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NIH Extends Funding for UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center Through Second Decade

April 13, 2016

The UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) will receive a $5.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund another five years of research. The award is the fourth time NIH has provided five-year funding for the center. “We are proud that the NIH has selected UNC as one of 12 centers of excellence in research, recognizing that our nutrition and obesity research is among the best in the country,” said Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, Kenan Distinguished Professor of nutrition and pediatrics. Zeisel also is co-director of NORC and of UNC’s Nutrition Research Institute, located in Kannapolis, … Read More »

Categories: News Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ten Major Errors in Obesity Research Discussed

March 30, 2016

Concerns about rigor in science, particularly obesity research, have been raised in recent years, and a movement is underway to proactively help investigators structure the design and reproducibility of their science. A paper from investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently published in Obesity identifies several key statistical errors commonly seen in obesity research with discussions on how to identify and avoid making these mistakes.  “Our goal is to provide researchers and reviewers with a tutorial to improve the rigor of the science in future obesity studies,” said Brandon George, PhD, statistician in the University of Alabama at … Read More »

Categories: News Tags: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Metabolic Effects of Long-Term Reduction in Free Fatty Acids with Acipimox in Obesity

March 30, 2016

Abstract Increased circulating free fatty acids (FFAs) have been proposed to contribute to insulin resistance in obesity. Short-term studies have investigated the effects of acipimox, an inhibitor of hormone-sensitive lipase, on glucose homeostasis, but longer-term studies have not been performed. This study examined the hypothesis that long-term treatment with acipimox would reduce FFA and improve insulin sensitivity among nondiabetic, insulin-resistant, obese subjects. Citation Makimura H, Stanley TL, Suresh C, De Sousa-Coelho AL, Frontera WR, Syu S, Braun LR, Looby SE, Feldpausch MN, Torriani M, Lee H, Patti ME, Grinspoon SK. Metabolic Effects of Long-Term Reduction in Free Fatty Acids With … Read More »

Categories: Publications Tags: Harvard Medical School

Hypothalamic POMC Deficiency Improves Glucose Tolerance Despite Insulin Resistance by Increasing Glycosuria

March 30, 2016

Abstract Hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) is essential for the physiological regulation of energy balance; however, its role in glucose homeostasis remains less clear. We show that hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (Arc)POMC-deficient mice, which develop severe obesity and insulin resistance, unexpectedly exhibit improved glucose tolerance and remain protected from hyperglycemia. To explain these paradoxical phenotypes, we hypothesized that an insulin-independent pathway is responsible for the enhanced glucose tolerance. Indeed, the mutant mice demonstrated increased glucose effectiveness and exaggerated glycosuria relative to wild-type littermate controls at comparable blood glucose concentrations. Central administration of the melanocortin receptor agonist melanotan II in mutant mice reversed alterations … Read More »

Categories: Publications Tags: University of Michigan

Volume and Value of Big Healthcare Data

March 17, 2016

Abstract Modern scientific inquiries require significant data-driven evidence and trans-disciplinary expertise to extract valuable information and gain actionable knowledge about natural processes. Effective evidence-based decisions require collection, processing and interpretation of vast amounts of complex data. The Moore’s and Kryder’s laws of exponential increase of computational power and information storage, respectively, dictate the need rapid trans-disciplinary advances, technological innovation and effective mechanisms for managing and interrogating Big Healthcare Data. In this article, we review important aspects of Big Data analytics and discuss important questions like: What are the challenges and opportunities associated with this biomedical, social, and healthcare data avalanche? … Read More »

Categories: Publications Tags: University of Michigan

Angiopoietin-Like 4 Genetic Mutations Linked to Coronary Artery Disease

March 4, 2016

Summary Elevated levels of circulating triglycerides are a risk factor for ischemic cardiovascular disease, and activation of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that is inhibited by angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4), has been shown to reduce levels of circulating triglycerides. In this study the exons of ANGPTL4 were sequenced in nearly 43,000 subjects from the DiscovEHR human genetics study to identify missense variants, including the previously known E40K variant, and other inactivating variants. Carriers of E40K and other inactivating mutations in ANGPTL4 had 13% lower levels of triglycerides and a 19% lower risk of coronary artery disease than did noncarriers. Additional experiments revealed that … Read More »

Categories: News Tags: Mid-Atlantic Maryland

Could Playing Video Games Help Kids Lose Weight, Gain Confidence?

March 3, 2016

Child obesity more than doubled between 1980 and 2012, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls it an “epidemic.” But what if video games could actually help kids lose weight? A new study by a group of Louisiana researchers is showing how they can actually play a big role in children’s health, reports CBS News correspondent Jamie Wax. Jerry Walker is a dancing machine, but it’s not all fun and games – there’s a mission behind the 12-year-old’s moves. “I’m like, “Oh, yes, I am so ready to get in shape. I will get in shape,'” Jerry said. … Read More »

Categories: Featured News, News, Videos Tags: Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Infants Born to Obese Mothers Exhibit Greater Potential for Adipogenesis: The Healthy Start BabyBUMP Project

March 1, 2016

Abstract Increased maternal body mass index (BMI) is a robust risk factor for later pediatric obesity. Accumulating evidence suggests that human milk (HM) may attenuate the transfer of obesity from mother to offspring, potentially through its effects on early development of the infant microbiome. The objective of this study was to identify early differences in intestinal microbiota in a cohort of breastfeeding infants born to obese compared with normal-weight (NW) mothers. We also investigated relationships between HM hormones (leptin and insulin) and both the taxonomic and functional potential of the infant microbiome. Study Design Clinical data, infant stool and fasting … Read More »

Categories: Publications Tags: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

FoxO1 Integrates Direct and Indirect Effects of Insulin on Hepatic Glucose Production and Glucose Utilization

February 16, 2016

Abstract FoxO proteins are major targets of insulin action. To better define the role of FoxO1 in mediating insulin effects in the liver, we generated liver-specific insulin receptor knockout (LIRKO) and IR/FoxO1 double knockout (LIRFKO) mice. Here we show that LIRKO mice are severely insulin resistant based on glucose, insulin and C-peptide levels, and glucose and insulin tolerance tests, and genetic deletion of hepatic FoxO1 reverses these effects. (13)C-glucose and insulin clamp studies indicate that regulation of both hepatic glucose production (HGP) and glucose utilization is impaired in LIRKO mice, and these defects are also restored in LIRFKO mice corresponding … Read More »

Categories: Publications Tags: University of Washington

Consistency of a Mobile Body Composition Trailer: A Novel Portable Laboratory Assessment?

January 12, 2016

Despite the physical demands of firefighting, several recent studies have reported that greater than 75% of all current and new firefighter recruits are overweight and/or obese. Research also suggests that obesity had a significant impact on lower back muscular endurance. Eric Ryan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science, and his research team recently completed a feasibility study with the Kannapolis Fire Department using the UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center’s mobile body composition trailer. The purpose of this study was to assess the test–retest reliability and minimum difference values of air-displacement plethysmography (ADP) and the Siri 3-compartment (3-C) model in … Read More »

Categories: Featured News, News, Publications Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill