R.I.P., Mary Tyler Moore

Actress Mary Tyler Moore died today at the age of 80. She is probably the most famous type 1 diabetic of a certain generation, those watching TV in the 1960s and 1970s. According to her NYT obituary, her diabetes started in her 30s.

Average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.8 years, based on 2014 data. It’s longer for women, shorter for men. That average is reduced by 10–12 years for those with type 1 diabetes.

It still amazes me that one of the very first users of insulin injections, Elizabeth Hughes, lived to be 73, having started insulin around age 22.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Exposure to Cold May Help You With Weight Management

Well below room temp here

Should be well below room temp here

David Mendosa found a 2016 research report suggesting that cool temperatures may help with weight management by activating our brown fat, which burns more calories. Heat generated by brown fat is derived from glucose and triglycerides. Keep in mind as you read further that a comfortable environment temperature for a clothed human is about 23°C or 73°F. Those temps don’t stress our bodies by requiring us to either generate or dissipate extra body heat.

David writes:

Researchers have discovered that when we get mildly cold, which they define as being cool without shivering, our bodies burn more calories. As a result, managing our weight can be easier.
This is the conclusion of a recent review that two researchers at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands published in the November 2016 issue of the professional journal Diabetologia. The title of their article, “Combatting type 2 diabetes by turning up the heat,” puzzled me at first.

The title confused me because the study is about turning down the heat in the room we’re in. But then our bodies compensate by turning up their internal heat production.

When our body does this, its energy expenditure increases, ratcheting up our metabolism. Being mildly cold revs up our bodies’ brown fat, which unlike white fat, burns calories instead of storing them.

It’s not quite clear how much cold exposure it takes to turn on your brown fat. From the link above:

Cold acclimation by intermittent exposure to a cool (14–17°C) [57–63°F], or cold (10°C) [50°F] environment resulted in significant increases in NST [non-shivering thermogenesis or heat production] capacity. A 10 day cold acclimation study with 6 hour exposure to 14–15°C [57–59°F] per day was enough to significantly increase NST by 65% on average. A 6 week mild cold acclimation study (daily 2 hour cold exposure at 17°C [63°F]) also resulted in an increase in NST together with a concomitant decrease in body fat mass. The latter two studies also revealed significant increases in BAT [brown adipose tissue] presence and activation. All in all, cold-induced BAT activity is significant in adults and parallels NST. The actual quantitative contributions of BAT and of other tissues (e.g. skeletal muscle) to whole-body NST are, however, not elucidated and await further studies. Furthermore, more information is needed on the duration, timing and temperatures to find out which treatments are most effective with respect to increasing NST.

Furthermore, cold exposure over the course of 10 days increased insulin sensitivity in T2 diabetics by 43%. Eight study subjects, probably in the Netherlands, were exposed to temps of 14–15°C [57–59°F] but I don’t know for how many hours a day. Increased insulin sensitivity should help keep a lid on blood sugar levels and reduce the need for diabetes drugs.

In case you’re elderly, obese, or have type 2 diabetes, be aware that the activation of brown fat by cold exposure is not as robust as in others.

On the other hand, I found evidence that higher ambient temperatures (above 23°C) [73°F] may also help with weight management, regardless of what brown fat is doing. Science is hard.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Check out my books for more ideas on weight management.

 

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Trick Question: Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb?

Thomas Twining started selling tea in London in 1706. His eponymous company has been doing it for 300 years, then. You’d think they know tea if anyone does. Here’s Twinings Green Tea:

Not to me

Green? Brown?  Golden brown? Tea-colored? Flax? Tannin? Purple? Polka-dotted?

Does that look green to you? I guess they specialize in black tea (which I bet isn’t black after brewing).

My quest for green “green tea” continues. I just ordered Kirkland Ito En Matcha Blend Japanese Green Tea from Amazon.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you don’t like green, you’ll find none of it inside my books.

PPS: The remains of Ulysses S. Grant and his wife are in a mausoleum referred to as Grant’s tomb. They are above ground, so technically they aren’t buried.

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Rutabaga / Swede/ Neeps : How will you serve this low-carb vegetable?

Jan over at The Low Carb Diabetic is getting me motivated to try a new vegetable: rutabaga.

Click the link below for Jan’s post for more photos and recipes.

“The picture above shows what Americans know as “rutabaga”. The Scottish call it “neeps” and serve it with haggis. I know it as swede, a fairly recent root vegetable, which is thought to have originated around the 17th century in Bohemia. In 1620 a Swiss botanist described the root vegetable, believed to be a hybrid of the cabbage and the turnip. By 1664 it was growing in England. A good source of vitamin.C, fibre, folate and potassium. It’s low in calories.”

Source: The Low Carb Diabetic: Swede / Rutabaga : How will you serve this low carb vegetable

Do you like rutabagas?

PS: If the copyright owner of the rutabaga photo wants me to take it down, contact Steve Parker, M.D., and it shall be done post haste.

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Prevent Kids’ Cavities with a Low-Carb Diet, Says DietDoctor

More that a few dentists agree that carbs cause cavities.

From DietDoctor:

“Roger W. Lucas, pediatric dentist, explains the link between carbs and cavities in his book More Chocolate, No Cavities: How Diet Can Keep Your Kid Cavity-Free. Simple carbohydrates such as flour and juice feed mouth bacteria that cause cavities. On the other hand, high fat and protein foods don’t.

Source: Prevent Kids’ Cavities with a Low-Carb Diet – Diet Doctor

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Men Hold the Line at 35%, But 40% of U.S. Women Now Obese

That excess weight can shorten your life

That excess weight can shorten your life

Yahoo has a brief article with a few more details. For $30 you can read the original scientific report from Journal of the American Medical Association.

Obesity in this context is defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher. Calculate your BMI here.

Is it your fault if you’re obese?

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you want to buck the overweight/obesity trend, check out my books.

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Merry Christmas!

Credit: Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock.com

Credit: Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock.com

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