholic beverages, write the scientists in a seminal 2009 paper “Grapes and Cardiovascular Disease” Some think the benefit of the grape, and berries and some other foods, lies in their polyphenols, which are natural antioxidants that help combat inflammatory conditions.
A 2014 study pointed at flavonoids as being the responsible chemical for the upside that eating grapes and berries has for the cardiovascular system.
Most likely the grapes are having multiple effects. As broader clinical studies are done on larger groups of subjects, we may find out.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/science-and-health/1.769706

Serotonin Deficiency Implicated in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ra symptoms and pathology worse in mice missing enzyme needed for serotonin synthesis, according to report in the American Journal of Pathology.

For the first time, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) has been directly implicated in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although 5-HT is predominantly known as a neurotransmitter within the central nervous system, new evidence points to additional important functions for serotonin in the periphery. A report in The American Journal of Pathology shows that experimentally-induced RA in serotonin-deficient mice is worse than disease reported in controls and that some effects of RA can be reduced by serotonin or its agonists (compounds that activate serotonin receptors).

These findings may lay the groundwork for new treatment approaches for RA. “Our study highlights that 5-HT has a direct immunoregulatory role in arthritis. The development of treatments targeting 5-HT or 5-HT receptors could represent an exciting prospect to regulate the immune response in RA and open new perspectives to improve the therapeutic options for patients,” explained co-lead investigator Marie-Christine de Vernejoul of BIOSCAR, INSERM UMR_S1132 of the Hôpital Lariboisière, Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR) 1132, Université Paris Diderot (Paris, France).

The investigators used a mouse model of RA known as collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) that produces features similar to that of human RA. Disease manifestations include cartilage and bone destruction, as well as the activation of cells responsible for bone resorption, known as osteoclasts. They compared the effects of CIA in normal mice to those in mice genetically bred with a deficiency in tryptophan hydroxylase-1, a key enzyme needed for serotonin production in peripheral tissues.

The investigators found that both the number and activity of osteoclasts were higher in 5-HT-deficient mice with arthritis. In addition, more bone resorption was detected both at the affected joints and at remote sites.

The serotonin-deficient mice with arthritis also showed changes in certain cell-signaling molecules known as cytokines (higher IL-17, higher TNF-α, and lower IL-4) in their paws. Specifically, they displayed a shift in the balance between T cell subtypes, especially regulatory T cells and Th17 lymphocytes.

Image shows a ball-and-stick model of the serotonin molecule.

“Altogether, our data show that 5-HT deficient mice are characterized by a relative, dampened expansion of Treg associated with an enhanced shift toward a Th17 phenotype, a situation previously described in patients with arthritis,” noted co-lead investigator Francine Côté of the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Hematological Disorders and Therapeutic Implications Institut Imagine INSERM U1163/CNRS ERL 8254, Hôpital Necker (Paris, France).

Subsequent experiments using cell cultures showed that the balance between Th17/Treg cells could be normalized by the addition of 5-HT or 5-HT receptor agonists, revealing a direct regulatory role of serotonin in RA. These novel data suggest a new therapeutic target that could be important for this disabling disease.

ABOUT THIS EPILEPSY RESEARCH

Funding: The study was funded by Arthritis Courtin’s Fundation, la Fondation pour la Recherche Medical, le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris Descartes.

Source: Eileen Leahy – Elsevier
Image Source: The image is credited to Ben Mills and is in the public domain.
Original Research: Abstract for “Serotonin Is Involved in Autoimmune Arthritis through Th17 Immunity and Bone Resorption” by Yasmine Chabbi-Achengli, Tereza Coman, Corinne Collet, Jacques Callebert, Michelangelo Corcelli, Hilène Lin, Rachel Rignault, Michel Dy, Marie-Christine de Vernejoul, and Francine Côté in American Journal of Pathology. Published online March 8 2016 doi:10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.11.018


Abstract

Serotonin Is Involved in Autoimmune Arthritis through Th17 Immunity and Bone Resorption

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that results in a disabling and painful condition as it progresses to destruction of the articular cartilage and ankylosis of the joints. Although the cause of the disease is still unknown, evidence argues that autoimmunity plays an important part. There are increasing but contradictory views regarding serotonin being associated with activation of immunoinflammatory pathways and the onset of autoimmune reactions. We studied serotonin’s involvement during collagen-induced arthritis in wild-type and Tph1−/− mice, which have markedly reduced peripheral serotonin levels. In wild-type mice, induction of arthritis triggered a robust increase in serotonin content in the paws combined with less inflammation. In Tph1−/− mice with arthritis, a marked increase in the clinical and pathologic arthritis scores was noticed. Specifically, in Tph1−/− mice with arthritis, a significant increase in osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption was observed with an increase in IL-17 levels in the paws and in Th17 lymphocytes in the draining lymph nodes, whereas T-regulatory cells were dampened. Ex vivo serotonin and agonists of the 5-HT2A and 5-HT2B receptors restored IL-17 secretion from splenocytes and Th17 cell differentiation in Tph1−/− mice. These findings indicate that serotonin plays a fundamental role in arthritis through the regulation of the Th17/T-regulatory cell balance and osteoclastogenesis.

“Serotonin Is Involved in Autoimmune Arthritis through Th17 Immunity and Bone Resorption” by Yasmine Chabbi-Achengli, Tereza Coman, Corinne Collet, Jacques Callebert, Michelangelo Corcelli, Hilène Lin, Rachel Rignault, Michel Dy, Marie-Christine de Vernejoul, and Francine Côté in American Journal of Pathology. Published online March 8 2016 doi:10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.11.018

Your Microbiota’s Previous Dining Experiences May Make New Diets Less Effective

Summary: People who follow a more restricted, plant based diet have more diverse gut microbiota, a new study reports.

Source: Cell Press.

Your microbiota may not be on your side as you try improving your diet this New Year’s. In a study published December 29 in Cell Host & Microbe, researchers explore why mice that switch from an unrestricted American diet to a healthy, calorie-restricted, plant-based diet don’t have an immediate response to their new program. They found that certain human gut bacteria need to be lost for a diet plan to be successful.

“If we are to prescribe a diet to improve someone’s health, it’s important that we understand what microbes help control those beneficial effects,” says Jeffrey Gordon, Director of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology at Washington University in St. Louis and senior author of the paper. “And we’ve found a way to mine the gut microbial communities of different humans to identify the organisms that help promote the effects of a particular diet in ways that might be beneficial.”

In order to study how human dietary practices influence the human gut microbiota and how a microbiota conditioned with one dietary lifestyle responds to a new prescribed diet, Gordon and his collaborators first took fecal samples from people who followed a calorie-restricted, plant-rich diet and samples from people who followed a typical, unrestricted American diet. The researchers found that people who followed the restricted, plant-rich diet had a more diverse microbiota.

They then colonized groups of germ-free mice with the different human donors’ gut communities and fed the animals the donor’s native diet or the other diet type. Although both groups of mice responded to their new diets, mice with the American diet-conditioned microbiota had a weaker response to the plant-rich diet.

To identify microbes that could enhance the response of the American diet-conditioned microbiota, the researchers set up a series of staged encounters between mice. Animals harboring American diet-conditioned human gut communities were sequentially co-housed with mice colonized with microbiota from different people who had consumed the plant-rich diet for long periods of time. Microbes from the plant diet-conditioned communities made their way into the American diet-conditioned microbiota, markedly improving its response to the plant diet.

“We need to think of our gut microbial communities not as isolated islands but as parts of an archipelago where bacteria can move from island to island. We call this archipelago a metacommunity,” says first author Nicholas Griffin, an instructor at WUSTL. “Many of these bacteria that migrated into the American diet-conditioned microbiota were initially absent in many people consuming this non-restricted diet.”

Image shows a diagram of the mice and microbes.

Although the scientists are optimistic that their approach will help guide the development of new strategies for improving the effectiveness of prescribing healthy diets, they emphasize that more research is needed to identify the factors that determine the exchange of microbes between people.

“We have an increasing appreciation for how nutritional value and the effects of diets are impacted by a consumer’s microbiota,” says Gordon. “We hope that microbes identified using approaches such as those described in this study may one day be used as next-generation probiotics. Our microbes provide another way of underscoring how we humans are connected we are to one another as members of a larger community.”

ABOUT THIS NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH ARTICLE

Source: Cell Press
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to Griffin et al. / Cell Host & Microbe.
Original Research: Full open access research for “Prior Dietary Practices and Connections to a Human Gut Microbial Metacommunity Alter Responses to Diet Interventions” by Nicholas W. Griffin, Philip P. Ahern, Jiye Cheng, Andrew C. Heath, Olga Ilkayeva, Christopher B. Newgard, Luigi Fontana, and Jeffrey I. Gordon in Cell Host & Microbe. Published online December 29 2016 doi:10.1016/j.chom.2016.12.006

CITE THIS NEUROSCIENCENEWS.COM ARTICLE
Cell Press “Your Microbiota’s Previous Dining Experiences May Make New Diets Less Effective.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 30 December 2016.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/microbiome-memory-diet-5836/&gt;.

Abstract

Prior Dietary Practices and Connections to a Human Gut Microbial Metacommunity Alter Responses to Diet Interventions

Ensuring that gut microbiota respond consistently to prescribed dietary interventions, irrespective of prior dietary practices (DPs), is critical for effective nutritional therapy. To address this, we identified DP-associated gut bacterial taxa in individuals either practicing chronic calorie restriction with adequate nutrition (CRON) or without dietary restrictions (AMER). When transplanted into gnotobiotic mice, AMER and CRON microbiota responded predictably to CRON and AMER diets but with variable response strengths. An individual’s microbiota is connected to other individuals’ communities (“metacommunity”) by microbial exchange. Sequentially cohousing AMER-colonized mice with two different groups of CRON-colonized mice simulated metacommunity effects, resulting in enhanced responses to a CRON diet intervention and changes in several metabolic features in AMER animals. This response was driven by an influx of CRON DP-associated taxa. Certain DPs may impair responses to dietary interventions, necessitating the introduction of diet-responsive bacterial lineages present in other individuals and identified using the strategies described.

“Prior Dietary Practices and Connections to a Human Gut Microbial Metacommunity Alter Responses to Diet Interventions” by Nicholas W. Griffin, Philip P. Ahern, Jiye Cheng, Andrew C. Heath, Olga Ilkayeva, Christopher B. Newgard, Luigi Fontana, and Jeffrey I. Gordon in Cell Host & Microbe. Published online December 29 2016 doi:10.1016/j.chom.2016.12.006