Tag Archives: Fatty acid

Abdominal fat or belly fat

As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection. At one time, we might have accepted this as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems. The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels.

Though the term  abdominal fat  or belly fat might sound dated, “middle-age spread” is a greater concern than ever. As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase — more so in women than men. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection.
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At one time, we might have accepted these changes as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.

Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.

Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?…….CLICK & SEE….

Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss. .

The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels. Subcutaneous fat located at the waist — the pinchable stuff — can be frustratingly difficult to budge, but in normal-weight people, it’s generally not considered as much of a health threat as visceral fat is.

Research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. It’s appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it’s becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones.

Scientists are also learning that visceral fat pumps out immune system chemicals called cytokines — for example, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 — that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. These and other biochemicals are thought to have deleterious effects on cells’ sensitivity to insulin, blood pressure, and blood clotting.

One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes. Now for the good news.

Exercise and dieting can help you get rid of belly fat:

So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.

Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.

Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For example, studies of the weight-loss medication sibutramine (Meridia), have shown that the drug’s greatest effects are on visceral fat.

For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.
Source: Harvard Health Publication

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Alpinia nutans

Botanical Name : Alpinia nutans
Family: Zingiberaceae
Subfamily: Alpinioideae
Tribe: Alpinieae
Genus: Alpinia
Species: A. nutans
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms :
*Alpinia speciosa K.Schum.
*Amomum compactum Roem. & Schult.
*Catimbium nutans Juss.
*Costus zerumbet Pers.
*Languas speciosa Small
*Renealmia nutans Andrews
*Zerumbet speciosum H.Wendl

Common Names: Shellflower, Dwarf cardamom,False cardamom

Habitat : Alpinia nutans is a Southeast Asian plant.

Description:
Alpinia Nutans is mostly  an evergreen rhizomatous soft-wooded perennial plant.It Can grow 5 to 6 feet tall and tolerate winter temperatures down to 20F. Grows best in some shade but can tolerate full sun in hardiness zone  10-13.   Its flowers have a porcelain look, are shell-like and bloom prolifically on a 30-cm stalk. The flower’s single fertile stamen has a massive anther. The globose white stigma of the pistil extends beyond the tip of the anther. The foliage of Alpinia nutans is evergreen in areas that do not have a hard freeze. It has a very distinctive cardamom fragrance when brushed or rubbed, but this is not the plant that produces the spice by that name.

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Chemical Constituents:
The rhizome oil of Alpinia speciosa K. Schum. contains some fatty acids with an odd number of carbon atoms, which are less common in nature than fatty acids with even numbers of carbon atoms. The major one is pentadecanoic acid (C-15, 21.9%) and others are tricosylic acid (C-23, 5.7%), tridecylic acid (C-13, 1.9%), undecylic acid (C-11, 3.1%) and pelargonic acid (C-9, 0.1%). Among the fatty acids containing even number of carbon atoms, the main constituents are linolenic acid (C-18:3, 27.4%) and arachidic acid (C-20, 22.4%). The total saturated fatty acids constitute 65.7% and unsaturated 34.3%

Medicinal Uses:
In Asian medicinal practices, the alpinia nutans fruits   are used to expel gas, prevent vomiting and stimulate stomach secretions.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpinia_nutans
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.floridahillnursery.com/ginger-alipinia-c-5/alpinia-nutans-narrow-leaf-live-plant-p-238
http://www.plantthis.com.au/plant-information.asp?gardener=8702&tabview=photos&plantSpot=
http://www.floridahillnursery.com/popup_image/pID/238

http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/81600/81619/81619_alpinia_nuta.htm

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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Why Krill Oil Is The Ultimate Heart And Brain Nutrient

Medical research has identified a source of omega-3 fatty acids that’s been shown superior to fish oil supplements in head-to-head testing. It’s found to be healthier, safer, more potent and more absorbable. It’s called krill oil.

Krill is a shrimp-like crustacean that abounds in the ocean. In fact, this tiny sea creature is a favorite food of marine life, including Beluga whales. Krill are almost 100 percent free of heavy metals and other toxins. By contrast, large predatory fish are often “filled to the gills” with dangerous toxins.

The reason krill oil is more effective than other marine oils is the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, phospholipids and extremely potent antioxidants it contains. It’s the unique combination of these essential ingredients that provide the greatest health benefits.

Krill oil has been shown to outperform fish oil supplements when it comes to lowering your bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Patients who took 1 to 1.5 grams (g) of krill oil a day—compared to three times the dose of fish oil—showed a significantly greater decrease in bad cholesterol than the fish oil patients.
In an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test, krill oil was shown to contain 300 times the amount of vitamin A and E, plus 48 times the antioxidant power of standard omega-3 fish oils.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for your diet—and should be supplemented since your body doesn’t produce them on its own. These fatty acids are the best source to help prevent blood clotting, lower blood pressure and relieve inflammation.

Krill oil contains a healthy balance of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids—which help fight infection. These two fatty acids need each other and work together to prevent other inflammation-related ailments like heart disease, arthritis and diabetes. By supplementing with all-natural krill oil, you can protect your heart and brain for decades to come

Source :Better Health Research

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Adrenoleukodystrophy

Alternative Names:  Adrenoleukodystrophy; Adrenomyeloneuropathy; Childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy; ALD; Schilder-Addison Complex


Definition:

Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD),  is a rare, inherited disorder that leads to progressive brain damage, failure of the adrenal glands and eventually death. ALD is a disease in a group of genetic disorders called leukodystrophies. Adrenoleukodystrophy progressively damages the myelin sheath, a complex fatty neural tissue that insulates many nerves of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Without functional myelin, nerves are unable to aid in the conduction of an impulse, which leads to increasing disability.

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Patients with X-linked ALD have defects in the ATP-binding cassette, sub-family D (ALD), member 1 transporter protein, which is encoded by the ABCD1 gene. The ABCD1 (aka ALDP) protein is indirectly involved in the break down of very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) found in the normal diet. Lack of this protein can give rise to an over-accumulation of VLCFAs which can lead to damage to the brain, adrenal gland, and peripheral nervous system.

There are several different types of the disease which can be inherited, but the most common form is an X-linked condition. X-linked ALD primarily affects males, but about one in five women with the disease gene develop some symptoms. Adrenomyeloneuropathy is a less-severe form of ALD, with onset of symptoms occurring in adolescence or adulthood. This form does not include cerebral involvement, and should be included in the differential diagnosis of all males with adrenal insufficiency. Although they share a similar name, X-linked ALD and neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy (NALD), a peroxisome biogenesis disorder, are completely different diseases.

Although this disorder affects the growth and/or development of myelin, leukodystrophies are different from demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis where myelin is formed normally but is lost by immunologic dysfunction or for other reasons.

Causes:

There are several types of ALD, which may be inherited in two different ways, and which can cause different patterns of disease even among people in the same families.

ALD is most commonly inherited as an X-linked condition. This means the abnormal gene is found on the X chromosome.

Because women have two X chromosomes, they have a spare normal gene as well as the abnormal one, so generally only carry the condition (although they may have a mild form of the disease). Men have only one X, so they are affected by the condition.

X-linked ALD may occur in three forms, with onset of symptoms in either childhood or adulthood.

Neonatal ALD is much less common. In this type of ALD the faulty gene isn’t X-linked but is found on one of the other chromosomes. This means both boys and girls can be affected.

Symptoms:
Childhood cerebral type:

•Changes in muscle tone, especially muscle spasms and spasticity
•Crossed eyes (strabismus)
•Decreased understanding of verbal communication (aphasia)
•Deterioration of handwriting
•Difficulty at school
•Difficulty understanding spoken material
•Hearing loss
•Hyperactivity
•Worsening nervous system deterioration
*Coma
*Decreased fine motor control
*Paralysis
•Seizures
•Swallowing difficulties
•Visual impairment or blindness

Adrenomyelopathy:
•Difficulty controlling urination
•Possible worsening muscle weakness or leg stiffness
•Problems with thinking speed and visual memory

.
Adrenal gland failure (Addison type):

•Coma
•Decreased appetite
•Increased skin color (pigmentation)
•Loss of weight, muscle mass (wasting)
•Muscle weakness
•Vomiting

Diagnosis:

The diagnosis is established by clinical findings and the detection of serum very long-chain free fatty acid levels. MRI examination reveals white matter abnormalities, and neuro-imaging findings of this disease are somewhat reminiscent of the findings of multiple sclerosis. Genetic testing for the analysis of the defective gene is available in some centers.

Neonatal screening may become available in the future, which may permit early diagnosis and treatment.

Genetics:

X-linkedX-linked ALD (X-ALD) is the most common form of ALD. In X-ALD, the defective ABCD1 gene resides on the X chromosome (Xq28). The incidence of X-ALD is at least 1 in 20,000 male births.[6] The ABCD1 (“ATP-binding cassette, subfamily D, member 1”) gene was discovered in 1993 and codes for a peroxisome membrane protein necessary for the ?-oxidation of VLCFAs.

X-ALD is characterized by excessive accumulation of very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFA), which are fatty acids with chains of 25–30 carbon atoms. The most common is hexacosanoate, with a 26 carbon skeleton. The elevation in (VLCFA) was originally described by Moser et al. in 1981.[8] The precise mechanisms through which high VLCFA concentrations in affected organs cause the disease is still unknown.

Autosomal
Neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy (NALD) is one of three autosomal dominant disorders which belong to the Zellweger spectrum of peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBD-ZSD).The other two disorders are Zellweger syndrome (ZS), and infantile Refsum disease (IRD). NALD is most frequently caused by mutations in the PEX1, PEX5, PEX10, PEX13, and PEX26 genes.

Treatment:

There’s no cure for ALD, and the nervous system progressively deteriorates, with death usually occurring between one and ten years after the start of symptoms.

Research suggests that a mixture of oleic acid and euric acid, known as Lorenzo’s oil, may delay or reduce symptoms in boys with X-linked ALD by lowering levels of VLCFAs. The most benefit is seen when the treatment is used before symptoms develop, before irreversible damage has occurred.

Bone marrow transplants have also been used with some success in boys in the early stages of X-linked ALD but are not without considerable risk. Newer treatments that may lower brain levels of VLCFA are being tested. Treatment with docosahexanoic acid (DHA) may help young children with neonatal ALD.

Genetic research has identified the transporter proteins and their faulty genes, starting the path towards gene therapy.

Research directions:
Active clinical trials are currently in progress to determine if the proposed treatments are effective:

*Glyceryl Trioleate (Lorenzo’s oil) for Adrenomyelneuropathy.
*Beta Interferon and Thalidomide  This study is closed.
*Combination of Glyceryl Trierucate and Glyceryl Trioleate (Lorenzo’s Oil) in assymptomatic patients.[26]
*Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Prognosis:
Treatment is symptomatic. Progressive neurological degeneration makes the prognosis generally poor. Death occurs within one to ten years of presentation of symptoms. The use of Lorenzo’s Oil, bone marrow transplant, and gene therapy is currently under investigation.

Possible Complications:
•Adrenal crisis
•Vegetative state (long-term coma)

Prevention:
Genetic counseling is recommended for prospective parents with a family history of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. Female carriers can be diagnosed 85% of the time using a very-long-chain fatty acid test and a DNA probe study done by specialized laboratories.

Prenatal diagnosis of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is also available. It is done by evaluating cells from chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/adrenoleukodystrophy1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenoleukodystrophy
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001182.htm

http://health.bwmc.umms.org/imagepages/17277.htm

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Mercury Cancels Brain Benefits of Fish Oil

A long-term dietary study untangles the effects on brain development of two well-known but contrary exposures – beneficial oil and toxic methyl mercury – that accompany a fish-rich diet.

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Prenatal mercury exposure from a mother’s fish-rich diet can reduce the beneficial effects fish oil has on brain development, report an international group of researchers. The babies exposed in the womb to higher methyl mercury levels scored lower on skills tests as infants and toddlers than those exposed to lower levels of the pollutant.

Of five nutrients tested, only the benefits of the fish oil DHA were affected by the mercury. The extent to which methyl mercury interferes with fish oil’s brain benefits is uncertain.

Environmental Health News reports:

“The beneficial effects of eating fish during pregnancy on a baby’s brain development are relatively well accepted. However, some fish can contain high levels of mercury ... Government agency advisories suggest women of childbearing years eat fish with low mercury levels as well as limit consumption of fish that contain high levels.”


Resources:

Environmental Health News January 3, 2011
Environmental Research October 18, 2010

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