Researchers report four new insights into diet and health

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What we eat plays a significant role in our health. The Experimental Biology 2018 meeting (EB 2018) will showcase new research into how diet could be used to fight cancer and how specific eating patterns can encourage weight loss.

Time-restricted eating reduces tumor growth in mice

Obesity is known to increase the risk for breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women. With a long-term goal of developing practical strategies to curb breast cancer risk, researchers from the University of California, in San Diego, examined how restricting eating to a certain number of hours each day might affect cancer. For the study, obese mice modeling the postmenopausal life stage were either given access to high-fat food 24 hours a day or restricted to eating the high-fat food during 8 active hours, simulating daytime eating in people. After 3 weeks, the mice were injected with breast cancer cells. Although the overall quantity of food consumed differed little between the two groups, the time-restricted eating group showed reduced tumor growth as well as better glucose tolerance and insulin resistance, which are both linked to blood sugar control. Additional experiments showed that tumor growth was insulin-dependent, suggesting that time-restricted feeding may act by lowering insulin signaling.

Manasi Das will present this research at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting during the Obesity, Metabolism and Immune Cells in Cancer session at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 23, in Room 31A (abstract) and at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Exhibit Halls A-D (poster B491 811.19).

Adults who eat breakfast gain less weight

Although studies have shown an association between eating breakfast and healthy body weight in children and teenagers, less research has focused on this relationship in adults. In an analysis involving 347 healthy adults, researchers from the Mayo Clinic found that study participants who skipped breakfast were more likely to be obese than those who ate it frequently, defined as five to seven times a week. Participants who skipped breakfast also had larger waists than those who ate breakfast frequently or infrequently (one to four times a week). The link between skipping breakfast and weight gain remained even after the researchers took into account age, gender and body mass index. People who did not eat breakfast reported the most weight gain over the past year, and those who consumed breakfast on most days reported the lowest weight gain. The researchers conclude that regularly consuming breakfast is important for maintaining a healthy weight at all ages.

Kevin Smith will present this research at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Sunday, April 22, in Exhibit Halls A-D (poster A324) (abstract).

Alternate-day fasting enhances weight loss in obesity-prone rats

When a person is losing or maintaining recently lost weight, energy expenditure during rest and activity tends to decrease as the body's metabolism gradually slows. In a new study, Kent State University researchers examined how alternate-day fasting — a diet that restricts calories every other day — affects energy expenditure. They placed lean and obese-prone mice on every-day calorie restriction or alternate-day fasting aimed at equivalent weight loss and then measured energy expenditure during treadmill walking. Although the obesity-prone and lean mice on both diets showed a similar decrease in activity-associated energy expenditure, the obesity-prone mice on the alternate-day fasting diet lost significantly more weight than the lean mice. There was also no difference in activity-associated energy expenditure on fasting and non-fasting days. The results suggest that weight loss effects from alternate-day fasting might also vary in people.

Amber Titus will present this research at the APS annual meeting at 10 a.m.-noon Sunday, April 22, in Exhibit Halls A-D (poster A323 604.1) (abstract).

New insights into taste perception

Conditions inside the mouth such as temperature can affect our perception of taste. Interactions between taste and the general sensitivity of the mouth to pungency, irritation or heat were thought to result from indirect interactions between taste cells and neuropeptides such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P. In a new mouse study, researchers from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine used a combination of functional imaging and cellular biosensors to show that neuropeptides play a more direct regulatory role in processing taste signals. The study results suggest that substance P and CGRP act as inhibitory neurotransmitters that shape the signals traveling from taste buds to the brain. The discovery of this unanticipated route of taste sensory information flow could aid in the development of taste modifiers for potential use in managing obesity or new treatments for taste problems that develop as a side effect of chemotherapy drugs.

Anthony Huang will present this research at the American Association of Anatomists annual meeting during the Role of Neuropeptides in Peripheral Taste Signaling session at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Room 11B (abstract).

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EB 2018 is the premier annual meeting of five scientific societies to be held April 21-25 at the San Diego Convention Center. Contact the media team for abstracts, images and interviews, or to obtain a free press pass to attend the meeting.

About Experimental Biology 2018

Experimental Biology is an annual meeting comprised of more than 14,000 scientists and exhibitors from five host societies and multiple guest societies. With a mission to share the newest scientific concepts and research findings shaping clinical advances, the meeting offers an unparalleled opportunity for exchange among scientists from across the U.S. and the world who represent dozens of scientific areas, from laboratory to translational to clinical research. http://www.experimentalbiology.org #expbio

Find more news briefs and tipsheets at: https://www.eurekalert.org/meetings/eb/2018/newsroom/.

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