October 12th, 2010

bswing

Rats Compulsively Eat Cheesecake and Bacon

The new study, unlike our preliminary abstract, explains what happens in the brain of these animals when they have easy access to high-calorie, high-fat food," said Kenny. "It presents the most thorough and compelling evidence that drug addiction and obesity are based on the same underlying neurobiological mechanisms. In the study, the animals completely lost control over their eating behavior, the primary hallmark of addiction. They continued to overeat even when they anticipated receiving electric shocks, highlighting just how motivated they were to consume the palatable food."

The scientists fed the rats a diet modeled after the type that contributes to human obesity—easy-to-obtain high-calorie, high-fat foods like sausage, bacon, and cheesecake. Soon after the experiments began, the animals began to bulk up dramatically.

"They always went for the worst types of food," Kenny said, "and as a result, they took in twice the calories as the control rats. When we removed the junk food and tried to put them on a nutritious diet – what we called the �salad bar option' – they simply refused to eat. The change in their diet preference was so great that they basically starved themselves for two weeks after they were cut off from junk food. It was the animals that showed the "crash" in brain reward circuitries that had the most profound shift in food preference to the palatable, unhealthy diet. These same rats were also those that kept on eating even when they anticipated being shocked."

The rats would overeat, even when they knew their feet would be shocked. When the researchers took away the junk food, they refused to eat for two weeks.

Posted via email from crasch's posterous

bswing

Four-time Iditarod champ Lance Mackey has had quite a journey to the top

"Years later, sitting in a roadside restaurant outside of Fairbanks, he's thin as a spine and missing more than just that one tooth. He's lost a finger. He's down to one good arm. The skin on half his face is scarred and stretched to the limit. He can't produce an ounce of spit. Thanks to racing in subzero temperatures for days on end, his ears, toes and remaining fingers are permanently frostbitten. His back is tender, his right hip clicks, his right leg cramps. He struggles to get out of bed every morning, much less climb onto his dogsled and mush 1,000 miles in the Alaskan wilderness.

And yet next March, Mackey could become the first man to win five straight Iditarods."

Posted via email from crasch's posterous

bswing

Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/index.xml?section=top...

"The first study showed that male rats given water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup in addition to a standard diet of rat chow gained much more weight than male rats that received water sweetened with table sugar, or sucrose, in conjunction with the standard diet. The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas.

The second experiment -- the first long-term study of the effects of high-fructose corn syrup consumption on obesity in lab animals -- monitored weight gain, body fat and triglyceride levels in rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup over a period of six months. Compared to animals eating only rat chow, rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats in particular ballooned in size: Animals with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet."

Posted via email from crasch's posterous

bswing

Why We Mock the Vote

"Something doesn’t become right just because 50%+1 of the population say so. The very core of democracy is the idea that the numerical majority on any issue will have its way, with the minority being forced to submit. Imagine a world of just three people. When two off these people use their superior physical strength to gang up on the other, stealing his stuff and making him their slave, we call it thuggery. When they do it through the voting booth we call it the Voice of the People."

Posted via email from crasch's posterous