Poppy Powered

Humans have a long and complex history with plants. Long before civilization and even prior to the Agricultural Revolution, humans had realized that plants have a multitude effects on human physiology including appetite suppression, pain relief, energy supply, and immune system stimulation. It has been hypothesized that the adoption of an omnivorous diet was a… Continue reading Poppy Powered

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Sugar Daddy

Sugar has played a key role in the history of humanity since it was domesticated on the island of New Guinea approximately 10,000 years ago. The New Guineans picked the cane and ate it raw. They, like billions of people afterwards, were hooked and the sugar cane was featured prominently in their myths. Thereafter, sugar… Continue reading Sugar Daddy

Evolution is Cleverer Than You 

Aging or senescence  is defined as the “progressive, generalized impairment of function, resulting in a loss of adaptive response to stress.” The desire to overcome this seemingly inevitable decline is as old as human consciousness. There are ancient stories abound speaking to the quest for immortality. The ever illusive elixir of life restores the youth of anyone… Continue reading Evolution is Cleverer Than You 

Mobility and Mortality (M&Ms)

Mobility is defined as the ability to move freely and easily. After the initial magical moments when we take our first steps and until we begin to lose this mobility under the insidious burden of chronic disease, this mobility is mostly taken for granted. However, it is the hallmark of our humanity, evolutionarily and developmentally.… Continue reading Mobility and Mortality (M&Ms)

Hunger games

Hara hachi bu is a Confucian adage that dates back 2500 years and instructs people to eat until they are 80% full. The Okinawans from Japan use this mantra before every meal, enabling them to be mindful of their food consumption. Elderly Okinawans have among the lowest mortality rates in the world from a multitude… Continue reading Hunger games

Between a Carbohydrate and a Fat Place

For the vast majority of human history, survival has been a desperate effort with a mixture of luck and lot of vigor. Energy sources have been scarce, and consequently, traits that optimized energy storage and conservation have gained prominence. In response to this history, we have utilized technology to create an environment where energy sources… Continue reading Between a Carbohydrate and a Fat Place

What’s the DALY

Aging is the defined as the gradual functional and structural decline of an organism, resulting in an increasing risk of disease, impairment, and mortality over the life span. It is thought to be reliant upon a balance of exposure and resiliency. By 2050, the world population aged 80 years and above will more than triple… Continue reading What’s the DALY

Fat Outside, Fit Inside

In a recent study in JAMA, nearly 75% of men and 65% of women between the ages of 25-54 were classified as overweight (BMI>25) or obese (BMI>30). These numbers have dramatically increased in the last 40 years. In response to this rising epidemic, a multibillion dollar weight loss industry ranging from diet companies and supplement… Continue reading Fat Outside, Fit Inside

Metabolic Ghetto

The staggering increase in the prevalence and incidence of metabolic syndrome and its various components is especially alarming amongst minority populations worldwide and within the United States. For example, the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes has doubled in India in the last 30 years, obesity rates have increased 3 fold or more since 1980 in… Continue reading Metabolic Ghetto

The ‘exposome’ exposed!

How can we explain the observation that Pima Indians living in the Southwest United States have a five fold higher prevalence of diabetes than their counterparts living across the border in Mexico? Not only are these populations genetically identical, numerous studies have been unsuccessful in identifying chromosomal regions with a strong linkage to the trait.… Continue reading The ‘exposome’ exposed!

Know thy (evolutionary) history

Human evolutionary history has unfolded over millions of years and has transformed us from one generation to the next to its current state. In fact, the process of evolution continues to occur today and humans will be different in many aspects generations from now. If you look at human beings through the lens of evolution, it… Continue reading Know thy (evolutionary) history