How to sleep better.

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How to sleep better. Sleep hygiene:   Sleep is critical in the well being of all animals, such that animals deprived entirely of sleep lose immune function and die in just a matter of weeks. Further, many of the major restorative functions in the body like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release occur mostly, or in some cases only, during sleep. The National...
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Helminthic Parasites

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Helminthic Parasites While there is a clear genetic predisposition for some individuals to develop autoimmune disorders, there are also significant environmental interactions, with a near epidemic rise in autoimmune disorders and food allergies in the industrialized world occurring in less than fifty years.  Access to clean water, safe food, sanitation, and modern medical care in the last century has...
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The human microbiome, gut bacteria c...

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The human microbiome, gut bacteria contribute to obesity. We traditionally think of bacteria as dirty, something we want to keep outside of our bodies.  Intestinal bacteria are very important for digestion; they break complex fiber polysaccharides (sugar molecules connected to each other), into simple absorbable sugars by a process called fermentation, converting nutrients into calories.  The large intestine houses over 1400 species of...
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The missing links in obesity: Glycem...

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The missing links in obesity: Glycemic Index and Insulin Obesity is among the most important medical problems in the United States today. Currently, 1 in 4 children and 1 in 2 adults are overweight, and prevalence rates that have increased by 50% since the 1960s. The Federal government and various official medical agencies, at the behest of grain producers, have advocated decreasing intake of total fat, while increasing consumption of...
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Carbs are an addiction.

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Carbs are an addiction. Serotonin release in the brain controls functions such as sleep onset, pain sensitivity, blood pressure regulation, and control of mood.  Serotonin-releasing neurons are unique in that the amount of neurotransmitter they release is normally controlled by food intake: Carbohydrate consumption–acting via insulin secretion and the “plasma tryptophan...
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Your brain and obesity.

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Your brain and obesity. Obese people have, on average, eight percent less brain tissue than people of normal weight, according to a new study published in the journal Human Brain Mapping.  Even overweight people have four percent less brain tissue than their normal-weight peers.   Obesity is independently associated with poor educational attainment and may be responsible for the cognitive deficiency...
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The effects of smoking on your brain...

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The effects of smoking on your brain. If you thought the only dangers of smoking were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and lung cancer, think again. New studies now link the expensive (financially and health-wise) habit with new concerns. One recent paper, “Smoking History and Cognitive Function in Middle Age From the Whitehall II Study,” appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Head...
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How does food become energy?

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How does food become energy? Optimizing fat burning while simultaneously building muscle should be the goal of any effective exercise program, the critical linkage between exercise and the food we eat is ATP.  This article describes the importance of understanding what ATP is, and how different foods are converted to ATP, and when different fuels (protein, carbohydrate, or fat) are used for energy.  ...
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