Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sitting down is dangerous!

But jogging is bad for you too because it crunches your joints. And swimming is bad because swimmers drown a lot. And walking outdoors is bad because you might get cancer from the sun. So just DIE!

Physiologists analyzing obesity, heart disease, and diabetes found that the act of sitting shuts down the circulation of a fat-absorbing enzyme called lipase. They found that standing up engages muscles and promotes the distribution of lipase, which prompts the body to process fat and cholesterol, independent of the amount of time spent exercising. They also found that standing up uses blood glucose and may discourage the development of diabetes. You're probably sitting down right now. Well, by the time you're done reading this, you may see sitting in a whole new way!

"Chair time is an insidious hazard because people haven't been told it's a hazard," Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, told Ivanhoe.

That's right -- the time you sit in your chair could be keeping your body's fat burning in park! More than 47 million adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome, which causes obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Biomedical researchers from the say the reason so many of us have the condition is because we sit too much!

"The existing data, by numerous studies, are starting to show that the rates of heart disease and diabetes and obesity are doubled or sometimes even tripled in people who sit a lot," Dr. Hamilton explains. One reason, he says, is an enzyme called lipase. When it's on, fat is absorbed into the muscles, but when we sit down, lipase virtually shuts off.

"Instead, the fat will recirculate in the blood stream and go and be stored as body fat or it can clog arteries and cause diseases," Dr. Hamilton says. And it's not a small amount of fat. Plasma samples were taken from the same person after eating the same meal. When they ate sitting down, the sample was cloudy, but when they ate while standing up, it was clear.

"If you can perform a behavior while sitting or standing, I would choose standing," Dr. Hamilton says. That's why he swapped his desk chair for a treadmill. Not ready for that step? "You can have just as much fun watching your kids play if you're standing by the fence, next to a friend who pulls out that aluminum lawn chair and is sitting there," Dr. Hamilton advises.

You can also limit chair time by taking frequent breaks at work to stand and walk around. Stand up while talking on the phone or even while watching TV. Standing also helps shrink your waistline! The average person can burn an extra 60 calories an hour just by standing! "But just avoid the chair is the simple recommendation, as much as you can," Dr. Hamilton says. That's advice worth a standing ovation! Another benefit to standing -- it improves your HDL or good cholesterol levels. People who sat reduced their good cholesterol levels by 22 percent!


At least some food preferences are genetic

So nagging kids to eat broccoli etc. can be very cruel

Summary: In the first study to link taste genes to behavior in children, researchers looked at how natural variations in a recently discovered taste gene affected sensitivity to bitter tastes and food preferences in a group of children and adults. Collecting genetic samples from 143 children and their mothers, the researchers showed moms and kids who had at least one bitter-sensitive region in the gene were generally able to detect even a hint of bitter flavor in a test drink. The same group of children, carrying one or two bitter-sensitive regions of a gene, also preferred higher concentrations of sucrose solutions and had stronger preferences for sweet-tasting food and beverages than did the bitter-insensitive kids.

If you're a parent, chances are you've had a difficult time getting your child to eat certain veggies. The next time your child pushes away his spinach, it may not be that he's being difficult or picky. A new study finds some children may be extra sensitive to bitter tastes.

Abby Plummer is part of a tasting study that looks at the effect of a bitter-taste receptor gene on food preferences. "We genotyped children and mothers -- and by genotyping, I mean we took cheek swabs and got DNA from mothers and children -- and looked for the presence of this bitter taste receptor gene," says Julie Mennella, a developmental Psychobiologist at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.

Psychobiologists, who combine psychology and biology, grouped the 143 children and their mothers into three genotypes: PP, AP or AA. The P signifies the presence of the bitter gene. As expected, those with two bitter genes, PP, were the most sensitive to bitter taste. However, mothers and children with the same genotypes did not have the same taste experience. Mennella says, "An interesting thing is that children who carried one of these bitter taste alleles were much more sensitive to the bitter taste than mothers."

Which could be why many children have an aversion to bitter foods like certain vegetables. "Childhood may represent a period of heightened bitter taste sensitivity in some children that lessens with age. That's not to say that as you get older you can't taste bitter anymore, it's just a dampening effect," Mennella says. She hopes her research leads to healthier diets for kids.

The study also found children who had the bitter taste gene preferred higher levels of the sucrose solution they were given in the study. Researchers point out that as we age, life experience begins to override genetic disposition for taste.


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