what's the buzz

what's the buzz

Low carb-diet reduces liver fat faster

Curbing carbohydrates is more effective than cutting calories for individuals who want to quickly reduce the amount of fat in their liver.

For the study, researchers assigned 18 participants with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to eat either a low-carbohydrate or a low-calorie diet for 14 days.

The participants assigned to the low-carb diet limited their carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams a day — the equivalent of a small banana or a half-cup of egg noodles — for the first seven days. For the final seven days, they switched to frozen meals prepared by UT Southwestern’s Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) kitchen that matched their individual food preferences, carbohydrate intake and energy needs.

Those assigned to the low-calorie diet continued their regular diet and kept a food diary for the four days preceding the study. The CTRC kitchen then used these individual records to prepare all meals during the 14-day study. Researchers limited the total number of calories to roughly 1,200 a day for the female participants and 1,500 a day for the males.

After two weeks, researchers used advanced imaging techniques to analyse the amount of liver fat in each individual. They found that the study participants on the low-carb diet lost more liver fat.

Women more likely to self-medicate than men

Women are more likely to take non-prescribed medication than men. The study, which was carried out by experts from the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, also links this habit to nationality, income level and alcohol and tobacco consumption amongst the population.

“In spite of the negative connotations generally associated with the idea of self-medication, it is actually the most significant method of self-care for the population”, explained Pilar Carrasco.

According to the research, 20.17 per cent of Spaniards use medication without a medical prescription. Of those, it is the women that self-medicate more than the men.

This gender-based difference can be explained by referring to the exposure to the consumption of medication, which is higher in women than in men.

This is due to the fact that “women are more likely to suffer from emotional disorders and are more vulnerable in our society”, said Carrasco. “This may be due to a greater disposition among women to acknowledge and voice their symptoms,” added Carrasco.
Weight loss improves memory and concentration

Kent State University’s researchers have discovered that weight loss help improve memory and concentration. Their study has shown that bariatric surgery patients exhibited improved memory function 12 weeks after their operations.

The research team studied 150 participants at Cornell Medical College and Weill Columbia University Medical Center, both in New York City, and the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo.

The researchers discovered that bariatric surgery patients demonstrated improved memory and concentration 12 weeks after surgery, improving from the slightly impaired range to the normal range.

“The primary motivation for looking at surgery patients is that we know they lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, so it was a good group to study,” said John Gunstad.