Category Archives: science

What is microbial diversity anyway?

We hear about the diversity of our gut microbiota quite a lot nowadays. But what that actually means is often a little vague. Microbiotaologists calculate diversity by borrowing equations developed by those who have spent much longer studying the diversity … Continue reading

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Has modern farming increased the retinol in the liver you eat?

Liver is about the most concentrated dietary source of pre-formed vitamin A (retinol) that you could hope to find, along with a number of other vitamins. Like in us humans, animals store retinol in their liver and the more they consume … Continue reading

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Does bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from the gut cause obesity?

Does lipopolysaccharide (LPS), also known as endotoxin, cause obesity? Reasons to think it might (in mice at least) come from a high-profile paper published in the journal Diabetes in 2007 and titled “Metabolic Endotoxemia Initiates Obesity and Insulin Resistance” (cited … Continue reading

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Graphic faecal transplants and obesity

The gut microbiota has been a popular area of research over the past few years and few aspects of this research have gained quite as much attention as the role of the gut microbiota in obesity. One of the studies that started … Continue reading

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Evolving salt: Did humans evolve on a high salt diet?

Recently I was reading some of a new book called “The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got it All Wrong and How Eating More Might Save Your Life”. This contains the interesting claim that humans evolved on a diet high … Continue reading

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On the Pulse of Insulin

Insulin is not simply pumped out of the pancreas in a constant stream or, at least, it shouldn’t be. Like many other hormones, insulin is secreted in short bursts, or pulses, by the beta-cells in the islets of langerhans and … Continue reading

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In the Name of the Fat.

The names of fatty acids that make up the fats in the world around us can be so familiar that we rarely consider where these names came from. While fatty acids now have systematic names and precise scientific names that describe … Continue reading

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