When people comment that I must have a sweet tooth, I counter with "Actually, they're all sweet." I LOVE sweets. I tried to live almost solely on them my first semester of college.. All-you-can-eat ice cream at the diner, every night?! Didn't work out so well. Hello, freshman fifteen! Why is the call of sweets so powerful? When was the last time you just had to eat something sweet? For me, it was this morning. Today I realized our hypothalamus has a bunch of answers to the 3 o'clock need (or all-the-time need) for sweet things. It basically keeps tabs on how much energy you have stored, while also keeping an eye on blood sugar levels. Of course, it's also influenced by personal preferences and experiences with food. This article explains the cycle of eating that first bite of delicious food and whether you reach back for another bite, and what makes you feel full vs. still hungry for more (hint: FRUCTOSE isn't the fairy godmother that you thought it was).
Recently, I heard about someone with breast cancer who starved their body to avoid chemotherapy. Ever since, the guts and I have been wondering: Can you starve cancer by following a certain diet? Or is it only a preventative measure? Because not eating seems.. hard. So we starting researching and came across this July 2013 Ted Talk by William Li about diet and cancer prevention. That's 200% awesome if you don't have cancer. But what if you already have it? Researchers already knew, in 1923, that cancer cells use a ton of glucose (the nutrient we get from digesting carbohydrates) - more than regular cells. This is because they grow much faster than normal cells, so they need the extra energy. If you starve your body, even for a few hours, your cells can switch to using fat or protein. But do cancer cells do the same thing? Research from MIT says yes. Lucky for us, then, in July 2013 some great people at the University of Southampton have found something that cancer cells need for survival that normal cells don't need. More research from July 2013, thanks to the Thomas Jefferson University, resulted in this study about starving cancer cells through manipulating diet. Have you tried a diet approach to overcoming cancer, or know someone who has? Or do you think it's all a bunch of bunk?
What do you know about your pancreas? You're about to know a whole lot more!
- These guys figured out how to grow mini pancreases.
- It's located behind your stomach, but in front of your spine.
- The pancreas shares a duct with the liver and gallbladder. It's called the Ampulla of Vater & is not anyone's father.
- It also makes hormones that keep blood sugar levels from getting too high or low.
- Pancreases make enzymes to help digest your food: amylases (breaks down carbohydrates), proteases (breaks down protein), and lipases(breaks down fat)!
- A shortage of amylase or lipase can cause diarrhea, because colons hate undigested starch; if you don't have enough protease, this can cause allergic reactions because of partially digested chunks of protein.
- Your pancreas is part of the endocrine system because it releases hormones into the blood (a closed, internal circuit); but it's also part of the exocrine system, because it releases enzymes into the digestive tract, which is considered an external tract, since it begins and ends with the outside world.
Have more interesting facts about the pancreas? Share below!
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