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Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

Chemicals in Household Items are ‘Causing Huge Increase in Cancer, Obesity and Falling Fertility’


Saturday, 12 May 2012

‘Chemicals found in household products may be causing significant increases in cancers, diabetes, obesity and falling fertility, the European Environment Agency has warned.

Among the everyday items containing endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which affect the hormone system, are food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The chemicals, which can leach out into food and be absorbed by the body, are also causing an increased number of neurological development problems in both humans and animals, it is claimed.’

Read more: Chemicals in Household Items are ‘Causing Huge Increase in Cancer, Obesity and Falling Fertility’

Consumption in the United States


http://www.mindfully.org/Sustainability/Americans-Consume-24percent.htm

In the United States:

Reducing consumption without reducing use is a costly delusion. If undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate as the US, four complete planets the size of the Earth would be required. People who think that they have a right to such a life are quite mistaken.
  • Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.
  • On average, one American consumes as much energy as
    • 2 Japanese
    • 6 Mexicans
    • 13 Chinese
    • 31 Indians
    • 128 Bangladeshis
    • 307 Tanzanians
    • 370 Ethiopians

     

  • The population is projected to increase by nearly 130 million people – the equivalent of adding another four states the size of California – by the year 2050.
  • Forty percent of births are unintended.
  • Americans eat 815 billion calories of food each day – that’s roughly 200 billion more than needed – enough to feed 80 million people.
  • Americans throw out 200,000 tons of edible food daily.
  • The average American generates 52 tons of garbage by age 75.
  • The average individual daily consumption of water is 159 gallons, while more than half the world’s population lives on 25 gallons.
  • Fifty percent of the wetlands, 90% of the northwestern old-growth forests, and 99% of the tall-grass prairie have been destroyed in the last 200 years.
  • Eighty percent of the corn grown and 95% of the oats are fed to livestock.
  • Fifty-six percent of available farmland is used for beef production.
  • Every day an estimated nine square miles of rural land are lost to development.
  • There are more shopping malls than high schools.

Percent of World Total

  United States
  Developed Countries
  Undeveloped Countries

Other Facts:

  • 250 million people have died of hunger-related causes in the past quarter-century — roughly 10 million each year.
  • 700 to 800 million people, perhaps even as many as a billion, don’t get enough food to support normal daily activities
  • Africa now produces 27% less food per capita than in 1964.
  • 1.7 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, and by the year 2000, the number of urban dwellers without access to safe water and sanitation services is expected to grow by 80%.
  • 0.1% of pesticides applied to crops reaches the pest, the rest poisons the ecosystem.
  • Each year 25 million people are poisoned by pesticides in less developed countries, and over 20,000 die.
  • One-third of the world’s fish catch and more than one-third of the world’s total grain output is fed to livestock.
  • It takes an average of 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat in modern Western farming systems. It takes 5,214 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef.
  • Each person in the industrialized world uses as much commercial energy as 10 people in the developing world.

source: Paul Ehrlich and the Population Bomb / PBS [the PBS website is defunct but the book by the same name is available]

 

Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity


Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have revealed how a mutation in a single gene is responsible for the inability of neurons to effectively pass along appetite suppressing signals from the body to the right place in the brain. What results is obesity caused by a voracious appetite.

Their study, published March 18th on ‘s website, suggests there might be a way to stimulate expression of that gene to treat obesity caused by uncontrolled eating.

The research team specifically found that a mutation in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) gene in mice does not allow brain to effectively pass and insulin chemical signals through the brain. In humans, these hormones, which are released in the body after a person eats, are designed to “tell” the body to stop eating. But if the signals fail to reach correct locations in the hypothalamus, the area in the brain that signals satiety, eating continues.

“This is the first time in dendrites, tree-like extensions of neurons, has been found to be critical for control of weight,” says the study’s senior investigator, Baoji Xu, Ph.D., an associate professor of pharmacology and physiology at Georgetown.

“This discovery may open up novel strategies to help the brain control body weight,” he says.

Xu has long investigated the Bdnf gene. He has found that the gene produces a growth factor that controls communication between neurons.

For example, he has shown that during development, BDNF is important to the formation and maturation of synapses, the structures that permit neurons to send chemical signals between them. The Bdnf gene generates one short transcript and one long transcript. He discovered that when the long-form Bdnf transcript is absent, the growth factor BDNF is only synthesized in the cell body of a neuron but not in its dendrites. The neuron then produces too many immature synapses, resulting in deficits in in mice.

Xu also found that the mice with the same Bdnf mutation grew to be severely obese.

Other researchers began to look at the Bdnf gene in humans, and large-scale genome-wide association studies showed Bdnf gene variants are, in fact, linked to obesity.

But, until this study, no one has been able to describe exactly how BDNF controls body weight.

Xu’s data shows that both leptin and insulin stimulate synthesis of BDNF in neuronal dendrites in order to move their chemical message from one neuron to another through . The intent is to keep the leptin and insulin moving along the neuronal highway to the correct brain locations, where the hormones will turn on a program that suppresses appetite.

“If there is a problem with the Bdnf gene, neurons can’t talk to each other, and the leptin and insulin signals are ineffective, and appetite is not modified,” Xu says.

Now that scientists know that BDNF regulates the movement of leptin and insulin signals through , the question is whether a faulty transmission line can be repaired.

One possible strategy would be to produce additional long-form Bdnf transcript using adeno-associated virus-based gene therapy, Xu says. But although this kind of gene therapy has proven to be safe, it is difficult to deliver across the brain blood barrier, he adds.

“The better approach might be to find a drug that can stimulate Bdnf expression in the ,” Xu says. “We have opened the door to both new avenues in basic research and clinical therapies, which is very exciting.”

Provided by Georgetown University Medical Center (news : web)

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-03-reveal-gene-mutation-uncontrolled-obesity.html

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/