Saturday, April 18, 2015
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

 
 
Child care program helps teen parents, students

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Wood students entertain guests at Epcot

By Susan Hiland And Susan Winlow | From Page: A2

 
 
 
Solano County Science Fair continues to grow

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Take stock of where you are now, and act

By Murray Bass | From Page: B8

 
Fairfield police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Weather for Saturday, April 18, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Family awarded rights to rare coins

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Dog flu outbreak sweeps across the Midwest

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

AG announces anti-bias training program

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
 
Iraqi officials believe Saddam’s top deputy killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Germany mourns citizens lost in plane crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Following Alps crash, debate over pilotless planes heats up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
Time for meaningful financial reform

By Paul A. Volcker | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in history: Saturday, April 18, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 18, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 18, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My daughter is upset that I didn’t attend my former in-law’s funeral

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Idea from Adam Sandler film used to soothe dementia patients

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Athletics fall to Royals 6-4 in rematch of AL wild-card game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors, Pelicans enter series with different pedigrees

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Prep softball: Seldon powers Rodriguez to victory over Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
JC baseball: Falcons win as Pavlovsky, Evans homer

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep badminton: Mustangs roll to 15-0 win over Wolves

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Prep baseball: Haney hurls Vanden to 3-2 win over Benicia

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Armijo nears girls soccer title with 2-0 MEL win

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
SCAC girls roll past MEL 55-28 in All-Star hoops game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

SCAC boys slip past MEL in entertaining All-Star game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Brazil eyes historic medal haul in 2016 Rio Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

2 weeks before Mayweather-Pacquiao, not a ticket to be seen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Big Ten’s Delany lays out plan for freshman ineligibility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Collmenter shuts down Giants, gets three hits in D-backs win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Merritt’s 61 trumps Masters champion Spieth’s 62

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
2 minor league baseball teams to test game with 5-pitch rule

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA could alter schedule, but no change to playoffs, lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Coonan stepping down as Santa Clara’s athletic director

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel says he “let down” fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers fullback Miller at home in Georgia after March arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rockhold hopes win over Machida launches him into contention

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Martina Hingis to make singles comeback in Fed Cup match

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Injured Giants fan throws out first ball in San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Flyers fire head coach Craig Berube after 2 seasons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hornets GM Cho: Stephenson ‘didn’t work like we expected’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Before ruling out an upset in NBA East, listen to these guys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Western Conference teams face perilous path to NBA Finals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for April 18

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Back on the USA Network: Sports return with NHL playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

California home prices hit new 7-year high, sales rebound

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Secrecy shrouds decade-old oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

Frederick’s of Hollywood reveals closing of retail stores

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Don’t plan to line up for Apple Watch next week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Google shaking up search recommendations on smartphones

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Glaxo recalls flu vaccine due to potency problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 4 Comments

.

Obituaries

Douglas Craig Sparks

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carole Anspach

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Dennis Burkhart von Ting

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7