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October 15, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
Just a few nights of bad sleep is enough to throw the body's metabolism into disarray, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. The study shows that getting four hours of sleep a night for four nights made healthy people's bodies resistant to insulin - a condition that is a common precursor of weight gain, diabetes and other serious health problems. In a healthy body, when you take in sugar, insulin is released from the pancreas and travels throughout the body, signaling to cells that they should absorb some of that new glucose.
February 26, 2007 | Jay Blahnik, Special to The Times
To take off extra inches, you don't necessarily need to start power walking, running, swimming or adding more time to existing cardio workouts. These are great calorie-burning options, but there is something else you can do -- a secret weapon in the fight against flab. It's strength training. Research has shown that adding just 3 pounds of muscle can increase resting metabolic rate by 7%. This means that with a little more muscle, your body burns more calories every day.
September 8, 2003 | Dianne Partie Lange
At least 4% of American youths age 12 to 19 -- and 30% of those who are overweight -- meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome, a condition that puts them at increased risk for diabetes and heart disease as adults.
February 1, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
Long after the buzz has gone, and even after the resulting hangover has cleared, a bout of binge drinking will leave your metabolism in a deeply disturbed state, which may be why binge drinkers -- even occasional ones -- are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (or its precursor, metabolic syndrome) than nondrinkers or those who drink more moderately. A new study, conducted on rats, suggests that binge drinking disrupts metabolism not by poisoning the liver but by inflaming the brain's hypothalamus, which conducts the symphony of signals necessary for proper metabolic function.
December 2, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Snoring and insomnia are conditions that appear to predict an individual's risk of developing metabolic syndrome and may even help cause it, according to a study released Wednesday. Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of risk factors -- excess abdominal fat, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, low HDL cholesterol and high blood pressure -- that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. University of Pittsburgh researchers examined 812 people age 45 to 74 for metabolic syndrome or diabetes and gave them questionnaires on sleep quality.
April 21, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Harry Beevers, 80, a UC Santa Cruz biology professor who made breakthroughs in the understanding of the cellular structure of plants, died April 14 at his home in Carmel after a brief illness. A native of Durham, England, Beevers earned degrees in botany and plant physiology from Durham University. After postdoctoral study at Oxford, he immigrated to the U.S. and taught at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., from 1950 until moving to UC Santa Cruz in 1969. He retired in 1990.
April 3, 1997 | From Times staff and wire reports
Athletes are limited in how far they can run, cycle or swim, not by the restrictions of bone or muscle but because major organs use too much energy. The liver, kidneys and the stomach are the key to controlling metabolism, biologists Jared Diamond and Kimberly Hammond of UCLA report in the April 3 issue of the journal Nature. They said the most any person can increase metabolism is about fivefold. To see why they could not go beyond that, the scientists checked the metabolic rates of 50 animals.
Chiles are wild. A number of species still grow without human help in numerous places between northern Mexico and northern Argentina, and they are among the hottest chiles there are. At least four totally wild species of peppers are still gathered and sold in South American markets. A proper Peruvian shish kebab ( churrasco criollo ) has to be made with wild chiles. Chiles are extreme.
February 8, 1996 | From Times staff and wire reports
Humans are much more sensitive to light than previously thought and show bodily responses even to dim indoor lamps, according to Harvard scientists. Two reports in Nature indicate that it could be easier to treat jet lag and other disorders of the 24-hour circadian rhythm than doctors have believed. In one study, researchers exposed young male volunteers to varying levels of indoor light and measured their body temperatures to see how they responded.
March 22, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
You can never be too rich or too thin, perhaps, but you certainly can drink too much tea.  That's the bottom line of an unusual case report published in this week's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.  Doctors at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit treated a 47-year-old woman who had suffered from pain in her lower back, hips, legs and arms. She was also missing all of her teeth because they had become brittle.  Something was wrong with her bones. Sure enough, X-rays revealed that the vertebrae in her spine showed signs of a painful condition called skeletal fluorosis.   Doctors gave her a blood test to measure the concentration of flouride in her system.
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