Evolving Health

Monthly Archives: April 2009

Humans didn’t always have restaurants and grocery stores to visit on every corner. As part of human evolution, in fact, most of the time it’s likely our ancestors were starving quite often and got pretty good at it while foraging and hunting. It took the agricultural revolution to really make a shift to food aplenty. But starvation hasn’t gone away by any stretch. It’s a daily reality for much of the underdeveloped… Read More

Fat is absorbed in the intestine contained in chylomicrons and then secreted into lymphatics (1). The lymphatics drain the intestine, then lead to the thoracic duct and deliver the chylomicrons into the blood at a site of rapid blood flow (1). The rapidity is necessary to distribute the chylomicrons well preventing them from coalescing (1). Then lipoprotein lipase, which is attached to endothelial cell survaces in the lumen of capillaries, acts on… Read More

Odd as it is to measure something like consciousness, it is a must to determine a possible medical condition, and the levels must be precise to give an accurate status before and after treatment (1). A state of consciousness can indicate a person’s wakefulness, awareness and alertness (2). Consciousness may “lower” a level or more depending on a range of factors that include alcohol or barbiturate overdose, stroke, epilepsy, bacterial meningitis, diabetes,… Read More

The Glasgow Coma Scale is easy to use for almost anyone to determine the state of a head injury. It includes eye, verbal and motor responses (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow_Coma_Scale). But it should be clear that it should not be the only test used. This was a hard lesson for the medics that treated Natasha Richardson after her skiing head injury (2). For this reason when my daughter fell off a scooter and hurt… Read More

High glycemic load was previously thought to increase risk of neural tube defects after California researchers found that there appeared to be an association with maternal diets high in sugar in their state (1). However, the more recent National Birth Defects Prevention Study has found that the association does not exist among national population and other regions in the country (1). It is unclear why this is the case (1). Reference List… Read More

My grandfather has, more than once, left my stove on for hours until a pan burns and a cloud sets off the smoke alarm. The other day he forgot to turn off the faucet and flooded my bathroom. I fear I can’t leave him alone. He could hurt himself or he could burn down my house. Dementia is a symptom used in a broad way to describe any loss of ordered neural… Read More

Stem cell therapy may be the treatment of the future for severe multiple sclerosis patients. Swedish researchers reported last February that bone marrow stem cell transplantation was successful for treating severe multiple sclerosis (1). The researchers found improvement in symptoms after testing the therapy for five years on nine patients with severe MS, ages between 9 and 34 (1). The therapy has been studied for a total of 15 years (1). Reference… Read More

Lack of motivation may serve as a diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease. According to a discussion during the European Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium earlier this month, the apathy may be caused by functional impairment (1). The researchers noted that reduced “goal-oriented behavior, goal-directed cognitive activity and emotions” must persist over time, thought to be “at least four weeks”. Reference List 1. Robert P, Onyike CU, Leentjens AF et al. Proposed diagnostic criteria for… Read More

When you’ve just eaten some protein, insulin, glucagon, growth hormone and glucocorticoids increase because of the presence of elevated amino acid concentration (1p232). The insulin promotes the protein synthesis and the other hormones have an opposite effect (1p232). Growth hormone is anabolic like insulin, although counterregulatory (1p232). Insulin to glucagon ratio favoring insulin stimulates protein synthesis enzymes and vice versa (1p232). The insulin is needed for uptake of amino acids across the… Read More

I just got done working out, sort of; I did manage to break a sweat. Then I made myself a high-protein shake and was sure to include a banana for carbs. Why do I do this again? Aren’t carbs a bad thing? Well, it turns out that I need those carbs to stimulate insulin secretion to promote tissue cell uptake and use of the amino acids (1p206)(1). For this reason, it doesn’t… Read More