Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weight loss surgery could REVERSE the effects of ageing: Study finds it can protect against diabetes, heart disease and cancer

This is a very small study and telomeres are still poorly understood so the conclusion is speculative

Weight loss surgery may reverse the effects of ageing, new research suggests.  After the surgery some patients’ telomeres – genetic biomarkers that play a role in the ageing of cells – lengthened, suggesting the ageing process had been reversed.

Usually telomeres become shorter as a person gets older.

‘Obesity has an adverse effect on health, causes premature ageing and reduces life expectancy,' said study co-author Dr John Morton, Chief of Bariatric Surgery at Stanford University Medical Centre.

'This is the first study to show that surgical weight loss may be able to reverse the effects.'

He added: ‘If your telomeres get longer, you’re likely to reverse the effects of ageing and have a lower risk of developing a wide range of age-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart and respiratory diseases, and certain types of cancer.’

Researchers at Stanford University studied genetic data from 51 patients before and after gastric bypass surgery.  Three quarters of the patients were women and their average age was 49.

On average, the patients lost 71 per cent of their excess weight after the surgery and saw the level of inflammation in their body drop by more than 60 per cent.  Inflammation is associated with risk of heart disease and diabetes.

They also saw a four-fold decline in their fasting insulin – a marker of type 2 diabetes risk - within 12 months of surgery.

These findings were consistent with the results of previous studies but the researchers went further this time.

They measured the length of each patient’s telomeres before and after their weight loss.

They found that after the gastric bypass, some of the patients’ telomeres became longer.

The benefits were most pronounced in patients who had had high levels of ‘bad cholesterol’ and of inflammation before their surgery.

Just as the tips of shoelaces prevent fraying, telomeres keep chromosomes stable and prevent deterioration when the cells containing them divide.

Researchers say further studies are needed to confirm the direct effects of telomere length on health outcomes.

The research was presented at ObesityWeek 2013, an event hosted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society.


Parents Fined For Not Sending Ritz Crackers In Kids' Lunches

It's quite possible that the single stupidest school lunch policy on the planet comes courtesy of a strange interpretation of the Manitoba Government's Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations

Apparently if a child's lunch is deemed "unbalanced", where "balance" refers to ensuring that a lunch conforms to the proportions of food groups as laid out by Canada's awful Food Guide, then that child's lunch is "supplemented", and their parent is fined.

Blog reader Kristen Bartkiw received just such a fine.

She sent her children to daycare with with lunches containing leftover homemade roast beef and potatoes, carrots, an orange and some milk.

She did not send along any "grains".

As a consequence the school provided her children with, I kid you not, supplemental Ritz Crackers, and her with a $10 fine.

As Kristen writes, had she sent along lunches consisting of, "microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box" those lunches would have sailed right through this idiocy. But her whole food, homemade lunches? They lacked Ritz Crackers.

So what say you? Have you come across a more inane school lunch policy? Because I sure haven't.


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