Chemistry Health 

How Nonsugar Sweeteners Affect Gut Health

By Brittany Trinh (@brttnytrnh) Do you take your coffee with a spoonful of sugar or use a nonsugar sweetener such as Sweet’N Low or Equal? These nonsugar sweeteners are called nonnutritive sweeteners because they contain little to no calories per gram, compared with nutritive sweeteners such as sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup. Common nonnutritive sweeteners are saccharin and aspartame. Nonsugar sweeteners are often hundreds of times sweeter than sucrose—125 mg of aspartame can replace 25 g of sugar. They have been recommended by medical professionals as sugar substitutes in food…

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Fabulous Fat: Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements Combat Malnutrition Health 

Fabulous Fat: Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements Combat Malnutrition

By Shayna Keyles @shaynakeyles Malnutrition affects hundreds of millions of children around the world. As of 2017, about 23 percent of children under five suffer from stunted growth because of malnutrition and about 8 percent experience extreme wasting, which is characterized by a low weight-to-height ratio. Although over the years many treatments have been developed that reduce chances of mortality, increase weight gain, and improve lean tissue creation—all signs of healthy development—more work is necessary to create an inexpensive, accessible, and long-term solution. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF; also known as…

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coffee Animals Biology Chemistry 

Living on Nothing but Coffee?

By Bill Sullivan, Ph.D. @wjsullivan Can you imagine living on nothing but coffee? Some of us would probably like to at times, if not for the taste then for the buzz the caffeine brings. Caffeine makes us feel more alert because it structurally resembles a molecule called adenosine. The longer we stay awake, the more adenosine accumulates in our brains, binding to the receptors that induce the sleepy feeling we all get after a long day. Adenosine is the body’s way of signaling to the brain that it has had…

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Paleo Diet Dangerous? Health 

Paleo Diet is Dangerous, Expert Warns

Although some people swear by the Paleo (short for “Paleolithic”) diet, a new study suggests that eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet can lead to rapid weight gain and health complications in as little as eight weeks. What’s going on? OK, we’ve all seen plenty of fad diets come and go, but the Paleo diet has an earthy, back-to-basics vibe. Perhaps that’s why the new research findings have surprised many people. And yet, the findings are so striking that the University of Melbourne research team has gone so far as to…

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An employee working at a treadmill desk. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU) Featured Health 

How to Ask Your Boss for a Treadmill Desk

The adverse effects of sedentary office work have given adjustable desks, standing desks, and treadmill desks new attention, but treadmill desks are not everyone’s cup of tea. Now, the latest research from Brigham Young University reveals the impact that treadmill desks can have on job performance. So You Want a Treadmill Desk If you are interested in using a treadmill desk at the office, your greatest challenge may be convincing your boss that it will not have a negative impact on your job performance. Some employers worry that standing or…

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Polar Bears: Tasul the polar bear (Oregon Zoo) Animals Biology Environment 

Polar Bears Struggling to Find Food

By Kate S. The polar bear is a fearsome hunter and, when it’s time to eat, there’s nothing it finds more satisfying than a hearty meal of ringed seal. But as the arctic sea ice melts, polar bears have fewer opportunities to hunt their traditional, lipid-rich prey. Among other animals, climate change has been impacting our shellfish supply, California’s pika population, and the lemurs of Madagascar. Now, a team of scientists led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that polar bears, forced onto land by the loss of sea…

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