Keto Diet: What To Do When Eating Plan Is Not Working For You

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Keto diet has been getting more attention in the past years. It promises to promote weight loss, and many people have been claiming that it really worked and helped them shed some pounds.

The diet relies on the metabolic state called ketosis. It occurs when you consume more dietary fat and lower carbohydrates and protein, which encourages the body to use ketones to generate energy instead of carbs. 

That process normally leads to weight loss. Keto diet has also been linked to increased energy and mental clarity. 

However, some people struggle to lose weight despite following the right keto eating plan. Others saw changes after a few months but later either stopped losing fats or regained the lost weight. 

How To Boost Keto Diet Effects

Avoid Unhealthy Keto-Friendly Foods

Despite being described as “keto-friendly,” not all foods made to support the diet would help you lose weight. For example, some keto cookies and breads contain more artificial sweeteners that are known for affecting body weight. 

Replace these foods with whole, unprocessed keto-approved options. 

Manage Your Fat Consumption

Your fat intake is important when on keto diet. To achieve ketosis, maintain up to 70 percent of dietary fat in your meals, according to mindbodygreen.

Healthy fat sources include extra-virgin coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. Eating more carbs and protein sources may prevent the body from entering ketosis. 

Reduce Inflammatory Foods

Another type of food to avoid or at least reduce are highly inflammatory options, such as grain-fed meats, vegetable oils and cheese.

Inflammation affects the gut and could trigger sudden weight gain and even obesity. Choose grass-fed beef, wild-caught cold-water seafood, wild meats, free-range poultry, pasture-raised organic eggs, walnuts or chia seeds for your daily meals. 

Improve Your Gut Health

Follow a keto diet that is gut-friendly. It should include foods that are high in fiber but low in sugar, such as avocado, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. 

“Many keto plans are low in fiber and other gut-supporting nutrients,” Vincent Pedre, medical director of Pedre Integrative Health and president of Dr. Pedre Wellness, said in an article posted on mindbodygreen. “Over time, these deficiencies adversely affect the gut microbiome, increasing inflammation and creating dysbiosis or gut imbalances, as well as backing up your system.”

Adding some fermented and cultured foods, such as kimchi and sauerkraut, could also help improve gut health. 

Weight loss This picture taken on May 25, 2015, shows overweight people exercising at the Aimin Fat Reduction Hospital in China. More than simply dieting, there are other factors to consider if you want to maintain a healthy weight. Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

WHO Looks To Cut ‘Overly Expensive’ Insulin Price, Make More Generic Versions

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The World Health Organization (WHO) wants to address the growing problem with the price of insulin. It has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce the “overly expensive” price of the medication and put more of its generic versions in the market. 

The value of insulin significantly increased since its discovery in 1923. It was first sold at $1 per vial but its price dramatically increased over the past decades. 

Insulin costs climbed from $1 to more than $300 today. WHO aims to make insulin affordable again and to increase its access for people with diabetes across the world.

“Nearly a century after its discovery, there is still no inexpensive supply of insulin for people living with diabetes in North America,” according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. “Americans are paying a steep price for the continued rejuvenation of this oldest of modern medicines.”

WHO estimates that there are nearly 20 million people currently living with type 1 diabetes worldwide. These people rely on regular insulin injections to manage their condition. 

There are 54 million people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. However, they only seek insulin in severe cases.

Generic Insulin

WHO said producing more generic versions of insulin could help address its growing price. The organization’s new initiative aims to encourage pharmaceutical companies to create cheaper but effective insulin, the BBC reported Thursday. The same initiative was launched in 2001 that focused on HIV treatment. WHO gathered companies and developers that created low-cost medication that could help reduce the effects of the infection. 

WHO’s new initiative for diabetes patients will run for two years. 

“The simple fact is that the prevalence of diabetes is growing, the amount of insulin available to treat diabetes is too low, the prices are too high, so we need to do something,” Emer Cooke, a director at the WHO, said.

Oral Insulin Alternative 

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) published a report in early October detailing the development of an oral capsule that can deliver insulin into the body. The research aims to eliminate the need for commonly injected drugs. 

Described in the journal Nature Medicine, the oral insulin alternative works by carrying the medication into the lining of the small intestine and later releasing it into the bloodstream.

“We are really pleased with the latest results of the new oral delivery device our lab members have developed with our collaborators, and we look forward to hopefully seeing it help people with diabetes and others in the future,” Robert Langer, a senior study author and a professor at MIT, said.

The researchers worked with Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk to develop the capsule.

diabetes The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are more than 100 million adults living with diabetes or prediabetes in the U.S. Pixabay

Hearing Loss Could Indicate Mental Decline, Study Claims

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Some level of decline in cognitive ability is inevitable as people get older. Forgetfulness is one of these. Difficulty in concentrating is another. But another, and more worrisome outcome, is hearing loss.

More than 35 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. Some are unaware they have hearing loss while most don’t realize hearing loss might impact their cognitive health, which is defined as the ability of being able to clearly think, learn and remember. Cognitive health is an important part of brain health.

Stopping cognitive decline is all but impossible, but recent studies suggest age-related cognitive decline might be slowed down. The great news is that understanding the link between hearing loss and brain fitness can help people get started on the road to better overall health.

There is a growing body of studies suggesting older people with hearing loss are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Studies have also associated hearing loss with a faster rate of cognitive decline. Why is this so?

The answers vary but among the most common has to do with the cognitive load borne by the elderly. In cognitive psychology, cognitive load refers to the amount of working memory resources a person has. The cognitive load theory, which explains this, is built on the premise the brain can only do so many things at once. As a consequence, we should be intentional about what we ask our brain to do.

Hearing loss places an oversized burden on a person’s cognitive load. The cognitive load of an elderly person with untreated hearing loss is much greater than someone without this malady. The former will see his brain work far too hard as it strives to understand speech and sound. An overworked brain doesn’t work efficiently.

Another reason has to do with the physical structure of our brain and its mass of neurons or brain cells that store memories. Over time, and especially among the sedentary and mentally unchallenged, brain cells can shrink from lack of stimulation. Among the neurons that shrink are those that receive and process sound.

A more frightening reason has to do with social isolation, which is a state of complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society. Social isolation is one of the more terrifying by-products of aging. Hearing loss can worsen social isolation.

A person who has difficulty hearing conversations and socializing might prefer staying home rather than risk scorn and ridicule from his peers. But the more isolated a person becomes, the less stimuli his brain receives. And this condition can aggravate hearing loss.

Hearing loss is also associated with a range of other inimical health conditions, including depression and anxiety, heart and cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The physical and social torture that hearing loss inflicts on the elderly can be avoided if caught and treated early on.

Treating hearing loss with the use of a hearing aid is an important factor in slowing the progression of cognitive decline. In this regard, a hearing checkup is vital.

Hearing Loss People with reverse-slope hearing loss find it difficult to hear lower frequencies. Male voices, for instance, tend to be deep more often than not. Bill Branson/Free Stock Photos

A recent study published in JAMA Otolaryngology suggests the association between hearing loss and impaired cognition could be present at earlier levels of hearing loss than previously recognized. This cross-sectional study of 6,451 individuals found an inverse association between decreasing hearing and decreasing cognition among those defined as having normal hearing.

It recognizes age-related hearing loss as a common and treatable condition associated with cognitive impairment. The level of hearing at which this association begins has not been studied to date, which is a deficit it sought to remedy.

The study observed an independent association between cognition and subclinical hearing loss. The association between hearing and cognition might be present earlier in hearing loss than previously understood.

10,000 Pets Needed To Conduct Largest Canine Study Ever

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It’s a common saying and to some extent, belief, that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. So how about we turn that statement around, and ask, can an old dog teach us new tricks?

That’s exactly what scientists are hoping to get answered, and to do so, they are looking for 10,000 dog participants for the largest-ever canine study about their aging. Hopefully, they learn something about human aging along the way as well.

Old Dogs, New tricks

According to old studies, one dog year is equal to about seven human years, and so dogs age much more rapidly than human beings. Scientists are now aiming to learn more about this aging process, and to do this, they will be taking a pile of data from the furry participants, which includes their DNA samples, gut microbes, vet records and information on their food and walking routines. From these 10,000 dogs, 500 of them will be testing a pill that would supposedly slow down their aging process.

“What we learn will potentially be good for dogs and has great potential to translate to human health,” Daniel Promislow, project co-director and a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said.

To be carried out over a five-year period, the dogs included in the study will be staying at home with their owners, following their usual routine and living their normal lives. There’s also no exception since all types of dog breeds of all ages and sizes are welcome to join.

However, owners will be tasked to complete periodic online surveys and take their dogs to the vet once a year, in addition to the possibility of extra visits to conduct certain tests. To help, every dogs’ welfare will be looked after by a bioethicist, as well as a group of animal welfare advisers.

Launched last week at an Austin science meeting, scientists said that the projects and studies like these are driven by our unique bond with the animals, and so learning more about them (as they share a lot of thing with us) can give us a more insightful look at our lives with them, and their lives with us.

Dog Cyanobacteria is a blue-green algae found on fresh and salt water, which can kill dogs within minutes after exposure. Pixabay

Science Gets Limited Space To Regulate Under Trumps New EPA

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It’s no secret that these days, science is under attack, and all this is happening despite the fact that all efforts toward it is made for the betterment of our lives here on Earth.

Unfortunately, all this grew from the current administration under U.S. President Donald Trump, an administration that, for various reasons, doesn’t respect science all that much. This can be seen in the government brushing off the harmful effects of burning fossil fuels as well as its indifference on the effects of toxic emissions given off by power plants.

And now, the Trump administration plans to take this indifference one step further by reducing science influence on crafting regulatory policies meant to keep everyone and everything under check. Called “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science,” the new rule is proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which requires scientists to reveal all of the raw data that they used in various studies.

Surface level-wise, the rule sounds reasonable since the administration argues that making data available to the public would help other scientists build upon previous studies.

This couldn’t be more further from the truth since doing so would actually disrupt long-term practices, especially those that are based on health and environmental studies, because in this area, individual medical records are often anonymized to respect their privacy. Not only that, but taking away anonymity from the equation would also be making it difficult for people to join studies that are aimed at studying health effects due to different activities. After all, who would want their privacy to be tarnished?

Ultimately, however, this means no transparency and less scientific influence on policymaking and federal regulations, a move that’s being pushed by pro-industry conservatives for the longest time, as part of their agenda. As such, it’s not surprising that Trump would back this up as well.

Per numerous critics, the government is currently making a weak case as to why the rule is needed, and what good it will do for both the government and the scientific community.

Donald Trump Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Gage Skidmore/flickr

WWII Submarine Lost In War Discovered By Scientists

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Recently, a group of scientists that have been using advanced drone technology to look for missing relics have come upon an exciting and surprising find off the coast of Japan: an ancient WWII submarine that had been missing for around 75 years now.

Dumbfounded at their discovery, the scientists immediately reported their findings, excited after actually finding WWII shrapnel in a place that’s supposed to be full of it yet provided no traces whatsoever.

WWII Submarine

Originally launched offshore back in January of 1944, the submarine, named the USS Grayback, left Pearl Harbour for its 10th combat patrol. A month after it left, the submarine was then presumed to be either lost, missing, or have sunk in the open ocean around 100 miles east of Okinawa, Japan.

Following this, the U.S. Navy then went ahead to try and look for the submarine, turning up no results. Unbeknownst at the time, however, the current estimate as to where it supposedly sunk was off by a single digit in the ship’s latitude and longitude coordinates.

This error remained undiscovered up until last year, when an American explorer asked Yutaka Iwasaki, a Japanese researcher, to go through records and make sure the information was correct. It was then revealed that the translation made a mistake, and the new location was used by both sea explorers and the U.S. Navy to look for the missing submarine.

However, it was still a hard affair, and Lost 52 project lead researcher Tim Taylor was even about to call off the search when they received a reading from the bottom of the ocean. Following this, their drone system was then able to send back a photo of the now-rusting underwater vehicle, sitting on the sea bed.

“It was amazing. Everyone was excited. Then you realise there are 80 men buried there, and it’s a sobering experience,” Taylor said in an interview.

The discovery then ended the mystery of the submarine’s disappearance, which has been going on for about 75 years now. Not only that, but the discovery also provided closure for the relatives of the sailors and men who died in the submarine.

submarine-1242489_1920 A US Navy Submarine. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)