Know Your Fats: Trans Linked To Death And Heart Disease, Saturated Not

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Not all fats are equal, according to research by a McMaster University team. Some fats are linked to death, heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes, while other fats are not associated with these health conditions at all. The issue is not as simple as a line between healthy and unhealthy fats, however, as lead author Dr. Russel de Souza explained.

“Fats should not be considered as one entire group of food,” de Souza told The Speaker.

“We have known for many years that different types of fat have different health effects. Fats that are liquid at room temperature, like olive oil, or canola oil, or those hidden away in nuts — contain essential fats that the body needs for growth and development. Saturated fat, which is solid at room temperature, like butter, behaves differently. Trans fat, which is a liquid fat that has been made solid in a food lab, behaves differently still.

De Souza and his fellow researchers at McMaster University, where de Souza is an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, analysed 50 studies, seeking for correlations between trans and saturated fats and health outcomes.

The team’s findings, which were published in the British Medical Journal, pointed to the danger of consuming trans fat. Trans fat, de Souza explained, has no health benefits but poses real heart health risks.

Trans fats is associated with a 34 percent increase in death overall, and more specifically a 28 percent increased risk of death from heart disease and a 21 percent increase heart disease risk.

The evidence for saturated fat is so far not conclusive enough for medical professionals to give a certain recommendation. A tentative one, though, was provided by de Souza, who advised that even though saturated fats were not associated with coronary heart disease, diabetes or stroke, many foods high is saturated fat, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, and higher-fat milks, have been shown by research to increase cancer risk.

Health guidelines for dangerous trans fat limit consumption to less than one percent of energy. For saturated fats, the current recommended limit is less than 10 percent.

De Souza pointed out that there were very healthy options to the unhealthy fats — as well as the white flour and sugar commonly used as fat substitutes — in the foods people buy. In particular, de Souza suggested nuts, seeds and olive oils as healthier choices when it came to fats. Some diets, he said, already comply with these recommendations.

Cardiovascular disease
Dr. Russel de Souza

“The whole diet matters. Dietary patterns consistently associated with good health, such as Mediterranean diets, plant-based diets, or the DASH diet, tend to be low in saturated fat, but their healthfulness is not due solely to the fact that they are low in saturated fat — it’s likely because they combine a number of foods that are highly nutritious, such as whole grains, fruits, legumes, vegetable, and nuts; and avoid foods that contain refined starch and sugar and processed trans fats.”

The importance of the study, which confirmed five previous coronary heart disease studies, lies largely in the evidence that, contrary to what is commonly advised in popular dietary information, saturated fats are not the cause of increased death and heart disease, but trans fats definitely are.

“It’s important to remember that not all fats are equal,” stated de Souza. “And there may be important differences in the health effects of saturated fats from different foods.”

By Cheryl Bretton

Possible new law of nature on the way

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The world of physics is excited about strong but early evidence about the behavior of muons, paricles identical to electrons only 200x more massive (heavier), which once born take 2.2 microseconds to decay into an electron, and which spin like tops. In a new, extremely precise measurement, they were made to wobble using magnetic fields but they unexpectedly wobbled quite significantly faster than the Standard Model suggests they would. They might spin so fast due to an unknown force caused by an unknown particle, and this is what is so exciting.

“We found that a muon … is not in agreement with our current best theory of physics at the subatomic level, and … it potentially points to a future with new laws, new particles and new forces in physics which we haven’t seen to date,” said Professor Mark Lancaster at U of Manchester.

“The main goal of the experiment is to make the measurement and compare with the theory, and if they disagree then it’s telling us that there’s something in nature which is not in the theory,” explained James Mott at Fermilab.

The four known forces of nature (gravity, electricity, two nuclear forces: strong and weak interactions) have left scientists without an answer for some observed phenomena, such as the speed at which galaxies spin (faster than the best model suggests). Therefore, they continue to search for glitches in their already-tight models which might point them things they don’t yet know about.

The most recent work was done at Fermilab (Muon g-2 experiment), but a similar experiment was already done earlier at the Large Hadron Collider. These tools accelerate particles in large rings at close to the speed of light.

The evidence needs more tests for greater certainty, particularly to rule out the possibility of a systematic error, and particularly with a new, independent experiment, but physicists will be chasing this line of experiment eagerly.

“This is outstanding confirmation of experimental technique, and very, very suggestive of the possibility of new physics,” noted scientist David Hertzon of U of Washington.

By the editors

#AnomalousMagneticDipoleMomentOfTheMuon #QuantumElectrodynamics

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People in Kachin state demonstrate against China

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YANGON, Myanmar – The people in the Pharkant area of Kachin state demonstrated against China this week, drawing a cross on the Chinese flag and burning a picture of Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing.

“China stands with the military leader,” shouted the demonstrators.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Aye Yarwaddy

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Myanmar military council arrests the artist Zarganar

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YANGON, Myanmar – The artist Zarganar was arrested by the Myanmar military council from his home in Tarmwe township, Yangon this morning.

Zarganar is not only a director but also a comedian famous for political jokes since the 1988 democratic revolution.

Zarganar was arrested by the Myanmar military many times before 2010.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Zarganar page

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Kayin IDPs struggle to get for food

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YANGON, Myanmar – Kayin internally displaced people are desperate for food, clothing and shelter, hiding in the forest from the air strikes of the Myanmar military.

The IDPs fled to neighboring Thailand, but Thai government turned them back. However, Wednesday morning the Thai government opened Maeseli jetty in Maehaungsaung district to sending rations and medicines over the border to Kayin state, according to a Thai media.

By Htay Win

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Twenty Myanmar celebrities charged with incitement

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YANGON, Myanmar -They were charged under the country’s media law with inciting government employees to join the popular civil disobedience movement (CDM) through social media.

Celebrities took part in the NLD election campaigns and are thought to have played a large part in influencing the public, particularly Myanmar’s youth, to vote for Aung San Suu Kyi.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Myanmar celebrity

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