Monday, December 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Scientists unlock secrets to boost metabolism

What’s the best way to boost your metabolism and burn more fat? That’s the holy grail for metabolic researchers and for many Americans. Florida scientists are at the forefront of some of the most promising research in the field.

A heart hormone, the “caveman diet” and cooler spaces are all potentially promising ways to burn more fat, these scientists say. Long-term, their discoveries could help reverse the nation’s twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Short-term, their findings can help consumers boost metabolism now.

A person’s metabolism determines how many calories he burns, and many factors affect it, said Dr. Steve Smith, scientific director for the Florida Hospital-Sanford Burnham Translational Research Institute in Orlando.

“If we can increase thermogenesis, or the body’s ability to burn calories and stored fat, we could stave off obesity and its many related ills,” Smith said.

One metabolism-boosting secret may lie in a hormone the heart naturally produces, said obesity researcher Sheila Collins, a professor at the Institute.

Natriuretic peptides, which the heart muscle makes when it perceives high blood pressure and during exercise, appear to turn on the body’s fat-burning mechanisms, Collins said.

These peptides also help the body excrete salt, which lowers elevated blood pressure. Thus, doctors have used a biologic form to treat patients who have congestive heart failure. Autopsy studies inadvertently revealed that patients who had been given this treatment had unusually high levels of “brown fat.”

A desirable, active type of fat that actually helps burn fat, brown fat is not like white fat, which is inactive. Everybody has some brown fat, said Collins, who, like others, is looking for ways to activate and make more of it.

Collins tested natriuretic peptides in mice and found the peptides boosted their levels of brown fat.

Taking Collins’ work from the lab to the clinic, Dr. Richard Pratley, director of the Florida Hospital Diabetes Institute, in Orlando, and TRI investigator, is looking to see whether it holds true in humans. He is administering natriuretic peptides to 40 healthy volunteers: 20 lean and 20 obese. He will then measure changes in their brown fat.

If outcomes look good, long-term infusions to improve metabolism and manage obesity may not be far away, Pratley said.

What you can do now: Do anything that increases your heart rate, which will release these cardiac peptides. “There is no escaping the fact that we have to exercise,” Collins said.

Another TRI study underway is comparing the effects on metabolism of a low-carbohydrate diet and the typical American diet.

Studies have shown that a low-carb diet is more effective than a low-fat diet for losing weight and lowering insulin, but “something about eating a low-carb diet causes people to burn more calories in ways we don’t yet understand,” said Smith.

To learn why, his team will study men who will live in a rigidly controlled environment at the TRI. For four weeks they will eat a standard American diet of 50 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent protein and 35 percent fat.

They will go through the same drill again, only during the second four-week period, they will eat a very-low-carbohydrate diet consisting of 5 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent protein and 80 percent fat. In both diets the calorie content will be identical and matched to the subject’s caloric needs.

The study, funded by the Nutrition Science Initiative, a San Diego-based nonprofit that aims to understand how nutrition changes health, is also being conducted at three other centers across the country. The four centers will collate their findings, said Smith, who aims to have some answers by Thanksgiving.

What you can do now: Cut carbs, and eat more healthy fats and proteins. In other words, “Go paleo,” said Collins. “Cavemen didn’t have many carbs around.”

Seeking comfort is only human, which is why few of us choose to be cold or hot if we have a choice.

“We self-select for comfortable climates,” said Smith. “In environments where our bodies are not trying to get warmer or cooler, we burn the fewest calories.”

What’s more, being cold can wake up brown fat, studies show. A study published lrecently in PubMed, an online database of the National Institutes of Health, found that subjects who slept in a cool room increased their brown fat, compared with those who slept in rooms that were more moderate or warm.

“When we’re cold, we activate the brown fat we have,” said Collins. “When we get cold, shivering is the first response. As people adapt, nonshivering mechanisms take over, and that involves the activation of brown fat, which goes into overdrive to keep the body warm.”

What you can do now: Forget the sweater. If you feel a little chill, try to endure. Try sleeping in a cooler room, swimming in a cooler pool and taking a cool shower, Collins said.

Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Christmas comes early to San Marco Street park

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Travis squadron delivers Christmas gifts to East Tabor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Multiple car accident blocks I-80 in Vacaville

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
Last-minute shopping at Vacaville Premium Outlets

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

Kitchen fire dislocates family for Christmas

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Famous Creations’ toy drive and cupcake sale

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Fairfield police log: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Weather for Dec. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

Killer of 2 NYC officers had long criminal history

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Killings of 2 New York officers trigger backlash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 6 Comments

California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Timeline of events before and after NY cop deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

A look at the 2 NYC officers killed in ambush

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Exit poll: Ex-regime official is Tunisia’s new president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Pakistan makes arrests in Taliban school carnage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Tent city sprouts in shadow of downtown Detroit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Satanic Temple puts up display at Michigan Capitol

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Australian woman charged with murder of 8 children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
.

Opinion

Faust and the 2015 federal budget

By Mike Kirchubel | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
Obama, surgeon general still losing to NRA

By Francis Wilkinson | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

Let the music begin

By Colleen Britton | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Dec. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
‘Hobbit’ goes out on top with $90.6 million 5-day debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Good news from Tom Brokaw: His cancer is in remission

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Review: ‘The Interview’ deserves to be seen

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B7

Happy day: Elton John, David Furnish marry in England

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
TVGrid Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Steelers, Packers win, move into playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders knock Bills out of playoffs with 26-24 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Kings snap 5-game losing skid, beat Lakers 108-101

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Burns gives Sharks late-night win over Blues in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

The Week Ahead: Not much of a break for Christmas

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Super-G crash makes Vonn wait in bid for record

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL Roundup: Cowboys end 4-year drought, make playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
7 hurt when lightning strikes near Tampa Bay game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

India’s Arjun Atwal wins Dubai Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Documents: FSU QB Winston cleared in conduct hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Survey: US gas prices fall 25 cents per gallon

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
US companies eager to embrace Cuba face hurdles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

B.C. Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Dec 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Bridge Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote Dec 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7