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Carb diet for dinner cuts diabetes risk

A diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner could benefit people suffering from severe and morbid obesity, a new research has revealed.

According to a new research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the diet influences secretion patterns of hormones responsible for hunger and satiety, as well as hormones associated with metabolic syndrome, which in a way can help dieters persist over the long run, and reduce risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The research was carried out by research student Sigal Sofer under the auspices of Prof. (Emeritus) Zecharia Madar, at the Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition at the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Sofer randomly assigned 78 police officers to either the experimental diet (carbohydrates at dinner) or a control weight loss diet (carbohydrates throughout the day). Out of the total only 63 subjects finished the six-month programme.

“The findings lay the basis for a more appropriate dietary alternative for those people who have difficulty persisting in diets over time,” said Prof. Madar.
“The next step is to understand the mechanisms that led to the results obtained,” he added.

The research has been published in two continuous papers Obesity and in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.

Soil analysis unlocks secrets of ancient Maya

Maya civilization, Guatemala, Soil Science of America Journal Analysis of soils of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park has shed light on why Maya civilization began to wane after reaching its peak between 250 and 900 AD.

The study by an interdisciplinary team, led by Richard Terry, a Brigham Young Universitysoil scientist, uncovered evidence for major maize production in lowland areas, where erosion is less likely and agriculture was presumably more sustainable for this community of an estimated 60,000 people.

But the team also discovered evidence of erosion in upslope soils, suggesting that farming did spread to steeper, less suitable soils over time.
And if Maya agriculture did cause substantial erosion, the soil loss could eventually have undercut the Maya’s ability to grow food, said the researchers. The findings are just the latest example of how invisible artifacts in soil—something archeologists literally used to brush aside—can inform studies of past civilisations.
That’s because artwork and buildings can crumble over time and jungles will eventually conceal ancient farm fields, but “the soil chemistry is still there,” Terry said.

Humans ate grass
3.5mn years ago
Early human ancestors, who lived in central Africa 3.5 million years ago, ate a diet mainly comprised of tropical grasses and sedges, a new research has revealed.
The study also suggest that humans began eating grass half a million years earlier than thought, soon after they started leaving the trees.
Julia Lee-Thorp at the University of Oxford and her colleagues found high levels of carbon-13 in the bones of Australopithecus bahrelghazali, an early hominin that lived on savannahs near Lake Chad in Africa.
According to New Scientist, Lee-Thorp said the finding is the earliest evidence of eating savannah plants.
Previously, the oldest evidence of grass-eating was from 2.8 million years ago.
The researchers suggested that A. bahrelghazali might have eaten roots and tubers, rather than tough grass blades.
Adding these to their diet may have helped them leave their ancestral home in east Africa for Lake Chad, they said.

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