Cannabis la pharmacopeia (Part 1)

Cannabis, something for everyone There are some things in this world which, when you learn about them, you learn about much more than you bargained for. Some ‘things’ connect to so many subjects from different magisteria that anyone can find something that interests them. Cannabis might be the prime example of that. It was for me, serendipitously turning me (back?) into a scientist at the ripe old age of 20. Plainly stated, there is no aspect of this plant that

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Can you improve your body composition by eating keto and doing resistance training?

Ketosis the metabolic state We go in and out of ketosis. You’re said to be in ketosis, vaguely, when you have ≥ 0.5 mmol/L of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BhB) in your blood. If you eat a lot more food than you need (hypercaloric) or just what you need to maintain your physique (eucaloric), you can do so in and out of ketosis. After 2 days of fasting most people will be in ketosis. Newborns reared on breast-milk are also ketogenic [1]. By exercising

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What is gluconeogenesis? How does does it control blood sugars?

Introduction: our very own sugar factory Step into the low-carb world and soon enough you’ll hear the term GlucoNeoGenesis. GNG for short, is your body’s ability to construct glucose, a kind of sugar, out of molecules that aren’t glucose. It does this to ensure that, if you don’t eat any carbs, the cells in your body that need glucose will still get enough of it. It’s one reason why humans are so good at fasting or delaying death from starvation

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Omega-6 fatty acids: the alternative hypothesis for diseases of civilization

Diseases of civilization The world is facing a health crisis of unprecedented proportions. What have become known as chronic diseases, Western Diseases, or Diseases of Civilization (DC), have become pandemic as populations around the world adopt the lifestyle that first became prevalent in the country that perfected industrialization, the United States. What are they? The DCs revolve around the Metabolic Syndrome (MetSyn), a set of signs of disease that include central obesity, excess fats in the blood, high blood pressure and

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Study review: Dietary sugars, not lipids, drive hypothalamic inflammation

Study background Today’s post briefly reviews a neat little study in mice from 2017 by Gao et al. [1]. It’s called “Dietary sugars, not lipids, drive hypothalamic inflammation”. Isn’t it nice to a have a clear study title giving away the ending? More and more scientific papers now have a graphical and text abstract, as does this paper. This graphical abstract illustrates how, in mice, dietary fat and carbohydrate individually and synergistically contribute to the production of advanced-glycation end-products (AGEs).

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Reversing brain damage & cancer: 2 case-reports

Two interesting medical case-reports caught my eye last week. I want to tell you about them because they’re different avenues to appreciating the importance of metabolism in health and disease, something I already emphasize when discussing diet. Reversing brain damage with oxygen therapy The first case-report is about reversing brain damage in a 2-year old girl in America [1]. However interesting these sort of medical firsts are, we should remember not to overgeneralize these encouraging results because we’re dealing with

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Heart disease and cholesterol: a new hope

Heart disease: the car, the driver & the crash Complex disease processes are best explained with analogies. Heart disease is no exception. To explain two competing theories of heart disease I’ll use an analogy consisting of a driver, a car and a crash. The anatomy of the heart and its more extended vascular system is the car. Some people have better genetics giving them stronger, more disease-proof hearts, just like some cars are more crash resistant. The driver of the

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A brief history of micronutrients

Nutrients: how much, how often, which ones? Most people can’t go more than a few minutes without air, about 3 days without water, approximately 9 to 11 days without sleep [1] and anywhere from weeks to over a year without food if they’re fat enough to start with [2] – but how long can you go without essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids)? And how much do you need of each to be healthy? We’re still far

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Does beta hydroxybutyrate have an evil twin?

beta hydroxybutyrate

The discovery of CH3CH(OH)CH2CO2H CH3CH(OH)CH2CO2H = beta hydroxybutyrate. It’s a molecule your body makes from fats. The correct spelling is β-hydroxybutyrate or 3-hydroxybutyrate and is often abbreviated BHB. We’ll use beta hydroxybutyrate here. It all started in 1887. Well, actually 22 years earlier in 1865 when scientists discovered a molecule called acetoacetate in the pee of diabetic patients. Acetoacetate is a ketone or also known as a ketone body. Discovering acetoacetate eventually led them to discover beta hydroxybutyrate. Beta hydroxybutyrate was

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Can people with epilepsy benefit from the ketogenic diet?

What is the ketogenic diet? Some might consider the ketogenic diet to be a fad diet, however, it was discovered centuries ago for the dietary management of refractory epilepsy. The ketogenic diet is a high fat, adequate protein and low carbohydrate diet.   The diet was discovered by the observation of decreased seizure frequency during episodes of fasting.  In 1921, Dr. Wilder at Mayo clinic suggested the ketogenic diet for the long-term management of epilepsy. In terms of this suggestion, it

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