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Bone Hormone Linked to Obesity and Diabetes 218

grrlscientist writes "New research has shown that the skeletal system may be an important player in preventing obesity and type-2 diabetes in animals. This may also be true for humans, and thus represents an important development for the treatment of these health conditions. From the article: 'Not only do bones produce a protein hormone, osteocalcin (pictured), that regulates bone formation, but this hormone also protects against obesity and glucose intolerance by increasing proliferation of pancreatic beta cells and their subsequent secretion of insulin. Osteocalcin was also found to increase the body's sensitivity to insulin and as well as reducing its fat stores ... "The skeleton used to be thought of as just a structural support system. This opens the door to a new way of seeing the bones," said Dr. Gerard Karsenty, chairman of the department of genetics and development at Columbia University Medical Center in NYC, who headed the team that made the discovery.'"
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Bone Hormone Linked to Obesity and Diabetes

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2007 @04:53PM (#20205463)
    If Americans only ate massive amounts of sugar, things wouldn't be so bad. The problem is that Americans eat massive amounts of high-fructose corn syrup. If we did eat real sugar, developments like this might help. Because real sugar triggers an insulin release from the pancreas whereas HFCS doesn't. So it won't matter how much of this bone-formation hormone (or whatever results from this discovery) we give people, if they continue to eat sweeteners that circumvent the body's natural regulation mechanism.

    The sad thing is that real sugar also tastes a lot better too and would be cheaper were it not for government subsidies to corn growers. Thank you ADM (and our government's irrational fear of our communist neighbor to the south)!
  • Re:Ultra Mega Diet (Score:1, Informative)

    by chris_eineke ( 634570 ) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @05:25PM (#20205669) Homepage Journal

    Eating less!

    That's one half of the equation. The other half is to lower your blood sugar level. Get a meter and after every meal (absolutely everything you eat or drink) check your sugar level. If it stays above 100 for a long period time (about 2-5 hours), you have identified something you shouldn't eat or drink. A level between 40 and 80 is healthy, anything above 80 is unhealthy, 800 is like a nuke for your brain. Read an article on Kuro5hin for the whole explanation [kuro5hin.org].
  • Not so hard, though (Score:5, Informative)

    by localroger ( 258128 ) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @05:36PM (#20205727) Homepage
    Actually, having metabolic syndrome myself, I can say that if you catch it in time it responds well to a low carbohydrate diet. You don't need to restrict calorie intake at all, just carbohydrate intake; if you do that you'll find you lose your appetite quickly when you're thinking of eating too much, and your weight settles to a much more reasonable setpoint with no effort or hunger pangs at all.

    Also, you cannot eat pure protein; if you are eating low carb, you must eat fat. My blood pressure and cholesterol have confirmed that this isn't unhealthy as long as you aren't poisoning yourself with too much sugar and corn syrup (which is in a lot of foods you'd normally consider healthy, unfortunately.)

  • Re:Ultra Mega Diet (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:14PM (#20206367)
    Informative? What the devil are you thinking? A blood glucose between 80-100 is NORMAL. A NORMAL person will bump up to MAYBE 120 after even a bad meal, but rapidly come back to the 80-100 level. If you get below 70, you're running into HYPOGLYCEMIA territory, enjoy your seizures.

    800 is indeed a "nuke for your brain" but unless you're a Type I diabetic without ANY endogenous insulin production, or a horribly controlled type II, you're not gonna see that. Hell, I'm not sure I've even seen a fingerstick capable of registering above 550-600!

    Respectfully, parent is full of hockey. I'm sure you're an excellent CS student, but you've not had biology for a long time, friend. Don't check your own Fingerstick blood glucose unless you have reason to (ie: a medical condition), but if you're suspicious, then GO TO YOUR DOCTOR. Get a Fasting Blood glucose drawn, not those crap fingersticks. And if you're not satisfied, push for a glucose tolerance test, where you drink RAW glucose, then follow your venous blood sugar levels to see how your body reacts. If it can't keep up with the load, then welcome to the wonderful world of Diabetes. If it DOES, count your lucky stars, go home, and throw out your ho-ho's, Oreo's and Jolt Colas, and try a lovely dose of Moderation In All Things for a change.

    Jebus help me...

    Hehe, code was "criteria."
  • by dfghjk ( 711126 ) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:31PM (#20206483)
    People who believe that weight gain or loss is a simple matter of calories versus demand have no concept of "plateaus". They've never had to battle weight problems either. A body that believes it's starving will do everything it can to preserve its weight.
  • blood sugar levels (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Sunday August 12, 2007 @07:40PM (#20206567)
    > A level between 40 and 80 is healthy, anything above 80 is unhealthy

    40?! You're nuts. If you're below 50, you need to get some orange juice in your body ASAP. Between 80-110 is normal (closer to 80 is better, though). In fact, from the article you linked to, "A measurement of 40 is grounds for an immediate trip to the hospital." Really low glucose levels are more immediately dangerous (easily fatal) than high ones. Consistently high ones will destroy your body in ways you don't want to think about (blindness and limb amputation is common, among many other things).

    If you go above, I think, 245 or so, your body goes into 'ketoacidosis' and starts eating itself and the chemical Acetone (nail polish remover) winds up in your bloodstream. I can tell you from personal experience that this feels about as good as it sounds.
  • by dfghjk ( 711126 ) on Sunday August 12, 2007 @08:41PM (#20206939)
    "Fat people eat too much, and don't burn enough off. Saying anything else is a damn lie."

    Whoever said otherwise? The fact is, though, that it doesn't have to be much food to be "too much". There are plenty of thin people that vastly overeat fat ones and yet are totally sedentary. If it were as simple as you say, then that wouldn't exist. There is something biologically complicated afoot.

    "It's easier for some people to eat less or burn those pounds off, but that doesn't change the basic equation."

    Yes, and perhaps it was easier for you to lose your weight than it is for others. Not every fat person is diabetic, though it's likely they will all eventually be. Some people get fat young and find it easier, particularly males, to lose excess weight. When I was in my 20's I weighed 260 and eventually dropped that to 190. I'm now 20 years older, weigh 210, work out at least three days a week, and have a body fat percentage of about 12%, yet controlling my weight now is much more difficult than ever.

    What is interesting is why some people have so much easier time naturally controlling how much they eat than others. This is how naturally everyone should be and willpower has nothing to do with it. If a body degenerates into obesity we should naturally assume it is not working properly, not that the person has weak character. Instead, we assume the opposite and many feel inclined to post messages on the matter. It is not just sloth that causes obesity.
  • by slimjim8094 ( 941042 ) <slashdot3@juGINS ... d.net minus poet> on Sunday August 12, 2007 @08:41PM (#20206947)
    Ketoacidosis is when your body, which creates acetones naturally, can't clean those acetones out of the blood. So, you get nail-polish breath, which, if medical personnel aren't careful, can smell like booze. That's bad because hyperglycemia can produce mental symptoms similar to drunkenness.

    P.S. I'm a NJ EMT-B, and we frequently get calls where policemen want us to check out a drunk, with booze breath and all the mental signs like belligerence. They were really a diabetic at least 10% of the time.
    Sorry for the OT

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