The proverbial chocolate pie is hitting Sensa in the face, magic diet sprinkles and all. Octavia Spencer, the actress who won an Oscar for her performance in “The Help,” is suing the weight loss company Sensa for alleged fraud and breach of contract. Sensa markets tiny crystals called “tastants,” designed to be sprinkled on all types of food with the intention of making the eater feel fuller faster, thus eating less. It’s supposed to be automatic portion control, and when Spencer lost five pounds on the stuff last August, a $1.25 million sponsorship deal quickly materialized, tastants fall as they may.
But as with all sponsorships, marketing campaigns hinge on a fickle balance of popularity and exposure, and Sensa decided Spencer wasn’t exactly a trending topic. The company wasn’t pleased with the lackluster social media response generated by Spencer’s dimming star, and began to find a way out of the contract. Read Full Post >
Does a creamy cup of yogurt make you happy? Do you ever wonder why Jamie Lee Curtis is always smiling in those Activia commercials? It may have something to do with a new UCLA study that claims good bacteria is not only good for the gut, it may also be good for the brain.
The study, conducted by scientists with the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress, part of the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases, and the Ahmanson–Lovelace Brain Mapping Center at UCLA, appears in the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology. For the purpose of the investigation, a small group of women were given the same yogurt containing several types of good bacteria, also known as probiotics, and instructed to eat it twice a day for four weeks.
Before and after the study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were performed on the women. Their brains were examined at rest, and while performing an emotion-recognition task, which asked the women to look at angry and frightened faces. The result was a change in brain activity, as well as other internal “body sensations.” The women who ate the yogurt had less anxiety when looking at the images.
Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, lead author of the UCLA study is encouraged by the early findings. “Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut,” Tillisch said. “Our study shows that the gut–brain connection is a two-way street.”
Hemp does give a damn about its bad reputation. This particularly trusty strain of Cannabis has been besmirched by its illicit cousin marijuana, a cultivar of Cannabis that is smoked for recreational purposes. Hemp has a microscopic and harmless amount of THC—the chemical in marijuana that gets you high—and has an extremely versatile skill set.
From nutritious foodstuffs to composite plastics for automobiles, hemp can be used for more than kitschy, hippy jewelry. In addition to its wide range of applications, the hemp crop is easily cultivated; its water and soil purification properties help to renew farm fields and can even kill weeds. Unfortunately, industrial hemp has been illegal to grow in the U.S. since 1958—save Colorado, of course—and can only be enjoyed legally by importing hemp products from Canada or other parts of the world.
“We fight a war against gravity our entire lives, it pulling us down, us attempting to stand tall.”
Those are the wise words of nutritionist Deb Burchardt, M.S., R.D, L.D. as we discussed the issue of shrinking with age. It’s not simply an “old lady” condition, it’s a very serious symptom of a very serious issue.
Burchardt explained in more detail that shrinking is a direct symptom of osteoporosis. The shrinking comes as one’s height is affected due to the compression of the spine. The spine is compressed due to the bones not being strong enough to stop it any longer.
So, the easy fix seems to be make bones stronger, right? Burchardt explained that it’s not always that easy. There’s no magic, quick fix, and some of the issues may have nothing to do with the individual as much as it may have to do with their mother, or even their grandmother. Read Full Post >
Are people who use marijuana thinner than those who don’t? Though scientists can’t say conclusively that smoking pot makes you thin, a recent study shows a correlation between smaller waist circumference and marijuana use. Users not only seem to be thinner, but also somewhat healthier than their non-using counterparts. An exact reason for the trend hasn’t been discovered, but scientists are still intrigued by the results of the study.
More than 4,600 people participated in the study. Waist circumference and other weight-related factors were assessed in those who currently are marijuana users, those who used but don’t anymore, and those who never used. Other studies had found lower prevalence for obesity and diabetes in marijuana users, but this was the first study to also include tests for insulin, glucose and insulin resistance. Read Full Post >